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In the wake of the resignation of Microsoft Business Division President Stephen Elop, who announced late Thursday that he’ll soon take over the CEO post at mobile phone giant Nokia, Microsoft is facing a choice with potentially far-reaching implications: Who’s going to oversee the critical Office product line?

Fortunately for the Redmond, Wash. software colossus, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has a lot of internal leadership talent to choose from, industry observers said.

Of course, though, it’s hardly an ideal situation to see the head of your second-largest cash cow, Office, jump ship unexpectedly.

However, it’s not necessarily a major setback, he said, adding that “Microsoft will keep executing on the plan that they’ve laid out.”

For Office, that entails new efforts to make sure the burgeoning trend of software as a service and cloud-based apps don’t leave the longtime workplace productivity software suite in the dust.

“There is still a rich team in place who have the vision of Office in the cloud, so it’ll be interesting to see who rises to the top,” Tim Bajarin, president and principal analyst at consultancy Creative Strategies, told chúng tôi “Microsoft has lost top talent before.”

In a brief note to Microsoft’s employees, CEO Steve Ballmer cited members of the existing Business Division management team.

“Stephen leaves in place a strong business and technical leadership team, including Chris Capossela, Kurt DelBene, Amy Hood and Kirill Tatarinov, all of whom will report to me for the interim,” Ballmer said.

All four are Microsoft old-timers to one extent or another, and any one of them might be under consideration to replace Elop. Capossela is senior vice president in the Business Division responsible for marketing Office, SharePoint, Exchange, and Office Communications Server, among other products. DelBene is senior vice president of Office engineering, while Hood is the division’s CFO, and Tatarinov is corporate vice president of Microsoft Business Solutions, which includes the Dynamics brand of ERP and CRM products.

Elop, meanwhile, joined the company in January 2008 after having been COO of Juniper Networks and president of worldwide field operations for Adobe. At the time, hiring him to head up the Business Division came as something of a change for Microsoft’s usual policy of choosing to promote from within. There have been a few notable exceptions to the rule, however — like Ray Ozzie, the father of Lotus Notes, who took over as chief software architect from chairman Bill Gates when he officially retired from Microsoft.

When Microsoft hired Elop, he replaced Jeff Raikes, a 25-year Microsoft veteran who left the company to head up the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Besides the Business Division, Ballmer already has the Entertainment and Devices Division— the group with responsibility for both game consoles and mobile devices — reporting directly to him after the departure of that division’s president Robbie Bach, which was announced in late May.

Not surprisingly, it’s also generally thought to be a reliable profit driver. For fiscal 2010, which ended June 30, Microsoft’s Business Division brought in $18.6 billion, down 1 percent from fiscal 2009. But during fourth quarter, when Microsoft delivered Office 2010 and several other key new products, sales were up by 15 percent to $5.25 billion, year over year.

Microsoft does not break out sales of the Office productivity suite from other products in the Business Division, but the vast amount of the division’s revenues still come from the suite, Rosoff said.

The division does have other high-profile products, though, including SharePoint Server, Exchange Server, and Communications Server. SharePoint is, by itself, a billion-dollar business, for example.

“Elop’s likely not the only high-profile Microsoft executive being fished [by other companies] and the company’s stock hasn’t moved in a long time, so they may need to shore up their executive compensation system,” Enderle said.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing writer at chúng tôi the news service of chúng tôi the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.

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Quantum Attacks And The Damage They Can (Will) Do

The situation isn’t different in terms of cyberattacks and other malicious online activities either. We are fast approaching the era of quantum computers, theorized to be even 158 million times faster than the fastest supercomputers we have today. You can certainly understand that once the first quantum computer enters the scene, the current systems and technologies will become obsolete instantly. 

Once quantum computers and, by the same token, quantum attacks become a reality, they will not only be devastating, but it will already be too late to fight them. As you can see, the issue here is that we have to work on this today, not in the years to come.

