iPhone 6 rumor rollup for the week ending August 30

A muted rainbow, Labor Day madness, plastic, The Cook Legacy

The iOSphere was brightened by a gray beam of light this week: new photos showing a new color. Though a better name, a more Appleish name, is “graphite.”

That’s a fourth color for the soon-expected iPhone 5S or 6, along with the jazzy champagne and traditional slate and eggshell.

Also this week, a resurrected rumor fingers Labor Day as The Day, for the announcing of the Next iPhone(s), even though Apple seems to be running late with the invites; the future of plastic bodies for more iPhones and iPads; and the Human Fly on the Wall explains what Steve said to Tim.

[MORE: 12 crazy good iOS photography apps

RELATED: Network World First Look: Apple’s iOS 7]

You read it here second.
Can you imagine the iPhone 6 encased in a unibody plastic material on its release date? This possibility is hinted in Apple’s new job listing that specifically hunts for engineers with years of expertise in plastic moulding.
— Erik Pineda, International Business Times, who by practicing the art of divination is able to see beyond the surface of job listings and lay bare their Inner Meaning for Apple’s product stragegy

iPhone 6 or 5S will be a rainbow of colors…a muted rainbow

In addition to the wildly exciting gold, or “champagne” iPhone, we now look forward to the sleek gray, or “graphite,” iPhone, based on still more photos posted by the world famous Sonny Dickson, of Australia. The photos purport to show a grey-bodied iPhone “5S”, some with a variety of internal components also displayed.

If true, buyers of the rumored iPhone 5S will be able to choose the high-end iPhone in traditional slate and white, plus champagne and graphite. That much choice could overwhelm the iOSphere.

Some of the photos reveal the front and back of the graphite phone along with an array of internal but unidentified components. In this photo, the third from left is apparently a home button assembly, which may or may not have an integrated fingerprint scanner somewhere.

iPhone 6 to be released on Labor Day, September 2

Just in time for the holiday, a recycled rumor claims that Apple will announce the iPhone 6 or whatever it’s called on Labor Day, Tuesday, Sept. 2. Or possibly today or tomorrow.

“Word is going around that Apple may announce the Apple iPhone 6 before the end of August or early September,” writes Mike Johnson at Auto-O-Mobile, without bothering to give any evidence regarding just where the word is going around.

He makes a passing reference, but no link, to “IBT” which apparently means International Business Times, a hotbed of rumor mongering.

The only problem with this idea is that 1) Apple hasn’t invited anyone to a Sept. 2 announcement event; 2) issuing an invite today would miss a lot of people who are already zipping off on one of the most heavily traveled U.S. holidays; and 3) it’s just…dumb.

Auto-O-Mobile’s bio of “Mike” is this: “Mike is the man who reviews gadgets that aren’t mainstream or products that can’t exactly be classified as consumer electronics e.g. portable talking toilets. It’s always interesting to read about the crazy products we have here in Asia that just don’t get as much publicity as they warrant.”

This best kind of parody is the unintentional, self-induced kind.

iPhone 6 will be the next Plastic Wonder of the Techworld

“Can you imagine the iPhone 6 encased in a unibody plastic material on its release date?” asks Erik Pineda, in an International Business Times post. “This possibility is hinted in Apple’s new job listing that specifically hunts for engineers with years of expertise in plastic moulding.”

Pineda picked this up from 9to5Mac, which picked it up from MacRumors, which saw several Apple job listings that mentioned the word “plastic.” Decoding and demystifying Apple job listings is an iOSpherian skill rivaled only by the Sight, practiced by Sybill Trelawney, professor of Divination at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Pineda figures that since the plastic-bodied iPhone 5C is already, like, done, then Something Else is afoot for these positions. “With the 5C eliminated, the iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 come to mind though leaked specs of the two tablets so far suggest they are draped in metal case just like the previous builds,” he writes.

What could be left? We’re glad you asked.

“It is the phablet-size iPhone 6 then that emerges as the likely recipient of Apple’s growing interest in developing plastic-based materials for its gadgets,” Pineda triumphantly concludes.

QED, baby.

