When thinking about classic computers everything was done by binary coding using 1s and 0s. Quantum computing basing everything on calculations of probability of the objects state giving it the potential to process exponentially more data compared to classical computing. These operations are known as a qubit, and these states are undefined properties that have not been detected of an object. They do not have a clear position, and occur in a mixed ‘super position’, like a coin spinning in the air before it touches the ground.  

Quantum computing is based on quantum theory where traditional laws of physics do not apply and involves the use of atomic and subatomic particles. The interesting thing about these particles is that they behave in unexpected ways. These particles can exist in multiple states at the same time. That is the underlying power that quantum computing will harness. Instead of using the traditional bits that classical computing utilizes quantum computing will use qubits of quantum bits. What is the difference? It is easiest to think about this with an image. If you have a globe or sphere a bit can exist at one of the two poles of the sphere. A qubit on the other hand can exist at any point on the sphere. The result of this is that a quantum computer using qubits will be able to store and process enormous amounts of data and information a million or more times faster using less energy than a classical computer. 

Why the hurry to develop quantum computers? Well, according to a report by the Semiconductor Industry Association we will not be able to power all the computers around the world by 2040 which is no longer far into the future. So, there is pressure to produce quantum computers for commercial consumption. 

The impacts of quantum computing will no doubt change our world because there will be applications for this technology in every industry. It is safe to assume quantum computing will open the door to some extraordinary possibilities when you consider qubits have the capability to process millions of calculations all in the same moment.  The impacts will be game-changing across industries. 

IBM and Rigetti already have quantum computers and allow users access to their quantum computers in the cloud by using IBM’s Q experience or the Rigetti Forest API. Users can test and develop their quantum programs on simulator and run them on the quantum computers in the cloud. 

The race is on to bring quantum computing to commercial scale and the cloud will play a large roll in how that happens.  It will forever change the way we think and interact with data and bring big changes to way in which we do business. It is an incredibly exciting development. AWS like IBM and Rigetti also has their own quantum compute cloud called QC2 that features the first production-ready quantum computer. AWS invites you to try it to solve certain types of math and logic problems at a speed that will take your breath away. The future is here.

Feb 5 21
Christina Zumwalt

Containers in the cloud enhance portability making it easier or so they would like you to think. There is another side to this story. It takes some specific knowledge of the processes and the underlying technology that makes cloud-to-cloud migration using containers a lower-effort and lower-risk endeavor. Because the required skills and best practices aren’t as available as they should be, organizations have struggled to catch up.

What Is a Container and How do They Work

Containers break up applications into smaller packages of code. Each is bundled with all the basic system software that apps need to operate independently of whichever server is playing the role of host. The portability of moving code and applications independently is the big selling point of containers. Containers eliminate the need for programmers to rewrite the code for each new operating system and cloud platform. Containers allow those applications to scale, as well as set

Sounds great right? Absolutely, but even with all the upsides, there are a few downsides you need to consider. There are some limitations and impediments to using containers in the public and private clouds.

Container Security Boundaries and RisksContainers inherently come with security limitations. Many security admins inside of an enterprise don’t understand all the details and risks of containers so it is important to ensure your IT personel that will work with containers understand them fully before you implement this technology. Although there have not been any major container security breaches, hackers are becoming smarter and more knowledgeable about using containers, and these sorts of attacks will increase. With increased desire and need for easier portability using containers, we could also be making our containerized applications more vulnerable.

Containers or VMs?

When thinking of portability, you should consider containers, but also think about the differences beween using containers or using VMs. Virtual Machines are self-contained. Each VM has a unique operating system (OS), drivers, and application components. You can migrate VMs to any other system, as long as there is a compatible hypervisor available. Unlike Vms, containers are very different. They run on top of the physical OS, and they share much of the underlying OS kernel, along with many libraries and binaries. This means they are more tightly

Containers Can Be Messy

Moving containers to the cloud can create a mess. Because containers can be launched very quickly they can consume more cloud resources than necessary without your IT personnel understanding why that is happening. One thing you can do to avoid creating this problem is to have an orderly shutdown of containers you are no longer using. Often, developers launch container-based applications and then forget to go back later to scale the number of containers, locking the resources until they do.

Paving The Way

The path to cloud portability will be paved by containers. Even so, one must remember that containers are no panacea for cloud portability. There are limitations when it comes to security, application types, and deployment. Most public and private cloud providers are container friendly. With each release of cloud services, cloud developers have more reasons to leverage containers for portable application development in the cloud.

