Daily Tech Digest - November 12, 2021

Cryptocurrency's Climate Impact: What's Really Being Done About It?

The cryptomining picture continues to shift. In September 2021 China banned cryptocurrencies as well as all mining operations. China had been the top miner of digital coins -- with an array of companies operating in the space. The Chinese government cited a lack of transparency and anonymity in cryptocurrencies as primary reasons for the ban. Immediately, many of the miners began moving operations out of China, and now the US has emerged as the world’s top cryptomining country. But Mora says that operations are also flourishing in developing nations with few environmental controls and near-zero regulation. While cryptomining can conceivably be located anywhere -- including adjacent to sustainable energy sources such as a wind farm or hydroelectric facility -- this isn’t typically the case. “There is a clear pattern of cryptomining pairing with coal,” he states. Meanwhile, the cryptomining industry says it is taking major steps to reduce the footprint of cryptocurrencies and introduce green mining methods.

A Deep Dive On The Most Critical API Vulnerability — BOLA

Because one user can have multiple objects from the same resource (e.g. trip), some API endpoints need to know which object (e.g. a specific trip) the user is willing to access. This is where the object ID comes into the picture. The client basically sends the object ID that the user needs to access. For example, if a user had a great trip with a driver, he can choose the specific trip on the “trip history” view on the application, and add a tip to the trip. Then the mobile client will trigger an API call to “/api/trips/<trip_id>/add_tip” with the ID of the chosen trip. Modern applications handle many resources and expose many endpoints to access them. Hence, modern APIs expose many object IDs. Those IDs are an integral part of the REST standard and modern applications. Exposing an object via its ID might be a good software design practice, but once the client can specify the ID, it opens a door to a very dangerous vulnerability — BOLA. In BOLA, a user accesses objects that he should not have access to by manipulating the IDs.

How Critical Event Management can ensure resilience in a hybrid world

While threats are always changing, it is becoming increasingly difficult to predict and respond to crises. In such unpredictable circumstances, a detailed emergency plan is vital for business continuity. Critical events can arise in any line of business and spread quickly throughout the entire organisation. With a good CEM strategy, organisations will be able to avoid this as the programme will be integrated across all business sectors and provide intelligence to analyse any potential threats and their impact. Not only will this enable effective, interdepartmental communications, but teams will have a more dynamic and consolidated view of threats. The automated functionality of CEM will assess and respond to threats and capture any valuable information for critical event reporting. This will contribute toward greater operational efficiency, reduced costs and better situational awareness and response visibility across the whole enterprise. When it comes to the evolving threat landscape, Critical Event Management can provide valuable security and assurance for organisations.

As technology pervades, CIOs’ influence on business strategy grows

While CIOs continue to deliver the core IT services that power day-to-day business operations, they are also often expected to help drive innovation and business growth. Many surveyed CIOs emphasized the importance of data and automation to break down siloes and create new value streams. ... Hybrid cloud is a key underpinning for AI-powered intelligent workflows. The number of CIOs surveyed reporting high maturity in their hybrid cloud operations increased 700% compared to 2019. The IBV’s recent study on cloud transformation provides further insight on how hybrid cloud is becoming the dominant IT architecture. Many CIOs are also looking to use technology to drive progress against corporate objectives like sustainability. 42% of CIOs surveyed expect technology to have a significant impact on sustainability in the next three years – highest of all areas of impact. ... The consequences of this disconnect can be significant – if CIOs and CTOs are using data and AI for different use cases without coordination across culture, processes and tools, the organization may lack a cross-company view and ability to govern critical data properly.

Handling Missing data in Machine Learning

There are a variety of reasons that may lead to missing data, such as data corruption, lack of data availability during certain time periods, or bias in the data collection process (e.g. certain categories of respondents in a survey leave an answer blank). The important distinction to make here is whether or not your missing data is occurring at random. There are three categories of scenarios for missing data: Missing completely at random (MCAR) - The probability of data being missing is equal for all possible data points. Missing at random (MAR) -  The probability of data being missing is not equal across all data points, but within known classes of data, the probability of missing data is equal. For example, the probability of data being missing could be equal only within responses from a given country. Missing not at random (MNAR) - The probability of data being missing is not equal across all data points, and there is no known grouping of data within which missing data is equally probable.

