February 29, 2016

How do you define great IT leadership?

"Being recognised as the person that is going to drive innovation and help the company be more successful than it is today is a great way to show the important role you play," he says. While communication skills are crucial, great leaders do not necessarily have to assume the mantle of a spokesperson. ... "Your results should speak for themselves. Personal knowledge and experience can be built over time. If you bring specific industry knowledge, actively engage with peers in their language to understand their business challenges, then you can be confident that you will be recognised as a critical part of your organisation's competitive advantage."

US law will restore trust in transatlantic data flows, says EU commissioner

"[This] will pave the way for the signature of the EU-US data protection umbrella agreement. This agreement will guarantee a high level of protection of all personal data, regardless of nationality, when transferred across the Atlantic for law enforcement purposes. It will strengthen privacy, while ensuring legal certainty for transatlantic data exchanges between police and criminal justice authorities. This is crucial to keep Europeans safe through efficient and robust cooperation between the EU and the US in the fight against crime and terrorism," Jourová said. The data protection 'umbrella' agreement, a new privacy framework that will apply to personal data transferred to US law enforcement agencies, was announced by the European Commission last September, although it will not apply until EU law makers ratify it.

3 Ways to Build an Outstanding Company Culture

Engaging in constructive dialogue holds more value than simply measuring NPS scores, Cain adds. His team recognizes that unsolicited feedback offers granular insight into what truly matters to employees and customers. Also, instead of incenting employees based on quotas and numbers targets, Avnet offers informal rewards for behaviors that increase or reinforce customer relationships. Focusing on quality over quantity empowers employees to pursue and fulfill their shared mission. "The top-notch service, support, and expertise that we provide to partners and customers will not be possible without our self-motivated and professional employees who live up to the core values of Avnet," Lim says

How Serverless Applications Will Change Your Business

Even with serverless applications, not everything happens in the cloud, nor does all functionality come from the cloud. There's still a need for on-premises developers "who control the end-user experience," said Emison. These developers should assume the end-user part of the application is running on a powerful smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device. A substantial part of the application logic can reside there, given the growing power of the devices. In that sense, Web applications, which put all the logic on an Internet server and give the end user a browser or other form of thin user interface display, have been re-architected. In serverless applications, the user's experience is determined by the business logic on the end-user device, as well as the Internet data center server, and it represents a significantly larger share of the application than a display window.

CEO training critical to cyber resilience, says APMG

“In part due to a lack of free time and in part due to a perceived view of cyber security as tangential to their core role, CEOs often overlook cyber training. Taking into account the number of cyber attacks that have become public in the past 12 months or so, any large organisation must view a breach as inevitable. “To deal with the range of threats faced by an organisation on a daily basis, its cyber security strategies must consider all possible technical or cultural factors that pose a degree of risk. With the right skills in place, an appropriate response to threats can be effectively communicated across the whole organisation in a common language,” he said.

The best media and methods for archiving your data

Active archiving has nothing to do with hard drives, per se. It’s simply the act of shuttling data between media in a storage area network or SAN with the goal of keeping the most frequently accessed data on the fastest media (RAM or SSDs) and the least frequently accessed data on slower tape or optical, with hard drives somewhere in middle. ... Don’t bother with trivial or unfinished data. Archive only irreplaceable data that’s in its final state: legal or financial documents, important memorabilia, your creative efforts, etc. If you can download it again, reinstall it, or if you are still working on it, don’t bother—you’ll just waste time and space. Let your everyday backup take care of it. Also take the opportunity to de-duplicate and prune your data before you archive.

How the Internet of Things is becoming the 'Internet of Commerce’

The maturation of mobile payment services combined with the proliferation of IoT-capable devices has created a perfect storm of innovation that's seeing our money going places it never could, both securely and conveniently. And thanks to innovators like MasterCard, the Internet of Things is moving from pure connectivity, to all-out functionality. Consider this: When the world was first introduced to IoT, it was "enough" to fantasize about controlling objects around you, like programming your home's thermostat from your phone. But control only scratches the surface. When MasterCard launched its Commerce for Every Device program last October, the payment innovator declared that any connected device — not just a smartphone or smartwatch — could become payments-enabled.

Data Center Security Is an Inside Game

Micro-segmentation addresses this new security challenge by distributing the security functions across all servers and machines, right at the source where applications reside (as opposed to concentrating security deep down in the physical network). Done correctly, micro-segmentation can enable 100 percent protection of data center traffic, in a simple and scalable manner. The intent is to secure data centers from inside and protect east-west traffic using fine-grained security policies. It’s worth noting that micro-segmentation isn’t limited to the east-west direction only – it is a comprehensive, 360-degree approach to protecting all data center traffic, in a modern scalable way. Is it feasible to put this new security shield around existing and new applications?

Apache Spark vs. Apache Flink – Whiteboard Walkthrough

To give you a good analogy, imagine collecting water in a bucket, flowing water in a bucket, and then pouring it out, vs. putting in a pipe there and letting water flow continuously without any intermediate delays. That's essentially the difference between a micro-batch and a continuous flow operator.  Spark essentially started as a batch processor, and eventually started adding more and more capabilities that make it more often real-time streaming processing as well. Flink ,which initially during its research stages, started solving problems around batch, but along the way, its researchers identified several interesting challenges in the real-time streaming paradigm. As a result, they pivoted more from a continuous flow operator-based model and kind of treated batch as a special case of real-time streaming.

Unified Data Modeling for Relational and NoSQL Databases

Current relational databases all follow the 3rd normalization. With ACID transaction model (Atomic, Consistent, Isolated, Durable), it is good to use relational databases when one data set has only one copy in the database. It means modifying one copy at a time. However, data needs aggregation when it’s queried from multiple different applications. So data needs to be distributed, and data schema needs to be de-normalized according to the business requirements. Schemas should be designed for enabling distributed query. This requires each data set to contain enough information to run the executed queries separately in different data nodes. Based on the above, using logical model describing business requirements and de-normalizing schema to physical data model is fundamental when building NoSQL databases.

Quote for the day:

“The path of cultivating excellence is practice. And not just any practice...” -- Bob Dunham

February 28, 2016

Google AI can pinpoint where any snap was taken, just by looking at pixels

PlaNet treats the task as a classification problem and uses multiple visual cues, including weather patterns, vegetation, road markings, and architectural details, to identify an exact location in some cases. This approach allows it to "express uncertainty about a photo". So, for example, it can be fairly confident about the location of an image of the Eiffel Tower, whereas a picture of a fjord could be in New Zealand or Norway. The system was developed by dividing the world into a grid of 26,000 squares. The more images taken in a given location, the bigger the square, so cities are larger than remote areas while oceans are completely ignored.

