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Japan gears up for mega hack of its own citizens
February 5, 2019 | Financial Times | by Leo Lewis.

Yoshitaka Sakurada, Japan’s 68-year-old minister for cyber security, stands ready to press the button next week on an unprecedented hack of 200m internet enabled devices across Japan — a genuinely imaginative, epically-scaled and highly controversial government cyber attack on homes and businesses designed as an empirical test of the nation’s vulnerability. A new law, fraught with public contention over constitutionally-guaranteed privacy, was passed last May and has just come into effect to give the government the right to perform the hack and make this experiment possible. The scope for government over-reach, say critics, cannot be overstated. Webcams, routers and other devices will be targeted in the attacks, which will primarily establish what proportion have no password protection at all, or one that can be easily guessed. At best, say cyber security experts at FireEye, the experiment could rip through corporate Japan’s complacency and elevate security planning from the IT department to the C-suite.

The experiment, which will run for five years and is being administered through the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, is intended to focus on devices that fall into the broadly-defined category of “internet of things” (IoT) — anything from a yoga mat that informs a smartphone of your contortions, to remotely controlled factory robots. And while cyber experts say IoT security may not be the very top priority in the fight against cyber crime and cyber warfare, they see good reasons why Japan has chosen to make its stand here.....warnings that the rise of IoT will create a vast new front of vulnerability unless the security of, for example, a web-enabled yoga mat is taken as seriously by both manufacturers and users as the security of a banking website. The big cyber security consultancies, along with various governments, have historically relied on a range of gauges to calculate the scale of the problem. The Japanese government’s own National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) uses scans of the dark web to estimate that, of the cyber attacks it detected in 2017, 54 per cent targeted IoT devices.
C-suite  cyberattacks  cyber_security  cyber_warfare  dark_web  experimentation  hacks  Industrial_Internet  Japan  overreach  preparation  privacy  readiness  testing  vulnerabilities  white_hats 
february 2019 by jerryking
We Survived Spreadsheets, and We’ll Survive AI - WSJ
By Greg Ip
Updated Aug. 2, 2017

History and economics show that when an input such as energy, communication or calculation becomes cheaper, we find many more uses for it. Some jobs become superfluous, but others more valuable, and brand new ones spring into existence. Why should AI be different?

Back in the 1860s, the British economist William Stanley Jevons noticed that when more-efficient steam engines reduced the coal needed to generate power, steam power became more widespread and coal consumption rose. More recently, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology-led study found that as semiconductor manufacturers squeezed more computing power out of each unit of silicon, the demand for computing power shot up, and silicon consumption rose.

The “Jevons paradox” is true of information-based inputs, not just materials like coal and silicon......Just as spreadsheets drove costs down and demand up for calculations, machine learning—the application of AI to large data sets—will do the same for predictions, argue Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans and Avi Goldfarb, who teach at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. “Prediction about uncertain states of the world is an input into decision making,” they wrote in a recent paper. .....Unlike spreadsheets, machine learning doesn’t yield exact answers. But it reduces the uncertainty around different risks. For example, AI makes mammograms more accurate, the authors note, so doctors can better judge when to conduct invasive biopsies. That makes the doctor’s judgment more valuable......Machine learning is statistics on steroids: It uses powerful algorithms and computers to analyze far more inputs, such as the millions of pixels in a digital picture, and not just numbers but images and sounds. It turns combinations of variables into yet more variables, until it maximizes its success on questions such as “is this a picture of a dog” or at tasks such as “persuade the viewer to click on this link.”.....Yet as AI gets cheaper, so its potential applications will grow. Just as better weather forecasting makes us more willing to go out without an umbrella, Mr. Manzi says, AI emboldens companies to test more products, strategies and hunches: “Theories become lightweight and disposable.” They need people who know how to use it, and how to act on the results.
artificial_intelligence  Greg_Ip  spreadsheets  machine_learning  predictions  paradoxes  Jim_Manzi  experimentation  testing  massive_data_sets  judgment  uncertainty  economists  algorithms  MIT  Gilder's_Law  speed  operational_tempo  Jevons_paradox  decision_making  steam_engine  William_Jevons 
august 2017 by jerryking
Everything We Wish We'd Known About Building Data Products - First Round Review
Quote: "Where to Start Building: A lot of people choose to start building by modeling the product in question. Some start with feature discovery or feature engineering. Others start with building the infrastructure to serve results at scale. But for Belkin, there's only one right answer and starting point for a data product: Understanding how will you evaluate performance and building evaluation tools.
“Every single company I've worked at and talked to has the same problem without a single exception so far — poor data quality, especially tracking data,” he says.“Either there's incomplete data, missing tracking data, duplicative tracking data.” To solve this problem, you must invest a ton of time and energy monitoring data quality. You need to monitor and alert as carefully as you monitor site SLAs. You need to treat data quality bugs as more than a first priority. Don’t be afraid to fail a deploy if you detect data quality issues."
assessments_&_evaluations  control_systems  dashboards  data_quality  economies_of_scale  instrumentation_monitoring  testing  tracking  information  infrastructure  via:ajohnson1200  massive_data_sets 
september 2015 by jerryking
This Is How We Do It: Ben Horowitz on How Software Testing Has Changed - The CIO Report - WSJ
March 12, 2015 | WSJ |By STEVE ROSENBUSH.

