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IT Managed Services Provider Resource Recommendation Update on October 09, 2020

Ventoy allows you to create bootable USB drives for ISO/WIM/IMG/VHD(x)/EFI files. Copy multiple files at once, and Ventoy will give you a boot menu to select them. jantari describes it as, “an all-software multi-boot USB solution where you can just drop ISOs, even WIMs, into a folder and choose between them with a menu when you want to boot!”

Kanbani, Versatile Task Management App That’s 100% FREE! Kanban is a simple but versatile organizational system that helps you keep on top of all of your tasks and projects with ease. And that system just got a lot better with the entirely free Kanbani app.

Kanbani, Versatile Task Management App

Kanbani, Versatile Task Management App

Kanbani allows you to move your tasks between the three traditional Kanban lists: “To Do”, “Doing”, and “Done”. But there’s a lot more to Kanbani than just this. You can also:

  • Customize the order and appearance of your task “cards”.
  • Continue using the app even when offline.
  • Enable one-tap end-to-end encryption.
  • Share individual boards with a QR code.
  • Access your boards via the Android app or the Web app.
  • Bulk move cards to save time.
  • Choose to sync projects to your own centralised server.
  • Easily export your projects.

Taken together, these features really make Kanbani stand out against similar apps. Whether you’re writing a book, managing a project at work, or simply want to share a shopping list with your family, Kanbani just works. And did we mention it’s 100% free. No ads, no in-app purchases, and no tracking. What more could you ask?

Knowledge of terms to know

What is vSAN?

A virtual storage area network (VSAN) is a logical partition in a physical storage area network (SAN).

VSANs enable traffic to be isolated within specific portions of a storage area network, so if a problem occurs in one logical partition, it can be handled with a minimum of disruption to the rest of the network.

The use of multiple, isolated VSANs can also make a storage system easier to configure and scale-out. Subscribers can be added or relocated without needing to change the physical layout.

Depending on the vendor, a virtual SAN appliance might also be called software-defined storage (SDS) appliance or, simply, a virtual storage appliance.

What is Smart Refrigerator?

A smart refrigerator is a high-tech programmed refrigerator that is able to detect the type of items stored in it and keep track of important details such as expiry and usage. These refrigerators work on a barcode or RFID system whereby they collect the batch and manufacture detail directly from the Internet.

A smart refrigerator is also known as an Internet refrigerator.

A smart refrigerator is a refrigerator that has Internet access and is able to recognize and manage items stored inside it. Automatic detection requires a barcode or RIFD on each item, or items can also be registered manually. A smart refrigerator allows a user to know which items are inside the refrigerator without opening it, by simply checking the display list on an LCD or other output device. The refrigerator is able to send its content list to various other display devices and is able to communicate via various mediums. This technology evolved in early 2000s.

What is Internet of Overwhelming Things (IoOT)?

The Internet of Overwhelming Things (IoOT) refers to the effects of the Internet of Things (IoT) on the IT world. The Internet of Things refers to the concept of a network of physical objects, including traditional home appliances or everyday gadgets/devices, that can connect to the global Internet.

Internet of Things allows physical objects or everyday gadgets/devices to be interconnected and hooked to the Internet. The extremely high volume of traffic caused by this, however, can easily overwhelm a network infrastructure, which can result in performance degradation or other security issues.

The term “Internet of Overwhelming Things” was coined as a reaction to the challenges posed by IoT and to the very serious threats of new kinds of cyberattacks that might target the newly connected — and sometimes more vulnerable — types of devices.

What is Workforce Planning?

Workforce planning is the strategic anticipation of labor requirements in order to deploy workers most effectively. Workforce planning is a subset of workforce management, an important component of most human resources and ERP (enterprise resource planning) software suites.

Workforce planning deals with broad-reaching issues that will affect the enterprise in years to come and can encompass all aspects of human capital management. Examples include the following:

  • Forecasting “knowledge drain” as employees leave the organization;
  • Anticipating future talent needs in response to changing technology;
  • Determining and evaluating future sourcing options; and
  • Establishing an effective workforce analytics strategy that dovetails with compliance regulations.

