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For about 50 years from roughly 1650 to 1700, the Sun took a break from its typical sunspot activity. That phase of solar rest coincided with what we now refer to as “The Little Ice Age” — a period of cooling on the Earth that resulted in bitterly cold winters, particularly in Europe and North America. Scientists attribute the Little Ice Age to two main causes: increased volcanic activity and reduced solar activity.
Could it happen again? And are we headed there now?
The term “solar activity” refers collectively to sunspots, solar flares, and solar eruptions. Together, these phenomena make up the “space weather” that alters interactions between Earth and its atmosphere, causing potential disruptions to satellites, communications systems, and power grids. Varying levels of solar activity also cause significant changes in atmospheric circulation patterns, which can affect the weather and climate on Earth.
Solar cycles, which last an average of 11 years, are driven by the number, size, and placement of sunspots — cooler, darker spots on the Sun’s surface where intense magnetic activity occurs — on the Sun’s surface. Each cycle is marked by a solar minimum and a solar maximum, meaning the approximate time in the cycle when the least and greatest amounts of solar activity occurred. During the solar minimum, sunspot activity diminishes, and during the maximum greater numbers of sunspots appear. As one cycle winds down and another begins, sunspots from both cycles can be seen simultaneously.
By late 2007, Solar Cycle 23, which began in 1996, was decaying to low activity levels, and NOAA forecasters predicted that Solar Cycle 24 would begin in March 2008, plus or minus six months. Indeed, the new cycle’s first sunspot appeared in January 2008 — its high-latitude location a clear sign that it was part of the new solar cycle. But in the months that followed, there was a marked decrease in sunspot activity, spawning questions about whether we could be headed into another little ice age.
“Everything we’re seeing now we’ve seen the Sun do before, and it still went on to produce a normal solar cycle,” said Doug Biesecker, physicist at NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado.
After a nine-month lull in solar activity, a batch of five sunspots appeared beginning on October 31, 2008, four of which belonged to the new cycle. And according to Biesecker, so far this year, two sunspots appeared for a total of four days — one was a Cycle 23 sunspot and one a Cycle 24. “You always get lots of days with no sunspots, and at solar minimum you almost always see sunspots from the new cycle at the same time you’re still seeing sunspots from the old cycle. This overlap phase can be just a few months, but it can be as long as two years,” he said.
Biesecker says that the longer Cycle 23 drags out, the more we will hear about how the Sun is going quiet. “If you go back to the early 1950s, that solar minimum was very similar to the one we’re going through right now,” he said. “But it was followed by the largest solar cycle on record. So just because the Sun is quieter than it’s been in awhile doesn’t really tell us where it’s going to be in the future.”
Tom Woods, Associate Director for Technical Divisions at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP), concurs. “Typically during a solar minimum you will have one or two months with no sunspots, so what we saw in 2008 is typical of most solar cycles,” he said.
But Woods points out that there are other indications, aside from sunspot activity, that Cycle 24 may be different. First, the magnetic field at the Sun’s poles is about 40 percent lower than it normally is at solar minimum. “If you look at the last time the polar field was that weak, it goes back to the early 1800s during a time called the Dalton Minimum, when we had a low solar activity cycle,” he said. The Dalton Minimum lasted from about 1790 to 1830 and coincided with a period of lower-than-average global temperatures.
In addition, Woods says that the solar wind speed is currently lower than normal. But does this mean there will be a big change in the solar cycle? “We don’t really know, but we’re waiting and watching,” he said. “This new cycle could be anomalously low or it could be normal.”
Although Cycle 23’s 12-year length (it began in 1996) isn’t outside the normal range, it might help explain why Cycle 24’s activity level is low. Biesecker points out that, based on the previous 22 solar cycles, researchers now know that the longer the previous cycle, the lower the next cycle will be in terms of activity. “So we’re definitely edging into that territory now,” he said.
According to Woods, even a smaller solar cycle could induce some cooling on Earth. “Not enough to offset the greenhouse gas global warming effect,” he said, “but enough to potentially slow it down for a few years.” The solar cycle’s effect on global temperatures is only about 1/10 of a degree, whereas the greenhouse effect over the past 30 years has been about a full one degree change, Woods said.
Even so, Woods says it’s unlikely that we’re headed into a “Little Ice Age” scenario. “It’s probably unlikely that we will go into a phase where we don’t have any sunspot activity for 50 years. We can’t eliminate the possibility, but I would say the probability is not high,” he said.
“For that to happen, we would have to see no pickup in the Cycle 24 sunspots, but we’re seeing a reasonable amount of new activity,” said Biesecker. “There is no model we’re aware of that can predict that we’re going into an ice age — it’s an actual physical limitation of our current understanding.”
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The Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) and the Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC), despite their similar names, are two different and distinct methods for guaranteeing project success in software development. Let’s look at how you may get the most of both of them for your software development project −What is Software Development Life Cycle?
The Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a term that refers to the process of creating software.
Based on a research paper by Dr. Winston Royce released in 1970, the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a linear sequence of processes for delivering software. The procedure is as follows −
Once a gap or opportunity in the organization’s application landscape has been found, it is necessary to fully comprehend and record the business requirement in order to choose the best solution. During this phase, it’s critical to avoid the temptation to leap to a solution right away, and stakeholders may want coaching and assistance to keep an open mind regarding any solution preferences they may already have.
At this point, it’s critical to make sure that current apps don’t meet, or can’t meet, the criteria. By gathering requirements and reviewing the current application portfolio, solution architects, business analysts, and others with comparable skill sets can assist in this step.
It’s always a good idea at this point to reach out to other people across the organization to see whether the identified or comparable needs are also needed in other areas, in order to avoid building or procuring duplicate systems and allowing the system to be reused.
This phase’s main result will be a business requirements document (BRD), which will include a list of all necessary functionality, maybe prioritized using an approach like MoSCoW (Must have/Should have/Could have/Won’t have now), and with proper traceability by business area.Design
The design work may begin after the requirements for the new program have been suitably documented and approved off. At this stage, businesses should consider if their resources would be better spent constructing a custom system or buying something off the market. A tender process, such as a request for bids (RFP) or a request for information (RFI), may be required (RFI).
In general, if highly standardised capabilities are required (for example, payroll, appointment scheduling, and electronic point of sale), it is typically preferable to buy an off-the-shelf system for these so-called “systems of record” or “systems of distinction.” The systems are known as “systems of innovation” and are more likely to be suitable to a custom construction when they have requirements that are unique to the industry or organization or give capabilities that provide a competitive edge.
Business analysts and UX designers may collaborate throughout the design stage to develop wireframes or mock-ups of the system’s appearance. Technical architects and solution designers may begin to build the system’s architecture and make tech stack, hosting, and programming language decisions while keeping in mind the organization’s present skillset and vendors in mind.
The design phase’s major outputs will vary every system, but they are likely to include wireframes, a systems architectural diagram, a tech stack choice, and an indication of resourcing skills necessary.Build
Software developers translate the output of the “requirements” and “design” phases into usable software in the build phase. This might include creating front ends, back ends, databases, microservices, and a variety of other components.
The software will be built to provide the functionality specified in the requirements document, and the best projects will maintain end-user engagement throughout this phase to ensure that the things being built are closely aligned with the originally stated requirements, as what is built can sometimes deviate from this.Test
Test analysts will execute a variety of validation tests on the program throughout the testing process, including performance testing, load testing, and exploratory manual testing. The major goal is to make sure that the work done during the build phase is of a high enough quality to withstand the demands that will be placed on the system under normal operating settings, as well as to figure out what happens when those criteria are surpassed.
User acceptance testing may now begin to validate that the system’s behavior meets the stated expectations from the requirements collecting phase, while tight collaboration between users and the development team during the build phase can assist to minimize rework and eliminate surprises.Deployment
The program is put into the required production environments and platforms where it will be run during the deployment phase. These environments can be actual servers in a company’s data center, or a cloud hosted platform, which is becoming more popular.
End-user training is expected to commence at this phase to ensure that everyone understands how to use the new system, and any data transfer from the prior legacy system will be finished to avoid the need for “double keying.”
Discussions with the teams that will be supporting and sustaining the system in its “business as usual” condition should have already begun, and these teams should be taken into account throughout the training phase to ensure that they will be able to support the system once the project team has disbanded.Maintenance
The system is handed over to the team that will support it for the rest of its life at the company during the maintenance phase. For service desk operators to know how to send user support inquiries to the appropriate team, proper documentation and helpfiles will need to be developed.
Enhancements and changes to the system may be made over time, for example, if new requirements are discovered or if external factors such as regulatory changes occur, and the approach for doing so must be considered, i.e., whether internal resources will be retained to make such changes, or will the changes be farmed out to an external provider on an ad hoc basis.
Check out our post for additional information on the software development lifecycle and how to expand on it to guarantee security is built-in throughout: [Practical Guide] Secure Software Development Lifecycle.Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC)
Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC) is a method for ensuring that adequate thorough, rigorous tests are implemented from the beginning of a system’s development to its end. It is divided into five phases, as follows −
Analysis of Requirements
The testing team examines the business requirements document (BRD) prepared during the SDLC requirements phase in order to identify the important outcomes and capabilities required from the new system during the requirements analysis phase.
