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Dalai Lama and UW expert share message of hope, determination, and education of the mind – University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Dalai Lama, left, appears on a panel with UWMadison professor Richard Davidson at a 2016 event in Madison. Photo by Darren Hauck

(Editors Note: The ABC News interview took place before the recent protests against police brutality; the Dalai Lama comments on the protests here.)

Humanity has an opportunity to transform negative emotions like fear and anxiety into determination and compassion for others, according to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This message of hope is front and center in the Dalai Lamas recent video conversation with Dan Harris, ABC News anchor and co-founder of Ten Percent Happier, and Richard Davidson, University of WisconsinMadison professor and founder of the Center for Healthy Minds.

We are human beings. We are social animals, the 14th Dalai Lama told Harris and Davidson over video from Dharamsala, India. Obviously our own experience of constant fear and constant anger destroys our inner peace. More compassionate feelings bring inner strength and inner peace Helplessness thats a failure our own cost.

The conversation comes at a time when many people around the world are experiencing unprecedented loss, hardship and isolation. Amid the recent events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization has warned that a global mental health crisis is likely to follow, and many thought-leaders like the Dalai Lama, Harris and Davidson are sharing insights and tools to promote emotional well-being.

For the past 28 years, the leader of Tibetan Buddhism has partnered with scientists, including UWMadisons Davidson, to inspire research on how people can alter their thinking, emotions and behavior toward a kinder, wiser, more compassionate world. Davidson is well-known for his scientific work unearthing the impacts of meditation and other prosocial qualities such as compassion on the brain.

Such evidence along with other research generated by the scientific community has fueled the Dalai Lamas promotion of secular ethics, which are altruistic values deep-seated in human nature that anyone can nurture, regardless of background or religion. The Dalai Lama described mental training, including meditation practice, as a transformative tool that can not only sharpen the mind, but also increase peoples altruism and compassion toward each other.

The Dalai Lama and Davidson have explored how these practices can best serve others and how every human being shares the same wish to be happy and to be free of suffering. Davidson says his aspiration is that someday, mental exercise of this kind will be as commonly practiced as brushing ones teeth. If people took just a few minutes each day to nurture positive qualities of mind, the world would be a very different place.

This is one reason why the Dalai Lama thinks a new form of education is needed that focuses on the mind, emotion and a persons inner world. Often these insights are outcomes of practicing various forms of meditation, and there are numerous tools available online to practice mental training, including Davidsons Healthy Minds Program (led by the nonprofit he founded Healthy Minds Innovations) and Harris meditation platform Ten Percent Happier. Both mobile apps have been offering free meditation practices and mental health tools during the pandemic.

In addition, grief and other negative emotions have overwhelmed many around the world. Harris, who lives in New York City, which has been particularly hard-hit by COVID-19 in the United States, reflected on the different ways grief can take shape. Because of the risks of coronavirus to others and the number of people sick, many people are unable to say goodbye to loved ones. Millions of others are also grieving about losing their previous life, which has been upended by the pandemic.

How can the world process such grief?

The Dalai Lama reiterated that despite the deep sadness, there are glimmers of hope and opportunities to expand care for the whole world.

Taking care of others is actually taking care of yourself, he said, noting that the best way to take care of your own happiness is to take care of ones community.

ABC News Live and Good Morning America recently featured the video conversation and a longer-form interview is available on the Ten Percent Happier podcast.

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Dalai Lama and UW expert share message of hope, determination, and education of the mind - University of Wisconsin-Madison

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The top ten Scottish bands ever (from the mind of Alan Partridge) Aidan Smith – The Scotsman

NewsOpinionColumnistsA controversial list of the top ten Scottish bands ever has a stunned Aidan Smith searching for a pithy putdown.

Tuesday, 2nd June 2020, 7:30 am

The trouble with these surveys of the best this and the all-time-greatest that is theyre wholly subjective. Invariably the pollsters ask the question of other people. Thus the results do not reflect the superior taste, sophistication and critical rigour that you could have brought to the debate and, much more crucially, me.

Usually I accept this, quietly console myself about never having read a Harry Potter book or understood the deeper meaning of a Richard Curtis film, and move on. But, honestly, did you see that list of the best Scottish bands?

If you didnt, here goes, pop-pickers: 1 the Proclaimers, 2 Simple Minds, 3 Deacon Blue, 4 the Blue Nile, 5 Travis, 6 the Waterboys, 7 Runrig, 8 Texas, 9 Belle and Sebastian, 10 Del Amitri.

The survey was conducted by an English-based Sunday newspaper and I cant help wondering who the respondents were. A wide-ranging sample of the Countryside Alliances membership? An exhaustive canvassing of Young Farmers Clubs? Or did the papers property correspondent a vital job at this title ring round a bunch of estate agents? Did the business desk ask its favourite trust fund managers?

But just as I was congratulating myself for these pithy observations at the expense of our dear rivals, a Twitter wag trumped me. Alan Partidges Scotland playlist? wondered Marcus Orlandi.

You remember the bold Alans musical preferences. He would bellow along to some excruciatingly emotive power-ballad in the car, tapping the beat on the steering wheel in string-back driving gloves, hands never wavering from the Ministry of Transport-recommended ten-to-two formation. He would serenade a lady friend by singing something unsingable like Steeleye Spans Gaudete, this hot date foundering shortly afterwards on his shock admission that he understood the function of a vallance. He would, when a young member of staff at his hotel asked Who are Wings?, respond with a superior smirk: Only the band the Beatles could have been.

