Daily Tech Digest - December 04, 2017

HDMI 2.1 has arrived: Here's everything you need to know


Ultra High Speed HDMI cable
The new standard won't impact the average user today or even in the near future, but new hardware coming to market within the next year and into the next decade will deliver better experiences with movies, games, virtual reality, and more. Increased bandwidth is the most salient improvement HDMI 2.1 delivers. We're talking a staggering 48 gigabits per second, compared to the 18Gbps that HDMI 2.0 can handle. That bandwidth bump makes possible all of the larger numbers you'll see in the rest of this story: 8K and 10K video resolution, 4K resolution with a 240Hz refresh rate, and so on. You'll need a new cable--as in the render above, it will be labeled Ultra High Speed HDMI--but that's a small price to pay for what's delivered. HDMI 2.1 also supports VESA's Display Stream Compression (DSC) for even greater bandwidth. In fact, some of the higher resolution/frame rate combinations you see listed in the chart below can only be realized when DSC is in use.


Start Up Baby – How becoming an intrapreneur at SAP broadened my perspective

Many business or product ideas fail because the creator is simply too much in love with his/her own idea. There are countless stories of startups with amazing ideas, loaded with features and functions. But the business with the most features and functions doesn’t necessarily win in the market. And if the business model or pricing is not right, it will be dead on arrival. Test-driving different business models and pricing structures may be necessary before you get it right. Your elevator pitch is key to ensuring what your business is about. You or the customer? Practice, practice, practice your elevator pitch to anyone and everyone who will listen. Do this so that you can get to the value and essence of your business. Make sure that your elevator pitch is about the customer, not about what you want to get out of it. In practicing your elevator pitch, don’t get emotional about honest feedback.


Limit the Internet of Things for Security's Sake

Image: Limit the Internet of Things for Security's Sake
As Foreign Policy reported at the end of last year, the IoT is “already massive and is expected to more than triple in size by 2020 to nearly 21 billion devices. For a cyber-defender, this means that hackers will not only have three times as many targets — they will also have three times as many vectors from which to attack any given target. This creates vast new challenges for network security and complicates the already murky legal and technical landscape for attributing who is responsible for an attack.” Looked at from the perspective of cyber warfare, this is terrifying. A cyber attack that targets your fridge may not sound so scary, but what about one that overloads your electrical system, or takes remote control of your car? No internet-connected device, in short, is ever completely safe. This has long been realized in the security community, and is why critical or dangerous infrastructure employ an “air gap”: these systems are separated from wider networks by hardware devices.


Microsoft drops Edge browser into iOS and Android for free

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The apps bring features including a user's Favorites, Reading List, New Tab Page, and Reading View across both their PC and phone, making it easier to continue browsing or researching for work on any device. It also means that work done on your phone while traveling or commuting is immediately available on your PC as well, to continue working or save for later, Belfiore wrote. As ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley noted, with these features, Microsoft is looking to help keep Windows PCs relevant in a world where more computing is done on mobile devices. Due to customer feedback, Microsoft also added roaming passwords to the Edge apps. Users can now save a new password on their phone, and it will follow them to their PC as well. Microsoft also added the dark color theme to both the phone and PC app offerings. Microsoft Edge is now available for iOS in the Apple Store and for Android in the Google Play Store.


Proposed snoopers’ charter changes inadequate, say rights groups


Responding to the proposed changes, the Open Rights Group welcomed the addition of independent authorisation for communications data requests, but said the government has missed the main point of the December 2016 CJEU ruling. Adding independent authorisation for communications data requests will make the police more effective, as corruption and abuse will be harder, said Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group. But he said the government has evaded the main point of the Watson judgment, which is that it cannot keep data on a blanket basis.  “Without narrowing what they keep to specific places, incidents or investigations, these changes will not meet the standards set by the courts,” said Killock. “Combined with the so-called Request Filter [covered in the code of practice], which could be a power for a police search engine for retained data, this will remain an incredibly intrusive surveillance power, unparalleled in democratic countries.”