Two trends led to the creation of SignalFx...“It used to be that every server was sacred and if one went down, it was a catastrophe,” Mr. Horowitz said. In the era of the cloud and so-called webscale companies, that no longer should be the case, he contends. “Facebook has over one million servers. If one goes down, it doesn’t matter. What matters is how the app that is being served is performing. Is there a bottleneck or is it doing okay?”...The other big trend behind the creation of SignalFx lay in software development process. In an era of continuous deployment and updates, there’s no time to have IT identify a problem and kick it back to the engineers....“What you really need is software developers looking at how applications are doing. But you have to give developers tools to instrument their own code,” he said.

Such monitoring tools will vary from case to case. “Memory usage, response time .. any number of things may characterize an application tier, or Web tier. You have to be able to express things like that.... “In the old days, from the engineering standpoint, functionality was a huge thing. Now it is a small thing when it comes to testing. Scale and reliability are the big things, and testing has to be in real time.”
Ben_Horowitz  Andreessen_Horowitz  software_development  tools  CIOs  monitoring  SignalFx  scaling  reliability  real-time  testing  control_systems  dashboards  instrumentation_monitoring 
march 2015 by jerryking
Tech Wealth and Ideas Are Heading Into News
October 20, 2013 |- NYTimes.com | By DAVID CARR

Silicon Valley and its various power brokers — some who had roles in putting the news business in harm’s way to begin with — are suddenly investing significant sums of money in preserving news capacity and quality. ... Next-generation news companies including Vice, Vox Media, BuzzFeed and Business Insider have all recently received significant investment. (In addition, Jeff Skoll, another eBay alum, backed Participant Media and now the TV channel Pivot, to make “socially relevant” films and television.)

The list goes on, but the trend is clear: quality news has become, if not sexy, suddenly attractive to smart digital money.....It does not take an M.B.A. to understand that the ability to capture consumers’ attention and move them around a platform, all the while extracting value, might come in handy in the media business. ITunes used cheap, uniformly priced content to animate the sales of devices like the iPod; Amazon used cheap devices like the Kindle to push lucrative content sales. EBay reduced the friction and suspicion between buyers and sellers of all kinds of goods. ...The willingness to answer bedeviling old questions in new ways does not ensure success, but it creates remarkable possibilities. “Both Jeff Bezos and Pierre Omidyar have a hacker’s ethos, a willingness to engage in lateral thinking to solve problems in a nonconventional way, to reject what has been taken for granted and MacGyver their way to solutions (aka mental_dexterity),” suggested Shane Snow, a founder of Contently, a marketplace for content creators.

Consider Amazon’s ability to lead consumers through a highly personalized array of choices.

“If you have a story that is read by a million people, that’s great, but how do you get those million people to read another story?” said Henry Blodget of Business Insider. “Amazon is extraordinary at customizing its site for every visitor. They do endless testing and understand stickiness and relevance in a way few media companies do.”

One of the secrets of Amazon (and Netflix) is that it never offered one site, but millions of customized sites. It is not hard to envision a carefully measured invitation at the bottom of a highly trafficked news article: “People who read this story are also reading ...” .
value_extraction  news  Silicon_Valley  moguls  entrepreneur  David_Carr  digital_media  Amazon  Second_Acts  disruption  Pierre_Omidyar  Jeff_Bezos  websites  personalization  Netflix  customization  testing  experimentation  growth_hacking  stickiness  relevance  newspapers  content  problem_solving  unconventional_thinking  smart_people  attention  Henry_Blodget  Contently  content_creators  power_brokers 
october 2013 by jerryking
Journalism’s problem is a failure of originality - The Globe and Mail
KELLY McBRIDE

The Globe and Mail

Published Friday, Sep. 28 2012

Professional journalism isn’t facing a plagiarism problem. It’s facing an originality failure....We have no way of knowing whether, proportionally, there’s more plagiarism in journalism today than there was 20 years ago. But we do know that commentators now work in very different circumstances. It used to be that local columnists used the phone and their feet. They spent time out of the office, just like their reporter colleagues. They went to the bar, the barbershop, the local college, the courtroom.

Why? Because, that’s where ideas took shape. Talking and thinking, thinking and talking, then trying it out on the keyboard. That’s how writers write. Sometimes, the work was good; more often, it was mediocre. Sometimes, editors sent it back. Whatever the quality, the ideas belonged to the columnist, informed by her reporting and research but grown in the writer’s head....In our panic to keep up with a changing world, we’ve failed to identify new methods for originality. We need to look to the writer-editor relationship, to the community of writers and thinkers and to the very process that writers use to go from nothing to something.

We’re mystified by the prospect of building a culture that breeds original thinking and writing in today’s digital world. Yet, we can look to writers who are successfully hitting the mark of originality and imitate their methods.