Some HR technology vendors, notably Kronos and Ceridian, have made workforce management and workforce planning software their main offerings. Infor and ADP also have workforce planning modules.

RANCID monitors a device’s configuration and uses CVS, Subversion or Git to keep the history of changes. Tracks both software and hardware configuration; supports cisco, juniper and foundry; and can use telnet or ssh to connect to devices.

William John Holden Resource List is a compilation of useful tools and resources from his “side projects.” Generously shared by the author, who explains, “… yeah, I have a pretty serious ‘not invented here’ syndrome, where I prefer to use tools I built to the things you can download or purchase.

IntoDNS checks your DNS configuration and offers recommendations for improvement. You’ll receive DNS and mail server reports that include references to the official protocol documentation.

Bugzilla is a powerful bug-tracking system that allows developers to keep track of all unresolved bugs, issues and other change requests, with advanced features like workflow management and custom fields.

SRE Weekly focuses on a comprehensive view of Site/Service Reliability Engineering (SRE) that takes into account servers, human factors, processes, automation and more. Features discussion on the obvious areas like automated failover and fault-tolerant architectures, plus everything else that’s related to keeping a site or service available as consistently as possible.

Knowledge of terms to know

What is Internet of Everything (IoE)?

The internet of everything (IoE) is a broad term that refers to devices and consumer products connected to the internet and outfitted with expanded digital features. It is a philosophy in which technology’s future is comprised of many different types of appliances, devices and items connected to the global internet.

The term is somewhat synonymous with the internet of things (IoT).

IoE is based on the idea that in the future, internet connections will not be restricted to laptop or desktop computers and a handful of tablets, as in previous decades. Instead, machines will generally become smarter by having more access to data and expanded networking opportunities.

Actual IoE applications range from digital sensor tools/interfaces used for remote appliances to smarter and more well-connected mobile devices, industrial machine learning systems and other types of distributed hardware that have recently become more intelligent and automated.

IoE features fall under two main categories:

  • Input: Allows analog or external data to be put into a piece of hardware
  • Output: Allows a piece of hardware to be put back into the internet

The IoE term is driving much discussion about IT’s future. For example, organizations like Cisco use the term in its branding to refer to the potential of modern and future technology.

What is Prescriptive Analytics?

Prescriptive analytics is the area of business analytics (BA) dedicated to finding the best course of action for a given situation. Prescriptive analytics is related to both descriptive and predictive analytics.

Prescriptive analytics is used to suggest decision options for how to take advantage of a future opportunity or mitigate a future risk, and illustrate the implications of each decision option. In practice, prescriptive analytics can continually and automatically process new data to improve the accuracy of predictions and provide better decision options.

Advancements in the speed of computing and the development of complex mathematical algorithms applied to the data sets have made prescriptive analysis possible. Specific techniques used in prescriptive analytics include optimization, simulation, game theory and decision-analysis methods.

What is Web of Things (WoT)?

The Web of Things (WoT) is a computing concept that describes a future where everyday objects are fully integrated with the Web. The prerequisite for WoT is for the “things” to have embedded computer systems that enable communication with the Web. Such smart devices would then be able to communicate with each other using existing Web standards.

Considered a subset of the Internet of Things (IoT), WoT focuses on software standards and frameworks such as REST, HTTP and URIs to create applications and services that combine and interact with a variety of network devices. So, you could think of the Web of Things as everyday objects being able to access Web services. The key point is that this doesn’t involve the reinvention of the means of communication beause existing standards are used.

Internet of Things is more often used in the context of radiofrequency identification (RFID) and how physical objects are tied to the Internet and can communicate with each other. Both terms are difficult to define precisely, although they are related in their general theme.

What is IoT Solutions Architect?

An IoT solutions architect is a professional role involved in developing practical uses and applications of internet of things technology. The IoT solutions architect typically works with engineers and salespeople to facilitate process development.