Nvidia intros AI Omniverse Avatar generator for enterprises

"As more enterprises deploy and manage hundreds and thousands of models in production, accelerated infrastructures like Triton will be crucial in maximizing throughput, minimizing latency and accelerating deployment velocity," he said. The new inference feature set includes new models and an analyzer to help enterprises understand how to optimize their AI models to run on a variety of different platforms. The analyzer searches the areas between all the different GPUs and CPU options as well as all the different concurrency paths, and meets the required latency for picking the right model, said Ian Buck, general manager at Nvidia, during a media briefing. "The right accuracy, the right amount of batching and the right hardware platform to get the maximum performance out of your infrastructure," he said. The new version of Triton also supports multi-GPU multi-node inference and forced inference library, also known as RAPIDS FIL. RAPIDS FIL is a new back end for GPU or CPU inferencing of decision tree models. 

Cut me some Slack: the poor data practices threatening modern business

Remote working has heralded many benefits in terms of productivity for office workers across the country and these benefits are likely here to stay, with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy consulting about making flexible working the default. But there have also been some drawbacks to remote working for businesses navigating these new waters. As personal and corporate worlds collide, many organisations may find that their data is at risk of being shared on unsecured networks and on unofficial communications channels. And no organisation is shielded from this danger. A former national security official recently spoke candidly about UK senior ministers not following policy, and opening sensitive government data to cyber-attacks. This comes two years after suspected Russian cybercriminals stole the entire cache of messages from a former cabinet minister’s email account. Communication weaknesses, across all levels of seniority, is a real cause for concern, especially when valuable information is at stake. 

The 10 Commandments for Designing a Data Science Project

Understand that defining a problem and obtaining data does not mean that the problem can be solved. Think about current solutions, what kind of data you have, and the desired result. Could a human solve this problem using the same data given infinite time? If not, it’s likely that the problem can’t be solved using machine learning. When in doubt, consult a colleague. In the financial world, account balance prediction is an oft-requested solution, but no person or computer could tell you what your finances will be like over the coming months. Think of when the pandemic hit; millions of people unexpectedly lost their jobs. What about when there’s a house burglary and items need to be replaced? These are things that neither a human nor an algorithm can predict. The ultimate goal of any problem is to satisfy the needs of the end user by providing an appropriate solution that reduces their workload. By knowing what the end user currently has and what they lack, you can aim towards the best solution from the get-go. 

4 Strategies to Manage Freelancers with In-House Dev Teams

Freelancers and remote workers are often less exposed to the wider business context in which they are developing products and features. This can make it harder to assess and optimize their output from the viewpoint of an end user. Just as importantly, it can make it less clear what the other members of the team are working on and how their output affects their colleagues’ work. “Without consistent feedback, even the most talented developers in a team can invest a lot of time in a non-feasible solution. An ongoing feedback loop is one of the best ways to support a team and enable them to put their skills to use,” said Irene Avdus, a product manager at TextMagic, which has offices in multiple countries and which regularly brings on freelance talent. Giving freelancers and remote workers consistent and regular feedback doesn’t just help them improve their output for a better end result. It also helps them to fit in with the workflow of the rest of the team, enabling the project to go more smoothly for everyone.

IT careers: 5 steps to get hired before the holidays

The most common mistake people make is using one resume to apply for different roles. This is like wearing your workout gear for everything you do, from hiking to attending board meetings and even weddings. You may be more comfortable and it’s certainly easier, but it doesn’t make sense, and others won’t take you seriously. Similarly, you need different versions of your resume based on the different jobs you want to apply for. For example, a marketing position will need a different resume than a sales position. Highlight the skills and experiences most relevant to the role. Limit your resume to one page (two at the most). Recruiters and managers spend less than 30 seconds skimming resumes, and the shorter and more relevant yours is, the better your chances of grabbing their attention. Add keywords specific to the roles you are applying for in your resume. Hiring managers look for these specific terms to ensure candidates are the right fit. One way to find relevant keywords is to search for existing job descriptions that are similar to the position you want. Finally, versioning may help you keep track of which resume you sent to which job.

Quote for the day:

"Real leadership is being the person others will gladly and confidently follow." -- John C. Maxwell

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