July 28, 2015

Data Science and Big Data: Two very Different Beasts

In the world of data this expertise in converting is called Data Science. The reason it takes a science to convert a raw resource into something of value is because what is extracted from the ‘ground’ is never in a useful form. ‘Data in the raw’ is littered with useless noise, irrelevant information, and misleading patterns. To convert this into that precious thing we are after requires a study of its properties and the discovery of a working model that captures the behavior we are interested in. Being in possession of a model despite the noise means an organization now owns the beginnings of further discovery and innovation.


Personal Data Protection In Cloud Computing - EU And Turkish Legislation

When reviewed from a cloud service perspective, it is seen that the data protection liability is shared between the customer who is deemed as data controller and the cloud company who is deemed as data processor. In contradiction to a standard service relation, it is not the data controller but the data processor who decides where the personal data will be stored, which subcontractors will process the data and which security measures will be taken. Most of the time data passes through and is stored in different servers across the world. This means in terms of data subjects and controllers that they may not be able to exercise their rights to the extent possible under EU law.


The Power of Mindful Leadership

Becoming a mindful leader isn't easy. There are no five easy steps to do so. A few years ago when I asked the Dalai Lama how we can develop a new generation of compassionate, mindful leaders, he replied simply, "Develop a daily habit of introspection." Today many more companies are promoting mindful practices to improve the health and decision-making of their leaders. Google, under the tutelage of Chade-Meng Tan, trains 2,000 engineers in meditation each year. When I visited Google this spring, it was evident that mindfulness is one of the key reasons behind Google's innovative and harmonious culture. Leading financial services firms like Blackrock and Goldman Sachs offer mindfulness courses for their employees.


Invalidating Identity Interdiction

Data is a tantalizing thing. Collecting it makes life easier for customers and providers as well. Having your ordering history allows Amazon to suggest products you might like to buy. Having your address on file allows the pizza place to pull it up without you needing to read your address again. Creating a user account on a site lets you set preferences. All of this leads to a custom experience and lets us feel special and unique. But, data is just like that slice of cheesecake you think you want for dessert. It looks so delicious and tempting. But you know it’s bad for you. It has calories and sugar and very little nutritional value. In the same manner, all that data you collect is a time bomb waiting to be exposed. The more data you collect, the larger the blowback for your eventual exposure.


3 Reasons Why Virtual Reality will Kill the Office

Imagine a scenario where your head office is based in New York and your team is spread across the world in Europe, South America and Asia. The limit today is that even if you do video conference or screen sharing, you never actually experience working with the rest of your team. If the rest of your team is in an office you will not feel like you are part of their team throughout the day. With Virtual Reality, you can actually experience and feel like you are sitting down next to them in the office environment. You can virtually walk into the office, talk to each other, attend meetings, share data and maybe, even share a drink after work through a virtual reality interface.


Data Center Trends – 5 Reasons Why Server Cabinet Power Density is Going UP!

Ready or not (and most aren’t), power density in the rack is going up, and not incrementally over ten years, but dramatically over three to five years. Can your internal data center(s) support that? Can your partners support it? My rough estimate tells me that if an average of 10kW per rack was required, fewer than 10% of data centers in operation today could handle it. There are a confluence of events occurring that are driving infrastructure design towards more density, and I don’t see anything reversing that trend anytime soon.


Build High Performance JVM Microservices with Ratpack & Spring Boot

Ratpack and Spring Boot are a match made in microservice heaven. Each is a developer-centric web framework for the JVM, focused on productivity, efficiency, and lightweight deployments. They have their respective benefits in the area of microservice development, in that they bring different offerings to the table. Ratpack brings a reactive programming model with a high throughput, non-blocking web layer, and a convenient handler chain for defining application structure and HTTP request processing; Spring Boot brings an integration to the entire Spring ecosystem, and simplistic way to configure and autowire components into an application. For building cloud-native and data-driven microservices, they are a compliment that is unparalleled.


Privacy and the data toothpaste problem

The court, for example, pointed to a suppression motion as offering a complete fix to this issue. “The motion to suppress is vital because it can lead to the suppression of unconstitutionally seized evidence. Once evidence is suppressed, the government’s case could become impossible or significantly more difficult to prove.” That’s fine, but the absence of a court conviction doesn’t even come close to righting this wrong. Ask anyone whose name was dragged through the media for years before being acquitted. Is that person’s life returned to its original state? The Facebook case involved a probe into retired police officers and firefighters “suspected of having feigned mental illnesses caused by the events of September 11, 2001.”


