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Microsoft SQL-Server 2017 – Key product announcements at Ignite

Microsoft announced today a number of new business and technology features for their new release of SQL Server 2017 as follows:

http://www.zdnet.com/article/review-sql-server-2017-adds-python-graph-processing-and-runs-on-linux/

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/sql-server/sql-server-2017

Today, at its Ignite conference in Orlando, Microsoft is announcing the general availability of a new version of its flagship operational database, SQL Server 2017.  At almost 30 years of age, Microsoft’s flagship database has learned many new tricks.

In a move that may seem ironic to the market and is yet quite consistent with SQL Server’s legacy, the release of SQL Server 2017 heralds SQL Server’s return to the *NIX platform, with a new Linux version of the product. And despite this development being legacy-consistent, it is still a very big deal (i.e., back in 1993 early versions of MS/SQL Server, co-developed with Sybase, also ran on UNIX).

1. Improved Linux compatibility — Microsoft begins the work of eliminating these adoption blockers. SQL Server can now run on Windows servers, Linux-based servers, or some combination of the two. The Linux version can also run in Docker containers (which can also be Windows- or Linux-based) making it almost trivial to run on a Mac. In fact, if a developer’s machine already has Docker installed, running and has allocated at least 4GB of memory to it, then two commands, entered in a Mac or Linux machine’s Terminal window, will download, install and start the product running

2. Data Science improvements with “R” and Python support — Microsoft has taken SQL Server R Services, introduced in the 2016 release, and added support for the Python programming language. The enhanced feature, now dubbed SQL Server Machine Learning Services (ML Services), allows code in either language to execute natively on the SQL Server itself. Another option is to write and execute the R/Python code on a workstation but have it delegate the heavy work to run on the SQL Server.

3. New support for NoSQL graph processing — Instead of rows and columns, tables in graph databases contain “nodes” (sometimes called “vertices”) and “edges.” Nodes represent entities while edges represent relationships between them. With relationships codified at the entity level, rather than the table level, it becomes much easier to do things like get all the entities related to another one in particular.

Transatlantic Marea Internet Cable connects USA and European continent

Microsoft and Facebook have completed a joint venture creating the fastest direct connection between the United States and the European continent so far

https://www.pcmag.com/news/356384/microsoft-facebook-complete-transatlantic-marea-internet-ca

The massive internet cable, which runs from Virginia Beach, Virginia, to Bilbao, Spain, can transmit up to 160 terabits of data per second. Microsoft and Facebook have finished laying their massive Marea Internet cable across the Atlantic Ocean, the companies announced Thursday.

Running from Virginia Beach, Virginia, to Bilbao, Spain, the cable spans more than 4,000 miles and weighs almost 10.25 million pounds — which is about as heavy as “34 blue whales,” Suresh Kumar, corporate vice president of Microsoft cloud infrastructure and operations wrote in a blog post.  It can transmit up to 160 terabits of data per second, which is “more than 16 million times faster than the average home internet connection, making it capable of streaming 71 million high-definition videos simultaneously,” Kumar added.

Leadership – Six steps for a corporate culture of innovation

John Maxwell shares techniques for “How to Create a Culture of Innovation” within an organization

http://johnmaxwellcompany.com/blog/ways-to-create-culture-of-innovation

The following six ways can cultivate a culture of innovation with your leaders and managers to help them see better:

1. Model it — Your leaders need to act on opportunities quickly and decisively. If they demonstrate a forward-thinking mindset, you’ll soon start to see creativity amongst all your leaders and team members.

2. Encourage positive failure — Failure is a critical part of success. Your leaders need to know their creative problem-solving attempts are appreciated even when the end result isn’t quite what they hoped.

3. Embrace option-thinking — Your leaders and managers need to become comfortable with change and risk. Great ideas are born from uncertainty. If you can encourage that environment with your leaders, innovation can follow.

4. Insist on solution-thinking — Train your leaders to brainstorm multiple solutions for every problem they identify. This approach not only minimizes the issues that come up, but also gives leaders ownership of challenges.

5. Harness the power of fresh perspective — Keep fresh eyes around and listen closely to new leader’s perspectives. Your team may be surprised by how much they bring to the table.

