Daily Tech Digest - July 13, 2018

Bill Hoffman of the Industrial Internet Consortium talks AI, IoT and more
Price point, availability, wired or wireless, then the fact that you can hook them up to the Ethernet – IPv6 provides almost no degradation of performance – so you can put a lot of stuff on it, which we also couldn’t do 30 years ago. We were all running Novell local area nets at the time! Who remembers Novell? So I think the technology has become much more robust and available, such that we’re able to use the big data and apply predictive analytics, and use these things in industrial systems that we couldn’t have even dreamed of 20 years ago. And when we say “industrial” [Internet of Things], the “Industrial Internet” is really an “industry” Internet, not just manufacturing per se. “Industrial Internet” was actually a term of art GE had coined, back in, I believe, 2013, and they didn’t trademark it intentionally, because they wanted it to remain a term of art. So when Richard [Soley] and I sat around the table with the five founders [of the Industrial Internet Consortium], we had hours of discussion about what to call this new entity we were going to create.



Cryptocurrency Exchange Developer Bancor Loses $23.5 Million

Some of Bancor's losses, however, are recoverable. Bancor says it has recouped $10 million worth of BNT, a type of token that facilitates trades within its exchange. How Bancor executed that recovery, however, leads into a heated debate among cryptocurrency enthusiasts. BNT differs from bitcoin in that it is a centrally generated token. New bitcoins are created through a process called mining, in which computers that verify transactions on the network are rewarded with a slice of bitcoin. BNT, like many other cryptocurrencies such as Ripple's XRP, Cardano's Ada, Block.one's EOS and Stellar's Lumens, isn't mined. These types of coins have powered Initial Coin Offerings, where an organization creates a centrally issued coin and sells it to raise funding. ICOs, which some contend could expose investors to fraud, are being closely analyzed by regulators around the world. The question is whether the coins or tokens that are issued are more like securities akin to stocks rather than an asset. The sale of securities often entails a different set of stricter trading rules


Peer Reviews Either Sandbag or Propel Agile Development


First, peers likely provide valuable feedback and have fresh eyes to catch mistakes that you might miss after spending hours working. Second, working on a fast-moving Agile team, you need to continually build consensus so that there is not a communication backlog. Lastly, for teams working in highly-regulated industries, peer reviews may be a required piece of a larger software assurance program. As more software development teams trend toward an Agile approach, software releases are becoming more frequent. If you are not able to speed up your peer review cycles in tandem, you may start to sacrifice quality to hit deadlines. That then translates to a buildup of technical debt. How can you avoid this scenario? It takes structure, but flexible structure. ... Most teams don’t have an explicit plan around their internal communications. The tools that they employ typically dictate the communication norms. If your team adopts Slack or another messaging app, then it quickly becomes common for folks to have short, timely chats. The expectation is that the other person replies within a relatively short timeframe.


Doing Performance Testing Easily using JUnit and Maven

Sometimes, we tend to think that performance testing is not part of the development process. This is probably due to no stories getting created for this, during the usual development sprints. This means the important aspect of a product or service APIs is not not taken care of. But that's not the point, the point is why do we think that it should not be part of the usual development cycle ? or... Why do we keep this towards the end of the project cycle? Also to add more ground to the above thinking, there are no straight forward approaches to doing performance testing like we do unit testing or feature/component testing or e2e integration testing or consumer-contract testing. Then the developers or the performance-testers (sometimes a specialized team) are asked to choose a standalone tool from the market place and produce some fancy reports on performance testing, share those reports with business or technology team. That means it is done in isolation and sometimes after or towards the end of the development sprints, approaching the production release date.


Government Bodies Are At Risk Online

Commitment to Online Trust and Security
Busy government staff don’t always have the time to learn cybersecurity best practice. Government employees working in departments such as planning, finance, human resources and the administration staff that support them, have intense workloads – so it’s important they can work quickly and efficiently, without compromising their safety online. It’s thought that as many as 95% of successful online hacks come down to human error. Mistakes are made by those who aren’t educated in online risks and can’t spot threats to their data. Sometimes it’s not a lack of knowledge, but a problem with relying solely on human performance. Even the most educated person can make mistakes that cause huge data breaches. Government organisations need to limit the risk of human error as much as possible. If it’s a case of staff reusing static or simple passwords that can be stolen using brute force attacks, then 2FA can be a solution. Once it has been used, successfully or unsuccessfully, then it becomes invalid.