When I read the ten-best list, I was briefly stunned. Was there no one else? Perhaps not. The Scot who loves music knows not to boast. He or she will be aware that its not just the national football team who like to seize defeat from the jaws of victory. Edinburgh-born Stuart Sutcliffe was as important to the early days of the Beatles as Ian Stewart, son of Pittenweem, was to the nascent Rolling Stones, but both were booted out before the screaming began.

Weve contributed a third of Cream, half of the Eurythmics and when the cry went up, Can anyone play the flute one-legged in a tweed cape and codpiece?, it was a Scot who answered the call (Jethro Tulls Ian Anderson). But bands 100 per cent Caledonian, made out of shortbread and thistles, which were also great? Maybe wed have to make do with Texas, those good ole southern boys and girls from, er, Glasgow.

Oh no we wouldnt. What about the Associates? What about Stealers Wheel? What about Marmalade with their fab 45 Reflections of My Life, the choice of none-more-diverse soundtracks as those for a government TV campaign for the Good Friday Agreement and Linda Lovelaces sex odyssey Deep Throat?

I got in touch with my chum Brian Hogg, author of the Bible All That Ever Mattered: the History of Scottish Rock and Pop and he quickly came up with ten bands of his own: Teenage Fanclub, Jesus and Mary Chain, the Poets, the Incredible String Band, Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Josef K, Fire Engines, the Pastels, the Shop Assistants and Boards of Canada.

Hogg stressed this was his list as of 2.11pm yesterday. His methodology was bands whod made a pivotal contribution to music here or further afield. He signed off: Of course Im now haunted by those that missed the cut...

I think Im going radge

The jock n roll-inclined Twitterati offered their nominations: Orange Juice, Primal Scream, Aztec Camera, Cocteau Twins, Chvrches, Frightened Rabbit, Gallagher & Lyle, the Average White Band (who instead of coals to Newcastle took soul to the USA), Fife contenders Nazareth and the Skids, Fay Fifes combo the Rezillos (I think Im going radge might be the greatest Scottish lyric of all time) and for goodness sakes Franz Ferdinand.

Ah but its all a matter of personal taste. Many of the aforementioned are way cooler than the surveys top ten. The Incredible String Band were the only Scots to play Woodstock (but, in another semi-tragedy, got missed off the movie of the mega-gig). There would be no Guns N Roses without Nazareth to inspire them. I could shout for Clouds, prog pioneers adored by David Bowie. But cultural importance doesnt matter to everyone and wont get you played at a wedding disco, the barometer for some of a favourite band.

Does that make us who take against this list anoraks or snobs or, crikey, fascists or sorry to any female voters simply men of a certain age whove never forgotten when music papers were crucial to our lives? Well, the most disappointing thing about the survey is the lack of diversity. Many of the bands are similar-sounding, possibly remembered from extended sessions at the students union jukebox when it was too wet to venture out to lectures.

Theres a lot of rain. Deacon Blue: Raintown. The Blue Nile: Tinseltown in the Rain. Travis: Why Does It Always Rain on Me? Del Amitri have two songs with rain in the title while Simple Minds sang Come in, come out of the rain. Wet Wet Wets omission is surprising but Im starting to wonder if the poll didnt go much further than Scots TV meteorologists including Carol Kirkwood, Heather the Weather Reid and Peter Slush will be a problem on roads, as will Sloss.

No issue, though, with the Proclaimers being No 1, they of the blissfully rain-free Sunshine on Leith.

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The top ten Scottish bands ever (from the mind of Alan Partridge) Aidan Smith - The Scotsman

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5 natural ways to boost your mental health during stressful times –

Life today is razors-edge tense. If your regular coping methods arent measuring up, there are science-backed actions we can add on our own to ease anxiety, depression and stress all done naturally, no doctors note required.

If you had to choose just one thing to do to betteryour mental and physical health, choose toexercise on a regular basis.

Scientists believe exercise increases blood circulation to the brain, especially areas like the amygdala and hippocampus which both have roles in controlling motivation, mood and response to stress. For one thing, it releases endorphins, the bodys feel-good hormones.

You dont have to do high-intensity exercise to ease stress,according to a studyof university students. Researchers found that exercise of moderate intensity, defined as working out hard enough so you can still talk but cant sing, reduced depression.

High-intensity interval training, however, increased stress and inflammation. Its possible intense exercise could make an already stressed-out system more jittery, especially in individuals who were not accustomed to exercise, said study author Jennifer Heisz inan article she wrote.

Numerous studiesshow the biggest benefits come fromrhythmic exercises, which get your blood pumping in major muscle groups. Those include running, swimming, cycling and walking. Do the exercise for 15 to 30 minutes at least three times a week over a 10-week period or longer at low to moderate intensity.

A brisk walk, jog or bike ride can help keep you calm and healthy during these uncertain times, said Helsz, who is an associate professor in kinesiology at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada.

Theres another benefit of exercise it will improve your sleep quality, one of the best things you can do to ease stress and boost your mood. Theres an additional benefit to a better snooze. Youll beprotecting your heart,improving your brainandreducing your desire to snack.

Its not just about sleeping longer, either. Youre trying to give your body time to go through enough sleep cycles to repair itself, which means going from light sleep to deep and back again. Set yourself up for success bydeveloping good sleep habitsthat will train your brain for restorative sleep.

Develop a routine.You want to teach your body (and brain) to calm down, so try to begin relaxing at least an hour before bedtime. Shut off the news and put down your smartphone. Taking a warm bath or shower, reading a book, listening to soothing music, meditating or doing light stretches are all good options.

You should also have a regular bedtime and a regular time for getting up in the morning, even on weekends, experts said.

Avoid certain food and drink.Avoid stimulants such as nicotine or coffee after midafternoon, especially if you have insomnia. Alcohol is another no-no. You may think it helps you doze off, but you are more likely to wake in the night as your body begins to process the spirits.

