Daily Tech Digest - September 16, 2017

Computers Are Taking Design Cues From Human Brains

Across Microsoft’s global network of machines, Mr. Burger pointed out, alternative chips are still a relatively modest part of the operation. And Bart Sano, the vice president of engineering who leads hardware and software development for Google’s network, said much the same about the chips deployed at its data centers. Mike Mayberry, who leads Intel Labs, played down the shift toward alternative processors, perhaps because Intel controls more than 90 percent of the data-center market, making it by far the largest seller of traditional chips. He said that if central processors were modified the right way, they could handle new tasks without added help. But this new breed of silicon is spreading rapidly, and Intel is increasingly a company in conflict with itself. It is in some ways denying that the market is changing, but nonetheless shifting its business to keep up with the change.

Monetizing data: A new source of value in payments

Probably the greatest potential of data monetization comes from merging cardholder data with data from the merchant side to gain an end-to-end view on transactions that can unlock additional value. The opportunities include coupling consumers with preferred merchants, channels, and potentially products; geo-referring transactions to identify a customer’s location; and understanding the dynamics of local markets at a sub-postal code level. The payments providers best placed to capture these opportunities are those with a large market share in both issuing and acquiring in specific markets, or those acting on one of the “legs” that are able to develop effective partnerships with players strong on the other “leg”: for instance, a large merchant acquirer partnering with a primary issuing bank.

Man versus machine: not the war that’s been expected

NATO believes it will get to a point where AI can make strategic decisions on vital NATO issues. This move means AI transcends driverless cars, and transitions to decisions in international diplomacy, where an automated decision could potentially trigger a global conflict or war. If these two instances were enhanced through cognitive computing, we would start to see AI evolve to the point where it has enough brain-power to learn from each decision and maybe even understand the impact. Cognitive computing marries AI and machine learning and “learns” from data without interference from humans. It acts as an autonomous entity that senses and perceives the environment, learns and adapts and takes rational actions to ensure it reaches its goal.

We must not let regulation crush innovation

We have seen this recently with the Financial Conduct Authority’s queries into distributed ledger technology (DLT), where, despite controls being in place, discussions have been opened about the suitability of that technology to meet specific regulatory demands. Yet at the same time, regulators are also offering regulatory sandboxes for fintech innovation. So there is a fine balance to be found between understanding the potential for new technologies, and proper governance around them. If regulators do decide to pursue regulation of the regtech sector itself, the process of financial services firms exploring innovative solutions may become more difficult. The financial services industry needs to promote both innovation and governance, in a technically savvy, efficient and controlled way

Meet the elevators of the future: Moving people sideways and data to the cloud

The cabins can go sideways and aren’t limited to one per shaft due to a unique motor technology that makes the elevators more like a looping metro system within the tower. But it isn’t just the hope of a chocolate factory-inspired elevator utopia that sparks ThyssenKrupp’s innovation, ... Data from Max-connected machines — such as door movements, trips, power-ups, car calls and error codes — are collected from around the world and then sent to the cloud to be analyzed by algorithms and machine learning. From there, operational patterns are picked up and the various components’ remaining lifetimes are calculated so technicians can replace parts before a breakdown occurs. Elevators can then be scheduled for maintenance during off-peak hours to minimization disruption and, therefore, increase efficiency.

Why Blockchain May Be Key to IBM's Future

IBM definitely has a lead when it comes to blockchain technology, having been involved in its development almost since the day people first realized that distributed databases might be useful outside the realm of cryptocurriencies. It was also one of the first companies to put the technology into production for it's own purposes, integrating it into its own supply chain. It also might be uniquely positioned to bring blockchain adoption to financial institutions, which have recognized the technology's benefits but have been cautiously slow to adopt it. The company has worked with the financial sector since the days when computer technology was in its infancy and Big Blue was about the only game in town. That means it's built a lot of trust over the years. It also means it has a deep understanding of the needs and concerns of bankers and others in the financial trades.

6 Best UI Design Principles to Develop Mobile Apps

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works," Steve Jobs famously said. This powerful quote points to the significance of a good user interface design along with a rich user experience. In simple words, the design of your mobile app can literally make or break your mobile application. So, to make your mobile app a success, it needs to be gorgeous inside and out. ... Feedback is another important aspect of design, as it validates action of a user. In simple words, to let users know that the particular action was completed, whether, through text, image or sound is important. So, make sure your app provides instant feedback for every interaction. However, make sure feedback happens in a user-friendly and timely manner.

Don’t Be Tricked by Unstructured Data Analytics Technology

Unstructured data involves a variety of formats such as audio data, images, texts, web data, office documents, and device logs. Each data format needs a specific processing technique, such as speech recognition, image comparison, full-text search, and graphic computation. There isn’t a technique to analyze all forms of unstructured data. Similarly, there’s no reason to replace the image comparison technique with the speech recognition technique, or substitute full-text search with graphic computation. A software vendor who specializes in a certain technology will certainly advertise its domain, like facial recognition technology or text mining, instead of just claiming that it is an expert that doesn't offer anything special.

Threat Intelligence Strategies Suffer from Data Overload

“It’s abundantly clear that organizations now understand the benefits provided by threat intelligence, but the overwhelming volume of threat data continues to pose a hurdle to truly effective adoption,” said Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute.“Threat intelligence programs are often challenging to implement, but when done right, they are a critical element in an organization’s security program. The significant growth in adoption over the past year is encouraging as it indicates widespread recognition of the value threat intelligence provides.” Other respondents cited difficulty in the integration of threat intelligence platforms with other security technologies and tools (64%), and a lack of alignment between analyst activities and operational security events (52%).

Don't Delay: Replace Symantec TLS/SSL Certs Now

Google alleged Symantec had issued digital certificates without thoroughly verifying requesters. That's crucial, because holding a certificate for a website means an attacker could potentially decrypt web traffic, exposing sensitive data. Symantec had a robust TLS business. Through acquisitions of TLS businesses run by VeriSign, Thawte, Equifax and others, it held about 30 percent of the market. Part of the reason Google became so involved in the debate is that it was one of the victims of lax TLS issuance. Google charged in September 2016 that it found Symantec's Thawte division issued extended validation pre-certificates for www.google.com and google.com, an egregious and potentially dangerous error.

Quote for the day:

"If you don_t find a leader, perhaps it is because you were meant to lead." -- Glenn Beck