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Could IoT sensors, geo-tracking, customer interaction, and other data streaming services help your bottom line? Learn from these successful uses.

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When your company needs answers from big data in real time, the data is streamed so it can be filtered or sampled, aggregated and correlated—all to bring about a real-time answer to an important business question. “Streaming data is table stakes for the most interesting future use cases,” said Mark Brewer, CEO at Lightbend. “And that’s giving rise to the number of programming languages, frameworks and tools for building and running streaming data-centric applications.” However, streaming data—especially unstructured big data like what comes from Internet of Things (IoT) devices—can require knowledge of sophisticated processing architectures and investments in tools as well.

SEE: TechRepublic Premium editorial calendar: IT policies, checklists, toolkits, and research for download (TechRepublic Premium)

This is why real-time data streaming of big data like IoT, audio, video, etc., gives many companies pause before they start implementing. Invariably, the solidity of the business use case for streaming gets examined, as well as the likelihood of success and return on investment.

What companies have found so far is that there are several business use cases for data streaming that have really gone well. Here are a few.

Customer experience and interaction

When a customer visits a retail website, their website movements get tracked, as well as their purchasing preferences and choices. Recognizing and responding to consumer buying patterns in real time can be integrated into marketing so a customer looking at slacks could suddenly see an offer for matching shirts.

SEE: 5 Internet of Things (IoT) innovations (free Pdf) (TechRepublic)

The ability to analyze and predict what a buyer might be looking for next can produce additional orders and revenues that beef up the bottom line.

Environmental sensing

Ambient temperatures in data centers, conference rooms, offices, warehouses, refrigeration units, hospital operating rooms, etc., are all part of providing viable work space. If a sensor in a room suddenly detects temperatures or humidities that are falling outside of range, an auto-alert can be sent, and a maintenance person can be dispatched. The technology can save lives, prevent food spoilage, and keep data centers running.

SEE: What IoT is telling us about the trucking industry during COVID-19 (TechRepublic)

Systems geo-tracking and security

Who’s tapping into your systems and networks, when and from where are all important elements of security and governance. So is the ability to track foot traffic through plants and offices. In 2020, IBM reports that the cost of a single data breach was $3.8 million, so the savings in cost and company reputation are significant.

SEE: How digitalization is helping those who work in field service (TechRepublic)

Industrial IoT

A machine failure on an assembly line can cost $1 million per day. That failure can be prevented by an industrial sensor that can detect a machine failing in real time before it happens. This kind of preemptive maintenance keeps assembly lines running and saves millions of dollars.

SEE: Enough with the pilots: IoT in manufacturing is ready to grow at scale (TechRepublic)


Logistics companies track trucks and cars on the road with IoT sensors. They are able to see which vehicles will arrive on time, or ahead of, or behind schedule. They can observe vehicle proximity and reroute a vehicle if another vehicle in the area suffers a breakdown. All of this is facilitated with IoT devices and sensors attached to vehicles that are monitored in real time. The savings can mount up. For refrigerated trucks alone, the late fee for one load of cargo can be $500

SEE: UPS: How IoT devices are transforming supply chain logistics (TechRepublic)

Patient monitoring

Healthcare clinics and hospitals can now automatically receive vitals readings from patients who are at home. Alerts are issued if a patient’s data indicates a dangerous condition. No dollar amount can be placed on the value of a human life and the ability to save it because you’re getting real-time data. 

SEE: Healthcare AI: How one hospital system is using technology to adapt to COVID-19 (TechRepublic)

Fraud detection

In a flash, a bank card processor can detect a fraudulent credit card transaction as soon as the perpetrator passes the card through a card reader. The transaction gets denied, and no money is lost. Worldwide, credit card fraud costs companies $22 billion per year, so the stakes are big.

SEE: Visa unveils AI tool to help stop digital identity fraud (TechRepublic)

How can real-time data help your business?

Although the use of real-time big data streaming is nascent for most companies, it is already paying off for companies in a wide array of industries. 

What do these use cases have in common? A well-articulated business case that everyone, from management down, can visualize a great return on investment with delivery of tangible business value in the form of happy customers, cost savings, improved revenue, and an established history of use case success.

