In a few days’ time thousands of IT practitioners, IT professionals, subject matter experts and technology enthusiasts will descend upon the Venetian in Las Vegas to learn about the latest in converged platforms, software defined, all flash technologies, and hybrid cloud at EMC World 2016. The Converged Platforms Division will be out in full force with the intention of demonstrating how converged solutions can reduce IT complexity and drive business value.We pride ourselves on the constant evolution and development of our portfolio to better meet our customers’ current and future technology needs. With every product, solution or platform announced we have accelerated our customers’ journey towards a simplified and faster IT environment, whilst also offering more choice than ever before to meet a diverse range of workloads, applications and use cases.At EMC World 2016 we will reveal how the journey towards a modern data center supported by a scalable and robust infrastructure can be expedited with two significant announcements to our converged platforms portfolio. Chad Sakac, President, Converged Platforms Division, will be unveiling the details in a keynote session on Tuesday, 3 May, 10-00 – 11:30am. In another general session on Wednesday, 4 May, 10:00 – 11:30am, Chad Sakac will do product demonstration, showcasing the latest additions to our portfolio.Another not-to-be-missed highlight of the event will be Chad Sakac’s IT Leadership Session on “Platforms Are the New End Game” on Tuesday, 3 May, 12:00 – 1:00pm. In his inimitable style, Chad will reveal why customers should shift from a build to a buy consumption model and how they can benefit from flexibility in infrastructure. He’ll also elaborate on the impact of the software defined data center and cloud native applications on the ability of businesses to innovate and deliver unique and new opportunities. De-mystifying hyper-converged as never before, Chad will answer any questions you might have on converged platforms.Satisfied customers are the best proof that our products and solutions are delivering what we are promising they will. With this in mind, we will host several “Customer Experiences with VCE Converged Infrastructure” sessions where VCE customers will discuss how they’ve used Vblock and VxRack Systems to modernize their data centers and become more agile and flexible. Customers that have partnered with VCE such as Fujifilm Medical Systems and University of San Diego will explain how they have driven IT transformation strategies that simplified IT operations while lowering operational costs and reducing risk. A must see session for anyone considering embarking on their own IT and business transformational journey.A technology enthusiasts’ delight, the Converged Platforms Division booth (#739) will feature the full range of our converged platforms portfolio spanning Blocks, Rack and Appliances, and key platforms and solutions. Our booth will be a hive of activity where we will be hosting in-theatre demos, presentations, and most importantly hands-on labs where you can experience and explore VCE Vision Intelligent Operations for VCE Systems, VCE VxRack Manager and VxRail Manager either in a guided or self-paced environment.If you are attending the show be sure to wear your VCE goodies (stickers, bag tags, hats), as you may be spotted by our prize patrol for a chance to win prizes. Don’t forget to drop by our booth where we will be handing out personalized IT Action Hero picture frames to go along with your photo. Pictures can be taken at the VCE booth and tweeted with #ITActionHero for a chance to win a 3D Printer!For those who are not attending the event – you can catch the keynotes and highlight session via the virtual event. You can also get involved with our Ask the Experts session in the Converged Platforms Community and join our day 2 CrowdChat. Join the community and follow along with @EMCworld and @VCE for more details on these events.Plus our roving ambassadors will be blogging important takeaways and summaries from the key sessions on the Vblog. Be sure to actively follow it. Our social media team will live tweet from the Converged Platforms keynote, main booth sessions and breakout sessions. Get real time updates with our designated live tweeters including @JayCuthrell, @YoungP2, @dresnic, and @H2Ohs.The glittering lights of Las Vegas beckon. Tighten your seatbelts as it promises to be a superb event.