9to5Mac’s Jordan Kahn isn’t quite so triumphantly certain but he clearly thinks the job openings show or suggest or hint or indicate that Apple wants plastic for more than internal parts that no iGadget owner is every going to see.

“While we know the current iPhone and iPads do use some internal plastic parts, the job listing also makes mentions of aesthetic requirements as well as experience in ‘plastic materials and design for manufacturing in terms of geometry and cosmetic quality,’” he writes. “That could be a hint the position will involve more than just the design of internal plastic parts.”

As of this posting, there are three job openings that “could be a hint,” including “Sr. Materials Engineer – Plastics,” “Plastic Tooling Engineer,” and “MDE – Adv. Plastic Tooling and Process.” There’s no indication whether these are brand new jobs that didn’t exist before, or additional positions related to plastics, or replacements for existing jobs that have become open.

iPhone 6 and iOS 7 will be the “start of Tim Cook’s CEO legacy”

“A year and a half in, and the Tim Cook-era Apple has finally pulled back the curtain on a product which wouldn’t have been if the late Steve Jobs were still running the company,” writes Will Stabley, of the eponymous StableyTimes, a “new kind of news.”

“iOS 7 is a left turn, a change in software design philosophy which follows a corresponding change in software design architects and accompanies a similarly new fangled iPhone 6,” Stabley declares. “If Jobs had remained in charge at Apple he’d have continued finding a way to keep the peace between the widely hated Scott Forstall, whom he valued greatly, and the rest of Apple’s leadership team. Forstall would have remained in charge of iOS design. And the product we now know as iOS 7 would have had the same name but been an entirely different product. Actually iOS 7 would have looked pretty much like the last six versions.”

Why iOS 7 is a “left” instead of “right” turn isn’t made clear. For all anyone really knows, it could still represent a direction that Jobs was involved in setting before he died.

“Jobs told Tim Cook to do whatever he thought was right, rather than trying to guess what Jobs would have done,” Stabley assures us. Stabley may be the Human Fly of the iOSphere, since most of his observations about what Jobs told Cook could only have been made by the proverbial fly on the wall.

“Cook did what he felt he had to do, and as a result, Apple has made one of its biggest left turns in years with iOS 7 and the iPhone 6, more so out of personnel reasons than strategic ones,” Stabley writes. “Its success or failure, still dependent on the public’s fondness for or rejection of the new interface, is the first move Cook has made which defines his tenure.”

The success or failure of Cook’s decisions is separate from the decisions, or moves, themselves. And Cook has made plenty of them since becoming Apple’s president and CEO. What seems to define his tenure above anything else is his appreciation of kind of company that Jobs created: a company that’s perfectly capable of taking left, or right, turns on its own.

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Juniper kills MobileNext mobile packet product line

Juniper MobileNext was a high-profile competitor to Cisco’s Starent gateway that was designed to enable non-interrupted delivery of high-definition voice and video over 2G/3G and LTE mobile networks

Juniper has killed a high-profile product for the core of mobile operator networks after combining business units to focus on potential growth opportunities.

Juniper has exterminated or what it calls end-of-lifed (EOL) its MobileNext mobile packet core product line, software introduced in 2009 as part of “Project Falcon” for its MX edge routers that was designed to enable non-interrupted delivery of high-definition voice and video to users over 2G/3G and LTE mobile networks. MobileNext was launched at Mobile World Congress in early 2011 to allow Juniper’s MX 3D to function as a broadband gateway, an authentication and management control plane for 2G/3G and LTE mobile packet cores, and as a policy manager for subscriber management systems.

MobileNext was intended to compete with Cisco’s ASR 5000 LTE gateway, obtained from its acquisition of Starent. But the product was struggling to gain traction in the market and was one of a handful of new Juniper products straining company financials as they went through lengthy evaluation cycles with potential customers.

