February 28, 2015

Process Trumps Innovation in Analytics
A good analytic process, however, needs more than a sensibility for how to derive and think about questions; it needs a tangible method to address the questions and derive business value from the answers. The method I propose can be framed in four steps: what, so what, now what and then what. Moving beyond the “what” (i.e., measurement and data) to the “so what” (i.e., insights) should be a goal of any analysis, yet many organizations are still turning out analysis that does nothing more than state the facts. Maybe 54 percent of people in a study prefer white houses, but why does anyone care? Analysis must move beyond mere findings to answer critical business questions and provide informed insights, implications and ideally full recommendations.


Virtual Creatures in a Box, Controlled by You
A projector inside the lid of Holus beams four images of the same object onto the walls of the prism, which are reflected to form a single 3-D image that users can control with a smartphone connected via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. A tablet computer or laptop attached to the box runs an app that feeds images to the projector, and adjusts what you see based on input from the controller. At this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, H+ used Holus to let visitors play a multiplayer dice game controlled with an iPod Touch.


Kaspersky Lab Unveils Cybersecurity Startup Accelerator
The SSC is a mentor-driven acceleration programme developed and implemented by the Kaspersky Academy in partnership with venture industry players Mangrove Capital Partners and the ABRT Venture Fund. SSC will provide startups with access to business, cybersecurity and cross-industry expertise from around the world. Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Lab, said: "As the cyber threat landscape becomes more and more dangerous, the world needs new ideas, new concepts and new approaches to cybersecurity. As a result, there's been a significant increase in venture funding of early-stage startups in the industry."


Google reveals plans for futuristic cityscape campus
The design of the office “motivates people to move around the office and interact in casual, unscheduled ways,” he explains–just like the well-planned public spaces of a great city. Early concepts for the office were motivated by old 18th-century maps of cities. “When I think about a city,” Gorman says, “I shop, I go get coffee, I go to the park, I go for walks. We wanted to create that same variety in the office.” In addition to its in-house cafĂ© (and in-house debugger/barista), Square has been experimenting with pop-up stores and artisan merchants appearing within Square’s own offices.


UK poised to relax rules on employing overseas workers for some IT jobs
Rules would be loosened so employers no longer have to demonstrate they have tried to fill the job domestically before recruiting workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Currently employers must prove they have advertised a job in the UK for 28 days and were unable to find a suitable worker. However, the MAC recommends that only start-up companies should be able to recruit from abroad in this fashion, stating it failed to receive much evidence from large tech firms that they are suffering from a skills shortage. "Any significant shortages within the sector, on the basis of the evidence we received, seem presently to mainly be confined to firms at the start-up/scale-up end," the report states


Red Hat wants you to contain yourself and your workloads
The cool part is that containers require no additional overhead or stress on the system. In fact, to the kernel, it's just running applications like any normal server does. For users and for the contained application, it's a separate and independent world. You can assign IP addresses to containers. Each container can have its own users, including the root user. From the container's point-of-view, it is a fully functional system. You can even reboot it without affecting any other container or the host system.


Net Neutrality Decision: What You Need to Know
The 3-to-2 Federal Communications Commission vote largely enshrines current practices of the major providers, such as Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon Communications, and as such probably won’t hold any immediate effects for the average consumer. It does, however, prevent a tiered Internet where companies and content providers can pay for speedy access to customers. “If this goes well, consumers will not notice a difference,” says Christopher Mitchell, an official with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, an advocacy group for community development that supported the net neutrality proposal. Mitchell says the FCC rules are aimed at “preventing things from getting worse.”


Corporate Leaders Aren't Prepared for the Internet of Things
Fewer than one-quarter of survey respondents have established clear business leadership for the IoT, either in the form of a single organization unit owning the issue or multiple business units taking ownership of separate IoT efforts. Exacerbating this lack of leadership is a lack of understanding about the IoT by senior executives, the board of directors, and non-IT workers. Overall, the survey results show that there is a clear need for more internal education and ideation at all levels in the organization to explain the potential of the IoT and to seek innovative ways to exploit it.


Blockchain Technology Explained: Powering Bitcoin
So what is blockchain? Bitcoin blockchain is the technology backbone of the network and provides a tamper-proof data structure, providing a shared public ledger open to all. The mathematics involved are impressive, and the use of specialized hardware to construct this vast chain of cryptographic data renders it practically impossible to replicate. All confirmed transactions are embedded in the bitcoin blockchain. Use of SHA-256 cryptography ensures the integrity of the blockchain applications – all transactions must be signed using a private key or seed, which prevents third parties from tampering with it. Transactions are confirmed by the network within 10 minutes or so and this process is handled by bitcoin miners.


Building Software for the Long Term
Big software might survive but that might be just because it might be terrible software but it's just too expensive to replace, I mean I think there is probably a lot of software in financial institutions, I mean everywhere really that has been around for 40 years but nobody is able to change it. ... as software engineers we often want to improve things but we can’t describe it well enough to be able to convince people, so being able to make a business case to improve software and because actually bad software has significant costs and it’s not hard to find business cases for a lot of improvement work, that make sense for a business, it's not just our instincts tell us that we want to live in a nice software environment, there is a real business case usually in there.



Quote for the day:

"So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work." -- Peter Drucker