Will the U.S. Consider Data Privacy Regulation in the Future?

Consider Data Privacy

It certainly is understandable that consumers are very concerned about data privacy, whether they provide personal information online, or whether they use other mechanisms to provide personal information to companies and organizations with which they interact. One need only to read a few horror stories about the difficulties that arise out of identity theft or a data breach scenario, to understand why consumers want protection.

Privacy Challenges

Most companies want to protect the private information their customers provide to them because they understand it’s simply a part of maintaining a good reputation with the public. If a company neglects protecting customer privacy, they won’t remain in business for long. The problem that seems to be occurring more and more, is that all the protections businesses routinely use, don’t seem to fully resolve privacy issues.

Government to the Rescue?

In May of 2018, the European Union enacted the General Data Protection Regulation which states that all companies who collect data on Union residents are responsible for protecting such data. Of course, large companies will likely have an easier time following such a regulation due to their extensive resources. For small businesses however, these types of regulations and their associated price tags, may very well represent a real challenge to their ability to remain profitable. 

In the U.S. there has been some effort to enact laws to ensure data privacy, although none so comprehensive as the European Union’s, GDPR legislation.

Small Business Challenges 

If more comprehensive legislation is passed here in the U.S., some of the challenges small to medium-sized businesses may face include: impeded growth or the inability to even start a business due to excessive regulation, the absorption of higher technology costs passed down from large companies, multiple ramifications stemming from a potential mandatory business overhaul, along with the simple inability to incorporate additional privacy costs into an already lean budget.

If you would like to know more about the potential for data privacy regulations here in the U.S., please contact us.

The post Will the U.S. Consider Data Privacy

Ruckus amplifies the fan experience at Chesapeake Energy Arena

Large public venues (LPV) have unique characteristics and challenges that make them different than most other environments. This is certainly true of the modular Chesapeake Energy Arena. On any given day, you might find the floor of the Chesapeake Energy Arena covered in two feet of dirt (for professional bull riding), or a concert stage (for top music artists), or a hardwood court (for the resident Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team).

Chesapeake Energy Arena

The owners of the 581,000 square foot stadium recently decided to upgrade the arena network to bolster fan engagement. We all know the feeling of frustration when you can’t get your mobile device to connect. Let’s face it, we live in a world where technology is front and center. An LPV network needs to be reliable to ensure the continuous generation of revenue. However, these venues are often treated like all the others when it comes to deploying a network solution which just leads to frustration.

The Chesapeake Energy Arena started by replacing its wired network. They installed Ruckus’ ICX switches at the core, distribution and access layers. “We went from a 1 GB backbone to 20 GB with scalability up to 160 GB. Network performance went through the roof. The stability was rock solid,” states Christopher Nelson, IT manager for SMG.

When it came time for the wireless side of the network, the arena required a vendor that could provide high-quality connections at higher data rates in a unique setting. Since the venue has retractable seats, it was imperative that the access points (APs) be mounted on the trusses and catwalks at the top of the arena. Several vendors were evaluated based on price, security, and ease of management. “Only Ruckus could span from the top of the arena to the floor level, a distance of almost 100 feet. My goal was to create a Wi-Fi cloud around the arena—the perfect blanket of coverage. I wasn’t even sure it was possible, but we did it with Ruckus Wi-Fi,” comments Nelson.

This is no small feat. However, with …

A Look Into Tomorrow’s Hard Disk

Data is best stored on hard disks. It is easier to access when data stored in a hard disk. Of course, they can also be stored online. While there is nothing wrong with storing data online, you would have to rely on the internet to access your files.

With a hard disk, there’s no need to rely on the internet to access your files. Since it’s very convenient to use, a hard disk with huge data storage capacity is always in demand. The thing is, a hard disk with huge data capacity might not be portable. If it’s not portable, then it won’t be that convenient to take everywhere.

