CCH Tax Day ReportThe Information Reporting Program Advisory Committee (IRPAC) has released its 2016 annual report, which includes recommendations to the IRS. IRPAC was created to provide a forum for discussion of information reporting issues.IRPAC recommended that regulations be amended to allow an employer to electronically deliver Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, and 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage, to all employees and, if an employee preferred paper delivery, the employee could request such and the employer would deliver the W-2 or 1095-C on paper to that employee. This recommendation would allow an employer to establish electronic delivery as the default, the employees would then retain the option to “opt-out” and get a paper Form W-2 and/or Form 1095-C, IRPAC explained.In addition, IRPAC recommended some clarifications to Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) and Certification. Further, IRPAC recommended that the IRS implement a process to archive past Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) so that payors that rely on an FAQ in filing information returns could later demonstrate the basis for the position taken.“Effective information reporting results in effective tax administration,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “The committee’s recommendations are an important line of sight into how we can improve the IRS information reporting program,” he added. “Well designed information reporting rules help both taxpayers to comply with the law and the IRS to enforce it,” Michael Gangwer, 2016 IRPAC chair, added.IR-2016-1402016 IRPAC Public Report
The Kansas Department of Revenue has announced that it will reissue all the 1099G forms sent out for tax year 2016 because some personal income taxpayers received forms listing incorrect refund amounts. The department notes that only the forms mailed to taxpayers were incorrect and that the information sent to the Internal Revenue Service was accurate. Taxpayers are directed to destroy the old forms. The new forms will be marked “CORRECTED” on the form and envelope and will be mailed by January 31, 2017. Taxpayers who received a 1099G form from the Kansas Department of Labor for unemployment payments are not affected by the issue.The complete release can be viewed at http://www.ksrevenue.org/CMS/content//01-23-2017-Kansas-to-resend-1099G-forms.pdf.Release, Kansas Department of Revenue, January 23, 2017
CCH Tax Day ReportA Kansas sales and use tax exemption for all installation services connected with the reconstruction, restoration, remodeling, renovation, repair, or replacement of a residence applied to the installation of various built-ins provided by a home improvement retailer taxpayer in customer residences. The appellate court held that the decision by the Board of Tax Appeals that: (1) the taxpayer was acting as a contractor and not a retailer when it installed the built-ins into customer’s homes; (2) all of the transactions at issue were real property improvements; and (3) the exemption applied, was correct. There is no exception in the statutory exemption that distinguishes the installation of built-ins from other residential home improvements.In the Matter of the Appeal of Lowe’s Home Centers, LLC, Kansas Court of Appeals, No. 115,254, April 14, 2017, ¶201-911
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin defended the IRS’s position on the deductibility of prepaid 2018 property taxes before lawmakers on January 30. In addition, the IRS issued more guidance on the centralized partnership audit regime. The Service also released additional guidance on withholding.CongressHouse lawmakers heard renewed calls for regulation of unenrolled preparers at a January 30 hearing on tax administration. A bill proposed by House Democrats would authorize the agency to regulate unenrolled preparers.TreasuryMnuchin defended the IRS’s position on the deductibility of prepaid 2018 property taxes on 2017 tax returns while testifying before lawmakers on January 30. He did not signal any change in the IRS’s position.IRSPartnerships. The IRS supplemented proposed regulations implementing the centralized partnership audit regime. The new proposed rules address how and when partnerships and their partners adjust tax attributes to take into account certain partnership adjustments (NPRM REG-118067-17; TAXDAY, 2018/02/02, I.1).Withholding. The IRS has extended, from February 15 to February 28, 2018, the effective period for 2017 Form W-4s that employees furnish to their employer to claim exemption from withholding. Further, employees claiming exemption from withholding for 2018 can temporarily use the 2017 Form W-4 until 30 days after the 2018 Form W-4 is released (Notice 2018-14).Passport Certification. National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson directed the IRS not to certify some delinquent taxpayers to the U.S. State Department for passport revocation or denial. Generally, these are individuals with open Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) cases.Filing Season. The IRS has started accepting and processing 2017 federal individual income tax returns. The deadline to submit 2017 individual income tax returns and pay any taxes due is Tuesday, April 17, 2018 (IR-2018-14).Retirement Plans. The IRS has posted Listings of Required Modifications (LRMs) for pre-approved defined contribution plans. The LRMs contain model plan language for laws effective during the third remedial amendment cycle, and reflects qualification requirements and guidance in the 2017 Cumulative List.By George L. Yaksick, Jr., Wolters Kluwer News StaffLogin to read more tax news on CCH® AnswerConnect or CCH® Intelliconnect®.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.
Kentucky legislation amends the definition of education institutions and expenses that qualify under the state’s tax exempt IRC Sec. 529 savings plan.The legislation brings Kentucky qualified education expenses into conformity with changes enacted to IRC Sec. 529 by the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) (P.L. 115-97).Qualifying Education Institutions“Education institution” means:an eligible educational institution under IRC Sec. 529 oran elementary or secondary public, private, or religious school.Qualifying Education Expenses“Qualified educational expenses” means:higher education expenses, including tuition, room and board, books and fees, and computer software and equipment; andup to $10,000 in tuition expenses each year for enrollment or attendance at an elementary or secondary public, private, or religious school.Ch. 137 (H.B. 434, Laws 2018, effective April 10, 2018Login to read more tax news on CCH® AnswerConnect or CCH® Intelliconnect®.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.