6. Celebrate good ideas — When dealing with leaders and managers, let them know their ideas are important. Celebrate good ideas, acknowledge the people who bring them forward, and your company will discover a never-ending supply of leading-edge suggestions

Microsoft Security Updates – SEPTEMBER 2017

Below are key resources documenting this recent monthly Microsoft Patch Tuesday release

https://isc.sans.edu/forums/diary/Microsoft+Patch+Tuesday+September+2017/22816/

http://blog.talosintelligence.com/2017/09/ms-tuesday.html

https://portal.msrc.microsoft.com/en-us/security-guidance

Release Date:  September 12, 2014

The September security release consists of security updates for the following software:

1. Internet Explorer
2. Microsoft Edge
3. Microsoft Windows
4. Microsoft Office and Microsoft Office Services and Web Apps
5. Adobe Flash Player
6. Skype for Business and Lync
7. .NET Framework
8. Microsoft Exchange Server

Apple – Complete iPhone and iOS tutorial for new users

PC Magazine shares an informative tutorial for new iPhone users that shares the basics of all key features 

https://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2469607,00.asp

If you’ve never had a smartphone before, but just picked up an iPhone, here are all the little things you need to know.  Years ago, a friend of mine made that astronomical jump from feature phone to iPhone, and in talking to him I realized there were things I take for granted that he found completely alien. He didn’t know the difference between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and had no clue about the difference between Messages and Mail. Why is the web browser named Safari? Does he really need iTunes on his computer? Why on Earth would anyone talk to Siri?

Malware – CCleaner v5.33.6162 32 bit version impacted by malware

All users of Piriform’s CCleaner should move to v5.34 or higher and ensure they are not on version 5.33 as shared below.   Both AVAST & Piriform have strengthened controls to prevent future occurrences.

http://www.piriform.com/news/release-announcements/2017/9/18/security-notification-for-ccleaner-v5336162-and-ccleaner-cloud-v1073191-for-32-bit-windows-users

We recently determined that older versions of our Piriform CCleaner v5.33.6162 and CCleaner Cloud v1.07.3191 had been compromised. We estimate that 2.27 million people used the affected software. We resolved this quickly and believe no harm was done to any of our users. This compromise only affected customers with the 32-bit version of the v5.33.6162 of CCleaner and the v1.07.3191 of CCleaner Cloud. No other Piriform or CCleaner products were affected. We encourage all users of the 32-bit version of CCleaner v5.33.6162 to download v5.34 here: download. We apologize and are taking extra measures to ensure this does not happen again.

Leadership – How to become an IT or business Project Manager

A strong desire to lead individuals and the willingness to work beyond a 9-to-5 day are essential.  Continuing education training and pursuing special certifications like the PMP designation are helpful ways to prepare for this profession. It is demanding, but also rewarding when you see individuals on the team succeed and move ahead in their own careers.

4 Tips for Getting Your First Project Management Job

Make no mistake, the role of a project manager is difficult and demanding. It requires immense flexibility and unwavering leadership, but to helm, such a role is equally rewarding. The profession covers a range of industries, from IT and software development to construction or human resources.  Your role will include planning, organizing, delegating, budgeting, and documenting every aspect of a commencing project. You are the cartographer of every individual worker’s efforts. The fulfillment of completing a project you’ve managed is why a career in project management gives you a promising scope of opportunities in the future to come.

Research reveals that employers want these attributes

1. Strong Leadership
2. Clear Communication
3. Honesty and Integrity
4. Review your Experience and Know your Limitations

Prospective Project Managers should focus on these 3 key strategies

1. Foresight and Initiative
2. Get Qualified – Education & Certification
3. Prepare Yourself to Step Up

Apple iOS 11 – Eleven Features in new release

Apple released their latest version iOS 11.  This PC Magazine review highlights some of the most advanced features.

https://www.pcmag.com/feature/354129/the-coolest-features-in-ios-11

Apple’s iOS 11, its latest and greatest mobile operating system, arrives today on iPhone and iPad. And it brings a slew of productivity features that let you do more with your Apple device.  With hundreds of new features, not everything can be a winner. But there are several things that caught our eye and will likely improve the iOS experience. Check them out in the gallery below.