Juniper is killing the entire MobileNext offering, which consists of three products: the Mobile Broadband Gateway; the Mobile Control Gateway; and the Mobile Policy Manager. The company claims, however, that its mobility strategy for the operator core remains intact.
“We have made the decision to end-of-life the MobileNext solution,” a Juniper spokesperson says. “However, our strategy remains unchanged: to virtualize mobile networks and deliver innovation through our existing portfolio of backhaul, security, routing and edge services with products such as the MX Series 3D Universal Edge Routers, SRX Series Services Gateways and JunosV App Engine software virtualization platform. We will continue to work with our partners to deliver best-in-class solutions that help customers improve network economics and accelerate delivery of new mobile services.”

Juniper will now address mobile packet core requirements through software-defined network (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) capabilities, according to an internal memo authored by Daniel Hua, senior vice president of Juniper’s Routing Business Unit, and obtained by Network World.

“Despite our decision to EOL MobileNext we remain committed to executing on all existing commitments to our customers and to the mobility space longer term. We believe we can meet the needs of our customers by providing the underlying virtualized mobile infrastructure (routing, switching, SDN and NFV to enable customers to make this transition as well as offer specific virtualized network functions.”

Indeed, Juniper earlier this year announced a virtualized, SDN version of the Mobile Control Gateway based on the JunosV App Engine, which is shipping now on the MX router.

MobileNext’s demise comes as Juniper merges its Edge Services Business Unit into its Routing Business Unit. Hua explains the rationale for this in his memo:

“The compelling reason driving this organization alignment is to increase synergy and focus under the umbrella of a single routing business unit. We believe this step will ensure close alignment of our embedded and virtual services with our market-leading MX and PTX platforms. Many of the network edge services were originally developed as extensions of the Junos OS within RBU. We are realigning these services back to its original function allowing us to strengthen and further innovate in the areas of our Access, Edge, and Core offerings through tighter integration of network services.”

Sources say Juniper is also scaling down development of its Junos Content video and media delivery product line, formerly known as Media Flow and obtained from the $100 million acquisition of Ankeena Networks in 2010. Junos Content is designed to optimize mobile and fixed networks for efficient video and media delivery to smartphones and other mobile devices.


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A new owner may not be able to save BlackBerry

A permanent change seems to have taken hold in the mobile market, as BlackBerry explores the possibility of putting itself up for sale.

The company had pinned its hopes on the BlackBerry 10 operating system, but its phones have now slipped into fourth place behind Windows Phone devices, according to IDC and other analyst firms.

That slip seemed to play a key role in BlackBerry’s decision, announced earlier this month, to set up a committee to explore options such as selling the company or finding a partner to work with.

IDC last week said that BlackBerry’s market share fell to 2.9% in the second quarter — its lowest point since the firm started tracking BlackBerry devices. Windows Phone was at 3.7%, while Android led with nearly 80% and iOS held 13.2%.

Noting that BlackBerry has lost ground in its traditional stronghold, the enterprise market, Gartner analyst Bill Menezes said even new ownership “[is] not going to address how the company restores itself.”

BlackBerry does have some attractive assets, including the core QNX operating system behind BB10, BlackBerry Enterprise Service software, numerous patents and the BlackBerry Messenger brand.

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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s retirement announcement letter

Has held Microsoft’s top job since 2000

Text of an internal email from Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer to employees regarding his plan to retire:

I am writing to let you know that I will retire as CEO of Microsoft within the next 12 months, after a successor is chosen. There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time. My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our transformation to a devices and services company focused on empowering customers in the activities they value most. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction. You can read the press release on Microsoft News Center.

This is a time of important transformation for Microsoft. Our new Senior Leadership team is amazing. The strategy we have generated is first class. Our new organization, which is centered on functions and engineering areas, is right for the opportunities and challenges ahead.

QUIZ: Steve Ballmer said WHAT?!

Microsoft is an amazing place. I love this company. I love the way we helped invent and popularize computing and the PC. I love the bigness and boldness of our bets. I love our people and their talent and our willingness to accept and embrace their range of capabilities, including their quirks. I love the way we embrace and work with other companies to change the world and succeed together. I love the breadth and diversity of our customers, from consumer to enterprise, across industries, countries, and people of all backgrounds and age groups.

