Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins: Get Ready for the Network’s Next Act

Would you like to know what Cisco is up to lately? Network World’s Zeus Kerravala gives us a quick update, straight from Chuck Robbins.

At Cisco Live earlier this month, CEO Chuck Robbins outlined Cisco’s refocus on the network. That’s after years of branching out into servers and general IT equipment. Now, the network is headed for new definitions and changes with clear intent. 

The seven Most In-Demand Tech Jobs for 2018 — and How to Hire for Them

Sarah K. White, senior writer at CIO.com, has compiled a list of the seven most needed jobs in IT today, according to Robert Half Technology’s 2018 IT salary report. It’s a quick reveal of the top seven needed positions, their descriptions and requirements, and the range of salaries for each.  

Which positions are covered? 
* Business Intelligence Analyst
* Data Scientist
* Database Developer
* Help/Support Desk Technician
* Network Administrator
* Data Security Administrator
* System Administrator

So whether you’re new to the job market, considering new IT skills, or looking to hire one of these specialists, this article should be well worth a look. 

SEC Provides Guidance on the Applicability of Securities Laws to ICOs and Sales of Digital Tokens – The Beginning of a “Safe Harbor”

In regard to coins as an investment, here is an interesting question: What are some of the factors the SEC would consider in assessing whether a digital asset is offered as an investment contract, making it a security?

In this Blockchain + The Law article, William Hinman, Director, Division of Corporate Finance, provides guidance on the applicability of U.S. Federal Securities Laws to Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and the sale of digital tokens.

Director Hinman confirmed in detail that the SEC will continue to apply the “Howey Test” in determining whether the sale of “tokens” amount to the issuance of a security. If you have any question on your tax liability on an ICO investment, this article and the director’s full presentation (linked) may provide some valuable answers.

Gateway Technical College’s Sturtevant Campus Forum: “We can really put a lot of people in Wisconsin to work… This is a long game.”

In this post, Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council, describes the employment opportunities discussed at the Sturtevant forum held at the Gateway Technical College’s Sturtevant campus. Participants discussed the importance of retaining Wisconsin’s new college graduates in the state by offering a wide range of employment opportunities. They stressed the importance of learning the lessons from the success of the South Carolina BMW assembly plant as both Volvo and Foxconn move forward with their local expansion plans.

The opportunities for lucrative growth sound very attractive. Tom Still concluded that the theme of the upbeat meeting could be described as, “Wisconsin First.”

What Is blockchain? The Most Disruptive Tech in Decades.

As many of our readers know by now, blockchain is an architecture that allows users to conduct transactions with each other and create an unchangeable, secure record of those transactions. As such, it has attracted an enormous amount of interest by technologists in finance, healthcare, supply chains, shipping, energy and even election voting.

“The applications are endless,” is a common refrain. Another is “blockchain technology will be the next TCP/IP of finance.”

In this new article, Computerworld senior writer, Lucas Mearian, gives us a three-page course on the current state of blockchain adoption across many industries and a look at the challenges they each face. Finally, he gives us a look at the possible future of blockchain deployments and their role in transforming business practices for efficiency, speed and security. 

House Subcommittees Examine Leveraging Blockchain Technology to Improve Supply Chain Management

Recently, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee’s Oversight and Research and Technology subcommittees held a hearing titled, “Leveraging Blockchain Technology to Improve Supply Chain Management and Combat Counterfeit Goods.”

Blockchain momentum is accelerating at even the highest levels among decision-makers. In the House or Representatives hearing, a director with the Department of Homeland Security summed up the sentiment on the future of blockchain technology saying, “The applications are almost limitless.”

Representatives from the shipping and supply chain industries spoke up to agree. Click to get the short scoop or full transcript at Blockchainplusthelaw.com.

Regulator Nodes and the Future of Swap Regulation from #Cryptodad

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is looking at the possibility of using today’s distributed ledger technology to bring speed, security and other efficiencies to monitoring swap transactions in what is called “Swaps Regulation 2.0.” 

