sábado, agosto 30, 2014

IOT, ¿para cuándo?

Jean Marc Coté, 1899, el futuro
Andrew Binstock, en Dr Dobb's, pone un poco de realismo en el estado de IOT, (la Internet de las cosas): todavía estamos a distancia de su funcionamiento a pleno...¿cuanta distancia? Binstock habla de un buen tiempo faltante todavía, y es probable que así sea...
Binstock señala tres fuentes importantes de inmadurez: seguridad, infraestructura de red, y estándares:
In the case of IoT, the obstacles are significant: In addition to many secondary issues, network infrastructure, security, and data formats are the salient questions. The last two items, especially security, are important obstacles. Security violations will no longer mean just the simple, but now accepted, bother of waiting for new credit cards and monitoring your credit profile. Rather, a breach means access to very personal data about you, your family, your car, your home, your possessions. The danger is significant. If I can read sensor data in your house, I might well be able to know that despite the lights being on, the TV playing, and the car in the driveway, there is nobody home. And equally frightening, I might be able to issue commands to the various connected devices.
However, security alone is not a big enough obstacle to prevent the IoT. It's just one that will need to be handled before mass adoption. Network infrastructure, however, is a whole different story. If each device becomes an Internet endpoint, there is little doubt that IPv4 will run out of numbers almost immediately (as it's been on the verge of doing for much of this decade). While it's certainly possible that NAT will allow devices to operate behind a single IP address and then post data for retrieval elsewhere, this is not the design generally presented nor one that is particularly desirable. It seems fairly clear that for IoT to become a reality, the world needs to move to IPv6. Most ISPs today and most networked devices are IPv6-ready, but only a tiny fraction have actually switched over. This issue alone will add several years to full IoT adoption.
Finally, there are the questions about agreement over data formats, APIs, and programming conventions. As has occurred frequently in the past, whenever new important technologies arise, there is a first wave of standards that are mostly patches on the problem, followed by more robust and more widely accepted standards that truly enable interoperation. We are far from getting accord on those matters, in part because of the problem left unstated by so many vendors: Except for a few medical devices and the occasional smart thermostat — all of which are crude implementations of IoT — there is no large-scale implementation. Everything is experimental, prototype-stage, exploration. All of which is indeed good, but hardly suggests that significant roll-outs are at hand or even imminent. 

miércoles, agosto 13, 2014

Windows 9, ¿a vueltas y revueltas?

Un post de CA en Google+ pone sobre aviso:
We've already said goodbye to Windows XP and now we're saying goodbye to Windows 8. What's next for Windows devotees?
El post remite a una nota de Alex Wilhelm en TechCrunch del 10 de agosto (Saying goodbye to Windows 8) que básicamente adelanta una relativa vuelta atrás de la marcha hacia mobile en la siguiente versión, Windows 9, Threshold, o como finalmente se llame:
If Windows 8 was a dramatic lurch towards mobile computing, especially on tablets, Windows 9 appears to be heading for a more equitable balance between desktop muscle, and mobile capability. That fits into the larger picture of the computing environment, where PCs are stabilizing after a dramatically difficult period, and tablet growth is cooling.
Microsoft needs to ensure that its desktop-facing operating system manages to support the still-large demand for desktop-focused PCs well. That doesn’t meant that Windows, as part of Microsoft’s vaunted ‘one Windows‘ strategy can abandon tablets, but it does mean that the focus needs to be more even.
¿Es una vuelta atrás completa? Imposible, particularmente si tomamos en cuenta el cambio de arquitectura ya producido (WinRT):
So back to the desktop? Not entirely. Microsoft isn’t backing down from the Windows Store. It isn’t abandoning the Start Screen. Live Tiles do not appear to be going anywhere, on Windows or Windows Phone. Instead the company seems to be at once focusing on providing a Windows 7-quality desktop experience in Windows, while also tying that desktop life to its new mobile-friendly interface, and apps.
That’s why it’s widely expected that Metro apps will be able to run in a windowed-fashion on the desktop in Windows 9, better bringing the Windows Store into the most popular side of Windows.
¿Se trata de un movimiento inesperado (o mejor dicho inesperable)? Creo que no ¿Favorece a sus clientes y usuarios este camino errático? Seguramente tampoco.
Hay mucho tiempo para estudiar la transición...de la transición.
Más información de interés sobre Windows 9 en TechRadar.