I am proud of what we have achieved. We have grown from $7.5 million to nearly $78 billion since I joined Microsoft, and we have grown from employing just over 30 people to almost 100,000. I feel good about playing a role in that success and having committed 100 percent emotionally all the way. We have more than 1 billion users and earn a great profit for our shareholders. We have delivered more profit and cash return to shareholders than virtually any other company in history.

I am excited by our mission of empowering the world and believe in our future success. I cherish my Microsoft ownership, and look forward to continuing as one of Microsoft’s largest owners.

This is an emotional and difficult thing for me to do. I take this step in the best interests of the company I love; it is the thing outside of my family and closest friends that matters to me most.

Microsoft has all its best days ahead. Know you are part of the best team in the industry and have the right technology assets. We cannot and will not miss a beat in these transitions. I am focused and driving hard and know I can count on all of you to do the same. Let’s do ourselves proud.



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Closures in the Task Parallel Library, what are they? …beware of race conditions.

Closures in the Task Parallel Library, what are they? …beware of race conditions.

Up to .NET 3.5 multi-threading programming had it challenges. Multi-threading is a way to improve application performance and responsiveness by running long operations in a different thread from the main application thread.
Up to .NET 3.5 the parallel threads created by an application domain only targeted a single CPU core by CPU affinity. We also know that CPUs (Central Processing Units) couldn’t increase the processor clock without melting the integrated circuits away and requiring bigger cooling fans. So, the hardware evolved into placing several CPU cores in parallel to increase computing power.
The task parallel library introduced in .NET 4.0 responded to the need of catching up with the hardware capabilities and as a way to execute parallel operations in different cores.
Each task created by the TPL has its own stack and a thread or set of CPU threads.

When creating a task, a common code snipped to launch a task using a Lambda expression as an Action is:

1. Task.Factory.StartNew( () =>
2.     {
3.     statement1;
4.     statement2;
5.         }
6.     );

However, very rarely a newly created task will receive no data from the method invoking it.

It is more likely to have the following code inside a C# method calling a parallel task:
1.     …
2.     int y=45;
4.     Task.Factory.StartNew( () =>
5.     {
6.     y++;
7.     }
8.         );
9.     …

y is a variable that is passed to the parallel task for further processing.
Now, what would be the value of the variable y when the task finishes running?

Is y passed by value or by reference?

After the task completes the value of the primitive y is 46. y is indeed passed by reference. These variables passed to a task receive the name of closures.

Now, from multi-threading programming you might remember that objects that were shared between several threads could end up with a value that was not predictable, this was the dreaded race condition. There were ways to mitigate this condition such as using the lock statement to avoid concurrent threads affect the state of the object in an unpredictable way. Threads compete for CPU time and there is no guarantee that they will execute sequentially or in a predictable order.

You can also cause race conditions with closures in the task parallel library. Let’s see how:

1.     …
2.     int y=45;</code>
4.     Task.Factory.StartNew( () =>
5.     {
6.         y++;
7.     }
8.         );
9.     …
10.     Console.WriteLine(y);

In the example above, y won’t always be 46.

Once the task is kicked off, it is set in queue for processor time, and so is the main thread where the method that starts the task is.

They both compete in parallel for CPU cycles and run as parallel as possible. The executing code gets forked. If the main thread runs first while the parallel task is waiting in queue, the value of y will be displayed on the console as 45. If the task runs before the main thread makes it to the Console.WriteLine statement, the displayed value will be 46.
This is a typical race condition.

You have several ways to mitigate this condition in the TPL. One of them is shown below:

1.     int y=45;
2.     Task t = null;
3.     t = Task.Factory.StartNew( () =>
4.     {
5.     y++;
6.     }
7.     );
8.     Task.WaitAll(t);
9.     Console.WriteLine(y);

The example above will always show 46 in the console.

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10 hottest IT jobs: Developers, developers, developers

IT opportunities span multiple industries and skill levels, staffing firm says

It’s a job seeker’s market, if you’ve got the right tech skills.