The current consideration envisions the CFTC as a supervisory node in a distributed ledger platform, poised to monitor swap transactions as they take place. 

In this new Blockchain + The Law article by Cheryl Aaron, a regulator node is described as possibly being a considerable advantage to both regulators and regulated entities. It could enable participants to better comply with their reporting and recordkeeping requirements by accessing the data they need “to properly understand and regulate the market without any intermediaries, and potentially for a lower cost.” 

Aaron writes, “By relying on a blockchain-based reporting and recordkeeping system, swap market participants could potentially eliminate the middleman (swap data repositories) entirely.” 

BMW, Ford, GM: World’s Largest Automakers Form Blockchain Coalition

CoinDesk reports that “Four of the world’s largest carmakers have joined tech providers and startups to form the biggest-ever consortium focused on applying blockchain tech in the automotive sector.”

The consortium that connects them is the recently launched Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI).

MOBI’s goal here is to enable payments and data-sharing between cars through common standards and APIs to open the way for a new digital mobility ecosystem.

The initial work will form project teams focusing on areas such as vehicle identity and data tracking, ride sharing, mobility ecosystem commerce, and data markets for both autonomous and human driving.

Read all about the initiative and get involved in this newest “Big Thing” to hit the economy.

Six Reasons Why IT Workers Will Quit in 2018

According to the 2018 IT Career Outlook report from SpiceworksIT, as many as one-third of IT workers will look for a new job in 2018. 

The reasons why they might look for a change differ between age groups, from millennials to Gen Xers and baby boomers. SpiceworksIT surveyed 2,163 IT workers from North America and Europe to bring you these answers, and they have provided some of the motivating factors that may help you retain your best people, including:
1. IT workers are satisfied, but feel underpaid
2. Millennials and Gen Xers want more skills
3. Work-life balance is important, especially for Gen Xers
4. They want IT to be a priority
5. Baby boomers are burnt out
6. Millennials want better benefits and perks

Social Media, Social Change and Truth or Consequences

Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council writes: “The startling rise of social media in less than 15 years has changed how people live, work and play – largely for the better, but also in ways that have corrosive effects.” He notes, that those changes “will remake how we get our food, clothing, shelter, health care, education, entertainment and more.” In the meantime, “…it’s time for Big Tech to affirm that trust by making smart choices about how to better protect its users.” Read Still’s new column on the next page.

Can Blockchain Technology Offer Transparency to the Privacy & Security of Our Data?

Anne Canfield, writing for Blockchainplusthelaw.com, gives us a brief description of why we need new cryptographic advances and a privacy protocol that delivers blockchain’s advantages. She envisions a decentralized social network that uses nodes to sign a smart contract between new ‘friends’ where posts, statuses and pictures are stored and shared with via the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) network protocol.

Should You Take Your Startup To Silicon Valley?

Paul A. Jones, writing for Michael Best’s Best Venture has some advice on whether to take your startup to Silicon Valley in search of venture capital.

While on one hand, Silicon Valley might be the fastest way to determine whether your startup is “venture-worthy” by Valley standards, he sees many more appropriate venture opportunities elsewhere, depending on the type of startup you are launching.

He writes: “Over the last couple of days, it gelled that some entrepreneurs might fail to raise capital in Silicon Valley – not because their startup is not worthy of investment, but because they are not ready to play on that particular stage. In which case, going to Silicon Valley may result in failing to get a startup financed not because it was a bad idea, but because venture capital’s Broadway was not where it should have started out.”

Interview with David Houlding, Director of Healthcare Privacy & Security at Intel Part 2 – Enterprise Adoption

Read the Jennifer Georgino interview David Houlding, Director of Healthcare Privacy and Security at Intel Health and Life Sciences (HLS), about enterprise blockchain implementation, hosted by Blockchain Healthcare Review.
As Houlding says, “There are amazing benefits blockchain technology can bring to the industry in terms of improving the quality of patient care and reducing the cost of healthcare.”

