Daily Tech Digest - August 07, 2021

Facilitation Skills Just Might Be The Best Kept Leadership Secret

Not surprisingly, the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) insists that facilitative leadership is a particularly successful leadership approach. Host of IAF's Facilitation Impact Awards, Jeffer London explains that facilitative leaders use an inclusive style to tap individual potential. “They co-create and collaborate in order to get things done,” explains London. “The projects of facilitative leaders are done in an iterative manner that allows all individuals to contribute, evaluate and improve aspects of shared initiatives.” Furthermore, IAF insists that today’s workplace complexity requires leaders to lean into a more facilitative style. “In a world that can be seen as increasingly fragmented and chaotic, leaders who can build participation, alignment and meaning are finding more success,” insists Vinay Kumar, Chair of the International Association of Facilitators (IAF). “Leaders who understand how to invite people into a participatory environment, and use the group energy to innovate fit well into today's context. With the world calling for more inclusion and equity, tomorrow's leaders need to be facilitators.”

SEC charges crypto exchange execs for the first time over unregistered token sales

The SEC’s Friday order found that two executives from the Blockchain Credit Partners company used the Ethereum blockchain to sell cryptocurrencies to investors while misleading them about the company’s profitability. Specifically, investors purchased cryptocurrencies using digital assets like ether. The company then promised to pay investors over 6 percent in interest and that the funds would go toward physical investments like car loans to create additional income. The SEC determined that these “real-world” investments wouldn’t generate the income advertised. “Full and honest disclosure remains the cornerstone of our securities laws – no matter what technologies are used to offer and sell those securities,” Gurbir S. Grewal, SEC Enforcement Division director, said in a statement Friday. “This allows investors to make informed decisions and prevents issuers from misleading the public about business operations.” Friday’s charges against the company come as the federal government is preparing to issue new regulations for the decentralized finance and cryptocurrency markets.

Developers, DevOps, and cybersecurity: The top tech talent employers are looking for now

The report reads: "At the skills level, summary analysis across all job postings for all tech job roles suggests employers tend to seek well-rounded candidates. This also reflects the ever-expanding nature of innovation, whereby new platforms, new coding languages, new hardware and devices, new data streams and new combinations of technology building blocks (think IoT) are a de facto part of the job for any technology professional." This also explains why cybersecurity is often not specifically listed in skills reports, despite the fact employers increasingly expect baseline IT security knowledge from workers. Take the UK, for example: according to the 2021 City and Guilds Skills Index published in June, jobs postings for "cybersecurity technician" in the country increased by a massive 19,222% between April 2020 and April 2021, whereas roles for "cybersecurity engineer" grew by 292%. This compares to 312% growth in ads for "full-stack developer" during the same period, and a 184% increase in job postings for "Azure architect".

Is Trust or Innovation More Important for a Brand in 2021?

So, how do we avoid slip ups as we move into this more active period of positioning ourselves in this new normal? Problems happen when a brand positions (and therefore sells) itself as innovative or as socially conscious and doesn’t deliver. Consistency is what’s important in branding, and if you’re already innovative (this applies to most tech companies, hence those glass-half-full tech execs), stick with it. Just show your customers they can trust you to remain true to your brand values. A great way to make sure you are staying true to your brand is to come up with a list of brand values, plus a value proposition. This, combined with a description of who your target customer is, will keep you on the straight and narrow no matter what happens. A value proposition is just a couple of sentences about what your company offers, and why and how it’s uniquely qualified to offer that. You should be able to whip one up easily enough. In coming up with your values, value proposition and your target customer description, you should be able to work out where your brand should be positioned. 

The Future of Blockchain Will Be Interoperability

The biggest challenge for interoperability between blockchains is the programming language. The transaction schema as well as the consensus models differ for interconnection, and in some, a lot. The use of open protocols is presented as a possible solution to blockchain interoperability problems, as it allows universal interaction. ... The first breakthrough in this area, for Cardano, is with the Nervos blockchain, which is an open source, permissionless, PoW consensus protocol focused on creating a public, universal, interoperable network. IOHK (the developer of Cardano) and Nervos are working to build an interoperability bridge between the two networks, which will allow users to transact cross-asset transactions. But Cardano is also innovating interoperability from the programming language with IELE. In 2018 IOHK made agreements with Runtime Verification (the developer company), for its upgrade, as it actually started as a design language, and is working to reach steady state, as with KEVM. Since late 2020, Cardano developers have had a bridge to the Solidity/Ethereum community through the K Ethereum Virtual Machine (KEVM).