Philly 360° Creative Ambassador: DJ Jazzy Jeff(L. Whitaker for GPTMC) Sulaiman RahmanSulaiman Rahman is the Chairman of the African American Chamber of Commerce and President/CEO of urbanphilly.com. Get to know our 2011 Philly 360° Creative Ambassadors: DJ Jazzy JeffWorld renowned DJ and GRAMMY Award-winning producer Seun OlubodunSeun is a fashion designer and founder of Duke & Winston Carol RiddickCarol Riddick is a singer, songwriter, and she also is the senior project manager of The Recording Academy. James PoyserJames Poyser, of The Roots, is a GRAMMY Award-winning songwriter, producer and musician. Meet the 2011 Philly 360° Creative Ambassadors Ernel MartinezErnel is a talented artist and painter for the Mural Arts Program who is currently restoring the Paul Robeson Mural. Philly 360° Creative Ambassadors are trendsetters in their fields who help shape Philadelphia as a major hotspot and build buzz around the city. In 2011, we picked a group of Philly’s hottest musicians, DJs, producers, dancers, entrepreneurs and more. Keep up with who we think best represent Philly. And, check out our 2009 and 2010 ambassadors, including The Roots, Marsha Ambrosius, Rich Medina and King Britt. Rennie HarrisRennie is a highly respected and sought after hip hop dancer, choreographer and founder of Rennie Harris Puremovent Florcy MorissetFlorcy is the owner and curator of Vivant Art Collection Carvin & IvanCarvin & Ivan are GRAMMY Award-nominated songwriters and producers who are currently up for five GRAMMY nominations. DJ AfroDJiakDJ and co-founder of It’s the Life Creative, the team behind the popular Inside the Studio series. Spanky McCurdyCurrently on tour with Lady Gaga, Spanky is a drummer, designer and entrepreneur.
(AP) – Ferguson activist Bruce Franks Jr. will officially resign from Missouri’s largely conservative Legislature at the end of July.The Democrat submitted his letter of resignation from the state House on Tuesday.Franks first announced plans to leave office in May , in part citing struggles with anxiety and depression. He also recently lost his best friend and godson to gun violence.Franks was first elected in 2016, two years after he led protests in Ferguson in response to the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown. Franks was also a leader of 2017 protests in St. Louis after a white former police officer was acquitted of killing a black suspect.In his resignation letter, Franks wrote that he hopes to create positive change outside the Legislature.
Geoff Jones found out on Monday he will get to live out a dream he had as a kid, and become Columbia’s next permanent police chief. He joined Wake Up Columbia on Tuesday.
Intel® Advanced Digital Media Boost – Effectively doubles the instructions’ execution speed compared to previous Intel based solutions and accelerates a broad range of applications, including financial, engineering, scientific video, speech and image, photo processing, and encryption software. compress the time between an idea and a product or, So what is the secret behind the performance? Intel® Intelligent Power Capability improves energy efficient performance and reduces noise and energy consumption. Intel® Smart Memory Access optimizes the use of the available data bandwidth from the memory subsystem and The honest answer is it depends on how much you want to stress the system, because there are limits. But Russ Sagert, Petrel Portfolio Manager from Schlumberger Information Systems suggests “workstations based on the new Intel® Xeon® 5400 series processors change the game for our customers. These new workstations featuring faster processors, larger memories, two new advanced PCI Gen2 graphics adapters give users a remarkably interactive experience and an opportunity to employ parallel geophysical workflows that combine complex large scale attribute analysis and volume visualization. Net result: Higher quality results and, better more informed decisions in less time than ever before.” or simply work on larger more complex assemblies or analyses Intel® Wide Dynamic Execution – Increases performance and energy efficiency by enabling the delivery of more instructions per clock cycle and enhancing the efficiency of instruction execution. Alright that is mouthful, but today’s Intel® Xeon® based workstations do present the performance necessary to potentially change your game and help you innovate faster – are you game? Macro Fusion combines instructions into a single instruction for execution, delivering more efficient processing and faster throughput. Ok so now it’s time to say I doubt the performance is really available to get this done. Here is a quick look at some of the Intel innovations that are changing the performance game – we will discuss them more in future blogs: Intel® Advanced Smart Cache, which is optimized for multi-core processing and reduces latency to frequently used data The “Core” is. Not 4 cores, not 2 cores, or 8 even cores — just Intel’s new Core microarchitecture. Introduced in 2006, and extended with the availability of the Intel® Xeon® 5400 series, Intel’s new Intel’s new Core microarchitecture is the foundation that enables demanding users with the processing capacity and visualization capability to change the way they work and use simultaneous workflows to continuously iterate through design ideas, rapidly test via simulation, and find design errors earlier. The Intel Core Microarchitecture helps deliver the power to innovate. Ok, so you have bought into the potential benefits of simultaneous workflows from my previous blogs where organizations may choose work differently and develop parallel workflows in order to potentially: innovate faster and deliver finished animations in less time Net result is Intel’s new Core Microarchitecture can help you hit a high note in performance and an even higher note in innovation when you move to simultaneous workflows.
