Daily Tech Digest - July 14, 2018


To date, the tools which underpin workforces have been developed as a natural extension of traditional work flows. Email replaced the memo, and video chat made the conference call more collaborative. But emerging technologies like advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are primed to provide a comprehensive look into the patterns and intricacies that make up the individual workplace experience. For example, with the right platform, IT departments can better understand which channels employees prefer, what is drawing them to these channels, and how they can better optimize it for even further productivity. Alternatively, they can identify problem areas within work flows and proactively ease the strain on employees themselves. As technology becomes more advanced, the human element becomes increasingly vital. Digital transformation saw a seismic shift in the way IT leaders approach their infrastructure, but workplace transformation requires a deep understanding of the unique ways individuals approach productivity.


Entity Services Increase Complexity

Entity services are modelled after defined entities (or nouns) within a system. For example, an accounts service, order service and customer service. Typically they have CRUD like interfaces which operate on top of these entities.  By taking this CRUD like approach, entity services tend to not contain any meaningful business functionality. Instead, they are shallow modules, not really offering any complex or useful abstractions. ... Ultimately, these shallow entity services can turn into a cluster of highly coupled components, write Abedrabbo. This leads to an operational burden, where more components must be deployed, scaled and monitored. This high coupling can also lead to challenging release processes, where many microservices must be deployed in order to deliver a single piece of functionality.  It can also produce single points of failure, where many services depend on each other, meaning that if one fails it can bring down the entire system. Abedrabbo also explains that entity services create conceptual complexity, as the knowledge of how to compose them is not immediately obvious. 


 An exciting time to be in cyber security innovation


There is a wide range of initiatives specifically around cyber security in the UK, says Chappell, including the Cyber Growth Partnership, which supports fast-growing security companies. “There are some great opportunities is this sector, which is partly due to our UK heritage going back to Bletchley Park,” he says. The UK also benefits from having top students from all over the world who come to further their education, a thriving financial sector and a strong defence sector. “We are lucky to have this heady mix of components that create an environment where it is great to be building a business,” says Chappell. Also, thanks to the likes of companies such as Message Labs and Sophos, the UK has useful templates or archetypes for fast-growing successful businesses that startups can draw upon, he adds. The growing number of incubators is also creating opportunities for cyber security innovators, with Lorca being the latest to join its sister centre in Cheltenham, the NCSC Cyber Accelerator, CyLon and its HutZero bootcamp for entrepreneurs.


Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian's Top Self-Care Strategies for Entrepreneurs

“Entrepreneurs have to have enough ego to think that our crazy idea, our vision for the future is going to work, before anyone else does. But [it’s important to] balance that with enough humility to know that you aren’t going to have all the answers,” Ohanian says. “You are going to need to rely on different points of view. Get the benefit of someone who is detached enough to give you honest feedback, but attached enough to know all the players and background information.” Ohanian’s feeling is, if you wouldn’t expect a talented athlete or sports team to play without their coach, why shouldn’t it be the same for a great entrepreneur? ... “One of the things founders and CEOs in particular should always be doing and keeping top of mind is celebrating those wins for their business,” Ohanian says. “It will never feel like a 100 percent win for the CEO or founder, because you’re always thinking about the 100 other things that need to get improved or fixed. But for all the people on your team, it is really vital to celebrate them and that success. Not in a way that gets people complacent, but rejuvenated and re-excited about the mission and vision.”


Why You Should Consider A Career In Cybersecurity


Cybersecurity professionals are generally among the most highly-compensated technology workers. According to the United States Department of Labor, the median annual wages for information security analysts is almost $100,000 nationally, with many jobs in various locations paying considerably higher. With the demand for cybersecurity professionals continuing to far outpace the supply, salaries are likely to continue rising. As such, investing in cybersecurity training now can pay off quite handsomely ... For multiple reasons, many companies are far less likely to let go of cybersecurity professionals than they would other employees. Shrinking the security team may increase the likelihood of a breach, and can dramatically increase the impact of a breach should one occur; think for a moment about customers’ and regulators’ reactions to news reports that “A large amount of personal data leaked after company X tried to save money by reducing its cybersecurity staff.” Of course, as alluded to before, another deterrent against letting information security professionals go is that employers know that it is often both difficult and expensive to find suitable replacements.


