May 30, 2014

Know your Data Lineage
You need to know what has been done to your data, where it came from, and who is responsible for each stage of the analysis. This information represents your data lineage; it is your stack-trace. If you’re an analyst, suspicious of a number, it tells you why the number is there and how it got there. If you’re a developer, working on a pipeline, it provides the context you need to track down the bug. If you’re a manager, or an auditor, it lets you know the right things are being done. Lineage tracking is part of good data governance. Most audit and lineage systems require you to buy into their whole structure.

Hackers put security tool that finds payment card data into their arsenal
"This is the unfortunate reality for all software vendors: It is common for criminals to acquire a copy of commercial software via unauthorized means and then reverse engineer that software to circumvent the licensing mechanisms that are designed to prevent its unauthorized use," Cavey said. Numaan Huq, a senior threat researcher for Trend Micro, wrote on Wednesday that a version of Card Recon dating from three years ago was being used to validate payment card details in a type of POS malware. When Card Recon is scanning, it has to be able to separate 16-digit numbers and other random data it finds from valid 16-digit credit card numbers. Credit card numbers can be validated by using a checksum formula called the Luhn algorithm.

The Proof is in the SDN Applications
What should an open SDN Ecosystem or strategy look like? HP’s SDN strategy is based on open standards and building an open ecosystem to deliver complete SDN solutions. HP is a founding member of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), and has adopted ONF’s standard definition of SDN, and has fully embraced the OpenFlow standard with over 50 switches and 10 routers comprising over 25 million OpenFlow capable ports. HP also participates in other standards consortiums such as ETSI, OpenStack and OpenDaylight with the vested interest in open, agile networking for all. Please read this Lippis Report for further analysis of HP’s open SDN strategy.

Engagement Is Driven By Good Managers With Rare Talents
If it’s not already apparent, the most effective managers seek to influence employees in ways we’ve traditionally believed were soft and even weak in business. They build personal relationships with their people, advocate for their growth – and routinely ensure they feel valued, respected and cared for. Just the idea that they want to make a difference in other people’s lives is a colossal change in our shared leadership paradigm. Were you to ask any of the people known-to-be disengaged in their jobs today (70% of our society) what they felt was missing at work, it’s almost assured to be some if not all of the things I just mentioned.

A beginner's guide to BitLocker, Windows' built-in encryption tool
The company says there are no back doors, but how can we be certain? We can't. Sure, if BitLocker was open source most of us wouldn't be able to read the code to determine if there was a backdoor anyway. But somebody out there would be able to meaning there would be a much higher chance of any faults with the program being discovered. So with BitLocker's closed source nature in mind, I wouldn't count on this encryption program defending your data against a government actor such as border agents or intelligence services. But if you're looking to protect your data in case your PC is stolen or other situations where petty criminals and non-government types might mess with your hardware then BitLocker should be just fine.

Documentation and Test Assertions in Databases
With Extended properties, one can get the best of both worlds, and even use them to put blame, praise or annotations into your VCS. It requires a lot of work, though, particularly the script to generate the table. The problem is that there are no conventional names beyond ‘MS_Description’ for the special use of extended properties. This makes it difficult to do splendid things such ensuring the integrity of the build by running a suite of tests that are actually stored in extended properties within the database and therefore the VCS. We have lost the readability of database source code over the years, and largely jettisoned the use of test assertions as part of the database build.

Free ebook: Introducing Microsoft Azure HDInsight
In Introducing Microsoft Azure HDInsight, we cover what big data really means, how you can use it to your advantage in your company or organization, and one of the services you can use to do that quickly—specifically, Microsoft’s HDInsight service. We start with an overview of big data and Hadoop, but we don’t emphasize only concepts in this book—we want you to jump in and get your hands dirty working with HDInsight in a practical way. To help you learn and even implement HDInsight right away, we focus on a specific use case that applies to almost any organization and demonstrate a process that you can follow along with.

Information overload: Finding signals in the noise
"The detection of an opportunistic Trojan, which happens to include a keylogger (e.g., the Zeus Trojan), occurs at a high frequency and may be considered to have low business risk to an organization (AKA - a noisy detection) because the presumed motivation of the attacker is to steal a user's credentials to personal accounts (e.g., shopping, personal banking)," explained Oliver Tavakoli, the CTO of Vectra Networks. "However, the same host may be used to login to IT systems or customer-owned systems, as in the case of an employee at Fazio Mechanical logging into a outside vendor support website at Target, thus resulting in the compromise of business-critical account credentials."

Between Cisco and VMware SDN, which will network engineers choose?
Network engineers will be much more comfortable with Cisco and its hardware-centric vision. After all, one of the three pillars of the Cisco ACI strategy is the Nexus 9000 series switch line, which runs a trimmed down version of the familiar Nexus operating system. ... Systems engineers, on the other hand, will be much more comfortable with the VMware vision of the future, as it brings the promise of network virtualization and control more directly into their world and the existing VMware product portfolio. It remains to be seen how much network control will truly be shifted to systems engineers in an NSX-centric version of the data center, but it is fairly certain that the likelihood of a power shift is much stronger with VMware than with Cisco.

A Random Walk in Finance
Malkiel's simple random walk is one in which each observation has a 50% chance of assuming a value of -1 and a 50% chance of being 1. The “problem” with an RW like this for the analyst is that its properties change over time – an RW isn't a statistically well-behaved “stationary” process. The RW's variance increases with the number of time points, potentially generating “patterns” that are in fact just noise. And indeed, realized RW's often can be confused with series having apparent patterns. Malkiel argues that market “chartists” – technical analysts who purport to time the market for profits by projecting future movement in stocks based on recent patterns -- are in reality being fooled by random walks.

Quote for the day:

"Meetings are indispensable when you don't want to do anything." -- John Kenneth Galbraith