Daily Tech Digest - January 09, 2024

10 ways to destroy developer happiness

Who doesn’t get annoyed by endless meetings? Developers are busy people, and most would rather spend their time coding than talking about it. Meetings that are not focused and efficient are a frequent source of disenchantment. “Meetings that drag on without contributing to progress can be very draining,” says Vlad Gukasov, software development engineer at Amazon. “These often take up valuable time that could be better spent on actual development work.” ... Unnecessary red tape can be incredibly frustrating to developers. “Navigating through layers of bureaucracy can be quite stifling,” Gukasov says. “The complexity of internal procedures can sometimes hinder the smooth progress of software development.” Developers like efficiency, says Remi Desmarais, director of engineering and software development at software company Tempo Software. “They frequently encounter delays, from waiting for clarification on requirements, to code processes like compilation, building and testing to seeking approval from code reviewers, which can hinder their progress,” he says.

Data Center Cooling: Embracing Liquid Cooling for the Era of Sustainable and Efficient Operations

While the adoption of liquid cooling undeniably offers an enticing remedy for the thermal challenges posed by high-density racks, its integration into data center management introduces a new set of considerations and complexities. The deployment of liquid cooling systems necessitates a bespoke infrastructure, comprising specialized components such as pumps, heat exchangers, and filtration systems. These elements work in concert to ensure the seamless circulation and efficient heat dissipation of the liquid coolant throughout the intricate network of electronic components. Beyond the physical requirements, the use of liquid coolants imposes a critical need for stringent safety protocols and specialized training for personnel entrusted with the operation and maintenance of these systems. The introduction of liquid into the data center ecosystem marks a shift that extends beyond hardware considerations, demanding a holistic approach to facility management and personnel training to guarantee the safe and effective functioning of these advanced cooling solutions.

Meet the industrial metaverse: How Sony and Siemens seek to unleash the power of immersive engineering

According to Siemens CEO Roland Busch, "This will empower customers to accelerate innovation, enhance sustainability, and adopt new technologies faster and at scale, leading to a profound transformation of entire industries and our everyday lives. Together with our customers and partners, Siemens is proud to announce new products that will bring the industrial metaverse a step closer to all of us." ... Another interesting phrase Siemens has been using is immersive engineering. The idea is that engineering, design, and content creation can be done inside a 3D environment using a toolkit called the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio. Siemens offers a product called NX Immersive Designer. This tool is designed to "seamlessly connect the real and digital worlds." Essentially, users can create a digital twin, a version of a real-world system modeled and simulated in the virtual world. Digital twins replicate physical entities with accurate virtual models, helping engineers simulate performance testing and make predictions about points of failure. The virtual nature of the twin allows many more variations and usages compared to the cost and risk of building a single physical prototype. 

Leadership opportunities must align with an individual's natural strengths: Gallup’s Rohit Kar

In addressing the correlation between effective leadership and employee engagement, our approach to leadership development strategy emphasises the enduring elements that remain constant amid technological advancements and societal shifts. We prioritise understanding the unchanging fundamental aspects of human nature, acknowledging that regardless of external influences, certain core needs persist. At Gallup, when we delve into engagement, we recognise that employees bring their emotions into the workplace. To measure these emotions productively, we simplify the process, ensuring it remains straightforward and outcome-oriented. Our focus lies in enabling managers to engage in meaningful conversations by providing adaptable frameworks and tools. We ensure scalability, speed, and agility in our delivery methods to cater to changing consumption patterns without altering the essence of what we deliver – because the core principles of management don't require alteration. Our unique approach lies in retaining fundamental principles while adapting to the evolving landscape. 

New York Times’ blockbuster suit could decide the fate of genAI

Microsoft and OpenAI say their use of copyrighted material is transformative. They contend the output of the chatbots transforms the original content into something different. The Times suit claims there’s no real transformation, that what Microsoft and OpenAI are doing is outright theft. It claims the companies are not just stealing Times content, but their audience as well, and making billions of dollars from it. People will have no need to read the Times either online or in print, if they can get all the newspaper’s information for free from a chatbot instead, the suit alleges. “There is nothing ‘transformative’ about using The Times’scontent without payment to create products that substitute for The Times and steal audiences away from it. Because the outputs of Defendants’ GenAI models compete with and closely mimic the inputs used to train them, copying Times works for that purpose is not fair use.” ... So, who’s right? This is not a difficult call. The answer is simple. The Times is right. Microsoft and OpenAI are wrong. Microsoft and OpenAI are getting a free ride to use copyrighted material that takes a tremendous amount of time and money to create, and uses that material to reap big profits.

