Daily Tech Digest - January 21, 2017

New details emerge about Intel's super-small Euclid computer for robots

Intel announced and demonstrated the Euclid computer in a robot moving on stage during CEO Brian Krzanich's keynote at the Intel Developer Forum in August. The Euclid Developer Kit launch page is up on the website of Mouser Electronics. Intel didn't provide a specific launch date or pricing. Once the Euclid is placed in a robot, it can be operated remotely through a mobile device or PC. The Euclid has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity to communicate with the PC. The Euclid can also "serve as a full, autonomous brain with sensing capabilities, or as a smart sensor controlled by a more powerful computer," Mouser states on its website. The computer has GPS capabilities for navigation. ... The Atom CPU provides the horsepower to process and analyze the images collected by the 3D camera. The CPU will drive a robot's movement and help it complete tasks.


How banking apps and digital cash solutions are all the rage in India

The National Payments Corporation of India, the nodal agency for all retail payment systems in the country, is working with Visa and MasterCard to develop a common QR code to facilitate cashless transactions in shops. “It is a huge market. There are hundreds of mobile banking apps and hundreds of e-wallets. All of them serve the same purpose using different means,” said Sony Joy, chief executive officer of Chillr. “If there is any direct competitor of ours, it is cash.” Not surprisingly, at this juncture, uninitiated consumers are lost. Credit and debit cards have been the most used cashless payment systems in India for over a decade. Internet banking solutions such as NEFT (national electronic funds transfer) and RTGS (real time gross settlement) for corporate customers are in place. There are offline payment methods, eliminating internet security and malware threats.


How Android One could complete Google's grand Android plan

From the get-go, the whole point of Android One was to make inexpensive Android phones that didn't suck -- phones that were affordable but still decent to use, without all the asterisks that often accompany budget-level devices. Part of that means Google maintains tight control over the software and also guarantees the devices will get reliable and timely ongoing updates -- both security patches and full-fledged OS releases. Thus far, Android One has been limited to a small number of so-called "emerging markets" -- places like Pakistan and India, where it can be "hard for people" to "get their hands on a high-quality smartphone," as Google explains it. Bringing the program to America, though, would give it a whole new meaning. In short, it'd help Google move closer to its goal of "fixing" Android -- a goal that started in earnest with the Pixel but remains only half-complete.


How -And Why-You Should Use A VPN Any Time You Hop On The Internet

The good news is VPNs aren’t expensive. You can usually pay as little as $5 a month (billed annually or in blocks of several months) for VPN coverage. We won’t get into specific VPN service recommendations in this article; instead, here are some issues to consider when shopping around for a VPN provider. First, what kind of logging does your VPN provider do? In other words, what information do they keep about your VPN sessions and how long is it kept? Are they recording the IP addresses you use, the websites you visit, the amount of bandwidth used, or any other key details? All VPNs have to do some kind of logging, but there are VPNs that collect as little data as possible and others that aren’t so minimalist. On top of that, some services discard their logs in a matter of hours or days while other companies hold onto them for months at a time.


China Unveils Memory Plans

Although China’s domestic IC sector is moving at a fast pace, the Chinese government has been grappling with the same problem for years. It is behind in semiconductor technology. This is a complex subject, but one of the causes is export controls. Multinational companies sell products into China, but they must follow various export control policies. Originally hatched during the Cold War period in the 1950s, export controls were established to limit technologies that could have potential military use. As part of those controls, multinational fab equipment makers for years were prevented from shipping advanced tools into China (and other nations) that were capable of processing chips at 0.25 microns and below. On top of that, China also lacked IC know-how, so it fell behind in semiconductor technology.


Google Sets Out to Disrupt Curating With “Machine Learning”

A few other Experiments involve organizing the Google trove of art images into 3-D landscapes. “t-SNE Map,” for instance, gives you a view of a landscape of rolling hills, composed of points. Zoom in on the terrain, and you discover that the points are actually images of artworks. The topography is formed by how the computer has decided to sort and cluster artworks in relation to one another, based on its understanding of aesthetic similarities. “The algorithms only ‘looked’ at the artworks,” the description explains. “No meta data was used, the visual similarity was calculated with a computer image algorithm used in Google Search purely based on the images.”


Why Cyber-Security Strategies Are Falling Short

While organizations around the world are more confident than ever that they can predict and detect cyber-attacks, they're still falling short on investments and plans geared toward recovering from a breach. Such is the double-edged finding of EY's 19th annual Global Information Security Survey, "Path to Cyber-Resilience: Sense, Resist, React." EY surveyed 1,735 IT and IT security executives from organizations around the world to uncover the most compelling cyber-security issues facing business today, and what it discovered was a marketplace still struggling to keep up with a fast-evolving threat landscape. "Organizations have come a long way in preparing for a cyber-breach, but as fast as they improve, cyber-attackers come up with new tricks. Organizations therefore need to sharpen their senses and upgrade their resistance to attacks," said Paul van Kessel, EY's global advisory cyber-security leader.


Automated Traders Take Over Bitcoin as Easy Money Beckons

The nation’s central bank conducted on-site inspections at some of the biggest bitcoin exchanges this month, looking for evidence of violations including market manipulation and money laundering. Similar scrutiny of stock-index futures in 2015 led to trading restrictions that cut volumes by 99 percent. ... Rather than moving money out of the country, most automated traders in China are focused on cross-exchange arbitrage, said Arthur Hayes, a former market maker at Citigroup Inc. who now runs BitMEX, a bitcoin derivatives venue in Hong Kong. They can transact multiple times per second, reacting to price changes caused by individual investors and other speculators who often use technical patterns to guide their buying and selling decisions, Hayes said.


Half of work activities could be automated by 2055

Advances in natural language processing and machine learning produce a Cambrian crush of light AI technologies emerged in 2016. Chatbots have extended from messaging platforms to corporate IT departments while ecosystems are springing up around virtual assistants such as Amazon.com's Alexa. Roboadvisers, in which software assists with delivering financial advice, are increasingly becoming a standard offering in financial services. As a result, Chui says that it is tough to estimate AI’s potential as machines learn to process natural language more effectively. "It will unlock a lot of potential," Chui says. But most corporate IT departments are just beginning to figure out how to incorporate AI to better serve customers, according to Forrester Research. Despite strong interest in investing in AI technologies, many enterprises don’t understand how to apply AI to meet specific business objectives.


Do you have a cyber A-team?

Retained executive search firms are busy matching executive cyber A-players to support their forward-thinking clients. The largest companies and biggest brands can offer the seven-figure comp packages to the very best talent.... Smaller private companies find it difficult to compete for top talent in this elite pool. What these companies can’t offer in cash comp, they can make up in pre-IPO equity. ... Rapid technological advances are changing the game and your company’s crown jewels are too often accessible to the bad guys. Cybersecurity has fast become a top priority management challenge and finding best-in-class leaders to be part of your A-team to assess, manage and mitigate threats must be a key element of your company strategy. Previously siloed risk-management functions today must be reinvented, strengthened, and funded more aggressively.



Quote for the day:


"Life passes most people by while they're making grand plans for it." -- George Jung, Blow