June 23, 2015

Lack of trust in tech is damaging smarthome industry
Although younger people are twice as interested in smarthome technology than the older generation, they do not necessarily have the chance to adopt these technologies because many are living at home longer or are renting from a landlord and therefore have less control than a homeowner over energy consumption. “Younger people seem to be missing out,” Wetherall said. “Younger people are more excited by the novelty, by the ability to play with these technologies.” Smartmetering should fuel engagement with young people by helping them to understand energy consumption, and give them the means to engage with their landlord about making their property better and more efficient.

Bitnation Pangea Releases Alpha of Governance System Based on the Blockchain
Bitnation Pangea wants to be the world’s first blockchain powered Virtual Nation, able to provide all services that traditional governments provide and replace the nation state system with a voluntary form of governance. ... “The alternative the world is currently pivoting towards is U.N.-style global organizations, which would be an even worse ‘one-fit-all’ type governance model than what we currently have,” says Tarkowski Tempelhof. “Bitnation aims to prevent that, through setting a precedent for voluntary competing service providers, powered by the Bitcoin blockchain technology, effectively creating an open source cryptonation protocol.”

Cyber Security in Aviation
The increase of technology does not match the increase in technology security. Duggal said, “technology moves so fast, security sometimes gets left behind because you’re trying to get to the consumer, you’re trying to give them what they want, and sometimes when you try to address security after the fact you add complexity to the mix.” The threat level is increased when systems are not secured prior to installation. Security is often overlooked when ensuring for the consumer’s satisfaction with a rapid implementation and deployment. Making the consumers happy with the latest and greatest technology without first securing the systems before installation merely increases the threat level.

Simple is beautiful: Useful questions to cut through process complexity
As we elicit more information about the process, they may tell us about every logical branch and every exception, and we’ll gain a really rich understanding of the existing situation. This is very useful and will aid our analysis – after all, we’ll need to ensure that our processes can cater for the real environment and are useful in practice. However, it’s also important that we understand (and in some cases challenge) the need for each layer of complexity. In some cases, we may find that particular branches and steps are no longer relevant, and we may be able to simplify the overall process by eliminating them. Doing so may well make our customers’ lives easier, and ensure that the process is as quick, slick and as cost effective as possible. It can be a real win/win.

Vert.x 3, the Original Reactive, Microservice Toolkit for the JVM
Vert.x 3 also has built in support for RxJava - we provide Rx-ified versions of all our APIs so if you don't like a callback based approach which can sometimes be hard to reason with especially if you're trying to co-ordinate multiple streams of data then you can use the Rx API which allows you to combine and transform the streams using functional-style operations. We're also looking into an experimental new feature for Vert.x which allows you to write your application in a classic synchronous style, but where it doesn't actually block any OS thread, the idea being you can get the scalability advantages of not blocking OS threads but don't have the callback hell of programming against asynchronous APIs., i.e., have your cake and eat it. We think this could be a killer feature, if we get it right.

Spark at the Center of a Technology Revolution
All of our connected devices are fueling a growth in data that is completely new to everyone. Starting 3 years ago, we generated more data than we created in the 199,997 years of human history leading up to that point. What this starburst of data means is that how we think about data and technology needs to change at the most fundamental level. It’s not just a question of scale—the types of data and the potential for the way they impact human life and the globe are different at the core. Traditional approaches are either not going to function with the new, massive amounts of data, or they are not going to produce results that are relevant in a world where real-time feedback from devices wired into everything from human heartbeats to interstellar data is flowing constantly and at an increasing rate.

Top 4 Strategies for NFV Success
Just think of the benefits: replacing dedicated hardware appliances across the network with standard servers, general-purpose storage, and standardized software applications – not to mention virtualization to deliver any network function end-to-end. There’s no doubt that NFV can deliver tremendous rewards for network operators in terms of flexibility, scalability, and cost-efficiency. What service providers can’t afford to overlook, however, is how NFV may affect their connectivity infrastructures and network topologies. There are ramifications for transport networks that must be considered, in order to maximize the benefits and revenue opportunities that NFV promises. One such area is virtual customer premises equipment (vCPE). NFV has the potential to radically disrupt this space.

Christina Page explains how Yahoo keeps its datacentres green and clean
“It’s a low-tech design and is cheaper to build because you’re not installing these big chiller systems inside. It’s also more reliable as there are fewer moving parts to fail,” she says. Facilities built according to YCC specifications have a long and narrow “chicken coop-style” design, says Page, to encourage outside air to circulate inside and ensure just 1% of a building's total energy consumption is being drawn on to cool it. “What we’ve done is sited in places where there are few enough hot and humid days of the year so this designs really works. “At the time we were being conservative, and what we’ve concluded is that there are other locations where there are more hot and humid days that work just as well with this technology,” she says.

The False Dichotomy Between Planned and Improvisational Projects
Another way to look at the difference is the costs and benefits of individual innovation in the two environments. If everyone building a WalMart was constantly trying out radical new ideas, the result would be chaos. There is certainly innovation in commercial construction, but it has to be managed centrally to avoid interference. An electrical contractor doing things differently might make a small improvement but risk large downstream costs. By contrast, what was the cost and value to Facebook of someone going off and implementing photo tagging? The cost was small and the consequences on the rest of engineering was also small.

Q&A on Fifty Quick Ideas to Improve Your Tests
Like beauty, quality is in the eye of the beholder. This innate subjectivity can lead to wide ranging opinions on what good quality is and what attributes display those qualities. To ground understanding it is essential to quantify and visualise quality. This works on several levels. At a story or feature level we quantify a quality target in the form of acceptance criteria, we can also set a holistic picture of quality at a product level. Many teams use acceptance criteria for stories these days but criteria are often still ambiguous, like ‘must be fast’ or ‘must be reliable’, which leaves vast potential for error in the suitability of solution. We’ve found it useful to quantify quality at both feature and product level. Then there is a clear target for discussing feature acceptance, and also a higher level vision of quality that the feature falls within and that directs testing.

Quote for the day:

"To lead the people, walk behind them." -- Lao-Tzu

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