The question for containers is not whether or not to utilize them but rather how to best make use of the technology. Many use containers for portability and to protect themselves against cloud computing vendor lock-in. The important thing to understand is that learning about how to use containers most effectively takes time and effort, but as long as you commit to providing that education you will be successful with this technology.

Jan 29 21
Christina Zumwalt

Although you may not realize it, most people are using cloud computing in one way or another every day. Using an online service to send an email, edit documents, play games, store pictures, watch movies and TV, or listen to music is utilizing the cloud. The first cloud computing services are a decade or so old, and companies from tiny startups to global corporations, government agencies to non-profits are embracing the technology for a variety of different reasons including; Creating new apps and services, storing, backing up, and recovering data, hosting websites and blogs, streaming audio and video, delivering software on demand and analyzing data for patterns and making predictions. Before making a move to the cloud, companies should understand the nuts and bolts of how cloud computing works, what benefits it can deliver, and the costs to run in the cloud.

What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing services work a little differently, based on who the provider is. Most provide a user-friendly, browser-based dashboard that makes it easy for technology professionals and developers to add resources and manage their accounts. Some cloud services are also designed to work with REST APIs and a command-line interface (CLI), giving developers multiple options. Simply put, cloud computing is an arrangement between a provider and a customer that allows customer access to a server that remains under the control of the provider. Normally there is a recurring or monthly fee for these services. The customer can use the server in a variety of ways including as hardware on which programs run, or to store data. Using a server in this way is often referred to as IaaS. Others use the server as a platform on which to develop their own software (PaaS), and others use the server as a portal that accesses a service such as a payment portal for a customer or to process the customer’s data (SaaS).

Benefits of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing can significantly reduce the investments an enterprise needs to make in hardware and software as well as the eliminating the need for on-site data centers and IT staff to manage the infrastructure, and that reduces utility, labor and overhead costs as well.

Cloud computing eliminates the need for ongoing IT tasks such as “racking and stacking,” setting up hardware and patching software. It makes your organization more productive and enables your IT personnel to focus on more important business goals.

Cloud computing provides an enterprise elastic scalability to meet the ever-changing IT requirements of your enterprise. You will always have the right amount of IT resources available for storage, computing power, and bandwidth whether your business is seasonal or steady.

The bigger cloud computing services run on a global network of secure datacenters. In addition, they are regularly upgraded to the latest generation of the fastest and most efficient computing hardware. This means improved performance, reduced latency, and the benefit of economies of scale.

Cloud computing makes business continuity and disaster recovery easier and less costly because data is mirrored to redundant sites on the cloud provider’s global network.

Since cloud computing services are self-serve and on-demand, you can provision vast amounts of computing resources on the fly-in minutes — no more worries over capacity planning.

Cloud Types

Cloud computing services are defined by three categories: IaaS-The rental of IT infrastructure that includes servers, virtual machines, networks, operating systems, and data storage from a cloud provider on a pay as you go basis.

PaaS– This includes cloud computing services that provide an on-demand environment that developers can utilize to develop, test, deliver, and manage software applications.

SaaS– cloud computing that provides a way to deliver software applications over the internet on-demand. Normally these cloud services are on a subscription basis. The provider hosts and manages the software application and the underlying infrastructure, including maintenance, upgrades, and software patches. Users will connect to the application using an internet browser.

Cloud Computing Deployments

Cloud computing can be deployed in different ways, and it is crucial to understand how the different deployments work in order to choose the right type or combination of cloud deployments that best fit your organizational needs.

Public Cloud

A cloud owned and operated by a third party provider. Computing resources, including servers and storage, are delivered over the internet. All of the components of the system, such as hardware, software, and any other supporting infrastructure are owned and managed by the third party cloud provider.

Private Cloud

Cloud resources that a single business or organization uses exclusively. The cloud can be physically located on a company’s on-site datacenter or hosted by a third party provider. The services and infrastructure would be maintained on a private network.

Hybrid Cloud

A hybrid cloud combines public and private clouds. The clouds are bound together by technology that allows data and applications to be shared. A hybrid cloud normally involves a firewall to enhance the security of data and applications moving between the two clouds. For many businesses, this is the best choice because the private cloud better protects sensitive data, and it offers greater flexibility and more deployment options.

