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Leadership – 2016 Secrets for Success HEALTH

John Maxwell is sharing a new weekly series during 2016 called the “Secrets for Success”.  The first week focuses on personal health which is important for all team leaders

As someone who hasn’t always taken his health seriously, I want to emphasize the importance of this area of your life. I took my health for granted until I had my heart attack in 1998 – and even after that, I struggled to embrace healthy living. Fortunately, I’ve gotten better over time. And I’ve discovered that there is no substitute for making daily choices to eat the right amount of nutritious foods and engage in the right amount of physical exercise. I talk regularly with my doctors to know what is safe and effective for me, and that’s a good place for anyone to begin.

You see, how you eat, how you exercise, how you choose to feel about the day, all have significant impact on your quality of life. If you eat poorly, it can make you feel tired. If you go to the gym early, it can be the kick start your day truly needs. Even something as small as waking up and saying to yourself, “Today, I will choose to be positive” can transform how you experience the day.

1. I decide I will be healthy today.
2. I choose to eat, drink and do healthy things today.

That’s it! Nothing more to it – you simply repeat those two steps each day. But to give you some practical handles for this idea, allow me to suggest the following:

* Instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs.
* Instead of drinking a soda, drink water.
* Instead of ordering the super-size meal, order the small.
* Instead of parking next to the building, park farther away and walk.
* Instead of ordering dessert, be content to pass.
* Instead of allowing the day to dictate how you feel, choose to see the good in the day.

4D Printing – Pioneered by Harvard University

4D printing that allows target items to “evolve” over time and some early pioneering work has been conducted by Harvard University

We were all impressed by 3D printing for a hot minute, but that’s all over now. Enter “4D printing,” the printing which also involves the fourth dimension: time. Applause, applause, applause. Scientists at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard have developed hydrogel structures which change their shape when placed in water. In other words, they are able to respond to their environment (in this case, the water) the same way a plant does to its own environment: a sunflower bends toward the light, a vine climbs up a building for support, a pinecone spreads open, and so on.

Programming Languages – Six New Tools highlighted for 2016

While not all languages below are brand new, they offer special capabilities for today’s modern web and mobile applications.  Information Week highlights these tools to complement other mainstream programming languages:

1. Swift — If you’re writing mobile software (and who can avoid that?) almost certainly you have to target iOS devices. Mobile development is going to continue to grow in importance, after all. Even if Apple continues to battle with Android for marketshare, it behooves you to know how to create iOS apps. That means it’s time to investigate Swift, Apple’s vision for a modern programming language.  Swift 2 was released recently, and became open source as of December 2015. A Linux port is already available, arguably making Swift even more useful since it encourages other companies to support the language.

2. Go — Initially targeted towards server development, these days Go (at release 1.5) is heavily used in services infrastructure, in conjunction with things like Consul and Traefik. One reason that Go’s getting more attention these days: It’s used by Docker, the enterprise software darling du jour.

3. R — R is a programming language and software environment for statistical computing, data analysis, and data visualization. Its bragging points include data manipulation, calculation, and graphical display. All those attributes make R a popular choice for anyone working with big data. R actually dates from the early 90s. In 1995 it was released as open source under the Gnu Public License.

4. TypeScript — Web developers are encouraged to invest some time in kicking the tires on — and perhaps adopting — TypeScript. TypeScript, initially developed by Microsoft, addresses some of the JavaScript limitations that have caused mild-mannered developers to rip out their hair, gnash their teeth, and throw their Star Wars desk toys across the room. For most developers, top on the list of JavaScript weaknesses is a lack of object orientation, which makes writing anything beyond simple scripts quite painful. TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript, and it provides optional static typing, classes, and interfaces

5. Groovy — Groovy is an agile and dynamic language for the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). It adds to Java’s strengths with features inspired by languages such as Python, Ruby, and Smalltalk. Groovy, too, has been around for a while. First created in 2004, Groovy was purchased by SpringSource (makers of Spring, the Java framework), and then purchased by VMware and managed by Pivotal until the language became an Apache project

6. Rust — Rust is a systems programming language focused on safety, speed, and concurrency. First released by Mozilla in 2014, Rust was created for Servo, its HTML rendering engine, with the intent of taking advantage of hardware parallelism inherent in modern hardware. (Servo replaces Gecko, the existing Firefox engine.) With Rust 1.6 released this month, it’s starting to take shape.

