August 21, 2016

The risky side of project management

Not all risks can or should be completely avoided. There will be times where this simply can't be done and other strategies should be considered. Getting to the point of knowing the best strategy can be dependant on many things such as priority, company policies, management outlook, external factors, stakeholder preference etc. ... Again, there really aren't any lone wolves in risk management, project outcomes impact everyone involved, and this makes each person accountable for playing a role in the execution of the risk management plan. That said, the project manager serves a pivotal role in identifying, documenting, communicating, preparing for, and managing the project risks.

Beyond bitcoin: the legacy of blockchain

Aside from currency, blockchain technology could be used to create secure exchanges of other high value assets or information in a peer-to-peer or business-to-business environment. For example, smart contracts could allow parties to enter into binding agreements, the terms of which are transparent to the anonymous parties, and property transactions could be carried out in online marketplaces with the removal of the estate agent intermediary. Banks are actively looking at blockchain technologies because of their ability to streamline processes and increase efficiency (particularly in areas like remittance, transfers, shareholder management and trading), and investors are increasingly backing start-ups developing blockchain applications or software.

Agencies face cyber concerns as apps rely on aging systems — report

“Cybersecurity, from a discussion perspective, has reached such a tenor that it’s a mainstream discussion across the entire United States,” Chehreh said. “The normal American… recognizes the value and importance of cybersecurity.” He added: “We must now operate in a very different manner to assure the privacy information that the civil agencies have is protected with the utmost that we can offer, and the most modern techniques and technologies.” Both Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows 8 have passed their "end of life," the release notes, but many respondents reported still using one of the two systems.  “We’re at a point and time within agencies' histories that we can no longer look at delaying modernization strategies,” Chehreh said.

Developing a global financial architecture

The lack of trust architecture is the defining stumbling block that keeps money from moving more easily to the developing world. In their Insights article A World Awash in Money, Bain & Company define trust architecture as strong property rights protections, reliable legal systems and institutional depth. What this really boils down to is safety and transparency: People want to see that the money they send across borders is going where it is supposed to. ... Much of the developing world has a ledger problem. Unsurprisingly, checking account penetration is significantly lower in developing countries, where only 41 percent of the population have accounts, than in the developed world, where 89 percent do. The differences are even more stark when you look at adults with only primary education (10 percent) or credit card holders (7 percent) in the developing world.

Blockchain Real Use Case: Land Inventory in Africa and Beyond

“As a decentralized exchange, OpenLedger allows digital currencies to be exchanged with each other as well as with fiat currencies. CCEDK is a partner who help with marketing and PR. They have a team of specialists who make B2B and B2C contacts, as well as produce literature and content related to the projects using OpenLedger. Kottackal is a company in India that helps tech companies enter the market and get prepared to scale with the global market. We are hoping that having them as auditing partners will help Bitland move into markets outside of the African continent with ease.” Bates also hints to Cointelegraph that his company will be meeting with government officials in another country next month, and while the name of the country cannot be disclosed at the moment, Bates says that it is a Western country not in Africa.

Data without Context is No Data At All

Information analysts and scientists are well aware of the importance of reference data. Every year, the Association of American Medical Colleges holds a conference focused on information technology in medical education and research. The event brings together leading academics and practitioners from medical centers across North America, and it’s always interesting and inspiring to see their forays into the frontiers of medical IT. This year, I had the opportunity, along with a wonderful colleague, to present on reference data management and ontologies, but it turns out that we were hardly the only ones thinking about reference data. Several presenters spoke of the necessity to corral enterprise taxonomies, ontologies, and controlled vocabularies to facilitate data integration, analytics and – above all – data governance.

Will the Internet of Things be bigger than the Industrial Revolution?

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been labeled as "the next Industrial Revolution" because of the way it will change the way people live, work, entertain, and travel, as well as how governments and businesses interact with the world. In fact, the revolution is already starting.  That brand new car that comes preloaded with a bunch of apps? Internet of Things. Those smart home devices that let you control the thermostat and play music with a few words? Internet of Things. That fitness tracker on your wrist that lets you tell your friends and family how your exercise is going? You get the point. But this is just the beginning. BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has tracked the growth of the IoT for more than two years, specifically how consumers, businesses, and governments are using the IoT ecosystem.

Machine Learning Becomes Mainstream: How to Increase Your Competitive Advantage

You already know that machine learning is essentially a form of data analytics, but where did it come from and how has it evolved to become what it is today? In the past couple of decades, we have seen a rapid expansion and evolution of information technology. In 1995, data storage cost around $1000/GB; by 2014 that cost had plummeted to $0.03/GB (2). With access to larger and larger data sets, data scientists have made major advances in neural networks, which have led to better accuracy in modeling and analytics. As we mentioned earlier, the combination of data and analytics opens up unique opportunities for businesses. Now that machine learning is entering the mainstream, the next step along the path is predictive analytics, which goes above and beyond previous analytics capabilities.

Cyber espionage: A new cold war?

According to three cyber security companies that declined to be identified, the Shadow Brokers is mostly likely run by Russian intelligence. “There is no digital smoking gun,” said one analyst. But the circumstantial evidence is compelling, analysts say. And the list of other potential nation-state actors with the capability, wherewithal and motive is short. “The fact that the Shadow Brokers did not exist before, appeared at this time and are using intelligence that has been saved up until now suggests this is all part of some deliberate, targeted operation, put together for a particular purpose,” says Ewan Lawson, a former cyber warfare officer in the UK’s Joint Forces Command and now senior research fellow at RUSI, the think-tank. “That purpose looks like it is to highlight perceived US hypocrisy.” Russia, he says, is the obvious perpetrator.

Is blockchain revolutionary, or just another infrastructure support technology?

Stefan Thomas, one of the moving forces behind Bitcoin, is having second thoughts on the technology that underpins the cryptocurrency. In a recent piece posted on Medium, he stated that "as a blockchain grows, the larger and highly vested user base becomes more and more difficult to shepard." Thomas' doubts have grown since watching the progress of Ethereum, the blockchain-based smart contract and cryptocurrency platform open for all to use. Achieving "shared state" across a massive developer and user base is proving problematic, he opines. "In any protocol, everyone has to act the same. But in a blockchain like Ethereum, everyone has to think the same. Everyone's memory has to be exactly the same and evolve according to the same rules.

Quote for the day:

"The easiest way to lose power is to cling to it too tightly." -- Gordon Tredgold

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