Modis this week called out the 10 hottest IT jobs. The IT staffing specialist based its ranking on the skills and roles that its clients across the U.S. are eager to find and fill. Namely:

• Software developer (including mobile development)
• Business/data analyst
• Helpdesk professional
• Project manager
• Quality assurance analyst
• Systems administrator
• Network/telecom analyst
• Database developer/administrator
• Data warehouse (analysts, specialists, programmers)
• ERP (administrators, analysts, programmers)

Software developers in general — and mobile developers in particular — are among the most sought-after hires.

“We get .Net and Java requests every hour,” says Dan Pollock, senior vice president at Modis. Developers who have experience with iOS and Android platforms are highly coveted, and companies are also looking for IT pros with knowledge of PHP, HTML5 and Ruby on Rails, he adds.

Demand varies geographically, but some of the hottest hiring markets include the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Minneapolis and Houston. “If you’re a [capable] Java developer in the Bay Area, you’re going to have multiple job offers within days. Especially within the temp world, where things move really quickly,” Pollock says. (See also: Top 11 metro areas for tech jobs)

Some of the current hiring demand has to do with timing. “It’s typical for Q3,” Pollock says. “August, September and October are traditionally our busiest months.”

But that doesn’t mean Modis expects things to slow down anytime soon, particularly in regions such as Silicon Valley. “At some of the tech giants, the appetite is insatiable. They’re not backing down on hiring. The war for talent for highly technical people is raging,” Pollock says.

At the height of the recession, the unemployment rate for the information sector was 11.2%, Modis says, citing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Four years later, it’s at 5.8%, and in many markets, the demand for IT talent outweighs the supply.

In addition to developers, there’s a growing need for network pros as companies migrate to cloud environments. “You need folks who understand cloud, you need people who understand platform-as-a-service. It’s a hot skill,” Pollock say. “Companies are trying to save money on infrastructure costs by moving to cloud-based offerings. Understanding what to outsource and what’s critical to keep in house — that’s very important.”

Helpdesk workers, too, are in demand.

As the economy has improved, companies have been spending more on IT, tackling upgrades that were put on hold, and deploying new technologies. “Some of the investment dollars that got pulled back in the recession have now loosened up,” Pollock says. New tech projects inevitably create greater demand for help desk individuals who are tasked with getting end users acclimated to new technologies.

Across all job roles and geographies, retention is becoming a big issue for IT. In particular, it’s hard for many companies to hold on to younger IT workers.

“They’re always looking for the next challenge, the next opportunity for more growth, more learning opportunities, the chance to get their hands on the latest technology,” Pollock says of Millennial workers.

Of course, young workers aren’t the only techies seeking career growth. “Retention is a big issue” across all age groups, Pollock says.


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Microsoft to ship Windows 8.1 in mid-October

The OS update will show up on the Windows Store on Oct. 17 and in retail stores the next day

The much-anticipated update for Windows 8 will begin shipping on Oct. 17, delivering a set of changes that Microsoft hopes will calm critics and improve sales of the tablet-optimized OS.

Windows 8.1, previously known as Windows Blue, will be available as a free update for Windows 8 users via the Windows Store that day starting at 4 a.m. U.S. Pacific time. On Oct. 18, it will surface on retail stores and on new devices.

“It’s very exciting to be delivering Windows 8.1 to consumers just before Windows 8 celebrates its 1-year anniversary. You can expect to read more from us on Windows 8.1 leading up to availability on October 18th,” wrote Microsoft official Brandon LeBlanc in a blog post.

Microsoft did not mention when Windows 8.1 will ship to hardware manufacturers, the so-called RTM date.

Windows 8 shipped in late October of last year and was billed by Microsoft executives as one of the most important product launches in the company’s history.

With its radically redesigned user interface optimized for tablets and other touchscreen devices, Windows 8 is Microsoft’s attempt to improve the OS’ dismal share in the tablet OS market currently dominated by Apple’s iPad and Android devices.

But the Modern tile-based interface, modeled after the Windows Phone interface, has met with mixed reviews both among consumers and enterprises.

In fact, one of the main changes in Windows 8.1 is the addition of something very close to the Windows 7 Start button, whose removal in Windows 8 led to an outcry among users.

