September 13, 2016

Indian-origin scientist's tech to let you read closed books

Terahertz frequency profiles can distinguish between ink and blank paper, in a way that X-rays can not, and has much better depth resolution than ultrasound. The system exploits the fact that between the pages of a book tiny air pockets are trapped about 20 micrometres deep. The difference in refractive index - the degree to which they bend light - between the air and the paper means that the boundary between the two will reflect terahertz radiation back to a detector. In the new system, a standard terahertz camera emits ultrashort bursts of radiation, and the camera's built-in sensor detects their reflections. From the reflections' time of arrival, the algorithm can gauge the distance to the individual pages of the book.

CIOs, CTOs playing greater role in technology decisions

"What we found is that, in the past, CIOs and CTOs reported to the COO or CFO, and they weren't getting as much of a seat at the table as far as strategy and more tactical initiatives go. Their role was just to make sure IT departments and technology spending were kept under control and overhead was low -- but with the cloud and digital, tech leaders are seen as more than just a cost center, they've become increasingly strategic and their voices are louder," says Steve Keathley, national technology leader, Deloitte Growth Enterprise Services and Partner Deloitte Consulting, LLP. Mid-market organizations are increasingly seeing productivity gains and a faster time-to-value as a result of technology investment, which is driving a willingness to see technology as a solid investment, Keathley says.

Blockchain can not only transform insurers, but also benefit customers; here’s how

A shared ledger can reduce the instances of fraud as companies can ensure that there are no subsequent claims on the same product. But the real application of the technology comes in the form of new niche insurance products it ceates when combined with internet of things (IoT). For instance, the black box in a car can generate data on driving habits of the user based on which blockchain can help create personalised insurance covers for each kind of user. ... One of the pain points of insurance for consumers is the claim approval process. Blockchain can ensure validation of data faster and quicker disbursement. Also, with IoT systems and better tracking of consumers, this process can get even faster. For instance, a home security system with cloud connectivity can allow companies to track information real-time and help process claims.

5 Ways Blockchain will Transform Financial Services

Financial institutions across the world are responsible for complying and reporting on a number of requirements from their local regulator. Know Your Customer (KYC) is a key requirement here but the process can be incredibly time consuming and lack the automated customer identification technology and integration needed by teams to efficiently carry out their work. Blockchain technology could provide a digital single source of ID information allowing for the seamless exchange of documents between banks and external agencies. This would likely result in automated account opening, reduced resource and cost, all whilst maintaining the privacy of data that is legally required.

The IoT and Cloud security measures — not as well developed as needed

“Cloud security continues to be a challenge for companies, especially in dealing with the complexity of privacy and data protection regulations,” said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder, Ponemon Institute. “To ensure compliance, it is important for companies to consider deploying such technologies as encryption, tokenization or other cryptographic solutions to secure sensitive data transferred and stored in the cloud.” Agreed Jason Hart, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Data Protection at Gemalto, a leader in digital security, “It’s quite obvious security measures are not keeping pace because the cloud challenges traditional approaches of protecting data when it was just stored on the network.

Startup maps journey to automate US freight trucking

“It’s too simplistic to say this is Uber for trucking,” he says. “The Uber problem is one of ‘I need a car now and give me the closest car’; the shipping one is ‘I need a truck at a certain time with a certain load going in a certain direction, plus there are contractual relationships’. Then there’s the Big Data element of understanding traffic patterns, predicting where you need capacity and optimising routes.” Kropp and CFO Jan Gildemeister each have over 10 years’ experience in trucking and logistics and say they want to create the “next evolution of trucking technology”. Kropp says that truck fleet operators have tended to focus on improving fuel economy, aerodynamics and other elements but believes that, by taking a fresh look at the logistics of the industry, much bigger savings are to be had.

5 tips to successfully pitch your IT project

There are many statistics about how many IT projects fail and many internet posts suggesting why. After hearing the above story from a friend, I have been wondering how many worthwhile IT projects never even get greenlighted and why? I suppose accurate statistics would be hard to find, after all, what doesn't get started rarely gets documented and measured. As a guide, though, multiply the number of projects that you yourself have not successfully pitched by the number of project teams that you imagine there are on the planet (Project Management Institute estimates that there are 16.5 million project managers in the world) and you probably have a very big number indeed floating across your mind. These can't all have been terrible projects, can they?

Designing with Exceptions in .NET

If you read early literature on .NET design patterns, you’ll often come across the phrase “pit of success”. The basic concept is this: make the code easy to use correctly, hard to use incorrectly, and ensure the exceptions tell you what you did wrong. This philosophy of API design guides the developer into writing correct code almost by default. This is why a naked NullReferenceException is so bad. Other than the stack trace, which may be quite deep into the library code, there is no information to help the developer figure out what they did wrong. ArgumentNullException and InvalidOperationException, on the other hand, give the library author a way to explain to the application developer how to fix the problem.

CIO skills: The right stuff for executive-board, CEO positions

CIOs are definitely becoming CEOs. We've seen a couple of interesting statistics, and things in the market evolved over the last couple of years. Within the Fortune 500 today, for example, CIOs are now reporting to CEOs 56% of the time. That's up about 12% over the last five years. And depending upon the environment, the CIO touches the enterprise across the entire technology function, likely the platform, becoming much more comfortable with being front and center with clients and customers. And so the CIO is actually very well positioned to take even a greater stride towards becoming CEO in the future.

Is your security awareness training program working?

Training in and of itself is not enough. A successful awareness program will have training in conjunction with the testing. "Do the training to know what’s going on and the testing to keep it activated in people’s minds. Who falls for the bait?" Weber said. "Each person in the organization should be tested monthly. It could be more frequent than that, but not to the point of annoying people. That’s measurable," Weber said. Because so many breaches are the result of human error, "Sometimes it’s easier to block access to it all and then grant access by request. Then anybody who requests access needs to install some type of device management software to help organizations keep track and monitor and have a little bit more control over the resources," Weber said.

Quote for the day:

"Distilling truth from overwhelming amounts of information is the essence of leadership." -- Carly Fiorina

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