The testing team will go over the BRD with key stakeholders and business analysts to ensure that everyone understands what is being created and how it should work. They should also take into account the system’s business criticality as well as any applicable regulatory requirements to ensure that any compliance needs are met.Test Preparation
The testing team will be able to plan how they will implement their tests once the functionality and consequences are known. They’ll create a test strategy document for the project, outlining how they’ll employ the different technologies available to them, including manual, automated, integration, and unit tests. They may begin to make a list of the exact test cases or scripts that will need to be written in order to verify that the system is thoroughly tested.Development of Tests
After the high-level test cases and methodologies have been defined, work on fleshing out the test scripts with more information such as the individual user experiences that will need to be evaluated, both from a happy path and an edge case viewpoint, may begin.
Setup of the Test Environment
The test team may start building an appropriate test environment, distinct from the production and development environments after a workable version of the system has been established. In this test environment, they’ll make sure they’ve built up the right user profiles, with the right user login credentials and enough test data to run their scripts.
Execution and Closure of Tests
Finally, after a stable environment has been established, the test team executes the scripts they prepared and reports their findings to the project team and stakeholders. This and other steps may need to be done several times as the project team deals with the results and then retests them.SDLC vs. STLC: What’s the Difference?
The following table highlights the major differences between SDLC and STLC.
FactorSDLCSTLCTitleSoftware Delivery Lifecycle is a term used to describe how software is delivered.Lifecycle of Software TestingSummaryConcerned about developing softwareConcerned about software testingObjectiveAscertain that software systems are well-built.Ensure that software systems are well tested.PhasesRequirements Design, Build, Test, Deploy, and MaintainAnalyze the requirements Planning the development of tests Execution and closure of the environmentInvolved PeopleWhole project teamTesters/QA EngineerOutputSystem of software that can be usedSystem of software that has been thoroughly testedConclusion
To summarize, the SDLC and STLC are two distinct but complimentary procedures that must both be addressed while developing a new system.
SDLC is involved with the development of new systems, whereas STLC is exclusively concerned with their testing.
SDLC is a linear process that ensures you design and construct the proper system, but the STLC is a technique that allows you to test what you’ve developed thoroughly.
Although STLC is a stand-alone approach to testing, this does not rule out the inclusion of quality assurance in the SDLC. STLC is not a replacement for excellent design or a remedy for poor development; quality should be embedded into software rather than “tested out of it.”
Any successful new software system will almost certainly include the SDLC and STLC.
SDLC provides for the delivery of well-defined software projects in a staged and systematic manner. STLC enables such initiatives to be thoroughly tested to verify that they are efficient, dependable, and useful.
Apple @ Work is brought to you by Spike, the world’s first conversational email app that helps professionals and teams spend less time on email, and more on getting things done.
I started working in a corporate environment in 2004. Since then, I’ve watched enterprise communications dramatically change. Back then, we relied on Outlook, desk phones, and the occasional cell phone call. Today, the landscape looks completely different. We still have e-mail, but we’ve also added tools like iMessage, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and more. What’s ironic is that I feel overwhelmed at times. I joked with my wife that working in 2023 sometimes feels like keeping inboxes empty. Let’s take a look at the current state of enterprise communication tools.
We have just published a new video webinar on our YouTube channel (you can watch below) that discusses the state of modern enterprise communications, all the tools modern workers are using, and the pros and cons of each.
During the webinar, I’ll break down the following tools: e-mail, Slack-style services, direct phone calls, and iMessage.E-mail
E-mail is still the central tool for many businesses because it’s based on an open standard. E-mail is also available to internal employees as well as external people. Another critical consideration for a lot of businesses is archiving messages for legal reasons. While tools like Slack have options to store messages for compliance reasons, iMessage has end to end encryption, so your legal team will have no access to it outside of getting ahold of a device that is unlocked. A new survey also reports that 71% would prefer to use an service/app that combines all emails and messages in one placeiMessage as an enterprise communication tool
iMessage has its benefits because it’s built into all Apple devices, but that will limit Windows and Android users from taking part in the conversation. It’s fast-paced, but it lacks tools to deal with Do Not Disturb/Out of Office. While a lot of business communications happens over iMessage, it’s lack of archiving options, and lack of non-Apple device access should cause IT managers to guide their users to other platforms that are better suited for the task.Slack and Microsoft Teams
I’ve been using Slack for many years now, and I am starting to see the cracks in how it works. Slack’s general channels can be challenging to follow if you aren’t paying attention to them. It’s akin to having to sit by the water cooler at work to be able to catch up on the conversation. Slack does a great job of letting you set “do not disturb” hours, but I think it could go even further by allowing you schedule messages to be sent when users are next online (or even on desktop mode). There are times when I can see someone is offline, I want to message them, but I don’t want to notify them on mobile (or Apple Watch). While these enterprise communication tools are useful, they also have their faults.Enterprise communication tools wrap-up
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Protecting your anonymity online, and getting around regional restrictions on content is one of the most asked for things in an Internet that is fast becoming increasingly accessible, and equally dangerous. There are a variety of services that you can use to keep your online identity hidden, and to access region locked content; the most important being VPNs, Smart DNS, and Proxies. But, what exactly are these services? How do they work? And when should you choose one over the other? If you’re asking yourself any (or all) of these questions, read on to find out the differences between VPN, proxy, and Smart DNS:What is VPN, Smart DNS, and Proxy
A VPN, or a Virtual Private Network basically creates a private network that is accessible over the Internet (public network). It allows users to communicate as if they were directly connected over the private network, when they are, in fact, communicating over the Internet. VPNs are widely used by companies that need to allow remote employees to access the private network, and are also used as a way to get secure, encrypted access to the Internet.