When you walk into a Société Générale banking center, you enter a bright, open space, furnished with modern designs and an abundance of natural light. Customers sip coffee and enjoy beautiful views while meeting with their private or corporate bankers. Employees enjoy a modern work environment with accessible meeting spaces, interior offices and shared amenities.Société Générale is a global bank supporting 31 million clients doing business in 67 countries. Imagine the complexity of managing such a large institution. What happens behind the scenes, when a customer requests an account statement, completes a trade or a new regulation is passed requiring compliance in a short time? How do they stay competitive?Nicolas Verdier is the head of Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IAAS) for the Americas at Société Générale. Mr. Verdier discussed tough challenges the bank is facing in today’s digital, fast-changing economy. Société Générale must perform a daily balancing act to deliver exceptional customer service while also staying in compliance with rapidly changing government regulations.Société Générale took on an IT modernization effort to meet these challenges. One of the hurdles faced by the IT department was that the business relied on manual processes, that addressed each request for a system changes on an individual project basis. Each request required a scheduled time slot on a server or even the deployment of a new server, which could take months. This impacted both internal and external services throughout the bank, potentially limiting the bank’s ability to compete in the global marketplace, to deliver high quality customer service or adhere to new regulations. Société Générale called on Dell EMC to help them use technology to tackle these back-office challenges.With help from Dell EMC, Société Générale introduced a “self-service” model allowing users to self-provision virtual machines using Dell EMC PowerEdge servers. The shift from the more complicated legacy processes to an automated IAAS model was easily achieved. Mr. Verdier praised the new model and the benefits to the company: “It’s about self-service, flexibility and customer experience.” He stressed the need to move quickly, rather than taking months to begin a project.With the new “self-service” model, Societe Générale was able to impact the time to value in many of their departments. Let’s look at three examples:One of the bank’s top challenges is regulatory compliance. The internal development teams can meet regulation deadlines with the capability to build and deploy new applications within the time frame set by the regulatory bodies. Furthermore, the PowerEdge cyber-resilient architecture meets the strict security requirements that are part of the new regulations.Within the IT department, the flexibility and scalability of the servers allow stakeholders to rapidly develop APIs to patch, upgrade and backup workloads.In the high stakes world of high-frequency trading, milliseconds count, and the IT infrastructure has a direct impact on the business. Speed, scalability and low latency are critical to executing successful transactions. With PowerEdge servers, the Internal IT Development team can deliver new applications for market platforms in a few weeks, rather than six months.Thanks to the automation of Société Générale’s infrastructure based on Dell EMC PowerEdge servers, employees can rapidly design new programs or services to meet customer demands or regulatory requirements.Read the case study to learn more about Société Générale’s Infrastructure as a Service and how the Dell EMC PowerEdge team helps this international banking leader stay on top of the latest technologies.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Kingdom of Wakanda is staking out turf on TV. The Walt Disney Company says a series set in the “Black Panther” kingdom will be developed for the Disney + streaming service. The planned series is part of a five-year, exclusive TV deal that Disney announced with filmmaker Ryan Coogler’s Proximity Media company. Coogler wrote and directed 2018’s “Black Panther,” a box-office hit that turned Chadwick Boseman into a superstar. The actor died in August of cancer. The Black Panther character was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for Marvel Comics, which became part of Disney in 2009 when the media giant acquired Marvel Entertainment.
STANTON , Neb. (AP) — A former northeastern Nebraska village clerk who was praised for her work in helping rebuild her community following a 2014 tornado strike has been sentenced to prison for stealing from the village. The Norfolk Daily News reports that 58-year-old Kimberly Neiman was sentenced Monday to three years in prison. The former Pilger clerk was arrested last year on multiple felony counts. In a deal with prosecutors, she pleaded guilty in November to one count of attempted theft in exchange for all other counts being dropped. Neiman was fired by the village board in February 2019, following a state audit that found more than $562,000 in questionable transactions and more than $156,000 in suspicious charges on the village’s credit card.