With Windows 8.1, Microsoft will also attempt to smooth the interaction between the new Modern interface and the more traditional Windows 7-like desktop which lets users run legacy applications. For example, it will be possible for users to boot directly to the traditional desktop interface.

Windows 8.1 will also let users view all the applications installed on their device and sort them by name, date installed, most used or category. Other enhancements include an improved search engine powered by Bing that will return results from a variety of sources, including the Web, applications, local files and the SkyDrive cloud storage service.

Windows 8.1 also adds options for seeing multiple applications on the screen simultaneously, including the ability to resize apps, for improved multitasking. Internet Explorer 11, a new version of Microsoft’s browser, will also ship with Windows 8.1, featuring faster page loading and better performance in touchscreen mode, according to the company.

Windows 8.1 users will also be able to make a Skype call and take photos with the Windows 8.1 device while the screen is in Lock mode without having to log in. Users will also be able to select multiple applications at once and do bulk actions on them, like resizing, uninstalling and rearranging them.

“Certainly, this release is critical for Microsoft. But getting people to move to Windows 8 and thinking of the devices as tablets requires apps, and the lack of Office for ‘Metro’ is still a real problem,” said Gartner analyst Michael Silver, referring to the Modern interface by its earlier Metro code name.

According to Silver, IE 11 will be the biggest inhibitor to migration to Windows 8.1 among businesses. “Organizations are having trouble getting past IE8; not as much trouble as they had getting past IE6, but enough to make them think twice about moving beyond Windows 7,” Silver said.

Companies will also think twice about switching to Windows 8.1 because of the possibility that another major update with a new version of IE may be released next year, and then the equivalent of Windows 9 coming possibly a year after that, he said.

“Microsoft wants to move to this continuous cycle, but organizations don’t trust Microsoft for application compatibility yet and aren’t ready to embrace that cadence,” Silver said.


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70-450: PRO: Designing, Optimizing and Maintaining a Database Administrative Solution Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008

You work as a database administrator at ABC.com. You are in the process of preparing the
deployment of a new database that will have 45 gigabytes storage space for the transaction log
file, and 280 gigabytes storage space for the database data file.
There are approximately six 120 GB disk drives available for the database in the storage array.
ABC.com contains a RAID controller that supports RAID levels 0, 1, 5 and 10. The disks are on
the RAID controller. You have received an instruction from the CIO to make sure that the
transaction log’s write performance runs at optimum. The CIO has also instructed you to make
sure that in the event of a drive failure, the database and transaction log files are protected.
To achieve this goal, you decide to configure a storage solution.
Which of the following actions should you take?

A. You should consider using a RAID 1 volume as well as a RAID 5 volume in your storage configuration.
B. You should consider using a RAID 1 volume as well as a RAID 10 volume in your storage configuration.
C. You should consider using a RAID 3 volume as well as a RAID 5 volume in your storage configuration.
D. You should consider using a RAID 1 volume as well as a RAID 3 volume in your storage configuration.

Answer: A


You work as a database administrator at ABC.com. ABC.com has a database server named ABCDB04
with a SQL Server 2008 instance that includes an extensive mission-critical database that is
constantly being used ABC-DB04 has a quad-core motherboard with four CPUs.
When it is reported that ABC-DB04 often encounters CPU pressure, you receive an instruction
from management to make sure that the accessible CPU cycles are not exhausted by online index rebuilds.
Which of the following actions should you take?

A. You should make use of the affinity I/O mask option.
B. You should make use of the optimize for ad hoc workloads option.
C. You should make use of the affinity mask option.
D. You should make use of the max degree of parallelism option.

Answer: D


You work as a database administrator at ABC.com. ABC.com has a database server named ABCDB01
with a SQL Server 2008 instance.
During routine monitoring on ABC-DB01, you discover that the amount of CXPACKET waits
experienced by the instance is low, while the amount of lazy writer waits is abundant.
You have been instructed to enhance the operation of the instance to ensure productivity.
Which of the following actions should you take?

A. You should consider setting up the Windows System Monitoring tool to better the performance.
B. You should consider setting up the Asynchronous database mirroring to better the performance.
C. You should consider using the SQLAGENT.OUT log to better the performance.
D. You should consider setting up the software non-uniform memory access (soft-NUMA) to better the performance.

