Daily Tech Digest - January 19, 2018

cloud computing network connections - IoT - internet of things
A fog computing fabric can have a variety of components and functions. It could include fog computing gateways that accept data IoT devices have collected. It could include a variety of wired and wireless granular collection endpoints, including ruggedized routers and switching equipment. Other aspects could include customer premise equipment (CPE) and gateways to access edge nodes. Higher up the stack fog computing architectures would also touch core networks and routers and eventually global cloud services and servers. The OpenFog Consortium, the group developing reference architectures, has outlined three goals for developing a fog framework. Fog environments should be horizontally scalable, meaning it will support multiple industry vertical use cases; be able to work across the cloud to things continuum; and be a system-level technology, that extends from things, over network edges, through to the cloud and across various network protocols.


How to enable TCP BBR to improve network speed on Linux

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Google developed a TCP Congestion Control Algorithm (CCA) called TCP Bottleneck Bandwidth and RRT (BBR) that overcomes many of the issues found in both Reno and CUBIC (the default CCAs). This new algorithm not only achieves significant bandwidth improvements, but also lower latency. TCP BBR is already employed with google.com servers, and now you can make it happen--so long as your Linux machine is running kernel 4.9 or newer. Out of the box, Linux uses Reno and CUBIC. ... The first thing you need to do is make sure your Linux machine is running a supported kernel. Issue the command uname -r. If your kernel is earlier than 4.9, this won't work. You'll have to upgrade your kernel. For instance, out of the box Ubuntu 16.04 runs kernel 4.4. If your server is such that the kernel can be updated, Ubuntu now has a very easy means of updating to a much newer kernel.



Car hacking remains a very real threat as autos become ever more loaded with tech

A large-scale vehicle hacking resulting in death and destruction was depicted in last year's "The Fate of the Furious" action movie. “That’s Hollywood sensationalizing it, but that is not really that far-fetched," said Joe Fabbre, a director with Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Green Hills Software, which makes operating systems software for vehicles with a focus on security. “There are very skilled hackers out there who can beat through a lot of medium and low levels of robustness in terms of security that is present in a lot of cars today.” In response to the hacking threat, more vehicles are gaining the ability to wirelessly download security patches, similar to how computers and smartphones have been getting software updates for years. These over-the-air updates allow auto companies to respond to threats – and newly discovered vulnerabilities – faster than having to direct customers to bring their vehicles to dealerships.


Ransomware: Why the crooks are ditching bitcoin and where they are going next

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"If you're the guy behind the ransomware campaign, you want people to pay you -- you don't want people not to be able to pay you! You want to make it as easy as possible," said Glusman. Meanwhile, ransomware victims don't really want to have to pay to get their files back at the best of times - they give in grudgingly - but the incentive to pay might go out the window if it's going to take them days to buy bitcoin and pay the hackers before getting their files back. And there's an even bigger headache: many forms of ransomware offer only a small window for victims to pay the ransom. If that expires, victims risk the ransom going up or even losing their data permanently. Delays in being able to buy bitcoin and then make the payment make it even harder for ransomware victims to be able to get their data back. This is also a headache for the ransomware crooks: ultimately, there's therefore no point in a ransomware distributor being in the business if they can't get paid for their illicit activity.


Create security culture to boost cyber defences, says Troy Hunt


“Even organisations that are security aware enough to be training employees on various related topics do not necessarily know how to make those hard skills part of the organisation’s culture,” he said. This realisation, he said, led to the development of a course on creating a security-centric culture for Pluralsight, an enterprise technology learning platform company. The course is aimed at helping technology professionals and management understand how to embed a culture of security in their organisations, said Hunt. Part of the problem, he said, is that many organisations’ development and security teams tend to work in separate silos. Typically, development groups build the software before it is passed to the security team, but this creates a divide between these groups. Developers tend to be scared of the security people, said Hunt, because the security people can stop software projects from going live if any critical security vulnerabilities are identified in the software code.