Strive for cooler temperatures.Make sure your bed and pillows are comfortable, and the room is cool: Between 60 and 67 degrees is best. Dont watch television or work in your bedroom. You want your brain to think of the room as only for sleep.

Keep yourself in the dark.Be sure to eliminate all bright lights, as even the blue light of cellphones or laptops can be disruptive. If thats hard to accomplish, think about using eye shades and blackout curtains to keep the room dark. But during the day, try to get good exposure to natural light since that will help regulate your circadian rhythm.

Something as simple as taking deep, slow breaths can do amazing things to our brain and therefore our stress, experts said.

Learning breathwork lets you know that you have an ability to physiologically calm yourself, said stress management expert Dr. Cynthia Ackrill, an editor forContentment magazine, produced by theAmerican Institute of Stress.

When you physiologically calm yourself, you actually change your brainwaves, Ackrill said. I used to do neurofeedback, which is brainwave training, and I would have people hooked up to all kinds of machines. And after doing breathwork with them you could see these massive changes in the brain. It also lowered blood pressure.

Deep breathing realigns the stressed-out part of our bodies, called the the sympathetic system, with the parasympathetic, or rest and restore system, Ackrill explained.

While there are many types of breathing, a lot of research has focused on cardiac coherence, where you inhale for six seconds and exhale for six seconds for a short period of time. Focus on belly breathing, or breathing to the bottom of your lungs, by putting your hand on your tummy to feel it move.

Anytime you intentionally bring your attention to your breath and slow it down, youve already done a good thing, Ackrill said. Thats just one simple tool that you can use and it gives you back a feeling of power and control.

And it gives you that pause where you begin to realize that you are separate from whats happening to you, and you can choose a response instead of just a primal reaction.

Yoga, of course, is a form of physical exercise. In additon to releasing endorphins, yoga can regulate the bodys central stress response system, called the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, and improves sleep quality, said Jacinta Brinsley, a doctoralcandidate at the University of South Australiawho recently published a study on yoga.

But yoga is also a spiritual discipline, designed to meld body and mind. A yoga lifestyleincorporates physical postures, breath regulation and mindfulness through the practice of meditation.

Yogic philosophy teaches that the body, mind and spirit are all interconnected what you do in one area, for example, a physical exercise to strengthen your leg muscles, will have an effect in all of the other areas of your system, said Laurie Hyland Robertson, the editor in chief of Yoga Therapy Today, a journal published by the International Association of Yoga Therapists.

So we can expect that leg exercise, especially when you approach it in a mindful, purposeful way, to affect not only your quadriceps but also your emotional state, your bodys physiology and even your mental outlook, said Robertson, who coauthored the book Understanding Yoga Therapy: Applied Philosophy and Science for Health and Well-Being.

Two traditional Chinese exercises, tai chi and qi gong, have also been shown to be excellent stress reducers. Both are low-impact, moderate-intensity aerobic exercises that contain a flowing sequence of movements coupled with changes in mental focus, breathing, coordination and relaxation.

Studies have foundthat tai chi and qi gong increase blood levels of endorphins, reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol and improve immune function, a key benefit in the age of coronavirus. Andbrain scansof people using tai chi and qi gong find increased alpha, beta and theta brain wave activity, suggesting increased relaxation and attentiveness

Meditation and mindfulness are two excellent ways to lower stress.

At theCenter for Healthy Mindsat the University of Wisconsin-Madison, researchers studied the brains of Tibetan Buddhist monks recruited by the Dali Lama and found startling results: Tens of thousands of hours of compassionate meditation had permanently altered the structure and function of the monks brains. One 41-year-old monk had the brain of a 33-year-old.

But you dont have to devote your life to meditation to see change, said Richard Davidson, founder and director of the Center for Healthy Minds, theinstitute thatdid the research on the monks.

Davidson, who is a professor of psychology and psychiatry,pointed to the results of a randomized controlled trial of people whove never meditated before. Using direct measures of brain function and structure, he found itonly took 30 minutes a day of meditation practiceover the course of two weeks toproduce a measurable change in the brain.

When these kinds of mental exercises are taught to people, it actually changes the function and the structure of their brain in ways that we think support these kinds of positive qualities, Davidson said. And that may be key in producing the downstream impact on the body.

One of Davidsons favorite mindfulness exercises cultivates appreciation.

Simply to bring to mind people that are in our lives from whom we have received some kind of help, Davidson said. Bring them to mind and appreciate the care and support or whatever it might be that these individuals have provided.

You can spend one minute each morning and each evening doing this, he said. And that kind of appreciation is something that can foster a sense of optimism about the future.

Like exercise, mindfulness will need to be practiced on a regular basis to keep the brains positive outlook in good shape, Davidson said. But the effort is definitely worth it.

This is really about nurturing the mind, he said. And there is ample evidence to suggest that there are real psychological and physical health-related benefits.

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NTT Com internal cloud server hacked, information on 621 customers stolen – DatacenterDynamics

The company believes hackers started from an NTT base in Singapore, reached a cloud server in Japan, from there went to an NTT Com server on its internal network, before finally reaching an internal Active Directory server. There they stole data and uploaded it to a remote server.

NTT Com took the servers offline when they discovered the intrusion, but by that point, it was too late. Customers that may have been affected have been notified, the company said.

The company added that it would upgrade its IT infrastructure to stop a similar attack happening again, with a poorly secured migration project thought to be at fault.

"We will promptly disclose information when new information becomes available, but we will refrain from disclosing information regarding individual customers from the viewpoint of confidentiality," the company said in a statement (translated). "Thank you for your understanding."

