August 20, 2016

Respect Your Organisational Monoliths

DevOps and agile initiatives (like Scrum) are being more widely adopted in our organisations. However, to successfully enable these methodologies and way of working, it is important to engage the teams and departments in the company that are responsible for "protection". Like your partner, these are the teams where you need to show the love. Without engaging these teams you are working against your own group and run the risk of creating an “us vs. us” environment. To enable DevOps to be successful in my organisation I had to engage with many such groups. I will specifically mention the security group. Most (financial) organizations have a dedicated security group. I went to my security group with a DevSecOps story. ... To get engagement from group security we had to examine and explain our product testing and test driven development strategy more closely.

The 3 Scariest Infosec Threats

“The high-profile hacks are usually pretty sophisticated, but the reality is far more of the threats to information come from human beings doing dumb things,” Tuma said. “Failure of the basics of blocking and tackling of infosec, not the ultra-sophisticated stuff, is where we see the most incidents. Yet companies spend more time and resources focusing on addressing the sexy stuff instead of the basics.” ... Another looming threat comes from the Internet of Things “and the lack of standards that exists as we start to connect these devices, sensors, mobile computers (and more) to our existing major networks and enterprise technology stacks,” said Adrian Bridgwater (@ABridgwater), a software technology journalist.

Report finds health, fitness apps lag in privacy polices

“While consumers might reasonably expect that any app that collects health and fitness information would be more than likely than general purpose apps to describe its privacy policies and practices, that is not always the case,” the authors write. “Given that some health and fitness apps can access sensitive, physiological data collected by sensors on a mobile phone, wearable, or other device, their below-average performance is both unexpected and troubling.” Top paid health apps trail behind general apps, the report found, with free apps marginally better at offering privacy polices. When the researchers examined sleep-tracking apps, only 66 percent had any privacy policy, and only a little more than half of those apps linked to their privacy policy from the app store.

How the internet of energy will herald in the hybrid home

That vital combination of digital intelligence and analysis will enhance the performance of energy systems and improve energy efficiency. It’s why the Government is putting so much effort behind the smart metering scheme – with everyone in the country equipped, householders will get information about how much they are spending on energy in real-time. That way, they can do something about it, save money and reduce their emissions into the bargain. Instead of energy being under someone else’s control, we are entering an era where householders have a choice. But while meters have been hailed as one of the key smart solutions that will transform the energy industry, there’s so much more that smart technology can do, which brings us to the hybrid home.

Riding on the Internet of Things to become a smart nation

The adoption of IoT technologies will be a key component for smart nation services and enable the exploitation of technology and innovation to address challenges, such as the increased strain on healthcare facilities and resources, traffic planning and congestion prevention, with the aim of enhancing residents' quality of life. As business cases are refined, you can scale technology solutions to the enterprise. There is no need to reinvent the wheel for IoT initiatives. Activating and connecting existing infrastructure could also leapfrog some implementation steps. Establishing appropriate protocols to ensure connectivity, public safety, cybersecurity and fairness will be a complex undertaking, but essential for future success. In line with this, our government must also transform how it regulates industries, develops new policies and undertakes procurement.

AI is booming, but can the benefits live up to the hype?

"This is not hype; it's real and sustained progress, which accelerates research," he said. He's also not convinced that funding will be impacted. "Funding is currently diversified between government agencies and industry, so it is unlikely to dry up," he said. "The market has a huge appetite for new AI capabilities and government is very interested in military and security applications. If anything, the funding will become even greater." "Plus," Yampolskiy added, "now it is possible to crowdfund good ideas." Aside from potential concerns about funding, some believe that conflating machine learning with AI is a problem. "There's likely a lot more involved in building intelligent systems than deep learning," said Toby Walsh, professor of AI at the University of New South Wales. "Unlike humans, deep learning needs lots of data."

Cybersecurity Is Broken And The Hacks Are Going To Just Keep Coming

If any evidence was needed for cybersecurity’s growing importance as an industry, you wouldn’t need to look much farther than the overcrowded booths on the stage floor at Black Hat and the VIP parties thrown by various corporations, ranging from Nike to Microsoft, that surround the event. The annual conference began as the more formal, industry-focused, sister to the unruly DefCon, or as it is sometimes called, hackers’ summer camp. If it seems weird that a conference for security professionals would be held back-to-back with the world’s largest hackers conference, then you don’t understand just how symbiotic the two groups are. Cybersecurity companies need hackers like defense companies need former army generals.

JUnit 5 - An Early Test Drive - Part 2

In the olden days test methods were not allowed to have parameters. That made sense then, because after all, what could JUnit possible pass for them? For version 5 the team answered this question with “Whatever you want!”. So now test methods can have parameters. For each parameter, JUnit will search for an extension to provide a value. Two such extensions are built in, and they can be used to inject aTestInfo or a TestReporter, but neither is terribly useful for everyday test writing. More interesting is the MockitoExtension, which will inject a mock into each parameter that is annotated with @InjectMock. It demonstrates how the extension API, although still a work in progress, can already be put to good use.

SurFlow: Data at 6Gbps across your table, walls or the wings of a spaceship

By creating a fast networking technology that works on the fabric of a construction, the owner of the patent, TWI could make a fortune. Being a UK company, the technology won’t be ruthlessly exploited in the country of origin, but the benefits will be enjoyed in many other industrial nations, if past experience is anything to go by. British companies have a habit of inventing things and allowing others to exploit their commercial benefits to the full. For example Graphene, an extraordinary allotrope of carbon that is 100 times stronger than steel and conducts electricity highly efficiently, was isolated and characterised in 2004 by Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov at the University of Manchester, but today the majority of patents are held by non-UK companies.

How your contact lenses could talk to your phone

The research is funded by the National Science Foundation and Google Faculty Research Awards. Google has shown particular interest in the technology and was conducting its own research into smart contact lenses that can test diabetics' blood glucose levels two years ago. Using wireless chips and miniaturized glucose sensors embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material, the smart lenses were being designed to test blood sugar levels in the user's tears. When it announced the research in 2014, Google said its scientists were experimenting with using LED lights in the lenses to alert users if their glucose levels were off. The UW research could solve the communications problem for many devices, including sensors and credit card, as well as contact lenses.

Quote for the day:

"Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises" -- Demosthenes

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