Today’s entry in the sad saga of companies who haven’t found out that the world has changed: Samsung.
This guy’s phone melted while charging, so he posted a video on YouTube of his melted phone. More than 800,000 views by now.
Samsung then sent him a letter that they would exchange his device if he took down the video and promised not to talk about it any more. So he put that letter on YouTube.
Over 1,000,000 views and a PR disaster for Samsung.
It is not enough that the people in R&D understands computers and social media. You need the whole organization, including legal and customer service, to understand that we live in a transparent world where you every misstep can be broadcast to millions.
When the wind of change blows, some build walls, others build windmills
It seems that Nikon is squarely in the wall-building camp. Original batteries for all kinds of stuff are expensive, leading to a thriving market in compatible third-party batteries. But since a modern camera is more computer than camera, it is easy to program it to simply reject third-party batteries. Apparently, this is what Nikon just did to a number of its customers via a firmware upgrade.
There has also long been a simmering war between printer manufacturers and third-party ink cartridge and toner manufacturers. The printer interrogates a chip in the cartridge to ensure that the user is using original supplies, and the third-party manufacturer reverse engineering the communication to build his own chip.
The time when you could build a wall around your product or service and control your customers is long gone. Do you want to go the way of AOL, Nikon?
Negligence: Failure to take the care that a responsible person usually takes : lack of normal care or attention
A worrying number of organizations run outdated, unsupported software.
There might have been a time when you could install software and leave it running unchanged for decades. But your IT infrastructure today is much more dynamic and does not allow this hands-off approach. Your client workstations will automatically install security patches and new Java versions, your users will install new or updated browsers, and the evolving security threat makes it necessary for you to continually patch your servers.
The best you can hope for is that nobody gets hurt when your eventually systems crash (that would be criminal negligence that may come with jail time).
Or you can keep your systems up to date.
If you are working with JDeveloper 12c (12.1.2), you will probably have experienced quite a few crashes – I had several during my the live demos in my presentations at the UKOUG Tech 2013 conference in Manchester this week.
A few things that help:
- Increase memory (google “JDeveloper memory”, lots of instructions on various blogs)
- Don’t work in Design mode when building pages. I’ve had much fewer crashes when adding components on the Source tab
- Whenever JDeveloper crashes, take the “Save and exit” option. Sometimes this does not lead JDeveloper to shut down – in that case, manually save all files and restart JDeveloper. If you just take the “I don’t care, keep running” option, your crashes will become more and more frequent.
This Monday, scandal-ridden Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) was in the news again. Their computer systems crashed, taking with them the balance on thousands of debit cards. This left irate customers unable to pay for anything with their RBS cards on “Cyber Monday,” which was expected to be a major Christmas shopping day.
The interesting part is not that this happens – even the best-run banks can’t guarantee 100% uptime. The interesting part is that the new CEO had to admit that:
- RBS had under-invested in IT for decades
- He couldn’t make any credible promises that it won’t happen again soon
RBS shares took a 12% hit, but recovered after computers were back up and running. RBS customers are less forgiving and are leaving the RBS is droves.
But you are not running any poorly documented legacy systems on outdated technology, are you?
I was just walking out of Security at London Heathrow and passed a small kiosk with the question “What was your experience at Security today?” and four buttons with various smileys. No travelers pressed any buttons, but passing security staff pressed the “I’m very happy” button.
I’m guessing that security staff are measured on the happiness of their “customers”. And any traveler with experience of London Heathrow security would find every occurrence of “very happy” spurious.
If you are taking actions or basing remuneration based on information you collect remotely, are you sure what you are collecting?
Google are beginning to achieve results from their work on image recognition with neural networks. In effect, the computers have learned to recognize a few objects better than humans can. And interestingly, the humans have only programmed the learning method, but the computers have worked the recognition themselves.
With ever-increasings amounts of data and a lack of human data scientists, we’ll end up with a mountain of computer-generated data that only computers can make sense of.
We live in interesting times.
Oracle is regularly putting on virtual conferences called “Virtual Developer Days” with online presentations and the possibility to ask questions in real time. The current one on ADF will be running in European time tomorrow, November 26th from 10am to 1pm Central European Time.
I’ll be presenting “Top 10 tips for successful ADF projects” on the Oracle ACE track at 10.30am – if you see the presentation live, you have the option to ask me questions on chat. There are many other great presentations in four tracks - see the agenda and sign up.
Back in the 60′s and 70′s, news announcers would intone in a serious voice: “It’s 10 PM. Do you know where your children are?”
Awareness is a good thing. And if you are in some way responsible for the servers in your organization, you want to know where your servers are. And whether they are up to date with patches and security software. One IT admin found 30 unmanaged servers – Internet-facing, unpatched machines. And he was working for a serious organization that actually performed scans. I have been with big customers who had to resort to mass emails like “Does anyone use server xyz.company.com? It will be shut down in three days unless someone takes ownership.”
It’s not enough to have one measurement from your management console, because that will only show the properly registered and managed servers. You need a separate tool to actually scan you network to find all the rogue servers. Do you perform regular scans to determine which servers you are running?
According to security researchers, the price of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is down to between three and five dollars per hour – or a week-long attach for just $400.
Here in Denmark, someone wanting to prove a point spent about $10 to knock a piece of critical infrastructure out, temporarily keeping 5 million Danes our of their home banking accounts.
A DDoS attack is a classic example of asymmetric warfare – it costs very little to perpetrate an attack and it might cost you a lot of expensive network administrator time to fend it off. Unless, of course, you prepare in advance. You need to configure your network components correctly, and you need to put a contingency plan in place so that you can handle a situation with minimal disruption to the business. Prepare now – this will get worse.