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NTT Com internal cloud server hacked, information on 621 customers stolen - DatacenterDynamics

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Where is the edge in edge computing? And who gets to decide? – ZDNet

Calling a technological domain "the edge" gives it a cool sound, like it's just pushing the boundaries of some innovative envelope. So naturally, there are multiple subdomains of the world's wireless network that operators and equipment providers have staked out as "the edge." There is a "network edge" that you'd think would extend to the furthest boundaries of its coverage areas. Actually the "network edge" can be inches away from the wireless core, if the functions being served there extend directly to the customer.

An edge-ready mini data center as envisioned by cabling solutions provider Datwyler.

Then there's the "customer edge," and if you're not confused yet, that should be the outmost frontier of a customer's own assets. There is a "cloud edge" and an "edge cloud," which some vendors say is the same thing, and others may construe as totally separate concepts.

The reason for the ambiguity is this: The future of both the communications and computing markets may depend on the shape these edges form once they are finally brought together. This will determine where the points of control, and where the points of access, will reside. And as 5G Wireless networks continue to be deployed, the eventual locations of these points will determine who gets to control them, and who gets to regulate them.

"The edge is not a technology land grab," remarked Cole Crawford, CEO of DC producer Vapor IO. "It is a physical, real estate land grab."

A Vapor Chamber, designed in collaboration with the Kinetic Edge Alliance and produced by Vapor IO.

As ZDNet Scale reported in November 2017, Vapor IO makes a 9-foot diameter circular enclosure it calls the Vapor Chamber. It's designed to provide all the electrical facilities, cooling, ventilation, and stability that a very compact set of servers may require. Its aim is to enable same-day deployment of compute capability almost anywhere in the world, including temporary venues and, in the most lucrative use case of all, alongside 5G wireless transmission towers.

Since that report, public trials have begun of Vapor Chamber deployments in real-world edge/5G scenarios. The company calls this initial, experimental deployment schematic Kinetic Edge. Through its agreements with cellular tower owners including Crown Castle -- the US' largest single wireless infrastructure provider, and an investor in Vapor IO since September 2018 -- this schematic has Vapor IO stationing shipping container-like modules with cooling components attached, to strategic locations across a metro area.

By stationing edge modules adjacent to existing cellular transmitters, Vapor IO leverages their existing fiber optic cable links to communicate with one another at minimum latency, at distances no greater than 20 km. Each module accommodates 44 server rack units (RU) and up to 150 kilowatts of server power, so a cluster of six fiber-linked modules would host 0.9 megawatts. While that's still less than 2% of the server power of a typical metropolitan colocation facility, from a colo leader such as Equinix or Digital Realty, consider how competitive such a scheme could become if Crown Castle were to install one Kinetic Edge module beside each of its more than 40,000 cell towers in North America. Theoretically, the capacity already exists to facilitate the computing power of greater than 700 metro colos.

"As you start building out this Kinetic Edge, through the combination of our software, fiber, the real estate we have access to, and the edge modules that we're deploying, we go from the resilience profile that would exist in a Tier-1 data center, to well beyond Tier-4," said Crawford, referring to the smallest and largest classifications of data centers, respectively. "When you are deploying massive amounts of geographically disaggregated and distributed physical environments, all physically connected by fiber, you now have this highly resilient, physical world that can be treated like a highly connected, logical, single world."

Vapor IO has perhaps done more to popularize the notion of cell tower-based data centers than any other firm, particularly by spearheading the February 2019 establishment of the Kinetic Edge Alliance. But perhaps seeing a startup seize a key stronghold from its grasp, AT&T has recently backed away from characterizing its network edge as a place within sight of civilian eyes. In a 2019 demonstration at its AT&T Foundry facilities in Plano, Texas, the telco showed how 5G connectivity could be leveraged to run a real-time, unmanned drone tracking application. The customer's application in this case was not deployed in a DC, but instead in a data center that, at some later date, may be replaced with one of its own, existing Network Technology Centers (NTC).

It's AT&T's latest bid to capture the edge for itself, and hold it closer to its own treasure chest. In response, Vapor IO has found itself tweaking its customer message.

A Vapor IO Kinetic Edge facility next to a Crown Castle-owned RAN tower in Chicago.

"When we first started describing our Kinetic Edge platform for edge computing, we often used the image of a data center at the base of a cell tower to make it simple to understand," stated Matt Trifiro, Vapor IO's chief marketing officer, in a note to this reporter. "This was an oversimplification."

"We evaluate dozens of attributes," Trifiro continued, "including the availability of multi-substation power, proximity to population centers, and the availability of existing network infrastructure, when selecting Kinetic Edge locations. While many of our edge data centers do, in fact, have cell towers on the same property, they mainly serve as aggregation hubs that connect to many macro towers, small cells and cable head ends."

Although cell towers are a principal factor in Vapor IO's site selection, Trifiro told ZDNet, they're not the only factor. Kinetic Edge sites are linked to one another through a dedicated software-defined network (SDN). The resulting system routes incoming traffic among multiple sites in a region, forming a cluster that Vapor IO does not call an "edge cloud."

"In this way, we enable the Kinetic Edge to span the entire middle-mile of a metropolitan area, connecting the cellular access networks to the regional data centers and the Tier-1 backbones using a modern network topology," said Trifiro.

The Kinetic Edge deployment model follows an emerging standard for enabling edge computing environments on highly distributed systems, for a plurality of simultaneous tenants. Last January, prior to the onset of the pandemic, the European standards group ETSI published two reports that jointly tackled the problem of virtualization -- giving each tenant a slice of an edge server -- in a way that could also serve as the foundation for telco-owned servers used in 5G Wireless.