Beyond Bitcoin—Blockchain Is Coming to Disrupt Your Industry: Weekend Reading

Blockchain technology is a new solution to a more challenging version of the Byzantine Generals Problem that includes the ability to add participants over time. A blockchain is a digital, distributed transaction ledger, with identical copies maintained on multiple computer systems controlled by different entities. Anyone participating in a blockchain can review the entries in it; users can update the blockchain only by consensus of a majority of participants. Once entered into a blockchain, information can never be erased; ideally, a blockchain contains an accurate and verifiable record of every transaction ever made.⁶ It would have made for a very reliable way for Byzantine generals to exchange information.

Fintech a boon for the unbanked but a nightmare for regulators

What is exciting for us consumers is becoming a nightmare for regulators around the world. Already the banking behemoths are protesting that the horrendously burdensome regulations introduced since the 2008 global financial crash make it hard for them to compete with these spritely new disruptors. While they are spending large sums to make sure they can use the new technologies for driving efficiencies down to their own bottom lines, they are at the same time protesting that these pesky start-ups have unfair advantages because their new business paradigms duck around current regulatory regimes. But these protests are pushing regulators into an awkward corner. They are under strong pressure to let innovators flourish if they can improve services to consumers, and give the millions of “unbanked” first-time access to bank loans.

A succesful Git branching model considered harmful

The basic principle in making usable systems is to have sane defaults. This branching model makes that mistake from the very beginning by not using the master branch for something that a developer who clones the repository would expect it to be used, development. Using individual (long lived) branches for features also make it harder to ensure that everything works together when changes are merged back together. This is especially pronounced in today’s world where continuous integration should be the default practice of software development regardless how big the project is. By integrating all changes together regularly you’ll avoid big integration issues that waste a lot of time to resolve, especially for bigger projects with hundreds or thousands of developers.

Adding a data virtualization layer to IT systems: Three questions to ask

The objections typically focus on three aspects of the implementation. The first is the simplicity of the implementation. How easy is it to implement? The second is how easy is it to get to the data? What does the data look like when you're getting access to it? [This question is important] because you're providing the capability of accessing multiple sources now, and you're providing, essentially, virtual data sets that didn't exist in their original form, because you're providing the federation. So, how flexible is it for you to be able to present the data back to one or more consumers? Then, of course, the question of when I introduce another layer between my consumers and the actual sources of data, isn't that going to create yet another layer of complexity when it comes to computational performance? Is it going to perform well?

Transformational vs. Contemporary Leadership Styles

There are certain points of departure between the two styles. While it emphasizes gaining trust and influencing followers, servant leadership calls for more sacrifice on the part of the leader. The pursuit of profits is secondary for the servant leader. Followers are more likely to have greater freedom under a servant leader than transformational leader. Another principal difference is the leader’s focus. Though both styles call the leader to service, the servant leader’s ultimate focus is the follower, while the transformational leader’s greatest concern is to encourage followers to serve the organization diligently. The fundamental difference between the two styles is that the servant leader focuses on the followers’ needs, while the transformational leader focuses on organizational goals.

Taking a bite at the Apple

The FBI has argued many times that encryption can thwart legitimate investigations, leaving vital clues undiscovered. But security researchers point out that what works for the good guys works for the bad guys, too. If a subverted operating system managed to escape into the “wild” even once, then the security of every iPhone would be put at risk. The trade-off, says Kenneth White, a director of the Open Crypto Audit Project, an American charity, is not security versus privacy, but security for everyone versus the police’s ability to investigate specific crimes. And the risk of a leak would rise with every extra person who had access to the nobbled code: defence lawyers demanding to see it; court-appointed experts given the job of checking it works as intended; and so on.

Reveals Vision for a Secure Internet of Things

“Given ubiquitous connectivity and the rapid emergence of IoT, the need for a well-designed, structured and comprehensive security architecture has never been greater,” he continued. Embedded systems and connected devices are already deeply woven into the fabric of our lives, and the footprint is expanding at a staggering rate. Gartner estimates that 4.9 billion connected things were in use by the end of 2015, a 30% increase from 2014. This will rise to 25 billion by 2020 as consumer-facing applications drive volume growth, while enterprise sales account for the majority of revenue. Security is a core need for manufacturers, developers, service providers and others who produce and use connected devices.

Design Thinking as a Strategy for Innovation

Design Thinking is a methodology used by designers to solve complex problems, and find desirable solutions for clients. Design Thinking draws upon logic, imagination, intuition, and systemic reasoning, to explore possibilities of what could be, and to create desired outcomes that benefit the end user (the customer). A design mindset is not problem-focused, it’s solution focused, and action oriented. It involves both analysis and imagination. “Design is the action of bringing something new and desired into existence—a proactive stance that resolves or dissolves problematic situations by design. It is a compound of routine, adaptive and design expertise brought to bear on complex dynamic situations.” —Harold Nelson

Making enterprise-architecture more tangible

Within an architecture, there are four key dimensions that we need to keep track of at all times: physical stuff, virtual information, relations between people, and aspirationalmotivations such as enterprise-purpose, brands and more. In practice, it’s hard to keep track even of three of those themes at a time – a single face on that tetrahedron. But in the middle of each face is a reminder of the ‘missing’ theme – and if we rotate the tetrahedron, other faces in turn come into view, reminding us of the whole-as-whole. Architecture made tangible… Even that tetrahedron-model is a bit abstract, though. Let’s take it a step further, moreinto the people-realm…

Quote for the day:

"It's not enough to do your best, you must know what to do and then do your best." -- W. Edwards Deming

February 27, 2016

Can off-the-shelf software survive the cloud onslaught?

The SaaS approach has the momentum, and this is likely to continue, conclude Dan Ma and Abraham Seidmann, the report's authors. "Continuous technology improvements, increasing adoption of software standards, and efforts to create a uniform platform for different applications cause us to believe that SaaS will eventually attain a solid position in the market," they state. ... For off-the shelf providers, their advice is the exact opposite -- vendors should avoid price-cutting. "For them, lowering prices to make their software cheaper is not a good strategy. Rather, they should actively invest in developing full-feature software and enhancing its perceived value."

Writing Cross-Platform Apps with React Native

Developers have flocked to React for a number of reasons. It's lightweight, and offers impressive performance, especially for quickly-changing data. Because of its component structure, it also encourages you to naturally write more modular, reusable code. React Native is just React, but for mobile. There are some differences: you'll use a <View> component rather than a <div>, and an <Image> instead of an <img> tag. The developer experience remains much the same. Having some Objective-C or Java knowledge can be useful, and mobile development does come with its own tricky considerations (have I tested this on multiple physical devices? Are my touch targets large enough?). However, React Native will feel almost entirely familiar, and comfortable, to developers who already know how to work with React in the browser.

Data Breaches and What You Can Do About Them

When a data breach occurs, an organisation would require timely legal advice from lawyers, on understanding the implications of the data breach and in responding to the data breach including notification of regulators and/or affected individuals, should the circumstances require such action. The organisation would also require a competent technical team with the ability to forensically ascertain the cause of the data breach as well as the extent by which data has been compromised. Such technical/forensic work would go hand in hand with the legal work being carried out by the lawyers as the result of the technical/forensic work would often dictate the legal steps to be carried out post-breach.