Ideally, the size of a hard disk should remain small as its data storage capacity increases. At the moment, that kind of hard disk is a myth. Hopefully, tomorrow, it becomes a reality. Here’s a look at tomorrow’s hard disk.

A recent breakthrough discovery of the world’s first high-temperature single-molecule magnet (SMM) opens doors to future exciting developments in massive storage capacity increase in hard disks without increasing their physical size.

Before the publication of the study Magnetic Hysteresis up to 80 Kelvin in a Dysprosium Metallocene Single-Molecule Magnet led by Professor of Chemistry Richard Layfield at the University of Sussex in England, it was only possible to synthesize single-molecule magnets with blocking temperatures that were reached by cooling with considerable expensive and scarce liquid helium.

The team at the University of Sussex in collaboration with Sun-Yat Sen University in China and the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, reported a new single-molecule magnet (SMM) which is a type of material that retains magnetic information up to a characteristic blocking temperature.

(Via: https://interestingengineering.com/first-high-temperature-single-molecule-magnet-can-revolutionize-hard-disk-storage-capacity)

The characteristics of the SMMs are paving way to a very tiny device that could store huge data.

SMMs are molecules with the characteristic of remembering the direction of a magnetic field that has been applied to them over relatively long periods of time once the magnetic field is switched off. This makes possible to write information into

Senators eye federal funding for school bus Wi-Fi

Funding Rolling Study HallsA bipartisan group of senators recently re-introduced legislation to update the Federal Communications Commission’s E-rate program. More specifically, the revised program would see the federal government reimburse school districts for installing Wi-Fi on school buses. According to Sen. Tom Udall (D-New Mexico), equipping school buses with Wi-Fi will help end the homework gap and set kids up for success.


“When we increase access to high-speed internet, we increase access to opportunities,” Udall stated in a press release. “By extending internet access to students while they commute to and from school, this bill would turn travel time into study time, enabling kids to complete their homework before they get home.”

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nevada) expressed similar sentiments.

“Lack of access to reliable broadband hurts children from rural and low-income communities who may not have quality internet access where they live,” said Masto. “This legislation will help bridge that divide.”

Bridging the Homework Gap

According to Ruckus education director Rich Nedwich, school bus Wi-Fi offers another way for children to gain access to a quality Internet connection.

“Many American children from rural areas have to ride the bus for 1-2 hours a day just to get to and from school,” Nedwich told Stephanie Kinch of Wi-Fi Now. “Traditionally, this time has been used for gossip and naps. Now, it can be used for something more productive: Homework. Learning needs to happen outside the classroom and if it isn’t happening at home, we need another solution. We are part of that solution.”

Nedwich also emphasized that simply equipping a school bus with Wi-Fi doesn’t solve all problems.

“We don’t pretend it does,” he added. “But it does provide another way to give students access.”

Wi-Fi and the Ruckus M510 Access Point

Whether in the classroom or a rolling study hall, a reliable wireless network that scales to accommodate an evolving digital learning environment is the cornerstone of a solid educational foundation. This is precisely why the Ruckus M510 Access Point (AP) is designed to provide mobile Wi-Fi with …

Wi-Fi: $2 trillion and more than 13 billion devices

Kevin Robinson, VP of marketing at the WiFi Alliance, recently noted that Wi-Fi has contributed approximately $2 trillion to the world’s economy – with more than 13 billion Wi-Fi devices in active use worldwide. According to Robinson, Wi-Fi is the primary medium for global Internet traffic, as more than 80% of traffic on the average smartphone is transferred via Wi-Fi.


Today’s Wi-Fi: A victim of its own success

“While Wi-Fi has been incredibly successful, its success has brought a number of challenges,” he states.  “[Because] Wi-Fi [is] being used so broadly in different device types for different data applications, we see a very broad mix of data traversing Wi-Fi networks, which can ultimately lead to inefficiencies in how Wi-Fi is using a wireless medium.”