Present Issue of Future Problems

Let’s get things straight first — quantum attacks won’t be here for a while. Quantum computers are still being worked on, and no one is even close to creating the first machine of this kind. This means that attacks based on such technology are not yet a reality. 

However, both smaller startups and industry giants like Google and IBM are already working on these computers. For example, IBM’s Condor processor, which uses 1,121 qubits, is set to be released in 2023 and could indicate a massive breakthrough in the current race for quantum technology. 

Now, the present issue with future quantum attacks is twofold:

1. They will become a reality at some point — it’s only a matter of time.

2. Even though they may not be able to crack the encryption, hackers can steal valuable data today and try to decrypt it in the future when the technology allows them to do so.

US Government’s Awareness of the Problem

Due to this issue, which requires immediate attention, many companies — and even the US government itself — have already begun working on a solution. Or, to be more precise, they’ve started planning around it.

The US government has stated that there is a significant possibility that various hackers are stealing data, not to crack it now but to keep it, with the hopes of decrypting it in the future. They are well aware that current levels of encryption are often uncrackable with conventional means. But they are likely counting on the fact that these pieces of information will be susceptible to cracking eventually. 

It’s worth mentioning that current encryption algorithms are breakable by conventional computers, at least in theory. That’s because they can hypothetically find the solution to decrypting them, but they would require thousands of years to do so. 

Hackers know that quantum computers could test all possible combinations in only eight hours due to their sheer complexity compared to traditional machines. In other words, current state-of-the-art encryption systems used by online banking platforms would instantly become obsolete. 

That’s why we need to put more emphasis on the real issue. We shouldn’t speculate on when the new attacks will become a reality. Instead, we should focus on how to solve them because it’s vital to stay ahead in cybersecurity. After all, it’s the only way to ensure proper protection is implemented in the future. 

What Can Be Done Now to Prevent Future Quantum Attacks?

The good news is that companies are working on creating solutions as we speak. They know that the data stolen now will be endangered in the future, which is why we already have a few algorithms verified to be quantum-resistant. 

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has already chosen four algorithms that can create mathematical problems that both current computers and future quantum computers will have great difficulty solving. 

For general encryption, the algorithm that has been chosen is the CRYSTALS-Kyber algorithm. On the other hand, the algorithms chosen for digital signature protection are FALCON, SPHINCS+, and CRYSTALS-Dilithium. 

SPHINCS+ is the only one that uses hash functions, while the rest use structured lattices, a specific collection of math problems. 

NIST primarily recommends CRYSTALS-Dilithium, as it believes this is the primary algorithm for digital signatures. FALCON is recommended for apps with smaller signatures, while SPHINCS+ should be used as a backup solution. 

Regular companies can already start moving on to the new post-quantum cryptography systems, but businesses in the blockchain space will have more difficulties due to the inherently decentralized nature of their industry. Moving away from the current security solutions would possibly break the decentralized aspects of blockchain. 

However, even though it’s difficult, it’s not impossible. The QANplatform has already implemented CRYSTALS-Dilithium in its security layer and QAN XLINK protocol. The company will also use it in its QAN public blockchain. This way, it will demonstrate that these platforms can stay protected in the future world of quantum computers and quantum-based attacks without sacrificing what makes them decentralized. 

Bottom Line

Even though we are in the early stages of finding a concrete standard for post-quantum cryptography, NIST is already encouraging security experts to explore the new algorithms and the ways of introducing them into their companies’ systems. 

It’s crucial to stay ahead of the curve in cybersecurity, as that’s the only way to protect your business. Breaches are constantly increasing in number and scope, and we have no way of knowing if hackers will keep that data until they find a way to decrypt it. That’s why it’s vital to protect your information now before it’s too late. 

What Does Cd Do On Linux

cd stands for “change directory” and is used to navigate the file system on a Linux computer. When used with a specific directory path as an argument, cd will change the current working directory to that location. For example, the command cd /home/user/documents will change the current working directory to the “documents” folder located within the “user” folder in the root directory. If you use cd command without any argument it will take you to your home directory.

