August 29, 2014

From Sensors to Big Data: Chicago Is Becoming a Smart City
Chicago is the first major city in the USA that is building a permanent infrastructure to collect Big Data. They are installing hundreds of environmental sensors that will measure temperature, humidity, light, sound and cellphone signals. All this data will enable Chicago to become a safer and cleaner city. The sensors will be placed on top of lampposts along Chicago’s Michigan Avenue. ... They are true data generators, where all sensors placed within a city gathers vast amounts of data. Chicago will open source all this data to the public, so that anyone can access the data and make use of it.

Poor data quality hindering government open data programme
A source working on the open data programme at the Cabinet Office said public data releases had been dirty and inconsistent. "I would agree the evidence is there to support that," said the source. "They talked about armchair auditors – there hasn't been a lot of that. You can look around and not find them. Some busybody can read through the PDFs, but to make some sense of the aggregated mass is almost impossible with the raw data you've got.”

One small step for IT security: a beginner's guide to threat intelligence
Armed with this knowledge, the organisation can procure the right threat intelligence feed that focuses on the relevant threat actors and provides signatures to help detect attacks before they impact. The board can be briefed about the general overall threat and how activities in the business could heighten the likelihood of attack. Technical teams can be briefed on attacker tools, techniques and procedures so that protective monitoring and software patching can be performed more strategically to identify or mitigate malware. And finally, staff can be made aware of attacks to reduce the risk of compromises.

Architectural Security aspects of BGP/MPLS
There are a number of precautionary measures outlined above that a service provider can use to tighten security of the core, but the security of the BGP/MPLS IP VPN architecture depends on the security of the service provider. If the service provider is not trusted, the only way to fully secure a VPN against attacks from the "inside" of the VPN service is to run IPsec on top, from the CE devices or beyond. This document discussed many aspects of BGP/MPLS IP VPN security. It has to be noted that the overall security of this architecture depends on all components and is determined by the security of the weakest part of the solution.

Three security practices that IoT will disrupt
The early days of cloud services provided a direct challenge to central management, but this challenge has largely been beaten back by cloud services that support “external authentication” (such as Active Directory agents or SAML). The BYOD movement also challenged this tenet, but is being defeated through integrations that require common credentials to access email, IM and file servers. Now a similar challenge to centralized credential management is being mounted by the onslaught of IoT devices -- most of which only allow local user management -- and associated IoT management systems, which frequently also only allow local user management.

Hidden Obstacles for Google’s Self-Driving Cars
Among other unsolved problems, Google has yet to drive in snow, and Urmson says safety concerns preclude testing during heavy rains. Nor has it tackled big, open parking lots or multilevel garages. The car’s video cameras detect the color of a traffic light; Urmson said his team is still working to prevent them from being blinded when the sun is directly behind a light. Despite progress handling road crews, “I could construct a construction zone that could befuddle the car,” Urmson says. Pedestrians are detected simply as moving, column-shaped blurs of pixels—meaning, Urmson agrees, that the car wouldn’t be able to spot a police officer at the side of the road frantically waving for traffic to stop.

Unravelling the anatomy of Archimate
To anyone working in enterprise-architectures, Archimate ought to be the first point we turn to when starting to model any aspect of the enterprise. Unlike Zachman, for example, it places just as much attention to the ‘lines’, the connections between the ‘boxes’ (the ‘things’) of the architecture ... But to me, and to many others, it just… I don’t know… just doesn’t seem to work? Something doesn’t quite gel… something like that, anyway. It gives the sense that it ought to be right, that itought to work – but somehow it just… doesn’t. And that sense of it not-quite-working gets more and more extreme the more we try to move outward from anything but the most IT-centric of architecture views. Odd. Very odd.

Cyber attacks on US banks fuel financial sector concerns
“These capabilities are in the realm of nation-state capabilities,” said Philip Lieberman, chief executive of security firm Lieberman Software. “JP Morgan and similar entities employ sufficient technology to protect themselves from criminals, but typically fail to invest enough in technology and processes to shield themselves from nation states’ ability to access their systems at will,” he said. According to Lieberman, most financial services providers have little to no protection from nation-state attacks and are not willing to spend the money to protect themselves.

Debugging multithreaded code in real time!
We all love Visual Studio, using its breakpoints and single stepping through code to find out why a program behaves differently than expected. Alas, setting a break point or single stepping will completely change the behaviour of a multithreaded application, where it matters which thread executes which instruction in which sequence, measured in microseconds or less. Stop or delay anything in the multithreaded system and it behaves completely differently. So obviously, we cannot stop a single thread when debugging. Which means we should use tracing, looking something like this

CEO praises Juniper team and anticipates success in the cloud
Looking forward Kheradpir highlighted his plans for success saying he wants to focus on cloud builders and high-IQ networks; “Why cloud builders? Because in this current, “everything-as-a-service” application-driven economy, the cloud is our customers’ new delivery engine of innovation to their customers. As enterprises and service providers adapt to this new business model, the network experience is critical to their business. Juniper understands how to unleash the power of the cloud through High-IQ Networks.”

Quote for the day:

"Success isn't magic or hocus-pocus - it's simply learning how to focus." -- Jack Canfield