martes, agosto 12, 2014

Internet Explorer ajusta el control de Java

Aunque semioficialmente en el blog de IE en MSDN se presenta como el comienzo del bloqueo de ActiveX obsoletos, y así lo puede encontrar anunciado en cualquier búsqueda, de lo que se trata en verdad es del bloqueo de versiones obsoletas de java, tal como Firefox, por ejemplo, también viene haciendo. Me interesé especialmente porque desde hace tiempo la tecnología de ActiveX viene siendo dejada más o menos de lado en Windows, y quizá esperaba ver alguna clase de búsqueda heurística que definiera qué parámetros determinarían el veto de un ActiveX. Pero parece ser que se trata de revisar una lista, formada sólo por versiones de java (¿se podría modificar la lista?).
Tratándose de algo relativamente simple, todas las versiones de IE activas (8 a 11) comenzarán a poner en práctica el bloqueo a partir del 9 de septiembre.
El alcance del control:
The out-of-date ActiveX control blocking feature works with:
  • On Windows 7 SP1, Internet Explorer 8 through Internet Explorer 11
  • On Windows 8 and up, Internet Explorer for the desktop
  • All Security Zones—such as the Internet Zone—but not the Local Intranet Zone and the Trusted Sites Zone
This feature does not warn about or block ActiveX controls in the Local Intranet Zone or Trusted Sites Zone.
Nótese que en Windows 8, sólo se menciona Internet Explorer for the desktop. Kurt Mackie, en Redmond Magazine, justifica esto en que no es posible instalar java en Metro (The blocking isn't happening for IE on the Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 Windows Store Apps ("Metro") side because the Windows Store Apps browser only supports the Adobe Flash Player add-on, but not other add-ons)
Versiones de Java vetadas en la lista:
J2SE 1.4, everything below (but not including) update 43 
J2SE 5.0, everything below (but not including) update 71 
Java SE 6, everything below (but not including) update 81 
Java SE 7, everything below (but not including) update 65 
Java SE 8, everything below (but not including) update 11
De las preguntas y respuestas:
Which outdated ActiveX controls are covered in this update?
No ActiveX controls will be affected when the feature is initially released in August. In September, only out-of-date Oracle Java ActiveX controls will be affected. All other ActiveX controls will continue existing behavior.
Is out-of-date Java the only ActiveX control being blocked by this feature in September?
In September, yes, only out-of-date Oracle Java ActiveX controls will be blocked by this feature. However, Internet Explorer will consider blocking additional common, but out-of-date ActiveX controls in future updates.
Can this feature be disabled if my enterprise requires an older version of the Java runtime?
Yes, there are several ways to disable this feature. Microsoft provides updated IE group policy administrative templates which include 4 new group policies to control this feature*. Two of these group policies can be used to disable this feature on a per domain basis or entirely.
My enterprise has line-of-business web sites that depend on out-of-date Java ActiveX controls in the Internet zone, will they be affected?
Out-of-date Java ActiveX controls will not be initially affected, giving customers thirty days to test and manage their environments. After September 9, when end users attempt to load the out-of-date Java ActiveX control, a prompt will be shown to the user (as described in earlier in the post). The end user will be able to click the “Run this time” option to load the out-of-date Java ActiveX control. Once loaded, the Java out-of-date ActiveX control will work as usual.
Can end users choose to override the prompt if a trusted application requires out-of-date Java use?
Yes, users can choose the “Run this time” option for internet sites requiring out-of-date ActiveX control use.
En fin, por ahora, el único peligro es Java. Tiene 30 días desde el 9 de septiembre para inventariar sus aplicaciones con versiones de java listadas, y buscar una solución. De todas formas, en el peor de los casos es posible deshabilitar completamente esta política. Una discusión sobre las políticas de exclusión en el comentario de Ed Bott.

lunes, agosto 11, 2014

.NET 4, end-of-service...

En el mismo artículo de Ed Bott mencionado antes, también se adelanta la finalización de soporte de el framework .NET 4, 4.5, 4.5.1 y 4.5.2 a partir de enero de 2016:
We will continue to fully support .NET 4, 4.5, 4.5.1, and 4.5.2 until January 12, 2016, this includes security updates as well as non-security technical support and hotfixes. Beginning January 12, 2016 only .NET Framework 4.5.2 will continue receiving technical support and security updates. There is no change to the support timelines for any other .NET Framework version, including .NET 3.5 SP1, which will continue to be supported for the duration of the operating system lifecycle.
La nota semioficial de Microsoft se puede leer en el blog .NET Framework. Por si no lo había notado:
The quick pace at which we’re evolving and shipping means the latest fixes, features, and innovations are available in the latest version and not in legacy versions. To that end, we are making it easier than ever before for customers to stay current on the .NET Framework 4.x family of products with highly compatible, in-place updates for the .NET 4.x family.

