Inside CTO/CIO - April 2nd, 2019 |

Inside CTO/CIO (Apr 2nd, 2019)

VMWare lawsuit ends / Google AI backlash / Intel's new line

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1. Believing it is now pointless, the Linux programmer behind the VMware lawsuit is giving up. VMware was accused of illegally using Linux code in its VMware ESX bare-metal virtual machine hypervisor for over a decade; many thought this high-profile suit would soldier onward. Linux developer Christopher Helwig and the Software Freedom Conservancy abandoned the suit today. It comes as a surprise after Karen Sandler, attorney and the Conservancy's executive director, recently doubled-down on further litigation after a German court dismissed the case, despite "strong community consensus that their behavior is wrong." --ZDNET

2. Google's new AI ethics advisory council is in chaos as employees protest inclusion of the Heritage Foundation's president. The Advanced Technology External Advisory Council launched last week with the aim of guiding company and industry researchers working in facial recognition, with emphasis on mitigating bias and discrimination in AI. Google immediately took heat for including Heritage Foundation President Kay Coles James, who has made anti-immigrant and anti-trans statements on Twitter. The inclusion of James prompted Google employees to launch a public statement and petition -- worsening the company's latest PR crisis. --VERGE

3. At Data-Centric Innovation Day, Intel announced its Cascade Lake line of Xeon Scalable data center processors. Navin Shenoy, head of the Data Center Group at Intel, said it was “truly a beast” of a processor, and the devices are shipping now. The second-generation lineup of Xeon Scalable processors come in 53 variations spanning up to 56 cores and 12 memory channels per chip. Customers for the line include Amazon who will use Cascade Lake processors in numerous data center roles, like Amazon Web Services Alexa. --VENTUREBEAT

4. You need to check any and all iSCSI instances for misconfiguration with the discovery of over 13,000 exposed iSCSI storage clusters. The instances are currently exposed online without a password, thanks to a new attack vector. The issue came to light when a penetration tester stumbled across the misconfiguration issue with the internet-accessible storage disk arrays and NAS devices via Shodan. According to ZDNet, the researcher described iSCSI exposure as a "dangerous backdoor" -- and said that many of these very vulnerable iSCSI clusters also belong to private companies. --ZDNET

5. Dick's Sporting Goods' CTO is revamping athletic e-commerce. In analysis of an interview with Dick's Sporting Goods CTO Paul Gaffney, CIO Dive explains how he's breaking down the silos of software development between the retailer's headquarters and its individual stores. --CIO DIVE

6. Oracle's NetSuite updates focus on global trade with its SuiteSuccess for Planning and Budgeting Cloud Services (PBCS). The platform will also have budgeting and planning tools as Oracle's unit brings in more key performance indicators, adding industry-specific planning and budgeting metrics tailored to different verticals. --ZDNET

7. CIO Elizabeth Hackenson of Schneider Electric describes the digital transformation of electricity in a fascinating new interview. She details digitizing business ops and enhancing the digital experience for customers within a sector that has had an uneven digital transformation, to say the least. --FORBES

8. Retail change is outpacing digital business strategies, says new Gartner research. In the 2019 CIO Agenda report, they found that retailers hurry to adopt new business models (to keep up with consumers) without doing necessary scaling or refining, and have vastly underestimated customers' capabilities and the overall value proposition. The pain point? Closing the gap in perception of the importance of IT in new retail business models. --GARTNER

9. IT departments struggle to remediate poor network and system performance when bad decisions are made in the C-suite. This critical laundry list of common causes with performance issues is followed by ten concrete fixes for when change from the top brings your system to its knees. --INFORMATIONWEEK

10. Most software vendors over-promise and under-deliver on their AI/ML implementations when they pitch you. A variety of analysts, C-suite pros, and salty critics weigh in on how to weed out snake oil salesmen in this list of eleven questions to ask before buying AI-enabled security software. --CSO ONLINE

This newsletter is curated and authored by author and reporter Violet Blue, who covers security and privacy for outlets ranging from CBS News and CNET to Financial Times and ZDNet. Ms. Blue has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show and CNN, she writes the Engadget column "Bad Password," and she is the author of The Smart Girl's Guide to Privacy. Violet is on the Advisory Board for privacy nonprofit Without My Consent and a member of the Internet Press Guild. Find her sharing thoughts on Twitter @violetblue.

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside); Susmita Baral (senior editor at Inside, who runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram); and David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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