Smart DNS is a server that is specially configured to redirect users to a proxy server. Unlike VPNs, which forward all internet traffic through their tunnels, Smart DNS only forwards very specific traffic. All other traffic is allowed to travel through the Internet as it would without a Smart DNS, VPN, or Proxy server. As such, SmartDNS servers are mostly used to access online streaming websites that restrict their content to specific countries. In such cases, the Smart DNS server tricks the website into thinking that the user is accessing the website from an eligible location.
A Proxy server, is basically used to maintain anonymity over a network. Every web request you send is first forwarded to the Proxy server, which then transmits it to the server it was intended for. This makes the recipient server think that the Proxy server sent the original request, therefore keeping the user anonymous. When the server responds to the Proxy, it sends the response back to the user.Differences Between VPN, Smart DNS, and Proxy VPN vs Smart DNS
VPNs and Smart DNS services are often used for similar purposes, such as accessing geo-restricted content, however, the way that both these systems work is fundamentally different:
A VPN sends all your internet traffic through a tunnel that is meant to mask your IP Address, whereas Smart DNS usually only routes the traffic that is related to determining your geographical location.
While VPN provides encryption of traffic, and hides your IP address; Smart DNS does not do either of those.
A VPN uses a tunnel to make it appear as if you’re accessing the Internet from a different location. Smart DNS, on the other hand, uses a different method. It changes your DNS to fool websites into thinking that you’re accessing them from a different location, often one that falls within their list of “eligible locations” to access them.
Smart DNS is often faster than VPN, because, unlike VPN, it doesn’t have to route your data through a distant server.VPN vs Proxy
VPNs, and Proxies, both make it appear as if you’re accessing the Internet from a different location, than you actually are. However, that’s all there is to similarities between the two. There are certain differences, as well:
A Proxy is like a man-in-the-middle. Your computer sends data to the Proxy, and it forwards it to the Internet, acting as if it is the source of the request. VPN, on the other hand, works at the system level, and captures all your network traffic, and routes it through the VPN tunnel.
Proxies simply hide your IP address, they do not provide any encryption, whatsoever. VPN, on the other hand, encrypts your Internet traffic, and communicates with the Internet.
Since Proxies don’t encrypt any data, and they simply change the IP address that is shown to websites, it is pretty easy for someone to snoop in on your data, and it’s not even too difficult to find out your real identity. More often than not, Proxies don’t strip any identifying data from your network, except for changing the IP address. A VPN, on the other hand, heavily encrypts the traffic originating from your computer, which makes it very secure, and thus, it prevents someone from snooping in. If you’re using a VPN (a good one), not even your ISP will be able to get a gander at your traffic. The same can’t be said for a Proxy.
However, since Proxies do not encrypt any data, the overhead is very low, and latency is minimum. A VPN, on the other hand, has a lot of overhead, due to the processing power required to encrypt data. It also usually introduces a lot of latency into the connection. This is simply the cost you need to pay for a reliable VPN.Smart DNS vs Proxy
A Proxy hides your IP, and replaces it with its own IP address, so websites don’t know who’s actually trying to access the data. Smart DNS does no such thing. It simply tricks the websites into thinking you’re from a location that is eligible to access their data.
Smart DNS can unblock major websites from a number of different countries at the same time, since it does not depend on changing the IP address. A Proxy, however, can only unblock access to a single country at one time.
Smart DNS also has a higher speed than Proxy. This happens because Smart DNS doesn’t do anything except hide traffic relevant to your geographic location, allowing the rest of the traffic to flow through normally.VPN, Smart DNS or Proxy: When to Use What
By now, you must have understood fairly well how these three services differ from each other. However, they’re still very similar, and the choice of which service you want to use, lies completely on you. So, how do you decide which one of these three things to use when? Well, some common uses that befit each of these services are mentioned below:Why You Should Use Proxy
A Proxy is the least secure method of all three. It only hides your IP, and can’t really protect you from being identified by anyone who is snooping in on the network. You can use Proxies in situations where you just need to make the website treat your computer as a different system, each time. For example, if you play a game where you get points for rating the game server on a website, and you want to do this multiple times. You can use a Proxy to make the website think that a different computer is accessing it each time. This can easily fool most websites that place restrictions such as the number of ratings that you can post every day.
