February 21, 2015

Kevlin Henney on Worse is Better and Programming with GUTS
Nonfunctional is a wonderfully vague English word. We're trying to define something by its negative. What qualities are important? Well, not the functional ones. It doesn't really make sense. ... So a nonfunctional behavior is generally and literally a thing you don't want. It's a thing we work against rather than for. What we're interested in are qualities of execution or qualities of development. As "nonfunctionals", these have merged together. Labelling these different categories as "nonfunctional requirements" mixes things together that happen at different times: at run time, such as speed and memory usage, versus development time, which is a completely different organism.

Tech essentials for the office and when on the road
When you think of tech it's easy to think of the big sticker items such as PCs and smartphones and tablets and such. But the small things can also make a huge difference. Here's a tour of some of the things that I take for granted, but which work hard for me every day, and without them I wouldn't be able to do as much as I do each and every day. Here you'll get to see some of the tools, batteries, chargers and other gear I personally use on a daily basis.

HP Latest to Unbundle Switch Hardware, Software
The disaggregated hardware/software model attempts to decouple switch hardware from networking software so operators of Web scale networks can quickly scale their networks at low cost with any product of choice, and without the entanglements of vendor-specific offerings. But by offering a branded white box option, vendors like HP –and Dell and Juniper before it – can sell into the Web scale opportunity and make money by providing follow-on service and support. ... To start, HP is introducing two brite box switches that enable 10G/40G spine and 10G leaf data center deployments. Both switches will be available in March with Cumulus Linux and offer OS installation using ONIE.

Hack gave US, British spies access to billions of phones: Report
The report by The Intercept site, which cites documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, could prove an embarrassment for the U.S. and British governments. It opens a fresh front in the dispute between civil liberties campaigners and intelligence services which say their citizens face a grave threat of attack from militant groups like Islamic State.It comes just weeks after a British tribunal ruled that GCHQ had acted unlawfully in accessing data on millions of people in Britain that had been collected by the NSA. The Intercept report said the hack was detailed in a secret 2010 GCHQ document and allowed the NSA and GCHQ to monitor a large portion of voice and data mobile communications around the world without permission from governments, telecom companies or users.

Computing brains: neuroscience, machine intelligence and big data in the cognitive classroom
The field of educational neuroscience, or neuroeducation, is flourishing. At the same time, a number of initiatives based in computer science departments and major technology companies are also taking the brain seriously. Computer scientists talk of developing new braininspired cognitive learning systems, or of developing new theoretical and computational understandings of the brain in order to then build new and more effective forms of machine intelligence. The important aspect of these synchronous developments in neuroscience and brain-based systems is that they are beginning to come together in particular technological developments and products targeted specifically at schools.

Superfish security flaw exists in other apps, non-Lenovo systems
Superfish uses a man-in-the-middle proxy component to interfere with encrypted HTTPS connections, undermining the trust between users and websites. It does this by installing its own root certificate in Windows and uses that certificate to re-sign SSL certificates presented by legitimate websites. Security researchers found two major issues with this implementation. First, the software used the same root certificate on all systems and second, the private key corresponding to that certificate was embedded in the program and was easy to extract.

Inside the robot house: Is this your future? Photos
As part of the project, four robot houses were created in France, Germany, the Netherlands and in a residential area near the Hertfordshire University campus in England. The robotic environments share common features, such as overhead 360-degree cameras providing fish-eye views of the rooms below to track and record the movements and relative positions of robots and humans. The houses also employ sensors on doors and cabinets to show what has been opened, together with bot plugs, which can relay data on how much electricity is being consumed by individual devices. So if a fridge door is left open, triggering a rise in power consumption, that information is sent to the central computer and potentially to the robot as well.

Service-Oriented Architecture and Legacy Systems
Moving to SOA isn’t easy, and enterprises wishing to do so must be aware of the difficulties and inherent issues. Needless to say, every IT organization will experience multiple tradeoffs with SOA implementations; your mileage may vary. For effi ciency and fl exibility we recommend an incremental transition to SOA in legacy environments. ... Because legacy systems usually support key business processes, a step-by-step change plan should be developed and a feasible evolution of the current systems using a hybrid approach should be designed to achieve a pure SOA architecture. There are several strategies for converting legacy systems to SOA.

Why You Should Forget Your 'Right to be Forgotten'
It's easy to be misled on this issue. After all, privacy — on the Web, in the home or the in workplace — is a right most of us cherish. It's a right that's violated all the time by technology companies, advertisers and the government. I've certainly done my share of ranting about that issue, but erasing the past does not enhance our privacy. In many cases, deleting old information that pertains to a single individual hurts no one, and the banished bits will never be missed. But not always. The case that triggered the ruling illustrates its absurdity. The ruling concerned a specific request by a Spanish citizen, Mario Costeja Gonz├ílez.

Dependency Inversion Principle - Let's keep it simple
SOLID is an acronym in which D stands for Dependency Inversion. Its another famous name is Inversion of Control (IoC) but this often confuses people when people try to remember the five SOLID principles embedded in the SOLID acronym as there is an I in SOLID as well but do remember that I in SOLID stands for a different design principle known as "Interface seggregation" principle. I will not say that this principle is in anyway more or less important than other four design principles but it is used more explicitly a lot because market has huge number of products which are famously known as IoC containers which are used by most developers to induce loose coupling in their components and enhance unit testing capabilities of their modules.

Quote for the day:

"Integrity is the soul of leadership! Trust is the engine of leadership!" -- Amine A. Ayad