For Notre Dame alumnus Jim King, a long-awaited dream came true last May when he received an unexpected call from Amazon on a train ride into New York City. King, a member of the Class of 1977, was one of three finalists for the second annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, an international competition seeking the “next popular novel.” He would later be selected as the grand prize winner out of more than 6,500 manuscript entries.“I got a call one day from a guy from Amazon and he told me that I was one of three finalists,” King said. “Of course I just wanted to scream because I [have been] trying to get a novel published ever since I graduated from Notre Dame in 1977.”As the winner of the competition, King landed a $25,000 publishing contract with The Viking Press to publish his novel, “Bill Warrington’s Last Chance.” The novel is due for release in August.“The total number of manuscripts was around 6,500 and I had entered the contest almost on a lark,” King said. “I almost forgot about it because I didn’t think I stood a chance to win.”The panel that reviewed the top three manuscripts included “Secret Life of Bees” author Sue Monk Kidd, “Alphabet Mystery Series” author Sue Grafton, literary agent Barney Karpfinger and Penguin Press Vice President and Editor-in-Chief Eamon Dolan.King’s novel is the story of a man, Bill Warrington, who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, although King never explicitly mentions the disease in the book. Warrington is trying to reconnect with his three adult children who want nothing to do with him.“The main character was inspired by a neighbor of mine who had lost his wife shortly before I met him,” King said. “Over the years the house he built with his own hands was falling apart around him.”In the novel, Warrington decides the only way to bring his family back together is to kidnap his 15-year-old granddaughter April, who dreams of becoming a rock star. The two of them take off across America. Warrington forces his children to come together and talk to one another in order to locate April and him.“The book is about a man trying to bring the family together before it’s too late,” King said. The novel took King about a year and a half to write. He began writing the novel in a masters program he had entered after nearly 30 years of being away from school.“I found out about [the contest] on an agent’s blog and decided to investigate it and found out I was a day or two from missing the deadline,” King said. “I put together a pitch, description and manuscript and sent it in.” “Bill Warrington’s Last Chance” was already complete when King spotted the contest. King had previously written two novels that were not published. Winning the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award was truly King’s “first chance.”“I majored in American Studies. [Professor] Elizabeth Christman, who recently passed away, really encouraged me. She was confident that one day, I would have a novel published,” King said. King is currently a freelance corporate writer but hopes his breakthrough novel will lead him into a career of fiction writing.“I’ve already started on another novel, and I’m hoping this is beginning of a different kind of writing career,” he said. King tells aspiring writers getting published may take awhile, but the key to success is just to keep trying.“It helps to be a stubborn Irishman — which I am. It may take you awhile but keep writing, keep submitting, and don’t give up on the dream.”
After several months of planning, renovations and setbacks, the LaFortune Student Center computer cluster, a popular workspace for students, reopened this week.Some of the most notable renovations to the space include new carpet and color scheme.“The new wall colors are calming and less depressing,” sophomore Carlos Zarazua said. “It should be better for stressful last minute studying and working on projects.”LaFortune’s computer cluster had not been updated in 18 years, Brian Burchett, manager of Classroom and Cluster Services for the Office of Information and Technology, said in a Feb. 16 Observer article. In addition to a general remodeling of the outdated room, the layout was overhauled to reflect the transition from students using University-provided communal computers to personal laptops.The change meant fewer actual computers, allowing for more open workspace, as well as two group study rooms, resulting in a layout more conducive to group work.“I really like how it’s so open now. I liked when there were more computers but the open space more than makes up for it,” Zarazua said. “I guess it makes sense, as most people have laptops now anyway.”The plans for the project began in spring 2008 but were not funded until recently. The first expected completion date was Feb. 1, and a more recent report indicated students could expect access to the cluster by the first week of March, in time for midterms.Delays with some of the materials for the project postponed the finishing of trim work and furniture delivery, pushing back the completion of the cluster significantly.“One of the things that delayed the project was getting the carpet from the manufacturer,” Burchett said. “It wasn’t really the fault of anyone at Notre Dame … the carpet manufacturer just had a later delivery than we thought.”Burchett said students were helpful in the renovation process, and he hopes to bring students in on future projects.
