December 21, 2013

Password Cracking Revisited: Rainbow Tables
Rainbow tables are chains of hashes and reductions. A reduction matches a hash to plain text. These tables start with a plain text value. The value is repeatedly hashed, reduced (which is not the same thing as an inverse hash), and then rehashed. However, the table itself only stores two values -- the starting plain text and the ending hash. As such, a chain consisting of millions of values can be stored as two values -- essentially the start and end points.

Innovation: Are You a Gardener or an Architect?
The architects do blueprints before they drive the first nail, they design the entire house, where the pipes are running, and how many rooms there are going to be, how high the roof will be. But the gardeners just dig a hole and plant the seed and see what comes up. I think all writers are partly architects and partly gardeners, but they tend to one side or another, and I am definitely more of a gardener. ... the same idea applies to innovation. There are people that work hard at building a good structure to support innovation.

The only effective way to ensure quality is with continuous verification
The hygienic approach proposed in this article is to apply verification techniques continuously as the work product is developed. Figure 1 shows the development of requirements models. In Figure 1, you can see the places where verification is performed. Notice that the inner loop (fromDefine the Use Case System Context down to Verify and Validate the Functional Requirements and back) is a nanocycle and is run every 20-60 minutes. So you take some small set of requirements, realize them in the model, execute and verify them, and repeat.

Time is Money: Milliseconds Matter
Did you know just a one second increase in Amazon's page load time could potientially cost the retail giant $1.6 billion in annual sales? There's no question consumer online shopping expectations are at an all-time high. But did you know the time they spend on your site is at an all-time low? This means finding ways to improve your website usability has never been more important. ... For other interesting stats see the infographic

Major computer security firm RSA took $10 mln from NSA to weaken encryption
The National Security Agency arranged a clandestine US$10 million contract with computer security power RSA that allowed the spy agency to embed encryption software it could use to infiltrate the company’s widely used products, Reuters reported. Revelations provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and first reported in September showed that the NSA created and perpetuated a corruptible formula that was ultimately a “back door” into encryption products.

Intel Readies 18-Core Xeon “Broadwell-EP” Microprocessors for Launch in 2015
The Xeon chips due in the next couple of years will not only get new micro-architectures along with innovative capabilities, but will also demonstrate unprecedented core-count. Based on slides from Intel’s roadmap published by VR-Zone web-site, Intel is currently working on Xeon E5-2600 v3 “Haswell-EP” with up to 14 cores due in late 2014 as well as Xeon E5-2600 v4 “Broadwell-EP” with up to 18 cores chips due in the second half of 2015.

Target data theft fuels new worries on cybersecurity
The data breach underscored the evolving sophistication of cybercriminals and the persistent vulnerability of retailers and consumers despite dozens of past incidents at major retailers. “How do you get 40 million credit cards and no one knows about it?” said Ken Stasiak, chief executive of SecureState, which investigates cybercrimes. “That's a hell of a lot of credit cards. There should have been someone inside the company who spotted this much sooner.” The Target attack appeared to be well thought out and executed with great precision.

BYOD Became the 'New Normal' in 2013
"A big shift in attitude for BYOD in 2013," says Aberdeen Group's Andrew Borg. To understand what happened with BYOD this year, we need a starting point: An Aberdeen Group survey in January found that three out of four respondents had a BYOD program in place. Yet two-thirds of those with a BYOD program had an "anything goes" philosophy, not enforcing compliance or security policies. BYOD was also a way for business users to revolt against IT, which traditionally threw up roadblocks to new technology, especially consumer tech.

Top Technology Trends for 2014
IEEE Computer Society journals, magazines, and conferences are continually at the forefront of current technology trends. That's just one of the reasons that IEEE Computer Society is the community for technology leaders. As a technology professional, keeping on top of trends is crucial. Below are a list of technology topics that Computer Society magazines, journals, and conferences will be focusing on next year:

End of an era? What's holding back the new digital enterprise
"We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run" to quote Amara's Law, but I would argue long term cultural digestion and absorption to find value models are the reason why a technology takes off rather than Canadian philosopher of communication theory Marshall McLuhan's idea that 'the medium is the message' which is is much beloved by those keen to sell you software seat licenses before the end of their quarter.

Quote for the day:

"For here we are not afraid to follow the truth wherever it may lead…" -- Thomas Jefferson