Daily Tech Digest - February 07, 2019

How implantable tech is fighting blindness

While CERA's eye isn't the first 'bionic eye' system to be tested in human volunteers, it does offer a more simple surgical approach. "The idea was that if you have a more simple surgical approach, then there are less surgical complications," Penelope Allen, associate professor at CERA and head of the vitreoretinal Unit at The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, tells ZDNet. The array sits in a natural pocket within the eye, known as the suprachoridal space, which exists between the retina and the sclera, what most people know as the 'white' of the eye. "The device slides in quite easily and it is held in place quite naturally in that area, we don't need to put a [surgical] tack or go actually inside the vitreous cavity of the eye. It makes it a much more simple and straightforward surgical approach," she says. With the hardware in place, wearers began testing the system in the lab, learning to interpret the patterns the system transmit as visual information

AI and ML: Harnessing the Next Big Thing in Information Security

Hailed as the “next big thing” in the information security space, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are poised to disrupt the cybersecurity industry. If you believe everything you read, AI and ML is the miracle solution coming to save the day. No more exhaustively combing through massive stores of log files! No more lag in response times! No more undetected threats! Despite the hype, AI/ML is not a magic bullet that will solve every possible security threat, but rather a tool. Granted it’s a powerful and necessary tool – and one the opposition is using for nefarious purposes – yet you still need to make AI/ML work for you. As information security practitioners fight threats that are increasing in sophistication, the problem is finding the right tool for the job. Though it may feel like AI is generating a lot of noise in the cybersecurity space, there are a lot of valuable and effective products out there. The trick is unpacking all the claims made by security vendors to fully understand how AI/ML fits into their solution and whether that solution meets your specific and unique needs before you buy.

Cloud data management, security top of mind for government

"As we're shutting down our data center, moving things to the cloud, people can access what they need from wherever they are, faster," Roat said. "I'm moving SANs [storage area networks] and storage to the cloud, but I have to make sure it's accessible." The cloud can help reduce and improve infrastructure, while allowing organizations to take advantage of artificial intelligence and machine learning, said Tony Peralta, who handles data architecture for the Bureau of the Fiscal Service at the Department of Treasury. "Separation of compute from storage is a benefit that can help you adjust the scale of your infrastructure to meet your needs," he said. "To leverage technologies like machine learning, you can feed into automated DevOps in your cloud to adjust your compute and storage to become more efficient." The Department of Energy put its first commodity workloads in the cloud last year and is now realizing the benefits, as well as the challenges.

Fabula AI is using social spread to spot ‘fake news’

The startup says its deep learning algorithms are, by contrast, capable of learning patterns on complex, distributed data sets like social networks. So it’s billing its technology as a breakthrough. It is, rather unfortunately, using the populist and now frowned upon badge “fake news” in its PR. But it says it’s intending this fuzzy umbrella to refer to both disinformation and misinformation. Which means maliciously minded andunintentional fakes. Or, to put it another way, a photoshopped fake photo or a genuine image spread in the wrong context. The approach it’s taking to detecting disinformation relies not on algorithms parsing news content to try to identify malicious nonsense but instead looks at how such stuff spreads on social networks — and also therefore who is spreading it. There are characteristic patterns to how ‘fake news’ spreads vs the genuine article, says Fabula co-founder and chief scientist, Michael Bronstein.

Accenture’s top 5 emerging technology trends destined to shape business image
The enterprise is at a turning point. Currently, digital technologies are being implemented at most levels to enable companies to thrive. Tech, such AI or IoT, is being used to understand enterprise customers with a new level of detail; giving them more channels with which to reach those consumers; and enable them to expand ecosystems with new potential partners. But, digital is no longer a differentiating advantage — it’s now the price of admission, according to Accenture’s annual report. In fact, nearly four in five of the 6,600+ business and IT executives worldwide believe that digital technologies — specifically social, mobile, analytics and cloud — have moved beyond adoption silos to become part of the core technology foundation for their organisation. “A post-digital world doesn’t mean that digital is over,” said Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s chief technology and innovation officer. “On the contrary ― we’re posing a new question: As all organisations develop their digital competency, what will set YOU apart? In this era, simply doing digital isn’t enough.

Will Fintech Replace Banking As We Know It Today?

