January 14, 2016

Big Data Goes Mainstream: What Now?

Organizations today are often pursuing those goals by implementing big data environments that coexist with the data warehouse, according to Bean. Organizations are currently looking at what information is better suited to what environment. "There are certain things that a data warehouse is suited for, like data compliance" or operational reporting. "Big data is more about discovery environments and looking for patterns … Right now there is a value to both environments." Another factor that comes into play between the data warehouse environment and the big data initiatives is cost. "One of the original premises of big data was it was much more cost-effective than traditional data environments," Bean said. "And that will likely be the case."


Microsoft R Server Is Free for Developers and Students

A Developer Edition of Microsoft R Server, "with all the features of the commercial version," will be available to coders as a free download. It will also be included in the Microsoft Data Science Virtual Machine, a Windows Server 2012-based virtual machine that includes tools for data scientists and developers. Microsoft is also making Microsoft R Server available free for students under the company's DreamSpark technology in education program. "Providing even more students with access to Microsoft R Server is a pretty big deal," wrote Microsoft Program Manager Joseph Rickert. "Microsoft R Server extends the reach of R into big data, distributed processing environments by providing a framework for manipulating large data sets time so that all of the data being analyzed does not have to simultaneously fit into memory."


Big Data Still Requires Humans To Make Meaningful Connections

Perhaps it’s because we put so much faith into technology to solve our problems. We have been led to believe big data is going to help businesses make smarter and more informed decisions. In healthcare, it will help our doctors and medical professionals make better diagnoses and find the most appropriate treatments. In sports, it will help our favorite teams pick the best players. In government, it will open up information and lead us to the transparency promised land where no corrupt government official can hide. And it will help root out those people who are planning to do us harm. As we learned in the recent horrific attacks in Paris, sometimes it doesn’t matter how much information we collect.


Truly Wireless Headphones Arrive, But With a Few Strings Attached

It works for keeping the ears in sync. The Dash, sold online and coming soon to shops, kept going even when I wore it in the shower. Bragi says even when you are swimming, the waterproof earbuds work, playing music stored directly on them. The audio, again, sounded fine for working out, although even a bit more compressed than the Earin buds. Bragi says it will continue to fine-tune audio quality. The Dash can last more than three hours on a single charge, which it also gets from a companion battery case. Each Dash bud is roughly double the size of the Earin, but still lays flat inside my ear. (Silicone sleeves of multiple sizes help fit different-size ears.) I almost never felt like the Dash would fall out, whether I was running or doing my best impression of Animal from the Muppets.


Hope in a Glove for Parkinson’s Patients

GyroGlove’s design is simple. It uses a miniature, dynamically adjustable gyroscope, which sits on the back of the hand, within a plastic casing attached to the glove’s material. When the device is switched on, the battery-powered gyroscope whirs to life. Its orientation is adjusted by a precession hinge and turntable, both controlled by a small circuit board, thereby pushing back against the wearer’s movements as the gyroscope tries to right itself. While the initial prototypes of the device still require refinements to size and noise, Alison McGregor, professor of musculoskeletal biodynamics at Imperial College, who has been a mentor to the team, says the device “holds great promise and could have a significant impact on users’ quality of life.”


Emerging: DataOps and three tips for getting there

CIOs know the typical wave of adoption -- technology or otherwise -- starts with early adopters. But even before the early adopters, CIOs will need to find their innovators -- employees who are, essentially, change agents. "In order to build a culture, we needed to identify not only the people who have technical skills or the business skills, but those who also are fearless. They want to go out to an organization and actually change things -- they want to change the way government works," she said. ... Before Jin arrived, a basic dashboard was designed for Mayor Martin Walsh,the first of its kind for the city. A year later, the mayor's dashboard has not only become more a sophisticated administration window into Boston doings, it also acts as a constituent-facing information portal.


How CIOs will refine digital transformation in 2016

“The traditional IT security defense is completely broken,” says Russell. “Most CIOs and senior leadership and boards are realizing that when you wake up every day and see another breach of some kind … the existing model does not work.” He’s well into a four-year IT security roadmap, which includes adding vArmour software to identify and flag anomalous traffic flowing across the company’s computer network. It’s designed to find the type of threat that hit Target, in which an intruder crawled into the network through a third-party vendor and began moving data. “That’s a huge transition from saying ‘we have a barrier nobody can get through.’” The tech has also provides fodder for conversation with his board, which wants details on what he is doing to buttress corporate defense.


People are the biggest source of vulnerability

People are the biggest point of vulnerability in any organization and the endpoint is where they interact with whatever an attacker is after: intellectual property, credentials, cyber ransom, etc. Further, people are responsible for the policies and procedures that are in place at the enterprise, whether forced upon them by regulatory bodies or voluntarily for proper security hygiene. Securing the endpoint would be less difficult if we were willing to accept policies and procedures that could help reduce the attack surface. But, no enterprise, in practice, wants to put employees through having separate systems for outside/inside network access. Employees want to and will use their corporate equipment for personal things: checking email, syncing music with their phones, and engaging others on social networks.


Automakers tap mobile software experts in search of premium cache

"Younger customers demand the latest connectivity features, and German premium automakers need to develop new offerings in the digital arena which cater to this," said Thilo Koslowski, vice president of the automotive practice at technology market research firm Gartner. BMW's Chicago team helped to develop 'Bumper Detect' a new system unveiled last week which uses BMW's onboard camera and sensors to photograph potential thieves or vandals. "The car can take photographs of another vehicle which may have left a dent in your parked car, and send pictures to your mobile device," Robertson said. The Bavarian automaker already has several software development centres in Munich and elsewhere and said it will continue to recruit staff in 2016 to help "the advancement of new technologies, including the ever-increasing scale of digitalization."


3 Lessons From The Graveyard of Fintech Start-Ups

Every tech field involves legal complexities. While big corporations have their own lawyers to maneuver complicated legal regulations, start-ups are on their own. And it’s a big deal. While some financial technologies may be far less intrusive, some could face intense quagmires. GoCardless, a UK-based online direct debit provider, has been sponsored by RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) and handles $1 billion of transactions a year. Even their founder, Hiroki Takeuchi, has noted the difficulty in understanding regulations, as well as penetrating the bank-owned financial infrastructure. “To get access, you need to set up some sort of arrangement with a bank that moves at a glacial pace.” They didn’t go it alone, and it took a lot of work to work with the famed glacial pace of traditional banks.



Quote for the day:


"Respect for people is the cornerstone of communication and networking." -- @susanroane