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How to install the FreeIPA identity and authorization solution on CentOS 8


Jack Wallen walks you through the process of installing an identity and authorization platform on CentOS 8.

Image: CentOS

FreeIPA is an open source identity and authorization platform that provides centralized authorization for Linux, macOS, and Windows. This solution is based on the 389 Directory Server and uses Kerberos, SSSD, Dogtag, NTP, and DNS. The installation isn’t terribly challenging, and you’ll find a handy web-based interface that makes the platform easy to administer.

I’m going to walk you through the steps of getting FreeIPA up and running on CentOS 8. 

SEE: CentOS: A how-to guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic) 

What you’ll need

How to set your hostname

The first thing you must do is set your hostname. I’m going to be demonstrating with a LAN-only FQDN (which then must be mapped in /etc/hosts on any client machine that wants to access the server). 

Set your hostname with the command:

sudo hostnamectl set-hostname HOSTNAME

Where HOSTNAME is the FQDN of the server.

After you’ve set the hostname, you must add an entry in the server’s hosts file. Issue the command:

sudo nano /etc/hosts

Add a line at the bottom like this:


Where SERVER_IP is the IP address of the server and HOSTNAME is the FQDN of the server.

Save and close the file.

How to install FreeIPA

The installation of FreeIPA starts with enabling the idm:DL1 repository with the command:

sudo module enable idm:DL1

When that command completes, sync the repository with the command:

sudo dnf distro-sync

Install FreeIPA with the command:

sudo dnf install ipa-server ipa-server-dns -y

How to set up FreeIPA Server

Next you have to run the configuration script for FreeIPA Server. To do that, issue the command:

sudo ipa-server-install

The first question you must answer is whether or not you want to install BIND for DNS. Accept the default (no) by pressing Enter on your keyboard. You must then confirm the domain and realm name, which will both be detected by the script. Once you’ve confirmed those entries, you’ll need to set a directory manager password, an IPA admin password for the web interface, and then accept the default (no) for the installation of chrony. 

After you’ve taken care of the above, you’ll be presented with the details of your installation (Figure A).

Figure A


The details of my installation of FreeIPA Server.

Type y and hit Enter on your keyboard. The configuration will begin. This does take a bit of time, so either sit back and watch the text fly by or set about to take care of another task.

When the configuration completes, you’re ready to continue on.

How to access the web interface

Open a browser and point it to https://SERVER_IP (where SERVER IP is the IP address of the hosting server). You should be prompted for a username and password (Figure B). The username is admin and the password is the one you set for IPA admin during the configuration. 

Figure B


The FreeIPA login screen.

Upon successful login, you’ll find yourself at the FreeIPA main window, where you can begin managing your centralized authentication server (Figure C).

Figure C


The FreeIPA main window is ready to work.

And that’s all there is to getting FreeIPA installed on CentOS. You can now spend some time adding users and other bits to make your identity and authorization solution work for your business.

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Targeting Aging is the Way to Treat Diseases of Aging

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Near all work to date on the treatment of age-related disease has failed to consider or target underlying mechanisms of aging, the molecular damage that accumulates to cause pathology. It has instead involved one or another attempt to manipulate the complicated, disrrayed state of cellular metabolism in late stage disease, chasing proximate causes of pathology that are far downstream of the mechanisms of aging. This strategy has largely failed, and where it has succeeded has produced only modest benefits. Consider that statins, widely thought to be a major success in modern medicine, do no more than somewhat reduce and delay mortality due to atherosclerosis. They are not a cure. The mechanisms of aging are why age-related diseases such as atherosclerosis exist. They are the root cause of these diseases. Attempted therapies that continue to fail to target the mechanisms of aging will continue to fail to deliver meaningful benefits to patients. This must change.