Answer: D


You work as a database administrator at ABC.com. ABC.com has a database server named ABCDB01.
ABC-DB01 is configured with 4 quad-core processors, 80 gigabytes of RAM, and multiple
independent raid volumes.
You are in the process of using a transactional database on the instance. It is anticipated that the
transactional database will have a significant amount of INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE
activities, which incorporates the creation of new tables.
You receive an instruction from management to minimize the contention in the storage allocation
structures so that database performance is optimized, and the disk bandwidth maximized.
Which of the following actions should you take?

A. You should consider enabling Server Auditing.
B. You should consider using multiple data files for the database.
C. You should consider using row-level compression.
D. You should consider using the checksum page verify option.

Answer: B


You work as a database administrator at ABC.com.
ABC.com has informed you that a new database, named ABCData, has to be installed on a SQL
Server 2008 instance. ABCData is made up of several schemas, of which one will host a
significant amount of read-only reference information. Information is regularly inserted and
updated on ABCData.
You have received instructions from the management to configure a physical database structure
that enhances the backup operation.
Which of the following actions should you take?

A. This can be accomplished by using multiple filegroups and a single log file to set up the database.
B. This can be accomplished by using caching on the multiple data files.
C. This can be accomplished by using multiple downstream servers to create the database.
D. This can be accomplished by using the Database Engine Tuning Advisor tool to create the database.

Answer: A


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Dangerous Linux Trojan could be sign of things to come

RSA expert details “Hand of Thief” banking Trojan

Desktop Linux users accustomed to a relatively malware-free lifestyle should get more vigilant in the near future – a researcher at RSA has detailed the existence of the “Hand of Thief” Trojan, which specifically targets Linux.

According to cyber intelligence expert Limor Kessem, Hand of Thief operates a lot like similar malware that targets Windows machines – once installed, it steals information from web forms, even if they’re using HTTPS, creates a backdoor access point into the infected machine, and attempts to block off access to anti-virus update servers, VMs, and other potential methods of detection.

Hand of Thief is currently being sold in “closed cybercrime communities” for $2,000, which includes free updates, writes Kessem. However, she adds, the upcoming addition of new web injection attack technology will push the price to $3,000, and introduce a $550 fee for major version updates.

“These prices coincide with those quoted by developers who released similar malware for the Windows OS, which would make Hand of Thief relatively priced way above market value considering the relatively small user base of Linux,” she notes.

Getting Linux computers infected in the first place, however, could be more problematic for would-be thieves – Kessem says the lack of exploits targeting Linux means that social engineering and email are the most likely attack vectors, citing a conversation with Hand of Thief’s sales agent.

Kessem also says that growth in the number of desktop Linux users – prompted, in part, by the perceived insecurity of Windows – could potentially herald the arrival of more malware like Hand of Thief, as the number of possible targets grows.

Historically, desktop Linux users have been more or less isolated from the constant malware scares that plague Windows, which is at least partially a function of the fact that their numbers represent a tiny fraction of the Windows install base.

Users of Linux-based Android smartphones, however, have become increasingly tempting targets for computer crime – and with the aforementioned growth in desktop users, the number of threats may increase even further.

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Google Android roundup: Why did JBQ leave AOSP?

Android news/rumors: The end of an era, plus giant robots annoyed as LG removes “optimus” title from latest release, Android’s continued domination and why people think it’s doomed, and a Moto X engineer hates back on critics

The Android realm is not a physical place, else we would have seen flags flying at half-mast and heard announcements made over school loudspeakers – Jean-Baptiste Quéru, godfather of the Android Open Source Project and one of the most influential figures in the ongoing development of the platform, abruptly stepped down from his position as AOSP maintainer this week.

Though JBQ, as he’s generally known, didn’t give explicit reasons for the move, the clever people over at Android Police quickly connected the dots from some of his recent Twitter activity, which bemoaned legal interference in the AOSP release process. Specifically, Quéru’s frustrations about being barred from releasing critical binaries for the new-model Nexus 7 tablet appear to have boiled over.