Building Kali Linux for Intel Edison

This documentation goes though the process of manually building a base Kali Linux image for the Intel Edison board. These steps were derived from frankensteining the edison build scripts for Debian Jessie and some of the Kali Linux ARM build scripts. All of the content from this post can be found in my github repo for this project here, along with pre compiled images (coming soon!) and ansible scripts for automated building. Note, all of these steps were tested in Ubuntu Linux 14.04 x64 LTS. As of this writing, this OS/Version has the most support for doing Edison source builds. I have done these steps in other operating systems, but the process is not as clean due to bugs, script tweaks, etc.

Bitt Launches Barbados Dollar on Blockchain, Calls for Bitcoin Unity

To create its digital dollar, Bitt takes advantage of the Colored Coins protocol, which allows for the creation of new assets on top of the bitcoin blockchain. "This new layer can be used to assign a specific type of asset to a small fraction of a bitcoin," the company explains in an informational brochure. Bitt’s version of the Barbadian dollar is therefore able to act as a digital asset, with its value honored 1:1 with the country’s government-backed currency. Abed went on to state that transactions on this network can be observed by the government and local regulators as they are sent peer-to-peer to Bitt wallets. In the future, Abed said, Bitt aims to upgrade its functionality via new technologies such as Liquid, Blockstream’s project that enables bitcoin funds to move between exchanges, and BitGo Instant, a tool that enables zero-confirmation transactions.

Do Ethics Matter?

There are really three levels of ethics to consider. The first is known as “pre conventional.” At this level a person acts almost solely in their own best interests. This causes them to follow rules only to avoid punishment or to receive rewards. At this level a person will willingly break moral or legal laws if they feel there is no chance of being caught. The second level of ethics is the “conventional” level. At this level a person conforms to the expectations of others in society. They are very likely to try hard to uphold all morale and legal laws.  The highest level of ethics is call the “principled” level. At this level a person lives by an internal set of morals, values and ethics. They uphold these morales, values and ethics regardless of any consequences or majority opinion.

Docker improves container security and management

For both Linux or Windows, another handy new feature is that Docker image IDs now represent what's really inside a container. Before, you had to take it on faith that a container was what it claimed to be. Until you actually ran a container, say a Ngnix web server, you couldn't be sure that's what was really inside it. You can now be certain that the application you're running is what you expect it to be by just specifying its ID. For management, Docker has just released Docker Datacenter (DDC). This is an integrated, end-to-end agile application development and management platform. With DDC, organizations are empowered to deploy a Containers as a Services (CaaS) either on-premises or in a private cloud.

A Web for All: Accessibility and Inclusive Design

There are four primary disabilities; cognitive, visual, auditory, and mobility. People can have any or all of these in different combinations. We call these “primary disabilities”, and they are usually what we think of. Total blindness, total deafness, complete loss of movement, or greatly limited ability to physically or cognitively interact are hallmarks of these issues. These are, of course, realities for a significant part of the population. Making information and technology available, usable and enjoyable for people with these challenges is very important. Having said that, there is an even larger reality. Every one of us, if we are lucky enough to reach an advanced age, will deal with some form of disability, even if not as completely manifested as the examples listed. There are also “situational disabilities”, and these can affect anyone.

Rant: Cyber predators feed off the vulnerable

The predators lie in wait for the herd to get moving and, at crucial junctures, there will be vulnerable members of this community that become isolated. And that’s when they will strike. An older, slower member of the community will struggle to keep up. The herd doesn’t offer protection now as each member is worried about its own dangerous bottlenecks, uphill climbs and unexpected freefall plummets that come with the new unfamiliar territory. At some stage, the entire herd will have to navigate their way through a shimmering new solution that, at first glance to the weary participants, looks exactly like the life-enhancing refreshment they need. The solution is cast in a deceptively beautiful light, little beams casting positive headlines over each little ripple as it rolls gently past. In this light its very liquidity seems like an advert for a better world.

Quote for the day:

“Great relationships occur only with intention and attention.” -- S.Chris Edmonds

February 26, 2016

Tackling the Future of Digital Trust—While It Still Exists

And, in early 2021, auditors discovered randomly added small amounts, on the order of pennies, to countless transactions at credit and debit clearing providers, with over $100 million stolen and systems shut down for a day to fix. Also in 2021, all three credit reporting agencies were hacked, with false histories created, and real histories altered. Finally, the Electronic Payments Network and the Automated Clearing House, both organizations that process transactions between financial institutions, was hacked. ... At this point, the clearinghouses are manually checking all transactions, slowing the system horribly. People are lining up at banks and ATMs looking to get their hands on cash, and paycheck and other automatic deposits are erratic.

Visa just announced big changes to its mobile wallet

Visa will optimize the new checkout lightbox for smaller mobile devices. On top of that, users will also experience an easier process when confirming their checkout information, which should make it simpler to change and customize payment information. The company also plans to integrate a Google application program interface (API) that would facilitate address auto-completion, which would also help users with smaller mobile screens. Finally, users would be able to take a photo of their cards when signing up for Visa Checkout, rather than having to manually enter all their information. The company plans to automatically update Visa Checkout with these new features at participating locations in April.

Why an app-focused strategy could lead to mobile failure

Native apps, however, come with a cost: According to Forrester, porting that lovely Android app "adds a 50% to 70% increment of the cost of the original app for every new mobile operating system an app needs to run on." In other words, catering to consumers with a rich, interactive experience isn't cheap. Nor is it always necessary. For example, for enterprise apps, where reuse (and easy updating) of content and leveraging existing web skills may be primary considerations, turning to web apps may be the exact right strategy. ... To be clear, these developers are using the web both for consumer-facing apps and employee-facing enterprise apps. The question, as Forrester highlights, is exactly what you're trying to accomplish.

Internet of things providers set to battle over platform dominance

considerable technical and commercial volatility is to be expected. All such products are proprietary, and migration from one to another is not simple. The situation is made even more complex because suppliers in the nascent IoT market are trying to developing competing ecosystems. Although ecosystems and standards aren't precisely technologies, most eventually materialise as APIs, which can then be accessed via an IoT application. While Gartner sees standards and their associated APIs as essential to enable IoT devices to interoperate and communicate, many different types of IoT standards and ecosystems already exist. More will follow. The analyst firm predicted commercial and technical battles between these ecosystems will dominate areas such as the smart home, the smart city and healthcare.

How Storytelling Makes Robots, AI More Human

Not only would story-based teaching be incredibly easy, it promises to solve many of the fears we have of dangerous AIs taking over the world, the researchers said. It could even lead to a real revolution in robotics and artificially intelligent agents. "We really believe a breakthrough in AI and robots will come when more everyday sorts of people are able to use this kind of technology," Professor Riedl said in an interview with InformationWeek, "Right now, AI mostly lives in the lab or in specific settings in a factory or office, and it always takes someone with expertise to set these systems up. But we've seen that when a new technology can be democratized new types of applications take off. That's where we see the real potential in robots and AI."

