Tag Archives: State

Straw logic for a Texas state house seat … Frozen Deer Semen campaign funds

 Straw logic for a Texas state house seat ... Frozen Deer Semen campaign funds

And of course they got an attorney named Buck Wood to weigh in on whether the practice of donating deer semen (or their equivalent at auction) was legal.

A candidate in the race for a South Texas state House seat has reportedly received $ 87,500 in campaign donations — more than half of which is made up of deer semen.

The Dallas News reported Thursday that Ana Lisa Garza, a district court judge running a primary challenge against eight-term Democrat Ryan Guillen, has received $ 51,000 in in-kind donations to her campaign, listed as individual donations of frozen deer semen straws.

The containers are reportedly a common way for deer breeders in the state to donate to political campaigns. Garza’s campaign has valued the straws at $ 1,000 each.

Buck Wood, a campaign finance and ethics attorney, told the Dallas News that the donations technically were not “in-kind” since the money, not the semen, was given to the campaign, but that it does not raise any ethical or legal concerns.

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New eBook! State of Mainframe Operational Intelligence for 2018

We’ve recently completed our annual mainframe operational intelligence surveys of IT and data analytics professionals to identify trends, challenges and opportunities faced by enterprises investing in mainframe and Big Data technologies going into 2018. Respondents represented a wide range of IT disciplines and spanned vertical industries including financial services, insurance, health care, IT and government agencies.

Our latest eBook, State of Mainframe Operational Intelligence for 2018, takes a look at the current state of the mainframe within organizations and what professionals are looking to do moving forward.

blog banner SotMF Operational Intelligence New eBook! State of Mainframe Operational Intelligence for 2018

While organizations are looking for ways to optimize mainframe resources, reduce costs and re-invest the savings in newer technologies and use cases, they still rely on these systems for their most critical applications.

Download the eBook now and see the top objectives respondents identify for their mainframe environments.

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Just Published: 2018 State of Resilience Report

Resilience has been featured in the top headlines for the past year due to the scores of organizations that have been disrupted by technology-related disasters. Data breaches have plagued corporate and governmental systems alike. Equifax and the IRS experienced hacking attacks, while businesses such as Target, Home Depot and Anthem incurred stiff compliance fines.

blog banner SoR 2018 1 Just Published: 2018 State of Resilience Report

These complex hacking attacks, viruses, and related failures across multiple systems present serious risks to business operations and information integrity. Against these constant threats, IT professionals are called upon to provide an secure enterprise infrastructure.

In our new report – The 2018 State of Resilience – we review the results of an industry-wide report on how organizations are strategizing to sustain severe shocks, protect information, and enable the insight and intelligence required to stay competitive.

Download the annual report to see what today’s scorecard looks like and if your organization has the tools and support to meet what tomorrow brings.

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Just Published: 2018 State of the Mainframe Survey Report

The results of fourth annual mainframe survey are in! It’s clear that mainframes continue to play a vital role in today’s business landscape, but optimization is critical.

Syncsort’s newly published survey report, State of Mainframe for 2018, reviews mainframe trends and strategies for the coming year. Many organizations look to leverage zIIP engines to offload general processor cycles to maximize resources and delay/prevent hardware upgrades.

Some enterprises are also planning to use savings from mainframe optimization to fund more strategic projects, such as enhanced mainframe data analytics to support better business decisions for SLA attainment as well as security and compliance initiatives.

blog banner SotMF 2018 Just Published: 2018 State of the Mainframe Survey Report

Download the reportto see the 5 key trends to watch for in 2018 as well as IT professionals’ top objectives for improving performance and saving money over the next 12 months.

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Georgia State University receives grant to train underrepresented students in IoT tech

 Georgia State University receives grant to train underrepresented students in IoT tech

Georgia State University (GSU) has received a $ 300,000 Digital Economy Initiative grant from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the largest community foundation in the world, in collaboration with Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility, to propel students, especially those underrepresented in the tech scene, to pursue a technology career.

“One of the biggest challenges facing technology organizations is finding talent to successfully navigate the next digital revolution, with new technologies such as the Internet of Things transforming the globe,” Phil Ventimiglia, GSU’s chief innovation officer, told Hypepotamus. “To be successful, students need to be able to effectively communicate, collaborate, and solve problems digitally.”

The three-year grant will fund a new Digital Learners to Leaders program, an initiative to encourage students to use IoT technology — from data sensors and machine learning to smart city software — to create solutions for challenges within their community.

“At Georgia State, we have been working to incorporate digital literacy skills and competencies throughout our core curriculum. This grant allows our students to augment in-class learning with exposure to professional problem-solving that will prepare them for the careers of today, and for future careers that do not even exist yet,” says Ventimiglia.

