August 15, 2014

The two main benefits I’ve seen from switching to Scrum
If you’re not using Scrum, there may be a reason below to consider it. If you’re using Scrum, you may find something we’re doing differently which could work for you. If you’ve no interest at all in Scrum, I’d say the things below are of use to any software development team, perhaps you can find a way to adopt them in your process. Also, these benefits certainly don’t require Scrum but they came as a result of adopting some of the processes commonly adopted alongside Scrum so I relate the former to the latter in my thinking.

Peak vs. Tibbr: Two Apps That Help Track Team Communications
The two services have somewhat different takes on how they work: Tibbr can be used to both monitor and post to various linked networks; Peak is read-only. Both have a variety of analytics to give you a better picture of how you use your various networks. The two also differ as to which networks they connect to, with Tibbr offering more options. ... The difference is that both Peak and Tibbr go beyond the standard social media networks and connect to business-related networks such as GitHub and Google Drive. They also are designed for teams to use, rather than just individuals who want to retweet the same message on a particular schedule.

Analytics Across the Enterprise: An interview with the authors
Deliver results interactively: don’t define a multi-year project without any checkpoints, prototypes or deliverables for several years. You’ll get a faster time-to-value if you do an early prototype and show it to stakeholders. This is key for actions and decisions that generate value. Don’t give up on driving an analytics culture—you’ve got the facts behind you and, quite simply, analytics works. Several studies have highlighted the value of analytics, and companies that use predictive analytics are outperforming those that do not by a factor of five.

IBM Builds A Scalable Computer Chip Inspired By The Human Brain
“This new chip will provide a powerful tool to researchers who are studying algorithms that use spiking neurons,” Dr. Terrence J. Sejnowski told me. Sejnowski heads Computational Neurobiology Laboratory at the Salk Institute. He’s unaffiliated with IBM’s project but is familiar with the technology. “We know that such algorithms exist because the brain uses spiking neurons and can outperform all existing approaches, with a power budget of 20 watts, less than your laptop.” It’s important to note, though, that the SyNAPSE system won’t replace the computers of today – rather, they’re intended to supplement them.

How to recognise the cyber insider threat
"Once an adversary has code execution on your computer, they are essentially an insider. The controls you need to build need to take into account what an insider could do to your network." He added that the insider threat needs to be communicated to the company's board so that they can have input into decisions that are made to deal with the problem, in conjunction with the IT department. "Cyber security is a team sport and that team can consist of people in your organisation and service providers," said Smith. ... "The Australian banking industry is starting to conduct extreme cyber scenario planning as part of their regulatory requirements. In doing so, banks are considering the worst case scenarios that could occur."

Complementing Agile SDLC with Agile Architecture
Agile methodologies extend product lifecycles through faster TTM and continuous delivery maintenance in order to ensure its high quality of service (QoS) defined by functional feasibility, business, and technology capabilities. Agile SDLC produces the minimally viable product (MVP), which is continuously enhanced with “value-added product features.” While most architects may not have the ability to envision what the product software may look like in the not-so-distant future, they must still provision for seamless future enhancements throughout the entire product lifecycle. This type of application architecture fits the definition of Agile.

Annual Report: State of the Information Governance Industry
IG's biggest problem is that, due to its complexity and crossing of functional lines, it takes a long time to shape up an IG project: 58% of Practitioners stated it takes a year or more to startup an IG project - from conceptualization to beginning. (And that's not even getting results and completing it!) Also, related to that issue, 68% of Practitioners stated it was "Important or Very Important" to quantify the financial benefits of IG, but also, more than three-quarters of the survey Practitioners include 'soft' costs and benefits in their model, such as risk avoidance and improved employee productivity.

Writing Right Policies and Procedures for Cloud Governance
From his role perspective, Pandey says, “A CISO may have independent accountability or has to work in tandem with other department(s) because more than necessary information is exposed to internal users and confidential data is accessible to external users or simply outsiders.” “A CISO should ensure that organisational digital assets are personally used, compliance to regulatory standards/requirements is mandated and organisational data in cloud must not be visible to third part entities,” says Pandey.

Hacktivism: good or evil?
Whether hacking is worse than a physical assault, such as sending large numbers of useless facsimiles or holding a mass protest outside the buildings of the Church of Scientology, depends on your point of view. Is it worse? At first sight it might seem so, since those protesting electronically invariably do so anonymously. However, some of those protesting physically do so wearing hoods or masks. Of course, like many protests, innocent bystanders can be hurt.

Microsoft postpones IE's Java blocking after IT complains
Microsoft characterized the blocking as a security improvement -- though, in truth, rival browsers have had similar or even more aggressive tools for years -- and said it would add other ActiveX controls to the banned list over time. When the tool is turned on, IE will show a warning if it tries to call an obsolete Java ActiveX control: for Java 8, those include any version except for mid-July's Java SE 8 Update 11. ... IT administrators can manage the notifications on workers' PCs using Group Policy settings, including one that turns off the warning altogether and another that prevents employee overrides.

Quote for the day:

"Speed is useful only if you are running in the right direction." -- Joel Barker