I got to enjoy a hand’s on experience with vPro this morning, I got tired of just reading everything. Another intern, Nick Molina showed me some capabilities that I have only read in whitepapers and postings from vPro experts. I am not sure on how you like to learn, but one of the best ways for me to learn is to see the product in action. Plus I didn’t really understand it until it was put in front of me. Nick was able to show me different remote capabilities, how the server is able to power on and off the client computers, and how to read the hardware from the client computer through the server. He also showed me how you can apply filters to the network interface that would cut out any outside source (e.g. through the WLAN) that would put the client and/or server in harm. To be able to see this better you should see this YouTube video which shows the same thing as what I was learning from Nick. It’s a bit shorter than what I have experienced, but it gives you the same idea. Watching this, and after reading my blogs of course, it gives you a better understanding of what vPro can do. Intel vPro Technology integration w/Symantec Backup&Restore Chapter 4 should be coming soon. It will be on trusted environments. Stay tuned!! Understanding vPro: Chapter 1- What is it?Understanding vPro: Chapter 2-What is it used for/ why should I use itUnderstanding vPro: Chapter 3- Proactive Security- Does it have a tiny guard dog???
Do you really need a workstation? It depends…. While I am biased, the actual investment difference between an entry level Intel-based workstation and an Intel-based business desktop with similar graphics features has compressed so much that today the answer is ————————————-yes you really do need a workstation. I was recently at an ISV’s user meeting and workstaion vendors were demonstrating visually compelling reasons to make that leap to a workstation from a desktop. So what is an Intel-based workstation when compared to a business desktop? Similar to the difference between a professional athlete and recreational athlete; workstations are typically faster and smarter at what they do. Workstations are purpose built to do a job. They provide the necessary processing capacity, access to the professional grade graphics adapters and enough expansion to accommodate the memory capacity you need to work with a: • Bigger canvas if your are digital content creator, • Larger assemblies if your are product designer, or • More complete oil reservoirs if you are a geophysicist. But if you want to really increase the pace you can create, you may want to step up to a virtual workbench that delivers near supercomputing performance to your workstation. That is another blog. To learn which Intel based workstation is best for your needs please use our “Mobile, Professional, Expert—Which processor is right for your workstation needs tool” on http://www.intel.com/products/workstation/processors
This blog post is meant to discuss some of the considerations for performance tuning your Intel® Xeon® Processor 5500 (“Nehalem-EP”) series based server. I’d like to do this by discussing the un-boxing process.Step 1. Place the box on the floorStep 2. Open the boxStep 3. Carefully remove the server.Step 4. Plug the server into a keyboard, mouse, and monitor.Step 5. Plug the server into the wall socket.Step 6. Power on the server.There. You are done tuning your Nehalem-EP based server for performance. “Really?” you ask? Well mostly. There are some considerations and I’ll discuss them. I can speak to this subject as I was asked to tune this class of system using the TPC-Cand TPC-Ebenchmarks.BIOS / Firmware / DriversIt is very important to remember to update your system’s BIOS, firmware, and OS drivers before you do any deep performance tuning. I cannot over state the importance of this step. Your system’s manufacturer should be able to provide the latest BIOS and firmware associated with your server. OS drivers are available through many sources these days. Typically these can be downloaded from OS vendors, hardware vendors, from the Linux open source community, or the platform’s manufacturer.A good example of this is the SATA driver associated with the ICH10. The ICH10 is part of the chipset that supports Nehalem-EP. I recommend going to Intel’s website and using the Intel Matrix Storage Manager driver for the SATA controller.Understand your systemLast year, Nehalem launched for the desktop market segment. Now it is time for the server market. The Nehalem-EP processor is meant to be used in dual processor (DP) socket systems. Nehalem-EP is the follow on to the Intel Xeon Processor 5400 (“Harpertown”) series. However, Nehalem-EP is really very different from Harpertown. The Nehalem-EP processor is based on the Intel Core i7. The Nehalem-EP processor inherits the same architectural features as the Intel Core i7. Once you understand these features, then you can better tune your system for performance. L3 Cache:Nehalem-EP uses a level 3 cache. Depending on which SKU you are using it can be 4MB or 8MB in size. If you are interested in performance, then I would encourage you to pick the larger cache size SKU. Hyper Threading Technology:If some threads is good then more threads is better. This is where Hyper threading technologycomes