As Robinson explains, Wi-Fi is being utilized in ultra-dense deployments to provide coverage for stadiums and transportation hubs where the unscheduled, contention-based access paradigm of traditional Wi-Fi technologies can be problematic.

“We’re seeing Wi-Fi networks increasingly used to deliver connectivity between buildings in either enterprise or maybe city-wide deployments – and there are challenges that go along with that as well,” he adds.

Wi-Fi 6: Bridging the performance gap towards ten gigabit speeds

Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), says Robinson, can help address the above-mentioned issues and limitations.

“The benefits of Wi-Fi 6 become more pronounced as you add more devices to the network. This is important for dense deployments in the enterprise, university campuses, as well as residential areas,” he elaborates. “Wi-Fi 6 delivers diverse capabilities. Because of the ubiquity of Wi-Fi, it is the primary connectivity means in everything from AR and VR headsets to IoT devices… Wi-Fi 6 [also] delivers a more deterministic experience, meaning a more consistent user experience, regardless of the environment.”

Indeed, as we’ve previously discussed on the Ruckus Room, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has ratified five major iterations of the 802.11 Wi-Fi protocol, culminating with Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) in 2013. However, despite a significant increase in speed, many organizations still find themselves limited …

National tech industry association launches cybersecurity Alliance to build talent in Canada

Enabling collaboration between government, academia and industry partners

Mississauga, ON (May 15, 2019) – The Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) is pleased to announce the launch of the Cybersecurity Talent Alliance (CTA). Developed in collaboration with Canadian leaders in technology and education, the Alliance will address the growing need for cyber professionals across Canada. The mandate is to bring awareness of Canada’s cyber talent needs, and to encourage students from a young age to incorporate tech-related learning into their studies.  This will be accomplished through programs and innovative tools that enhance recruitment, hiring practices and the development and retention of cybersecurity talent.

The formation of the Alliance is part of a larger ITAC initiative, the result of a three-year $1.9M grant through the Government of Canada’s Employment Social Development Canada (ESDC) ministry that will look at the development of a skills framework for cybersecurity, as well as associated certification and program accreditation standards, and workforce development tools and outreach activities to assist both skilled tech-related professionals and employers. ITAC will also conduct research to review the state of artificial intelligence (AI)-related education in Canada, with a view to developing a growth strategy for the undergraduate type talent pipeline, through the over-arching initiative and grant.

Partners in the Alliance include:

Ruckus takes on the competition with the R730 Wi-Fi 6 AP

The Ruckus Technical Marketing Engineering team recently pitted the company’s flagship R730 Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) access point against competing Wi-Fi 6 APs from vendor 1 and vendor 2. All tests were performed in a classroom with 60 MacBook Pro clients (802.11ac) connected to the 5GHz radio of each AP. It should be noted that one of the APs from a competing vendor had its second software defined radio turned off for these tests as well.


The AP Contenders

All APs were powered up using multi-gig ports of the ICX 7650 switch. WPA2-PSK encryption was enabled for the tests with an encrypted SSID. The Ixia Chariot testing software was used with endpoint software installed on each client device. TCP frame size was set at a standard 1460.

The results? The R730 beat the competition by as much as 33% in downlink tests and 25% to 33% for uplink. These tests are with 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) devices, so results are expected to be even better when Wi-Fi 6 clients begin shipping in volume this year.


TCP-DL/UP Results

This test is useful when looking at performance with maximum frame size. However not all traffic uses large frame sizes. As a matter of fact, most applications don’t. What happens when we use smaller frame sizes?

The next benchmark test clearly illustrates Ruckus’
advantage with small packets.

This test is notable because smaller packet sizes (65 bytes in this test) create higher CPU utilization on the AP. The reason vendor 1 and vendor 2 AP results flatline (or worse) is that they are hitting 100% CPU usage in the tests. Due to a superior CPU architecture, the R730 yields twice the throughput of the next best competitor. In real-world terms, this means the R730 delivers superior performance and user experience in deployments where smaller packet size is a crucial makeup in application traffic mix such as a large-scale VoIP deployment.

