May 01, 2016

Blockchain Platform Emercoin is Moving Beyond Cryptocurrencies

Now, Emer is a platform that offers two primary product umbrellas, a blockchain-based platform for a variety of of services including security, advertising, and legal. It is also a payment services unit in Emercoin which also runs through the Emer platform. While the name Emercoin might be recognizable from the standpoint of being a cryptocurrency used to send and receive payment and is ultimately tradeable, it is just a piece of what makes the Emer platform so valuable in the services it offers and the problems it can solve. For developers seeking to build products or solutions based off of the Emer platform, they’ve provided a quick-start guide for deploying an Emercoin wallet on an Ubuntu instance within Microsoft Azure.

IT leaders inundated with bimodal IT meme

At first glance, it certainly seems to make sense, and from my perspective bimodal is intellectually useful as a concept in creating a dividing line between legacy technology efforts that change much more slowly and must be managed more carefully on one side and high velocity new digital projects that must more faithfully match the rate of exponential change of market conditions today, while also effectively applying the latest technologies and techniques. Where the concept breaks down, as I explored in my original critique of bimodal, is in actual execution. The real world of technology and the activities that make it bear fruit cannot be neatly compartmentalized into a dual structure. Not only do the actual needs and demands of individual IT initiatives vary widely, the team skills and processes on the ground are unique for nearly every project as well.

Quantifying Benefits of Network Virtualization in the Data Center

Network virtualization allows IT organizations to deploy their network resources whenever and wherever they need them. IT can rapidly add the capacity to make sure the network delivers the performance and reliability demanded by evolving data center environments. NV provides improved, centralized management and offers microsegmentation to improve data center security and increase compliance. For organizations facing network upgrades, the option to deploy network software on white-box switches can result in significant capex savings. NV deployment is becoming mainstream in leading data center deployments. Organizations are likely to see strong ROI benefits from operational efficiencies – although this ROI is challenging to quantify.

Data Tower: a Data Center for Saruman

As our society increasingly relies on digital services, the unique problems in data center design attract attention from designers outside of the data center world, who propose unorthodox design ideas in attempts to envision new, better ways to build data centers in the future. Another example of this trend is an Estonian startup called Project Rhizome, which is thinking of ways to better integrate data centers into densely populated urban areas. eVolo, an architecture and design journal, has held its futuristic skyscraper design competition since 2006. The other two winners in this year’s contest were a design that proposes a continuous horizontal skyscraper around New York City’s Central Park, which is sunken to create more space for housing with unobstructed views, and a vertical control terminal for drones that would provide services to New York residents.

Data Storytelling: The Essential Data Science Skill Everyone Needs

It’s important to understand how these different elements combine and work together in data storytelling. When narrative is coupled with data, it helps to explain to your audience what’s happening in the data and why a particular insight is important. Ample context and commentary is often needed to fully appreciate an insight. When visuals are applied to data, they can enlighten the audience to insights that they wouldn’t see without charts or graphs. Many interesting patterns and outliers in the data would remain hidden in the rows and columns of data tables without the help of data visualizations.

A Google executive creative director explains what he does for a living 

While Vranakis says there are many agencies out there that have taken a more modern working approach he thinks - without wanting to make sweeping statements about the industry - there are a couple of things that separate the Lab from a traditional agency setup. One is the way in which the creative directors and other experienced executives at agencies often take credit for a team effort. He points to the annual Gunn Report, which showcases the year's most successful campaigns. "I think there are still structures that incentivize the contributor as opposed to the group," Vranakis said. "If you look at Gunn Reports and things like that, they all name individuals. I know that it's just business. If you win an award and your name is attached to the award, you'll get a pay-rise as they'll need to keep you as you'll be headhunted."

Identity Management: Where Cloud Security Falls Short

It's obvious that thinking outside the traditional security perimeter is necessary. Less obvious is how much "controlling the access to data" will contribute to firms being able to adopt cloud services and technologies more safely, Yeoh and Baron continued. The survey identifed seven types of perimeter-based security products, and asked respondents how many of them were in use in their organizations. As the table below shows, antivirus, anti-spam, and Virtual Private Networks were the top three solutions in use by respondents. ... When the question turns to which access measures are in place for partners, outsourced IT, and other third parties, the picture changes quite a bit. Only 62% of respondents said they had privileged access management in place for such users, 25% had application to application password management, and 32% had secure password storage.

Why image recognition is about to transform business

Not every company has the resources, or wants to invest in the resources, to build out a computer vision engineering team. Even if you’ve found the right team, it can be a lot of work to get it just right, which is where hosted API services come in. Carried out in the cloud, these solutions offer menus of out-of-the-box image recognition services that can be easily integrated with an existing app or used to build out a specific feature or an entire business. Say the Travel Channel needs “landmark detection” to show relevant photos on landing pages for specific landmarks, or eHarmony wants to filter out “unsafe” profile images uploaded by their users. Neither of these companies needs or wants to get into the deep learning image recognition development business, but can still benefit from its capabilities.

2016: The year of application layer security in public clouds

In 2016, private datacentres will reflect public cloud security realities and secure internal network traffic as well. Encrypted layers of security within a datacentre or public cloud network will help organisations control access and encryption to limit malicious east/west movement. This ‘application segmentation’ at the application layer will add security within the network to strengthen existing datacentre hardware and virtualisation layer security. Enterprise application owners will realise the value of true virtual networks in concept in practice. No more will network operators believe a VLAN is actually virtual! The limitations of the physical network architectures will be magnified once enterprises see the difference between an underlay for bulk transport and an overlay for application specific use-case tuning. The glaring security holes in physical networks once obfuscated will reveal themselves.

Controlling Hybrid Cloud Complexity with Containers: CoreOS, rkt, and Image Standards

CoreOS Linux is an interesting example of system architecture decisions informed by the reality of container clusters. If the container makes applications self-contained, portable, standard units, the operating system should adapt to empower this dynamic use case. In CoreOS, the operating system and basic userland utilities are stripped to their bare minimum and shipped as an integral unit, automatically updated across a cluster of machines. CoreOS may be thought of as a “hypervisor” for containers, that is itself packaged in a discrete and standard way. Utilizing this single image distribution, CoreOS foregoes individual package management in favor of frequent and coordinated updates of the entire system, protected by a dual-partition scheme providing instant and simple rollbacks in the event of trouble.

Quote for the day:

"When data disproves a theory, a good scientist discards the theory and a poor one discards the data." -- Will Spencer