in to play. Nehalem-EP provides this technology out of the box. So, on a typical DP server this will give your system 16 threads of processing goodness.Intel Quick Path Interconnect:Nehalem-EP supports a CPU interconnect known as Intel Quick Path Interconnect (QPI). This interconnect is the replacement for the Front Side Bus of old. QPI provides a point to point link to each of the processors and the Intel X58 chipset. The Nehalem-EP supports QPI speeds of up to 6.4GT/s. This provides a theoretical bandwidth of 25.6 GB/s. This is a welcome shift for Intel’s designs for the future.Turbo Boost Technology:As with the desktop SKUs of Nehalem, the Nehalem-EP supports Turbo Boost technology. This technology will run the CPU at a higher frequency than its rating. It will increase the frequency in steps of 133MHz until it achieves its upper thermal and electrical design requirements. Turbo Boost Technology is dynamic. In other words, the processor will decrease its core frequency if the temperature is too high. If your application is sensitive to core frequency changes and does not fully utilize all cores, then it may benefit from this technology.Integrated Memory Controller:Another key feature of Nehalem based processors is that they have the memory controller integrated into the processor. This allows for much lower memory latencies. The Nehalem-EP supports three channels of DDR3 memory. It is important to talk about DDR3 memory and population on Nehalem-EP based servers. As mentioned before Nehalem-EP supports three channels of memory and supports 800, 1067, and 1333 MT/s memory speeds. Those speeds are dependent on how many channels are populated with DIMMs. For instance, 1333 MT/s is supported in a single DIMM per channel configuration. 1067MT/s is supported in a single DIMM per channel and two DIMMs per channel configuration. 800MT/s is supported in all configurations. These speeds are based on dual ranked DIMMs. If you plan on filling up all the memory slots with as many DIMMS as possible you will end up running at 800MT/s. So, here is the consideration. Does your application need all that memory or could it use less memory running at a higher speed? If the answer is yes to the latter, then perhaps running two DIMMS per channel at 1067 MT/s is the best configuration.To wrap things up here, we have looked at the new and Nehalem architecture, the importance of BIOS/ firmware/ OS drivers, and memory population. Your application’s performance will vary, but I hope I have given you some things to narrow down your performance testing. Thanks for taking the time to read this blog post. For more great performance methodology tips please check out Shannon Cepeda’s blogposts on performance tuning.
Meet the Rock Stars of PCI, PCI Express and USB Initiatives at IDF.The real Ajay Bhatt and other Intel Rock Stars will be on hand to take your questions about PCIe and USB. You might even get him to sign an Ajay Bhatt t-shirt if you ask a question that’s not too hard for him to answer! 11.10-Noon: TCIS006: PCI Express* 3.0 Technology: Device Architecture optimizations on Intel PlatformsThis session is for developers with advanced knowledge of PCI Express* Technology and related usage models. This session will help developers comprehend platform implementation challenges and what is needed to build the ecosystem for successful product deployment. Topics include: 3.40-4.10pm: TCIQ002: Q&A and panel on PCI ExpressGet any lingering questions you have on PCIe at this open session where no PCIe question will go un-answered! consider attending the following sessions on Thursday, Sept 24th in room 2003 starting at 11.10am. For the real scoop on what’s going on in PCIe today Overview of PCI Express* (PCIe*) 2.1 and 3.0 technology protocol extensions as well as the power/performance benefits and applicability across various market segmentsImplementation considerations for a selected set of PCIe Technology protocol extensions aimed at Intel based platformsSoftware development required for these features. This event is on Tuesday Sept 22nd at 6pm in room 2004, level 2. An overview of Intel’s analysis of the logical layer enhancements required for the PCI Express* 3.0 technology operating at 8.0 GT/sImplementation challenges and considerations for Intel based platforms. 1.40-2.30pm: TCIS007: PCI Express* 3.0 Technology: PHY Implementation Considerations on Intel PlatformsThis session is intended for developers with advanced knowledge of PCI Express* Technology.This session will help developers appreciate, understand, and address implementation challenges related to the encoding scheme.Topics include: 2.40-3.30pm: TCIS008: PCI Express* 3.0 Technology: Electrical Requirements for Designing ASICs on Intel PlatformsThis session will focus on the electrical and mechanical elements of designing PCIe with topics to include: Overview of silicon and motherboard/add-in card design features required to support typical PCI Express* Technology one connector and two connector topologies at 8.0 GT/sAnalysis of studies for deeper understanding of transmit and receive equalization schemes, measurement, and testingProcess for determining form factor specific electrical requirements, PCB design guidelines, and add-in card and motherboard test methodologies.