FBI, keep out! How to encrypt everything

Don't back up to cloud services like iCloud or Google Drive; the government can get warrants to access those backups. Instead, in iOS back up to your PC or Mac via iTunes, with the Encrypt iPhone/iPad Backup option turned on for each device in iTunes' summary pane. Now your backups are safe from prying eyes, too. Unfortunately, Android users don’t have a similar option for secure, encrypted backup. Use encrypted services like Apple’s iMessage and OpenWhisper’s TextSecure where possible. SMS service from your phone company is not secured from government agencies. If you use a BYOD unit that mixes corporate and personal information, I suggest you stop accessing it for work -- especially if your company employs mobile device management (MDM) software, because it can help unlock your device and provide access to its contents.

Tech experts have their say on the EU Digital Single Market

One of the key challenges that the technology industry in Europe faces is a large skills gap. Whereas in Asia, STEM students account for up to 20% of the student population, European STEM students make up just 2%. As the application economy continues to expand, non-traditional IT companies are demanding the same skills that ICT companies have required for decades. Therefore there is an even greater demand for highly skilled tech workers. The proposed European Digital Single Market will allow not only for more mobility of people, services and goods but would fuel a more collaborative and coordinated approach to talent cultivation and enablement across borders, helping the industry tackle the skills gap on a European level. With this in mind, CA Technologies strongly supports the proposed European DSM and believes it should be recognised as one of the core priorities for European growth.

FBI Chief Acknowledges Apple Case May Set Data Privacy Prededent

The dispute between Apple and the Justice Department is part of a larger debate within Congress, the administration and the technology industry about whether law enforcement and intelligence agencies should be able to access encrypted communications. The Federal Bureau of Investigation served Apple with a court order on Feb. 16 requiring the company to write a new software program to unlock the phone used by Syed Rizwan Farook in the shooting spree in December. Farook, along with his wife, shot to death 14 workers before the couple was killed by police. The FBI wants to know where they had been and who helped them. Cook Remarks Apple is refusing to cooperate. Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook has vowed to fight the order, saying the software doesn’t exist and creating it would potentially put billions of iPhones at risk of being hacked or spied on by governments.

New 3D bioprinter to reproduce human organs, change the face of healthcare

This new solution's hardware, BioAssemblyBot (BAB), runs as a six-axis robot that is far more precise than BAT. The real difference, however, is in the software: Tissue Structure Information Modeling (TSIM), which is basically a CAD program for biology. It takes the manual coding out of the process and replaces it with something that resembles desktop image editing software. It allows the medical researchers to scan and manipulate 3D models of organs and tissues and then use those to make decisions in diagnosing patients. And then, use those same scans to model tissues (and eventually organs) to print using the BAB. "It's a big step forward in the capability and technology of bioprinting," said Hoying, "but what someone like me is really excited about is now it enables me to do so much more."

The importance of determining your CEP architecture bias

For analytics-driven CEP, there are two primary models developing, too. Some vendors view analytics CEP as a way to drive business processes closer to the decisions. This has two ingredients; the first is defining and handling event streams, and the second is event correlation and handling. IBM is one of the enterprise leaders in this space, in part because they provide the full range of tools needed for both stream management and event analytics. Like other companies offering analytic-platform CEP, IBM focuses increasingly on "stream processing," which shifts work from macroflows to something more like pure events. To respond, companies must shift to the stream computing model at the process level. Then they must project some of the stateful or contextual analytics previously done on historical data forward into real time.

Quote for the day:

"Without courage we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency." -- Maya Angelou,

February 25, 2016

Technology, IoT monetization to usher in 'programmable economy'

Furlonger drilled down into the problem with today's technology as an enabler for the programmable economy. "How many of you are still using systems that were designed in the 1960s or 1970s or 1980s, where the speed of movement of information, the ability to access information, is very different than it is today? … You're trying to create apps and you're trying to link APIs with systems that clearly weren't designed for that. You're trying to move across ecosystems between one country and another or between one supply chain and another supply chain. Your systems just won't accommodate that kind of flexibility."

Cancer, cloud and privacy shield

“The new arrangement will provide stronger obligations on companies in the U.S. to protect the personal data of Europeans and stronger monitoring and enforcement by the U.S. Department of Commerce and Federal Trade Commission (FTC), including through increased cooperation with European Data Protection Authorities. The new arrangement includes commitments by the U.S. that possibilities under U.S. law for public authorities to access personal data transferred under the new arrangement will be subject to clear conditions, limitations and oversight, preventing generalised access. Europeans will have the possibility to raise any enquiry or complaint in this context with a dedicated new Ombudsperson.”

CenturyLink Mounts Multi-Pronged Security As A Service Offering

The suite allows customers to access security data collected via a portal, report potential threats, and garner real-time information into an event as it happens. The portal will provide threat profiles presented for summing up at a glance. Analytics can be applied to the information available, tickets created, activity tracked, and final resolution reported to the customer. The suite has a security information and event management (SIEM) back-end that can import client-specific vulnerability data from any location and a variety of SIEM tools. Analytics can be applied to the information for feedback on an ongoing activity. The SIEM information handling system can accept information from the customer’s existing security tools and systems, Kelleher said in the announcement.

Career Boost: Break Into Data Science

“A variety of skills and backgrounds in data science are interesting to us,” McMahon explains. “Publishing a paper on data science is an excellent way to stand out as a candidate,” she adds. Microsoft regularly sends recruiters to the Strata conference to meet professionals in the field. While a computer science degree is helpful, it is not required. McMahon has seen professionals from bio-informatics or other informatics fields make the transition to Microsoft. Even those without formal training in data science or informatics can launch a new career with a little passion and persistence. “Self-study and passion for data science are key qualities in data science professionals,” says Jeremy Stanley, vice president of data science at Instacart, an e-commerce company that arranges personalized grocery shopping and delivery services.

Banks testing blockchain need clarity on regulations

Startups, big banks and database companies say that blockchain, the software behind bitcoin, could forever alter financial market infrastructure. How and when banks and other financial companies adopt blockchain technology hinges largely on regulation, most yet unwritten. In the highly regulated banking industry, clear rules help companies build products to both meet demand and quickly gain regulators’ approval. A group of banks successfully tested a private blockchain in January, renewing focus on its potential. Federal banking regulators are likely years away from formalizing blockchain regulation, fueling uncertainty for banks that want to use the technology to handle transactions more efficiently. Investments in blockchain-related startups increased through 2015, when private-equity firms, banks and payments processors invested in companies such as Digital Currency Group and Chain.

Cybersecurity: Boards still happy to pass the buck to the IT department

Responsibility for this disturbing lack of preparation, PwC claims, comes from the top, because "many boards are not sufficiently proactive regarding cyber threats, and generally do not understand their organisation's digital footprint well enough to properly assess the risks". Indeed, fewer than half of board members are said to actually request information about how their organisation is prepared, when it comes to fending off or dealing with a cyberattack. It also seems that the board is willing to pass the buck when it comes to taking responsibility for dealing with a "cyber crisis", with IT security staff expected to deal with outcomes in almost three-quarters of cases. That strategy, argues Andrew Gordon, global leader of forensic services at PwC, is not the right course of action.

