Daily Tech Digest - February 20, 2022

API Management vs. Service Mesh: The Choice Doesn’t Have to Be Yours

API management is often described as a north-south traffic management pattern, which connects services and applications with external clients. This north-south pattern also applies to inter-domain traffic, as we saw earlier. Companies control access to enterprise or domain boundaries and can discern who is allowed to access the systems, precisely which resources they are allowed to access, whether read and/or write permissions, and with customizable rate limits. This architecture provides authentication, traffic mediation, security, and encryption options, along with sophisticated authorization systems. In essence, it is about helping to manage the relationships between services or APIs and multiple consumers. ... Service meshes provide the connective tissue between services, ensuring that different parts of an application can reliably and securely share data with one another. They route requests from one service to the next, optimizing how all the moving parts work together. Within cloud-native application development approaches, they help to assemble large numbers of discrete services into functional applications. 

Business Technology Consulting is a Way to Start Improving Customers as Business Leaders

IT consultants have good news: their services are still highly sought after. The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the IT consulting industry. A combination of increased competition and more freelance and smaller specialized consultancies has created a highly competitive market. You will need to start your business on the right foot, just like any other business. IT professionals must create a detailed business plan to succeed in a highly competitive market. Structured plans should include growth, costs, marketing, sales, training, qualifications, and technology. Technology has changed the way that we live, shop and work. The technology revolution is continuing to transform everything about our lives. A robust technological foundation can help organizations increase their agility productivity and identify new business opportunities. Technology consulting can be called many things, including IT consulting for business, IT services, and IT advisory. Companies must develop a secure and efficient Information Technology strategy (IT) strategy to embark on a digital transformation journey. This is not an easy task for start-ups and corporations alike.

The Power and Possibilities of Data Science

Not only have job opportunities for data scientists cropped up everywhere, but the role has transformed the work life of millions of people who benefit from their innovations. Tasks that were once laboriously performed by people have become automated, freeing us humans in legal, financial, and corporate industries (and many others) to focus on more important and well, human work. So how did we get here, and what’s next for this growing industry? Late last year, leaders from Relativity and Text IQ, a Relativity company, gathered to talk about just that. In a Coffee + Chat session presented by Relativity’s talent team, Apoorv Agarwal, Aron Ahmadia, and Peter Haller discussed the origins of data science, where they see the industry going in the next few years, and what about artificial intelligence makes them most excited. “I think of data science as fundamentally people who love data and who believe that data can be used and leveraged to solve problems,” said Aron, director of data science at Relativity. In a previous role he worked with the U.S. Department of Defense, helping to disentangle networks of sex traffickers—and using data science to identify them.

Azure SQL Database ledger

Updatable ledger tables are ideal for application patterns that expect to issue updates and deletions to tables in your database, such as system of record (SOR) applications. Existing data patterns for your application don't need to change to enable ledger functionality. Updatable ledger tables track the history of changes to any rows in your database when transactions that perform updates or deletions occur. An updatable ledger table is a system-versioned table that contains a reference to another table with a mirrored schema. The other table is called the history table. The system uses this table to automatically store the previous version of the row each time a row in the ledger table is updated or deleted. The history table is automatically created when you create an updatable ledger table. ... Append-only ledger tables are ideal for application patterns that are insert-only, such as security information and event management (SIEM) applications. Append-only ledger tables block updates and deletions at the API level. This blocking provides more tampering protection from privileged users such as system administrators and DBAs.

Data Quality Dimensions

Data Quality dimensions compare with the way width, length, and height are used to express a physical object’s size. These Data Quality dimensions help us to understand Data Quality by its scale, and by comparing it to data measured against the same scale. Data Quality ensures an organization’s data can be processed and analyzed easily for any type of project. When the data being used is of high quality, it can be used for AI projects, business intelligence, and a variety of analytics projects. If the data contains errors or inconsistent information, the results of any project cannot be trusted. The accuracy of Data Quality can be measured using Data Quality dimensions. ... Data Quality dimensions can be used to measure (or predict) the accuracy of data. This measurement system allows data stewards to monitor Data Quality, to develop minimum thresholds, and to eliminate the root causes of data inconsistencies. However, there is currently no established standard for these measurements. Each data steward has the option of developing their own measurement system. 

What Is Web3 and How Will it Work?

