September 17, 2014

Artificial Intelligence Is Doomed if We Don't Control Our Data
Arguably the most widespread application of AI comes in the form of personalized advertising, where ceding control of our personal data has also set the precedent for relinquishing rights to our digital identity. In their article, "LinkedIn Ordered to Face Customer E-mail Contacts Lawsuit", Bloomberg recently reported that the business networking company may have, "violated customers' privacy rights for marketing purposes by accessing their external e-mail accounts and downloading their contacts' addresses." The decision means LinkedIn members who filed the complaint can seek revenue LinkedIn made using their e-mail accounts.

Be a data scientist for the love of the craft not the perks
It would be miserable to work as a data scientist if it's just a job. As a physicist or a mathematician, you may believe you're a good fit for data science, but if you're not accustomed to programming around the clock to hit a deadline you feel is unrealistic, the life of a data scientist may not suit you well. And as a computer programmer, you may feel you just need to dust off some of your college math books; however, if you don't have the patience for solving complicated math problems, data science may be the wrong path to pursue. Graphic artists seem to have the hardest transition.

Why Your Company Needs Both a CIO and a CISO
CIOs have so many projects, problems, and plans on their plate that they let slide their responsibilities to bolster the security profile of their systems and to monitor the integrity of the networks and machines they already have in place. Moreover, a CIO may not have the technical expertise or continuing education required to stay on top of security threats and the evolving nature of the security landscape. No matter who the CISO reports to – whether it's the CIO or, even better, the COO – he or she should be charged solely with managing the current security profile and ensuring that the hardening of networks and systems continues at an efficient but effective pace.

Would You be able to Weather the Storm of a Cyber Data Breach?
In evaluating our clients’ risks, we believe that each company has a responsibility to focus on managing the unpredictable threats that are a result of doing business in today’s technologically advanced world and optimizing its ability to respond and recover in the event of a breach. Effectively managing cyber risk requires strategic insight and technological prowess. Cyber risks should be addressed in a three-dimensional way. As important as it is to safeguard data, many organizations’ cyber risk management processes often overlook risks outside the company’s servers and firewalls.

Healthcare and Financial Services Sectors Struggle with Virtualization Security Concerns
Interestingly, these two sectors, which seem so reluctant to implement new virtualization technologies, don’t seem overly concerned about securing the virtual machines they already have. In the Financial Services industry, “Security of Virtualized Infrastructure” was listed as a top IT security concern by only 16% of respondents, and only 12% in Healthcare, compared to an overall average of 14%. Why the disparity? The answer could be attributed to the attitude of “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” Kaspersky Lab has previously reported that a large portion of IT professionals lack a strong understanding of virtualization security.

VMware's Former CTO Herrod On IT's Future
In addition to tools and applications, companies need to worry about having in place "very formal API structures" to manage the creation of mobile app APIs that may be used by thousands or hundreds of thousands of customers. One of the companies that he's advised General Catalyst to back is Runscope, which specializes in automated testing of mobile app APIs. "Runscope is a company that is trying to help companies build APIs and make sure they're robust," he said, and such companies are going to be "the picks and shovels of the new economy."

Five Habits of Data-Driven People
We all know that using data to make decisions is better than relying on assumptions and opinions. But we also know that exercise is better for us than kicking back with a stiff drink and watching television. Is that knowledge enough to make us choose exercise? Not usually -- unless we make a conscious effort to work it into our daily lives. People who exercise regularly tend to adopt habits such as putting their running shoes next to their bed or always working out at the same time, and data-driven people do the same thing. Here are five habits common among data-driven people.

Wikileaks releases FinFisher files to highlight government malware abuse
FinFisher can infect Apple OS X, Windows and Linux computers as well as Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows Phone devices. The files, originally obtained by a hacker going by the name Phineas Fisher in August, should be used to improve detection systems to protect people’s PCs and mobiles, WikiLeaks said. The organisation also believes the files will help researchers uncover further human rights abuses related to FinFisher, which can be used to siphon off data from machines and spy on communications, from email to Skype.

Programmers unknowingly inherit development framework security issues
Watson added that at least with Java, a developer can mark fields as transient so that they won't be subjected to the serialization process -- effectively barring an attacker from modifying the field. More generally, he said that developers need to remember that an untrusted source may modify any data, and as such, there should be a thorough sanitization process for such fields. ...  more security mechanisms put into development frameworks themselves, or at least documentation warning developers that open-source components may still include vulnerabilities that need to be addressed.

Meet Zuta, the tiny printer that drives itself to make documents on the go
The idea for Zuta had been lingering in Elbaum's mind for a while, after having faced the need to print documents on the go, and not finding a product to meet that need. "I had this idea in my head for some time," Elbaum said. "We presented it to some professors at our institute, and to the institute's management... We passed three committees, and got the initial funding. We used that money to hire an electrical engineer, one of the institute's top students, and started rolling out as a company."

Quote for the day:

"The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score" -- Bill Copeland

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