Daily Tech Digest - January 29, 2017

The Number 1 Mistake Most Founders Make

The trick here is to learn focus -- think of a compelling book you recently picked up. More often than not, you might find a handful of great ideas covered in just a few paragraphs. It's time consuming for the reader and a waste of paper for the author. Founders should find the core parts of their mission that matter and weave out the things that don't Figure out precisely what you’re going to do for two weeks to be productive and change behaviors. By identifying existing strengths and targeting these pillars, founders can make a bigger impact in the appropriate areas. Albert Einstein said it best when he defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If you keep doing the same thing, don’t expect a different outcome. Focus on things that can add substantial growth opportunities to the business.

Meet the chief architect of Aadhaar, Pramod Varma

Pramod recollects a rather worrisome conversation with a professor in the US who specialised in biometrics, having worked in the area for a long time (he volunteered for Aadhaar). He said, ... Pramod then spoke to Google and Facebook and studied their architecture. He realised that in Aadhaar, one identity deduplication has to do nothing with another person’s ID deduplication of data. They realised that it's a very parallelisable problem. Pramod then took a personal bet and decided to go with an open source, commodity computing. They didn’t use any proprietary chipset or computers because they couldn’t have a (architectural) lock-in situation of national critical infrastructure like this (if it succeeds).

Making a Difference with FinTech – Three Examples

There is enough said about the scale of the FinTech industry, its inclusive agenda and massive surrounding ecosystem, but the real value of this industry is not in millions that are moving around in funding, expansion and acquisition deals. The value is measured in micro-processes, in the real, everyday difference FinTech startups make for small businesses and individuals. One of the most important hallmarks of the FinTech community is its focus on solving cumbersome operational problems, allowing business leaders to recalibrate resource allocation (talent, financial resources) to deliver value to their clients rather than to simply remain afloat in a highly competitive market. Let’s look at three illustrative examples of FinTech companies that make a real difference

The Power of Artificial Intelligence is to Make Better Decisions

Reese notes that there is no consistent definition of AI. There is no consistent agreement on the meaning of intelligence. There is also a debate on the word ‘artificial’. That said, the power of AI for augmenting humanity intelligence, improving productivity, and delivering large scale insights is real and in place today. “The power of AI is the power to make better decisions. It is the ability to analyze data, learn and gain new insights in order to make better decisions,” said Reese. ... The power of AI is all about the data. AI that does something based on your data, which Reese calls transferred learning. More importantly is when AI can help businesses make more informed decisions and actions on data sets that you may not have. Reese believes that AI use in business will be ubiquitous.

How enterprise architects can raise their profile within the business – and earn a seat at the table

IT teams have long fought for a seat at the executive table. They have longed to be heard, and be regarded as trusted advisors to the CEO. Now that digitisation is widely recognised as being essential to innovation, growth and the capacity to readily compete, IT is well on its way to becoming firmly embedded in charting the direction of the business, as are the enterprise architects (EAs) that work alongside them.  ... Respected for their technical savvy, and for bringing key technology information into strategic planning, capacity planning and project execution, EAs have typically been key players in the IT team, fighting alongside CIOs to have their strategic insights heard and their version of innovation understood.  In order to earn a seat at the business strategy table, and further show how they are driving business transformation, EAs must increase their visibility within the business.

With tech skills but not enough electricity, meet Gaza's first startup accelerator

"In a crunch, we charge our phones and laptops with car batteries, but such methods are unreliable and not scalable and the problem is chronic. So that startup founders and freelancers can compete at an international level, we need to reliably power up our laptops and mobile phones and access internet and light for at least 12 hours each day, every day of the week." Access to power may be something that many of us take for granted, but it's not a given for Gaza's young, tech-literate population. GSG director Ryan Sturgill tells ZDNet that with unemployment for people aged under 30 years at over 50 percent, technology can help to address vital socio-economic issues. "Increasing coding skills and access to in-demand technologies boosts Gazans ability to build products that can be competitive around the world," he says.

6 Benefits of Coworking With Strangers

Freelancers and contractor writers operate as independent entrepreneurs, but that arrangement doesn't have to mean creating entirely in a vacuum. Gathering with other freelancers in a coworking environment can benefit professionals as well as their products. Coworking provides opportunities to observe and learn from colleagues who value their autonomy and often share other values, too. From this perspective, it's natural that freelancers would appreciate the synergy of a place where numerous, talented people converge in a similar space. The technology age has made it easier than ever for contractors to bring their tools with them. This enables them to work with other like-minded individuals from virtually anywhere. If you're thinking about moving your one-person shop to a coworking atmosphere, consider how these perks could infuse you with new ideas and elevate your current projects.

IT Service Providers Prepare For Potential H1-B Visa Changes

The chief executive of number two Infosys, which earns about 60 percent of revenues from U.S. clients, acknowledged in a press conference two weeks ago that there were likely changes coming to the H-1B program but said he was not “overly concerned” because the company had already increased local hiring. “This is something that I have been focusing on since I started,” said CEO Vishal Sikka, himself a U.S. citizen. “So, we are absolutely committed to creating U.S. jobs, similarly in Australia, in Europe and other geographies where we operate in... Regardless of visa policy, the right thing to do for innovation is to have a lot of rich local talent.” Likewise, HCL Technologies CEO C. Vijayakumar told reporters this week that the company has already been increasing campus and entry-level hiring in the U.S. to support future growth.

Russia Arrests Cybersecurity Official

Kaspersky Lab says that the work of its computer incidents investigations team has continued despite Stoyanov's arrest.According to Stoyanov's LinkedIn profile, he joined Kaspersky Lab in July 2012. Prior to that, he worked as deputy director at a firm called Indrik  ... What's also not clear is if Gerasimov's potential dismissal might relate to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The U.S. intelligence community accused the Russian government of attempting to influence the election. As part of that alleged campaign, Russia's military intelligence service, the GRU, provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, according to a report issued by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security"

Deleted Versus Destroyed: The Critical Difference In Dealing With Data

“The majority of data breach victims surveyed, 81 percent, report they had neither a system nor a managed security service in place to ensure they could self-detect data breaches, relying instead on notification from an external party. This was the case despite the fact that self-detected breaches take just 14.5 days to contain from their intrusion date, whereas breaches detected by an external party take an average of 154 days to contain.” These statistics underscore the importance of having a military-grade solution for corporations, data centers, governmental agencies and organizations with the strictest data destruction standards. ... The act itself happens at a client’s site, so those in attendance can see the most advanced resources of their kind—including the deployment of shredding trucks to remove all destroyed materials—guarantee that data are no more

Quote for the day:

"Vision is a picture of the future that produces passion." -- Bill Hybels

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