As mobile apps for employees proliferate, CIOs get involved

The findings indicate that a majority of the mobile app development work will still be done outside of IT, with two-thirds of apps being developed by business application vendors, systems integrators, digital agency partners and developer partners. Only 35% of mobile apps will be developed by IT staff. However, IT staff can expect to do more work on mobile apps in the future. According to the findings, professional developers in IT spent 43% of their time on internal app projects in 2015, but over the next two years they can expect to spend 63% on their time on internal app projects -- a 20% jump.

On the Bleeding Edge: the Future of Processors

Upcoming release of International Roadmap for Devices and Systems, the biennial forecast of the future progress in processors, will for the first time not be centered on Moore’s Law. The physical limit of how small process technology can get is now very well within our sight. Judging by chipmaker predictions, once five-nanometer process technology arrives, sometime around 2021, the physics that governs the way chips behave today will no longer apply. At that scale, we enter the unpredictable realm of quantum mechanics, and it’s unclear which way technological progress will turn at that point. Will we finally get viable quantum computers, or will engineers and scientists focus on optimizing other elements of the computing systems?

Why open source can save companies from drowning in the data lake

The technology is a strong choice for enterprises that have a growing expectation of flexibility and faster results. There’s no vendor lock-in and the associated costs are lower than proprietary solutions. But while open source throws open immense possibilities, beware of its biggest challenge: assuring security, access control and governance of the data lake. There is also the risk that a poorly managed data lake will end up as an aggregate of data silos in one place. CIOs must caution teams about the need to train lay users in appreciating key nuances – contextual bias in data capture, incomplete nature of datasets, ways to merge and reconcile different data sources, and so on – which is a herculean task in every way.

How To Maintain Open Source Code Hygiene

Due to the many open source code reuse scenarios active in enterprise DevOps shops, you will want to continually monitor code for newly registered vulnerabilities. Enterprises can view reusing existing assets as a built-in savings by not having to purchase or create new assets. In the case of reusing legacy source code, there is also a time savings, as developers want to shrink time to market for code-based projects. “Let’s say you have a company that is pulling information from a database to display in pie charts. You have a rendering component that you will reuse. When you’re starting on a new product, do you build a new rendering library from scratch or do you use the existing one?” asks Pittenger. Even if those components are open source, there can be great savings in reusing the library.

Quote for the day:

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand." -- Randy Pausch

February 24, 2016

Humans 2.0: How the robot revolution is going to change how we see, feel, and talk

"Just as humans like you and I are not able to do everything and don't know about everything, robots will always have limitations," said Veloso. "The thing would be to continue developing algorithms in which the robots themselves are useful but capable of asking for help." The swallowable robot—called the MuBot—has been the focus of researcher Ben Winstone's work at Bristol Robotics Lab in the west of England. ... "Medical practitioners have spent years developing a highly enhanced sense of touch to allow them to carefully palpate tissue and recognise suspect lumps and bumps," said Winstone.

Agile Approaches in Test Planning

A plan to test is in itself a useful artifact. It can shape our context and explain to ourselves and others how we will conduct testing. The problem I have is the inefficiency of writing a plan consisting of information that is already available and changing. Practicalities like which test environment to test in and what risks to cover are useful to have and to communicate. Also, agreements on the scope of testing (e.g., what browsers do we test on) are easy to write down. The Scrum framework however already provides an artifact that can be useful for this: the definition of done (DoD). This document will change and, more importantly, it’s a token of conversation. What I mean by a “token of conversation” is that the DoD is just a result, a statement that goes with a story.

Identifying and tackling big data issues

Capitalizing on big data remains a huge challenge for many companies because of a variety of reasons, ranging from identifying the right data to finding the right people to implement the technology -- and the right one, at that. But as experts tell Laskowski, the most common reason companies encounter major big data issues is not the wrong technology, but the wrong culture. In this SearchCIO handbook, get advice on how to build a data-driven culture to help realize big data success. In our second piece, CTO Niel Nickolaisen recounts how he executed a "dirt cheap" advanced analytics project and helped improve student retention rates at the university where he was CIO.

Why microservices are about to have their "cloud" moment

Traditional enterprise systems are still designed as monoliths: All-in-one, all-or-nothing, difficult to scale, difficult to understand, and difficult to maintain. Monoliths can quickly turn into nightmares that stifle innovation, stifle progress, and stifle joy. The negative side effects monoliths cause can be catastrophic for a company, engendering everything from low morale, to high employee turnover, to preventing a company from hiring top engineering talent, to lost market opportunities, and, in extreme cases, to the failure of a company. A valid question to ask is whether microservices are actually just SOA dressed up in new clothes. The answer is both yes and no. Yes, because the initial goals—decoupling, isolation, composition, integration, discrete and autonomous services—are the same.

Foundations, bright lines, and building successful open source ecosystems

We're seeing an accelerating rise of open source foundations over this past 4-5 years from launches such as the Outercurve Foundation and the OpenStack Foundation, to a growing number of sub-foundations being launched through the Linux Foundation. Simon Phipps gave a great OSCON talk in Amsterdam last fall, in which he calls for an end to new open source foundations with lots of valuable questions, many of them around bad corporate actors. Bryan Cantrill gave an excellent talk in 2014 on Corporate Open Source Anti-patterns relating his experiences in the OpenSolaris world, but at one point he claims one doesn't need foundations. I can't agree with either of them that all new open source foundations have no value.

Security Concerns Continue Amid Cloud Adoption

"Encryption got a bad rap in the past 40 years," said Sol Cates, chief security officer at Vormetric, in an interview with InformationWeek. It was perceived as slow and complicated. "How do you apply it without breaking anything?" he asked. Early adopters of encryption were paranoid, or sensitive and paranoid, or aware of regulatory compliance, Cates noted. All these factors may have impeded the wide implementation of encryption as a security solution. But attitudes have shifted again, as companies now seek encryption solutions. As more data is collected by organizations, the C-suite is experiencing more concern over its security. Customers also expect their data to be kept safe, Cates explained. That collection of data is growing exponentially, as gigabytes pile into terabytes, finally adding up to petabytes. Do you protect it all?

Cyber-criminals, despair: Now the accountants are joining the battle against you

The IT people may well say that cybercrime is an important issue - but when the accountants tells you it is then you know you really have to worry. But now the US Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) and the UK's Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) have jointly published a report, Cybersecurity - Fighting Crime's Enfant Terrible, as their contribution to the debate, as well as offering some practical advice on how organisations can come to terms with it and beat it. The report argues that accountants and finance professionals "can, and should, play a leading role in defining key areas of a strategic approach to mitigating cybercrime risks". This it breaks down into four, discrete chunks.