BELIEVE THE HYPE: DISTRIBUTED LEDGER TECHNOLOGIES ARE HERE TO STAY

In this article, Anne Canfield writes, “2017 may have been the year of the cryptocurrency, but 2018 is shaping up to be the year of the blockchain.”

She also predicts, “This technology will the next big leap forward in increasing productivity.”

The article describes new developments in Real Estate, Smart Contracts, Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare, and Shipping.

House Passes New Funding Bill; Here’s What It Means for Federal Health Agencies

Today, the U.S House of Representatives passed a federal spending bill that will fund the government through September 30, 2018. The bill offers several benefits and a few setbacks for the healthcare industry’s providers and payers.

Containing significant changes to those proposed by president Trump, it must still be passed by the Senate and signed by the president.

This summary article by senior editor Susan Morse for Healthcare Finance News gives us the healthcare highlights, including:

Funding for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to begin the transition to Cerner for its EHR
A funding increase of $10 billion for HHS
Unchanged flatline funding for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
An increase for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
No increase for insurers on cost-sharing reduction payments 
A nearly 9 percent increase to $37.1 billion for the National Institutes of Health  
An increase to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention budget of $1.1 billion for a total budget of $8.3 billion
Healthcare Finance News fills in the context and details with quotes from industry spokespeople. 

Click ahead for the article >>

What New NIST Guidelines Mean for Passwords

More than 80 percent of all data breaches appear to take advantage of stolen or weak password credentials. In this CIOInsight.com article, Brett McDowell discusses the new National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recommendations on “strong passwords” designed to make password creation more secure for everyone. 

McDowell explains the three basic types, or levels, of application protection, the vulnerabilities of one-time passcodes (OTPs), and authentication methods the NIST recommends now in light of today’s increasingly sophisticated cyberthreat horizon. 

In Wisconsin’s Quest to Produce More Workers and Startups, Don’t Forget Liberal Arts

What do employers expect from college graduates they hire? Do they want an emphasis on STEM disciplines – science, technology, engineering and math – or a liberal arts background that may be more adaptable?

In this new article, the president of the Wisconsin Technology Council discusses some of the employment trade-offs, plans for curriculum changes at UW-Madison and LifeMapping, a soon-to-be incorporated company tied to the UW-Madison Department of Geography to help students explore their options.

HIMSS18 Takeaway: Big Energy for New Innovation, but Many Old Hurdles Still Standing

The HIMSS18 Global Conference & Exhibition in Las Vegas has wound up. In the latest issue of Healthcare IT News, Mike Miliard gives us an overview of the hot topics of the week.

Acknowledging that the post-EHR era has fully arrived, he writes, “There was the day-long Machine Learning & AI for Healthcare event and the Blockchain Forum, HIMSS VentureConnect and Rockstars of Emerging Healthcare Technology. The Innovation Live showcase in Hall G was populated with leading-edge companies touting AI, augmented reality, biometrics, IoT and much more. And far from theoretical, many of those technologies are already on the minds of leading CIOs.”

Even if you were one of the “nearly 45,000” attendees, you couldn’t have taken it all in. Here’s a good wrap-up overview of the major ideas, innovations and initiatives that are shaping healthcare today. 

CFTC PROPOSES “ACTUAL DELIVERY” DEFINITION WITH BIG IMPLICATIONS FOR BITCOIN REGULATION

Near the end of last year, the Commodity Futures Trade Commission (CFTC) proposed a seemingly esoteric new rule that would define the term “actual delivery” for retail commodity transactions in virtual currency. Learn more about the CFTC’s new “functional approach” to actual delivery of virtual currency and make your opinions known to the CFTC before they define the final rule.

This new article presented by Blockchain + The Law considers the issues from a variety of perspectives, and you can comment to the CFTC before the closing date of March 20, 2018.