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Almost four years ago now, President Bush signed into legislation the U.S. Public Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act of 2002. More commonly known as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, or SOX, the goal of this act is to regulate corporations in order to reduce fraud and conflicts of interest, to improve disclosure and financial reporting, and to strengthen confidence in public accounting…

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File Transfer Protocol (FTP) use in the enterprise has grown and continues to grow rapidly. The reason is simple: FTP is available everywhere in the enterprise, accessible to almost everyone, and solves data exchange problems with minimal effort and cost. That’s the good news. The bad news is that most FTP activity is unsecured and the exposure to any organization, especially those coping with various new regulatory requirements, is too great to ignore. Lately, we’ve seen several companies endure the embarrassment and tarnishing of their “brand name” caused by a public omission that they lost or exposed sensitive client information…

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When FirstMerit Corp. (Akron, OH), a full-service financial services company, set out to enhance its online customer banking services, it had no intention of abandoning its zSeries 890. It counted on its mainframe to continue playing a central role through a new Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) initiative intended to give customers fast, reliable access to their account information and allow them to conduct transactions such as money transfers with subsecond performance. FirstMerit also turned to the same SOA initiative to rejuvenate internal applications by adding new capabilities. The trick was to capture legacy 3270 and 5250 application logic as XML-based Web Services…

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A common question people ask about Linux is, “What’s the best Linux distribution?” The answer is usually something along the lines of “Use what I like to use this week.” With nearly 400 Linux distributions on DistroWatch and more emerging, selecting a distribution can be a daunting task. This article offers insight on selecting a distribution, especially those appropriate for business use…

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Since 1992, I’ve regularly challenged the thinking of those who tout that the industry’s premier computing platform is doomed. As 1940s politician Wendell L. Willkie once stated, “I would rather lose in a cause that I know some day will triumph than to triumph in a cause that I know some day will fail.” The fundamental drawback of decentralizing a computing system is that it makes simple things more complicated. Conversely, the nature of re-centralizing systems makes complex things more simple. Furthermore, added complexity increases costs and points of failure while reducing scalability…

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