The Meaning of – With cd

The “-” (dash) symbol is a shortcut that can be used with the cd command to quickly switch between the current directory and the previous directory. For example, if you are currently in the directory /home/user/documents and you run the command cd /home/user/pictures, you can then use the command cd – to quickly switch back to the /home/user/documents directory.

Additionally, it can be used to change the directory to the last directory you were working on. If you are in a directory and you use the command cd – it will change the directory to the last directory you were in.

Some examples of using the cd command in Linux are −

To change to your home directory: cd ~

To change to the parent directory of the current directory: cd ..

To change to a specific directory: cd /path/to/directory

To change to a directory named “documents” within the current directory: cd documents

To change to the last directory you were working on: cd –

To change to the previous directory: cd “$OLDPWD”

It’s important to note that when using cd command, it’s case sensitive so you should type the directory name correctly. Also, you should have the appropriate permissions to access the directory you’re trying to change to.

Equivalent Command to cd –

The equivalent command to cd – is cd “$OLDPWD”. The $OLDPWD environment variable is automatically set by the shell to the previous working directory, so using this command will have the same effect as using cd -, which is to change the current working directory to the previous directory.

In other words, you can use cd “$OLDPWD” instead of cd – to change the current working directory to the previous directory, and both will have the same effect.

As I mentioned before, the equivalent command to cd – is cd “$OLDPWD”. This command uses the $OLDPWD environment variable, which is automatically set by the shell to the previous working directory.

Here are some examples of using the cd “$OLDPWD” command in Linux −

If you are currently in the directory /home/user/documents and you run the command cd /home/user/pictures, you can then use the command cd “$OLDPWD” to quickly switch back to the /home/user/documents directory.

If you are in a directory /home/user/ and you use the command cd “$OLDPWD” it will change the directory to the last directory you were in.

It’s important to note that $OLDPWD is a environment variable that stores the previous working directory, so using cd “$OLDPWD” command ensures that you can move back to previous directory even if you don’t remember the path of it.

Conclusion

In conclusion, cd is a command in Linux used to navigate the file system by changing the current working directory. The “-” symbol is a shortcut that can be used with the cd command to quickly switch between the current directory and the previous directory. An equivalent command to cd – is cd “$OLDPWD”, which changes the current working directory to the previous directory using the $OLDPWD environment variable.

What Are Data Silos And What Problems Do They Cause?

Is your organization having problems with data consistency? Are you getting complaints about incomplete or duplicate data?

You could have data silos bogging down business operations.

It’s a common problem not just for big organizations with multiple departments, but also small businesses that mismanage their data.

To get to the bottom of this sticky situation, you must first understand what data silos are.

What is Data Silos?

As the name suggests, a data silo is like a stockroom of data owned and managed by a single department.

That doesn’t sound so bad — until you realize that data silos are isolated from the rest of the business.

Data silos may occur whenever departments prerogatively acquire new technologies by themselves. Some companies allow this to help business units streamline their operations without involving the upper management.

As a result, the newly-adopted technology may include databases that aren’t natively compatible with existing systems.

Other than that, data silos may also form due to the following reasons:

Business Expansion – Rapidly growing companies assume a speedy stance when deploying new technologies to address their changing needs. This could lead to the creation of new business units and, in turn, siloed databases.

Decentralized Business Units – In large companies, data silos are widely common since departments are often managed independently of each other. As such, creating a more consolidated data infrastructure for the entire organization becomes a tremendous challenge.

Misguidance – In some cases, departments or even individuals willingly create data silos simply because they’re unaware of the implications. Rather, they’re fixated on the idea that they’re free to manage their department’s data as they see fit.

Now that you understand what data silos are, let’s talk about what it means to your business.

Also read:

Top 10 IT Skills in Demand for 2023

Why Data Silos Suck

Having data silos in your organization has numerous, costly consequences.

1. Inaccurate and Inconsistent Data Quality

Data silos can result in out-of-sync, inconsistent data sets between two or more departments.