Enterprise data architecture strategy and the big data lake

The data lake takes a fundamentally different approach to data storage than the conventional data acquisition and ingestion method. The traditional method seeks to make the data conform to a predefined data model to create a uniform data asset that is shared by all data consumers. By normalizing the data into a single defined format, this approach, called schema-on-write, can limit the ways the data can be analyzed downstream. The approach that is typically applied for data stored in a data lake is called schema-on-read, meaning there are no predefined constraints for how the data is stored, but that it is the consumer's responsibility to apply the rules for rendering the accessed data in a way that is suited to each user's needs.

How To Manage The Risks And Costs of Software Compliance

“Software audits often come in different forms. For example, I have seen software audits from vendors come across as information requests or reviews. When a company responds to these requests without specialized advice, there is a lost opportunity to control costs. I worked with one client on such a request recently where we could have negotiated a limit to scope of the audit. Unfortunately, that discussion did not take place and the audit is now applicable to the client’s operations around the world,” Machal-Fulk says. Timing makes a major difference in seeking legal advice. “Once data is released to the vendor, the user’s ability to negotiate and adjust the scope of the audit is reduced,” Machal-Fulk says. Knowing when to involve legal experts is a matter of a professional judgement

IoT and Asset Management: An interdependent relationship?

Well, for many, it’s a lack of holistic vision, or the joined up thinking that is required to link together seemingly disparate business issues. To some degree, that’s to be expected, because IoT is a game-changer in the truest sense. With IoT, everything really is connected, even if this was unthinkable in the past. And when you have a large number of legacy systems and devices, it can be hard to conceive of how these can be ‘tamed’ and connected in such a way that they speak the same language. Our colleagues at Sogeti HighTech have developed their smartEngine solution architecture to meet this challenge and others, allowing organizations to get accurate and reliable heterogeneous data from machines and their components.

Quote for the day:

"You have all the reason in the world to achieve your grandest dreams. Imagination plus innovation equals realization." -- Denis Waitley

February 23, 2016

5G may be the future of mobile: But a couple of things have to happen first

The trouble is this next-gen mobile technology is still not ready for use, even though it may well be by 2020. In the meantime, operators and developers have to maintain a high level of expectation about what 5G will bring. ... Ping also pointed out the need to shift from a supply-driven business model to a demand-driven one, and the necessity to support a software-defined architecture, spawned from software-defined networking and introducing a certain level of virtualization between software producers and consumers. "Before 5G, we need to better understand the needs of verticals, support them during their integration, thus driving forward a digital revolution," he said. "It's important to act rather than wait for a new technology."

U.S. sees robots taking well-paying jobs

"Business dynamism -- the so-called churn or birth and death rate of firms -- has been in persistent decline in the United States since the 1970s," the report said. Young firms that survive "grow faster than older, established firms," the report says. But "there are fewer young firms in the economy today than in the 1980s." The reason for the decline in startups is not clear, but it may stem from a decline in innovation and productivity. This could be due to the increases in government regulation, and a consolidation of market power by mergers and acquisitions. Lower rates of job creation and destruction may be reducing the labor churn in the marketplace, "by which workers find jobs best matched to their skills and vice versa, lowering overall productivity for all firms -- young and old."

Docker announces Container-as-a-Service to bridge the DevOps gap

The portability of Docker means that Dockerized apps can run on any infrastructure. The only dependency is a Linux kernel, and that is a big part of the CaaS play that Docker wants to make with DDC. "You can deploy these workloads on bare metal," Johnston said. "You can deploy them to VMs in the data center, or deploy them to cloud nodes—all without breaking the application or forcing a [rewritten] application." The flexibility extends to cloud environments as well, with providers like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. The idea with containers is that you are able to write an application once and move it wherever you want, giving users the flexibility to drive workload placement based on business requirements instead of tech lock-in.

Countless computers vulnerable to MouseJack attack through wireless mice and keyboards

Attackers could write scripts that fire off malware to be uploaded to the target that allows any number of further attacks, Newlin says, or to access resources the user’s login authorizes. These devices use chips made by Nordic Semiconductor, some that support encryption and some that don’t. Newlin says those that do can be patched to implement the encryption. The others would have to be removed from the host machine when the keyboard and mouse are not in use and the machine is turned on and unattended. In response to an email about the vulnerability Microsoft sent this statement via its PR firm: “Microsoft has a customer commitment to investigate reported security issues, and will proactively update impacted devices as soon as possible.”

The UNIX® Evolution: An Innovative History

What started out as a communal programing environment or even an early word processor, the UNIX system turned out to be a more durable technology than Thomson and Ritchie could have imagined. It’s not only a durable operating system, but it is adaptable, reliable, flexible, portable and scalable. Ultimately, the UNIX OS would end up being supported across multiple systems, architectures, platform vendors, etc. and also spawn a number of look-alike compatibles. Lastly, UNIX technology would be the engine that drove innovation even beyond programming and data processing to markets and technologies beyond the realm of computer science. The academic and commercial take-up of UNIX systems would help germinate the growth of many existing and new technologies.

Platform business model picks up steam -- what's the CIO role?

The CIO's role in the early phases of a developing platform may be minimal, as the business focuses on cultivating the community the platform hopes to attract. John Hagel III, co-chairman of Deloitte LLP's Center for the Edge and author of the recent report, The Power of Platforms, points to the example of Li & Fung, whose platform orchestrates supply networks in the apparel industry. In its early days, the Li & Fung platform relied mainly on the telephone and fax to get off the ground. "Some of the most sophisticated platforms we see, particularly around orchestration, are actually being done today with limited technology," he said. Instead, emerging platforms tend to focus much more on defining a governance structure, Hagel explained.

The future of mobility

There’s no mystery about why we pay such close attention to the ups and downs of the auto industry—its extended value chain is an essential engine of global economic growth. ... There are two profoundly different visions of the future of mobility. Fundamental differences center around whether today’s system of private ownership of driver-controlled vehicles remains relatively unchanged or whether we eventually migrate to a driverless system of predominantly shared mobility. There is also a critical difference about the pathway forward. The “insider” view believes that today’s system can progress in an orderly, linear fashion, in which the current industry assets and fundamental structure remain essentially intact. The “disrupter” view envisions a tipping-point approach to a very different future, one that offers great promise and potential societal benefits

The Demise of Passwords and the Rise of Authentication Technologies

Cyberattacks dominated the news in 2015, and it’s likely that 2016 will be no different. Cyber criminals are relentless in their efforts to find and take advantage of security weaknesses, which often include privileged user credentials. As computing processing power continues to increase, it’s becoming possible to break even the most complex passwords, putting every organization at risk of devastating breaches. Rather than requiring customers and employees to memorize 20-character, non-dictionary passwords, security and risk professionals need to start plotting the demise of the password and improving the security of privileged accounts. This webcast will highlight the technologies, such as privileged access and account management tools, best suited for securing your most sensitive systems and data.