Drone technology – Congress working on further 2016 regulations

Privacy & safety considerations are being considered by Congress, as they are working on further regulations during 2016

WASHINGTON — The last time Congress weighed in on rules for nonmilitary drones, in 2012, the flying machines were hardly a hit with consumers. And companies said little about using them for commercial purposes.  Now Congress is set to make a stand again. But this time, hundreds of thousands of recreational drones are in use, and companies like Amazon have their hearts set on using drones to deliver packages — and they are taking their case to Capitol Hill.

The efforts in the halls of Congress are to shape the Federal Aviation Administration’s approach to drone rules on safety and privacy. They are part of a multifront intervention by advocates for broader drone use as well as by their opponents, who argue that the machines pose significant safety and privacy risks. Together, the two sides have quickly emerged as a vocal and passionate contingent in this city.

The goals of the drone hobbyists, companies and safety advocates differ in some ways. Hobby groups are trying to peel back recreational registration rules, while airline pilots are pushing for more mandates that drone makers like DJI and GoPro put safety technology on machines. Amazon and Google, which want to use drones for delivery, are asking permission to test their technology. They agree, though, that the F.A.A. is due for fresh guidance on its approach to drone rules

Mozilla 44 – Eleven security vulnerabilities fixed

Mozilla Firefox 44 was recently released with both functional and security improvements

Mozilla adds push notification support and provides 11 security advisories with its latest open-source browser release. Mozilla came out today with its first Firefox browser release for 2016, providing new features and hardened security.  Firefox 44 follows Firefox 43, which was released Dec. 15 and provided improved tracking protection for users. With Firefox 44, Mozilla is adding in the ability for users to get push notifications from sites by making use of the Web Push W3C standard.

As part of the Firefox 44 update, Mozilla is also issuing 11 security advisories for vulnerabilities, of which three are rated critical. Among the critical advisories is MFSA-2016-01, which patches a pair of memory safety flaws identified as CVE-2016-1930 and CVE-2016-2031. There is also a critical patch for a buffer overflow vulnerability identified as CVE-2016-1935. The third critical patch is for three separate vulnerabilities (CVE-2016-1944, CVE-2016-1945 and CVE-2016-1946) that involve unsafe memory manipulations that were found through code inspection.

Apple Security – Important operating system patches for JAN 2016

Apple has recently released important operating system security updates

Apple’s Mac OS X 10.11.3 and iOS 9.2.1 debut with patches to help improve protection against potentially exploitable vulnerabilities.

Apple released its first security updates of 2016 on Jan. 19, with the debut of OS X 10.11.3 and IOS 9.2.1, which provides patches for multiple classes of vulnerabilities that could potentially enable attackers to exploit users and their devices. Apple last issued security patches for OS X and iOS on Dec. 9.

Among the problems fixed in OS X and iOS is CVE-2016-1722, a vulnerability in the syslog logging function that was discovered by security researchers Joshua Drake and Nikias Bassen of Zimperium zLabs. CVE-2016-1722 is a privilege escalation issue that could have potentially led to remote code execution or a denial-of-service attack.

Leadership – Living Intentionally is better than Good Intentions

John Maxwell shares excellent leadership advice for the start of a new year

2016: Your Year of Living Intentionally

We’re officially one week into 2016, and I love this time of year. I’ve noticed that it’s the most productive time for many people: gyms are packed, motivational quotes are tacked to office walls, and people are constantly talking about their new diet or their new pledge to becoming a better person. As someone committed to a life of personal growth, it’s amazing to be surrounded by so many people on a journey towards improvement. It makes me a little sad to know that next week, the gym won’t be as crowded.

1. All because good intentions aren’t enough— See, a good intention is a great idea without consistent action. A person with good intentions looks at a new year and says, “This year I will do something about my problem.” A person with good intentions might take a first step, like joining a gym, or maybe even a few steps after that, like working out a few days for the first couple of weeks in January. But inevitably, good intentions don’t last. By February 1, people with good intentions might already be thinking about their resolutions for next year and crediting themselves for thinking ahead.