Spotlight on CockroachDB

CockroachDB is implemented as a distributed key-value store over a monolithic sorted map, to make it easy for large tables and indexes to function. While CockroachDB is a distributed SQL database, developers treat it as a relational database because it uses the same SQL syntax. But on an architecture level, CockroachDB’s architecture is different from a relational database architecture. In CockroachDB, every table is ordered lexicographically by key. So, when we store the data on the database, we are leveraging the key value store. Since CockroachDB has a distributed architecture, we just need to spin a node up of cockroach Database, point it at a cluster, and the database participates in that cluster. CockroachDB then coordinates with the nodes to gain consensus for all queries and transactions. When we spin up a node and point at the cluster, data is balanced out based on what you optimally want to do with that data.

How To Enhance IoT Security: Learning The Right Approach To A Connected Future

A risk-based approach is a mindset that allows you to improve the certainty of achieving outcomes by employing strategies or methods that consider threats and opportunities. This approach can be applied during operations while designing the process or product or at product improvement stages. Also, a Risk-based approach allows you to capture opportunities, prevent losses and improves entire operations throughout the organization. Therefore, it would be nothing wrong to say that considering a risk-based approach should be made a core element of quality management systems, performance excellence processes, including ISO 9001:2015. The approach could help you understand the risk matrix of your devices so that you can apply appropriate security controls in an IoT system. Updating firmware and software is an essential process if you plan to improve IoT security, as software updates offer plenty of benefits. For example, these might help in repairing security loopholes that might occur due to computer bugs.

Facebook Introduces New Platform For Building Robots

Droidlet lets researchers use different computer vision or NLP algorithms with their robots. In addition, they can use Droidlet to accomplish complex tasks in both real world or within a simulated environment like Minecraft or Habitat. Droidlet is capable of building embodied agents that can recognise, react, and navigate their surroundings. It simplifies the integration of various cutting-edge machine learning algorithms in these systems, allowing users to prototype new ideas faster than ever before. According to the research paper, “Droidlet: modular, heterogenous, multi-modal agents”, The objective of the platform is to build intelligent agents that can learn continuously from their encounters with the real world. The researchers hope that the platform for Droidlets may help to further their understanding of various areas of research including self-supervised learning, multi-modal learning, interactive learning, human-robot interaction, and lifelong learning.

Blockchain And IOT: The Next Frontier Of Device Connectivity

There are a few very promising angles that deserve significant exploration. The one that I’m most excited about is fusing blockchain and IoT. There are only two major players in this space at the moment: IOTA and IoTeX. An IoTeX blockchain-powered camera recently won the Consumer Electronics Show award for privacy and security. This is a significant step for smart devices and blockchain connectivity, and the highly competitive price point proves scalability and widespread adoption is no longer a problem that blockchains faced before. Even this camera, which represents a real step forward for both blockchain and smart devices, is only just scratching the surface. There are currently 770 million surveillance cameras in the world. As important as they are to many people, surveillance cameras aren’t the most abundant devices in our world. There are more than 5 billion cell phones, 1.4 billion refrigerators and nearly 2 billion televisions in circulation. The 40 billion device mark suddenly seems fairly doable.

What is cyber risk quantification, and why is it important?

Most will have some idea of what cyber risk quantification entails, but it's always good to be on the same page. Mark Tattersall, vice president of product management at LogicGate, in his blog The Business Case for Risk Quantification, does an excellent job of defining cyber risk quantification. To begin, he looks at project prioritization. "For many years projects have been prioritized based on qualitative assessments of likelihood and numerically weighted scales, whereas risk quantification supports more rigorous decision-making by quantifying the potential financial loss to your business due to a risk scenario," wrote Tattersall. "Risk quantification is a tactical tool used to help understand and evaluate key risk scenarios in order to make more informed decisions and determine the financial impact on your organization." Put simply, the idea behind quantification is to prioritize risks according to their potential for financial loss, thus allowing responsible people in a company to create budgets based on mitigation strategies that afford the best protection and return on investment.

Quote for the day:

"The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been." - Henry A. Kissinger

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