January 07, 2014

Will we embrace biometrics to replace passwords? FIDO authentication at CES 2014
“Up until now, everyone thought the smartphone was the key to the cloud, but everyone was wrong. The smartphone is a lock and a very smart lock with lots of sensors,” FIDO member Sebastien Taveau told the Washington Post. “Your human body will be your own key, and you will get an extremely customized experience on your device and feel more comfortable doing more on your device than ever before.” While we are terrible when it comes to passwords, many companies are equally terrible when it comes to protecting those passwords.

Continuous integration testing: Challenges and solutions
When the stories from different teams are assembled, there is often a lack of clarity around who is responsible for testing how well they integrate. Processes around integration testing can be a point of confusion for Agile teams. Continuous integration (CI), which is the process of running regression tests with each build, can help, but will not solve all your integration test needs. Agile expert Janet Gregory discusses the challenges with integration testing and explains the practice of continuous integration.

Cybersecurity is for the C-suite, 'not just the IT crowd'
First, the people that sit in the C-suite, the people sitting on the Supreme Court, the people who are generals -- they likely didn't use computers when they were in college. So there's a learning curve. Secondly, these issues have emerged quite rapidly and it's been difficult for businesses and organizations to stay ahead. Just a couple of years ago there was no malware designed to go after mobile devices. Very few people were thinking about how to defend mobile networks because there were very few people using them and very few threats to them. Now there are many, many threats.

The problem with wearables
With all the recent activity with wearables, you'd think consumers are waiting to snap them up and hit the streets wearing one device or another. Some no doubt will do just that, but history tells us that might not happen. Remember the lowly Bluetooth headset that used to be in ears all over the place? These gizmos were early examples of wearable tech that did what they were designed to do, and in many cases did it well. That's why it was common to see them all over the place, inserted in consumers' ears to let them interact with their phone which could remain in the bag or pocket.

10 Companies and Technologies to Watch in 2014
Every year we highlight 10 companies and technologies to watch for the coming year. Our selection is driven primarily by the technologies being distinctive, innovative and relevant to major trends in the industry that we follow. Here is our list, arranged in alphabetic order to avoid suggesting that we have ranked the chosen companies and technologies:

Still More R and Python
Developing thought by some practitioners, though, suggests that Python will soon supplant R and assume the mantel of lingua franca for data science computing. The reasoning is as follows: “While R has traditionally been the programming language of choice for data scientists, it is quickly ceding ground to Python…. there are several reasons for the shift, perhaps the biggest one is that Python is general purpose and comparatively easy to learn whereas R remains a somewhat complex programming environment to master….Python still lacks some of R's richness for data analytics, but it is closing the gap fast.”

Intel's smallest computer to power wearable devices
Edison is Intel's smallest computer and is intended for use in small, flexible electronics that can be worn around the body. The computer has Intel's extremely low-power Quark processor, and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi wireless connectivity to communicate with other devices. Intel wants to put Edison in wearable products beyond the regular realm of smartwatches, smart glasses and health monitors expected to swamp the International CES trade show being held this week in Las Vegas.

Pragmatic Techniques for Maintaining a Legacy Application
The first step for maintaining a legacy application is to understand it. It is impractical for us to understand every detail of the application, but we need to understand the big picture: ... Analyzing code statically is either inadequate or inaccurate. We developed several tools to spy on the application at runtime to answer these questions. We took care to implement these tools as add-ons: they are not entangled with the application code, so they are not extra code that we have to maintain.

IT Spending in Software and Services in India to Grow
Bahl says, “We expect the Indian economy to start recovering from the tough situation it faced in 2013. It will start picking up (albeit at a slower rate) in 2014 thanks to good monsoons, an uptick in exports due to the weakening of the rupee, and huge infrastructure projects in public transportation, housing, agriculture, and farming that we expect to take off once a new central government is in place. As a result, we’ve marginally increased our 2014 forecast from 7.4 per cent to 8 per cent in local currency.

Cybercrooks Developing Dangerous New File-encrypting Ransomware, Researchers Warn
The new malware is called PowerLocker and its development was most likely inspired by the success of the CryptoLocker ransomware Trojan program that infected more than 250,000 computers since September. Like CryptoLocker, PowerLocker allegedly uses strong encryption that cannot be cracked to recover the files without paying, but it's also more sophisticated and potentially more dangerous because its developers reportedly intend to sell it to other cybercriminals.

Quote for the day:

"Leaders are visionaries with a poorly developed sense of fear and no concept of the odds against them." -- Robert Jarvik

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