A similar trend is seen with packet sizes of 256 bytes, 512 bytes, and 900 bytes. The Ruckus R730 consistently outperformed the vendor 2 by …

The Black Hole Becomes Visible With Half A Ton Of Hard Drives

Brace yourself. You can finally see how a black hole looks like. Up until today, no one really knew how a black hole looked like.

Finally, the day has come but it was no easy task.

The newly released image of a black hole (below) is a watershed moment for physics. Finally, we can put some of Einstein’s most famous predictions from a century ago to the test, but it was not as easy as pointing a big lens at the M87 galaxy and pressing a button. It took years of work and the collaboration of more than 200 scientists to make it happen. It also required about half a ton of hard drives.

(Via: https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/289423-it-took-half-a-ton-of-hard-drives-to-store-eht-black-hole-image-data_)

What’s interesting about how the snapshot of the black hole was the length of time it took to put it together. It took years and a network of telescopes from around the world to capture the first real image of the black hole.

Data collection for the historic black hole image began in 2017 with a coordinated effort called the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). That isn’t a single instrument but rather a collection of seven radio telescopes from around the world. The EHT used a principle called interferometry to combine the capacity of all those telescopes, creating a “virtual” telescope the size of the Earth.

The EHT had to collect a huge volume of data to deliver us this one image. Dan Marrone, Associate Professor of Astronomy at the University of Arizona says the EHT team had to install specialized super-fast data recorders on the various radio telescopes to handle the influx of measurements.

The now-famous image of a black hole comes from data collected over a period of seven days. At the end of that observation, the EHT didn’t have an image — it had a mountain of data.

(Via: https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/289423-it-took-half-a-ton-of-hard-drives-to-store-eht-black-hole-image-data_)

The data collected was just too massive for the internet to handle. The hard drives had to be flown by plane.

According to Marrone, 5 petabytes is equal to 5,000

Office 365 vs. Office 2019 for Business

Office 365

Microsoft is an essential part of many business’ operations. Businesses rely on Microsoft Word for their word processing needs, Excel for spreadsheets and PowerPoint for presentations. The cloud has become an integral part of Microsoft’s offerings, and this had led the company to offer two different versions of Microsoft Office: 

  1. Office 365
  2. Office 2019

 Each version can be used for business, but which is ideal?

Office 365: Cloud-based

Office 365 is cloud-based, so you pay for a subscription either monthly or yearly. Cloud-based, Microsoft worries about updates, infrastructure and security. You or your employees simply log into Office on your web browser and can make Word documents, spreadsheets or any other file under the Office suite of products.

What’s nice about Office 365 is that it can be accessed anywhere on any Internet-connected device.

You can work on a document in the office, go home, and then work on the document some more. Automatic saving makes the process streamlined. Office 365 for business comes with the following office applications:

  • Access (only on PC)
  • Excel
  • Outlook
  • PowerPoint
  • Word

All versions come with OneDrive, but the higher version comes with a few extras:

  • Exchange
  • SharePoint
  • Teams

You will receive a desktop version of Office applications with Office 365. The maximum number of users on the business plan is 300, so everyone in the office can have access to Office 365.

Office 2019: Standalone Version

Office 2019 is a standalone product, so it’s a one-time purchase. You won’t have to pay subscription fees, but you won’t have the benefit of online collaboration on the cloud. Licenses are valid for one PC or Mac, and fully-installed versions will include the following:

  • Excel
  • OneNote
  • Outlook
  • PowerPoint
  • Word

You’ll need to update Office 2019, and all of your files will be stored on your computer or server. A disaster recovery plan should be in place when using the standalone version of Office 2019, or you risk losing your data if your hard drive fails, you get a virus, or data becomes corrupted.

Which Office is Best