1. Augmented Reality – new tools for software developers that will allow them to bring augmented reality apps to iPhones and iPads

2. Apple Pay Person to Person – you’ll be able to send money via iMessages to friends who also have iOS devices

3. Siri Translation – The voice assistant can now speak 21 languages across 36 countries

4. Multi-Tasking With Files App, Dock – Apple is also able to do all this without breaking its security model, so you know your information will always be safe.

5. Slide Over and Split View Apps – That means you can move seamlessly between the two, as well as moving files and information

6. Tap, Drag, and Now: Drop – Now, you’ll be able to tap and drag files, text, and just about anything else wherever you need them

7. Multi-Room Audio – Music fans can extend music from room to room using AirPlay 2, which brings HomeKit support to speakers for multi-room audio

8. Apple Maps Do Not Disturb – With “do not disturb” enabled, you won’t get any notifications or messages while the car is in motion. If anyone texts you, they’ll get an auto-reply that says you’re driving and will get back to them at your destination

9. Live Photos – With iOS 11, Live Photos will add three new tricks: the Vine-like Loops (above); the Boomerang-esque Bounce; and a Long Exposure option

10. Screenshot Preview – In iOS 11, taking a screenshot brings up a little preview in the lower corner that you can drag and drop to share

11. Screenshot Doodle – Tap the preview image, and you’ll get a slate of tools to doodle and draw on the screenshot

Professional Designations – Top 18 certifications for 2017

This article shares the advantages of continuing education and professionals investing in their careers with 18 highly sought after designations.  The PMP and CISSP are two examples cited in this review.

https://www.globalknowledge.com/us-en/content/articles/18-certifications-worth-having/

A certification is more than a gold star. It’s more than a pat on the back or a “job well done.”  Obtaining a professional certification is an indication that you’re an expert. It’s proof to employers, peers and even yourself that you speak and think in a specific language. It comes with the expectation that co-workers and decision-makers will call on you for advice and insight. Your experience and expertise will be key to a business’ growth in the face of internal and external changes.

Basically, a certification is confirmation that you provide value. And in a competitive and crowded industry like IT, it’s often not easy to stand out.  Whether you’re wading into the waters with a foundational credential or pulling all-night study sessions to prep for your six-hour CISSP exam, a lot of time and energy goes into certification. Here are 18 options, in no particular order, that are worth your effort based on site searches, feedback from instructors and data in the Global Knowledge 2017 IT Skills and Salary Report.

Microsoft .NET Framework – New Version 4.7 offline installer

A new version of the Microsoft .NET Framework facility 4.7 was recently released and includes a new offline installer to facilitate corporate deployment  

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/3186497/the-net-framework-4-7-offline-installer-for-windows

The Microsoft .NET Framework 4.7 is a highly compatible and in-place update to the Microsoft .NET Framework 4, 4.5, 4.5.1, 4.5.2, 4.6, 4.6.1, and 4.6.2.  The offline package can be used in situations in which the web installer cannot be used because of lack of Internet connectivity. This package is larger than the web installer and does not include the language packs. We recommend that you use the web installer instead of the offline installer for optimal efficiency and bandwidth requirements.

When you install this Microsoft .NET Framework 4.7 package, you can see following packages or updates that are installed per operating system:

*** On Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, it’s listed as an installed product under the Programs and Features item in Control Panel.

*** On Windows Server 2012, it’s listed as Update for Microsoft Windows (KB3186505) under the Installed Updates item in Control Panel.

*** On Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2, it’s listed as Update for Microsoft Windows (KB3186539) under the Installed Updates item in Control Panel.

*** On Windows 10 Version 1607, it’s listed as Update for Microsoft Windows (KB3186568) under the Installed Updates item in Control Panel

The OFFLINE .NET Framework 4.7 installation may be blocked on Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012 because of a missing d3dcompiler update (that needs to be added in for WIN7 SP1 offline updating for example)

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4020302/the-net-framework-4-7-installation-is-blocked-on-windows-7-windows-ser