Daily Tech Digest - January 02, 2017

Cognitive on Cloud

Referred to as “Cognitive on cloud”, this model delivers cognitive services running in the cloud that are consumable via representational state transfer (REST) APIs. These services are available as part of platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings such as Bluemix and can be easily bound to an application while coding. Using this approach, cognitive analytics such as voice (tone analyzer, speech-to-text) and video (face detection, visual recognition) capabilities enables quick analysis of petabytes of unstructured data. Developing cognitive applications to run on mobile devices has provided new insights which help organizations create totally new revenue streams. When selecting a cloud service provider however cognitive on cloud ROI requires more than just a total cost of ownership comparison. In addition to this basic analysis, an organization must consider which cloud is cognitive enabled at the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) layer.


High versus low-level data science

Access to highly granular (low-level) data was not easy to get, and dashboard summaries, carefully selected and crafted, were sufficient to detect and address the issue with a one-week turnaround, doing a number of tests described in the next section. More specifically, we used the Google Analytic dashboard. We did not access granular metrics such as IP address, detailed log-file transactions, or summary statistics broken down by user agent / referral combinations (not available from the dashboard). But we did use session duration, number of pages, and conversions, per day per referral, probing the summary data sometimes 2-3 times per day to check the results of a number of tests and fine-tuning, in short to check and quantify impact on performance. Performance here is measured as the number of real (not bogus) conversions per click, or conversion rate.


IT pro's revitalization guide 2017

IT pro's 2017 revitalization guide Before 2017 comes at us hard, take a moment to restock your your intellectual reserves with our most insightful tech-management articles and videos. No matter how long you've been in IT, it's always a good idea to pause periodically and take stock of your professional and personal progress. Why not take a few moments to read through the best of Computerworld's management and career coverage? Scroll down to browse the complete list or click a link to skip directly to your chosen topic. ... Many IT professionals say they would go all-out to land the best jobs, with the best benefits at the best companies. All it takes is up-to-the-minute skills and a whole lot of drive. ... You’re killing it at work, but does anyone notice? A large percentage of IT professionals say the answer is no.


4 information security threats that will dominate 2017

"The pace and scale of information security threats continues to accelerate, endangering the integrity and reputation of trusted organizations," Durbin says. "In 2017, we will see increased sophistication in the threat landscape with threats being tailored to their target's weak spots or threats mutating to take account of defenses that have been put in place. Cyberspace is the land of opportunity for hacktivists, terrorists and criminals motivated to wreak havoc, commit fraud, steal information or take down corporations and governments. The solution is to prepare for the unknown with an informed threat outlook. Better preparation will provide organizations of all sizes with the flexibility to withstand unexpected, high-impact security events." The top four threats identified by the ISF are not mutually exclusive. They can combine to create even greater threat profiles.


Artificial intelligence takes on machine reading

Artificial intelligence (AI) made incredible strides in 2016, and the growth appears set to accelerate as we enter the New Year. A team of Microsoft researchers has released a dataset of 100,000 questions and answers that other AI researchers can use – for free – in their quest to create systems that can read and answer questions as well as a human. The MS MARCO dataset is based on anonymized real-world data from Bing and Cortana queries and is part of an attempt to spur the breakthroughs in machine reading that are already happening in image and speech recognition. The move is also aimed at facilitating advances toward “artificial general intelligence,” or machines that can think like humans – and can read and understand a document as well as a person.


The First Quantum Revolution: Foundational information for the enterprise CTO

Quantum physics helped us understand the periodic table, chemical interactions, and electronic wave functions that underpin the electronic semiconductor physics. In fact, there are many devices available today which are fundamentally reliant on our understanding the effects of quantum mechanics. These include the transistor, lasers, GPS, semi-conductor devices and MRI imagers. These devices are often referred to as belonging to the 'first quantum revolution’. What’s amazing is that within one silicon chip there are about 3 billion transistors, enabled by the progress of this first quantum revolution. And they all have to work reliably so that your computer, your mobile phone or whatever you have actually works. Now that’s quite amazing. Just think about that now. If you look around you now, we all carry around our personal electronics.


Hands On: DELL Twists The XPS 13 Into a 2-In-1

Dell claims the battery life of the XPS 13 2-in-1 ranges from nine to 15 hours, depending on how you use it. The battery life goes up if you're doing basic productivity work and declines to around nine hours if you are watching Netflix movies. The XPS 13 2-in-1 is a step down in performance compared to the XPS 13 laptop, but the decline is not visible when running basic applications or graphics. The device has a 7th Generation Intel Core i5-7Y54 or Core i7-7Y75 processor, which aren't as speedy as the mainstream Kaby Lake-based Core i3, i5, and i7 processors offered in the XPS 13 laptop. An Intel integrated GPU can support 4K graphics play-back on external displays. Dell went with the Y-series Kaby Lake chips so the XPS 13 2-in-1 can provide long battery life, compared to tablets today.


Privacy is still alive and kicking in the digital age

With the current digital infrastructure, we are heading in the wrong direction: Individuals are becoming more and more transparent, open to different types of control, manipulation and discrimination, while the powerful — government, industry and organizations — are more and more closed off. Freedom, individual independence and democracy are fundamental reasons why the individual right to privacy is something we should all care about. Privacy is a universal human right penned in international conventions, declarations and charters that were formalized at a time in history when private life was the default. There were clear lines and limits between private homes and public streets and buildings, between a private person and the public authorities and spaces. It was the letter in the sealed envelope.


Hackers will grow increasingly bold in 2017

Nothing is safe. Not your email, your personal information, your photos, your files. If it’s stored online, it’s theoretically accessible to anyone with the skills and wherewithal to grab it. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, nearly 900 million records might have been accessed in almost 7,000 known data breaches since 2005. The actual number of breaches is undoubtedly higher because not all security lapses are publicized. A few weeks ago, Yahoo reported what is believed to be the single largest security breach ever — 1 billion user accounts potentially accessed in August 2013. Yahoo said it only discovered the incident recently, which does little to ease concerns. The attack apparently was unrelated to a separate breach in 2014 involving 500 million accounts, which Yahoo revealed in September. The company blamed that one on an unnamed foreign government.


Mitigating internal risk: Three steps to educate employees

When employees first start it’s important to give them a list of the top 10 rules they should follow regarding IT practices. If you know the rules that are violated the most, it’s suggested that those should make the top of your list. If you don’t then a good way to find out is to use monitoring techniques that will help you to collect this data. There’s a high chance you’ll be surprised by the type of rules people violate. Some examples of no-no’s can include attaching company files to personal e-mails, putting data on non-encrypted USBs, uploading files to cloud drives etc. Yearly training and reminding sessions should also be implemented as a part of company strategy. One of the most effective tactics is to inform users that they are violating policies while they’re attempting to take the action.



Quote for the day:


"A clear rejection is always better than a fake promise. Move on, next "-- @stephenodonnell