SIFMA, Others to Regulators: No New Cybersecurity Rules Needed

“Laws already exist that make cyber misconduct a federal crime,” Vollmer points out. “Broker-dealers, public companies, and investment advisers are not resisting solutions to the threat of hacking; they are in favor of protecting against cyberintrusions. Cyberintrusions are very costly to businesses. They need cost-effective and workable solutions. If those existed, we have every reason to believe that regulated members of the securities markets would be prepared to adopt them without the compulsion of a law.” Some pro-consumer advocates would like to see increased cyberrules on businesses, especially after the Equifax breach and similar attacks. But, in November, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) President and CEO Kenneth Bentsen told the House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit that he favors “regulatory harmonization.”


Open source innovation is now all about vendor on-ramps

Open source innovation is now all about vendor on-ramps
Google in particular has figured out how to both open-source code in a useful way and make it pay. As Server Density CEO David Mytton has underlined, Google hopes to “standardize machine learning on a single framework and API,” namely TensorFlow, then supplement it “with a service that can [manage] it all for you more efficiently and with less operational overhead,” namely Google Cloud. By open-sourcing TensorFlow and backing it with machine-learning-heavy Google Cloud, Google has open-sourced a great on-ramp to future revenue. My question: why not do this with the rest of its code? The simple answer is “Because it’s a lot of work.” That is, Google could open-source everything tomorrow without any damage to its revenue, but the code itself would provide other providers and enterprises only limited ability to increase their revenue unless Google did all the necessary prep work to make it useful to mere mortals not running superhuman Google infrastructure.


Vava Dash Cam review: Great video and ground-breaking features

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The Vava Dash looks like nothing so much as a overly thick, rounded hockey puck—in a good way. Really. It couples magnetically to a suction mount, which allows it to be rotated a full 360 degrees to capture any non-frontal exterior or interior hi-jinx you feel should be preserved for posterity.  The only thing even slightly untoward about the arrangement is that the suction mount is quite sticky and picks up nearly every piece of hair or lint in the area if you drop it. Use a fair amount of force when you affix it to the windshield, and if you drop it, clean it using warm water only—no soap or chemicals. Or perhaps permanently attach the mount with double-sided sticky tape once you’ve determined the optimal location. As the camera is easily detachable, it would be nice if Vava offered a more permanent mounting solution.


Fintechs must curb privacy invasion, says Privacy International

According to Privacy International, the increase in consumer information harvested by fintech firms has been largely unchecked, particularly in developing countries, while serving the interests of companies and industries, which are mostly located in developed countries. New sources of data, including text messages and call logs, are increasingly being used to decide a consumer’s suitability for various financial products, including loans, the report reveals. If current trends continue, Privacy International believes it will become increasingly difficult, and eventually impossible, for people to use financial services without having to allow access to the most intimate information about themselves. The report is based on research that analyses the India Stack initiative, built on the Aadhaar identification number in India, and credit scoring apps and services in Kenya.


What is a scrum master? The agile development leader defined

What is a scrum master? The agile development leader defined
The scrum master role has evolved to help development teams practice scrum, evolve the process, and improve its collaboration. Scrum masters’ primary responsibility is to service the team by demonstrating the values that make teams successful. They participate in team discussions by asking questions, making sure all voices are heard, ensuring the team is comfortable taking appropriate risks, and educating team members on scrum practices. Scrum masters are often responsible for managing blocks escalated by the team, organizing efficiently run demo meetings, and facilitating the discussion at retrospective meetings. ... Most important, they facilitate the collaboration required to identify problem statements, review implementation options, and recommend solutions when both product owner and team have to collaborate to make a successful product or service delivery to customers.



Quote for the day:


"Leave every person you interact with feeling better about themselves; feeling loved & appreciated." -- Wright Thurston