January 15, 2014

Continuous security monitoring: What enterprises can learn from CDM
With the CDM program, DHS is focusing on getting agencies to implement a six-step CSM process: installing and updating network scanning sensors, automating the search for known system flaws, collecting the scanning results, triaging and analyzing the results, initiating mitigation of the biggest or worst flaws, and reporting progress. The objective is to enable civilian agencies to fully diagnose their networks within 72 hours of sensor deployment.

Computer science: The learning machines
With triumphs in hand for image and speech recognition, there is now increasing interest in applying deep learning to natural-language understanding — comprehending human discourse well enough to rephrase or answer questions, for example — and to translation from one language to another. Again, these are currently done using hand-coded rules and statistical analysis of known text. The state-of-the-art of such techniques can be seen in software such as Google Translate, which can produce results that are comprehensible (if sometimes comical) but nowhere near as good as a smooth human translation.

Why Cognition-as-a-Service is the next operating system battlefield
CaaS will enable every app to become as smart as Siri in its own niche. CaaS powered apps will be able to think and interact with consumers like intelligent virtual assistants — they will be “cognitive apps.” You will be able to converse with cognitive apps, ask them questions, give them commands — and they will be able to help you complete tasks and manage your work more efficiently. For example your calendar will become a cognitive app — it will be able to intelligently interact with you to help you manage your time and scheduling like a personal assistant would — but the actual artificial intelligence that powers it will come from a third-party cloud based cognitive platform.

Geraldine Hamilton: Body parts on a chip
It's relatively easy to imagine a new medicine, a better cure for some disease. The hard part, though, is testing it, and that can delay promising new cures for years. In this well-explained talk, Geraldine Hamilton shows how her lab creates organs and body parts on a chip, simple structures with all the pieces essential to testing new medications -- even custom cures for one specific person. TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less)

Why you should care about Net neutrality (FAQ)
The basis for the Net neutrality regulation that the FCC implemented is predicated on a centuries-old legal concept known as "common carriage." This concept of "common carriage" has been used not just to regulate telecommunications but other industries as well. It was developed to ensure that the public retained access to fundamental services that use public rights of way. In the case of the Internet, it means that the infrastructure used to deliver Web pages, video, and audio-streaming services, and all kinds of other Internet content, should be open to anyone accessing or delivering that content.

The future of shopping: When psychology and emotion meet analytics
Welcome to the future of retail, which is quickly moving beyond somewhat silly questions about whether tablets will run on Android, iOS, or Windows, and becoming much more focused on actual applications and sales. The best part about the retail sector is that it combines four fun areas: Business, technology, and human behavior and psychology. Here's a brief tour of technologies that range in maturity from those that are implemented today to ones that'll take awhile to be adopted.

Financial malware focuses on hiding malicious traffic, localization
The battle between security professionals and cybercriminals has become a cat-and-mouse game in recent years, Baylor said, as Microsoft and other botnet trackers have had success taking down malware by targeting the command-and-control (C&C) infrastructure used to relay instructions to infected machines. Microsoft led a major operation against the Citadel malware in June 2013, and reportedly took down up to 88% of the Citadel botnets, though it has since rebounded.

Of Internet-connected Crock-pots, cars, smartwatches
The Crock-pot uses Belkin's WeMo technology to connect the slow cooker's IP address to the Internet through a home Wi-Fi router. The company also showed a Wi-Fi-ready Mr. Coffee automatic coffee maker. ... Users can control both devices over the Internet, to turn on the coffee or heat up Irish stew from pretty much anywhere in the world, just as can already be done with a Nest thermostat and other devices. The Wi-Fi capability allows an office manager to turn on the morning coffee pot in the break room before arriving or a catering firm to fire up the cooker at a remote location.

Fifth of enterprise BYOD projects doomed to fail by 2016, claims Gartner
“Whether via a formal BYOD programme, or just via devices coming in the back door and being configured to access corporate systems, the use of consumer technologies in the work environment presents a threat to IT control of endpoint computing resources,” said Dulaney. “Given the control that IT has exercised over personal computers by developing and deploying images to company-managed PCs, many IT organisations will implement strong controls for mobile devices.”

R, the Integration Language?
Integration with R now appears to be a sine qua non strategy for analytics tool vendors. I’m currently investigating KNIME, an open source “user-friendly graphical workbench for the cradle-to-grave analysis process: data access, data transformation, initial investigation, powerful predictive analytics, visualisation and reporting.” KNIME is architected as a visual workflow metaphor and has much the look of a data integration tool, with drag-and-drop node folders such as IO, Database, Data Manipulation, Mining, Reporting, Statistics, etc. An R node is easily added.

Quote for the day:

"Leadership is the wise use of power. Power is the capacity to translate intention into reality and sustain it." -- Warren G. Bennis