Just as server and network virtualization provided the foundation for the modern data center cloud, these proposed standards could pave the way for a concept which, just last year, was being critiqued as oxymoronic: the edge cloud.

Network slicing is a deceptively difficult concept to implement in telco environments, many of which are already virtualized at one level. To pull it off, service providers would have to implement a second layer of virtualization at a deeper level -- one that allows telcos to utilize their servers for their own data services, while at the same time secluding and isolating customer-facing services so that they cannot peer into telcos' namespaces. There are both technological and legal hurdles for engineers to cross (many countries' regulations, including the US, prohibit the mixing of telco and customer environments), and prior to their drone tracker demo, AT&T's engineers had gone on record to say it cannot be done.

ETSI's proposed approach for what it calls multi-access edge computing (MEC) would be to refrain from specifying just how virtualization takes place.

"The ETSI MEC architectural framework. . . introduces the virtualization infrastructure of MEC host either as a generic or as a NFV [network functions virtualization] Infrastructure (NFVI)," one ETSI document [PDF] reads. "Neither the generic virtualization infrastructure nor the NFVI restricts itself to using any specific virtualization technology."

The result is a cluster of server components, each of which may be hosted by a hypervisor-driven environment such as classic VMware vSphere, or a container-driven, orchestrated environment such as Kubernetes. The system looks homogenous enough on the surface, with applications and services being hosted, for lack of a more explicit model, however they're hosted. The lower layers of the infrastructure provide whatever isolation each tenant's workload of applications and services may require. From the perspective of the orchestrator or manager, it's all one cloud -- and that is how ETSI defines "edge cloud."

The problem with this point of view, as some US-based engineers see it, is that it assumes edge systems may be contained unto themselves, entirely at the edge. If you're a manufacturer of systems and components designed to go elsewhere, you don't want to build partitions for yourself.

"If you're going to deliver real-time inferencing at the edge, typically that means you've trained a model back in your data center," explained Matt Baker, Dell Technologies' senior vice president of strategy and planning. "And this is one reason we say edge doesn't exist unto its own. Edge is a part of a broader environment: edge to core to cloud."

Last February, Baker was rolling out an extension to his company's edge systems architecture geared for high-performance AI and data analytics scenarios, called Dell EMC HPC Ready for AI and Data Analytics. In a system that enables its parts to be defined by the workloads it runs, said Baker, the separation of powers tends to evolve into silos. Case in point: machine learning. Bright Cluster Manager for ML may require one platform; if another workload runs better on Spark, that's another platform. The result is workload isolation and reinforced complexity for their own sake.

"So what we wanted to do is build a ready architecture for many AI and data analytics frameworks," said Baker, "so that it's just a whole lot easier for our customers to approach, deploy, and leverage all of these new, great technologies like Cassandra, Domino, Spark, Kubeflow."

What Dell is calling a system for edge computing is, in this case, a very dense server rack. At first glance, and even at second glance, it doesn't appear to fit the typical bill of an edge-optimized system, even one from Dell. Indeed, Dell EMC published earlier forms of its HPC Ready architecture, including one back in early 2018 [PDF], without any mention of edge computing. What is it that makes a server rack non-edge one year, and edge-certified the next?

"I think it's important to observe that this is an ecosystem, an end-to-end system," Baker explained. "And in order to develop a real-time inferencing application, it typically requires that you train it against a large set of data. This is designed to complement and be deployed not physically alongside, but logically alongside, the streaming data platform."

Dell believes an edge computing platform need not be physically deployed at any edge at all. It's an edge cloud of sorts, that you don't even have to know is at the edge. In response to a question from ZDNet, Baker confirmed that this architecture was designed for an environment that is staffed by human beings which already suggests its location is in the zone that Dell, at least in the past, called the "core."

The AT&T Foundry facility in Plano, Texas, ironically as seen by a drone.

For the 4G Wireless model, engineers added an ingenious type of network switch. It allowed a request to a service from a customer's device, such as a smartphone, to bypass the usual Internet routing scheme, enabling a local server to process that request more expediently. It was called the local breakout (LBO) switch, and it's the reason many major Web sites respond quickly to users, even with less-than-optimal connections.

Being able to switch an incoming data request so that a local server responds to it rather than a remote one, turns out to be a handy tool in the arsenal of a telco that wants to direct traffic from the radio access network (RAN) to wherever it considers the edge to be the place with the most value for that telco. For AT&T, as its drone demo proved, it can enable IoT traffic to be routed into its own facilities into what Dell would have defined as the "core," but what can now be marketed as the edge. It's a technique built on top of LBO, called serving gateway local breakout (SGW-LBO).

Athonet is a communications equipment provider that has already rolled out SGW-LBO to some telco customers, following its launch in February 2018. In a statement at the time, the company said, "The benefit of this approach is that it allows specific traffic (not all traffic) to be offloaded for key applications that are implemented at the network edge without impacting the existing network or breaking network security. . . We therefore believe that it is the optimal enabler for MEC."

There's that ETSI term again. If telcos have their hands exclusively on SGW-LBO switches, then what's to prevent them from diverting all incoming traffic from their RANs directly into their NTCs, declaring those NTCs "the new edge," and reaping the jackpots?

Juniper Networks, at least theoretically, would benefit from whichever way the LBO switch is thrown. Its CTO, Raj Yavatkar, told ZDNet he sees potential value for an AT&T, a Verizon, or a T-Mobile in embracing, or at least enabling, the Kinetic Edge model of letting LBO point their direction. His argument is that it would free telcos from depending exclusively upon the largest hyperscale cloud service providers.

