Daily Tech Digest - September 05, 2017

5 Technologies That Are Changing The Future of Driving

The promise is clear. No emissions, no smell, no noise (unless you want it), and potentially far lower overall environmental impact in a machine that can provide you with the same driving power as the “traditional” gas guzzlers. What do the naysayers have to complain about? Well, the mileage for one thing. On long travels your mileage on a single charge between charging stations is still questionable, even when you account for their superb ability to actually charge back the batteries when driving downhill. And when you do get to a charging stations, it may take up to an hour rather than a few minutes to be fully tanked with power and ready to go. ... In Tesla’s case they are known as superchargers and are completely solar powered, free to all Tesla owners, and feeding excess power back to the grid.

Intent-based networking needed to run more complex networks

The closest most vendors come to IBN today are systems that create and distribute policies that tell switches, firewalls and load balancers in the data center how to handle specific types of network traffic. Just building and distributing policies isn’t enough, however. What's lacking in these products are the analytics that provide network engineers with complete information on the state of every device and also help them formulate a policy that accomplishes what they want. Too often, engineers find out after deployment that policies fall short, typically through network monitoring applications. "You're not going to have in intent-based networking [today] everything that you want," said Peyton Maynard-Koran, an engineering director at video game publisher Electronic Arts.

Big data and digital transformation: How one enables the other

Structured data is all of the stuff that fits in traditional spreadsheets and databases--your P&L, your customer list, information about your products and business processes, etc. Unstructured data is all of the new stuff that's often too big to fit into a database--the raw Twitter firehose, Google Trends data, public APIs from governments, and feeds from Internet of Things sensors. When you layer unstructured data on top of structured data, that's where the magic happens. ... But the data team started doing sentiment analysis on Twitter and looking at what people were saying about its products and brands. It also looked at Google Trends to see which products and brands people were searching for the most. Then it correlated that data with its actual sales to see if it was predictive, and it found that it absolutely was.

How do you secure the cloud? New data points a way

Whether it’s a public, private or hybrid cloud environment, web application threats are dominant. What’s different among them is the level of risk you face. “As defenders, at Alert Logic our ability to effectively protect public cloud is higher as well, because we see a better signal-to-noise ratio and chase fewer noisy attacks,” says Misha Govshteyn, co-founder of Alert Logic. “When we see security incidents in public cloud environments, we know we have to pay attention, because they are generally quieter.”  The data shows that some platforms are more vulnerable than others. “This increases your attack surface despite your best efforts,” says Govshteyn. As an example he notes that “despite popular belief,” the LAMP stack has been much more vulnerable than the Microsoft-based application stack. He also sees PHP applications as a hotspot.

Blockchain's 4 Biggest Assumptions

The spectrum ranges from those suffering from incumbent biases to those sitting in the trough of disillusionment to others who have spent real time understanding the recent developments but came out negative because of their experiences or beliefs. There are also fervent disagreements between the different blockchain communities that raise key questions. The issues I've been looking for in the midst of all of this are not technical in nature because, in my opinion, those challenges will be solved over time, especially given the massive amount of talent this space has been able to attract and will continue to attract. I have also not focused on external factors such as regulatory risk, though they are huge concerns. I believe that signals shown so far suggest regulators are very savvy and are careful to enact new regulation.

6 things IT executives must do to accelerate IoT adoption

IoT by itself is not innovation, although it may be built with innovative technologies. It’s the problems that it solves and the way it does it that creates innovation. Sustainable innovation doesn’t come from a flash of inspiration. It comes from the hard work of understanding the real underlying problems, hypothesizing possible solutions, building experiments, testing, validating and repeating. Organizations that can do this well become innovative market leaders. The IT organization facilitates IoT innovation by building a “sandbox” for experimentation and proof of concept development. This sandbox comprises of an IoT platform, connected to a non-production IT environment and data. It has tools to create simple software applications, run simulations, analyze data, and collect user feedback. It is designed for easy setup, configuration and connection to a variety of edge devices.

3 Easy Solutions to Optimize Images on the Fly

When pages are slow to load, images are frequently the culprit. According to several studies, the megabyte size of web pages is steadily growing, and images are by far the largest component. It is clear that by optimizing images, most websites will achieve a dramatic performance boost. ... Most photos contain metadata stored by cameras and graphic applications, which is unnecessary for the end user and inflates image size. All the image optimization services we cover in the article strip this metadata along the way. The steps above are time consuming, and require expertise to achieve a perfect result. For a website with only a few images, it might be possible to optimize the images by hand. However, on modern websites with as many as dozens or hundreds of images on one page, automation is needed.

The Future of HR AI-augmented Recruitment and Onboarding

So far, the idea of Artificial Intelligence software replacing HR is a pipe dream. Evaluating and directing people requires a level of intuition that is still far away from technology’s grasp. Neither is it is as free from human bias as vendors want you to believe. AI still bases its decisions on currently available data. If bias has skewed that data in the past, then AI will be working from poisoned assumptions. Do you want to make the workplace more fair and egalitarian? Maybe you (rightly!) think that it makes business sense for your company to have intellectual diversity? The best path is still through changing people’s’ perceptions and attitudes. Handing free reign over to the robot overlords won’t solve it for us.

The role of digital marketing in a millennial's world

To stay relevant, brands have had to adjust and redefine their approach to marketing and must now focus on what it takes to sell to a millennial. With the purchasing platform appearing in a wide range of options, it has become imperative that producers now focus on a seamless customer experience at every touchpoint. Producers that have no barriers to purchase are the ones that maintain repeat sales and loyalty among the millennial audience. While this may seem obvious, many brands have not taken the time to truly understand what their consumer now looks like and how best to market products in the new world of millennials. If brands do this, they will undoubtedly gain the loyalty and support they desire with the modern consumers that they need in order to succeed in the future.

A Bright Outlook for Computing On The Edge

One of the most obvious problems that is fixed by moving datacentres towards the edge is that of latency. Looking towards the near future with the likes of artificial intelligence (AI), there will need to be more powerful analytics solutions located at the points of consumption, because network latency can be costly and even fatal to a wide swath of businesses. Imagine the problems that latency could cause if we get to a point where AI is being used to support medical surgery, or if robotics becomes a critical part of vehicle navigation. Real-time action and response in these scenarios is vital. When talking among peers, it is clear that edge computing and networks won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, and that the balance sought will depend on individual use cases and business scenarios.

Quote for the day:

"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." -- Martin Luther King, Jr.