This can lead to a slew of problems. Customer data may appear erroneous due to different formats, one department’s database may get outdated, and so on.

Due to the isolated nature of data silos, it’s also difficult to track and correct issues related to data quality.

2. Harder to Make Data-Driven Business Decisions

Business decision-makers need all the data they can get to function properly.

But since data silos block access to other departments, decision-makers will be forced to work with incomplete data. Unless, they’re willing to go through a more time-consuming, manual retrieval method.

3. Collaboration Problems

In the world of digital transformation, seamless data management is crucial to the success of interdependent business units.

4. Impact on Profit Margins

Data silos can affect profit margins in different ways.

For one, it has a major impact on an organization’s operational efficiency.

Data silos can also lead to duplicate data — effectively wasting data storage space and forcing the organization to purchase more.

5. Data Security Risks

A business culture that proliferates data silos probably has poor data management and safety protocols.

Employees may be haphazardly storing data on their own through Google Sheets or some cloud storage service. Small teams may also have their own mindset and strategies when it comes to sharing their data.

This inevitably increases the likelihood of cybersecurity breaches as more potential attack vectors are introduced to the data infrastructure.

How to Break Down Data Silos

It’s clear that data silos are detrimental to business operations — affecting not just data quality but also profit margins.

The question now is, what can businesses do about them?

Here are some of the ways businesses are uprooting data silos:

1. Data Warehouses

data.

It works as a single data storage environment especially configured for BI (Business Intelligence) and analytics purposes.

Data warehouses are also different from data lakes, which is another form of a unified data repository.

Unlike data lakes, data warehouses have organization. Incoming data will be cleaned, transformed, and saved in a structured interface — ready to be pulled whenever needed.

2. Better Data Management Culture

Remember, some departments could be keeping their data to themselves as means of boosting their performance. This incentivizes the idea of building data silos — unless departments are made well aware of the consequences of data silos.

That’s why every arm of your organization should be aboard your new data management initiative. Make it the entire organization’s job to ensure that each department is complying with data protocols.

3. Data Integration

Data integration methods, namely ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load), can help organizations deal with data silos upfront.

It works in precisely three steps: extracting data from multiple systems, cleaning data for consistency, and loading it to a target database.

Conclusion

Data silos can drain your organization’s productivity, IT budget, and team collaboration. And now that businesses depend on tons of data for day-to-day operations, the urgency to address data silos is greater than ever.

Remember, it all starts with a culture shift towards better, cleaner data management. Once your isolated departments adopt a more transparent approach to data, your company is ready to use data warehousing or data integration techniques to break down data silos — once and for all.

What Do ‘Lurkers’ Get Out Of Twitter?

If you like to log onto Twitter to see what’s going on, but rarely ever tweet, you might be a lurker. Last year, the Pew Research Center found that only a small amount of highly active users were actually producing most of the content on Twitter. About 25 percent of users produced 97 percent of all tweets. Most Twitter users behave like so-called “lurkers.”

A follow-up survey Pew conducted in May 2023 sought to find out what lurkers were doing on Twitter if they weren’t tweeting. 

Age appeared to be the largest differentiator between active tweeters and lurkers. Frequent tweeters, defined as users who post more than five tweets, or retweets, a month, tended to be between the ages of 18 to 24. Lurkers, or the infrequent tweeters who post less than that, make up roughly half of US users, and tend to be between the ages of 30 and 49. These Twitter lurkers also seem to visit the site less often, with only around 20 percent of them saying that they go on Twitter every day. More than 50 percent of active tweeters, on the other hand, say they visit Twitter daily. 

Unsurprisingly, on average, lurkers follow fewer users and tend to have a smaller following compared to more active accounts. They have a median of 15 followers and 105 followed accounts. Comparatively, frequent tweeters have a median of 159 followers and 405 followed accounts. When lurkers tweet, a good half of their tweets tend to be replies; replies account for 51 percent of lurkers’ tweets and 30 percent of frequent tweeters’ posts. And they’re less likely to retweet too. Retweets make up approximately 26 percent of all posts from lurkers, and 46 percent of all posts from frequent tweeters. 