The panel discussion, titled “Technology: Boon or Bane?” asked four Notre Dame professors to look at the opinions expressed in Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical “Caritas in Veritate” and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman’s book, “The World is Hot, Flat and Crowded,” on how modern technology can be utilized for the purpose of the development. “Before we didn’t think through all the issues and consequences,” he said. “But now we actually talk about good and bad aspects of our technologies. We ask questions we never would have before … we’re moving parallel and thinking about the ethics.” Wolfgang Porod, professor of electrical engineering and director of the Center for Nano Science and Technology, focused his discussion on the idea presented in “Caritas” about the role of faith in technology and the future of human development. “Most companies today have all their worth tied up in the non-tangible aspects, in their patented ideas,” Crawford said. “Patents drive the economy and entrepreneurship but is there such a thing as a good thing in this instance?” Fernando said a push for honesty in society is one of the running themes of “Caritas in Veritate.” “The Pope certainly endorses technology in the encyclical,” Porod said. “But we have to make decisions in a responsible way, even if we are fascinated by the technology.” “Everything is interrelated to global warming which becomes one of the biggest social issues in the world today,” Fernando said. “Technology seduces us, but we can choose to use it for good or evil,” Porod said. “It’s not technology itself that is bad, it is how we choose to use it.” The opinions of the two men were selected as the focus of discussion because of their relation to this year’s Forum. Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical is the basis for the Forum’s theme of “The Global Marketplace and the Common Good,” and Friedman will be the speaker at the Forum’s signature event next month. Notre Dame professors of science and engineering attempted to determine what role the ever-expanding field of technology will play in the advancement of the common good at Tuesday’s Notre Dame Forum event at Washington Hall. Gregory Crawford, Dean of the College of Science, discussed the notion of intellectual property and patents and how it applies to both technology and to human development in line with the ideals laid out in “Caritas.” “The Pope and Friedman are very similar in their views but they have very different paths for moving forward,” said Robert Alworth, associate dean of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for the colleges of science and engineering, as well as the moderator for the panel, in his opening remarks. “Tonight we will look at the technological challenges posed by both Benedict and Friedman.” Porod addressed Benedict’s belief that the modern fascination with technology may prevent people from turning toward the spiritual world. Peter Kilpatrick, McCloskey Dean of the College of Engineering, said Friedman dedicated a great deal of time in his book to the reality of global warming and his belief in the cause of climate change on the globe. Kilpatrick pointed out the irony between balancing the two economic beliefs of the two men would lead to an economic model that is beneficial to sustainability. “If you don’t give at least some indication about the dangers of global warming, than no one will pay attention,” Fernando said. “But one of the current problems is that we need to be more honest.” Joe Fernando, professor of engineering and geosciences, focused his talk on Friedman’s idea of a culture of irresponsibility and how Benedict’s views expressed in “Caritas” can be applied to this scheme. “We need to make responsible decisions, but we also need to remember how to trust others to make responsible decisions,” he said. Fernando said in an effort to make people take notice, many scientists did not always give the most valid information in regards to global warming, which added to the culture of irresponsibility Friedman put forward in his book. “Corporate social responsibility will lead to a greater profit and products such as solar-powered cars that are in demand and sell,” he said. “We just need to build corporate social responsibility into the economic model.” “Friedman insists in the book that price, tax and profits are the only way to get the economy moving again,” Kilpatrick said. “This differs from Benedict’s belief that not all corporate leaders are motivated by the bottom line — Benedict believes some have to be motivated by love, justice and compassion.” “If we are to consider everybody to be created under God, that means we must honor their rights, which implies the common good,” he said. “If the Church can keep pushing for this truth … our work will depend on what Benedict calls the ‘culture of life,’ which will lead to integral human development.” Porod said these choices would be the basis for the future of sustainable growth in relation to technological advances. Kilpatrick said Friedman also focused on the methods he thinks need to be employed to stabilize the global economy. Crawford said in the technological world, a patent allows businesses to have a certain type of monopoly to market their technology and profit. He said the challenge would be how to use technological intellectual properties and find a way to use them to further global development on a much more basic scale. “Friedman said that climate change is human-induced,” Kilpatrick said. “But he accepts the premise that not all people will accept this view. However, he says that he hopes all agree with him when he says the world can’t maintain our current energy consumption rates forever.” Crawford said he believed modern science and technology was doing a better job at looking at the “bigger picture” when balancing modern technological and scientific developments with ethics. “How do we balance monetary incentive of patents with the common good?” Crawford asked. “Do we have the right to impose restrictions on intellectual properties that could provide answers to world’s problems concerning basic questions of providing food, water and shelter?”