2. Good Intentions vs. Being Intentional — Here are some of the words that describe a life of good intentions: desire, wish, hopefully, someday. Notice anything familiar about them? Do you see a connection? All of those words are about unfulfilled longing. They’re passive.  Now take a look at some words that describe a life of intentionality: action, purpose, definitely, today. What do they have in common? They are all active, in the now, committed. They are the words of people who get things done, people who live intentionally.

3. The Key to an Intentional Life — Do you know why so many people give up on their diets, or lose their motivation at work? The answer is simple: they’re only motivated to improve themselves. And because they’re only in it for themselves, they let themselves off the hook too easily. But what if your actions weren’t motivated by just your own success?  That’s the key to intentional living: daily actions focused on making a difference, large or small, in someone else’s life.

Below are resource links documenting the monthly Microsoft Patch Tuesday release for January 2016:

In all, the patches address 26 vulnerabilities in a wide range of products including Windows 10, Microsoft Office, Silverlight, Internet Explorer, and Internet Explorer’s successor Microsoft Edge.  Of the nine security bulletins issued by Microsoft, six are described as critical and if left unpatched leave the door open for hackers to exploit for the purposes of remote code execution. In other words an attacker could trick your computer into running malware without you necessarily realizing anything strange was afoot.  That’s precisely the threat addressed by security bulletin MS16-001, probably the most critical of the bunch, which could see your computer infected by malware if you are tricked into visiting a boobytrapped webpage with Internet Explorer.

Internet Explorer – EOL for versions 7-10 after JAN-12

Some excellent information by Fire Eye, as it is important that everyone move to IE 11 or other browser alternatives (e.g., Edge for Windows 10) to ensure stay protected from future security exploits.  IE 11 security advantages are well documented in this research report  

End of Life for Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10

Microsoft has started the year with an announcement that, effective Jan. 12, 2016, support for all older versions of Internet Explorer (IE) will come to an end (known as an EoL, or End of Life). The affected versions are Internet Explorer 7, 8, 9, and 10. What this means for users is that Microsoft will no longer release new security updates for these product versions going forward. This gives users two options: Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft Edge, the latter of which is currently exclusive to Windows 10. If users would like to keep their browsers up to date, they will need to upgrade to either of these two options. It should go without saying that Internet Explorer users are strongly encouraged to update to the latest version. It offers improved security with the latest security features and mitigations.

Mobile Security – Best practices for new device protection in 2016

Lookout is a leading mobile security firm and below are best practices when replacing older devices with new ones:

That’s great, but you need to make sure you’re protecting all of that data right out of the gate! Here are a few tips on how:


1. Set a pin and passcode – One in 10 people are a victim of phone theft. If you don’t have a pin or passcode, that thief has free reign of your data — definitely not what you want for your brand new device.

2. Set up your voicemail –You can put a password on your voicemail so no one but you can access it

3. Update your software — Sometimes carriers and manufacturers release updates for devices while they’ve been sitting on the shelves. Make sure that you update your device’s software if an update is available so that you receive all of the latest security and bug patches.

4. Only download from official app stores — There are significantly fewer malicious apps in official app stores than you might find in third-party app stores.

5. Download a security app — Make sure you have a security app in place that can keep you alerted when you encounter something bad. Many security apps also offer backup and theft services as well!

And if you’re getting rid of an old phone or tablet this holiday season, here are some tips on how to do so safely and successfully:


1. Unlink your accounts — You want to make sure that no one can access the accounts you’ve linked to your device based on its unique identifier. You should head to that account’s website (e.g. Facebook) and unlink your device from the account.

2. Backup all your data — Use backup services that you trust, or sync your phone to your computer to ensure that all those photos, contacts, and other data are safely stored away for you to access later.

3. Erase that data! — Follow the instructions provided by your phone manufacturer to wipe the data from your device.

4. Remove the SIM card — Using a phone that has a removable SIM card? It’s the place where much of your mobile data lives. It’s better off staying with you just in case.

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