The findings beg the questions: What do lurkers get out of the Twitter experience then, if they’re not really actively engaging and creating content? According to what Pew found, the top reasons that lurkers use the platform are for entertainment, to stay informed, and to see a different point of view. In fact, 76 percent of lurkers said in the survey that they use the platform primarily to see what others are saying rather than express their own opinion. Lurkers were also more likely than active users to say that they used Twitter to get a different perspective (13 percent compared to 5 percent).

[Related: Can I offer you a nice meme in these trying times?]

In past studies, researchers have found that lurking is correlated with concerns over online privacy and anxiety. Marketers and social network researchers have been trying for the past few years to track what lurkers do on sites. The Oxford Handbook of Cyberpsychology argued that lurkers are legitimate online participants even if they access “the social capital of online communities without providing anything in return.”

While some researchers say that lurking, or passive social media use, can be damaging to mental health by eliciting social comparisons and feelings of missing out, these findings can be complicated. Others, however, like author Joanne McNeil, argue that lurking is simply a natural reaction to the evolution of the internet. 

What To Do If Cortana Keeps Popping Up?

What To Do If Cortana Keeps Popping Up? How To Stop Cortana From Popping Up 1. Remove Cortana From Lock Screen

In case Cortana keeps popping up, you can remove it from the Lock Screen. For this, you will have to go to the lock screen settings. Here are the steps for the same –

1. Press Windows + I and open Settings

3. From the right-hand pane scroll down until you find the option that says Use Cortana even when my device is locked

Now, Cortana won’t pop up repeatedly.  If this trick doesn’t work, move on to the next method.

2. Delete Cortana Completely

Before you think about deleting Cortana completely, we would suggest that you give it another thought, because once you remove Cortana using the below-mentioned method, it will be gone forever. And, if later you decide to get it back, you will have to reinstall Windows 10 from the scratch. So, if you have made up your mind, here are steps –

1. Download Uninstall Cortana Zip

2. Extract the files to your desired location

3. Locate the Uninstall chúng tôi file and select Run as Administrator

4. Wait for the process to complete

5. Restart your computer once again

To make sure that you get rid of all Cortana-related files from your computer, you can always take the help of a dedicated application uninstaller software. One such software is IObit Uninstaller. It helps you completely uninstall apps that are not needed, Windows apps being one of them.

Also Read: Check Out The Complete Review of IObit Uninstaller Pro

Here’s how you can use IObit Uninstaller to get rid of unwanted software –

1. Download and install IObit Uninstaller

Download IObit Uninstaller

3. Get Rid of Cortana In The Taskbar

This one is probably the simplest step you can undertake to get rid of Cortana if it keeps popping up now and then –

1. On the Taskbar, locate a circle icon (You can hover your mouse over it and it will say Talk to Cortana)

4. You will now find that the option has disappeared

4. Check Your Keyboard or Trackpad

Despite all the above-mentioned steps, if Cortana still keeps popping up, chances are you either have a key stuck on your keyboard or  Cortana is being triggered by a gesture on the trackpad of your laptop. Some users have reported that Cortana got triggered since their F5 key was stuck.

Now, here’s a solution instead of the keyboard you are currently using or instead of using your laptop’s mouse, you can give a USB keyboard or mouse a try and then check if the issue is resolved or not.

5. Fix The Voice Command Option

Cortana mainly responds to the user’s voice commands and then performs an action. Though there are times when your microphone might not be functioning properly and subsequently this triggers Cortana to pop up. To fix that –

1. Press Windows + I and open Settings

6. Terminate The Process

You can try terminating the Cortana process after which it should stop functioning and all the processes related to it should stop. Here are the steps to do just that –

1. Open Settings again

Check now, if Cortana is still popping up or not.

Wrapping Up

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