Basically, Proxies should only be used for tasks where you don’t need any type of security. As such, it is not recommended to use a Proxy to keep yourself anonymous while accessing the Internet from a coffee shop.Why You Should Use Smart DNS
Smart DNS is the best option to use in situations where you just want to access geo-restricted websites at the best possible speeds. So, you can use Smart DNS to access popular online streaming websites that are not yet available in your country. Also, if you want to access multiple websites, where each one is restricted to a different country, a Smart DNS is probably your best bet, as it can unblock access to multiple countries at the same time.Why You Should Use VPN
VPN is the most processor intensive, bandwidth heavy option of all. However, it is also the most secure. As long as you use a VPN from a reliable VPN provider, you can be rest assured that your internet traffic will not be snooped in on. Even your ISP can’t see what you’re doing on the internet. This high security is VPNs strongest point. Therefore, you should use VPN services when you need to maintain the highest possible level of security while you’re browsing. VPNs should definitely be used when you’re accessing the Internet from a public WiFi network, such as the one at your local coffee shop, or at a hotel.
A VPN can bypass most restrictions placed on websites, whether it be from the website developers, or even from your government. VPN can allow you to freely access the Internet without worrying about being spied on by your ISP, your government, or a man-in-the-middle. If anyone snoops in, they’ll only be able to see encrypted data flowing through the connection.Best VPN, Smart DNS, and Proxy Services
The only problem with using services such as VPN, Proxy, and Smart DNS, is finding a reliable provider. While there are a lot of providers that give these services, how do you figure out which one is the best? So, here are some of the best VPN, Smart DNS, and Proxy services that you can use:VPN Services
TunnelBear is one of the best VPN services. They even have a great free tier of their service, which will give you 500 MB of free data every month – a limit you can increase by tweeting at the TunnelBear twitter handle. TunnelBear is very competitively priced, and I would definitely recommend that you give it a try.
Download TunnelBear (Free, plans start from $3.33 per month); (Available for Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS)
ExpressVPN is another really great VPN service that you can try. They include unlimited data with any of their plans, and while they don’t offer any free tier, you do get a 30 day money back guarantee, so there’s no harm in trying.Smart DNS Services
Smart DNS Proxy is a really great option to go with if you want to use Smart DNS to access geo-restricted content on your system. They offer competitively priced plans for their service, and support more than 300 websites and services. They have a trial option available, so you can definitely check it out.
Visit the Smart DNS website (14 days free trial, plans start from $2.07 per month); (Available for Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Smart TVs, and Gaming Consoles)
CactusVPN is another website that offers Smart DNS services. They have a 7 day trial period when you have access to all of the premium features, after which, you will have to pay to continue using their service.
Visit the CactusVPN website (7 day free trial, $4.99 per month); (Available for Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS)Proxy Services
There are a lot of websites that offer Proxy servers that you can use to access websites that are otherwise not accessible in your region. You can use 4everproxy, or dontfilterus to access geo-restricted websites from a Proxy server.
SEE ALSO: 10 Best Free VPN Apps for iPhone To Protect Your Privacy OnlineUse VPN, Smart DNS, or Proxy to Freely Access the Internet
Today almost every organization has adopted cloud computing technology into their ecosystem to secure the services simply and rapidly. The inevitable rise the technology raises a question that how will on-demand IT will evolve through the next ten years? Some say that the cloud should be used as a platform for innovation, some say the focus should be on developing localized cloud services. Whereas some experts have quite a different opinion – ‘Consider how online will be the default setting for business operations’ or ‘Keep an eye on the developing capability of staff and providers.’ Below are the views of 4 different industry experts on the rising planet of theGregor Petri
• Gregor Petri is Research Vice President at Gartner. • He believes that CIOs who are looking forward to embracing the cloud should go beyond lifting and shifting prevailing tech-applications. • They should concentrate on disruption instead of thinking about the cloud as a space that runs present applications. • Petri said, “Focus on a much more applied level of functionality. Look for areas where you can use the cloud as a platform to create unique functionality and special experience. Many of these experiences will be digital.” • Further, he added, “And to do that, you need a slew of supporting services, like voice, search and databases and many of those will be best-supported by the cloud, rather than traditional hardware. Only do what you want to yourself as a business; consume the rest as a service.” • He foresees the future of the cloud as a platform for innovation. • He asserted that CIOs will use on-demand IT resources as a platform to run emerging technologies including AI/ML and quantum computing. • Petri also said, “We’ll be running lots of things in businesses we don’t even have today. These are quite compute-intensive technologies and to get that resource on-premise is a big hurdle. These technologies will also be associated with bursts of activity, so not having to own hardware is attractive.”Alex von Schirmeister
