Daily Tech Digest - March 02, 2017

15 tools to prime your Raspberry Pi for IoT

Both researchers and businesses are essentially looking for “time series” data -- in other words, time-stamped data about the physical world around you. ... The vast majority of IT pros I have spoken with note that the perceived development cost for an IoT solution is the primary reason management has been preventing them from pursuing it. But an IoT project doesn’t have to be costly, thanks in large part to the Raspberry Pi and its developing ecosystem. For example, the latest Interop in Las Vegas included an array of IoT demonstrations that are both low-cost and low-effort, with several leveraging zero-coding IoT systems. Following are 15 IoT solutions centered largely around the Raspberry Pi, many of which we highlighted at Interop and a few that I’ve been exploring for use at the University of Hawaii School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology.


Use C# on AWS Lambda to build multi-platform apps

C# is multithreaded language that can handle multiple requests per second. Wrapping it with Lambda enables IT teams to build a serverless application that returns consistent performance, even as the demand for the app grows. Developers can start projects using C# on AWS Lambda and integrate them with other Amazon cloud services, such as Amazon Simple Storage Service, AWS CloudFormation, Amazon DynamoDB and Amazon Simple Notification Service, to improve applications. AWS Lambda enables developers to run and scale code without provisioning servers. Other AWS tools and services trigger C# code in Lambda, or can be automatically called from any web or mobile application. Running C# scripts on AWS Lambda enables developers to create new APIs through the Amazon API Gateway for serverless applications.


High-tech bacon making using industrial IoT at SugarCreek

One of the problems they ran into during the project, which Rodden said was the largest the company has ever undertaken, was the IT contractor that they used for the installation of door security and access points. "We had used them for a long time, they'd always done excellent work, but what we hadn't anticipated was that they had never done a project of this size. As we got into the project, they struggled. They brought in people who didn't have the skill level because they just needed bodies, and we ended up with install problems that we had to go back and rework," Rodden said. "A big lesson learned by me was to properly vet your contractors—any contractor—to make sure they have the resources necessary to complete your project," he said. ... "It was more expensive than using a partner, but we wanted to get the design right. We plan to take this to other facilities now which are still operating under traditional infrastructure," he said.


A billion India identities at risk as Modi widens digital reach

Aadhaar is getting more attention: Modi, who scrapped 86 percent of India’s currency in early November to curb the illegal hoarding of cash, has urged citizens to enroll. With a 12-digit number assigned to users, Aadhaar is key to Modi’s plan to move transactions online. He wants to make it compulsory. The government is seeking to link the database, with information on about 88 percent of the population of more than 1.2 billion, including children, to all state services -- from school admissions to passports and the purchase of cooking gas. In effect, it would create more large databases. But in a nation without an overarching privacy law, Indians have few options for redress in the event of identity theft or data leaks.


House panel approves cybersecurity framework bill

The legislation would direct NIST to develop metrics for evaluating federal agencies’ cybersecurity and submit an initial assessment and regular audits to Congress on cybersecurity measures put in place by federal agencies. It would also set up guidance for federal agencies to incorporate the NIST cyber framework and establish working groups in the federal and private sectors to help public and private entities use the framework. “Much as the nature of cyberattacks continue to evolve to reflect the sophistication of the cyber criminals, we in the government must also be willing to evolve to protect Americans and our government,” Abraham, who is vice chair of the subcommittee on research and technology, said in opening remarks Wednesday.


Meeting Security Challenges Through Vigilance, Readiness and Resilience

Smart Cities are being developed as components of the universe of the IoT. The term “Smart City” connotes creating a public/private infrastructure to conduct activities that protect and secure citizens. The concept of Smart Cities integrates transportation, energy, water resources, waste collections, smart-building technologies, and security technologies and services. They are the cities of the future. The functions and services of Smart Cities depend upon the secure networking of embedded sensors. These sensors can also be corrupted and breached like any digitally connected device and require strong cybersecurity software applications, hardware and protocols. The more digitally interconnected we become in our work and personal lives, the more vulnerable we will become.


Australia Introduces Mandatory Data Breach Notification Scheme

In view of the growing threat of data breaches, the Federal Government has already made several aborted attempts to legislate data breach notification provisions in 2013 and 2015. The newly-passed bill reflects the Federal Government’s renewed commitment to impose positive obligations on businesses that suffer serious data breaches to notify the affected individuals and provide remedial steps for those individuals to minimise the adverse impact that might arise from such breaches. The Federal Government will designate the date on which the scheme will come into force. The designated date must be within one year of the date on which the Governor-General gives Royal Assent to the bill, which is expected to happen within the next few weeks. Should the Federal Government fail to designate a date within that one-year period, the Privacy Act will come into force the day after the expirary of that period.


Everything you need to know about the Google Home app

If you have a Chromecast, Chromecast Audio, Google Home, or device with Chromecast support like an Android TV, you’ll need the Google Home app. It's the main hub that serves as a suggestion screen and dashboard for everything you can do with those products. As indicated, it’s a must-have if you have any of the aforementioned hardware. In order to get some of the goodies like “OK Google, play Prince songs” or to launch Netflix, you’ll need to connect your accounts to various services. If you have a Google Home or a Pixel, this app is a good resource to keep up with the expanding list of commands that you can issue to the Assistant. From the slide-out menu screen touch Things to Ask and you can browse many of the different capabilities of your devices. Expect the gap to close over time in what the Assistant on the Pixel compared to Google Home.


Looking to get hyperpersonal with customers? Better get AI

Machine learning models tend to be narrow in scope, which means companies will need a substantial portfolio if they want to provide hyperpersonal customer service. A lot of models means a lot more scale, Gualtieri said. To illustrate his point, he did some back-of-the-envelope math: If a company was interested in predicting 10 characteristics, 10 behaviors and 10 needs for every customer, it may need 30 AI models per customer. And if a company has 25 million customers? "I know what you're thinking," Gualtieri interrupted himself. "OK, one model can apply to a segment of customers. I get it, right?" The numbers may be a little hyperbolic, but the point is if retailers want to provide intimate customer service, they're going to need more compute power -- and not just for scale. Another wrinkle businesses will encounter is the technology to deliver hyperpersonal service quickly.


Developing Quality Software: Differentiating Factors

Effective developers are not infallible, however their deliberate design and implementation decisions ensure “built-in” quality. Thereby reducing the probability of unexpected and undesired quality related outcomes. The effective developer relies on critical analytical and deductive reasoning skills, as oppose to rote or surface comprehension to guide them during the software design, implementation and testing stages. Recognizing the role and contributions made by effective developers, towards the production of quality software, does not diminish the need for light-weight processes nor the contributions of others. There are many articles that describe software development processes importance and the contributions of others along the software value chain. This article will resonate most with those that have had exposure to software development environments wherein roadmap development and/or custom/fix bid implementations are the norm.



Quote for the day:


“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.” -- Robert Louis Stevenson