Daily Tech Digest - August 15, 2017

Let’s Corrupt a Database Together, Part 3: Detecting Corruption

In theory, you keep them all the way back to your last clean CHECKDB. In practice, you’ll need to keep them longer than that. If you do CHECKDB every 7 days, and you delete log files older than 7 days, then when CHECKDB fails, a human being probably won’t disable the log-deletion job fast enough to keep the log backups online. In that scenario, 10-14 days of log backups might be a better choice – especially if there’s only one DBA, and everyone else just leaves the alert emails for the DBA to handle when they get back from vacation. You could run CHECKDB more often, or on a restored copy of production. It kills me when I see people doing index rebuilds every night, but CHECKDB only once a week.


Building technology with a social purpose

“We want people to be wearing devices in a nonintrusive way, that keeps their dignity, and allows them to get a good level of care from their family or care provider. “They must not feel they have a 'big brother' or have someone watching them all the time, but they can get help when they need it,” he says. “We needed wearables that are smart enough as a standalone device,” says Feijo. “It is a mobile phone on your wrist. It does not depend on a mobile phone to call.” Jupl is a Kiwi company, co-founded by Sir Ray Avery and Allan Brannigan, that provides technology to connect people wearing medical devices, carers and healthcare professionals to assist in daily care management. The company’s cloud-based platform, the Virtual Biometric Network, coordinates hardware and software to create a unique and interactive experience, which gives everyone access to key features and tools.


Cloud computing is consolidating, raising the risk of customer lock-in

For customers, consolidation so far has been more of a problem than a blessing, Forrester said. In contrast to the common perception that cloud services enable ease of switching, the analysts asserted that the risk of lock-in is actually greater in the cloud. Buyers of on-premises software have more options than cloud buyers to resist captivity. “For example, they can skip upgrades or turn to third-party maintenance providers to cut fees in half,” the report said. “Clients of SaaS vendors don’t have these options; if they stop paying the vendor, they lose access to the apps.” As dominant cloud vendors consolidate their market share, some are likely to increase prices, reduce research and development investments and generally cut back on innovation. They’ll also make it more difficult for customers to migrate data to other services.


Data lake implementation: Data security, privacy a top priority

One of the challenges is that we are currently running the project on limited hardware. We can elevate the project to a production-ready stage only after it gets to a certain stage. I don't report into the IT group, but IT generally runs the Progress infrastructure. We don't have the buy-in from Progress yet, because we have to prove it works first. We prefer to move into the cloud, but we have sensitive PII data of customers and while CIOs and CMOs share data, they have to work together to ensure that the right governance, data privacy and security are in place. ... With data lake implementation, I don't want to say you just dump a bunch of data into a data lake and see what happens, but that's kind of what we did. Knowing what I know now, we would have taken some measures to address things like the infrastructure


The new Data Protection Bill will reduce Brexit uncertainty – if it’s implemented smartly

More positively, companies who comply with the new rules will also be able to reap the rewards by build trust and improving their customer relationships, thereby giving themselves significant opportunity for growth. How organisations approach these regulations will have an enormous effect on company performance and customer experience. For instance, better data protection and well executed consumer control will be major differentiating factors and can become a competitive advantage. ... For consumers, the immediate effect will be increased assurances from service providers that they have control about who and what has access to their data. However, having more control of personal data could easily prove confusing for many people.


IT's 9 biggest security threats

IT security pros have to contend with an increasing number of loose confederations of individuals dedicated to political activism, like the infamous Anonymous group. Politically motivated hackers have existed since hacking was first born. The big change is that more of it is being done in the open, and society is acknowledging it as an accepted form of political activism. Political hacking groups often communicate, anonymously or not, in open forums announcing their targets and hacking tools ahead of time. They gather more members, take their grievances to the media to drum up public support, and act astonished if they get arrested for their illegal deeds. Their intent is to embarrass and bring negative media attention to the victim as much as possible, whether that includes hacking customer information, committing distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks


Conversational Finance: The Impact of Chatbots, AI and Machine Learning

Chatbots are essentially pieces of software that simulate human, natural language conversations and can respond to and act upon queries and commands from users. The advantage these systems have over a real conversation with a human is that they are able to extract and analyse a user’s needs and intent and ultimately return the information a user has requested or perform actions for them faster, at any time of day or night and at significantly lower cost than a human counterpart.  The benefits of this type of technology are clear with many people choosing to apply and research investments or loans through these types of systems rather than spending the extra time and potentially cash on a human broker that may not necessarily have the best deals available.


5 Innovation Keys for the Future of Work

Innovating just to innovate doesn't do any good--real innovation always has the end user in mind and creates something that will meet their needs and address their pain points. However, many people aren't aware of or can't vocalize what they really want in a product. The best innovators see how customers really interact with products and services to find pain points and create the product of their dreams. At Xerox, this happens by bringing in groups of end users so innovators can see how they work with the product and tapping into ethnographic experts for a different approach to customer dreams and pain points. True innovation understands what customers need and pushes beyond what they hear to provide the best possible solution.


TD Ameritrade accelerates innovation with agile, design thinking

It's hard to find a hotter technology in financial services than roboadvisors. Launched last fall, TD Ameritrade's Essential Portfolios roboadvisor enables long-term investors to choose an investment plan for crucial financial goals, including retirement, college or home purchases. Using the app from computers or smartphones, clients can dial up or scale back their contributions and view a graphical projection of their investments over time. TD Ameritrade will eventually allow clients to aggregate non TD Ameritrade accounts. "It's becoming a digital financial cockpit for our self-directed, long-term investors," Sankaran says. Many industry watchers eye roboadvisors with suspicion, as they are ostensibly replacements for financial planners at a time automation is viewed as a threat to jobs.


Legacy technology – an enabler to digital transformation, not a barrier

While the definition of ‘legacy’ will vary between (and within) organisations, this finding confirms my experience that this is a consistent issue across a wide range of sectors and size of organisation. Many IT departments face the issue that their organisation has grown over time, building a complex dependency of operational, organisational and technological legacies. Many elements of the organisation are highly dependent on these legacies for their day-to-day business. As such these legacy elements are regarded as intractable barriers blocking the road to digital transformation, deemed ‘to risky’, or assumed unable to be included in the journey. Legacy is not a barrier born in ‘yesterday’s world’. It is the reason an organisation is where it is now and often holds a great deal of future value for the organisation.




Quote for the day:


I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned." -- Prof. Richard Feynman