Daily Tech Digest - March 10, 2019

Hacking Our Identity: The Emerging Threats from Biometric Technology

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Despite the seemingly enormous potential of biometric technology and its applications, the security it provides seems to be just an illusion due to the complex process, policy and people challenges it brings with it. While it is almost impossible to lose or replace biometrics, the question remains whether biometrics technology is full proof and ready for global implementation. That brings us to an important question: can the evolving biometric system be in itself a complete human identification and authentication system, or it can only be part of an identification system? ... Perhaps the biometric system can only be one part of an overall human identification or authentication process, as there are many other variables and parts of that process that will need to play an equal role in determining identity verification effectiveness. Moreover, since the evolving biometric technologies are vulnerable to errors and are easily tricked and manipulated (by AI), it is important that we evaluate whether the ongoing effort towards human identity authentication gives the decision-makers the level of security they are hoping for.

Why Our Brains Fall for False Expertise, and How to Stop It

The brain uses shortcuts to manage the vast amounts of information that it processes every minute in any given social situation. These shortcuts allow our nonconscious brain to deal with sorting the large volume of data while freeing up capacity in our conscious brain for dealing with whatever cognitive decision making is at hand. This process serves us well in many circumstances, such as having the reflex to, say, duck when someone throws a bottle at our head. But it can be harmful in other circumstances, such as when shortcuts lead us to fall for false expertise. At a cognitive level, the biases that lead us to believe false expertise are similarity (“People like me are better than people who aren’t like me”); experience (“My perceptions of the world must be accurate”); and expedience(“If it feels right, it must be true”). These shortcuts cause us to evaluate people on the basis of proxies — things such as height, extroversion, gender, and other characteristics that don’t matter, rather than more meaningful ones.

How to create a transformational cybersecurity strategy: 3 paths

"There's a fine line between the deeply technical, scientific part of cybersecurity, and the people part, which we spend less time talking about—the stuff that actually enables a sustainable transformation," Budge said. "We've seen how one without the other can fail." A good strategy moves security from an IT issue to one of customer trust, Budge said. It also moves security from a technically-focused discipline to a holistic one, and gives business the freedom to achieve its digital aspirations, rather than acting as a blocking agent, she added. Bad cybersecurity strategies are those that cause companies to miss the breaches they experience, that invest in the wrong areas, that require teams to spend their time responding tactically, and that struggle to attract and retain talent, Budge said. No one silver bullet exists for creating a cybersecurity strategy; each is dependent upon the size of the organization, its cybersecurity maturity, and the level of support in the organization, Budge said.

People Are More Complex Than Computers

Defining what Human Resources looks like and how this functions in a decentralised organisation with more than half of its staff being independent consultants is the first issue. Another realisation that came pretty quickly is that software metaphors can only take you so far. People have feeling, whereas computers don't. In real life, you are always testing in production, there is no "staging environment". In software when you make a mistake you can try again many times, or write an automated test to make sure that the same issue won't happen again. In real life, this is impossible. Balancing freedom versus accountability is hard, as is diversity and inclusion when growing a global, distributed organisation. In short, growth of an organisation is neither linear, nor predictable. What Equal Experts has learned from this process is that bigger is different, and many times you need to dynamically adapt, or "make it up as you go". As long as you strive for continuous improvement, and trust and empower your people, you are setting yourself up for success.

These are the keys to recruiting (and keeping) your Gen Z employees

“Gen Z is 100% digitally native, meaning they are the first job seekers to be born during the age of smartphones, self-service online tools and AI-enabled virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa. They’ve never known a world without the convenience and speed of digital interaction. Much of their time is spent on social media, streaming videos and gaming online,” says Kurt Heikkinen, CEO of candidate engagement and interview software Montage. “As a result, because so much of their world is instant, digital, and seamless, they expect the exact same experience when it comes to job searches and the hiring process. To create the kind of candidate experience that will engage Gen Z and accelerate job offers, explore interviewing technology that gives candidates more choice and control–like automated scheduling, AI-enabled virtual hiring assistants, and on-demand interviews–that offers candidates the high-touch, high-tech experience that they want during their job hunts.”