4 Ways Good Project Leaders Create Cultures of Success

Who has the greatest impact on projects as a whole? The simple answer is everyone (executives/sponsors, vendors, customers, consultants and especially employees). If any one of these individuals is dissatisfied, the project suffers a loss in terms of participation, productivity and buy-in. These losses can be tangible or intangible, and are not always easily or successfully quantified. The one thing that’s certain is that dissatisfaction will imprint itself on project success or failure in one way or another. This can be through low morale, decreased productivity, conflict, absenteeism, an increase in turnover and so on. The end result is project teams and companies as a whole operating at greatly reduced competence due to various forms of dysfunction.

Can large companies adopt the agility of startups?

The slang term that is going around for this phenomenon is uberization. It is a derivative from ride sharing service Uber, which revolutionized the taxi and chauffeur industries instantly and now threatens their existence. The idea of bullet-proofing your organization from uberization by becoming fleet of foot with innovation is tantalizing in whiteboard discussions—but how easy is it to do for large companies with layers of product and idea vetting processes, regulatory and political constraints? In a LinkedIn post, entrepreneur and investor Yann Girard, wrote that corporations are too riddled with red tape, regulations, protocol, politics, CYA and fear of risk for their employees to take on the unknowns associated with the practices of startups, where immense rewards loom on the distant seashore but the waters that must be traversed to get there are laden with sharks.

Quote for the day:

"Not being able to quit your job shouldn’t mean you have to quit your dreams" -- Richard Branson

February 22, 2016

IT's New Nightmare: Will Ransomware Hold Your Data Hostage?

The new ransomware threat on healthcare is worrisome because hospitals are not designed to fight cyber risks, says Rahul Kashyap, chief security architect at Bromium, which monitors treat data and analyzes threats. “IT security in hospitals is not architected to ward off these threats—hospital attacks will rise.” At Hollywood Presbyterian, the ransomware attack started on February 5, crippling access to electronic health records and interrupting the flow of clinical information. The facility resolved the situation by paying the equivalent of $17,000 in ransom to obtain a decryption key and put its information systems back online, said Allen Stefanek, its CEO. Access to data in the electronic record was restored on Monday, February 15, he said.

Mark Zuckerberg Outlines The Future of Facebook

"VR is the next platform, where anyone can create and experience anything they want," said Zuckerberg. "Pretty soon, we’re going to live in a world where everyone has the power to share and experience whole scenes as if you’re just right there in person." Virtual reality relies on 360-degree videos that capture a scene from all angles. It requires a camera with two or more lenses and software that stitches the video or still images together. That's what Samsung's Gear 360 does. Earlier in the day, LG Electronics announced a similar 360-degree camera. For viewers, similar software is required to make sense of the video and play it either on a conventional screen, where viewers can move the video to look around, or on a virtual reality headset, where they move their heads to look around.

Cisco next-generation firewall marks improvements

Cisco next-generation firewall is being retooled, with a unified management console, the 4100 series of appliances for "high-performance applications" and a newly minted Security Segmentation Service -- a consulting and advisory arrangement that guides organizations on security protocols. "Attackers are getting bolder and coordinating their efforts. The Cisco next-generation firewall acts as a unifying platform, integrating Cisco and third-party security solutions for increased correlation and context," David Goeckeler, senior vice president and general manager for Cisco's security business group, said in a statement. "The result is better protection, and faster detection and response to advanced threats."

Artificial intelligence needs your data, all of it

Smartphone photos can be tagged with time and location. By harvesting thousands of photos a day from major cities, the AirTick app can train A.I.-software to learn how to estimate the amount of smog from the photos. Over time, the A.I. plus the smartphone photo information should enable the system to maintain real-time, neighborhood-by-neighborhood estimates of air quality. That could allow timely alerts for people to go inside when the air quality gets really bad and also provide evidence for citizens to demand cleaner air, say, in factory towns where the air may be especially unhealthful. Another research project out of the University of California at Berkeley last week published a free app called MyShake that can detect earthquakes.

Hacker explains how he put "backdoor" in hundreds of Linux Mint downloads

The hacker responsible, who goes by the name "Peace," told me in an encrypted chat on Sunday that a "few hundred" Linux Mint installs were under their control -- a significant portion of the thousand-plus downloads during the day. But that's only half of the story. Peace also claimed to have stolen an entire copy of the site's forum twice -- one from January 28, and most recently February 18, two days before the hack was confirmed. The hacker shared a portion of the forum dump, which we verified contains some personally identifiable information, such as email addresses, birthdates, profile pictures, as well as scrambled passwords. Those passwords might not stay that way for much longer. The hacker said that some passwords have already been cracked, with more on the way.

Inside the New Microsoft, Where Lie Detection Is a Killer App

Though Microsoft has been working on machine learning for at least 20 years, divisions like Office and Windows once harnessed its predictive qualities only sparingly. "The reaction of many people there was 'We know how to do things, why are you questioning my views with your data,'" says Pedro Domingos, a University of Washington computer science professor who wrote a book on machine learning called The Master Algorithm. Microsoft truly embraced the technology when it started Bing in an attempt to catch up with Google. Satya Nadella ran engineering and technical strategy for the search division before becoming chief executive officer two years ago and has been sprinkling machine learning like fairy dust on everything his company touches.

Deleting Data Vs. Destroying Data: The Difference Can Be Damning

Attempting to repent for its ‘sins’ – so to speak – and make good with distraught customers – Ashley Madison rolled out a new “discreet photo” security tool that lets users hide their identity on their profile page by choosing from two different masks, a black bar that covers their eyes or four different degrees of blurring. While this new feature is somewhat interesting, it’s not really what I would deem to be the best corrective action to take after they failed so miserably to remove customer data. Rather than address the big issue - the failure to remove user data completely and permanently - they’re just putting a very ineffective and flimsy Band-aid over the injury. Rather than let users put a mask over their profile photos, I’d caution the dating site to take stock of the cause of the breach and focus on changing things seriously so that cause doesn’t and can’t ever happen again.

What’s Next in Computing?

It’s tempting to dismiss deep learning as another Silicon Valley buzzword. The excitement, however, is supported by impressive theoretical and real-world results. For example, the error rates for the winners of the ImageNet challenge — a popular machine vision contest — were in the 20–30% range prior to the use of deep learning. Using deep learning, the accuracy of the winning algorithms has steadily improved, and in 2015 surpassed human performance. Many of the papers, data sets, and software tools related to deep learning have been open sourced. This has had a democratizing effect, allowing individuals and small organizations to build powerful applications.

What Happens To Older Programmers and Developers?

The key is that you have to stay up with technology. If you think that you’re going to develop one skill set, if you think you’re going to come out of college and never learn on your own and never learn anything new and not stay up to date well then yeah, you’re going to become a dinosaur. By the time you’re 35 those young programmers, Mark Zuckerbergs, young programmers who are superior, they are going to be superior because they’re eager, the want it. They’re learning new things. They have the latest technology, but there’s no reason why—in fact, by the time you’re 35 or 40 you should be able to become a better developer, right? You should be better than all those young 20 year olds because you should have experience with a lot of different programming languages and technologies as well as the knowledge of the new ones.