The idea is that the IoT solutions architect looks at the big picture – he or she may be involved in any step of the path toward developing some use case or application. The IoT solutions architect may help with buy-in and interdepartmental processes as well as brainstorming and making ambiguous ideas more concrete. There is a need for this professional to have an understanding of the context of IoT solutions and to work across many departments and barriers to promote IoT development.

What is Customer Data Platform (CDP)?

A customer data platform (CDP) is middleware that aggregates a company’s customer data from multiple sources and puts it into one golden record that can be made available to the company’s other martech systems.

One of the primary uses of CDP software is to provide marketers with self-service analytics capabilities. When data from disparate sources is presented in one golden record, and marketers can slice and dice the data themselves, it can help them monitor campaign performance more effectively and identify which customers should receive additional nurturing.

CDPs also provide marketers with the ability to segment customers into groups of customers that are similar in specific ways. This information can be used to identify upsell and cross-sell opportunities and improve the relevance of messaging.

Veeam Backup & Replication Community Edition provides you with powerful backup, recovery and replication capabilities for VMware and Hyper-V, as well as physical servers, workstations, laptops and cloud instances. Back up to VTLs, tape libraries and standalone tape drives; centrally manage and deploy Veeam Agents for Windows and Linux; protect and restore entire desktops, laptops and individual guest files; perform file-level recovery from a snapshot and more.

Knowledge of terms to know

What is Error Detection?

In networking, error detection refers to the techniques used to detect noise or other impairments introduced into data while it is transmitted from source to destination. Error detection ensures reliable delivery of data across vulnerable networks.

Error detection minimizes the probability of passing incorrect frames to the destination, known as undetected error probability.

The oldest method of error correction involves using parity. It works by adding an additional bit to each character word transmitted. The state of the bit is determined by a number of factors such as the type of parity and the number of logic-one bits in the data character.

Repetition code is another mechanism that relates to error detection. It is a coding schema that repeats bits across channels to achieve error-free communication. Data bits in a stream of data are divided into blocks of bits. Every block is transmitted a predetermined number of times. They are not as effective as parity, because the occurrence of errors in the same place leads to more problems. However, they are simple and used in the transmission of number stations.

Checksum is an error detection method that is a modular arithmetic sum of message code words of fixed word length. Checksum schemes involve longitudinal redundancy checks, parity bits and check digits.

What is 5G?

Fifth-generation wireless (5G) is the latest iteration of cellular technology. Wireless network operators in four countries — the United States, Japan, South Korea and China — are largely driving the first 5G buildouts.

Unlike 4G, which requires large, high-power cell towers to radiate signals over longer distances, 5G wireless signals are transmitted through large numbers of small cell stations located in places like light poles or building roofs.

The use of multiple small cells is necessary because the millimeter wave (MM wave) spectrum — the band of spectrum between 30 and 300 gigahertz (GHz) that 5G relies on to generate high speeds — can only travel over short distances and is subject to interference from weather and physical obstacles, like buildings or trees.

In addition to improvements in speed, capacity and latency, 5G also offers network management features — among them network slicing, which enables mobile operators to create multiple virtual networks within a single physical 5G network.

What is Internet of Things Gateway (IoT Gateway)?

An Internet of Things Gateway (IoT gateway) is a device that lets legacy industrial devices report data using the internet, participating in the internet of things concept, as well as enabling technologies or systems with disparate protocols interact with one another. An internet of things gateway allows a device to report data using its sensors to a remote location. A number of companies are marketing hardware gateways.

A number of companies are investing in internet of things technology where sensors in devices report data remotely, but there are still a lot of industrial devices that do not have an internet connection. They are used for things like factory floor automation and controlling utilities. The organizations who have installed them do not want to throw them away, so an IoT gateway connects these devices to a network using both wired and wireless options. Companies can then make use of the data for telemetry, analytics or building a smart grid.

