June 14, 2013

FDA calls on medical device makers to focus on cybersecurity
"Many medical devices contain configurable embedded computer systems that can be vulnerable to cybersecurity breaches," the FDA said in its recommendations. "As medical devices are increasingly interconnected, via the Internet, hospital networks, other medical device, and smartphones, there is an increased risk of cybersecurity breaches, which could affect how a medical device operates."

Continuous Improvement and the Agile Restrospective
At some point an organization will notice that the unique requirements of its culture, business domain or a particular project aren't adequately addressed by the boilerplate versions of these practices. At that point, if the company sticks to its guns and continues to go by the book, it misses out on an important opportunity to improve its team, its processes and its product.

Google Play Developer 8-Step Checkup
Google Play gives you tons of options on publishing your apps and connecting with users. But as you get started with new features like beta testing and staged rollouts, it’s a good idea to do a checkup and make sure you’ve covered the basics.

Open Source Project 'Weave' Aids Java Devs Using YARN
Continuuity announced today the public availability of its new Apache Hadoop data processing framework Weave product, a next-gen Apache Hadoop data processing framework. Weave is a framework designed to ease the process of writing distributed applications by providing developers with a set of interfaces that allow them to manage resources, nodes and jobs within those apps through an abstraction layer built on YARN.

Neural Network Activation Functions in C#
Understanding neural network activation functions is essential whether you use an existing software tool to perform neural network analysis of data or write custom neural network code. This article describes what neural network activation functions are, explains why activation functions are necessary, describes three common activation functions, gives guidance on when to use a particular activation function, and presents C# implementation details of common activation functions.

US prosecutors propose kill switch to prevent smartphone theft
One of the ideas presented by Schneiderman is a "kill switch" that would render a smartphone useless. Disabling a smartphone should be as easy as canceling a credit card, Schneiderman said. Smartphone theft is a multibillion dollar industry and the kill switch or equivalent features would eliminate the financial incentive to steal cellphones, Schneiderman said.

The Ten Virtues of Outstanding Leaders
Philosophers Al Gini and Ronald Green suggest ten virtues or traits of character and as such they describe not just a leader's behavior but a clear sense of the way a leader thinks; the beliefs and motivations behind their actions. They note that these virtues are fragmentary in that they can exist apart from one another and rarely does any leader possess all of them.

IT department could disappear by the end of the decade, says Forrester
“It is important to recognise that there are significant elements of enterprise technology that are commoditising, or have already commoditised - the core infrastructure, the virtual servers, the enterprise applications, the core systems of record,” said Mines. “But there is a new class of technology that is aimed at customer engagement, and aimed at the front end of the business.

How big data and statistical modeling are changing video games
Bill Grosso described how over the past three years, game studios have switched from viewing analytics as a primarily descriptive tool to deploying modern data collection practices, machine learning toolkits, and statistical methods to gain a deeper understanding of player behavior, predict outcomes, and modify their games and business practices in real-time to improve both the user experience and revenue.

The Password Reset Conundrum
Password resets are an important and required step after a password or any other significant breach of a system, and it is inarguable that changing all the passwords in a breached system provides a measurable and tangible improved security profile. The unfortunate reality is that requiring a password change is not enough. Clearly creating systems that provide protections in addition to, or instead of, passwords are a great way to mitigate this risk...

Quote for the day:

"When you have a number of disagreeable duties to perform, always do the most disagreeable first. " -- Josiah Quincy