Tablet devices vary considerably in terms of supporting the full range of Web content and technologies. However, when tablets are used in the office, your workers will expect the highest-performing tablet on the market. Principled Technologies put the following five browser/tablet combinations, head-to-head to determine who would prevail in displaying the web content that you want to see: Microsoft Internet Explorer 10 on an Intel Atom processor-powered HP ElitePad with Windows 8 Pro 32-bit Google Chrome on an Intel Atom processor-powered HP ElitePad with Windows 8 Pro 32-bitMicrosoft Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI app on a Microsoft Surface RT with Windows 8 RTGoogle Chrome on a Samsung® Galaxy Tab® 2 with Android 4.1.1Safari on an Apple iPad 4 with Apple iOS 6.1.3Our FindingsUsing two different browsers, the Intel Atom processor-powered tablet had the fewest issues with the set of popular Web sites tested. (Lower numbers are better.) Missing or broken features. These sites had errors that made it difficult or impossible to use certain site features. Examples include Ikea’s site, which doesn’t allow users on certain browsers to use online planning tools; Shutterfly, which has Flash-based tools for uploading pictures; and deviantART Motion Books are not supported on some browsers.Missing or broken links. These sites had links that either did not work or were found missing when compared the site on the mobile device to the site on a non-tablet PC. Examples include Sprint’s Web site where a link labeled “Got questions? Click to chat,” which allows users to initiate support chat, is missing on some browsers; and Adobe’s site where certain navigation bar links are missing on the home page on some devices.Sites or parts of sites do not load. These sites had errors when loading the full site, or parts of the site. Examples include the Wizarding World of Harry Potter site, which redirects some browsers to a more general Universal Studios Parks site; Fox Sports, which redirects to a site that doesn’t load properly on some browsers; and T- Mobile’s site, which doesn’t load properly when trying to initiate support chat on some browsers.Video issues. These sites were unable to properly load and/or play the videos embedded in their sites. Examples include the ABC Web site, where the TV episodes failed to stream on some devices; the Food Network site, where videos and tutorials do not load on some devices; and many of the major sports sites such as NFL, NCAA, and CBS Sports, where videos failed to play on several of the browsers.Fewer Issues Across a Range of Technologies Users of Web browsers on tablets occasionally encounter problems stemming from technology such as Adobe Flash, Microsoft Silverlight®, Java, WebGL, WebM, Parallax Scrolling, and various HTML5 CODECs. Principled Technologies found that the Intel Atom processor- powered tablet accessed Web sites using these technologies with fewer errors than the other tablets they tested. In the case of WebGL, Google Chrome on the Intel Atom processor-powered tablet was the only browser to run the technology properly. The tools that Web designers and programmers use to create content for mobile browser users are continually evolving. Currently, less than 1 percent of Web sites run Java or Silverlight. Adobe removed their Flash app from Google Play some time ago and Microsoft recently announced plans to phase out support of Silverlight. So expect the world of Internet browsing to continue to change as technologies evolve.Great-Looking Web Sites Without AppsRoughly 61 percent of the Web sites with which Principled Technologies encountered issues offer apps that work around the issues. While some users welcome these alternatives, they are not an ideal solution for everyone. Workaround apps can clutter up the tablet screen, take up space on the internal storage, and can require frequent updates via app stores such as iTunes and Google Play. In addition, apps can pose a burden on IT staff—they must keep up with an ever-changing array of apps and perform a more complex initial setup process for users. Many organizations set up custom app repositories, which also require management. Finally, not all apps provide the full functionality that the Web site does. Users may be able to access some form of the site with the app, but be unable to do everything they could do on the full site. This summarizes the instances of reduced functionality Principled Technologies encountered on the Web sites they tested. Following the table, they explain each type of issue and present examples. For a Web Experience You Can Rely on, Choose INTEL INSIDEMany factors go into the process of selecting a tablet—size, price, styling, and more. The ability to visit a wide range of Web sites with confidence that they will behave as intended should also be high on the list.In testing, the Intel Atom processor-powered tablet running the Windows 8 Pro operating system, which offers an experience similar to Windows-based desktop and notebook systems, encountered the fewest problems. Depending on the browser used, the Intel Atom processor-powered tablet handled either 95.0 percent or 95.2 percent of the 433 sites without issue. For the other tablets tested, this number was as low as 71.8 percent.Based on these findings, an Intel Atom processor-powered Windows 8 tablet is a wise choice for those who need their tablets to handle the widest range of Web resources with the least chance of incompatibilities.The Best Tablet Web Experience Starts With INTEL INSIDE Observed 152 individual problems or issues. Of 433 sites, 139 sites had an issue on one or more platforms. Most issues occurred with the iPad (122) and the Galaxy Tab 2 (101). IE 10 Modern UI on the Surface RT had 37 issues. The two browsers on the Intel Atom processor-powered ElitePad had the fewest issues: 21 with Internet Explorer 10 and 2 What’s New in Tablets?For a complete list of sites tested please visit the full report by clicking here.Tablets are playing a powerful role in business – how can you integrate tablets into your organization? Click here to learn more.This blog is part 2 of a 2-part blog series on tablet web performance. Check out the other blog in this series here.For more conversations about IT Center and tablet computing, click on the Hashtags below:#itcenterOpens in a new window #tablets Using two different browsers, the Intel Atom processor-powered tablet had the fewest issues with the subset of popular Web sites with which problems were encountered. (Lower numbers are better.) More Than Just Flash Lack of support for Flash is a well-known limitation of iPad tablets. However, Flash issues accounted for less than half of the problems they encountered. As Figure 3 shows, 37.3 percent of issues fell into the “Other” category. This includes such problems as missing links, import/export issues, zoom problems, and bad formatting—things they could not attribute to any one technology, but that result from poor code translation between full desktop browsers and tablet browsers. A breakdown of the types of issues observed by Principled Technologies. Less Frustration, Greater Productivity