• Alex von Schirmeister is Chief Digital, Technology and Innovation Officer at RS Components. • Talking about his firm he said, “The cloud gives my firm service flexibilities and cost efficiencies that were previously unavailable.” • Schirmeister believes that CIOs thinking of moving to the cloud in the future will anyway encounter non-IT executives who believe embracing on-demand IT pinned with business risk. • He says “If a large cloud-based service goes down, it can wipe out the operational activities of entire companies or even industries. Compliance is also a concern for executives, especially when it comes to the General Data Protection Regulation and the geographical location of data.” • As governments trying to legislate for the storage and use of data, the regulatory guidelines of running cloud arrangements are expected to increase in the future. • As an impact of such continuous legislation, CIOs should consider building much more localized services. • Alex said, “I do think there will increasingly be a notion where various companies start looking at private clouds or virtual clouds that are contained within certain boundaries and barriers. It may be a cloud but it may sit in a specific region or country, but we’ll continue to see an evolution in the form of cloud technology.”Kevin Curran
• Kevin Curran is Professor of Cybersecurity at Ulster University and Senior IEEE, member. • He believes that the definition of the cloud is ‘a scalable foundation for the elastic use of infrastructure which has served a useful purpose in the initial move on demand.’ • Considering the changes in the business industry CIOs should recognize the new definition of the cloud which means bucking up for a future where what goes online stays online. • Kevin said, “Currently, most things are offline by default but being online and connected will become the default for everything. This points to a future where every device will simply connect to the cloud. 5G will support this – it might be fast, but it’s most impressive feature is its enormous capacity.” • He further said, “The cloud will be the foundation of devices that use data at the edge of the network and AI will benefit as a result. We will experience more natural interactions with computers; a superintelligence. This resource combined with fast 5G will serve us with a powerful form of computing that was previously in the realm of science fiction.”Alex Hilton
• Alex Hilton is Chief Executive of Not-for-Profit Industry Body Cloud Industry Forum. • Alex says that the speed of disruptive innovation is very major that any way to predict what the cloud might look like in the coming decade is meaningless. • CIOs continuous march will maintain the rate of transformation in the industry. • He said, “There is a distinct problem with the pace of change for most businesses. In truth, many organizations are not yet on the right trajectory. The constantly evolving technology landscape makes it very difficult for business leaders to move quickly, knowing which horse – in terms of cloud provider – to back.” • Hilton asserted that his organization has witnessed big change during the last 10 years as the company tracked the shift of vendors to on-demand IT. • He believes that CIOs should keep an eye on both the skills of their internal IT teams and external cloud providers. • He said, “Successful companies will be those that embrace disruption – and that will be as true in the future for CIOs as it is for cloud providers.”
Today almost every organization has adopted cloud computing technology into their ecosystem to secure the services simply and rapidly. The inevitable rise the technology raises a question that how will on-demand IT will evolve through the next ten years? Some say that the cloud should be used as a platform for innovation, some say the focus should be on developing localized cloud services. Whereas some experts have quite a different opinion – ‘Consider how online will be the default setting for business operations’ or ‘Keep an eye on the developing capability of staff and providers.’ Below are the views of 4 different industry experts on the rising planet of the cloud • Gregor Petri is Research Vice President at Gartner. • He believes that CIOs who are looking forward to embracing the cloud should go beyond lifting and shifting prevailing tech-applications. • They should concentrate on disruption instead of thinking about the cloud as a space that runs present applications. • Petri said, “Focus on a much more applied level of functionality. Look for areas where you can use the cloud as a platform to create unique functionality and special experience. Many of these experiences will be digital.” • Further, he added, “And to do that, you need a slew of supporting services, like voice, search and databases and many of those will be best-supported by the cloud, rather than traditional hardware. Only do what you want to yourself as a business; consume the rest as a service.” • He foresees the future of the cloud as a platform for innovation. • He asserted that CIOs will use on-demand IT resources as a platform to run emerging technologies including AI/ML and quantum computing. • Petri also said, “We’ll be running lots of things in businesses we don’t even have today. These are quite compute-intensive technologies and to get that resource on-premise is a big hurdle. These technologies will also be associated with bursts of activity, so not having to own hardware is attractive.”• Alex von Schirmeister is Chief Digital, Technology and Innovation Officer at RS Components. • Talking about his firm he said, “The cloud gives my firm service flexibilities and cost efficiencies that were previously unavailable.” • Schirmeister believes that CIOs thinking of moving to the cloud in the future will anyway encounter non-IT executives who believe embracing on-demand IT pinned with business risk. • He says “If a large cloud-based service goes down, it can wipe out the operational activities of entire companies or even industries. Compliance is also a concern for executives, especially when it comes to the General Data Protection Regulation and the geographical location of data.” • As governments trying to legislate for the storage and use of data, the regulatory guidelines of running cloud arrangements are expected to increase in the future. • As an impact of such continuous legislation, CIOs should consider building much more localized services. • Alex said, “I do think there will increasingly be a notion where various companies start looking at private clouds or virtual clouds that are contained within certain boundaries and barriers. It may be a cloud but it may sit in a specific region or country, but we’ll continue to see an evolution in the form of cloud technology.”