Jan 26 21
Christina Zumwalt

Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and conversational interfaces are changing the way design happens. You may be familiar with the big announcement of an AI website builder called “The Grid” a few years ago. It was a website development and design system that was powered by artificial intelligence.  The idea was a platform where site modules and other interaction patterns design themselves, without the need of a designer. Conversational interfaces would engage the user to supply information and make decisions about the design of the website being created but the results did not live up to the hype.The resulting websites were basically a disaster. The good news in the disaster? Designer jobs will remain safe for the foreseeable future.

Creativity versus Task Automation

Design is more complex than other jobs that are task driven and repetitive in nature. These repetitive types of jobs are the ones that are most likely to be replaced by robots. As for design, it requires the ability to assess information within different contexts, to establish a context for a design, as well as an empathy for other users. Robots are not sophisticated enough at this time to successfully perform jobs that require that kind of perspective, empathy and creativity but they are well suited to automating repetitive tasks and making designers more efficient.

What we will see in the next several years

We can expect to see designers and robots working together to create all sorts of new opportunities. One area where robots could be very useful to designers is in automating certain tasks like cropping assets, color correcting photos and resizing images. Algorithms could take on simple tasks such as color matching. AI is perfect for automating many of these boring, repetitive tasks associated with a designer’s role.

Smarter Design Systems

Design systems are a series of patterns, modules and elements that taken together build the design language of a brand or a product. Start-ups and enterprises alike trust their design systems to keep their products consistent for users. The ability to add a layer of intelligence to these systems to analyze how users interact with each element will help identify which elements work best for each function. With AI and machine learning as these intelligence layers learn and identify what things are working and what aren’t it will help to optimize design systems to deliver better results. Some web design companies are doing exactly that. Website builders squarespace and Wix embed AI into their workflows to guide designers on more mundane design decisions and we can expect to see more and more AI driven tools embedded within design processes.

Everyone Will Become A Designer

Most design jobs today are defined by creative and social intelligence. The skill sets associated with these job titles require problem framing, creative problem solving, empathy, negotiation skills and persuasion. One of the biggest expected impacts of AI will be to make everyone a designer. There will be a push for all individuals to increase their employability by developing their creativity and social intelligence skills. These skills will no longer be limited to designers only. Instead of just training traditional creative occupations in design thinking techniques, all occupations will be trained to use the skills traditionally reserved for design and creative positions. Designers will need additional knowledge and expertise in multidisciplinary contexts in order to bring that extra value to the job roles that companies will be looking to employ. This in turn could lead to exotic specializations. There are already examples of this trend. The Seattle mayor’s office has created an innovation team tasked with finding solutions to some of Seattle’s most immediate issues and concerns. The team includes designers and design strategists and embraces human-centered design as a philosophy to guide their work. A new integrated design and management program at MIT is yet another example of this trend. Even medical schools are beginning to train future physicians in design thinking. Design is taking on a much broader role and significance in work processes as well as opening up new opportunities for educators across different disciplines to include creative intelligence training and human-centered design as part of their courses and curricula.

Alto9 is a Cloud solutions firm created to help customers migrate to, and make the most of Amazon Web Services. Cloud computing is a rapidly changing paradigm that requires a specialized focus, and our Amazon Certified engineers have the depth of experience and know-how to make sure your Cloud infrastructure runs efficiently, securely, and scales with you as your business grows.

Jan 22 21
Christina Zumwalt

The big question everyone is asking in the tech industry is what is to be expected for cloud computing in 2021? 2020 was revolutionary for cloud computing and infrastructure due to the conditions that a pandemic put the world in. We witnessed changes in digital transformation priorities to help mobilize workforces, facilitate collaboration, and ensure business continuity. This leads us to believe that 2021 can and will be just as great. Here are some things that are expected to change in 2021 in the technology sector.

Demand for Multi-Cloud and Hybrid Infrastructure Rising

There will be many assessments done at companies to evaluate where they are hosting certain workloads to optimize IT budgets and increase business agility and resilience. Within this next year there should be at least a 59% shift of organizations decreasing their on-premise infrastructure, with an increase into the public cloud. There is also an estimation that 66% are planning to expand their private cloud workloads. The biggest thing that organizations will be seeking is getting assistance in determining the right infrastructure, where applications and workloads are going to be best suited, and the tools that should be used to optimize those environments. Making the choice of a managed service provider, you want to make sure that there is an offering of data and applications that will be able to interact across environments with high performance and security requirements.