Why De-Escalation Management is Crucial to IT Infrastructure Health

The most obvious distinction that needs to be made is whether you are more of a reports or an alerts kind of person. Reports and alerts both help account for the health of a system. Yet reports are primarily used to document the overall state of a system. Say for instance you are a web hosting provider and you want to demonstrate the quality of your service to your clients, a report will serve this purpose just fine. Assuming that everything is as it should be. But then again, it is obvious that a report will not come out right automatically. Too many issues will certainly affect your overall service quality and bring it down to a level where it definitely should not be. So what you need to do is get active as soon as you get the first indication that something goes wrong.

Quote for the day:

"Failures only triumph if we don't have the courage to try again." -- Gordon Tredgold

February 21, 2016

There is no way around Enterprise Architecture

If you acknowledge principles and patters do exist in your enterprise you have to ask yourself if you’re in control of them? Have you defined a structure of principles which guide your organization by performing their tasks and making business decisions? Have you engineered the patterns so you know why they’re there and what their purpose is? Imagine your market is changing, your customers demand other services. Do you know which patterns and principles to change? More specifically, which strategies, processes, responsibilities, artefacts, applications, timelines or locations are involved? Unfortunately, I’ve seen to many enterprises that are not in control. If this article made you aware, why don’t you initiate a way to get in control of your enterprises principles and patterns?

Take-Up of Anti-Phishing Standard DMARC Jumps 24%

Legacy IT infrastructure, convoluted email ecosystems, and risk-aversion were all cited as reasons contributing to the continued slow adoption rates in some industries. That said, 2.5 billion inboxes are now protected by DMARC and most major webmail providers including Yahoo and AOL support the standard. Google is switching DMARC on in June. Although, the report added the following note of caution: “However, it is important to note that enterprise-messaging gateways are in the early stages of rolling out DMARC, and reporting capabilities are still a big hurdle. 2016 will see an increased focus on providing enhanced reporting capabilities that threat intelligence platforms can leverage to identify malicious activity faster.”

Organizational Culture: 9 Tips for Entrepreneurs

An employee is an essential asset for a startup, especially a low-budget one. With my first startup, I hired two college students because I thought they would connect with potential clients better than someone older with experience (we were targeting exchange students for ski trips). I was wrong. They were terrible, and I was essentially paying them the little money that I had to not really do much at all. That money could have gone towards a hundred other things, and I didn’t realize how difficult hardworking people are to find. So, in short, my advice is to hire smart. Get people who will not only work hard to better your startup, but also help create a positive atmosphere. The opposite can ruin a startup.

Top 5 CIO tips for working with the C-Suite

CIOs across all industries must have a deep understanding of the technology deployed in their business. They need to understand the limitations of the current network and applications, the multiple contractual relationships with technology vendors, and the best way to manage both the good and bad in any enterprise IT environment. But as a digital revolution rapidly sweeps across all industries, now is the time for CIOs to be making the case for how IT can be of strategic importance to the business, and to start being heard in the C-suite. Here are five ways in which CIOs can make that happen:

Using Predictive Analytics to Identify Cyber Security Risks

Today’s cyber criminals have learned that snatch-and-grab attacks, where they attempt to quickly steal large amounts of data from a network, are easily detected by network defenses such as firewalls and anti-virus, which will effectively shut down or quarantine access. Therefore, criminals have evolved a more patient approach, constructing layered software that is designed to steal small fragments of data over a longer period of time. ... The industry average before a network breach is detected stands at around 200 days. The result for the victim is death by a thousand cuts. Predictive analytics can detect these data anomalies early on, looking for new patterns of data access, including hidden data that is being exfiltrated into another format and/or encrypted to avoid detection.

The Fifth Amendment and Bitcoin: Why the Battle is About to Begin

Translated to bitcoin private keys, that could mean a person would have to transfer his or her bitcoins to where the government wanted them moved (eg, a government controlled bitcoin wallet) but not tell the government the private key used. So far, no US court has ruled, at least publicly, on whether the Fifth Amendment protects a person from government compelled disclosure of his or her bitcoin private key or keys. ... In the not too distant future, there can be no doubt that a US court will tackle the issue of the application of the Fifth Amendment to bitcoin private keys in a case that undoubtedly will be closely watched like the current Apple case. And that court should uphold one of the Fifth Amendment’s most important protections and not compel disclosure, despite prosecutors urging otherwise.

The five key technology trends businesses must embrace to stay ahead

Technology continues to evolve rapidly, so much so it’s impossible to know for certain where the world will be in five years’ time. For example, at the turn of the millennium, who would have thought there would now be more mobile devices than humans? It is therefore more important than ever for businesses to embrace emerging and disruptive technologies before it is too late - ignoring them now will leave businesses falling behind and questioning what might have been as a potential competitive advantage slips through their fingers. For example, in 2009 Blackberry was named by Fortune as the fasted growing company in the world, yet after remaining stagnant for five years it was forced to play catch-up, not only to Apple but also to the whole mobile industry.

Perspective: A woman in tech in Palestine

One of the core issues as she sees it is that jobs are available in the larger cities but it is not an option for a woman to live alone or be out late at night. “As a result, Palestinian women have one of the lowest rates of workforce participation in the world. Despite this challenge, Palestinian women make up a majority of students in many universities in Palestine,” she says. “I was often told growing up that ‘a woman’s future is in her husband’s kitchen,” she adds. “But, I believe as a woman I can help change the world in my own way, even in tough situations. This motivated me to finish school with high grades. Then I earned a bachelor’s degree in computer systems engineering and graduated with honors.” Despite this, she describes a period of two years where she was completely unemployed with no job prospects.

The promise of predictive analytics for Web content

“Seismic shifts in both technology and consumer behavior during the past decade have produced a granular, virtually infinite record of every action consumers take online,” Wes Nichols explained in the Harvard Business Review. “Add to that the oceans of data from DVRs and digital set-top boxes, retail checkout, credit card transactions, call center logs and myriad other sources, and you find that marketers now have access to a previously unimaginable trove of information about what consumers see and do. The opportunity is clear.” ... The challenge, of course, being that monetization is much more complicated in media companies. And actionability is not clearly defined for digital publishers: Data has mostly provided a rear-view mirror perspective.

Linux Foundation announces Zephyr Project, an open source IoT operating system

First and foremost, being open source, the Zephyr Project will drive innovation for IoT devices through the roof. Startups will no longer have to consider licensing an operating system or developing one on their own as a hurdle for their product. You want to innovate for IoT? Grab the Zephyr Project source and begin. Working with an open source platform also ensures your innovation isn't capped. By its very nature, you will be able to do what you need with the Zephyr Project. This will be the ideal IoT platform, as it will not work "against" the developers. No matter the function or feature, you can roll it in. Developers around the globe will contribute to the project, so you can bet it will grow fast.

Quote for the day:

“Striving to constantly activate all resources all the time is not a recipe for effective operations." --Goldratt