Internet Explorer, End-Of-Service

Tomado de The Ed Bott Report: Microsoft anunció este 7 de Agosto, cambios importantes en su política de soporte y actualización de sus versiones de Internet Explorer: a partir del 12 de enero de 2016, no habrá más soporte ni actualizaciones para IE 8, en cualquier versión (escritorio o servidor). Ni qué decir de versiones previas, aunque todos los días tenga noticias de copias de versiones anteriores.
Pero los cambios y finales de servicio también afectan a las versiones 9 y 10 de IE, limitados hasta su cese de soporte a versiones cercanas al fin de servicio también: Windows Vista o Windows Server 2008 y 2012, según una tabla algo dislocada, que debe revisar quien tenga compromisos con IE. En fin, la única versión con soporte asegurado en este momento es IE 11, en aquellas versiones de Windows que lo puedan soportar: Windows 7 y 8, Windows server 2008 y 2012, en sus R2. Un poco atravesado, pero coherente con el curso transicional en que se encuentra Microsoft. Pero además, IE 11 tiene sus particularidades: está funcionando la versión 11 como tal? Al menos en mi experiencia, internamente está funcionando en modo de compatibilidad con IE 8; y el mismo aviso de Microsoft de este pasado día 7, recomienda usarlo en modo Empresa (Enterprise mode, disponible desde abril de este año):
"Enterprise Mode…offers enhanced backward compatibility and enables you to run many legacy web apps during your transition to modern web standards. 
Today we are announcing that Enterprise Mode will be supported through the duration of the operating system lifecycle, to help customers extend their existing web app investments while staying current on the latest version of Internet Explorer. On Windows 7, Enterprise Mode will be supported through January 14, 2020. Microsoft will continue to improve Enterprise Mode backward compatibility, and to invest in tools and other resources to help customers upgrade and stay up-to-date on the latest version of Internet Explorer."
Pero, repito, al menos en mi experiencia, IE 11 funciona mejor en modo compatibilidad, que como IE 11. Llevo semanas tratando de testearlo en modo Edge, y recolectando problemas...hasta que concluímos que será mejor usarlo tal como está, en compatibilidad con una versión anterior, sea la 8, en mis casos recolectados, o en modo Enterprise, como recomienda Microsoft (aún no veo esta opción de emulación en mi instalación).
Concluyendo, sume a su calendario de actualizaciones de Microsoft, los cambios en marcha en IE. Revise sus aplicaciones, y mida el impacto sobre sus paquetes de Office, si los tiene (y sospecho que si usa IE, es porque usa Office).

¿Se debería actualizar? Por muchas razones, seguramente; valga la recomendación de Microsoft:
Developers benefit when users stay current on the latest Web browser. Older browsers may not support modern Web standards, so browser fragmentation is a problem for Web site developers. Web app developers, too, can work more efficiently and create better products and product roadmaps if their customers are using modern browsers. Upgrading benefits the developer ecosystem.
Users also benefit from a modern browser that enables the latest digital work and life experiences while decreasing online risks. Internet Explorer 11, our latest modern browser, delivers many benefits:
  • Improved SecurityOutdated browsers represent a major challenge in keeping the Web ecosystem safer and more secure, as modern Web browsers have better security protection. Internet Explorer 11 includes features like Enhanced Protected Mode to help keep customers safer. Microsoft proactively fixes many potential vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer, and our work to help protect customers is delivering results: According to NSS Labs, protection against malicious software increased from 69% on Internet Explorer 8 in 2009 to over 99% on Internet Explorer 11. It should come as no surprise that the most recent, fully-patched version of Internet Explorer is more secure than older versions.
  • Productivity – The latest Internet Explorer is faster, supports more modern Web standards, and has better compatibility with existing Web apps. Users benefit by being able to run today’s Web sites and services, such as Office 365, alongside legacy Web apps.
  • Unlock the future — Upgrading and staying current on the latest version of Internet Explorer can ease the migration to Windows 8.1 Update and the latest Windows tablets and other devices, unlocking the next generation of technology and productivity.