• Kevin Curran is Professor of Cybersecurity at Ulster University and Senior IEEE, member. • He believes that the definition of the cloud is ‘a scalable foundation for the elastic use of infrastructure which has served a useful purpose in the initial move on demand.’ • Considering the changes in the business industry CIOs should recognize the new definition of the cloud which means bucking up for a future where what goes online stays online. • Kevin said, “Currently, most things are offline by default but being online and connected will become the default for everything. This points to a future where every device will simply connect to the cloud. 5G will support this – it might be fast, but it’s most impressive feature is its enormous capacity.” • He further said, “The cloud will be the foundation of devices that use data at the edge of the network and AI will benefit as a result. We will experience more natural interactions with computers; a superintelligence. This resource combined with fast 5G will serve us with a powerful form of computing that was previously in the realm of science fiction.”• Alex Hilton is Chief Executive of Not-for-Profit Industry Body Cloud Industry Forum. • Alex says that the speed of disruptive innovation is very major that any way to predict what the cloud might look like in the coming decade is meaningless. • CIOs continuous march will maintain the rate of transformation in the industry. • He said, “There is a distinct problem with the pace of change for most businesses. In truth, many organizations are not yet on the right trajectory. The constantly evolving technology landscape makes it very difficult for business leaders to move quickly, knowing which horse – in terms of cloud provider – to back.” • Hilton asserted that his organization has witnessed big change during the last 10 years as the company tracked the shift of vendors to on-demand IT. • He believes that CIOs should keep an eye on both the skills of their internal IT teams and external cloud providers. • He said, “Successful companies will be those that embrace disruption – and that will be as true in the future for CIOs as it is for cloud providers.” • He further added, “Technology skills shortages around the cloud are evident and many of the success stories are from companies who deliver disruptive new ways of thinking or addressing a business need. The providers with foresight and the willingness to invest and be agile will be the winners in the future.”
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rocked the crypto landscape this week, further intensifying its regulatory scrutiny on the industry by filing civil lawsuits against two of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, Binance and Coinbase. Citing a laundry list of accusations ranging from a failure to protect investors to the mismanagement of customer funds, the SEC also identified several well-known crypto tokens (MATIC, SOL, and ALGO among them) as well as those related to gaming and metaverse platforms (SAND, MANA, and AXS), as potential securities.
The lawsuits fall on the week of the 89th anniversary of the SEC, making the already combative discussion surrounding the regulatory body’s attitude toward crypto regulation all the more evocative. It’s precisely the organization’s allegiance to history that its critics point to as its blindspot; to determine whether or not something is a security, the SEC relies on rulings established in the 1930s and 1940s. Proponents of blockchain tech argue that digital assets are simply too new and too unique to be folded into those laws, and at least one SEC Commissioner has expressed frustration with the organization’s “regulation by enforcement” approach. They argue that new laws must be made to avoid stifling innovation and economic development in the industry.
But with the filing of these lawsuits, the SEC has made it crystal clear that it has no intention of considering digital assets in a new regulatory light. SEC Chair Gary Gensler has likewise made it no secret that he finds the very existence of cryptocurrencies little more than a superfluous nuisance.
So, what comes next for the trillion-dollar crypto industry, and what should Web3 organizations (down to the average crypto holder) be on the lookout for as the regulatory landscape shifts? Just as importantly, why does the SEC seem either unwilling or unable to provide clarity regarding legal compliance to the very entities it’s trying to regulate?The SEC’s crypto rules: Vague by design?
After it was announced that the SEC was suing Binance earlier this week, Changpeng Zhao, the crypto exchange’s founder, took to Twitter to express his frustration with Gensler in no uncertain terms. If Binance has shown a recent willingness to take the SEC to task for what it sees as the body’s failures, then Coinbase can be considered a veteran brawler at this point, taking up the mantle of the cultural leader in the crypto industry’s fight for legal relevance and legitimacy.
As such, Coinbase has been increasingly vocal in the last year regarding the SEC’s seeming unwillingness to cooperate, claiming the organization moves the goalposts each time its team attempts to come into regulatory compliance with it. The exchange even went so far as to release a petition in June 2023 calling for legal clarity from the body. They may be getting some sympathy from the legal system — the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently gave the SEC seven days to respond to that petition.
But the frustratingly opaque web of legal compliance the SEC has presented crypto exchanges may be by design rather than incompetence, a strategy meant to strong-arm Web3 organizations into fitting into existing legal framework.
“I think that the SEC and the way they approach their enforcement program and the lack of public transparency is by design,” said Jon-Jorge Aras, a partner at Warren Law Group who specializes in representing individuals and businesses in cases involving financial-based investigations and enforcement actions pertaining to the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) while speaking to nft now.