After Orange Disruption, Brace for More BGP Route Hijacking

Orange's attacker appeared to have obtained and used a valid password for the telco's administrator account with RIPE, for which two-factor authentication wasn't enabled. Security experts report that the source of the password appears to have been information-stealing malware called Raccoon. After gaining access to the account, the attacker used RIPE's hosted RPKI resource certification service to broadcast a valid, cryptographically signed route origin authorization to direct traffic to an autonomous system number not controlled by Orange, resulting in the traffic never reaching its intended destination. ... The telecommunications giant subsequently told Information Security Media Group in a statement: "The Orange account in the IP network coordination center (RIPE) has suffered an improper access that has affected the browsing of some of our customers." The company said it had immediately responded and resolved the problem later Wednesday and that "appropriate measures have been taken to prevent such an incident from happening again."

Data Governance & Controls: An Increasingly Critical Foundation for AML Compliance Programs

Ensuring effective AML compliance necessitates a steadfast commitment to data accuracy and integrity, achievable only through robust governance. Financial institutions can only rely on the consistency and correctness of their AML compliance solutions by establishing stringent controls ensuring accuracy and integrity. The significance of data accuracy and integrity can easily be seen in relation to false positive and false negative alerts in transaction monitoring. False positives, stemming from inaccurate data triggering unnecessary alerts, can lead to a significant waste of resources and needless increases in program costs. Conversely, false negatives, arising from incomplete or unreliable data, may cause suspicious activity to go unreported, which could lead to potential regulatory action. Financial institutions that build strong data accuracy and integrity standards into their processes minimize these risks, thereby enhancing the overall efficiency and efficacy of their AML compliance program.

Designing an IT department for a world defined by change

For years, inside the technology department, we’ve referred to “the business”, meaning everything other than IT, and for its part, “the business” has spent years trying to isolate IT as a mere cost centre. But nearly a quarter of the way through the 21st century, the need to integrate digital tools into every part of business means this splendid isolation no longer really works. Even in the most performant IT departments, centralised decision-making around tooling and technology choices falls behind the galloping pace of the market, and it's difficult to imagine how it could ever be otherwise in a department of finite resources. ... Still, by refusing to allow the curation of information technology outside of that provided by the technology function, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy - the only people expected to understand the challenges of technology are those hired into the IT department. The only way to break that vicious cycle is to discard the model of the central IT department. Once you start questioning the existence of the IT department, it’s only a short journey to rejecting the concept of functional structures entirely.

Building a Better Analytics Team

Once you have the right group of people on your team, your challenge is to build an environment where they can work effectively. Ensure that they are clear about the organization’s mission, vision, values, and objectives. Create an environment where the connection between your team’s objectives, projects, and tasks and the targets and objectives of the organization are clear. Team members need to understand how the data architecture being built will have a direct impact on the decisions the organization is making and how their activities further the goal of becoming a more data-driven organization. Team building is not a one-time activity. It is built into everyday activities, including goal setting, performance reviews, project planning and execution, team meetings, and one-on-one meetings between you and your direct reports. The clarity of purpose is something that increases each time it is reviewed and as the team’s objectives and goals are refined and realigned. As a leader, one of your main objectives is to remove obstacles that arise. 

The Rise of Dual Ransomware Attacks

Two ransomware attacks mean that companies could be facing more data encryption, more data exfiltration, more data leaks, and multiple demands for payment. If an enterprise is dealing with a single attacker behind two attacks, they could be facing the challenge of different ransomware strains. How did the two strains impact an organization’s systems, and what will it take to remediate and return to normal operations? How much data was taken? Ransomware groups can take that exfiltrated data to leak sites to up the pressure on victims to pay. If two different attackers are in play, recovery can be even more complicated. Two different attackers may encrypt the same files. “We've had a couple of cases where the first ransomware incident occurs. They encrypted a bunch of files. In the midst of dealing with that a second attack…those attackers encrypt the encrypted files of the other attackers,” Minder shares. “If that happens, where you get encrypted files encrypted again, the likelihood of corruption goes up thousand percent, and you may not get your files back at all.”

Quote for the day:

“Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.” -- Francis Chan

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