Targeting Aging is the Way to Treat Diseases of Aging

Image credit: Pixabay (Free Pixabay license)

Aging doesn’t kill people – diseases kill people. Right? In today’s world, and in a country like the United States, most people die of diseases such as heart attack and stroke, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. These diseases tend to be complex, challenging, difficult, and extremely ugly to experience. And they are by nature chronic, caused by multifactorial triggers and predispositions and lifestyle choices. What we are only now beginning to understand is that the diseases that ultimately kill us are inseparable from the aging process itself. Aging is the root cause. This means that studying these diseases without taking aging into account could be dangerously misleading … and worst of all, impede real progress.

Take Alzheimer’s disease. To truly treat a disease like Alzheimer’s, we would need to identify and understand the biological targets and mechanisms that trigger the beginning of the disease, allowing us to intervene early – ideally, long before the onset of disease, to prevent any symptoms from happening. But in the case of diseases like Alzheimer’s, the huge problem is that we actually understand very little about those early targets and mechanisms. The biology underlying such diseases is incredibly complex. We aren’t sure what the cause is, we know for sure there isn’t only one target to hit, and all prior attempts to hit any targets at all have failed. When you start to think about how much of what we think we know about Alzheimer’s comes from very broken models – for example, mice, which don’t get Alzheimer’s naturally – it becomes totally obvious why we’re at a scientific stalemate in developing treatments for the disease, and that we’ve likely been coming at this from the wrong direction entirely.

The biggest risk factor for Alzheimer’s isn’t your APOE status; it’s your age. People in their twenties don’t get Alzheimer’s. But after you hit the age of 65, your risk of Alzheimer’s doubles every five years, with your risk reaching nearly one out of three by the time you’re 85. What if going after this one biggest risk factor is the best vector of attack? Maybe even the only way to truly address it? This isn’t about the vanity of staying younger, about holding on to your good looks or your ability to run an 8 minute mile. It’s about the only concrete possibility we have to cure these diseases. Instead of choosing targets for a single specific disease, i.e. a specific condition that arises in conjunction with aging, we can get out in front of disease by choosing targets that promote health. And we can identify these by looking at disease through the lens of the biology of aging.


Source: Fight Aging!

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The Mandalorian Season 1 Recap Distills the Star Wars Series Into 89 Seconds

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Before The Mandalorian season 2 premieres Friday afternoon on Disney+ Hotstar (and Friday midnight on Disney+ in the US), Disney and Lucasfilm have given us an official 89-second recap of The Mandalorian season 1. That’s very brief, but it speaks to the fact that The Mandalorian wasn’t a narratively-heavy show on its debut last year.

Everything You Need to Know About The Mandalorian Season 2

The Mandalorian season 1 recap touches upon Mando’s (Pedro Pascal) profession (he’s a bounty hunter), his newest target (Baby Yoda), the people he meets along the way — Cara Dune (Gina Carano), Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), and Kuiil (voiced by Nick Nolte) — and the consequences of his decision to bring Baby Yoda under his wing.

“You have something I want. It means more to me than you will ever know,” the darksaber-wielding villain Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) says deep into The Mandalorian season 1 recap, as we are given a reminder of the Star Wars series’ action-heavy side. Gideon then declares: “It will be mine.”

The season 1 recap wraps by setting up The Mandalorian season 2, as tribe leader The Armorer (Emily Swallow) instructs Mando to reunite Baby Yoda “with its own kind”. Mando wonders: “You expect me to search the galaxy for the home of this creature?” Well, yes, otherwise what would we do in season 2, Mando.

In addition to Pascal, Carano, Weathers, and Esposito, The Mandalorian season 2 also stars Omid Abtahi as Dr. Pershing, Horatio Sanz as Mythrol, Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano, Katee Sackhoff as Bo-Katan Kryze, Temuera Morrison as Boba Fett, Timothy Olyphant as former slave Cobb Vanth, Michael Biehn as a rival bounty hunter, and Sasha Banks in an undisclosed role.

Jon Favreau (The Lion King, Iron Man) created The Mandalorian and serves as showrunner and head writer on the Star Wars series. Favreau and Weathers are among the directors on season 2 alongside Dave Filoni, Rick Famuyiwa, Bryce Dallas Howard, Peyton Reed, and Robert Rodriguez.

The Mandalorian season 2 premieres October 30 on Disney+ Hotstar in India. Episodes will air weekly.

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