All posts on February, 2016


If we create autonomous killing machines, expect shoddy code and hacking

It’s one thing if a botched software update causes a Nest or Hive “smart” thermostat to either freeze or swelter people in their homes, but what if humans miss one tiny error in the code of killer robots or autonomous weapons? What if enemy nation states hack those killing machines?

Paul Scharre, who previously worked on autonomous weapon policy for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, is the Project Director for the 20YY Warfare Initiative at the Center for a New American Security. In addition to his interesting posts on Just Security and Defense One about “killer robots,” his new report, “Autonomous Weapons and Operational Risk” (pdf), examines the dangers of deploying fully autonomous weapons.

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BrandPost: Where is my data? (And other terrifying questions facing security professionals)

As a security professional, I can attest that the lifeblood of any company is the sensitive data it processes. To be useful, this data needs to be connected to other applications; mashed-up with other data sources; and presented to a wide variety of mobile users, business owners, and API endpoints. Protecting this data is the charter of a company’s Information Security team and the responsibility of all employees who work there. It is this dichotomy of “access with restrictions” that makes data security so hard to master, creating risk and opportunity for every company. It’s no wonder that the cybersecurity startup market saw its highest level of funding in 2015: rising to $3.8 billion, representing 238% growth in 5 years.

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Getting analytical about analytics

Our industry has to get much more analytical in how we make decisions about the analytic tool sets and techniques we deploy.  

I recently pinged 2,500 senior decision-makers to ask how their organizations made decisions about analytics investments. I was surprised that for more than 60% of the respondents, decision-making around analytic strategy, architecture, tool sets, base platforms, techniques and capability development is basically ad hoc — they’ve been winging it. I needn’t point out the deep irony in that. 

The transcendent importance of analytics has been clear for some time. In my book The New Know: Innovation Powered by Analytics (Wiley, 2009), I argued that analytics was emerging as an affordable and accessible source of competitive advantage. In the seven years since then, almost a thousand books and tens of thousands of blog posts, articles and webinars have piled on the proposition that analytics is a good thing. Washington insiders take it as fact that investment in analytics — or lack of investment — was the difference maker in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. Enough already. I don’t think we need any more surveys documenting “analytics, good; no analytics, bad.” It is time we added a little more nuance to the discussion.

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Microsoft HoloLens: $3000 devkit seems stupidly expensive [u2]

Microsoft HoloLens is ready, almost, at least for developers approved by Redmond. If you’re in Canada or the U.S., then you may plonk down a trifling three big ones for the (ahem) holographic devkit.

Microsoft has put a metaphorical forest behind this AR arrow. And so far, the demos certainly appear impressive.

Of course, this being Microsoft, the marcom is peppered with really bizarre wording. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers wonder why Microsoft insists on calling it a “hologram”.

curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. [Developing story: Updated 10:45 am and 2:30 pm PT with more comment]

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