Building the future of retail with the Internet of Transport

Wincanton wants to use sensors to automatically alert its employees to any potential deterioration in products during transportation. As part of this project, Gifford says the firm's technological efforts have produced developments in three key areas so far. He points first to Winsight, an app that enables a paperless cab, so all the paper lorry drivers normally carry, such as routes and proof of delivery, is wrapped up into a single piece of software on a smart device. The app is available to the firm's own drivers and sub-contractors. The second key element is telematics. "That's about us plugging into the vehicle's systems and sending information back to the business in a consistent way," says Gifford. Wincanton recently announced it will install MiX telematics in 1,800 of its vehicles as part of an ongoing safety programme, with information used to optimise driver performance. The final element is the implementation of a new, cloud-based transport management system (TMS). This TMS will form the basis for the firm's digital supply-chain strategy, with telematics helping to hone operational performance and Winsight helping to ensure business efficiency and effectiveness.


Here come the first blockchain smartphones: What you need to know

Sirin blockchain phones
It appears the world's third-biggest handset maker may win a race to become the industry's first to offer a blockchain smartphone; Swiss-based Sirin Labs announced its own $1,000 smartphone and $800 all-in-one PC with native blockchain capabilities last October; it scheduled the release for this September, according to reports. HTC, however, plans to release its phone this quarter. HTC's blockchain phone has already received "tens of thousands" of reservations globally, Phil Chen, the chief crypto officer at HTC, said in an interview during the RISE conference in Hong Kong this week. Like HTC's upcoming $1,000 Exodus blockchain smartphone, Sirin's Finney smartphone will come with a built-in cold-storage crypto wallet for storing bitcoin, Ethereum and other digital tokens, and it will run on open-source, feeless blockchain. Sirin was able to raise more than $100 million in an initial coin offering for the Android-based Finney smartphone and PC. Both will run Sirin's open-source operating system, SIRIN OS.


Apache Mesos and Kafka Streams for Highly Scalable Microservices

Apache Mesos is a cluster manager that provides efficient resource isolation and sharing across distributed applications or frameworks. It sits between the application layer and the operating system. This makes it easy and efficient to deploy and manage applications in large-scale clustered environments. Apache Mesos abstracts away data center resources to make it easy to deploy and manage distributed applications and systems. DC/OS is a Mesosphere-backed framework on top of Apache Mesos. As a datacenter operating system, DC/OS is itself a distributed system, a cluster manager, a container platform, and an operating system. DC/OS has evolved a lot in the past couple of years, and supports new technologies like Docker as its container runtime or Kubernetes as its orchestration framework. As you can imagine from this high-level description, DC/OS is an first-class choice infrastructure to realize a scalable microservice infrastructure.


Your Roadmap to an Open Mobile Application Development Strategy


An MADP allows a business to rapidly build, test and deploy mobile apps for smartphones and tablets. It can minimize the need for coding, integrate building-block services, such as user management, data management and push notifications, and deliver apps across a broad array of mobile devices. The result is a common and consistent approach, so developers can customize their apps without worrying about back-end systems or implementation details. Michael Facemire, principal analyst at Forrester Research, observed in an analysis of Mobile Development Platforms that companies fall into two camps: “those that prefer an all-inclusive platform”, who represent the greatest, though waning part of platform spend today, and “those that prefer to manage a collection of services”. The first group of customers work with large infrastructure vendors, such as IBM, Oracle, and SAP, who offer complete environments for development, delivery, and management of mobile applications. They benefit from platform stability and custom support, but may struggle compared with other platforms when building mobile experiences outside of their proprietary ecosystems.


Hacker-powered security is reaching critical mass

“Crowdsourced security testing is rapidly approaching critical mass, and ongoing adoption and uptake by buyers is expected to be rapid,” Gartner reported. Governments are leading the way with adoption globally. In the government sector there was a 125 percent increase year over year with new program launches including the European Commission and the Ministry of Defense Singapore, joining the U.S. Department of Defense on HackerOne. Proposed legislations like Hack the Department of Homeland Security Act, Hack Your State Department Act, Prevent Election Voting Act, and the Department of Justice Vulnerability Disclosure Framework further demonstrate public sector support for hacker-powered security. Industries beyond technology continued to increase share of the overall hacker-powered security markets. Consumer Goods, Financial Services & Insurance, Government, and Telecommunications account for 43 percent of today’s bug bounty programs. Automotive programs increased 50% in the past year and Telecommunications programs increased 71 percent.



Quote for the day:


"Experience without theory is blind, but theory without experience is mere intellectual play." -- Immanuel Kant