Daily Tech Digest - March 22, 2017

Our future mobile device screens might be made of silver

The team says that the silver coating was able to guide light roughly 10 times as quickly as other metal waveguides, which could make the silver film useful for boosting computer power and reducing energy usage, as well as serve as a base for reflective displays, flexible screens, and touch screen panels. The silver film was also used in experiments to conduct visible and infrared light across its surface and created dense patterns a fraction of the size of today's usual methods to transport light through transparent screens for analysis on the other side. The light waves shrink and travel as what is called "plasmon polaritons," which allows information to travel in a way far more like optic cables than copper wiring. This, in turn, means that the silver film may one day have applications in increasing computer chip processing power.

Why AI will rule all UIs

"AI is the new UI" may be a cliché now, but back in 2011 when Apple first released Siri the capability to control a mobile device by talking to it through an intelligent assistant was revolutionary. Granted, Siri wasn't as smart as HAL in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey or Eddy, the shipboard computer in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but it made enough of an impact on consumer technology to spawn a stream of similar intelligent assistants. Siri was soon followed by Amazon's Alexa, Microsoft's Cortana, and Google's Assistant. And these will likely be joined soon by many others, including Samsung's Bixby, which is based on technology Samsung acquired when it bought Viv, a company founded by the people behind Siri.

FinTech - How New Technologies Are Transforming The Banking Sector

Big Data is becoming a cornerstone of the financial industry, both for startups and established financial service firms. This technology helps to curate, consolidate and analyze financial data from markets, social media, and other sources. Advances in machine learning provide greater insights and better customer experiences and enables predictions of future behaviour. Social networks help to create references and communities that reduce customer acquisition costs, enable lower account value marketplaces and facilitate the growth of the sharing economy. All these developments are leading to more innovations in the fintech industry. Blockchains, the underlying technology of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, may even disrupt the very way the financial services industry works.

Alleged CIA hacking documents reinforce need for SSL traffic inspection

WikiLeaks alleges that the CIA has a dedicated project, called HIVE, which is a multi-platform malware suite that provides command and control (C2) over “customisable implants for Windows, Solaris, MikroTik (used in Internet routers) and Linux platforms and a listening post (LP)/command and control (C2) infrastructure to communicate with these implants.” HIVE specifically uses SSL (HTTPS) to cover its tracks, according to WikiLeaks. While the use of SSL for Command and Control of malware is increasingly common, HIVE went a step further and introduced the use of client-certificate authentication, a technique that allows them to mitigate the risk of SSL interception, WikiLeaks alleges.

Phishing Your Employees for Schooling & Security

Most security awareness training I've seen ends with a basic multiple choice test. These tests are only a partial measurement of whether or not the pupil can put that knowledge to use in the real world. Take a driving test, for instance. Sure, there's a written test, but you wouldn't allow a teenager on the road until after he passed the practical one, too. ... By sending fake phishing emails, you can learn which ones your users fell for most often. Was there a certain type of email that contained a certain "lure" that tricked your employees? Perhaps that might be a missing piece you can add to your next phishing training, or a concept you haven't covered in enough detail. ... Your fake phishing emails should immediately inform the user when they clicked on a bad link. The goal isn't to shame the user — that's detrimental to education.

Embedded security a high priority for IoT designers

The idea of embedded operating systems is not a new one. For years, we have had devices that contain microprocessors to carry out specific functions. Because, for the most part, these devices were not connected to the internet, security wasn’t a major concern. The simple fact that devices were standalone – and the obscurity of the operating system itself — made them relatively secure. Introducing a connection to the internet, though, removes some of that inherent security. Embedded security, then, is the overall term for protecting the software, hardware, and hardware systems in these devices. Essentially, since every point of communication is a potential path for hackers, engineers must consider the entire device and identify all of the attack surfaces in order to keep it secure.

How CIOs can apply IT supplier management skills to digitisation

In The Digital Matrix, Venkatraman describes how the company that pioneered moisture-wicking sportswear fabrics acquired MapMyFitness, Endomondo and MyFitnessPal, giving the company 300 developers and 150 million active members. Customer data is now driving the company’s strategy. Beyond selling products, Venkatraman says Under Armour has branched out to create vibrant communities, such as those in LinkedIn and PatientsLikeMe. Under Armour has been collecting the data community members have been actively uploading about their lifestyles, such as the food they eat and the gear they use for fitness, Venkatraman says. “Under Armour is taking a [lifestyle] solutions view: I want to know what you eat, how you sleep, how many steps you’ve taken, then I will benchmark you against other people and give you incentives to improve your lifestyle,” he says.

ARM Unveils New Chip Design Targeted at Self-Driving Cars, AI

The new design can handle up to eight processor cores of varying size on a single chip in almost any configuration. That will give customers more flexibility than ARM’s existing designs, Nandan Nayampally, general manager of the company’s Compute Products Group, said. This is especially true in cases where a device has to switch rapidly between different tasks, for instance, using neural networks for facial recognition one moment and then handling a voice call. He said DynamIQ would be more efficient than existing architectures because the processors can share memory and switch rapidly between tasks with different power requirements. The technology will also work well in devices like industrial robots and self-driving cars that require high levels of safety and redundancy and have to process most computing tasks locally, Nayampally said.

How the internet of things is disrupting tech staffing: Part 2

Many businesses are eager to capitalize on the many benefits of the fast-growing internet of things (IoT). But as IoT continues to develop, tech labor and skills supply-and-demand constraints will interfere with businesses' efforts to make the most of the digitally driven business opportunities associated with IoT. To help companies prepare for the opportunities IoT will present, Part 1 of this series looked at key jobs and skills in two areas: the "things" side of IoT and the connective tissue between the "I" and the "T." In Part 2 we focus on three more hot labor segments which will put businesses in a position to make the most of IoT: big data, IoT cross-skilling (of hardware and software professionals), and an assortment of skill specialties with big IoT payoffs.

Automation generates high profile jobs – and they’re up for grabs

Since automation methods are ever evolving, we usually design the solution based on an agile approach for a quicker and more reliable implementation. In the current set up, it is estimated that there are around 40% to 80% manual activities that will be automated in the next year or two, which is a huge undertaking and will require a large number of automation engineers. But they won’t be working alone; agile project managers, analysts and automation development engineers will also play a big role. The following table shows a summary of other high profile jobs created by automation. ... Automation engineers and others who aspire to get involved with artificial intelligence based automation must understand artificial intelligence, predictive analytics and machine learning.

Quote for the day:

"Successful people make the most of the best and the best of the worst." -- Steve Keating