"We see that if telcos simply rely on hyperscalers to provide all these services, and only focus on providing connectivity," said Yavatkar, "they won't be able to take advantage of the value-added services that they can sell to their enterprise customers, and monetize them. There's a balance to be considered, with respect to what is served from hyperscalers, and what is served in a cloud-agnostic, cloud-neutral way, from the edge of the cloud."

StackPath, with whom Juniper has partnered, could conceivably provide not only the edge infrastructure for telco services, but also the platform for a marketplace on which those services are sold a kind of cloud at the edge that, neither technically or commercially, is actually "the cloud."

It would be a mistake to presume that edge computing is a phenomenon which will eventually, entirely, absorb the space of the public cloud. Indeed, it's the very fact that the edge can be visualized as a place unto itself, separate from lower-order processes, that gives rise to both its real-world use cases and its someday/somehow, imaginary ones. It was also a mistake, in perfect hindsight, to presume the disruptive economic force of cloud dynamics could completely commoditize the computing market, such that a virtual machine from one provider is indistinguishable from any other VM from another, or that the cloud will always feel like next door regardless of where you reside on the planet.

Yet it's very difficult, when plotting the exact specifications for what any service provider's or manufacturer's edge services, facilities, or equipment should be, to get caught up in the excitement of the moment and imagine the edge as a line that spans all classes and all contingencies, from sea to shining sea. Like most technologies conceived and implemented this century, it's being delivered at the same time it's being assembled. Half of it is principle, and the other half promise.

Once you obtain a beachhead in any market, it's hard not to want to drive further inland. There's where the danger lies: where the ideal of retrofitting the Internet with quality of service can make anyone lose, to coin a phrase, its edge.

This article contains updated material that first appeared in an earlier ZDNet Executive Guide on edge computing.

Where is the edge in edge computing? And who gets to decide? - ZDNet

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Cloud-native architectures will define the vRAN future – 5Gradar

The building of virtual Radio Access Networks (vRAN) and the use of edge data centers has long been a major topic in the mobile communications sector and this development affects both the current 4G and the future 5G networks. However, technology continues to evolve away from virtualized workloads and towards containers and cloud-native architectures and applications.

Traditional radio access networks consist of antennas, base stations (baseband units BBUs), and controllers. This makes them some of the most expensive components in a mobile network. Whats more is that they also require specialized hardware and software. Virtualized RAN (vRAN) solutions overcome these disadvantages, which is why they are replacing proprietary, hardware-based radio access networks in ever-greater numbers. The vRAN is based on Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) that transforms a typical hardware-based network architecture to a software-based environment. There still might be a need for hardware acceleration in some form. Some BBU control functions are provided on virtual machines (VMs) that run on Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS)" servers in an edge data center. This all results in disaggregation in two dimensions:

1. separation of hardware and software and2. functional split of the base station.

The trend towards edge computing affects both 4G and 5G networks. The main advantages of edge computing include zero-touch provisioning, multi-cluster management, a smaller footprint, high scalability and automated operation. vRAN or disaggregated RAN can be seen as a specific use case or workload on edge data centers.

There are a few differences between 4G LTE and 5G when it comes to edge implementation, especially in terms of how the functionalities of the base stations are divided between the antenna locations and the edge data centers.

In 4G LTE networks, the traditional status quo is a distributed RAN with baseband units on the antenna side, meaning the full functionality of the base stations is distributed across the individual antenna locations. This results in considerable costs, potential challenges of radio interference, and high energy consumption. An edge approach moves away from a distributed RAN with BBUs and towards a centralized vRAN. Some of the functions of the base stations are centralized in virtualized BBUs (vBBUs), meaning the base station is split.

In 5G networks, on the other hand, disaggregation in edge implementation is divided into three parts: Radio Units (RUs on antenna sites), Distributed Units (DUs), and Centralized Units (CUs).

The CUs are designed as a distributed cloud solution with low space requirements, while the DUs assume tasks such as real-time processing, supporting the Precision Time Protocol (PTP), hardware acceleration such as field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), smart network interface cards (Smart NICs) and even Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs).

At the edge, mobile network operators are already using Network Functions Virtualization such as Red Hat OpenStack with distributed nodes for software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN) and mobile applications. However, introducing vRANs by using virtual machines on standard servers in an edge data center cannot be the final step but is a good first step. It has often been shown that the current virtual network functions (VNFs) and vRANs in particular are unable to meet expectations in terms of functionality, easy implementation, or management. Thats why the next step must be using applications that are compatible with the cloud or, even better, cloud-native applications. And this development is currently emerging in the telecommunications sector, with the use of cloud-native applications on Kubernetes-based container platforms such as Red Hat OpenShift for 5G Core (5GC), Edge and RANs, for example.

Cloud-native applications are designed as lightweight containers and loosely coupled microservices. As far as network operators are concerned, the main advantages of these types of applications are the lower development costs, the simpler upgrades and modifications, as well as the potential for horizontal scaling. This also avoids vendor lock-in.

In essence, cloud-native application development is characterized by service-based architecture, API-based communication, and container-based infrastructure. Service-Based Architecture (SBA) is defined in the 5G standard.

Service-based architectures such as microservices enable modular, loosely coupled services to be built. The services are provided via lightweight, technology agnostic APIs that reduce the complexity, effort, and expense during deployment, scaling, and maintenance. In addition, cloud-native applications are based on containers that enable operation across different environments. Container technology uses the operating systems functions to divide the available computing resources across multiple applications and at the same time ensure the applications are secure. Cloud-native applications also scale horizontally, meaning other application instances can be added easily often through automation within the container infrastructure. The lower overheads and high density enable numerous containers to be hosted within the same virtual machine or the same physical server.