Blockchain, digital trust and distributed ledger technology – going big business

Blockchain technology and distributed ledger in business
The question is how do you deal with ever more and faster transactions as the core of digital business in a reliable way that doesn’t slow down transactions in any way but, on the contrary, offers the speed they need in a trustworthy and cost-efficient way? Using a distributed technology is the answer for many. Enter blockchain technology. As mentioned in the introduction blockchain technology is rooted in the world of cryptocurrencies, more specifically Bitcoin. That connotation will disappear and we will not speak about the blockchain but about blockchains (note the letter ‘s’), blockchain technology or distributed ledger technology. Blockchain technology is being tested and implemented across a broad range of applications, industries and use cases for endless applications. Examples, on top of the Internet of Things and financial services


Leverage the power of the mainframe to make sense of your IoT data

Leverage the power of the mainframe to make sense of your IoT data
Thankfully, new innovations on the mainframe make it possible to leave IoT data in each of the databases where they reside and join the different data sources to perform your analytics. After all, with so many IoT devices collecting data and storing it in different locations, eliminating the ETL/ELT process altogether certainly sounds like a more efficient means to analyzing data. The concept of data virtualization allows users to define the structure of a data source in a relational format so that SQL can be run against that data. This means disparate hierarchical data sources can be joined via SQL, just like relational data sources, creating an aggregate view of the available data, enterprisewide. Reading IoT data in situ using SQL can be performed on the mainframe using its enhanced capabilities and can eliminate the ETL/ELT process entirely. By using the workhorse platform retailers already have within their infrastructure, they can gain real-time access to their IoT data and provide their customers with a frictionless and customized shopping experience.


Cloud portability: Why you’ll never really get there

Cloud portability: Why you’ll never really get there
The reality is that porting applications,whether they’re in containers or not, requires a great deal of planning to deal with the compatibility issues of the different environments. The use of containers does not guarantee that your containerized applications will be portable from platform to platform, cloud to cloud. For example, you can’t take a containerized application meant for Linux and run it on Windows, or the other way around. Indeed, containers are really just a cool way of bundling applications with operating systems. You do get enhanced portability capabilities with containers, but you don’t get the “any platform to any platform” portability that many believe it to be. Of course, enterprises want portability. And you can have it. All that’s needed is a greater planning effort when it comes to creating the applications in the first place.  The fact is that all applications are portable if you have enough time and money.


No-collar workforce: collaborating in roles and new talent models


For HR organizations in particular, this trend raises a number of fundamental questions. For example, how can companies approach performance management when the workforce includes bots and virtual workers? What about onboarding or retiring non-human workers? These are not theoretical questions. One critical dimension of the no-collar workforce trend involves creating an HR equivalent to support mechanical members of the worker cohort. Given how entrenched traditional work, career, and HR models are, reorganizing and reskilling workers around automation will likely be challenging. It will require new ways of thinking about jobs, enterprise culture, technology, and, most importantly, people. Even with these challenges, the no-collar trend introduces opportunities that may be too promising to ignore. What if by augmenting a human’s performance, you could raise his productivity on the same scale that we have driven productivity in technology?


What is the impact and likelihood of global risks?

“Cyber-attacks are increasing and have become a global concern as many systems and devices that run critical infrastructure and decision making are now connected through the worldwide web. Public and private companies have become more vulnerable to cyber-attacks as established IT security controls are now failing to protect the current systems. As a result, cyber-attacks have been deemed one of the greatest threat and concern to eight global economies – the USA, Germany, Estonia, Japan, Holland, Switzerland, Singapore, and Malaysia,” he noted. “This means that it is highly important that cyber-attacks become an urgent boardroom debate; they are no longer an IT problem, but a whole company problem and everyone is now responsible for cybersecurity. Cyber risks put the regulatory frameworks under pressure as they to adapt to these new high-frequency and high-risk economic threats.”



Quote for the day:


"Knowledge is the new capital, but it's worthless unless it's accessible, communicated, and enhanced." -- Hamilton Beazley