The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) will lead the program and will host and pair high school students with university students to look at pain points across Atlanta’s educational, business, government, and nonprofit community. Through workshops, online activities, an annual conference, and internships, students will identify more effective solutions for those issues.

“It is part of CETL’s mission to provide innovative learning opportunities for Georgia State’s students,” says Julian Allen, senior director of learning innovations at CETL. “This program encourages students from diverse backgrounds to engage with leading technology experts to create real technology solutions that will benefit the local community.”

The program aims to help develop the state’s future technology-focused workforce and bring diversity to a growing field in need of new perspectives for problem-solving, says Tiffany Green-Abdullah, manager of learning community development at CETL. Georgia State, which is located in downtown Atlanta, has a diverse student body and connections to local businesses and community partners, and thus makes an ideal hub for this program.

“As technology transforms the way we live and work, Cisco believes educational institutions and organizations focused on emerging entrepreneurs can be a powerful force for change for local economic development,” says Tae Yoo, senior vice president of Cisco Corporate Affairs and Corporate Social Responsibility, in a statement.

“Public universities such as Georgia State University not only have the capacity to meet industry demand for a digitally skilled workforce in the Atlanta area, but also play a leading role in shaping entirely new ideas and industries to fuel the local economy and create the jobs of the future.”

This story originally appeared on Hypepotamus.com. Copyright 2017

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“The Real Scandal Isn’t That Trump’s Secretary Of State Called Him A Moron”

Some perfectly bright people, like Matthew Yglesias, cling to the notion that Donald Trump must be very intelligent despite all evidence to the contrary, because he and his have avoided prison despite the dubiousness of their “business deals,” and Trump was even able to weasel his way into the White House. I, however, instead see a remarkably dumb and damaged person who wasn’t long ago checked into the Graybar Hotel along with some of his nearest and dearest because of an American failure to curb criminal activity of the white-collar variety. That’s due to how riddled by money our political system has become.

Just this week, a joint report by the New Yorker, ProPublica and NPR revealed how the two elder Trump offspring were on the verge of being indicted for fraud in regards to Trump SoHo when family lawyer Marc Kasowitz visited DA Cyrus Vance Jr., a politician the attorney has supported financially. That the case almost immediately went away is less a sign of innocence than a sign of the times. The putrid paterfamilias himself never being placed in a pen for his exorbitant money laundering and numerous other offenses isn’t a display of his effectiveness but of our societal failure. 

As far as Trump landing in the Oval Office by hook or especially by crook, it probably wasn’t any native genius that enabled him to run a Bull Connor-as-a-condo-salesman campaign aimed at the worst of us and, quite possibly, to conspire with the Kremlin in upsetting our democracy. Let’s not confuse pathological shamelessness with intelligence. There will always be terrible people who disgracefully attempt to bilk a system. A culture that allows them to thrive is corrupt and…moronic.

Two excerpts follow.

__________________________

From “Is Trump a Moron? Duh.” by Max Boot in USA Today:

Trump journeyed to Puerto Rico on Tuesday to try to dispel that image. Again, it was a comedy of errors. The most widely seen picture from the trip showed Trump throwing paper towels at hurricane survivors as if they were seals receiving fish from a trainer. Trump refused to meet with Cruz, leading to more quotes from her lambasting him. “This terrible and abominable view of him throwing paper towels and throwing provisions at people, it does not embody the spirit of the American nation,” she said.

Wait. Trump wasn’t done.

At a news conference at an Air National Guard base in Puerto Rico, the president lauded the Coast Guard as “special, special, very brave people.” Then he turned to a man in uniform and asked, “Would you like to say something on behalf of your men and women?” His response: “Sir, I’m representing the Air Force.”

Mixing up Coast Guard and Air Force uniforms is understandable for a newly elected president with no military experience; it’s less excusable after more than eight months in office.

At this same briefing, Trump also said, in that tone-deaf way of his, “You can be very proud. Everybody around this table, and everybody watching, can really be very proud of what’s taken place in Puerto Rico,” because fewer people died than during Hurricane Katrina. So Puerto Ricans should be proud of the catastrophe engulfing them because other disasters were even worse? It’s like telling New Yorkers that they can be proud that 9/11 didn’t kill as many people as the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

Little wonder that only 32% of respondents in a recent poll approved of Trump’s handling disaster relief in the U.S. territory. His overall approval ratings aren’t much higher.