It is becoming increasingly apparent that the transition to 5G is a transition to containers and cloud-native applications. This means that virtualized workloads are evolving into containerized workloads. Virtualization will be there for years to come though, in one form or another.

The advantages of the cloud-native approach can be seen in particular in the main 5G use cases, and thus in network slicing, or in other words, the provision of multiple virtual networks on a common physical infrastructure.

In principle, there are the following three use cases when it comes to 5G:

A virtualized RAN that is both container-based and cloud-native is a key component for the 5G network transformation and in providing optimal support for these technologies and use cases. Cloud-native architecture in particular allows initial costs to be kept to a minimum per slice and the scaling up to thousands of slices of all sizes to be cost-efficient.

There is no question that 5G will power a new generation of services thanks to its higher data rates and extremely low latencies. To be able to leverage their advantages to the fullest extent possible, however, telecommunications companies need to bring their data processing and processing power closer to the end user. The end user can ultimately also be a smartphone, a connected car, or a robot in a production process. The task clearly demonstrates that both edge computing and cloud-native capabilities are the focus of mobile network operators activities at the moment.

Some mobile providers have already set up commercial, if locally restricted, 5G environments, and numerous new projects are on the horizon. vRAN, edge computing, and cloud-native are the crucial technology drivers in this area, and open source solutions such as Red Hat OpenShift will form the basis of disaggregated 5G infrastructures.

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Cloud-native architectures will define the vRAN future - 5Gradar

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HSBC platform uses AI to analyse trading data thousands of times faster –

HSBC is offering a trading service that will use artificial intelligence (AI) to gain trading insights from publicly available information to help its clients make decisions when trading shares in companies.

The banks US business is using IBM Watson and technology from EquaBot in AiPEX, which will learn from publicly available data, including company announcements and tweets.

Monitoring the 1,000 largest companies listed, the service will predict which shares are likely to grow. It uses the same methods as traditional research in this area, but will be automated and thousands of times faster.

With the volume of data available about companies and their strategies exploding, trading companies need to be able to monitor data in near-real time and make investment decisions based on it.

Dave Odenath, head of quantitative investment solutions, Americas, at HSBC Global Banking and Markets, said investors needed to be able to keep up with the growing amount of data being generated each day.

We are now able to offer clients solutions that not only keep up, but thrive in an increasingly complex world of data. AiPEX with Watson simulates a team of thousands of analysts and traders working around the clock to learn from millions of pieces of information and identify potential investment opportunities, said Odenath.

AiPEX with Watson simulates a team of thousands of analysts and traders working around the clock to learn from millions of pieces of information and identify potential investment opportunities Dave Odenath, HSBC Global Banking and Markets

The trading sector relies on vast amounts of data about the performance of companies as well as historic economic trends. Technology is being offered by banks and other trading service providers to help businesses in the trading sector keep up.

For example, some of the datasets demanded by customers of financial data supplier Refinitiv are so large that many requests cannot be sent over fibre networks without huge delay. This means companies that want to analyse the data often have to transport it by truck on hard disks and upload it to their servers.

Refinitiv recently announced it was using Google Cloud to remove the need to physically transport data or even transfer it over fibre networks. It moved its Tick History database into Google Cloud to enable customers to analyse the data there.

Cloud computing and other digital technology advancements are transforming how data is analysed in the capital markets sector,Catalina Vazquez, proposition director for the Tick History database atRefinitiv,recently told Computer Weekly.

As the cloud delivers on its promise to make AI-based analytics more readily available, the potential of data to deliver answers that drive business performance gets ever greater.

US stock exchange Nasdaq recently said it was using Amazon Web Services (AWS) application programming interfaces (APIs) to give its investment industry customers access to trading data in real time.

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HSBC platform uses AI to analyse trading data thousands of times faster -

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Developers recall career ‘aha’ moments that have shaped their Docker experience – SiliconANGLE News

They are called aha moments, flashes of insightthat can spark unexpected solutions to tough problems. And two developers with extensive experience in the Docker Inc. container world have encountered enough of these moments for a lifetime.

Elton Stoneman(pictured, left), container consultant and trainer, came across one such moment with a client who was a major Windows user with a large number of environments. He went in discuss what containers would look like if they became part of the clients operation.

I said, You can take your applications, you can wrap them up to run these things in containers, youre still going to get the isolation, but you can run loads more of them on the same hardware that youve got, Stoneman recalled. You dont pay a Windows license for each of those containers, you pay a license for the server theyre running on. The head of information technology said, Thats going to save us millions of dollars. That was his aha moment.

Stoneman spoke with Julie Lerman(pictured, right), software coach at The Data Farm, as part of theCUBEs coverage of DockerCon Live. They discussed previous and new enhancements to Dockers interface with Microsoft Corp.s tools, containers impact on enterprise security, how orchestration supports developers, and the importance of continuous education. (* Disclosure below.)

Not all moments of sudden insight in the container space will save millions of dollars, but they can add up to an understanding about ways to navigate important tasks in the data-driven enterprise while saving time and extra work. For many developers, this has been especially true where the focus is on moving data.

Im very involved in getting data in and out of applications, Lerman said. My aha moment was four years ago after Microsoft moved SQL Server over to Linux and then put it inside a Docker image. Holy smokes! SQL Server was already installed, and the container was up like that.

Aha moments can also come with the latest news. On Wednesday, Docker announced that it had extended its collaboration with Microsoft to make code to cloud application creation easier for developers.

We had an aha moment this week with the announcement that you can use your Docker Compose files and Docker commands to spin stuff up running in Azure and container instances, Stoneman noted. You just write a Dockerfile, and youve got your 15-year-old application running in a container and you can run that in the cloud with no changes to code. Thats super powerful for lots of people.

