NAB adds Google to mix as it continues its multi-cloud push


National Australia Bank’s multi-cloud strategy has expanded to encompass Google, NAB announced today.

The bank said that Google Cloud would join Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) in its portfolio of public cloud providers as it looks to migrate some 35 per cent of its applications to the cloud by the end of next year.

NAB’s chief technology and operations officer, Patrick Wright, cited Google’s strengths in data analytics, machine learning and container management as particular drawcards.

“Our customers are asking us to better understand their needs and to meet those expectations far more efficiently than we’ve been able to previously,” Wright said in a statement.

“Investment in data is a critical element of our digital transformation – to be able to use data to develop products and services to improve customer experiences and be able to anticipate their needs.”

In April 2018 the bank announced the launch of NAB Cloud Guild as it sought to build up its in-house cloud expertise. The program initially had a focus on AWS, with the bank using Amazon’s services for its initial foray into using public cloud to store and process its data.

In October 2018, NAB revealed details of its collaboration with Microsoft, including shifting key platforms such as SAP to Azure.

Later in 2018, the bank announced that although it was firmly in the multi-cloud camp, AWS had been selected as its “long term strategic cloud provider”. NAB said in November it believed some its core banking systems would be shifted to AWS by the end of 2019.

The bank revealed earlier this year that in the six months ended 31 March it moved 128 applications on to cloud services, with 198 of its applications now running on cloud infrastructure. NAB has also moved to aggressively shut down legacy applications.

The bank said today that it now had 400 applications in the cloud, with its overall number of applications reduced by 8 per cent.

Wright said today in an interview released by NAB that competitive tension was one of the appealing aspects of the multi-cloud approach. The NAB CTOO said that multi-cloud enabled the bank to shift workloads across platforms and integrate a range of tools and capabilities.

“We’re designing our most critical applications to be portable between cloud partners to avoid concentration risk which is an important regulatory and risk consideration,” Wright said in a statement.

“We also want to tap into the advanced capabilities of the world’s best cloud providers to improve customer experience,” the NAB tech executive said.

“Google’s history of embracing open source technology enhances our ability to orchestrate infrastructure effectively across multi-cloud environments, and their software-based platform, Anthos, is a unique solution that we’ll explore further over time.”

NAB has added GCP training modules to its NAB Cloud and Analytics Guild education program. It said it will also move to integrate GCP capabilities into the NAB Discovery Cloud and Data Hub.

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Tags Cloudcloud computingGooglemicrosoft azureNABAmazon Web Services (AWS)Google Cloud Platform




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Netflix adds Latest section, now alerts users when new shows drop



Netflix today revealed the latest update to its platform, in which it’ll serve alerts when a show you’re interested in is available. This comes on the heels of backlash over a change in show release schedules (which wasn’t actually a change), so it’s fortuitous the site will now remind people that yes, they actually can go binge-watch a cool new show that just dropped.

The platform now has a “Latest” tab, in which it’ll show three separate sections for shows that have just been released, shows that are to be released in the current week, and shows that are due the following week. For each show that’s not yet available, users can select “Remind Me” in order to get a notification when the show is ready for streaming. It’s a handy feature.

And it’s good for Netflix to remind everyone just how it releases shows — namely, all at once — considering a persistent rumor to the contrary.

Netflix recently had what could be described as a “miscommunication” with its fans. A rumor started that the site would stagger the releases of show episodes week-by-week, rather than dropping them all at once. This supposed “death of binge-watching” was seen by many as a major misstep among fans, for whom binging new shows is practically the only way to use Netflix.

The reason this rumor took hold was because Disney announced that its Disney+ streaming service would be doing the same thing. It looked like a reaction on Netflix‘s part to the maneuvers of what will probably be a pretty potent competitor. Sure, it sounds asinine, but not necessarily implausible.

Luckily for binge-watchers everywhere, Netflix later confirmed this was not the case. The site is releasing precisely one new show in this weekly format, namely its upcoming music competition show Rhythm + Flow. This is to keep the name of the competition’s winner a surprise. Netflix clarified on Twitter it wouldn’t be doing this with any of its new shows (though it’ll also be releasing the seventh season of The Great British Bake-Off in the same fashion). The miscommunication appears to have arisen from the fact that the original story — implied “multiple new shows” would be released in this format.

Rhythm + Flow‘s winner notwithstanding, notifications about new content can only help Netflix keep its substantial foothold in consumer minds through what promises to be a stiff fight with the likes of Disney+.

The Latest tab will be rolling out worldwide over the next few weeks.


Coming to Netflix: Reminders for Your Favorite Titles
on Netflix




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Ugh finally, Samsung adds support for Bitcoin in Blockchain KeyStore



It looks like Samsung has finally got its house in order after it added support for Bitcoin BTC in its Blockchain KeyStore.

Despite the cries of mass adoption that would undoubtedly follow, Samsung decided to quietly add support for Bitcoin to its private key wallet that it calls its Blockchain KeyStore. The use of such keys is vital to many decentralized applications (dapps) as well as for storing keys to cryptocurrency.

Support is restricted to Samsung‘s S10 and Note10 devices including the Galaxy S10e, S10, S10+, S10 5G, Note10 and the Note10+. It’s also only available for customers in Canada, Germany, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, the US, and the UK.

Samsung first revealed its KeyStore earlier this year. Naturally, some started to spread word that it would boost Bitcoin adoption. But many overlooked the simple fact that it didn’t support Bitcoin, until now.

Instead, Samsung‘s Blockchain KeyStore was only compatible with Ethereum, and at that, it only supported a handful of small-time ERC20 tokens that for the most part had little to no real world utility.

From a business perspective, it makes sense that Ethereum support was added first. By accepting ERC20 tokens, Samsung immediately opened its device to potential compatibility with thousands of Ethereum projects.

What’s more, earlier this year reports surfaced that Samsung was working on its own proprietary blockchain network. And you guessed it, it would be based on the Ethereum mainnet.

Bitcoin has nearly 70 percent of the cryptocurrency market by value, at the time of writing. Ethereum has less than eight percent. While supporting Ethereum might make business sense, I question if it was really in the interests of the consumer and the cryptocurrency market, speaking more broadly.

Whatever its motivations, at least Samsung didn’t keep us waiting too long before adding support for Bitcoin.

H/T – The Block

Published August 14, 2019 — 12:20 UTC




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