The real scandal isn’t that Trump’s secretary of State called him a moron. It’s that his job performance lends so much credence to that description.•

__________________________

While Tillerson is right in his gauging of Trump’s idiocy, he probably should look in the mirror when tossing around the m-word given how abysmally he’s performed as Secretary of State. From 

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s job is at imminent risk.

In the wake of Wednesday’s NBC News report that Tillerson had called President Trump a “moron” in July, the Secretary of State was forced to give an unusual and bizarre press conference in which he denied any intent to leave. But when the Washington Post spoke to 19 current and former White House officials about the controversy, the clear consensus was that TIllerson is not likely to survive such public reports of insubordination.

This wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. The consensus among foreign policy observers is that Tillerson’s tenure as secretary of state as been an unmitigated disaster.

“Tillerson would be at or near the bottom of the list of secretaries of state, not just in the post-Second World War world but in the record of US secretaries of state,” says Paul Musgrave, a scholar of US foreign policy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The former Exxon Mobil CEO — whose nomination was initially greeted warmly by prominent foreign policy hands — has failed to wield any significant influence in internal administration debates over issues like Syria, North Korea, or Russia.

His push to slash “inefficiencies” in the State Department and seeming disinterest in working closely with longtime staff were even more damaging. By failing to get people into vital high-level posts and actively pushing out talented personnel, he ended up making America’s response to major crises incoherent and weakening the State Department for a “generation,” according to George Washington University’s Elizabeth Saunders.

This can’t all be blamed on Tillerson: Even a skilled and experienced diplomat would have had trouble maintaining influence in the chaotic Trump White House, where people like UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and Jared Kushner wield major influence and foreign policy is often made by tweet.

Yet both nonpartisan experts and high-ranking State Department appointees in the past two administrations believe he personally deserves much of the blame.

“I think he really will go down as one of the worst secretaries of State we’ve had,” Eliot Cohen, counselor to the State Department under President George W. Bush, told Axios’sJonathan Swan. “He will go down as the worst secretary of state in history,” tweeted Ilan Goldenberg, an Obama-era official who worked on Israel-Palestine issues.•

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The State of Cloud Integration in 2017

Did you know that 62% of companies are planning to increase cloud application usage in the next year and 52% of companies are still using spreadsheets to import and export their data between systems?

These and other interesting stats have just been made available via The State of Cloud Integration developed by Gatepoint Research. Gatepoint surveyed 100 executives from around the world in a wide variety of industries including manufacturing, high tech, finance, transportation, and healthcare to find out where they are in their cloud journey. 69% of those surveyed work in Fortune 1000 companies with revenues over $ 1.5 billion.

The survey demonstrated that cloud application usage is expected to rise in the next year, but many organizations are still dependent on the outdated, inefficient method of spreadsheets to move data between their systems:

under systems The State of Cloud Integration in 2017

Imagine all the time and effort being wasted by organizations using these antiquated methods, not to mention the human error that’s occurring from manually moving data between systems.

And, to top it off, very few companies (13%) admit to having all their systems well-integrated and claim to face no issues with integration:

under wtih integration The State of Cloud Integration in 2017

Most integration issues are caused by lack of IT attention, security concerns, and varied approaches to integration.

To learn more, including what types of applications organizations are looking to connect and share data, who in companies make the decision about purchasing integration technology, and what functionality people are most looking for in an integration solution, you can get a complimentary copy of the full State of Cloud Integration by clicking the link above.

Solving for cloud integration challenges

To combat the core challenges in moving to the cloud and to get your company’s integration plan on the right track, consider adopting an Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) like TIBCO Cloud Integration. It’s a low-cost, easy to use solution that saves time, money, and prevents human errors. In fact, TIBCO Cloud Integration has been shown to boost productivity of staff by 35%. It also has been shown to reduce integration costs (for some, by nearly 40%) and accelerate projects to market.

With it’s drag-and-drop, intuitive design, TIBCO Cloud Integration gives non-technical people the power to integrate—no more waiting for IT to get your systems connected and talking to one another.

Security is also a top function of TIBCO Cloud Integration. The product relies on the security best practices of our infrastructure providers. All customer data is encrypted as is the separation between each customer to ensure all data is secure and only made available to the correct resources. You can read more about TIBCO Cloud Integration security by downloading our whitepaper: TIBCO® Cloud Integration Security Overview.

In using a shared platform, different team members are able to easily collaborate and stay of aware of one another’s projects, combatting the concern that “different team members seem to take different approaches to integration.” Our platform acts as a SaaS application—each team member can easily sign on and start integrating.

