April 27, 2014

An Easy Interface for the Internet of Things
With a new service called Freeboard, Bug Labs is giving people a simple one-click way to publish data from a “thing” to its own Web page (Bug Labs calls this “dweeting”). To get a sense of this, visit Dweet.io with your computer or mobile phone, click “try it now,” and you’ll see raw data from your device itself: its GPS coordinates and even the position of your computer mouse. The data is now on a public Web page and available for analysis and aggregation; another click stops this sharing. Freeboard, expected to be launched Tuesday, makes sense of such streams of data.

NHS 24’s new IT system plagued by testing issues
NHS 24’s chief executive John Turner said: "The new system is being built by BT and Capgemini, and our intention is to continue to develop the system with our suppliers and to deploy it when it is safe to do so. In the meantime, the current systems continue to work effectively in supporting the delivery of our services across Scotland, and people should not hesitate to contact the NHS 24 service if they need to. "In recent years, NHS 24 has been developing a programme to update our technology systems for the future. This will enable us to continue to provide safe and effective services to patients, to enhance the way NHS 24 works by delivering a more streamlined service for patients and staff, and to expand services in the years ahead.”

WAF - Typical Detection & Protection Techniques
WAF - Web Application Firewalls is a new breed of information security technology that offers protection to web sites and web applications from malicious attacks. As the name suggests, WAF solution is intended scanning the HTTP and HTTPS traffic alone. The WAF solutions have evolved over the last few years and are capable of preventing attacks that network firewalls and intrusion detection systems can't. The WAF offering typically comes in the form of a packaged appliance, i.e. with a purpose built hardware and a software running on it and is plugged in to the network. Different appliances offer different level of deployment capabilities, like, active / passive modes, support for High Availability,etc.

What is Apache Tez?
Tez generalizes the MapReduce paradigm to a more powerful framework based on expressing computations as a dataflow graph. Tez is not meant directly for end-users – in fact it enables developers to build end-user applications with much better performance and flexibility. Hadoop has traditionally been a batch-processing platform for large amounts of data. However, there are a lot of use cases for near-real-time performance of query processing. There are also several workloads, such as Machine Learning, which do not fit will into the MapReduce paradigm. Tez helps Hadoop address these use cases.

Big Data: Profitability, Potential and Problems in Banking
The truth is that financial institutions are struggling to profit from ever-increasing volumes of data. Banks are only using a small portion of this data to generate insights that enhance the customer experience. For instance, research reveals that less than half of banks analyze customers’ external data, such as social media activities and online behavior. And only 29% analyze customers’ share of wallet, one of the key measures of a bank’s relationship with its customers. Only 37% of banks have hands-on experience with live big data implementations, while the majority of banks are still focusing on pilots and experiments.

Implementing Compliance Incentives In Your Company
Make integrity, ethics and compliance part of the promotion, compensation and evaluation processes as well. For at the end of the day, the most effective way to communicate that “doing the right thing” is a priority is to reward it. Conversely, if employees are led to believe that, when it comes to compensation and career advancement, all that counts is short-term profitability, and that cutting ethical corners is an acceptable way of getting there, they’ll perform to that measure. To cite an example from a different walk of life: a college football coach can be told that the graduation rates of his players are what matters, but he’ll know differently if the sole focus of his contract extension talks [about] or the decision to fire him is [based on] his win-loss record.

The Deadly Data Science Sin of Confirmation Bias
Data scientists exhibit confirmation bias when they actively seek out and assign more weight to evidence that confirms their hypothesis, and ignore or underweigh evidence that could disconfirm their hypothesis. This is a type of selection bias in collecting evidence. Note that confirmation biases are not limited to the collection of evidence: even if two (2) data scientists have the same evidence, their respective interpretations may be biased. In my experience, many data scientists exhibit a hidden yet deadly form of confirmation bias when they interpret ambiguous evidence as supporting their existing position. This is difficult and sometimes impossible to detect yet occurs frequently.

Increasingly, Robots of All Sizes Are Human Workmates
Human-robot collaboration is “gaining an enormous amount of momentum,” says Henrik Christensen, executive director of the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines at Georgia Tech. “In the past, robots have penetrated 10 percent of the industry. There’s still 90 percent of the industry, and that’s where you need collaborative robots.” The Robotic Industries Association, a U.S. trade group, last week organized its first conference dedicated to collaborative robots, at which robot manufacturers and customers gathered to discuss the trend. Christensen was a keynote speaker.

Roadmaps in Enterprise Architecture: Work Packages and Timelines
An architect can identify a set of standard threads or dimensions that run through all Work Packages. These standard dimensions will generally indicate what has been achieved at that Milestone, so that we can look for improvements across a lifecycle. For each of these threads, there can be a status indicator at any given project Milestone. This is achieved using color-coding so that stakeholders can tell, at a glance, the status of a given Work Package at different points in time. Examples of these dimensions are Cost Savings, Resource Requirements, Risk, Classification etc.

The Zachman Framework - The Perfect Tool for Operating Model Management
On this blog I have covered various aspects of Zachman Framework and thinking behind it from John in a number of posts. His thoughts on using the framework to address complexity and change, the framework being ontology - a classification for Enterprise Assets and components are well documented in my previous posts and hence I won't repeat in this post. I will try and briefly cover how the latest version can be used to address the Operating Model creation and management challenges.

Quote for the day:

"Those who will not reason, are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not are slaves" -- Lord Byron