July 01, 2016

Think different: Cognitive computing systems will bring data-led change

Over the years, as business models have changed and the number of data sources multiplied, organizations tweaked their old programs to fit, patching the logic and creating what Hurwitz called "monster systems." Cognitive computing systems, which use hardware or software to approximate human cognitive functions, will change all that, Hurwitz said. The business applications of the future will be based on fast-moving, ever-changing data from an ever-growing number of sources. Gone will be step-by-step instructions based on the past. Cognitive computing learns from patterns and anomalies, makes guesses about what could happen -- and it doesn't assume there is one correct answer. As more data is ingested and analyzed, the system changes, too.


Cloud Adopters Balancing Cost Savings, Security

Among the reasons for outsourcing security operations is the difficulty of recruiting cloud security experts along with a shortage of technical resources needed to run an in-house security operations center, the company argues. A hefty 79 percent of respondents responsible for cloud security said they welcome outside help in running cloud security operations. Their biggest challenges included managing security content, identifying and blunting "multi-vector" attacks and the high cost of cloud security, the survey found. The Forrester survey also found that IT administrators are turning to outside help for capabilities like threat intelligence analysis (83 percent) as they seek to develop real-time threat detection capabilities. Also cited were assistance for securing public clouds (80 percent), overall security operations (77 percent), network security along with data privacy and regulatory compliance (both 76 percent).


The Inventor of the Merkle Tree Wants DAOs to Rule the World

Because DAOs are designed to operate without a leader, the software on which they are based relies on a series of smart contracts that form their method of governance. Though Buterin’s article, entitled "An Introduction to Futarchy", touches on several alternative forms of governance that might one day power a DAO, at its core is the concept of Futarchy, invented in 2000 by Robin Hanson, a George Mason University researcher and chief scientist of Consensus Point, a markets research firm. Buterin reasoned that Futarchy’s form of governance could eventually lead to a new kind of leadership where governance was controlled by increasingly accurate probabilities derived from what are called prediction markets, designed to determine the likelihood that an event will occur and be free from reliance on any single leader.


Despite Mobile App Demand, Enterprise Spending Lags, Research Indicates

In this week's report, Gartner said the percentage of enterprise application development budgets devoted to mobile has actually decreased from last year, although 42 percent of organizations said they'll increase spending on mobile development by an average of 31 percent this year. Overall, mobile accounts for only about 10 percent of total organizational development budgets, Gartner said. These confounding, non-intuitive statistics echo the findings from many earlier studies. Earlier this year, for example, Red Hat Inc. published survey results gauging the state of mobile maturity in 2015. "Over the last two years, almost half of the organizations surveyed (52 percent) had developed fewer than 10 custom mobile apps, with 45 percent creating more than 10," the Red Hat survey said.


Time-Travel Queries: SELECT witty_subtitle FROM THE FUTURE

The CockroachDB implementation of this feature requires that the timestamp be a literal string in a valid time format. We do not support generic expressions or even placeholder values here (sadly1). However, we are able to support schema changes between the present and the “as of” time. For example, if a column is deleted in the present but exists at some time in the past, a time-travel query requesting data from before the column was deleted will successfully return it. This data is kept in the MVCC layer and garbage collected (GC) at some configurable rate (default is 24 hours and configurable by table). Time travel is supported at any time within the GC threshold.


Microsoft to add Enterprise Advantage to MPSA licensing in early 2017

Microsoft is characterizing the addition of Enterprise Advantage for MPSA as "the next step in the development of modern licensing," in the words of Mark Nowlan, Director of Marketing for Microsoft's Worldwide Licensing Programs. MPSA is Microsoft's licensing/purchasing agreement that is meant to enable users to consolidate various licensing contracts into "a single, nonexpiring agreement for all organizations." MPSA was designed to replace software-centric licensing and purchasing agreements with something simpler that would appeal to customers using a mix of Microsoft software and services. With MPSA, Microsoft's goal is to streamline its multiple licensing/purchase agreements down to a single agreement and two options to buy (transactional/buy as you need or organizational-wide),


Prepping for the Big Cloud Conversation

The chief talking point in favor of the cloud should center on competitive advantage. Present the cloud as a strategic decision, and show how it can align with the organization’s goals. Makes the case why this constitutes a new and better way to deliver business services. Focus on process improvements in terms of increased speed and flexibility. And, yes, point out the reduced operating costs--but set expectations and make it clear that the returns on a new cloud infrastructure won’t be realized overnight. In fact, it may take several years before the average company reaches the breaking point and then starts to realize major savings. For the CFO--and perhaps the CIO--that may sound like a bridge too far. So give management a full picture and identify the real costs of migration;


Cybersecurity: Stop the attacker's offense, don’t do defense

Having full visibility into your IT environment and being able to spot compromised machines is critical for stopping the attacker’s offense. To know their environment better than the attackers, organizations must constantly perform reconnaissance in their environment and collect information and analyze it in real time. With this knowledge, an enterprise can control the situation instead of allowing the hacker to dictate what happens.  You want to be able to see all the elements at work in the hacking campaign and cut the attacker’s access to your network at once. Remediating security threats one by one won’t do anything to protect a company. If anything, this method tips hackers off that they’ve been discovered and provides them with time to rework their plan and figure out how to evade your defenses.


Supply Chain Security Must Mimic Enterprise Security

Supply chain security isn’t a one-way street, either, Cheng reminds us. “Be sure that your vendor takes security vulnerabilities seriously. This means that they can demonstrate a rigorous security program that ensures people, engineering, and processes deliver confidentiality, integrity, and availability of your information.” If vendors don’t hold supply chain security best practices to an acceptable standard, supply chain decision makers have the option to walk away and find a vendor who will. Consumers and customers who are affected by supply chain decisions don’t have that luxury. “In general, every time IoT security is compromised, so too is the security of consumers,” says Lucas. “These types of security concerns range from data ownership and privacy to hackers gaining control of our electrical grid. All these risks compromise the integrity of the supply chain and ultimately the quality of products, which can have a huge impact on consumer health and safety.”


Hands-on: NFC-enabled ATMs make it easy to withdraw cash with a smartphone

Using an ATM with Android Pay is almost identical to using the machine with your bank card. But rather than digging through an overstuffed wallet for a piece of plastic, you simply connect your phone to the machine over NFC. After that, it’s the same familiar process: Enter your PIN, grab your cash, and go. NFC payments also add an extra measure of security. First off, the process is quicker—you won’t have to dawdle as you wait for the machine to spit out you card. Second, the card is protected by Android Pay and Apple Pay’s existing security measures, meaning you’ll have to scan your fingerprint or use a pin number or pattern unlock before you can use it. This, in conjunction with your PIN number, makes taking out cash a two-factor authentication process that’s more secure than using plastic.




Quote for the day:


"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." -- Bernard M. Baruch