End User Experience Management: Fulfilling the Promise of Mobile Healthcare

Mobile technology is arguably the greatest accelerator in transforming medical practices and the engagement between providers and patients. Mobile health is particularly important in developing countries, where mobile penetration is high and populations are not well served by traditional healthcare structures. But it is also a priority for physicians in developed countries who want to use their own devices in clinical settings. Much like other industries, healthcare IT teams must address issues around Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies as well as the management and security of devices, apps and data.


India Loves MOOCs

Throughout India, online education is gaining favor as a career accelerator, particularly in technical fields. Indian enrollments account for about 8 percent of worldwide activity in Coursera and 12 percent in edX, the two leading providers of massive open online courses, or MOOCs. Only the United States’ share is clearly higher; China’s is roughly comparable. India’s own top-tier technical universities have created free videotaped lectures of more than 700 courses, with the goal of putting students at regional colleges in digital contact with the country’s most renowned professors. In the United States and Europe, MOOCs have proved less revolutionary than their champions predicted when they launched on a wide scale in 2012.



Quote for the day:

"The more you say, the less people remember. The fewer words, the greater profit. - Fenelon - Be bold, be brief, and be gone!" -- @Orrin_Woodward

July 27, 2015

Nonstop Cyber Attacks Drive Israel to Build Hack-Proof Defense

“If I ranked the existential threats, cyber would come right behind nuclear weapons,’ said Carmi Gillon, former head of the Shin Bet domestic security service and chairman of Cytegic, a company that has developed a digital dashboard and tools to help keep companies protected. Israel and the U.S. face some of the most serious cyber assailants in the world, said Daniel Garrie, executive managing partner of cyber-consulting firm Law & Forensics in New York. That forces them to be ‘‘light years ahead’’ in prevention. While attempted hack attacks on Israel reached 2 million a day during last year’s fighting in Gaza, the country has yet to report destructive events such as the theft of data from about 22 million people at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.


The government push to regulate driverless cars has finally begun

The bill, called the SPY Car Act, would require certain commitments from car manufacturers who want to build driverless or connected cars. For example, under the legislation the Federal Trade Commission would force automakers to use "reasonable measures" to protect the increasingly complex software that helps our cars run smoothly. Together with highway authorities, the FTC would also develop a window sticker that rates a new car's vulnerability to digital attack, in the same way consumers use fuel economy stickers to evaluate a car's potential gas mileage. Hackers who figure out how to take control of a car's brakes, engine or other systems not only pose a danger to those inside the affected vehicle but also to others around it.


Worried About a Cyber-Apocalypse? AIG Wants to Sell You a Policy

“We are listening to our customers, who tell us they are looking for larger limits -- some as high as $1 billion in coverage for cyber property damage and business interruption for larger corporate properties and facilities,” said Dan Riordan, chief executive officer of Zurich Global Corporate in North America. He wouldn’t say how much coverage Zurich might provide. Since the first cyberpolicy was written in the late 1990s, insurers have been unwilling to provide coverage for all losses. Most firms are reluctant to offer policies for property damage resulting from hacking because there’s almost no data available to determine costs, according Tracy Dolin, an analyst at Standard & Poor’s.


5 steps to becoming an enterprise architecture ninja

Enterprise architects have often logged years of IT and business experience, and have outstanding abilities to think both structurally and strategically. But when you ask them to rate what they're doing on a maturity scale -- say 1-5 -- plenty of very competent professionals look at their shoes and mumble 1 or even 0. Despite being tasked with making sure company systems have a solid foundation (and don't topple under their own complexity), managing product integration, digital transformation, and IT roadmaps, they don't often take the time to benchmark their own skills and contributions. If you're an enterprise architect, listen up. Charting your own personal roadmap is key to explaining the impact of your role, and winning respect and influence.


6 Smart Jewellery For The Perfect Fusion Of Fashion And Tech

While the Nike+ FuelBand, Fitbit Flex and Jawbone UP demonstrated potential in wearable computing with their tracking capabilities and accompanying mobile apps, the devices themselves looked more at home in the gym than in ones everyday life. Nowadays, a new breed of wearables, more female-targeted line of devices are starting to emerge, offering features that extend beyond health and fitness, as well as the look of “real” jewellery made with metals and stones instead of bulky plastic bands. The “Smart jewellery” range includes a wide range of devices: From those that keep one aware of important calls and texts to those that are meant to serve as protection for women in peril.


