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CenturyLink Boosts Cloud Platform

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Cloud and telecommunications provider CenturyLink announces the acquisition of Orchestrate, a 10-man startup behind a fully managed cloud-based NQL solution for rapid application development.

CenturyLinkThe company will be used to add Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) capabilities to the CenturyLink Cloud platform, as well as enhance the CenturyLink Product Development and Technology organisation.

"[M]ost enterprises are expressing interest in solutions that help them meet the performance, scalability and agile development needs of large-scale big data analytics," CenturyLink says. "The Orchestrate database service's ease of use and ability to support multiple database technologies have emerged as key differentiators that we are eager to offer our customers through the CenturyLink Cloud platform."

Buffalo Rugged HDD Gets NFC

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Buffalo launches the MiniStation Extreme NFC-- a ruggedised portable HDD featuring "advanced" hardware encryption and near field communications (NFC) connectivity to block unauthorised access.

Buffalo Ministation"We designed the MiniStation Extreme NFC to be the most complete rugged portable drive on the market, including features that not only protect against the elements, but also support the latest hardware encryption technology and NFC secure access functionality," the company claims. "We packaged all of this functionality into a sleek, compact design that sets it apart from the competition."

The built-in NFC technology includes a smart card acting as a password replacement. Thus customers can ensure data remains safe when shipped by sending the HDD and smart card separately.

BlackBerry Demands More Security

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BlackBerry pushes further into security as it announces an R&D initiative dubbed Centre for High Assurance Computing Excellence (CHACE) and acquires enterprise data security specialist WatchDox.

Blackberry SecurityThe aim of CHACE is to reverse the current fail-then-patch security approach by developing tools and techniques for "far higher level" security. It also promises "nation-state level sophistication" in vulnerability assessment and will collaborate with academic institutions and other industry groups.

“There’s a belief that the key to the world’s security issues is to patch faster, but this hamster wheel fails to address the root issue," the company says. "Systems that require regular patching always contain vulnerabilities unknown to developers, and some of these vulnerabilities are in fact known by would-be attackers."

Autotask on the Endpoint Management

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According to an Autotask survey the main focus for managed services providers (MSPs) is endpoint management and the use of remote monitoring and management (RMM) solutions to meet the demands of cloud-based solution management.

managed servicesThe survey covers 1800 MSPs across the world. It shows 62% of respondents manage 100-2500 endpoints-- an amount Autotask says is set to "grow exponentially." As such 54% of MSPs are increasing their focus on endpoints.

Networking and project are still important, accounting for nearly 40% of MSP revenues for around 75% of respondents. Meanwhile 68% of MSPs rank reliability as the key criteria for selecting a remote monitoring and endpoint management solution.

Butterfly Wings: The Key to Glare-Free Displays?

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They say the flap of a butterfly's wings can cause a hurricane on the other side of the world, but the wings of a particular species of butterfly might actually be key to the glare-free displays of the future.

Glasswing butterflyThe butterfly in question is the glasswing butterfly, a Central American species famous for having transparent, glass-like (thus the name) wings. Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) researchers say these wings have very low reflection (around 2-5%) of visible, infrared and ultraviolet light-- a survival adaptation for the insect, but an inspiration for the creation of low-reflection surfaces.

For the curious, a flat glass plane has a reflection of anything from 8% to 100%.

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