IoT gateways also enable devices to connect and communicate with each other by translating different protocols into something common. It filters out unnecessary data from a large volume of data, making sure that the communication is secure, and also contributes to data processing.

What is Voice Control (Voice Assistance)?

Voice control, also called voice assistance, is a user interface that allows hands-free operation of a digital device. Voice control does not require an internet connection to work. Communication is one way (person to device) and all processing is done locally.

Voice control is an assistive technology that’s built into most mobile operating systems. Typically, the feature is not turned on by default. Instead, the user has to look for it in settings and turn it on.

The technology is designed to work with Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant and Cortana and can perform many of the same tasks. Popular commands for voice control on a mobile phone include:

  • Swipe right
  • Scroll down
  • Turn up volume
  • Dictate message
  • Mute sound
  • Open _______ (app)
  • Go back
  • Take screenshot
  • Rotate to landscape
  • Make an emergency call

Voice control uses natural language processing and speech synthesis to provide aid to users. Some operating systems allow the user to customize commands. The video below provides instructions for how to use Voice Control in iOS 14.

Fedora 33 beta released with 7 new features and changes including:

  • Btrfs as the default filesystem
  • Nano as the default terminal-based text editor
  • Use zram instead of swap partition by default
  • Use systemd-resolved by default
  • Support for newer ARMv8.3~8.5-level code hardening features
  • Performance improvements and visual changes with GNOME 3.38
  • Animated background based on time of day
  • UEFI-only approach
  • System-wide crypto policy update to disable legacy cryptographic protocols (TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1), weak Diffie-Hellman key exchange sizes (1024 bit), and use of the SHA-1 hash in signatures.
  • Others:
    • Latest MinGW
    • GNU Make 4.3
    • Ruby on Rails 6.0
    • Boost 1.73
    • Golang 1.15
    • glibc 2.32
    • Java 11
    • LLVM 11
    • Node.js 14.x series
    • Perl 5.32
    • Include Python 3.9, drop Python 2.6 and 3.4
    • RPM 4.16

Read more at Fedora Magazine > Announcing the release of Fedora 33 Beta

Other applications new released

  • E-book application calibre 5.0 released with Highlighting support and Enhanced search in the calibre E-book viewer, Dark mode and switch to Python 3 since Python 2 was end-of-life this year.
  • Enso 0.4 ‘Singing Sunflower’ released with note-taking application ‘Pinny’, revamped app manager ‘Apphive’, and Dark theme.
  • KaOS 2020.09 released includes 60% package updated and a new stable ISO.
KaOS 2020.09 released includes 60% package updated and a new stable ISO.

KaOS 2020.09 released includes 60% package updated and a new stable ISO.

  • EndeavourOS 2020.09.20 released includes kernel 5.8.10, Firefox 80.0.1, and new Welcome app.
  • Stellarium v20.0.3 released to discontinue support for AppImage files and encourages using Snap packages instead, fixed nutation, updated DSO catalog, and major change in AstroCalc tool, Oculars and Satellites plugins.
  • Kid3 Audio Tagger 3.8.4 released added the support for Flatpak and a bunch of improvements.
  • GNOME 3.38 released includes some interesting features like customizable app grids and more.

  • Puppy Linux 9.5 released based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and features JWM as the default window manager.
  • 4MLinux 34.0 STABLEreleased loaded with LibreOffice and GNOME office as well.
4MLinux 34.0 STABLE released.

4MLinux 34.0 STABLE released.

  • IPFire 2.25 Core 149 released, not much has changed but there are significant performance improvements and bug fixes.
  • Flameshot 0.8.0 released added counters in the screenshot and also the blur tool is now a pixelated tool.
  • Celluloid 0.20 released to fix some of the common problems and involves some UI tweaks as well.

Knowledge of terms to know

What is Quantifier?

In logic, a quantifier is a language element that helps in generation of a quantification, which is a construct that mentions the number of specimens in the given domain of discourse satisfying a given open formula. Quantifiers are largely used in logic, natural languages and discrete mathematics.

