Markerbench

Perspectives on technology, security, and current events.

about me

I’m Andrew Jaquith, CTO and SVP, Cloud Strategy of SilverSky and former analyst with Forrester and Yankee Group. My interests include security, anything mobile, app development, visualization, good writing and spirited discussion.

topics

applications · big data · books · dev ops · humor · metrics · research · security · vendor-bashing · visualization

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First Look at Stephen Few’s “Information Dashboard Design, Second Edition”

- - posted in visualization | Comments

Twenty years ago, a polymath prophet named Edward Tufte self-published an incendiary book, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. It forever changed how a certain species of white-collar professional viewed the world. As a DNA-tested, confirmed member of the species homo visualis, I can tell you that his book, and successors such as Envisioning Information, taught me how to create strong, effective statistical graphics. Tufte introduced the concepts of chart junk, the data-to-ink ratio, small multiples and sparklines. He argued forcefully and persuasively that designers of statistical graphics need not condescend to their audiences. And perhaps most important, he inspired a generation of authors, professionals and scientists — call them “Tuftees” — to strive for simplicity, clarity and honesty in their representations of data.

The DevOps Security Handbook: Building Security in With Chef, Part IV

- - posted in DevOps, security | Comments

Introduction

This is the fourth in a series of occasional posts about security and DevOps. The ultimate goal of this series is to show how to build a reasonably secure Apache web server using the popular DevOps automation tool Chef. The server will be suitable for serving static content such as that generated by OctoPress. Each post explores a new aspect of Chef.

If you read the first, second, and third posts in this series, you learned how to set up the Chef test environment and VM, with webserver and base roles; built a partially hardened server called tester.local; and learned how to securely copy SSL keys to the target server using the chef-vault plugin.

TIA Panel: M2M and Cybersecurity: What Does Success as an Industry Look Like?

- - posted in security | Comments

This is the nominal text of panel remarks I delivered at the Telecommunications Industry Association’s M2M & Cybersecurity Workshop on June 4th, 2013. The objective of the panel was to discuss the following topic:

Define a cohesive vision for a secure, reliable and economically viable machine network. What are the key objectives and what level of risk can be tolerated?

Good afternoon. I am Andrew Jaquith, the CTO of SilverSky, a leading cloud security provider. It’s great to talk to you today. You may not know SilverSky, so first, a little about us and our qualifications:

“Everything Was Green. Mulally Thought That Was Odd for a Company Losing Billions.”

- - posted in strategy | Comments

I have been a fan of the Ford Motor Company ever since I was a boy. There’s no rational reason for it, but then again, experts tell us that brand preferences are formed at very early ages. Somewhere around the age of 10 or so I decided I liked Ford cars. My first car after college was a 1993 Ford Taurus, which I later gave to my sister when I moved overseas. My second car was a 1998 Ford Contour. I changed to a nice little Honda Civic five years ago; at the time, the domestics weren’t looking so great. But I still have a certain patriotic wistfulness about Fords, and probably always will have. For this reason, I’ve been watching Ford’s recovery with interest.

Bully for BlackBerry. But Is It Too Late?

- - posted in mobile | Comments

Last week Research In Motion announced three things:

  • It had renamed itself to BlackBerry
  • It would soon ship two new BlackBerry 10-compatible devices, the Q10 (with keyboard) and Z10 (touchscreen only)
  • It had shipped the new BlackBerry Enterprise Service, version 10

These three announcements, taken together, signaled the end of a long period of frustration for customers, employees and shareholders. After a wait of nearly three years, BlackBerry, indeed, delivered the goods. Reviewers of the Q10 and Z10 have generally been impressed; these are solid handsets. Ditto for the BlackBerry 10 operating system. BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 includes updated software updated for managing BlackBerry 10 devices and PlayBooks (the BlackBerry Device Service); a new bundled, reskinned, version of the Ubitexx MDM software it acquired in 2011 for managing iOS and Android devices (now called the Universal Device Service); and, an updated version of the server software for routing data to older BlackBerry devices using the “classic” BlackBerry network infrastructure (BlackBerry Enterprise Server). BES 10 also includes an updated version of BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express (aka “the cheap one”) for customers who don’t need all of the power and complexity that the non-Express version offers.

At least one reviewer intoned that with its new offerings, enterprises now had a true BlackBerry BYOD (bring-your-own-device) solution. It seems that the wait may have been worth it.

Left unanswered, though, is the existential question of whether it matters.