Despite the big name, fintech is not solely about technology (completely weird, but bear with us). The era of new digital solutions that automate processes on each level and decrease the efforts required from the users has brought a new mentality to the game. There’s a story about grumpy representatives of heating services that would knock on your door at 7 a.m. and leave you no choice but to let them in for an inspection. It all changed when smiley agents that were selling boilers showed up. Their warm attitude and client-centric approach secured them tons of deals just because of the client satisfaction after their meeting with the agents! The story is taking another iteration right now. In a world where individual needs of a client may not be 100% matched, guys with a million-dollar smile and a tech that fits in your smartphone steal the show. "Remember how you needed a 20-digit password to send a few bucks to your mom? Now scan the fingerprints, and you're all set."

How to recover from SaaS stack bloat in the enterprise

stacked firewood logs
Interestingly, the emergence of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) as a distribution model for applications has allowed companies to adopt new tools quickly. Due to relatively low costs of license subscriptions, even individual workers can simply opt in to these services using company credit cards. Previously, software purchases are made through lengthy formal purchasing processes. However, since acquiring tech tools has become easy, the problem of bloat and loss of control in enterprise IT has also emerged. On the average, enterprises could be using over a thousand cloud services across various business functions, many of which may be underutilized or even unnecessary. Uncontrolled, this surge in SaaS use can give rise to various other issues such as integration challenges, security risks, and redundant spending. As teams become empowered to acquire tools on their own to meet their specific needs, tech leaders may begin to wonder if it’s time to take a more passive role with software management.

Why data, not privacy, is the real danger

At the moment, the data is most immediately valuable as a way of targeting advertising. Without having to attach your name or address to your data profile, a company can nonetheless compare you to other people who have exhibited similar online behavior — clicking this, liking that — and deliver the most targeted advertising possible. In a statement provided to NBC News, Facebook said it targets advertising categories based on people’s interests, as gauged by their activity on Facebook, and the company points out that users can disassociate themselves from an interest by removing it from their settings. The company also says that one’s ad interests are not tied to personal characteristics, only to their interests, and that Facebook’s ad policy prohibits discrimination. But this sort of data is so powerful that it produces results far more powerful than traditional advertising. For instance, Facebook offers the chance to pay not just for a certain audience size, but an actual business outcome, like a sale, an app download, or a newsletter subscription.

Who’s taking malware seriously? SonicWall’s CEO has the answers

Who’s taking malware seriously? SonicWall’s CEO has the answers image
It’s no secret, right now the US and the UK are not united — you could even say they are divided.is not so united, and the United Kingdom is not so united either. But, unfortunately, the cybercriminals don’t care. They don’t know borders or boundaries other than is it target rich or not target rich; unless their motivations are political or economical. “Public institutions, private organisations and different governments have got to collaborate. But, above all, we’ve got to have dedicated cyber law enforcement,” said Conner. “It’s got to start with law enforcement. Between the UK, the US and Interpol we’ve had more takedowns in the last two years than we probably had in the five years before. Look at what’s happened with Huawei right now. So, I think there’s a good foundation for cyber collaboration across borders. “Law enforcement sharing is better than political sharing at the moment. There are too many political agendas, but this is changing.”

Microsoft joins OpenChain open-source compliance group

Microsoft, which has just become a platinum OpenChain member, clearly believes OpenChain is doing just that. This is yet another major step forward in Microsoft working and playing well -- not just with open-source code, but with its underlying legal and business foundation. It's a natural move forward from Microsoft's recent decision to join the Open Invention Network (OIN), thus making its entire patent portfolio available to this vital Linux and open-source patent consortium's members. Microsoft isn't the only major company to have realized how OpenChain can help companies use open-source code safely and legally. Facebook, Google, and Uber all joined in January 2018. David Rudin, a Microsoft assistant general counsel, explained why Microsoft joined in a blog post. OpenChain "plays an important role in increasing confidence around the open source code you receive. It does so by creating standards and training materials focused on how to run a quality open source compliance program, which in turn builds trust and removes friction in the ecosystem and supply chain," Rudin said.

Quote for the day:

"Leadership is a matter of having people look at you and gain confidence, seeing how you react. If you're in control, they're in control." -- Tom Laundry

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