June 30, 2016

MoneyLion brings traditional banking ever closer to obsolescence

Tim Hong, one of the key behavioral architects of the platform, wants MoneyLion to dream big. Many of the tedious financial tasks we all dread can be streamlined with readily available technology. How can we prevent fraud? Facial recognition of course. Need a verification photo for a loan application? Just take a selfie. “One of the problems we saw in consumer finance was that marketplace lenders were spending lots of money to acquire customers for one transaction,” said Choubey. MoneyLion uses rewards to incentivize users to stick with the platform. The idea of rewards is not new in banking, nearly every credit card offers benefits or cash back. A large variety of data enables MoneyLion to offer a wide breadth of rewards for building good financial habits. Reward redemptions on the platform have been growing at 39% month over month.


5 secrets for writing the perfect data scientist resume

For better or worse, big data has become a “mine is bigger than yours” contest. Employers are anxious to see candidates with experience in large data sets—this is not entirely unwarranted, as handling truly “big data” presents unique new challenges that are not present when handling smaller data. Continuing with the above example, a hiring manager may not have a good understanding of the technical challenges you’re facing when doing the analysis. Consider saying something like this: “Reduced model error by 20% and reduced training time by 50% by using a warm-start regularized regression in scikit-learn streaming over 2TB of data.”


10 Hot Smartphones To Consider Now

Google meanwhile has promised to deliver developer versions of its Project Ara modular phone this fall, with general availability planned for next year. Project Ara has been scaled back a bit -- the CPU, display, and RAM won't be removable -- but it still has potential to change the dynamics of the smartphone market. Other handset makers like LG are already experimenting with limited modularity. If Project Ara succeeds, smartphones may become a bit more open and more conducive to third-party participation from peripheral makers. But Google has to demonstrate that Project Ara phones won't just be bigger and more expensive than smartphone designs that don't contemplate expansion or modification. While we wait, here are nine great smartphones you can pick up today, and one to look forward to in a few months.


Migrating Azure IaaS SQL Server AlwaysOn Cluster to Premium Storage

Microsoft recommends the use of Premium Storage for optimal performance of SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines. If you are running a SQL Server AlwaysOn environment on Standard storage, you might plan to migrate your environment to Premium Storage. This Step-by-Step guide will describe how to migrate to Premium Storage an existing SQL Server AlwaysOn Cluster built on Azure VM (IaaS), reducing the down time to its minimum. This blog article will cover infrastructures deployed with Classic deployment model. Microsoft recommends that most new deployments use the Resource Manager model.


Faster Payments says 'open access' model ready for take-off

Faster Payments’ commitment to opening up access to its services via its new aggregator model will provide these PSPs with lower cost solutions and more choice. This will boost innovation and competition, enabling PSPs and Fintechs to offer greater payments choices to consumers and businesses, improving their payment experience and driving economic growth in the country.  Things are moving fast and the rising number of aggregators accredited is evidence that there is a demand from PSPs for real-time payment for their customers. The latest organisations to be awarded the certificate of technical accreditation ‘trust mark’ are ACI Worldwide, Bottomline and Compass Plus. They join FIS and PayPort by VocaLink to bring the number of accredited providers to five, with a further three organisations currently in the testing phase required to obtain accreditation.


Brexit: Cloud community mulls over implications for data protection regulation reform

“Brexit is obviously a challenging time and could provide an opportunity for the UK to get data protection legislation that is practical, commercial and pragmatic,” he said. “There are some areas [of GDPR] that don’t work and will be difficult to implement in practice, but we could revisit those to make them a bit more practical and commercial. “The challenge will be to see if Brussels consider it to provide an adequate level of protection. That’s the key thing, because – if it doesn’t – it all falls apart,” he added. Speaking to Computer Weekly, Andy Lawrence, vice-president of datacentre technologies and eco-efficient IT at market watcher 451 Research, said – once the UK gets the process of extricating itself from the EU underway – there may be an influx of legal experts on hand who can help with this.


Public cloud adoption causing some big vendors to stumble

As with any new technology, security is always a worry. In Moyse's experience, the number one concern with cloud revolves around data security, privacy and sovereignty. Data protection is one of the most important aspects of any business, and any weakness can affect the bottom line. "People are paranoid and justifiably so, in some instances, but … it's just like any other change when you are leveraging the Internet," Linthicum says. The concept of moving your business to an unfamiliar environment can make any organization have second thoughts. But "once they've done it once, they're a lot quicker and more receptive to a second or third [cloud service] because … they've felt the benefit[s] and they've overcome that challenge," Moyse says.


Fintech spawns regtech to automate compliance with regulations

Regtech is “the use of new technologies to solve regulatory and compliance requirements more effectively and efficiently,” as the Institute for International Finance (IIF), a research-oriented trade association in Washington, put it in a March report. “I would define it as technological advancement that assists those focused on compliance and regulatory-related activities in their professions,” Kari Larsen, counsel at Reed Smith LLP in New York, and formerly in the Enforcement Division of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, told Bloomberg BNA. “So making it easier, swifter, more complete, more efficient to monitor compliance and regulatory obligations.” “For many years post-crisis, the only growing area of personnel, of hiring, in banks was in compliance,” Andres Portilla


CIOs combat messaging overload with mobile 'micro apps'

The lack of user-friendly enterprise software gives Sapho a shot at slipping into IT departments at a time when more CIOs are adopting a mobile first mentality to software development. In its 2015 CIO survey, Gartner found that 48 percent of employee-facing applications are being designed with mobile as the primary or secondary consumption mechanism. Sapho's user interface and push notifications will play well with millennial managers who have grown up using consumer-focused web apps from Google and Facebook, says Gartner’s Baker. It's a digital native generation raised on push notifications that interrupt their workflows, if only for a few brief moments. "It fits seamlessly into a behavior that is already well established. And that gives [Sapho] an advantage to go to market.”


Why antivirus programs have become the problem, not the solution

This vulnerability is particularly bad—exploiting the vulnerability requires no user interaction. The vulnerability exists in a default configuration, and code execution occurs at the highest privilege level, if not the kernel itself. According to Ormandy, open source libraries used in the products such as libmspack and unrarsrc had not been updated "in at least 7 years." This problem is not, itself, an aberration, and is not limited to Symantec. Security software necessarily requires high access privileges to operate effectively, though when it is itself insecure or otherwise malfunctioning, it becomes a much higher liability due to the extent to which it has control over the system. These software issues, combined with logistical and political problems in the antivirus industry itself, are making users less secure.



Quote for the day:


"Structure is more important than content in the transmission of information." -- Abbie Hoffman