Client virtualization can be a powerful tool to help balance competing IT challenges. It can help you meet your employees’ need for flexibility and your need to maintain data security, manage IT assets, and contain IT costs. But it can simultaneously pose tradeoffs in manageability, security, hardware performance, and the relative cost of function and value.When you think of client virtualization, your mind might equate it with virtual hosted desktops, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), or thin clients. All of these things are certainly parts of client virtualization, but the idea encompasses many other things. Client virtualization can help balance the needs of employees who want to use the devices that help them perform at their best with IT’s needs to maintain security, manage centrally, and contain costs. Toward that end, client virtualization delivers the software, services, and data users need to be productive. The leaders in the field, Citrix and VMware, both provide client virtualization solutions that span the range of client virtualization implementations, from VDI to application virtualization to remote desktop access. Citrix grew out of application streaming and remote desktop access and has close ties to Microsoft going back decades. VMware’s heritage as the pioneer in server and workstation virtualization makes its client virtualization solution an automatic heir to its expertise and capabilities in virtual workload management. VMware’s large installed base in server virtualization also means that its client virtualization solutions could tie more easily into many companies’ wider virtualization efforts. Ultimately though, both Citrix and VMware provide powerful tools to improve the user experience. Client virtualization use cases focus heavily on flexibility, both for users and for IT. Examples of these include maintaining legacy applications, providing Windows applications to mobile workers, and supporting remote users. All of these examples provide multiple ways of using and deploying client virtualization. The parallel-but-not-identical nature of the Citrix and VMware solutions underscores a fundamental fact about client virtualization: it is never a one-size-fits-all solution. This is true both when selecting a client virtualization vendor to use and when deciding which models to use. A successful client virtualization strategy depends on a clear view of what you are trying to achieve.Client virtualization can be a complex undertaking, and you should carefully analyze tradeoffs in manageability, security, user productivity, and the relative cost of function and value when considering it. On its own, client virtualization will not cure your IT headaches. Unless you already have client management under control, client virtualization can actually increase the complexity of your IT environment.Although client virtualization decouples computer-driven productivity from the hardware by doing some or all of the actual computing, hardware on both the client and the server side still matters. Simple client devices for consuming complex data streamed to them will work for some use cases, but if users want to do meaningful analysis or want to have a near-local usage experience from client devices, those devices will need to have processors powerful enough to do the job. Similarly, as client virtualization implementations push more computing onto the servers, server performance and scalability matters more and more. Client virtualization doesn’t relieve you of thinking hard about hardware performance. Rather, it makes it more important than ever to reconsider how and where to deploy higher-performance hardware.For more on client virtualization and strategies for making it work for both user and IT, read the full report in Understanding Today’s Client Virtualization Ecosystem. To join the conversation on Twitter, be sure to use the hashtags below:#ITCenter#Virtualization
Risk ManagementThe evolutionary nature of cybersecurity requires professionals to focus on a multitude of criticalities. We must chase technology innovations, develop novel risk theories, seek insights into evolving threats, institute new controls practices, and push the boundaries of capabilities, cost efficiency, and relevancy outward in the pursuit of better computer security. It is a never-ending race to maneuver for an advantage, driven by both valid concerns and irrational fears. Some paths we take are worthy and many are not. In this pursuit, we risk being distracted from the fundamentals of cybersecurity.Certain aspects of security will always hold true. They are based upon the nature of adversarial conflicts and persist over time. Attackers and defenders. Predators and prey. Security professionals must be vigilant in following these timeless concepts and how they specifically apply to cybersecurity. We must not allow ourselves to be distracted and forsake the basics of protecting computing systems, information, and services.Risk management leadership, understanding the changing threat landscape, and establishing effective controls are fundamentals which drive the way security is perceived and how problems are approached, evaluated, and solved.Three Tips for Stronger Risk ManagementThe very best security organizations all have one thing in common: A leader capable of navigating, commanding, and delivering results. Cybersecurity is difficult and ever changing, so strong risk management leadership is crucial. The security mindset drives action and is essential to every organization serious in defending its electronic assets, capabilities, and sovereignty. Seek optimal risk. Security comes at a cost — attempting to eliminate all loss is not realistic. Identifying the right tolerance of risk is challenging, but necessary to define success. There are tradeoffs to consider in that the triad of risk, cost, and productivity must be balanced. Investments in controls must be rationalized against the costs to acquire, integrate, and sustain capabilities, and also tempered against the user impact and productivity impediments which may be introduced.There is no room for superfluous activity. This is a race, best run with minimal burden and by relentlessly following security basics, leveraging best practices from across the industry, and developing a highly adaptive set of capabilities. Attackers maintain the initiative and are the genesis for the justification to invest in defense. By its very nature, security is responsive and must remain very flexible to adapt to the maneuvers of the threats. Take a lesson from the Maginot Line of World War II. It nearly bankrupted the country only to result in a fixed fortification that did little to protect the nation from invasion. Security must be fluid and not waste time, energy, credibility, or resources on expensive missteps.Keep morale high. Security can be unforgiving for practitioners, viewed as a cost sink by management and an unnecessary nuisance by users. The deck is stacked against us. Deal with it and don’t let that stop you or distract your focus from consistently following good practices. There is no finish line. Communicate up to executives, down to operational teams, and across peers as necessary to gain lasting support, confidence, and cooperation. It is a continuous state of effort, just as quality or customer service requires relentless dedication. Stay rational, settle in, build teamwork, and get comfortable!Proactive management built around strong communication is the cornerstone of establishing a capable, sustainable, and balanced security capability. When you prioritize understanding the complexities and chaos of the threat landscape, as well as establishing effective controls, you will be on your way to properly fortifying your enterprise.In next development of my series on the fundamentals of security, I will discuss threats and how they ultimately drive the needs and requirements necessary to achieving an optimal level of risk. Stay tuned to the IT Center for part two.Twitter: @Matt_RosenquistIT Peer Network: My Previous PostsLinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/matthewrosenquistMy Blog: Information Security Strategy