Cloud Adoption Corrections with Native Apps

Due to the pandemic, quite a large number of organizations have taken a quick-fix approach to cloud adoption to their businesses. This at first was the thing that was done, even though ill advised, has put organizations in a position of needing to seek more cloud functionality. There will now be a forefront of native cloud apps taking center stage. The technologies used will not be purpose built, to enable agility across the technology stack and allow organizations to scale the operations back, and then evolve and continue to digitize.

Sustainability

With 2020 being a year where most of the world went to working remotely unless completely unavoidable, we saw some huge changes in the environment. There has been substantial changes in the air quality, also the creating of a greener world. There has also be significate decreases in the amount of energy being used by at least 20% annually since 2010. These changes have set goals for there to be a huge increase in carbon neutrality in the next five years.

In 2021, the world is going to improve not only the environment, but also advancements in technology. Hopefully just as the changes we saw in 2020, we continue to huge changes in 2021 for the cloud computing technology.

Jan 19 21
Christina Zumwalt

Monday celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in celebration of an American civil rights leader. Martin Luther King, Jr was a great man and influencer. Here are some fun facts that you may not know about him.

  • King was the youngest person to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize
  • Martin sang in the choir at the movie premier Gone with the Wind
  • There are over 730 streets in the United States named after Martin Luther King, Jr
  • Mohandas Ghandi was one of his main influences
  • He was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • His name listed on his birth certificate is Michael King, which was done by mistake as he was supposed to be named after his father Martin King, Leader of the Christian reformation movement
  • He is often referred to as MLK his initials

Jan 15 21
Christina Zumwalt

Security has always been a concern for businesses when migrating to the cloud. Although cloud security is continually evolving, all enterprises need to be aware and protect themselves against security threats on-site and in the cloud. Cloud computing transforms the way an organization handles data use and storage, shares applications, and manages workloads. Along with introducing many innovations, cloud computing has also been responsible for launching a whole new spectrum of security challenges and threats.

The exponential increase in public cloud usage means that more data and more highly sensitive data is exposed to higher risk. The most important thing for a company to understand when they migrate to the cloud security is the responsibility of the customer or enterprise utilizing the cloud and not the cloud provider. 

It is essential for your leadership, and IT teams to keep up to date with the latest advances in security. Included would be the evolution of blockchain and how it is changing cloud security as well as taking the appropriate steps to be vigilant about your security. Making sure it is done at all levels within and beyond your organization to your cloud providers, as well. You will find information below about the top twelve security threats your organization is likely to face this year and in the future.

Inadequate Access, Identity and Credentialing Management

No system is immune from bad people. No matter how good your security, you need to be on the lookout for bad people posing as legitimate developers, operators, and authorized users. All it will take is the wrong person, or a hacker to infiltrate your system, and they will have the ability to read, modify, and delete your data. They can spy or snoop on data that is in transit, release malicious software that often looks like it came from a legitimate source, and issue control and management functions. The key to mitigating this threat is robust identity, access, and credentialing procedures and protocols. This protocol is a security must. Controlling access to data is a fundamental principle for cloud and on-site security.

Unsecure Interfaces and APIs

When you migrate to the cloud, you use a set of software user interfaces, UI’s otherwise referred to as API’s to manage and interact with cloud services. Management, provisioning, and monitoring are all functions carried out with these interfaces. Cloud security and the ability to access and use cloud services all depend on the protection of the APIs. Every API needs to have security built in to protect against both malicious and accidental attempts to work around security policies and protocols.

System Vulnerabilities

When we talk about system vulnerabilities, we speak about bugs in programs that hackers can use to infiltrate your system to steal data. The hackers also can take control of your system, causing service disruptions and more. You should understand the vulnerabilities of the components that comprise your operating system and protect against them because those vulnerabilities put all of your services and data at risk. With cloud multi-tenancy, organizations are placed close to one another and given access to share resources and memory. The cloud helps to open up a whole new plane for attackers to target.

Account Hijacking 

Account hijacking has been a long-standing threat, but the danger can escalate with cloud services. If an attacker gains access to a legitimate user’s credentials, they can do severe damage. They can manipulate data, create false information, eavesdrop on corporate activities and transactions, and even redirect customers to fake or illegitimate sites. Account and service instances can quickly become new bases for attack and result in compromising the integrity, availability, and confidentiality of those services.