Your body, the battery: Powering gadgets from human “biofuel”

When it comes to energy-rich bodily fluids, blood is hard to beat. Plasma, the liquid component of blood, is constantly suffused with dissolved glucose, our cells’ primary source of energy. Most EFCs that have been developed to date target this molecule. The first EFC that could draw power directly from an organism's bloodstream was created in 2010. Its French developers implanted the inch-long device into the abdomen of a live rat, where it operated successfully for 11 days—apparently without much discomfort on the part of the host. During this time, it continually generated around two microwatts of power, which is more than enough to power a pacemaker in theory.


Outsourcing: How Cyber Resilient Are You?

In an effort to improve upon the results of the SEC and DFS reports, issuances from the FFIEC and FINRA provide third-party cyber guidance with a focus on resilience (i.e., the ability to withstand and recover from a cyber attack). Consistent with the regulators’ overall approach to cybersecurity, the guidance suggests an approach that is more advisory than enforcement-oriented and is principles-based rather than prescriptive. A prescriptive approach would make less sense at this stage, as cyber risks are evolving rapidly and financial institutions each have idiosyncratic exposures based on the particularities of the institution.


Interview: When Technology and Design Collide, then Collude

The two are intrinsically interlinked. Both provide inspiration for the other. There is an element of truth that sometimes limitations of technology can prevent designers from thinking big, but technology often comes up with inspiration and new ideas and approaches that design has never thought about. The theory is about incremental innovation versus disruptive innovation. It suggests that incremental innovation is climbing to the top of the existing hill that you're standing on. It's limited by the size of that hill. That's often what a lot of UX designers focus on. They run usability testing, trying to tweak and improve a particular product and service. But they lose sight of the fact that there might be other bigger mountains out there to climb.


How to find agility in the cloud

"We needed to move from where deployment was a post-application function to a Dev Ops culture," Juneja says. "We needed to bring in some talent that could address the leadership gap we had in cloud and in Dev Ops. The benefit of stabilizing and thinking about next-gen concurrently is we were able to do a lot of analysis of our existing stack, our existing team functions — idenfity the things we would do and not do in the new environment. This is where we identified the gaps in our skills and leadership. We brought in a vice president for cloud that had done cloud transformation for a healthcare company. We built a center of excellence for Dev Ops and brought in a leader from a major transactions company."


When DevOps isn't enough, try NoOps

For NoOps to work, it needs an IT platform that developers don’t need to worry about in terms of resource constraints – and that’s where the cloud comes in. Once the hardware is out of the hands of the organisation, the operations side of the equation becomes someone else’s problem. The cloud provider has the job of provisioning, monitoring and maintaining the hardware and – provided a suitable service level agreement (SLA) has been settled – the physical aspects of the platform become relatively immaterial. ... All too often, even in cascade projects, developers fall into the trap of believing their operational environment will perform the same as their development one, forgetting that much of what they do is self-contained in their own workstation or hived away from the vagaries of the main network.



Quote for the day:

"Brilliant strategy is the best route to desirable ends with available means." -- Max McKeown

July 24, 2015

Top Big Data Challenges, Revisited

There's also a shortage of people who can get the most out of all this new data. Harvard business review called Data Scientist the sexiest job of the 21st century (it certainly sounds sexier than "actuary," which is perhaps the closest 20th century equivalent!). Data Scientists have deep analytic and statistical skills combined with knowledge of the business. They are in high demand and they command high salaries. What's new is that technology is helping to remove some of the the bottlenecks. For example there are now easier to use, more automated predictive analytics tools that can be deployed by, say, marketing staff looking to optimize campaigns.


Stakeholder Engagement: The Elephant in the Room

A process of any description is, in many ways, a means to an end—it helps us achieve a goal, output or outcome. Yet different stakeholders will want to achieve different things from that process—and sometimes these needs and wants might conflict. Uncovering these areas of disagreement early, discussing them and working to gain consensus is extremely beneficial. This builds engagement from the very beginning, makes it much more likely that we’ll foresee issues, and makes it much more likely that the process will deliver the benefits and outcomes that we are aiming for.