Let There Be Sight: How Deep Learning Is Helping the Blind ‘See’

Guide dogs are great for helping people who are blind or visually impaired navigate the world. But try getting a dog to read aloud a sign or tell you how much money is in your wallet. Seeing AI, an app developed by Microsoft AI & Research, has the answers. It essentially narrates the world for blind and low-vision users, allowing them to use their smartphones to identify everything from an object or a color to a dollar bill or a document. Since the app’s launch last year, it’s been downloaded 150,000 times and used in 5 million tasks, some of which were completed on behalf of one of the world’s most famous blind people. “Stevie Wonder uses it every day, which is pretty cool,” said Anirudh Koul, a senior data scientist with Microsoft, during a presentation at the GPU Technology Conference in San Jose last month. A live demo of the app showed just how powerful it can be. Koul had a colleague join him on stage, and when he launched the app on his smartphone and pointed it toward his co-worker, it declared that it was looking at “a 31-year-old man with black hair, wearing glasses, looking happy.”


Graphing the sensitive boundary between PII and publicly inferable insights

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There is a fuzzy boundary between information that’s personally identifiable and insights about persons that are publicly inferable. GDPR and similar mandates only cover protection of discrete pieces of digital PII that that are maintained in digital databases and other recordkeeping systems. But some observers seem to be arguing that it also encompasses insights that might be gained in the future about somebody through analytics on unprotected data. That’s how I’m construing David Loshin’s statement that “sexual orientation [is] covered under GDPR, too.” My pushback to Loshin’s position is to point out that it’s not terribly common for businesses or nonprofits to record people’s sexual orientation, unless an organization specifically serves one or more segments of the LGBTQ community — and even then, it’s pointless and perhaps gauche and intrusive to ask people to declare their orientation formally as a condition of membership. So it’s unlikely you’ll find businesses maintaining PII profile records stating that someone is gay, lesbian, bisexual or whatever.


Ultimate Guide To Blockchain In Insurance

Within insurance, the claims and finance functions are high-value areas where blockchain could be beneficial, especially when you look at processes that need ongoing reconciliation with external parties. Consider how often Company A has a claim against Company B resulting in the exchange of money, typically in the form of a paper check or an electronic transaction. That could be completely automated using blockchain. Presently, many insurers are applying a smart contract alongside the blockchain, which is triggered when well-defined terms and conditions are met. By setting up an insurance contract that pays out under these circumstances, an insurer can process transactions with no human intervention and greatly enhanced customer service. In other words, blockchain can help deliver on the digital opportunities that insurers must get right. These opportunities aren’t glamorous but they’re important: as I’ve said before, get them right and you won’t win—but get them wrong and you will lose. Blockchain can help insurers deliver on some brilliant basics.


Preparing Your Business For The Artificial Intelligence Revolution


Artificial intelligence can be used to solve problems across the board. AI can help businesses increase sales, detect fraud, improve customer experience, automate work processes and provide predictive analysis. Industries like health care, automotive, financial services and logistics have a lot to gain from AI implementations. Artificial intelligence can help health care service providers with better tools for early diagnostics. The autonomous cars are a direct result of improvements in AI. Financial services can benefit from AI-based process automation and fraud detection. Logistics companies can use AI for better inventory and delivery management. The retail business can map consumer behavior using AI. Utilities can use smart meters and smart grids to decrease power consumption. The rise of chatbots and virtual assistants are also a result of artificial intelligence. Amazon's Alexa, Google's Home, Apple's Siri and Microsoft's Cortana are all using AI-based algorithms to make life better. These technologies will take more prominent roles in dictating future consumer behavior.


Prime Minister Of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel On Technology, Culture And People

“Current” is always a bit of a difficult word when it comes to technology, because innovative ideas or products often grow and mature in waves. Consequently, over time, new technologies experience highs during which they are heavily publicized and on everybody’s mind. They also go through lows, during which they appear to be completely forgotten. Yet, the research continues! Having said that, I am actually very fond of the world of virtual and augmented reality. Yes, the technology, or at the very least the idea and concepts of VR and AR, have been around for quite some time now. But it is truly exciting to discover all the new opportunities these technologies offer us thanks to the recent advances in computing power, be it in the medical domain, in education, in transport…they make our world better and safer! ... In order to reap the full potential of our digital economy, European rules must ultimately enable and encourage our businesses and citizens to buy and sell their services and products anywhere in the European Union.



Quote for the day:


"The problem isn't a shortage of opportunities; it's a lack of perspective." -- Tim Fargo