Still running a Windows Server 2003? You’ll want to read this.As you may or may not have heard, the end of life for Windows Server 2003 is now set for July 14th, 2015 – meaning after that date, it will no longer be supported by Microsoft.So, what does this mean for you? It means that, along with other support, Microsoft will no longer be providing any security updates to Windows 2003 servers, leaving them exposed to malware and open for attack.Security pros and IT specialists around the globe have already begun preparing as there are still 23.8 million Windows 2003 Servers out there. Some are even going as far to call the end of life for this product the “biggest security threat of 2015Opens in a new window.”You can bet that most hackers have this date marked on their calendars and are eagerly awaiting its arrival.Lucky for you, with this blog (the first of a series of five intended to outline your options and solutions) we’ll help you to ensure you’re adequately protected when the date rolls around. Right now, there are three paths you can choose to go down in order to prepare:Upgrade to a newer version of Windows such as Windows 2012 R2Migrate Windows 2003 workloads to the public cloudStay on Windows 2003 for nowHowever, each of these three paths comes with their own associated challenges, namely:How to secure a hybrid compute environment and protect virtualized servers.How to secure virtual servers in the public cloud.How to secure Windows 2003 servers after July 14th, 2015.Ultimately, the “do nothing” model is not an option as customers run the risk of no longer being compliant and leaving themselves vulnerable to malware.At Intel Security we’re preparing materials to help you transition as seamlessly as possible, and overcome these challenges by securing your server environment no matter which of the three paths you decide to take.Stay tuned for our next blog where we will outline in more depth each of the three migration options available to you and how you can overcome the challenges inherent with each. And, be sure to follow @IntelSec_BizOpens in a new window on Twitter for the latest security updates. Windows Server 2003 EOS This blog post is episode #1 of 5 in the Tech Innovation Blog Series View all episodes >Opens in a new window or view next episodeOpens in a new window
Creativity and StorytellingZooBurstWith ZooBurst, storytellers can create online 3D pop-up books on PCs or tablets, which can be linked to or embedded on a web page. Authors/creators can find images and combine them with text to create narrative content. Augmented reality is a really neat touch – hold up printed out pages in front of a webcam and it’ll come alive in 3D.ComicLifeUsing digital photos found in libraries, online or taken in real-life, teachers and students can create comic pages to create high-impact and memorable stories with ComicLife. Children might be more easily persuaded to engage in material which is visually compelling, using their creativity and imagination to create their own narratives.PixtonWith the emergence of graphic novels as legitimate reading material, comics have become particularly interesting to educators, bridging the gap between learning and entertainment. With Pixton, teachers create classroom sites, which students join to use a step-by-step comic creator. They build their own visual stories, indulging their artistic and creative sides.StorybirdWith Storybird, teachers and students can create their own narratives through a free online social community, combining their own words with a library of unique curated art supplied by artists. These stories, which could be about any subject (such as science or history) can be shared or even printed for a fee.I Can PresentGreen-screen technology is not something you associate with teaching, but with I Can Present it’s possible to become broadcast journalists by creating and filming presentations in front of appropriate backgrounds uploaded using image files, combined with the use of a teleprompter. An interesting way to build speaking, listening and creative writing skills. To receive further resources and information like this, sign up to our Intel Education Newsletter Follow us on Twitter or FacebookDiscover more about how Intel is powering innovation in education The internet offers numerous online resources for education. However due to the vast array of tools available it can often be confusing for teachers, students and parents to decide which ones to use and which ones really assist in student learning. In order to help you out, and for our own interest, we asked our Intel Education Ambassadors to list their favourite ones.For a bit of background information, the majority of our Ambassadors are teachers themselves. They are also, to a greater or lesser degree, involved in deciding which technologies find their way into the classrooms of their schools and colleges. They therefore have first-hand experience of using these online tools and resources in the classroom and knowledge of which ones really engage their students.As the list did grow quite long, we’ve split them into those focused on collaboration and communication, and those on creativity and storytelling – though there’s naturally some crossover. Many of the resources are ideally suited to 2 in 1 devices, allowing as they do individual input through a traditional keyboard, and further collaboration and presentation in a tablet form.We hope you find them both useful and inspirational. Visit the Intel Education website for more thought-provoking content. Collaboration and CommunicationToday’s MeetToday’s Meet is a tool which helps teachers generate real-time digital conversations about topics covered in the classroom through easy-to-create chat rooms. These are flexible enough to carry wider conversations between different classes and conduct other useful collaborative tasks.ScribblarScribblar allows the creation of online whiteboards encouraging collaboration between students and teachers. Multiple users can use the whiteboards for drawing, writing and downloading images on different devices such as mobiles, tablets and laptop PCs, communicating through messages or voice chat.CreatelyA business productivity tool that may also be useful for older students. Creately is a tool which allows users to create many different types of diagram, including mind maps and flowcharts. Teachers could also use it in subjects like Chemistry and Maths, such as the creation of Venn diagrams and other projects to share with students.Bubbl.usVisual aids such as mind maps and flowcharts can be useful in education, allowing students to learn visually – very effective in aiding memory and organising thoughts. Bubbl.us allows children and teachers to get stuck in with building these types of diagram in the cloud, which they can then share with others.SeesawSeesaw is a tool which allows students to create their own online journals or portfolios, allowing teachers to see their digital and physical work (captured through photography) all in one place. They can also add text and voice recordings to these which allow them to look back and develop an academic voice. Teachers can also share items with parents when required.