President Barack Obama announced a compromise in the Affordable Care Act Friday, mandating that insurance companies, not religious institutions, will be responsible for providing free preventive care to women. Such a move comes with significant political implications, former political columnist for the South Bend Tribune and Journalism professor Jack Colwell said. “[Obama] certainly had politics in mind, just as his critics had politics in mind,” he said. “This is a presidential election year so everything he does is going to be, in some respects, political.” Under the original plan announced Jan. 20, religious institutions would not be exempt from providing preventive healthcare, including contraceptives, in their minimum insurance package. The Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) granted these institutions a year to comply with the legislation’s specifications. Colwell said Friday’s move was seen as an accommodation to the religious institutions that were concerned about providing these services. The move by the president will be successful in controlling any lasting political damage, though the damage could have easily been avoided, Colwell said. “I think initially the president was hurt somewhat by [this],” he said. “Why on earth they thought it would take a year to reach a compromise nobody seems to understand. “That sounds like bureaucracy in the Health and Human Services Department. When the pressure was on, they quickly reached a compromise.” Colwell said Obama’s conciliation was made with a specific group of American voters in mind. “I think what he was doing was going after Catholic voters who were understandably upset about the first decision that was made … there was a lot of dissatisfaction,” he said. The Catholic portion of the American population was a group Obama could not risk losing in November’s presidential election, Colwell said. “There are a lot of Catholic officials and voters who tend to support him,” he said. “If he was going to alienate some of them, that could have a big effect on the election.” Colwell said Friday’s compromise should be effective enough to satisfy this group of voters. “I think he did [enough]. It seems to be a reasonable accommodation,” Colwell said. “In fact, it is so reasonable you have to wonder why that wasn’t the plan in the first place.” At the same time, the new plan still allows for women to receive cost-free preventive healthcare such as contraceptives. Colwell said that without this concession, Obama would have risked alienating another block of voters. “Also, it has continued to make sure there would be birth control free of charge available to all women,” he said. “If he had gone back on that, that would have cost him a lot of votes from women who think that is very important.” The original decision to have religiously affiliated institutions provide preventive health services drew the ire of Catholic bishops. Colwell said Obama made the compromise with political allies in mind. “I don’t think there was so much concern with the bishops as it was about some of the people who have tended to support President Obama and the healthcare legislation,” Colwell said. “Some of them were upset and he was in danger of losing support.” These supporters include Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania.) However, Colwell said Obama did not risk losing support from Sister Carol Keehan of the Catholic Health Organization. “She has been a supporter of the president on healthcare matters,” he said. Despite reaching a compromise Friday, Colwell said Republican presidential candidates would not agree with any accommodation Obama proposes. Taking this approach runs the risk of driving female voters away from the Republican Party, Colwell said. “They have a real danger. If the Republican nominee is seen as opposed to birth control, then that’s a big, big plus for Obama in the election,” Colwell said. “There already is a gender gap where women tend to vote more Democratic … and if the Republican nominee would seem as opposed to contraceptives, that gap would be even wider and it would be harmful to the Republican nominee.” Colwell said the party is also making a gamble by shifting the focus away from economic issues. Doing so could change the dynamic of the election. “Republicans have wanted this election to be a referendum on the economy and how the president was handling that and budget issues,” he said. “They have tended to put some of the social issues on the back burner … now suddenly they are moving into some of those cultural issues. Maybe that will help them, but it does take some of the focus off the economic issues.” Colwell said that while the mandate seemed to initially hurt Obama politically, Friday’s accommodation could ultimately have beneficial implications. “Initially it was a negative,” he said. “It could turn out to be a positive if the Republican nominee is seen as opposing contraceptive devices. Also, it might help him focusing on what the healthcare legislation does.” Colwell said since many American’s don’t know what the Affordable Care Act does, Friday’s compromise may shed light on the positive aspects of one of Obama’s signature legislative accomplishments. “Now there is a lot of focus on what it would provide for women — free access to contraception,” he said. “It’s focusing on this as a preventive measure, something that can hold down medical costs. If people focus on that and agree with that, then it could be a plus for [Obama.]” Colwell said discussion of the subject would die down and only resurface if the Republican presidential candidate pursued the matter. “I think it’s probably one of those issues that erupted and captured all of the headlines for several weeks,” he said. “I think it will simmer down some. It will basically be up to the Republican presidential candidate and Republican leadership in Congress if they want to pursue this.”