And, TIBCO Cloud Integration can easily connect your on-premise systems to cloud apps or cloud apps to other cloud apps. With the use of APIs and a number of popular connectors, TIBCO Cloud Integration can literally connect any type of system with any type of user (no matter where they are located), bringing all of your systems together.

So, what’s stopping you from moving to the cloud?

Sign up for a free trial of TIBCO Cloud Integration, watch an on-demand demo, or contact us to see how TIBCO Cloud Integration can help your organization quickly and easily move to the cloud.

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Take Our State of the Mainframe Survey (… and get a Starbucks gift card)

Calling All Mainframers

If you work with the mainframe, we want to hear from you! Take 5 minutes to share your feedbackwith us on what is happening in Big Iron right now!

Our annual survey provides valuable insights into current mainframe trends and common challenges, as well as a look at what organizations are planning for the upcoming year.

2017 Mainframe Survey Promo Take Our State of the Mainframe Survey (… and get a Starbucks gift card)

This Coffee Break is on Us

As a thank you for participating in our State of the Mainframe Survey, we’ll send you a $ 5 Starbucks card.* We’ll also share the results – which will be published as an eBook – so you can compare your responses.

Take the Survey now!

*valid in U.S. and Canada locations only

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“It Summoned Agents Of The State To Beat Up A Customer”

nqp7q1iu2kxdloy6juzl “It Summoned Agents Of The State To Beat Up A Customer”

Life is cheap today in America, and cheap is often expensive.

At some point during the last few decades, we ceased being called “citizens” and began to be referred to as “consumers.” The bitterly funny joke is that consumer protections were being stripped away all the while.

Price became everything. The lower the sticker number, the better, we were told. Facebook and Google and Internet giants are “free” to use. Except that the costs are hidden, if barely, as we trade our privacy for some “friends.” Uber and Lyft are usually less expensive because the drivers aren’t given benefits or basic protections. Cheap goods from Walmart of Amazon mean the expenses have been passed on to others. More and more, we’re all others now.

United bloodying a passenger who refused to be removed from a flight resonated with so many because it doesn’t feel like an outrageous outlier but a commentary on where we are now–and where we may be heading. 

· · ·

There’s a scene in Wallace Shawn’s latest play, Evening at the Talk House, about a time much like own in which America has descended into totalitarianism, and intellect and decency have become enemies of the nation. In an early scene, a character has been given a “short battering” by friends, a not uncommon occurrence in the new abnormal, because he was getting close to “crossing a line.”

Robert:

I mean, really, Dick, this is amazing, how are you?

Dick:

I’m absolutely fine. Very very well. (A slight pause) What? Oh–this? (Pointing to his face) Well! No–I– (Somewhat more quietly and confidentially) No, don’t worry about that! I was beaten, rather recently, by some friends, but you see, I actually enjoyed it very much, in the end. Really, it was great. No–I loved it! In fact, you should try it some time, Robert. It’s now what you think. It was quite fun, I’m serious.

Robert:

My God, what happened?

Dick:

Well, it was a short battering. You know. Informal. A small group of my friends–we met, you know, and they just said, Dick, you see, you’re getting a bit close to being “grr– grr— grr–” (He covers his mouth and makes a weird animal sound, miming odd animal-like behavior) so we have to “ergh” (Miming some punches) –and we have to “ergh” (More mimed blows) –and maybe a bit of “ergh” … (Mimed kicks)

Robert:

You mean they–?–

Dick:

They were right, obviously. I was getting to a point where I was about to cross a line, and this was sort of a case of, “Stop! Go back a few steps!” You know, that sort of thing.

Robert:

Crossing a line? But, Dick–my God, you were–you were always such a quiet, well-behaved little bastard when I knew you, Dick.

Dick:

I still am! (He laughs loudly) But that’s what I find myself saying every day. I haven’t changed. Everything else has changed Do you know what I mean?•

· · ·

From Matt Levine at Bloomberg View:

Yesterday United Airlinesprovided a nice demonstrationofthe propositionthat capitalism is built on a foundation of violence, when it summoned agents of the state to beat up a customer who insisted that United provide the servicehe had paid for. “Come and see the violence inherent in the system,” hemight have yelled, had the police not knocked him out. (“He fell,”commentedthe police.)

United then went on to demonstrate that if you are a major airline in 2017, you don’t have to be verygood at public relations, putting out aseriesof blasé statementswhose main message was “whatever, we are an airline, you will come crawling back.” It was interesting to see people on Twitter talk about boycotting United over this incident, as though that was a possible course of action. Consider the revealed preferences: The man at the center of the incident, who was violently attacked for sitting in the seat that he had paid for, tried to run back onto the plane. He’s not boycotting United! He just wanted to get home.

