July 25, 2014

Super-Dense Computer Memory
Like flash memory, RRAM can store data without a constant supply of power. Whereas flash memory stores bits of information in the form of charge in transistors, RRAM stores bits using resistance. Each bit requires less space, increasing the amount of information that can be stored in a given area.  What’s more, it should be easier to stack up layers of RRAM, helping to further increase the amount of information that can be packed onto a single chip. RRAM can also operate a hundred times faster than flash. Some prototypes can store data densely enough to enable a terabyte chip the size of a postage stamp.


The internet is a politically and culturally loaded tool, particularly when it comes to censorship
Two different situations — the deletion of certain search links in Europe, and Vladimir Putin’s setting-up of the Russian internet for further censorship — have elements in common that cannot be denied. Yet I see the former as acceptable in theory and the latter as unacceptable in both theory and practice, and as such I view the nature of the internet differently in either case. It’s the same internet, of course, and therein lies the quandary. That quandary ultimately comes down to the ability of countries and regions to maintain their own characters and social systems in the context of a network that is, like it or not, steeped in a specific set of values.


Amazon CTO talks IoT in science, retail and on the playing fields
Armed with data points, Vogels rattled off a list of examples of how the Internet of Things (IoT) is already changing how Amazon does business -- and it's a list that extends well beyond Amazon drones. Amazon Dash is a new connected device that Vogels calls "a magic wand." For those enrolled in its grocery delivery service, customers can either speak into the wand or use it as a barcode scanner to reorder supplies. Dash streams the information into a virtual basket, and customers can check out online or via a smartphone app. Vogels' bigger point, however, was that the IoT is making inroads at many companies, not just at Amazon. Here is his rundown of how the IoT is already making an impact.


SoundLoc: Acoustic Method for Indoor Localization without Infrastructure
SoundLoc is a room-level localization system that exploits the intrinsic acoustic properties of individual rooms and obviates the needs for infrastructures. As we show in the study, rooms' acoustic properties can be characterized by Room Impulse Response (RIR). Nevertheless, obtaining precise RIRs is a time-consuming and expensive process. The main contributions of our work are the following. First, a cost-effective RIR measurement system is implemented and the Noise Adaptive Extraction of Reverberation (NAER) algorithm is developed to estimate room acoustic parameters in noisy conditions. Second, a comprehensive physical and statistical analysis of features extracted from RIRs is performed.


The ‘flexible & inclusive’ BYOD dream
BYOD evangelists talk about the importance of creating a “vendor neutral applications portfolio” with a future-proof architecture and rightly so. Let us remember that BYOD itself (as a phenomenon no less) is brought about (very often) by the fact that IT has not provided an adequate level of applications and/or device functionality to workers, so they will find their own preferred means of computing — and this often means BYOA (Bring Your Own Application) also comes into the mix. Intel reminds us that a decade ago, Wi-Fi was considered a new, disruptive technology… but today, it has become the computing norm. Consumerization and BYOD usage is on a comparable path.


How Internal Entrepreneurs Can Deal with Friendly Fire
Our first bit of advice for those of you in this situation is: persist. Your internal situation is not that different from the external entrepreneur who must “befriend” her market—thinking of it as a treasured counselor teaching her about current reality—and never treat it as an adversary. True, this is difficult, but it is nonetheless required. You must change your mindset about opposition—from foe to friend—and then work hard to maintain it. You will never succeed if you view your organization and your colleagues as enemies. All of this is just as true for your perception of your boss; perhaps more so.


Security must evolve to be 'all about the data'
That model, which, "relies on the program to identify the person and what is the operation," is now obsolete, he said. "Data are everywhere, on the device, in the cloud, moving around. You can't find all the places that are moving it around, so data need to be self-protecting. And existing apps are not coded that way." Changing that model, said Patrick Sweeney, executive director at Dell SonicWALL, would, "solve the BYOD problem." Instead of focusing on a device or a user, it would be, "only about the data -- not about the device, not about the network. You need to protect it, own it, revoke it." To do that in the next five years, he said, would require three things: "First, encrypt it with enterprise key management.


Zero-day broker exploits vulnerability in I2P to de-anonymize Tails users
Although Exodus sells zero-days, CEO Aaron Portnoy said he would provide the information to Tails so the flaws could be fixed. It’s not quite clear if the vulnerability broker’s decision was for the greater good or due to backlash from the security community. The zero-day is in the Invisible Internet Project, or I2P, networking component that comes bundled with Tails to encrypt web traffic and hide a user’s real IP address. The 30,000 I2P users who previously felt anonymous could be unmasked, their true IP address revealed, by visiting a booby-trapped website.


When it comes to Android vs. iOS in the enterprise, Android is the Borg
iOS is incredibly limiting, sold on a very limited set of form-factor devices, and can't be modified with anywhere near the flexibility of Android. On top of that, no matter what form-factor/price you might need, there's an Android device to fill that need. Not nearly as much with a few iPads and an iPhone. A great example of the flexibility available to Android comes out of an an interview I did with Dell almost two years ago where we discussed how they'd built a military-hardened kernel in Android for devices on the battlefield.


Seven Changes to Remove Waste From Your Software Development Process
Implementing User Stories has proved to be very challenging, most importantly with the software engineers as it has completely changed their perspective on their daily work. To succeed with implementations the following has been critical: Train people to User Stories; Coach functional analysts to help them define the right user stories; and Initiate functional analysis sessions for all roles (development, tests, UX) to contribute in User Story design and make it Ready To Develop. There are some technical areas where User Story design is not easy. In that case we have challenged the software engineers to see if it was possible for them to reframe their thinking and integrate technical solutions into User Stories, from the user perspective.



Quote for the day:

"An overburdened executive is the best executive, because he or she doesn't have the time to meddle" -- Jack Welch