“The public perception that the SEC is lacking transparency is a little bit naive.”
Aras believes the SEC views this legal struggle strictly through the lens of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. For Gensler, the rules to govern securities already exist, and it’s the obligation of anyone dealing with securities to abide by those rules. Any cryptocurrency – even Ethereum, whose status as a security has yet to be addressed by the SEC – is likely to be labeled as such. Expecting anything else from the organization, Aras says, is unwise.
“The public perception that the SEC is lacking transparency is a little bit naive,” Aras elaborated. “The SEC does this by design so they’re able to implement their enforcement program to vet out the bad actors who are not acting in compliance with the rules. That being said, I think there are some legitimate arguments for why crypto assets require their own regulatory framework.”Crypto proponents face an uphill battle
This framework remains a pipe dream for the time being, however. One reason for this is the fact that the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) have taken a dual approach to regulating the crypto sphere, partly as a result of Congress’s inaction in crafting new laws or even establishing a dedicated body to address the industry’s unique needs and virtues (despite years of calls from government officials to do so).
Aras believes that the crypto space will continue to see these types of enforcement actions from the SEC. And while it may seem outdated, it’s not a bad idea for individuals and organizations operating in Web3 to go back to the Howey Test and focus on the nature of their crypto-related investments and what people expect from those investments.
Litigating a securities case in court, however, is far more difficult, especially in the current environment in which the pejorative public perception of crypto extends to individuals operating in the legal system. Coinbase and Binance are likely to find their most solid legal footing by arguing the case that the SEC’s view of crypto is simply inaccurate and outdated, but that may not be enough.
“Given the aggressive position that [the SEC] has taken, I think Coinbase and Binance will have a difficult time litigating these matters.”
“I do think that the federal bench is going to side, more often than not, with the Securities and Exchange Commission when it comes to these enforcement actions,” Aras said. “They are the U.S. government, they have a lot of power, and their view of the world dictates a lot. Given the aggressive position that [the SEC] has taken, I think Coinbase and Binance will have a difficult time litigating these matters.”Degen if you do, degen if you don’t
“It’s much easier for them to go after the exchanges that are promoting and giving access to what the SEC views as securities.”
“I think the SEC views that as powerful information for an investment-based decision,” Aras offered as a potential window into the regulatory body’s thought process. “Now, it’s very difficult for [the SEC] to go against individual tokens because they are decentralized. It’s hard to go to the individuals [behind them]. It’s much easier for them to go after the exchanges that are promoting and giving access to what the SEC views as securities.”
Ironically, the more an exchange attempts to get ahead of legal action by providing clear paperwork to the SEC about its operations, the more at risk it is for being labeled as a company that offers securities and needs to be registered. While such robust disclosure could potentially ameliorate future enforcement actions, it’s far from a guarantee.What the SEC can and can’t do
One of the things that often gets lost in the discussion regarding the SEC’s enforcement powers is the fact that it only has civil enforcement powers; neither lawsuit against Binance or Coinbase is criminal in nature. The regulatory body has three main tools at its disposal for going after exchanges.
The first is discouragement, which is obtaining ill-gotten gains made from violating securities laws. The second is causing a business to cease its operations through an injunction. Finally, the third includes civil penalties that are calculated on top of discouragement, usually as a multiplier of the aforementioned ill-gotten gains.
“The average crypto holder should be concerned that if they hold their crypto on an exchange, it may be difficult for them to liquidate it and get their money back.”
Regarding the litigation of cases involving crypto exchanges, Aras thinks that Coinbase and Binance are likely to put up a solid fight, but ultimately the SEC will argue that a long legal precedent exists for these matters.
“The SEC’s position is going to be, ‘Guys, this is very well-worn territory. This is really nothing new here. People have been involved in unregistered securities and operating unregistered exchanges as a broker dealer for a long time, and we’re going to rely on that precedent.’ The average crypto holder should be concerned that if they hold their crypto on an exchange, it may be difficult for them to liquidate it and get their money back.”How regulation could make the crypto industry safer
It’s not a stretch to say that, as long as Gensler remains the head of the SEC, this kind of aggressive enforcement action is likely to continue in the crypto world. Regarding the possibility of the United States’ approach to crypto pushing its innovation overseas, Aras says that the hurdles to a flourishing U.S.-based crypto industry are likely to be overcome with time.
For now, any exchange that will affect U.S.-based customers would be wise to ensure it complies with U.S. rules and regulations to the best of its ability.
“The greatest capital markets are still in the United States and the companies that are involved in crypto exchanges are still going to want to tap into that market.”
“I do think that it will push some business offshore, but the greatest capital markets are still in the United States, and these companies that are involved in crypto exchanges are still going to want to tap into that market,” Aras observed. “So, this is really going to set the tone for being able to do that. And it sounds cliche, but find a securities attorney early on before you get things started so you can mitigate this before it’s too late.”
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