Expanding use of containers can also help developers with much-needed improvements in confidence among security professionals that potential IT infrastructure weaknesses are being addressed. A GitLab survey of over 4,000 software professionals found that while 69% of developers indicated they were expected to write secure code, half of security professionals struggled to get developers to make protection against vulnerabilities a top priority.

Earlier in May, Docker announced a partnership with Snyk Ltd. to help make security part of app development for developers.

When security people first get their head around containers, they get worried that if someone can compromise the app in the container, they might be able to break out and get to all the other containers, Stoneman explained. Its so much easier to get defense in depth when youre building containers. You can sign your images so that your platform doesnt run anything that isnt signed, and you have a full history that whats in source code is exactly whats in production. Theres all sorts of ways you can layer on security there.

A Portworx survey released in 2019 found that for three years in a row, container adoption was all about driving developer efficiency. Increased speed and efficiency, agility, and use on multiple cloud platforms were the three top drivers, according to the results.

The first time I really started orchestrating was yet another aha moment, Lerman said. Now I use Docker as a really important tool during development and test. I was ready because I had already gotten used to using the tooling and really understanding what was going on with the container.

Lermans in-depth understanding of container technology highlights the important role developers play in educating colleagues in the community. Aha moments can also mean returning to the time when containers for some represented black boxes of indecipherable tools. This is why Stoneman and Lerman spend a significant portion of their time, including during DockerCon, on the education of others.

I know a lot of times when people are deeply expert in something, they forget what it was like not to understand it, said Lerman, during the discussion with her colleague. One of the really important things, especially for people like you and I who are also teachers, is to try to really remember that moment. I still have held onto that.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLEs and theCUBEs coverage of DockerCon Live. (* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for DockerCon Live. Neither Docker Inc., the sponsor for theCUBEs event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

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Crypto Index Analysis: Boosted by altcoin breakout –

The Crypto Index has started to stage a strong recovery as many top altcoins start to breakout to the upside.

Crypto Index analysis shows that a powerful breakout towards the 57,000 resistance level is on the horizon.

The Crypto Index has received a major boost as Ethereum and a host of other coins begin to break to the upside.

If Bitcoin can break above the $10,000 level this week, then an even stronger directional move in the index could take place.

Crypto Index technical analysis over the medium-term shows that a bullish reversal pattern is starting to take shape.

The daily time shows that an inverted head and shoulders pattern will form, with over 10,000 points of upside potential, if the index reaches the 47,000 level.

The size of the pattern indicates that the index could rally towards the 57,000 level over the medium-term.

Coronavirus affects markets

Crypto Index analysis highlights that the index has a bullish short-term trading bias while the price trades above the 42,500 level.

The one-hour time frame currently shows that a bearish head and shoulders pattern has been invalidated during last week's rally.

According to the size of the invalidated head and shoulders pattern, the Crypto Index could advance towards the 50,000 level over the short-term.

Traders should note that the 44,500 and 43,000 levels currently offer the strongest form of short-term technical support.

Crypto Index technical analysis shows that the index is appearing increasingly bullish. A rally towards the 57,000 level could take place over the medium-term.

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Crypto Index Analysis: Boosted by altcoin breakout -

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Ethereums price rush may run out of steam – AMBCrypto English

While many expected Bitcoin to make a move into five-figures after its halving, it looks like an altcoin is stealing the show. Its not just any altcoin, but the most valuable one in the market Ethereum.

The second-largest cryptocurrency, by market capitalization, has been surging since 27 May, mounting a massive incline in its price. Since plummeting to below $100 back in March, Ether has steadily moved up, trading in a strong upward channel, rising by over 115 percent in the past two months. Just in the past three days, however, the altcoin has increased by nearly a fifth of its price.

Needless to say, this move by Ethereum was on the cards, but to move up so much, so quick, was a shock, and it did set off a host of alarms.

With Ethers rise in the past few days, Ethereum Futures contracts have seen their annualized rolling basis drop. Both the monthly and the quarterly contracts have taken a hit, with derivatives traders not expecting Ethereum to witness such a rise in the aforementioned time periods, or less so than the current rush.

OKExs and Krakens monthly contracts dropped to 7.7 percent and 5.1 percent from 13.91 and 9.65 percent, respectively. Deribits 3-month contracts dropped from 5.83 percent to 4.17 percent.

As the rolling basis decreased, open interest for current outstanding positions on the Futures contracts increased. Huobi which has the highest ETH futures volume in the past few days, saw its open interest rise from $82 million on 16 May to $166 million today. The exchange with the highest OI share, OKEx saw outstanding positions increase from $169 million to $208 million in the past 24-hours alone, no doubt fueled by this price increase.

Perhaps the most important move came in the Ethereum options space. On Friday, 29 May, after reaching an ATH in Options open interest [in both ETH terms and $ terms], the expiry triggered a pullback. As over 33,400 ETH options expired, OI dropped $114 million to $93 million, and since the price was rising [since 27 May] the outstanding positions kept getting filled up with OI rising to $120 million.

Given that this is rise after a massive pullback, the rate at which the contracts are being opened is high, accompanied with high momentum. Further, this Friday, June 5, another set of 47,900 ETH options contracts are set to expire, resulting in a pullback and a possible price move.

As Ethereum rose, quite prematurely, the altcoins expected mid-year rally has been halted, or rather shortened. The 3-month implied volatility, or expected price movement based on options pricing, is now at its six-month lowest point of 3.9 percent, indicative of a hush-hush market, based on expectations, not on reversals.

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Ethereums price rush may run out of steam - AMBCrypto English

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