March 06, 2016

Why President Obama’s cyber security plan is one (big) piece of the puzzle

Cyber security is a complicated latticework of disparate yet interconnected elements: public and private entities, domestic and foreign agencies and overlapping legal frameworks. Take the Judicial Redress Act, which President Obama signed into law on February 24. In addition to providing limited access to US courts for citizens of certain countries – court access would be conditioned on covered countries permitting the transfer of personal data – the Judicial Redress Act has other international implications, specifically in the context of US-EU negotiations. The finalisation of the Judicial Redress Act was considered by the European Union as a prerequisite to an umbrella agreement, initialed by US and EU officials last September

Can you take the Internet out of the Internet of Things?

Does it really make sense for every device to have a Wi-Fi chip in either itself or in a gateway, or should all devices route through some always-connected gateway? Based on the growing number of “standards,” varying power, range and data rate requirements, it’s evident there is likely not going to be any sort of IoT topological convergence. This is because, in some cases, a device simply needs to report its proximity to a phone (think beacons), or because a device operating in a challenging RF environment struggles with higher frequency radios used by Thread or Zigbee and are not the ideal technical selection. In many cases, a gateway and a variety of sensors makes total sense.

Exploring Banking as a Platform (BaaP) Model

Network effects impact us all on a daily basis, via social networks and other marketplaces. These same social networks and marketplaces, after having gotten us used to interacting with one another in a different way, are now encroaching on financial services, with payments and lending initially being their target. Smartphones, broadband internet, the 24/7 availability of commerce and data, and social networks have made us organize ourselves very differently than in the past. The Millennial generation, weaned on this new paradigm, now have completely different expectations than their parents or grand parents of communication and commerce. There are other reasons why financial services industry incumbents need to shift to a platform strategy.

Meet tech's new odd couple: the CIO and CMO

While both sides recognize the need for alignment and a joint strategic plan, there remains a disconnect in how each party views its contribution, according to a November 2014 Forrester report on CMO-CIO collaboration. For example, the research, spearheaded by Pattek, found that while about 70 percent of the executives in both groups believe their strategic planning process emphasizes enhancing customer acquisition, retention and loyalty, only 61 percent of marketers think the CIO is actively engaged in that process. In contrast, 76 percent of the IT leaders said the CIO plays an active role. In addition, 70 percent of marketers and 66 percent of tech management executives said they agree that marketing technology plans will gain more support and funding if they're developed jointly by the CMO and CIO.

No, your Raspberry Pi 3 won't overheat in everyday use, says its creator

While a typical workload for the Pi might see the demand on the CPU spike momentarily, in the vast majority of use cases these periods of high CPU utilisation will not be sustained for long periods, he said. "In most use cases you see a very spiky performance profile. So what you're looking at is 'Can I run very fast for a second?' or 'Can I run very fast in bunches of 50ms?'." And while putting a case on the board will increase the temperature, again for the typical user it will not drive the board to become hot enough to throttle its speed - he said. Upton explains the throttling behavior as being a consequence of making the Pi's hardware more powerful.

The Amazing Ways Big Data Is Used In China

The Chinese financial industry is quickly adapting into a Big Data-driven model, too. In 2013 a number of legislation changes regarding use of customer data quickly led to an explosion in the use of Big Data analytics by banks, investment funds and insurance companies. In 2012 it was estimated that the entirety of the heavily regulated Chinese banking industry held around 100 terabytes (100,000 gigabytes) of customer data. By March 2014, just one of China’s “Big Four” banks, the state owned Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, was said to have amassed 4.9 petabytes (4,900 terabytes, or 4,900,000 gigabytes) of mostly unstructured data. Just as it is in the west, this data is mostly used for marketing of retail banking products.

Artificial intelligence brings its brains and money to London

Both DeepMind and its successors involve “deep reinforcement learning” – giving computers the tools to draw conclusions based on large amounts of data, in the way that humans make assumptions based on experience. The potential applications are vast, from helping doctors diagnose patients to spotting faults in infrastructure such as transport networks – and other uses that even its inventors are yet to conceive of. But measuring progress in AI is not easy. The layperson usually cites the Turing test, developed by Bletchley Park codebreaker Alan Turing in 1950. It focuses on whether a computer can convince a human in a blind test that they are talking to another human. But that test, says Shanahan, is more about “tricking” people through mimicry than developing AI genuinely capable of learning.

Getting the greatest value from your cyber security budget at the end of the financial year

As the financial year creeps inexorably towards its close, you’re probably thinking about the best way of wringing every last drop of value from your budget. If you’re concerned about information security and how it affects your business, why not make the most of your available resources by implementing a best-practice information security management system (ISMS), based on the international standard ISO 27001? ... The good news is that it’s very likely you already have many of ISO 27001’s controls in place, so bringing your current practices into line with the Standard could well be within your grasp. The best way to determine how much work you need to carry out is to conduct a gap analysis.

What Keyboards Do Programmers Prefer?

As developers, we all have preferences in the tools we use for work: a powerful machine, one (or two) large screens, having the freedom to choose our OS, our IDE, etc.... Yet in most companies, we rarely pay the the same level of attention to keyboards. The one that comes with your computer (PC or Mac, desktop or laptop) is often the default choice and we almost never challenge its quality and usability, even though a keyboard is one of the most basic tools of our job, allowing us to perform most of our everyday tasks. So why neglect the quality (and the look!) of a tool that we use eight hours a day? This article is an overview of all the different choices made by the developers team behind the insurance comparison site And you'll see how every one of them has an approach of its own.

Strategy, Not Technology Drives Digital Transformation

The ability to digitally reimagine the business is determined in large part by a clear digital strategy supported by leaders who foster a culture able to change and invent the new. While these insights are consistent with prior technology evolutions, what is unique to digital transformation is that risk taking is becoming a cultural norm as more digitally advanced companies seek new levels of competitive advantage. Equally important, employees across all age groups want to work for businesses that are deeply committed to digital progress. Company leaders need to bear this in mind in order to attract and retain the best talent.

Quote for the day:

"Every time you have to speak, you are auditioning for leadership." -- James Humes

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