OK, that may be jumping the gun - it’s only September, some might say. But seriously, this is Iceland. Once the darkness sets in early enough to put on a dazzling display of Northern Lights, as it has done the last few nights, we know it’s game over for summer.
But perhaps the peace that comes with a blanket of darkness and the silence of snow is not a bad thing. We at Men & Mice need the time to turn inwards after being out and about all summer doing tradeshows, webinars and, outside of catching the midnight sun, indulging in a strong dose of R&D (as always).
So what have we been up to this summer?
A number of industry trade shows saw Men & Mice on-site, spinning up demos on great demand and dishing out opportunities to win a free trip to Iceland. If you happened to miss us in Las Vegas or New York, don’t forget to drop by to meet with us at booth #1960 at Microsoft Ignite in Atlanta end of September!
Speaking of which. Microsoft is planning the official release of its Windows Server 2016 for Microsoft Ignite. As it happens, Carsten Strotmann from Men & Mice Professional services presented a webinar on Windows Server 2016 (based on Technical Preview 5) in May. For those who’d like to dig a little deeper into what’s on offer in Windows Server 2016, the webinar covers things such as DNS policies, application load-distribution with DNS, IPv6 root-hints, and possibly one of the most exciting features of the new Windows Server 2016, Response Rate Limiting. Carsten’s webinar recording and slides are available on our website.
Outside of dabbling in Windows Server 2016 features, Carsten spent some time in June to roll out a deeper understanding of experiments at the root of DNS in the form of a webinar on the Yeti-DNS project. Yeti-DNS is an international research project with the purpose of testing new technologies and procedures in running the Internet root zone. The Yeti-DNS webinar also includes an interview with Shane Kerr, a coordinator for the Yeti-DNS project, in which he divulges all kinds of fascinating information straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.
Two more webinars followed in August, this time focused on new features in the popular BIND Version 9.11 DNS server, as well as best practices for a secure BIND 9. For people curious about catalog zones, new *rndc* functions, “chroot” vs “container” or BIND 9 configuration hardening, don’t miss the opportunity to check out these webinars at your earliest convenience.
Though the Men & Mice R&D crew spent a large part of the summer working hard on, amongst other things, new features for Men & Mice Suite Version 7.3 that is scheduled for release this fall, one of our programmers dashed off to go and, well Go, in Russia. For those who don’t know, ‘Go’ is the ancient Chinese board game which has more recently posed a seemingly insurmountable challenge in the field of artificial intelligence: building a computer that can beat a human at Go. Whereas the renowned chess Grandmaster Gary Kasparov already suffered defeat at the ‘hands’ of the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue in 1997, no computer could manage to beat a human at Go. That is, until March this year, when Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo computer defeated the best Go player in the world over the last decade, Lee Sedol.
Interestingly, just as with any human, AlphaGo has had to spend years learning, training and playing literally millions of matches to emerge the victor at this level of Go. To some, AlphaGo’s victory signifies a watershed moment in the supposed battle of man versus machine. This, they believe, will inevitably lead man to a dark, dystopian future. To others, the match paves the way to greater understanding of the infinity of potential contained in a future forged by the power of teaming man and machine, instead of thinking of it as a death race of one against the other.
Either way, AlphaGo or no-go, humans still very avidly compete amongst each other in Go (as they do, for that matter, in chess). To this end, our very own Hallbjörn Guðmundsson, managed no small feat by finishing 87th out of 601 participants during the European Go Championships held recently in St Petersburg. Way to Go, Hallbjörn!
So what next is in stall here at Men & Mice? Webinars, trade shows, the release of Men & Mice Suite Version 7.3 and perhaps a volcanic eruption courtesy of Iceland’s biggest volcano, Katla (this webcam allows you to keep an eye on her). Katla, being a force of nature and all, isn’t really under our control, but everything that is under our control at Men & Mice is taking place with a brand new CEO at the helm. Magnús E. Björnsson, formerly Senior Director of Engineering at Oracle, brings fresh blood and fresh perspectives into the Men & Mice stable. We bid him a happy welcome - and welcome back to Iceland!
Wishing all of you a happy shoulder season (a.k.a. fall/autumn)!
The Men & Mice Team