JP Morgan’s Stablecoin: A Feat of Engineering or Marketing?

JP Morgan’s stablecoin neatly connects the dots between the aspects of settlement and volatility management by providing digital cash that can be used and enabling the ability to redeem the coin at a stable rate. While this may sound like a significant achievement, all JP Morgan’s stablecoin actually provides is the ability for a counterparty to be paid by JP Morgan in exchange to being provided a digital certificate. It is actually the anathema to the idea of creating an ecosystem whereby all participants can utilize a universally accepted and redeemable digital cash. Instead, it is a mechanism where JP Morgan will redeem a token, that it issues on its platform only. This is akin to only being able to buy, gamble and cash in your gambling chips at the Venetian casino. And far from being a technology innovation, this is something that at its most fundamental is old technology masquerading as a new innovation.

How Crypto Company is Fighting Setbacks to Deliver New Technology for Users

ILCoin says that things truly began to change in November 2017, putting the startup in a position where it could start to develop and build foundations for future success. The project says 2018 delivered much more change and positive developments than in the past three years combined, with its team establishing meaningful relationships with exchanges and listing sites. ILCoin says that its newly developed consensus mechanism, C2P, will help deliver levels of security on blockchain that have never been achieved by other projects. After learning harsh lessons during the early stages of its business, the company’s founders are determined to focus on creating sound technology that can make a difference to the public. ILCoin says this is a stark contrast to other companies which have aimed to promote ERC-20 tokens through exaggerated and often slick-looking marketing campaigns, even though the product has little substance.

A Great Engineer Needs the Liberal Arts

Every great developer I've worked with has excellent problem solving skills. I've participated in many technical interviews, on both sides of the table, where the goal wasn't to determine coding ability as much as it was to demonstrate how a person approaches a new problem. In STEM subjects, the scientific method is often employed as a logical set of analytical steps. ... It may be easy to forget that the process begins with asking a question and doing background research, and ends with communicating your findings. Coming up with a question, determining if it is the right question to ask, and doing background research, all require critical thinking skills which are the focus of the liberal arts. Effectively reporting your findings comes back to knowing your audience. If you wrote a simple prototype application to test performance improvement, how would you communicate the results to your non-technical product owner? Showing the raw code is probably no more helpful than writing a 50-page report.

How to Build an Enterprise Architecture Roadmap: 4 Styles to Consider

How to build an Enterprise Architecture Roadmap
Of course, not everyone wants to go to Hawaii for sun and seafood. Perhaps snow and schnapps in the Swiss Alps is more your style? Similarly, each business has a different destination in mind and a different set of core metrics to guide them there. If what you primarily care about is using high-cost resources efficiently you will need quite a different set of roadmapping priorities to an FMCG company, which is primarily focused on time-to-market. In ABACUS you can set any number of goals and then use the tool’s powerful analytics to quantitatively assess potential options. This includes out-of-the-box algorithms using equational, structural, discrete-event and Monte-Carlo techniques. You can run these using a range of metrics including Financial (e.g. TCO, ROI, NPV), Technical (e.g. resource utilization, response times, availability, reliability, etc) and Environmental (e.g. carbon footprint, resource re-use, sustainability, heat & power consumption).

Catching Up On The Open Group Open Process Automation Forum

One key element that distinguishes process automation is that it is “always-on.” It’s a non-stop effort. Once the plant stops, the organization stops making money. It’s vitally crucial that the plant keeps operating, hopefully at optimal efficiency. The manufacturer is very much opposed to anything that will cause the plant to shut down because that will result in a direct loss of revenue to the organization. The same applies to other industries beside oil and gas. It applies in pharmaceutical companies as they go through the whole process of generating the products, packaging them and getting them out the door. That has its own challenges in that a lot is based on how quickly you can get to market. Food and beverage is another example. They do a lot of continuous processing where soda, beer, cereals and all kinds of other food stuff is created from raw materials on a continuous processing basis.

Quote for the day:

"Really great people make you feel that you, too, can become great." -- Mark Twain

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