Quantifiers are used in quantified expressions in which the free variables are bound by the quantifiers. In other words, the variables of the predicates are quantified by quantifiers. There are two well-known quantifiers used in predicate logic: the universal quantifier and the existential quantifier. The universal quantifier claims that statements within its scope are true for every value of the unique variable, whereas in the case of the existential quantifier, it claims that the statements within its scope are true only for some values of the specific variable. The universal quantifier is denoted by the symbol ∀, which is like an inverted A. The existential quantifier is denoted by the symbol ∃, which is like a backwards E.

Quantifier rank specifies the maximum depth of nesting possible for quantifiers inside a given formula. It has to be noted that the order of the quantifiers is crucial to the meaning of the logic. Quantifiers have wide usage in predicate logic and in discrete mathematics, as they help in translation of a given logical statement.

What is Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC)?

The cyclic redundancy check (CRC) is a technique used to detect errors in digital data. As a type of checksum, the CRC produces a fixed-length data set based on the build of a file or larger data set. In terms of its use, CRC is a hash function that detects accidental changes to raw computer data commonly used in digital telecommunications networks and storage devices such as hard disk drives.

This technique was invented by W. Wesley Peterson in 1961 and further developed by the CCITT (Comité Consultatif International Telegraphique et Telephonique). Cyclic redundancy checks are quite simple to implement in hardware, and can be easily analyzed mathematically. CRC is one of the better techniques that is commonly used in detecting common transmission errors.

CRC is based on binary division and is also called “polynomial code checksum.”

In the cyclic redundancy check, a fixed number of check bits, often called a checksum, are appended to the message that needs to be transmitted. The data receivers receive the data, and inspect the check bits for any errors.

Mathematically, data receivers evaluate the check value that is attached by finding the remainder of the polynomial division of the contents transmitted. If it seems that an error has occurred, a negative acknowledgement is transmitted asking for data retransmission.

A cyclic redundancy check is also applied to storage devices like hard disks. In this case, check bits are allocated to each block in the hard disk. When the computer reads a corrupt or incomplete file, a cyclic redundancy error gets triggered. The CRC can come from another storage device or from CD/DVDs. The common reasons for errors include system crashes, incomplete or corrupt files, or files with lots of bugs.

CRC polynomial designs depend on the length of the block that is supposed to be protected. Error protection features can also determine the CRC design. Resources available for CRC implementation can have an impact on performance.

Another way to understand CRC is to look at the specific words in its name. Experts point out that a CRC is called “redundant” because it adds to the size of the data set without adding new information, and “cyclical” because it works on a system of cyclical implementations.

It’s also helpful to point out that CRC is a specific type of checksum, as mentioned, in which arbitrary sized data sets are mapped to a fixed-size string, which an engineer may call a hash function. Some technology builders do report the use of CRC as a hash function in hash security, although others consider it insufficient and suggest a standard like SHA 256.

By contrast, checksums themselves can be abundantly simple—for instance, a primitive checksum can simply be a sum of the byte values in question. The CRC using its cyclical setup is generally recognized as a pretty good strategy for checking against errors and verifying data integrity. It’s part of an evolved toolkit in checksum use and hashing, and in file checking in general.

Another skill set prized in the tech world is the ability to fix or resolve CRC errors because these errors can inhibit access to data. When a CRC error occurs, for whatever reason, fixing it will be part of the IT service provider’s mandate.

What is Managed Services?

Managed IT services are tasks related to information technology that are completed by a third-party contractor. There are many different types of managed IT service offerings, but the idea behind all of them is to transfer the burden of maintaining IT from the customer to the service provider.

A service provider can charge for a managed IT service in a number of ways, including per-device, per-user and all-inclusive pricing. Managed IT services are typically billed as flat fees on a regularly scheduled basis, and monthly billing cycles are a common approach.

A flat fee billed on a consistent schedule provides customers with predictable pricing and gives the service provider the stability of a monthly recurring revenue stream.

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