Daily Tech Digest - January 26, 2017

Survey: IT workers worried about U.S. net neutrality repeal

IT workers debating net neutrality on the Spiceworks website "care deeply about the subject, with one side arguing government regulation of the internet is unnecessary and counterproductive, while others fear potential deregulation of net neutrality could put companies at the mercy of ISPs," Peter Tsai, an IT analyst at Spiceworks, wrote in a blog post.  Forty-five percent of respondents say they expect upload or download speeds to get slower if the rules are scrapped. "A website belonging to a small business might be given less priority than a website belonging to a more established company with deeper pockets," Tsai wrote.  More than eight in 10 respondents said they were concerned that a repeal of the net neutrality rules would allow broadband providers to slow certain types of content and to block access to some content.


Indian techies nervous about stay in Donald Trump’s America

The lack of clarity on how exactly the Trump administration will tweak visa norms is fuelling apprehension among Indian techies. While some have put off key financial decisions, others say their job prospects have dimmed since the change of guard at the White House. “I have put plans to buy a house on hold, because my visa is expiring next year. So, I don’t know how my green card application, which was supposed to begin in February, would get affected,” said a management graduate who earned his degree in the US and now lives in Texas. A New York-based information management specialist who has been in the US since 2012 said he has experienced an immediate fallout of the Trump presidency. “I was looking for a job and got one a few weeks ago. But they stalled the appointment because I have an H-1B visa,” he said. 


Riding The Blockchain Train, Together

“It’s all a do-mocracy,” Behlendorf said. “For every line of code, we’re dependent on the companies bringing their developers and the independent developers getting together with them and forging something in common. The downside of that is that you need to create a compelling case to get that fire lit, but on the upside, it means that no one is waiting for one developer or a team to do everything for them, but they’re all working together to build something.” ... “It started life internally at IBM as a research project, so they brought the code along with documentation and a bunch of other things,” he said. “But they knew they needed to get input and build a community around it and make it less of an IBM project and more of a multi-stakeholder project. So, in that time, Fabric has had contributions from many other developers and now is on course.”


Google is finally letting anyone make apps for its new virtual reality platform

This approach is understandable: It means that Google can ensure that only the very best experiences are available to showcase its new technology — something especially important given the full-on nature of virtual reality. As the company says on its page dedicated to quality requirements for Daydream apps, "designing apps for VR is substantially different than for other platforms, particularly because poorly designed applications or performance issues can make some users feel nauseated." In other words: A bad smartphone game might annoy you, but a bad virtual reality app could make you want to vomit. The flipside of this strategy is that the selection of apps is necessarily limited. By releasing guidelines and letting anyone submit Daydream apps for inclusion in the Google Play app store, the selection available is likely about to get significantly broader.


ISACA Privacy Principles and Program Management Guide

As connected devices proliferate and the volume of data about individual users continues to increase, individuals are understandably increasingly concerned about their personal and online privacy. In response, numerous governments throughout the world have drafted legislation governing how individual privacy is treated. Navigating this landscape can be a challenging exercise – particularly given an increasingly interdependent global economy. ... When considering approaches to address potential privacy threats, you must acknowledge that privacy has multiple dimensions, and those dimensions can be used to define taxonomies of privacy problems, intrusions or categories. Enterprises must consider and address these seven categories of privacy with security controls and with appropriate privacy practices.


How half a million people are being paid pennies to train AI

A common technique for teaching AI systems to perform these tricky tasks is by training them using a very large number of labeled examples. These machine learning systems are fed huge amounts of data, which has been annotated to highlight the features of interest. These examples might be photos labeled to indicate whether they contain a dog or written sentences that have footnotes to indicate whether the word "bass" relates to music or a fish. This process of teaching a machine by example is called supervised learning and the role of labeling these examples is commonly carried out by Turkers and other online workers. Training these systems typically requires vast amounts of data, with some systems needing to scour millions of examples to learn how to carry out a task effectively. Training datasets are huge and growing in size ...


E-commerce players seek sops on digital transactions in Budget

"The Indian e-commerce industry would be looking for some positive outcomes both in terms of tax relaxation and more freedom of operation," said Harshvardhan Lunia, Co-founder and CEO, Lendingkart Technologies. "Moreover, the sector will also look at receiving more clarity for FDI (foreign direct investment) in B2C (business-to-consumer) e-commerce through an automatic route," he added. Industry stakeholders are of the view that expectations from the government in the upcoming budget on direct tax issues follows the fact that several challenges have surfaced in the area of taxation in the e-commerce space. "The characterisation of income is a key issue faced by e-commerce industry both by residents and non-resident players," said Anil Talreja, Partner, Deloitte Haskins and Sells LLP.


30 tasty tips for Android Nougat

Google's latest major Android release may have officially launched last fall, but if you're like most folks, you'll probably be getting your first taste of Nougat -- also known as Android 7 -- in 2017. If you want timely Android updates, Google's own Nexus and Pixel phones are the only way to go -- all other devices depend on third-party manufacturers to prepare and provide rollouts. And as we see time and time again, that tends to result in slow and uncertain progress. Once you've got the software, though, there's plenty to be learned about Google's most recent mobile efforts. Here are some practical tips to help you get the most out of Android's newest features -- both the marquee additions and the less obvious little touches.


The C4 Software Architecture Model

The Agile Manifesto prescribes that teams should value working software over comprehensive documentation. This doesn’t mean that we should not create documentation; it just means we should create documentation that provides value and at the same time does not hinder the team’s progress. We can achieve this using C4 architecture model. It is a static model, that provides an easy way to communicate the design of the system to all involved, and also brings a natural narrative for exploring the architecture of a software solution. Starting from the highest level (what is the system and how does it provides value to the business), it drills into the details, until the very low level of functionality. ... The C4 model is a hierarchical way to think about the structures of a software system. Why such a model would be needed, since the existence of UML, or 4 + 1 architecture views and the others?


What Does "Being Digital" Actually Mean?

An organisation’s journey to a digital universe is fraught with challenges and hard work and probably no small amount of contention. During that journey, you will almost certainly be confronted by those that throw doubt at its benefit. In fact, you may start doubting it yourself. The hardest part is the mindset shift from non-digital to digital. Any strong organisation is one that has a strong core of people that have stayed with them for many years. One that understand the business, that are loyal to the business. It is those people that create the culture and mindset of the organisation. And it is they that will have the toughest time in changing. It is they that will need to be convinced that your customers are not your internal “business” but those people that use your services. They will need to get used to releases on a weekly, or even daily basis.



Quote for the day:


"When people say they'd like to be in your shoes, it's usually after the difficult journey is finished." -- Tim Fargo