Activist and author Jean Kilbourne spoke out last week after Saint Mary’s rescinded her invitation to speak during the College’s 2017 Commencement ceremony. The College withdrew its offer once it became aware that Kilbourne had received the Hilda Crosby Standish Leadership Award from Planned Parenthood of Connecticut in 2005, Kara Kelly, special assistant to the president of Saint Mary’s, said in an email.According to Kelly, no contract had been signed before the decision to rescind the offer was made. The College has since continued with Commencement planning and will announce the speaker later this month.Kelly said the President’s Office accepts nominees for Commencement speakers. Those candidates are then reviewed by the Student Affairs Council and are approved by the Board of Trustees, which has the final say in the decision.“There is a difference in a department or student group inviting someone to speak on campus, versus inviting a Commencement speaker,” Kelly said. “Commencement speakers at Saint Mary’s also receive an honorary degree, the College’s highest honor, subject to approval from the Board of Trustees.”Kilbourne said she has spoken at over 50 Catholic colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada without her award ever presenting an issue.“I’ve spoken to Saint Mary’s in the past,” she said. “I’ve always had a wonderful time. I’ve spoken at Notre Dame.”Although the College extends an invitation to multiple speakers — as scheduling conflicts sometimes occur and a new speaker needs to be selected quickly — Kilbourne said she was not aware of this and thought she would be speaking, as she had accepted the initial offer.“That certainly wasn’t my understanding,” she said. “I received an offer, a contract was drawn up. It had not been signed, but it was in the works. In fact, I turned down another engagement for that day. … As far as I knew and understood, this was an offer for me to be the Commencement speaker, and it was then withdrawn for this reason.”Kilbourne said after her invitation was rescinded, she was told that an alumna or alumnae had found out about her award and put pressure on the College.“I’m sympathetic to the position that Saint Mary’s was put in,” she said. “I just feel like this was really too bad. It’s too bad it’s happening here, and it’s happening other places as well.”Kilbourne said she has no resentment toward the College, but rather is disappointed with the decision that was made.“It makes me sad, it makes me disappointed,” she said. “I really had some important things to say. I’m a graduate of Wellesley College — an all women’s college. I’m very supportive of women’s colleges, so I really had looked forward to speaking to the young women of Saint Mary’s. I was honored by the invitation, and I was looking forward to it.”Kilbourne said this situation is indicative of the times, as many campuses across the country have barred people from speaking because of political issues.“It’s very disturbing, the increasing divisiveness,” she said. “I’m a uniter, I’m not a divider. I really have always tried to bring people together on difficult issues. … This is happening from the left and the right, people being disinvited to campuses because they don’t meet certain tests. I think this is dangerous for education.”Kilbourne said she was not planning on speaking about Planned Parenthood, abortion or even reproductive rights in her speech.“I was going to speak about what I speak about, which is the influence of advertising on all of [us] and trying to help the young women, in particular, to resist the negative images of women in advertising.”Kelly said College departments and student groups go through a different process of bringing speakers to campus than the process used in selecting the Commencement speaker, due to the speaker’s additional honor of receiving an honorary degree at Commencement.“As an educational principle, Saint Mary’s encourages the free and vibrant exchange of ideas, and grants campus groups considerable freedom in determining the speakers who best contribute to a challenging and stimulating academic atmosphere,” Kelly said.Tags: Commencement 2017, Jean Kilbourne, Planned Parenthood