What’s strongly implied by the Android Police analysis is that Qualcomm, which makes the chipset for the new Nexus 7, has been making it impossible to get fully open-source versions of the software to work properly, withholding code essential for hardware support.

In a subsequent Google+ post, Quéru more or less confirmed this.

“Well, I see that people have figured out why I’m quitting AOSP,” he wrote. “There’s no point being the maintainer of an Operating System that can’t boot to the home screen on its flagship device for lack of GPU support, especially when I’m getting the blame for something that I don’t have authority to fix myself and that I had anticipated and escalated more than 6 months ahead.”

The reaction from the community has been generalized dismay, with sorrowful posts highlighting JBQ’s importance to AOSP and Android in general, as well as widespread rancor directed at Qualcomm.

AOSP’s curiously bifurcated nature – the underlying OS is open-source, but Google can’t distribute the fully open version for a given device unless the OEM gives permission to distribute its proprietary binaries – always makes this sort of issue a bit hazy and complex, but it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Quéru had every right to be upset. Given that anyone can simply grab the closed-source binaries from the device itself, refusing to give AOSP permission to distribute is puzzling, to say the least.

While the usual caveats about unconfirmed information apply – Quéru himself seems to have some legal obligations that prevent him from speaking explicitly on the subject – it certainly seems as though JBQ’s exit should have been avoidable, and it’s a shame that it wasn’t. Android Authority says it’s “unlikely” that he’ll actually leave Google, but AOSP has nonetheless lost a father figure.

* Speaking of Qualcomm, their latest Snapdragon 800 is powering the just-announced LG G2, according to the many tech blogs that got an early hands-on with the device. In contrast to the recently released Moto X, the G2 is a much more traditional Android flagship – an outsized, feature-packed whopper of a phone, with as many megapixels, GB and GHz as can possibly be crammed into its considerable frame.

From a design perspective, the G2’s big innovations are having lost LG’s well-worn “Optimus” moniker and putting some of the controls – including the power and volume keys – on the back of the phone instead of somewhere on the side. I have no idea if this is a silly gimmick or a revolutionary answer to the problem of oversized smartphones – and I won’t until I actually get my hands on one – but it’s at least a creative attempt.

* The latest smartphone market share report from IDC says that Android’s global smartphone market share has risen to nearly 80% – up from just below 70% a year before. Sound like great news for Android, right?

Not so fast, says comScore. In the U.S., at least, Android subscriber numbers were flat during 2013’s second quarter, while Apple’s rose slightly. The Guardian also cites a Yankee Group study as saying that Android’s market dynamics indicate that Apple will retake the lead next year.

While they’ve obviously done their homework more assiduously than I have – which is to say, they’ve done some homework – I still have a hard time seeing Android losing too much ground back to That Other Smartphone absent a massively successful launch of the next-gen iPhone. Given that the last couple of iterations haven’t quite matched the stratospheric heights reached by their predecessors, that’s far from a guarantee.

Still, the U.S. market is more heavily Apple-centric than that of the world in general – more like 52% to 40%, according to the aforementioned numbers from comScore, so Apple’s still within striking distance.

* After the Moto X took some lumps on Twitter about its slightly-less-than-cutting-edge specs, Motorola designer Iqbal Arshad slammed critics in an interview with ZDNet.

He said that comparing raw specs misses the point, asserting that the Moto X is architected so differently that such measurements are meaningless.

“So it’s hard to understand because you’re comparing architectures that are fundamentally different. It’s kind of like people who are looking at a Tesla electric car and expecting it to have a V-8 engine. When you talk about an electric motor, it’s hard for people who are used to comparing specs on traditional cars to understand how it truly compares, because it’s completely different,” he said.

He would say that, of course, given that his company is the one charging the same price for less powerful hardware, but he has a point – the Moto X’s voice command and power-saving technologies are a bit more compelling than the avalanche of goofy camera modes. Still, if you’re just in it for pure performance, the ability to say “OK Google, advise me on purchasing decisions” or whatever probable doesn’t cut it for you.

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