In their efforts to adapt to the demands of the digital economy, the Internet of Things, and other disruptive changes, data centers are facing big technical challenges in terms of flexibility and scale. This is all because of traditional rigid architectures.Today’s hardware infrastructure for data centers typically comes as preconfigured 1U or 2U servers with individual processors, memory, I/O, and network interface controller (NIC). To upgrade or add to this infrastructure, a complete system needs to be built and integrated into the rack, and connected via management and virtual pooling. This system will essentially operate as a single unit of compute, meaning its internal resources of CPU, memory, and dedicated storage are accessed solely by that server, locking down resources that are not always fully utilized.To complicate the challenges, the conventional server architecture is in general a vertical deployment model, with many different hardware/software models present for management. So how can you overcome rigid, expensive, time-consuming data center build-outs that can’t keep pace with the digital demands of today? The answers are already here—in the form of disaggregation of the data center rack.With this new approach to the rack, a logical architecture disaggregates and pools compute, storage, and network resources and provides a means to create a shared and automated rack architecture that enables higher performance, lower cost, and rapid deployment of services. At this point, agility at hyperscale is no longer a distant dream. Add in analytics-based telemetry exposed on the disaggregated management controller and you have the foundation for a new logical architecture—a rack-level system.This new logical architecture is available today in the form of Intel® Rack Scale Architecture. This architecture exposes a standard management framework via REST APIs to discover and retrieve the set of raw components—like drawers, blades, disks, and pooled resources like processors, memory, and NVMe disks—in a rack and collectively in a pod. These resources can be provisioned by a separate management network to compose a compute node or storage node.In addition, a telemetry model is supported that exposes capacity, capability, and bottlenecks at each component level, thus allowing the right hosts to be composed for orchestrating a workload. Separation of the data and virtual management plane from the hardware provisioning and management plane and telemetry with analytics enables resources such as storage, memory, and compute to be added as needed, creating flexibility and scalability that can be fully utilized.Of course, the success of this new logical architecture depends on the creation of open standards for the configuration and management of the rack components—such as compute, storage, network, and rack management controllers. These standards allow IT organizations to connect various hardware components together to form software-defined systems that more effectively utilize all the hardware in a disaggregated rack.Intel pioneered the rack scale concept, working closely with key partners, OEMS, and standards bodies, such as DMTF Redfish. The players in these collective efforts recognized the importance of working with standards bodies to enable interoperable hardware, firmware, and software.The resulting Intel Rack Scale Architecture is the result of an open effort that allows Intel partners and solution providers to innovate and create diverse solutions to give customers many different choices. At the same time, the open approach establishes a platform for innovation at various levels in the data center market. It allows for the architecture to evolve over time based on hardware innovation and changing customer use cases.At a personal level, the evolution of Intel Rack Scale Architecture is particularly gratifying, given that I have been part of the team that worked on this effort from its earliest days. We set out with a focus on reducing TCO and meeting other business-driven objectives, and now we are well on our way to achieving the vision, thanks in a large part to a tremendous amount industry support. Already, many major OEMs are releasing products based on Intel Rack Scale Architecture and are delivering innovative new designs to their customers and end users.Looking ahead, here is some of what we see on the horizon:The ongoing disaggregation of compute, I/O, memory, and storage, which will give data center operators the ability to upgrade the different components independently of each other, everywhere in the data centerThe evolution to disaggregated NVMe-as-storage solutions, pooled FPGA, and disaggregated networks delivered as solutions architected in rack scaleThe development of an agile orchestration of hardware layer in open source solutions like OpenStackThe use of high-speed interconnections between components with less copper and more prevalent optical/wireless technologies, along with more security and telemetry at every level to drive more efficient use of resourcesIf you happen to be at the OpenStack Summit in Austin this week, you can catch multiple presentations on Intel Rack Scale Architecture along with demos at the Intel booth.And if you’re ready for a technical deep dive at this point, you can explore the details of Intel Rack Scale firmware and software components on GitHub: https://github.com/01org/IntelRackScaleArchitecture/
Karl Tryggvason, Karolinska Institute’s former dean of research speaks on why he was recently dismissed from the famous neuroscience Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.”Nuclear energy has a vital role to play in our low-carbon future,” says U.S. official Daniel Poneman of the International Conference on Access to Civil Nuclear Energy.Europe and the United States are outsourcing their carbon emissions to China by purchasing imports whose manufacture causes greenhouse gas emissions. Some European nations can account for half their emissions from Chinese imports.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)