Daily Tech Digest - July 13, 2017

What are the differences between Office 2016 and Office 365?

Think of Office 2016 as traditional software made and sold in traditional ways. That holds for servicing, too. Microsoft provides monthly security updates for Office applications, usually on the second Tuesday of each month, and also fixes non-security bugs for the first five years of the SKU's lifecycle. But Office 2016 does not receive upgrades with new features and functionality. What you get when you buy the suite, feature-wise, is it. When Microsoft produces a new edition, which it will eventually do, you will need to pay another up-front fee to run that. Office 365, on the other hand, has a completely different servicing model. While the Office applications licensed to users through Office 365 receive the same security patches distributed to Office 2016, they also acquire new features and functionality on a twice-a-year schedule.


Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Robo-Advisers: The Future of Finance?

One issue relating to neural network–based machine learning–enabled AI applications in investment management is one familiar to readers of this blog and its posts on market structure, high-frequency trading, and algorithmic trading. The black-box issue, in which the workings of an algorithm are not understood by its user or other stakeholders and lead to potentially unintended actions or consequences, is a well-known headache for regulators trying to ensure market stability. Although some attempts have been made to check the source code of algorithmic traders, the most effective protection against algorithmic errors are circuit breakers on markets that limit the amount of damage a failing algorithm can cause.


Next WannaCry attack could cost insurers $2.5B

“Sooner or later we, will see a billion-dollar cyber claim and the insurance market is well positioned to absorb that,” said Thomas Seidl, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein in London. “Everybody has exposure to cyber risks and the best precaution can’t eliminate that, so there is a strong demand for insurance making cyber coverage by far the biggest opportunity for non-life insurers for the next years.” ... With cyber coverage growing rapidly and insurers increasingly seeing the segment as their next blockbuster, regulators are concerned that the industry could be taken by surprise. Insurers writing cyber policies “are expected to introduce measures that reduce the unintended exposure to this risk,” the U.K.’s Prudential Regulation Authority said in a statement on Wednesday.


What Is Hyper Convergence?

Hyperconverged platforms include a hypervisor for virtualized computing, software-defined storage, and virtualized networking, and they typically run on standard, off-the-shelf servers. Multiple nodes can be clustered together to create pools of shared compute and storage resources, designed for convenient consumption. The use of commodity hardware, supported by a single vendor, yields an infrastructure that's designed to be more flexible and simpler to manage than traditional enterprise storage infrastructure. For IT leaders who are embarking on data center modernization projects, hyperconvergence can provide the agility of public cloud infrastructure without relinquishing control of hardware on their own premises.


Businesses warned of insider cyber threat

"Too many people are chasing shadows, it's an education process, teaching them not to open suspicious emails and so on, but even CEOs open their own emails. There's all kind of scams out there but they are people scams, not technology scams." For executives worried about the impact of insider threats within their organisations, the Federal Attorney General's department last year amended its 'Managing the insider threat to your business' publication to provide guidance for managers. Key to the Federal Government's advice is to have rigorous recruitment procedures including properly checking references, watching for changes in staff behaviour and maintaining internal access and security controls on data. Mr Meyer said organisations should also focus on monitoring behaviour on their networks to get early warning of untoward activity.


A cloud in your datacenter? Azure Stack arrives

The business model around Azure Stack is an interesting one, using subscription pricing much like Azure. You can pay per hour or per month, with a Base VM charge of $0.008/vCPU/hour or $6/vCPU/month). Like Azure, on top of a Base VM host, you can use your existing Windows Server or Linux licenses. If you don’t have any licenses, then a Windows Server VM comes in at $0.046/vCPU/hour or $34/vCPU/month. There’s similar pricing for storage and for the Azure App Services, all based around vCPU usage. As expected, it’s cheaper than Azure’s pricing for similar features, but here you’re paying for the hardware yourself, and that’s not going to come cheap. Getting used to a subscription fee for your on-premises usage is going to be the biggest change to using Azure Stack.


Salesforce brings digital transformation to field workers with AI, analytics tools

While customers have benefitted from company digital transformation efforts, field technicians often still find it difficult to deliver a modern, onsite experience, said Mary Wardley, program vice president, customer care and CRM at IDC, in the release. "Customer expectations have escalated across the board, and so have expectations for in-the-field diagnostics and issue resolution," Wardley said in the release. "With features including image recognition, automated equipment tracking and analytics baked into the field service process, digital transformation is reaching the field and will enable companies to run their field service organization faster and more efficiently." In terms of availability, Field Service Equipment and Inventory Management can be purchased today with any Field Service Lightning license, which start at $150


What IT Workloads Say About Your True Priorities

The survey found that IT pros enjoy modernizing technology, troubleshooting or assisting users and planning or strategizing. However, respondents estimated that they spend, on average, only 11 percent of their time on “IT planning and strategy,” and 13 percent on “modernizing technology.” While day-to-day issues in IT will never go away — there will always be hardware to deploy, software to update and help desk tickets to attend to — there are ways you can ease some of the grunt work in IT. “The secret here is to identify and automate those time-consuming, repetitive tasks that are sapping your organization’s ability to focus on more business-critical issues and find ways to automate them,” says Peluso.


5 Privacy Worries on 4 Wheels: Staying Safe in the Connected Car Era

As modern vehicles are upgraded to include Internet-enabled technologies designed to access, store, and transmit data for entertainment and safety purposes, consumers are presented with a double-edged sword. On one hand, these connected systems provide important convenience benefits for consumers, but on the flip side, motor vehicles are being exposed to a growing number of security and privacy risks. As the market for connected cars continues to grow (an estimated $155 billion by 2022) and more semi-autonomous vehicles roll off assembly lines, the severity of security and privacy threats rises exponentially, becoming major concerns for both car buyers and manufacturers. Here are five of the top privacy issues associated with connected motor vehicles


Quantum fiber network to launch in August

“This is a major step toward building a global long-haul and truly-secure satellite communication network,” it said in a press release yesterday. Lasers are expected to play an important part in future satellite constellations partly because currently used radio frequency bands are congested. Light will allow transmissions to be more efficient, with lower power, and thus allow smaller and cheaper satellites. A major part of that new satellite communications technology will be the securing of it. Distance, however, has been a problem area for QKD development in general. While conceptually the subatomic communicating particles that make up the warren of entangled keys affect each other wherever they are in the stream, they actually dilute over distance—just as any other medium. Scattering takes place, for example.




Quote for the day:

Remember the difference between a boss and a leader; a boss says "Go!" - a leader says "Let's go!" -- E.M. Kelly