We talk a lot around here about the theory that increasingly concentratedcross-ownership of the airline industryby institutional investors has reduced competitionamong airlines, and I suppose youcould read this incident as proof that United isso insulatedfrom competitive pressures that it can afford to beat up its customers without losing any market share. But really this story seems more like the result of competition — but competition solely on price, not on service. If airlines compete solely on price, some passengers will get beaten up. “Investors seem impressed by the sadistic commitment to cost control,” commentsMatt Klein“By auctioning off overbooked seats, economist James Heins estimates that$ 100 billion has been savedby the airline industry and its customers in the 30-plus years since the practice was introduced.”Ryanairwould introduce Beating Class if it could save money.

Anyway blah blah blah United should have run a fair auction and only removed people voluntarily at agreed-on rates of compensation,says the Economist, but of course from United’s perspective that’s not true. Why pay more to rescind a passenger’s ticket, when you could just call in the cops?•

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State of the Mainframe: What Every Business Needs to Know About Big Iron and Big Data

Big Iron’s Critical Role in Big Data Analytics, Operational Intelligence, Security and Compliance

Since the introduction of the IBM System/360 in the mid-1960s, mainframes have played an important role in information processing in many global organizations. By the 1990’s client server technologies emerged and the proliferation of UNIX, Windows, and Linux servers exploded in many organizations. These platforms were perceived to be cheaper and easier to deploy and maintain, leading to many false predictions of the “death of the mainframe.” Fast forward to 2017 – the mainframe didn’t die, and IBM z Systems are still playing a significant, albeit evolving, role within most large organizations.

We recently completed our State of the Mainframe annual survey of IT professionals to take the mainframe pulse and determine the general health of mainframes within organizations. Respondents were from a wide range of IT disciplines including executives, architects, system programmers, application analysts, database administrators, operations managers, and security professionals.

Some results were expected, and some were a bit surprising.

  • On the expected side: The IBM z/OS mainframe isn’t going away in the near term. (Maybe that’s still a shock to some open systems folks!) Big Iron’s z/OS mainframes are still the predominant platform for performing large-scale transaction processing on mission-critical applications – but organizations struggle to maintain mainframe expertise.
  • On the surprising side: “Big Data” analytics for operational intelligence and to meet security & compliance requirements is on the rise for mainframes. As part of this analytics wave, organizations are focused on accessing and leveraging mainframe logs, SMF, and other z/OS information sources for correlation with data from open systems using analytics platforms such as Hadoop and Splunk. The mainframe is no longer the isolated “black box,” and its ability to integrate with distributed platforms, both for multi-platform application support and for enterprise-wide analytics, is key for many organizations.

blog banner MFSurvey2017 State of the Mainframe: What Every Business Needs to Know About Big Iron and Big Data

4 Key Trends to Watch for in 2017

Four key trends in how organizations will be leveraging Big Iron data as a critical component of enterprise-wide business intelligence to support operational analytics as well as security and compliance initiatives reflect the vital role of mainframe data and the necessity for integrating it with distributed data within analytics platforms and technologies:

  1. Organizations will move Big Iron application and log data to next-generation Big Data analytics platforms.

    60% of respondents indicated that they plan to move mainframe data off-platform for analytics. A growing number of large organizations are now looking to leverage modern data architectures like Hadoop, Spark and Splunk to analyze mainframe application and log data at scale and at the speed of business.

  2. Security and compliance mandates will be key drivers for technology evaluations and mainframe data analytics.

    66% of respondents ranked the ability to do Big Data analytics for operations and/or security across the entire enterprise as important. Big Iron hosts some of the most sensitive business and operations information for large enterprises. For this reason, mainframe application and log data are also emerging as critical data sources for security and compliance initiatives, which were ranked as the top initiatives for IT executives and IT organizations.

  3. Technologies that enhance and monitor data movement between platforms will rise in importance.

    62% of respondents don’t feel they are able to effectively track data in motion. Organizations are looking for tools to monitor data movement across a variety of platforms and let them know what data is being moved, by whom, when and where.

  4. Big Data analytics for operational intelligence, security and compliance will continue to grow and emerge as a critical project in many organizations.

    48.6% of respondents indicate it is desirable for their organization to have access to log, SMF or other data on the mainframe for correlation with distributed data in Big Data and analytics platforms (Splunk, Hadoop, etc.). This reflects an emerging trend in how Big Iron’s z/OS operational data can be used on advanced analytics platforms to gain valuable business insights, driven by the limitations of the static nature of the display capabilities of existing mainframe tools.

For more information and details on our mainframe survey, read our eBook.

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