October 05, 2014

Dirk Slama Keynote on The Internet of Things
"The vision for the Internet of Things is very powerful – a world in which assets, devices, machines, and cloud-based applications seamlessly interoperate, enabling new business models and services; with big data analytics as a foundation to support intelligent decision making in this connected world. As with every vision, the question is how to make it happen. This presentation provides key success factors for IoT, as well as a detailed overview of concrete IoT uses cases in the areas of automotive and transport, manufacturing and supply chain, as well as energy. Finally, a framework for IoT implementation is presented, which helps making your IoT projects a success."

NoSQL Databases: An Overview
Over the last few years we have seen the rise of a new type of databases, known as NoSQL databases, that are challenging the dominance of relational databases. Relational databases have dominated the software industry for a long time providing mechanisms to store data persistently, concurrency control, transactions, mostly standard interfaces and mechanisms to integrate application data, reporting. The dominance of relational databases, however, is cracking.

BMC Is Fixing Its Enterprise IT Software With User Experience Design
The key is being able to understand what the call center agent needs in a given point of time and how much workload Smart IT can handle. Combine this with a better front-end user experience for the call center agent and everything runs that much more quickly. “Pick the world's largest company and think about the number of employees they have,” Kaempf says. “To deliver better service to employees--that's a real win for them.” In Kaempf's opinion, enterprise has been too focused on solving technical problems--not user problems.

IBM Tries to Make Watson Smarter
“We never would have thought of it; we don’t have that DNA,” he said. “It validated the idea that we needed to open up the platform and make it available to the startup marketplace.” Ultimately, Rhodin said, IBM will pursue a revenue-sharing model for any effort that reaches market. The company also continues to pursue applications in the medical, financial, and legal sectors. Using Watson to examine thousands of documents could, for example, help doctors see different diagnoses in order of probability and “rule out things they didn’t think of,” Rhodin said.

Honda's in-car Connect system does Android its own way
Honda's engineers definitely squeezed a lot of functionality into the system, which may suit some folks and not others. For instance, you can download and use Android and Honda's own car-specific apps, including an optional Garmin-powered GPS. Other functions include FM radio, CD playback, USB and HDMI connectivity, Mirrorlink and Bluetooth. While it's great to have choices, we hope all of that functionality doesn't make the system difficult to use. The interface was a bit more fussy than we'd like, which could distract the driver. On the other hand, it's not lacking much in functionality compared to a smartphone, making it potentially more useful than other in-car systems.

Fixing the internet for confidentiality and security
First, it became clear that total surveillance is the norm even amongst Western democratic governments. Now we hear the UK government wants to be able to ban organisations without any evidence of involvement in illegal activities because they might “poison young minds”. Well, nonsense. Frustrated young minds will go off to Syria precisely BECAUSE they feel their avenues for discourse and debate are being shut down by an unfair and unrepresentative government – you couldn’t ask for a more compelling motivation for the next generation of home-grown anti-Western jihadists than to clamp down on discussion without recourse to due process.

Cyber Threat Intelligence
Threat intelligence is often presented in the form of Indicators of Compromise (IoCs) or threat feeds, although despite various attempts by vendors, it does not come in the form of an XML spreadsheet. Hence, threat intelligence requires organizations to understand themselves first and then understand the adversary. If an organization does not understand its assets, infrastructure, personnel and business operations – it cannot understand if it’s presenting opportunity to malicious actors. If an organization does not understand themselves fully to thus, identify what malicious actors might be interested in them – then it cannot properly recognize the intent of actors.

"Robotics Has Too Many Dreamers, Needs More Practical People"
Grishin said he wants to do more deals per year but, of course, he wants to find the right deals. "Robotics need dreamers," he said. "But there are too many dreamers now, and we need more practical people developing actual products." Grishin said that while looking for business opportunities, he saw too may entrepreneurs proposing cool new robots and concepts but with no business cases to support them. The robotics industry, he added, needs more startups to fail to allow entrepreneurs to learn from past mistakes and come up with more enduring plans.

Travel Intelligence and its big (data) benefits
The emergence of new technologies offers real-time data analyses and cutting edge forecasting capabilities across the entire travel cycle, allowing travel industry players to start doing things they had never even considered doing before. Big data is also today’s most powerful ingredient in the ongoing battle for competitive differentiation and personalisation. Understanding today’s traveller is vital to gain the competitive edge: the travel industry is moving beyond standard leisure and business segmentation towards a more personalised view of the customer. Real customer understanding can be drawn from multiple sources that exist at a company, industry and global level.

How to transform USB sticks into an undetectable malicious devices
Nohl explained that his team has written malicious code and deployed it intoUSBcontrol chips used in thumb drives and smartphones, at this point it is sufficient that victims connect the USB device to a computer to trigger the execution of malicious software. Nohl and Lell’s BadUSB demonstrations during Black Hat illustrated how their code could overwrite USB firmware and turn a USB device into anything. A flash drive plugged into a PC, could for example, emulate a keyboard and issue commands that steal data from the machine, spoof a computer’s network interface and redirect traffic by altering DNS settings, or could load malware from a hidden partition on the drive.

Quote for the day:

"You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction.” -- George Lorimer