August 04, 2014

Urban Jungle a Tough Challenge for Google’s Autonomous Cars
Humans make use of myriad “social cues” while on the road, such as establishing eye contact or making inferences about how a driver will behave based on the car’s make and model, Alberto Broggi, a researcher at Italy’s Universita di Parma, told MIT Technology Review. Even if a computer system can recognize something, understanding the context that gives it meaning is much more difficult, said Broggi, who has directed several major European Research Council grants in autonomous driving. For example, a fully autonomous car would need to understand that someone waving his arms by the side of the road is actually a policeman trying to stop traffic.

5 technologies every cloud-ready systems administrator should know
In the last week of June 2014, I had the chance to share a project with worldwide information technology (IT) experts—all of them with a wide breadth of experience in the IT industry. We discussed several topics during those days—of course each expert has a very particular and personal point of view about the market and technologies—but one point that I want to highlight is a fact that all of us agreed on: information technology is an unending journey. Because of this, I’ve started to think on how important it is to be up to date on IT technologies as an IT professional. In this blog post, I want to share my opinion about the five technologies an IT professional must to know to become a cloud-ready systems administrator:

Netmagic Building Reportedly Largest Mumbai Data Center
Netmagic, subsidiary of the Japanese telecom giant NTT Communications, is building a massive data center in Mumbai, which it says will be the largest data center in the area. Netmagic is one of the biggest data center service providers in India. While growth has been slow this year, India’s economy has generally done well in recent years compared to other countries. Strong economy usually means a thriving IT services market, which in turn benefits data center service providers like Netmagic.

Cloud ROI: Why It's Still Hard To Measure
While the 122-year-old General Electric also is "all-in on the cloud," says GE Cloud chief operating officer Chris Drumgoole, its approach is dramatically different from Airbnb's. Unlike Airbnb, the 300,000-employee GE wasn't born in the cloud and must find a way to migrate a massive legacy application infrastructure. GE operates 34 company-owned data centers and runs more than 9,000 applications. It's now consolidating to five data centers and painstakingly evaluating which applications it will rearchitect and move into a private or public cloud, and which ones it will phase out. It's also using software-as-a-service selectively, striking a deal in May, for example, to give employees access to Box online storage.

EBay Is Running Its Own Sociology Experiments
This means more than just the items that show up on the homepage or what auctions are most prominently featured in the mobile app. Demographic and site use data about eBay users is used, Churchill says, not for homepage design but for notifications. The emails users receive from eBay are shaped considerably by demographic information. “Demographic data is used most effectively for notifications and marketing campaigns, rather than algorithmic recommendations,” she added. A big part of this is using data about a user to figure out the sweet spot that will get them to visit eBay more often without annoying them.

Wirelessly Hacking--And Unlocking--Cars Is Easier Than It Should Be
Silvio Cesare, the car-hacking security researcher, explained the whole technique to Wiredrecently. It basically involves tricking the car into thinking that it's being unlocked with the standard wireless key fob, when really it's being pinged with a signal from a software-defined radio attached to a laptop. The radio first finds the frequency that the key fob is using and then cracks the specific mode of encryption using a brute force attack. As Cesare very clearly shows in a video of the exploit, the car pops open after a few keystrokes.

How to Solve Data Fragmentation, or Why to Invest in a Distributed Data Warehouse
The necessary data to lead a data-driven company or strategy is far reaching. It encompasses everything from enterprise financial data quarter-over-quarter to bounce rates week-over-week. Worse, for your individual teams, each department needs different data sets, often visualized to cater to the team with action items dedicated to increasing the productivity and efficiency of said department. In other words, what your sales team uses and what your marketing team uses aren’t often going to be the same data platform, and if it is, its likely that one of those teams is suffering for it.

API Compatibility War Validates Abstraction Approach to Cloud Computing
In addition to the application profile, a key enabler of this abstracted approach is a cloud orchestrator. Often a single, multi-tenant virtual appliance that resides transparently on each supported private or public cloud, this orchestrator is responsible for coordinating the requirements of the application, represented by the output of the application profile, with the best-practice infrastructure and services of the cloud, allowing it to provision its resources in order to deploy the application. In this model, the onus is on the CMP to constantly update its cloud orchestrators to take advantage of innovations of each cloud vendor, who no longer needs to be concerned with breaking API compatibility.

Hackers can tap USB devices in new attacks, researcher warns
The finding shows that bugs in software used to run tiny electronics components that are invisible to the average computer user can be extremely dangerous when hackers figure out how to exploit them. Security researchers have increasingly turned their attention to uncovering such flaws. Nohl said his firm has performed attacks by writing malicious code onto USB control chips used in thumb drives and smartphones. Once the USB device is attached to a computer, the malicious software can log keystrokes, spy on communications and destroy data, he said.

Data Scientist Role Shifting to Focus on Developers
"The developers are the new kingmakers," he adds. "They are unlocking business value by building apps. The data scientist needs to have a new mindset — it's not just about solving big problems in isolation anymore. The mindset has to be: How do I enable these developers?"For his part, Jhingran says he is working to drive that mindset at Apigee. Data scientists there are no longer in data science teams set apart from others. Instead, they've been spread out and now sit with developers in the lines of business.

Quote for the day:

"Leaders don't force people to follow, they invite them on a journey" -- Charles S. Lauer

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