February 23, 2014

Paper cuts: the NHS prepares to go digital
“This is about moving away from paper health and social care records towards an electronic system that will capture critical records and will allow patients and healthcare professionals to have access to their records.” Jones explained how a variety of projects were enabling staff to work more efficiently, including by allowing doctors to digitally request test results. He described implementation as “going well”, thanks in part to a procurement programme supported by a Department of Health (DoH) scheme. “We’ve been successful in securing a commitment from the Treasury through the Southern Acute Programme for funding a fully integrated EHR system,” said Jones, who added the trust is on target to become paperless within four years.

Google Eyes 34 Cities for Next Step in Gigabit Fiber Expansion
Google has chosen 34 cities across the U.S. as the next sites for possible expansion of its gigabit-speed Fiber Internet service. The cities encompass nine metro areas and include Salt Lake City; San Antonio; Nashville, Tennessee; Charlotte, North Carolina; clusters of cities around Silicon Valley, including Mountain View where Google has its headquarters; Atlanta; Portland, Oregon; Phoenix; and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.

Why Obama's 'Voluntary' Cybersecurity Plan May Prove Mandatory
The framework lists four different buckets - or "tiers" - for judging a cybersecurity plan, from "partial" to the most sophisticated "adaptive." The plan allows a stakeholder to assess its plan's effectiveness and set goals for which tier it wants to reach, while also encouraging progression toward higher buckets. NIST referred to the report as "version 1.0," indicating that it plans to issue future iterations, and the agency presented a "roadmap" of key areas where the framework could be revised.

The great hiccup
The problems began with the discovery of a flaw in Bitcoin’s code at the start of February. Bitcoin is, in effect, a giant shared transaction ledger, recording who owns each individual unit of the currency at any one time. Everyone must use the same copy of the ledger—known as the “blockchain”—to prevent the same coins from being spent twice. The flaw, known as “transaction malleability”, muddles up the ledger so that successful Bitcoin payments do not appear to have been made. This could make it possible for hackers to trick badly-coded software—such as the proprietary Bitcoin wallets used by some exchanges—into sending money repeatedly.

How Data Creates Customer Value: Q&A with Anthony Bosco
Adding that little something special is a way to differentiate—it creates stickiness. I’m not enamored of gimmicks or techie stuff, but I see technology as a lever in the innovation and betterment toolbox. Technology can do three things. It can drive internal efficiency, which may be where it got its start years ago. It can optimize our own supply chain which enhances our value proposition in the marketplace. And we can use it to work with customers in this betterment spirit, to augment their value proposition in the marketplace. The third of these is most important.

Google Maps Gets Massive Update: Five Features to Know About
Like it or not, Google Maps is about to look radically different. Over the next couple weeks, Google is rolling out a new version of its Web-based Maps that’s been redesigned and rethought in just about every way possible. Google announced these changes at a conference last May, and rolled out the change to 20% of Maps users in preview mode. Now, the rest of the world’s Maps users are getting the new look. Try not to be shocked by the new design. The white bar on the left is gone—all you see at first is a map that consumes the entire browser window, with a simple white search box in the top left corner.

Is a restricted Internet our 21st century Prohibition? It’s starting in Britain
For all the positives offered by this free and open system, there is one critical problem with this kind of freedom, and that is the inability to control completely what type of content is distributed across the internet. For every 10 communities trying to make a positive impact on the world via the web, there is a manifesto filled of hate and bile. For everyone sharing pictures of their family holiday there is minority sharing the most disturbing and vile images that you can imagine. And between these polar opposites, there are many, many shades of grey.

How to Evolve Your Approach to Analytics in an Increasingly Social World
Social media analytics has previously focused on the content of posts – e.g., text of a Tweet – to measure consumer sentiment. However, to get actionable insight, companies need to take analysis further. Though it’s not the only step, investigative analytics can be a great first step for more complex analysis at massive scale. It allows non-data scientist users to “play” with social media data by asking iterative questions in near real time, regardless of data volume. Maybe marketing is monitoring Facebook and, thanks to a new query, they’ve decided to serve up a location-based coupon.

Data privacy, machine learning and the destruction of mysterious humanity
Our brains evolved to assess trade-offs best in the face of immediate, physical needs and threats. Should I run from that predator? Absolutely. Unfortunately, we still have these same brains. That’s why the camel crickets in my crawl space make me flip out, but giving my kids’ data to Disney World feels perfectly acceptable. Second, most of us feel that giving our data over to a private corporation, like Disney or Facebook or Google, has limited scope. They can only touch us in certain places (e.g., their parks, their websites). And what’s the worst those parks and websites are going to do? Market crap to us.

Embedded Analytics and Statistics for Big Data
Embedded analytics and statistics for big data have emerged as an important topic across industries. As the volumes of data have increased, software engineers are called to support data analysis and applying some kind of statistics to them. This article provides an overview of tools and libraries for embedded data analytics and statistics, both stand-alone software packages and programming languages with statistical capabilities.

Quote for the day:

“Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” -- Mark Twain