Data Breaches

Data breaches can be the result of a cyber attack, simple human error, or inadequate security protocols and practices. It can involve confidential information not intended for public release, including personal health information, tax, and financial information, trade secrets. Personal identification information or intellectual property. Data security is ranked as the number one challenge for cloud customers.

Malicious Insiders

A system administrator can have access to all types of information, including sensitive information, critical systems, and data. If your enterprise has systems that depend solely on your cloud provider for security, your systems and data are exposed to much higher risk. Your organization should have security protocols in place that monitor and control third party access to your systems and data.

Advanced Persistent Threats 

These are parasitic cyberattacks. An APT infiltrates a system to get a foothold in the IT infrastructure of a target enterprise to steal data. APTs pursue their goals over extended periods and can often adapt to the very security measures implemented to defend against them. Once an APT gets a foothold in the infrastructure, it can move laterally through data centers and blend in unnoticed with regular traffic until their objective is met.

Lack of Due Diligence

When creating your company’s strategy, it is crucial to consider cloud technologies and cloud providers. Take the time to develop a thorough checklist for your due diligence to evaluate both technologies and providers. Do not rush to adopt cloud technologies and choose a provider. If you do not do your due diligence, you will be exposing your organization to several serious risks.

Data Loss 

Data can be lost in the cloud for several reasons. It can be by a malicious attack, and accidental deletion, or even a physical catastrophe such as an earthquake, tornado, or some other act of nature. Data loss can be permanent if you or your provider fail to build in data redundancy and back-up data processes. You should have a robust disaster recovery and business continuity plan.

Denial of Service

Denial of Service attacks is designed to interfere or prevent service users from using or accessing the data and applications. The restriction of access can be done by forcing a cloud service provider to consume vast amounts of finite system resources. The resources can include processing power, memory, disk space, or network bandwidth to cause a system slowdown resulting in all legitimate service users without access to the services. Ransomware attacks have skyrocketed over the past several years. These are particularly hideous attacks where hijackers can infiltrate your systems and hold them for high dollar ransoms. Your organization needs to prepare against it as a severe threat that can occur.

Cloud Service Abuse

Cloud computing models are exposed to malicious attacks through activities. These activities, including poorly secured cloud deployments, free cloud service trials, and fraudulent account sign-ups using payment instrument fraud. There is always a possibility that an attacker could leverage cloud computing resources to target an organization and its users or another cloud provider. The types of abuse or misuse of cloud resources include distributed denial of service attacks, email spam, and phishing campaigns.

The Vulnerability of Shared Technology

Cloud providers can scale to meet your needs by sharing infrastructure, platforms, and applications. Cloud technology “as-a-service” offering is generally offered without changing the off-the-shelf hardware or software. This can result in security weaknesses. That is because the underlying components that comprise the infrastructure that supports cloud services deployment may not have been designed to provide strong isolation properties for multi-customer applications or multi-tenant architecture. This can lead to shared technology vulnerabilities in all delivery models for cloud services.

Jan 13 21
Christina Zumwalt

What can we say about 2020? The last year was definitely an odd one, but amazing for cloud computing. Cloud computing became one of the key innovations to define 2020. When 2020 first started, there was a standard growth trajectory imagined for 2020, and things were following that path until COVID-19 happened. At the start of the pandemic, tech leaders were called to action. At the same time, workforce distribution models were put in place, digital agendas were brought to speed, and some of the most remarkable shifts in cloud computing were completed overnight.  Here are some great things that came from 2020: 

  • More digitalization of customers and supply-chain interactions 
  • New capabilities of cloud computing 
  • Digital becoming the biggest cloud catalyst 
  • Added learning experiences for businesses, technology leaders, and users to cloud computing.
  • New investments in cloud computing 

2020 was definitely a year to remember, whether it was the sudden shift in technology or because of the pandemic. Some people seem to think that the major changes in technology are going to be short lived with how quickly the world reacted and the changes in cloud came, but it shows us that anything is virtually possible.

Jan 8 21
Christina Zumwalt

Technology is ever changing and growing and it always leads us to ask one single question, what is next? With the world all heading towards an AI-first world, it leaves a huge opportunity for startups to leave their footprint. It is not a surprise that artificial intelligence and robots are leading the way to the future. The new motto is dream big, act now, so why not do it? Here are 3 of the best technologies the continue to evolve.