How IIT Bombay is popularizing robotics in India through its flagship initiative, e-Yantra

e-Yantra Lab Setup Initiative (eLSI) provides guidance in setting up Robotics labs at colleges and trains a team of 4 teachers from each college. The eLSI does this through a three pronged approach. The first component of the e-Yantra Lab Setup initiative trains teachers through a two-day workshop on basic concepts in Embedded systems and Micro-controller programming, conducted at a coordinating college termed Nodal Center (NC), in different regions of the country. At the end of the workshop teacher team from each participating college is given a robotic kit to participate in an extended training program called Task Based Training (TBT).


Cars May Soon Understand More of What You Say

Ortiz says that such technology is now in the vehicle production pipeline, which means it may appear within a few years. It will primarily allow for more natural control of dashboard features and retrieval of information such as directions. “In the navigation domain, we’re developing methods to describe points of interest more abstractly,” he says. “I don’t always know the exact address of where I want to go. I want to be able to say ‘I want to go to a restaurant in the marina near the ballpark.’ “ Nuance came to dominate the market for voice-recognition technology over the past decade after acquiring various other companies in that space.


Cloud inventory management for CIOs: Build guardrails, not roadblocks

Organizations of all kinds are encountering workers using cloud apps without IT's knowledge. The usage stems from both individual workers seeking out cloud apps to help them perform a particular task, as well as entire departments lighting up enterprise apps in the cloud, said Forrester Research analyst Lauren Nelson. It's easy to do in both cases and often creates efficiencies in business processes for the workers and departments involved. Unfortunately, many CIOs are left out of the loop, and as a result, they quickly lose track of what apps are performing which functions, Nelson said. "You think you've identified what's being used, but then you find there are people using apps that didn't go through your process."


CIOs say AppleCare for Enterprise is lacking

Some of the services CIOs want from AppleCare for Enterprise, such as setup, training and technical support, are available as part of Apple's Joint Venture program, but it's managed by Apple retail stores and all eligible products must be purchased through Apple directly. Appley says Shorenstein pays $500 per year for this service and it covers up to five individuals, each of whom can receive support for multiple Apple devices. "It helps us get to the front of the line at the Genius Bar," he says. Businesses that pay for membership in the Joint Venture program also get up to 6 hours of in-store training each year and receive in-store assistance with device setup, including supervised data transfer from other devices.


The 12 disruptive tech trends you need to know

People pay plenty of money for consulting giants to help them figure out which technology trends are fads and which will stick. You could go that route, or get the same thing from the McKinsey Global Institute’s in-house think-tank for the cost of a new book. No Ordinary Disruption: The Four Global Forces Breaking All the Trends, was written by McKinsey directors Richard Dobbs, James Manyika, and Jonathan Woetzel, and offers insight into which developments will have the greatest impact on the business world in coming decades. Below, we’re recapping their list of the “Disruptive Dozen”—the technologies the group believes have the greatest potential to remake today’s business landscape.


Combining Knowledge- and Data-driven Methods for De-identification of Clinical Narratives

A recent promise and the potential of wider availability of data from Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to support clinical research are often hindered by personal health information that is present in EHRs, raising a number of ethical and legal issues. De-identification of such data is therefore one of the main pre-requisites for using EHRs in clinical research. As a result, there is a growing interest for automated de-identification methods to ultimately aid accessibility to data by removing Protected Health Information (PHI) from clinical records. De-identification of unstructured data in particular is challenging, as PHI can appear virtually anywhere in a clinical narrative or letter.


Worried About a Cyber-Apocalypse? AIG Wants to Sell You a Policy

Zurich Insurance Group AG and Munich Re say they are considering offering infrastructure-damage policies similar to AIG’s. None of the companies has signed a contract. “We are listening to our customers, who tell us they are looking for larger limits -- some as high as $1 billion in coverage for cyber property damage and business interruption for larger corporate properties and facilities,” said Dan Riordan, chief executive officer of Zurich Global Corporate in North America. He wouldn’t say how much coverage Zurich might provide. Since the first cyberpolicy was written in the late 1990s, insurers have been unwilling to provide coverage for all losses.


The Hierarchy of Needs

Related to software quality this means for one thing that robustness, safety and understandability will become relevant only if the software is runnable on the customer’s device and performs the tasks it is intended for. Further it means that an increase in functionality may not result in a higher quality experience on the customer’s side if his or her functional needs are saturated but higher needs are not. For a potential customer functionality is central. For a customer who uses the software already the functionality is more of a given fact. He or she will often expect other and higher quality attributes instead in a new release.




Quote for the day:

"The problems we have today, cannot be solved by thinking the way we thought when we created them." -- Albert Einstein