November 18, 2015

Thread – An Open Standard Protocol for Home Automation

The Thread architecture is built from ground up keeping device to device communication in mind. Since devices are creating a mesh, one particular malfunctioning device (called host) cannot bring the entire Thread network down. This is very similar to how the internet is made resilient – remember that it was designed to keep up communication while parts of it are failing. Moving to a mesh network topology makes home networks internet-grade. Thread is built on 6LowPAN (Low power Wireless Personal Area Networks) which lets IPv6 packets to be sent and received over wireless networks. This allows even small devices to be connected to the internet and thus actually create the Internet of Things.

AI technology: Is the genie (or genius) out of the bottle?

Needless to say, the early pioneers (as is typical) were a bit overly optimistic, although, in the bigger picture, perhaps not that much. The 1970s brought government funding cuts and the field went from the "Peak of Inflated Expectations" to the "Trough of Disillusionment," to use the modern vernacular of the Gartner Hype Cycle. During the 1980s, commercial success was achieved through the development of expert systems that enhanced knowledge and analytics capabilities, and the market grew to over $1 billion -- the "Slope of Enlightenment," literally and figuratively. Enthusiasm for AI was rekindled.

More women on tech boards, but industry lags

"A diverse board makeup improves employee morale and productivity and sends a message to employees throughout the organization that a company is committed to the advancement of women and minorities. At the same time, it enhances a company’s reputation and attractiveness at a time when many investors are increasingly using a variety of nonfinancial metrics, such as board diversity, as criteria in investment decision-making," Chiang wrote. The tech industry is wrestling with a chronic lack of diversity from the highest corporate ranks to the rank and file. New efforts are targeting the shortage of women at the top of the tech industry. Boardlist, for example, is a database that privately held companies can search to find female candidates to fill open board seats.

Decoding DevOps: a Management Primer

The good news is most organizations are willing to share their own best practices; the bad news is that most development teams are already understaffed and as a result, there is very little time for admins to think about, build, test, optimize and implement all the changes that are required to successfully move to a DevOps process. That includes not only taking the time to learn about the process, but also deciding how to realign existing processes and skills to fit a new DevOps model. One should not underestimate the required change in culture to adopt the new mindset, either. For most organizations and IT decision makers, these challenges are likely off-putting and intimidating.

New, Better Way to Search for Technology

The scout can strategically search for offerings to minimize the evaluation effort without eliminating the unknown unknowns. Rather than using typical Internet searches that don’t find everything, federated search explores sources simultaneously in real time. While only a small percentage of the web’s technical content is crawled and available via Google, Deep Web searches uncover and expose the desired information. Federated search automatically pulls data from multiple sites — such as patent, publication, expertise, and invention databases — to find the content hidden below the surface. Without it, users have to manually enter submission forms for each individual search site which is very time consuming.

Amazon: An Evil Empire dawns on the Internet of Things

Amazon has hardly been open to allowing 3rd parties access to the Prime APIs for playing music -- for example, SONOS cannot play Amazon Prime Music content. iOS and Android can do it, but in this case, Amazon controls the app in question, and Prime exists outside of both Apple and Google's in-app purchasing rules, as it is a yearly subscription purchased directly from Amazon. What we're seeing here is the beginnings of an Internet of Things Evil Empire. An empire that wants to control not just the content you consume, and what cloud infrastructure you use, but also the devices you are allowed to buy that consume that content and use that infrastructure. One could make the argument that Apple with iOS does the exact same thing. But at its core, Apple is a devices company that has a brick and mortar retail presence, that just so happens to have a content cloud.

The Right Way to Scale Agile: Scaling Value Delivery over Process

One of the key tenets of the Agile Manifesto is "individuals and interactions over processes and tools". Another critical piece of the Manifesto states that to be agile, software professionals or organizations should focus on "responding to change over following a plan". With any piece of writing, interpretations may vary, but it's pretty rational to take these tenets as meaning organizations need to lead with people, deliver value, and collaborate instead of following a closely prescribed scaled agile process. It sounds easy enough, but really changing the way you work is easier said than done. When you design your workflow process, you should remember that how you do something is just means to an end and it’s the underlying reasons that are important.

Security Trends That Will Impact Your Data In 2016

As expected, technology forecasts and predictions for 2016 continue to come into Information Management at a brisk pace now, with the latest concerning data protection and cybersecurity. Haiyan Song, senior vice president, security markets, at Splunk, offered Information Management her thoughts this week on what will be the top security trends that data professionals and cybersecurity managers need to be aware of. Splunk is a market-leading platform that powers operational intelligence. ... Song notes that cyber-attacks have historically caused little physical damage, but “the proliferation of IoT will cause more disruption and actual physical damage versus just hardware and software disruption,” she says.

What the JPMorgan Chase Breach Teaches Us

"We simply are not doing enough to protect data," Easttom says during this interview with Information Security Media Group. "Having data sitting on a server unencrypted is an egregious omission in the security posture. ... Unfortunately, there are lots of companies, not just banks - healthcare, hospitals, all sorts of organizations - that have, frankly, too low of a security posture." Organizations have to get ahead of regulatory mandates and make cybersecurity part of their overall corporate strategy, with understanding and buy-in from the top, he says. "Organizations don't have to wait for regulation," Easttom says. "They need to start bringing security to the forefront of all their conversations ... and those conversations need to be at the highest level."

5 Ways to Create a Culture of Analytics Within Your Company

Leading companies don’t make decisions based on their gut, they use data to drive answers. Once you can understand and dissect the data presented, you can use the numbers for more than just simple performance tracking. The 2015 State of Analytics survey reveals that high-performing teams are 4.6x more likely to say they’ve moved beyond using data to keep score and onto using data to drive business decisions. The most popular ways businesses use data today are for ‘driving operational efficiencies’ (37%), ‘facilitating growth’ (37%), ‘optimizing operational processes’ (35%) and ‘Improving existing products, services and features’ (35%). When planning the success and growth of your business, make sure your company is making smart decisions based on real data insights.

Quote for the day:

"You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore." -- William Faulkner,

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