Artificial Intelligence

You might find yourself asking why would you want to create a startup business focusing on artificial intelligence, but that answer is straightforward. Artificial intelligence became a thing in 1956 but has recently become extremely popular all because of increased data volumes, advanced algorithms, and improvements in computing power and storage. In the early 1950s AI covered topics like symbolic methods and problem-solving, and then not even ten years later, the US Department of Defense gained interest in AI and began training computers to mimic basic human reasoning. In 1970, DARPA or Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency used AI to develop their mapping projects, and later developed intelligent personal assistance before Siri, Alexa or Cortana were developed. These are just a few of the milestones over the years, and with the growth of AI, it has proven to be one of the best parts of technology to start in.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality uses technology in order to superimpose information such as sounds, images and text on the world we see. Some examples are movies like minority report or iron man. Most of the “new technologies” that are just making a huge change on the world were actually developed many years ago and have just become something worth investing in. One of the coolest parts of augmented reality is Disney Research developed an AR coloring book, where you would color a character in a coloring book and then launch the app on a cell phone or tablet. Once the app had launched you would use the camera to detect which character you are coloring and use the software to re-create the character in 3D. Another huge move in AR is the game “ Pokemon Go,” this game became a sensation overnight with over 100 million estimated users at its peak, bringing in over $2 million and counting.

IoT

IoT is the internet of things and refers to the billions of devices that are around the whole world that happen to be connected to the internet, that collect and share the data. IoT adds levels of digital intelligence to all devices that you could otherwise consider dumb and enables them to communicate real-time data without having to involve a human, which in turn merges the digital world with the physical one. You might ask what you could consider as an IoT device, other than electronic devices that have internet capabilities. Such things could be an oven that you can turn on from your phone, a fridge that can send you a grocery list while you are shopping or a washer that has wifi. These days pretty much anything can be turned into an IoT device.

In a world that is ever changing with technology, you have to dream big and act now on ideas that you have. AI, AR, and IoT are just a small group of the many great things that are set to develop and grow over the rest of this year and will continue to blossom over the next several years. Don’t let your chance slip by you while you are scared to move forward.

Jan 6 21
Christina Zumwalt

2020 is almost behind us, and almost everyone is eager to move on to 2021. Even though the year has been challenging, we have seen significant advancements in the tech industry and cloud computing. We here at Alto9 are looking forward to the great things to come in the new year. We want to wish everyone a happy new year. Here are some awesome facts about New Year’s Eve!

1. The song traditionally sung on New Year’s, “Auld Lang Syne,” means “times gone by.”

2. Black-eyed peas, ham, and cabbage are considered good luck if you eat them on New Year’s Eve or Day because it is believed they will bring you money.

3. Lobster and chicken are considered bad luck because lobsters can move backward and chickens can scratch in reverse, so it is thought these foods could bring a reversal of fortune.

4. In Italy, people wear red underwear on New Year’s Day to bring good luck all year long. The tradition dates back to medieval times.

5. Time Square New Year’s Eve Ball was first dropped in 1907 after there was a fireworks ban. The original ball weighed 700 pounds and featured 100 25-watt bulbs. Much different to the ball we know today!

6. The earliest known New Year celebrations were in Mesopotamia and date back to 2000 B.C.

7. January is named after Janus, the god with two faces, one looking forward and one looking backward. He is the god of beginnings, transitions, gates, doors, passages, and endings.

8. Ancient Persians gave New Year’s gifts of eggs, which symbolized productiveness.

9. The first recorded New Year’s celebration dates back 4,000 years to Babylon when the first moon after the spring equinox marked a new year. In 46 B.C., Julius Caesar created a calendar with Jan. 1 as the first day of the year, partly to honor Janus, the month’s namesake.

10. The tradition of kissing at midnight isn’t a recent invention. According to old English and German folklore, the first person you come across in the new year could set the tone for the next 12 months.

11. To ensure a year of good luck, firecrackers and noisemakers became a tradition in order to scare away any remaining evil spirits and to ensure a brand new start.

12. 2,000 pounds (907kg) of confetti is dropped on the crowd in Times Square at midnight.

Dec 30 20
Christina Zumwalt