Proponents envision Web3 as an internet that does not require us to hand over personal information to companies like Facebook and Google in order to use their services. The web would be powered by blockchain technology and artificial intelligence, with all information published on the public ledger of the blockchain. Similar to how cryptocurrency operates, everything would have to be verified by the network before being accepted. Online apps would theoretically let people exchange information or currency without a middleman. A Web3 internet would also be permissionless, meaning anyone could use it without having to generate access credentials or get permission from a provider. Instead of being stored on servers as it is now, the data that makes up the internet would be stored on the network. Any changes to, or movement of, that data would be recorded on the blockchain, establishing a record that would be verified by the entire network. In theory, this prevents bad actors from misusing data while establishing a clear record of where it’s going.

Social engineering: Definition, examples, and techniques

The phrase "social engineering" encompasses a wide range of behaviors, and what they all have in common is that they exploit certain universal human qualities: greed, curiosity, politeness, deference to authority, and so on. While some classic examples of social engineering take place in the "real world"—a man in a FedEx uniform bluffing his way into an office building, for example—much of our daily social interaction takes place online, and that's where most social engineering attacks happen as well. ... Fighting against all of these techniques requires vigilance and a zero-trust mindset. That can be difficult to inculcate in ordinary people; in the corporate world, security awareness training is the number one way to prevent employees from falling prey to high-stakes attacks. Employees should be aware that social engineering exists and be familiar with the most commonly used tactics. Fortunately, social engineering awareness lends itself to storytelling. And stories are much easier to understand and much more interesting than explanations of technical flaws. Quizzes and attention-grabbing or humorous posters are also effective reminders about not assuming everyone is who they say they are.

Decentralization revolutionizes the creator’s economy, but what will it bring?

Much like social tokens, nonfungible tokens (NFTs) are another innovation shaping the creator economy. Consider that the NFT-based crypto art market is now worth over $2.3 billion (as of mid-February 2022), pointing to the lucrative opportunity that artists have in accessing new monetization streams for their work. Meanwhile, NFTs can also be leveraged to engineer a new model of fan engagement as they reconcile virtual assets with real-world experiences. Enter the phygital experience — a mix of physical and digital. NFTs can be tied to real-world perks — if you’re a musician, that could mean a lifetime supply of concert tickets or VIP meet and greets and as an artist, a select number of prints in a collection — all while ensuring that these assets verifiably belong to a fan, attesting to their ownership and authenticity. As economies gradually reopen and we continue to see the eventual normalization of social activities, experiential NFTs as a tool for long-term fan engagement are likely to grow in popularity. Let’s not stop there, though: Enter interactive NFTs. These assets can change over time based on a fan’s modification to the content. 

How CSPs Are Now Using Blockchain

A fundamental issue in cloud computing is a reliance on a centralised server for data management and decision-making. Problems emerge, such as the failure of the central server, which can disrupt the entire system and result in the loss of crucial data kept on the central server. In addition, the central server is vulnerable to hacker attacks. Blockchain technology can help solve this problem because many copies of the same data are saved on various computer nodes in a decentralised system, eliminating the risk of the entire system failing if one server fails. Furthermore, data loss should not be an issue because many copies of the data are stored on various nodes. ... Leading cryptocurrency software company Blockchain achieved savings of 30 per cent by replacing its database layer with Google Cloud Spanner as it moves to managed services on Google Cloud. With millions of users across the globe relying on blockchain for information about and access to their funds, it’s no surprise that one of its core values is Sanctify Security. “Security is our top priority,” says Lewis Tuff, Blockchain’s head of platform engineering.

High Performance Decoupled Buses for IoT Displays

We exploit the fact that across almost all devices, there is similar required behavior. For example, devices have commands and data. The data is often parameters to commands, but sometimes it's a stream of pixels, although that is technically a BLOB parameter to a memory write command. Anyway, on an SPI device, you typically have an additional "DC" line that toggles between commands and data. I2C has something similar, except that the toggle is indicated by a code in the first byte of every I2C transaction. Parallel also has a DC line though it's usually called RS but it does the same thing as the SPI variant. The idea here is we are going to expand the surface area of our bus API to include everything applicable to any kind of bus, so for example, you may have begin_transaction() and end_transaction() which for SPI define transaction boundaries, but do nothing in the parallel rendition. The I2C bus is pretty straightforward, but the SPI bus and parallel buses are significantly more complicated due to having processor specific optimizations. 

Quote for the day:

"One measure of leadership is the caliber of people who choose to follow you." -- Dennis A. Peer

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