Today’s most original successful writers often combine the new and the old to foster their thinking. Writers such as Anne Lamott or columnist Connie Schultz test out their ideas in social media settings such as Twitter or Facebook. And they stay grounded in the real world, allowing for the influence of other people and experiences.
in_the_real_world  journalism  originality  scuttlebutt  thinking  plagiarism  editors  writers  writing  social_media  testing  original_thinking  ideas 
october 2012 by jerryking
Lesson in the black-school debate is when the system isn't working - experiment
January 31, 2008 | Globe & Mail | John Barber.

Do we have theories and convictions about education? More than enough! So why not test them? The point is not who's right, but what works. In pursuit of educational and social equity. The price of one experiment’s failure will always be negligible compared to the ongoing cost of trying nothing. One side talks about Martin Luther King Ir. The other side champions the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In practical terms, the school board's narrow vote in favour of a black-focused school tipped when trustee Michael Couteau, who is black, changed his views in response to pressure from constituents.
Afrocentric  experimentation  education  testing  constituencies  Charter_of_Rights_and_Freedoms 
august 2012 by jerryking
Technology Implementation and Project Risk
You have to make sure your whole team understands what scarce resource you’re optimizing.
implementation  execution  R&D  testing  risk-assessment  project_management  frameworks 
july 2012 by jerryking
Websites Combine DNA, Social Networks - WSJ.com
May 15, 2012 | WSJ | By GEOFFREY A. FOWLER
Websites Use DNA to Create Family Trees
Combining Social Networking and Mapping Technology Helps Find Family Members People Didn't Know They Had
DNA  family  genealogy  testing  ancestry 
may 2012 by jerryking
Exploring the Market With a Start-Up Firm - WSJ.com
July 19, 2005 | WSJ | By PAULETTE THOMAS | Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.
THE LESSON: Don't lock into a business concept until you have tested the market.
small_business  case_studies  Sodexho  hospitals  dvds  experimentation  testing  explorations 
may 2012 by jerryking
Oakland Seeks a Lift From Pop-Up Stores - WSJ.com
JANUARY 12, 2012 | WSJ | By LAUREN RUDSER.

Pop-up stores aren't a new phenomenon—often they are seasonal, setting up for holidays like Halloween or Christmas. Restaurants also occasionally pop up for a night or two to test a new menu or location. Such stores have become more prevalent nationwide with the increasing number of storefronts left vacant amid a weak economy, says Jesse Tron, a spokesman with the International Council of Shopping Centers.

What makes popuphood different is the number of stores opening simultaneously, and the goal of going from pop-up to permanent.
pop-ups  economic_development  urban  cities  weak_economy  shopping_malls  store_openings  testing  holidays 
january 2012 by jerryking
Lean Start-Ups Reach Beyond Silicon Valley’s Turf - NYTimes.com
By STEVE LOHR
December 5, 2011

The newer model for starting businesses relies on hypothesis, experiment and testing in the marketplace, from the day a company is founded. That is a sharp break with the traditional approach of drawing up a business plan, setting financial targets, building a finished product and then rolling out the business and hoping to succeed. It was time-consuming and costly.

The preferred formula today is often called the “lean start-up.” Its foremost proponents include Eric Ries, an engineer, entrepreneur and author who coined the term and is now an entrepreneur in residence at the Harvard Business School, and Steven Blank, a serial entrepreneur, author and lecturer at Stanford.

The approach emphasizes quickly developing “minimum viable products,” low-cost versions that are shown to customers for reaction, and then improved. Flexibility is the other hallmark. Test business models and ideas, and ruthlessly cull failures and move on to Plan B, Plan C, Plan D and so on — “pivoting,” as the process is known.
Steve_Lohr  entrepreneurship  start_ups  lean  experimentation  speed  business_models  pivots  minimum_viable_products  testing  Plan_B  culling  flexibility 
december 2011 by jerryking
WSJ: The Threat in the Air
The Threat in the Air

By AMY L. WAX
April 13, 2004; Page A20
Amy_Wax  testing  achievement_gaps  stereotypes  Stanford 
november 2011 by jerryking
How About Better Parents? - NYTimes.com
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: November 19, 2011

“The study found that getting parents involved with their children’s learning at home is a more powerful driver of achievement than parents attending P.T.A. and school board meetings, volunteering in classrooms, participating in fund-raising, and showing up at back-to-school nights.”
parenting  Tom_Friedman  testing  reading  teachers 
november 2011 by jerryking
THEY TRASH CARS, DON'T THEY? | More Intelligent Life
Paul Markillie goes along for the ride ...

From INTELLIGENT LIFE Magazine, Summer 2011
automotive_industry  automobile  testing 
july 2011 by jerryking
A Tech Tool That Puts Employees and Customers to the Test - NYTimes.com
March 31, 2011, 7:00 am
A Tech Tool That Puts Employees and Customers to the Test
By DAVID H. FREEDMAN
David_Freedman  tools  presentations  testing 
april 2011 by jerryking
jared spool on user research methods
July 15, 2005 | Adaptive path | by Peter Merholz
research  testing  usability  ux  methods 
january 2010 by jerryking
School-testing study provides valuable lesson
Aug. 20, 2009 | Globe & Mail | by Marcus Gee. Schools with
students from more affluent backgrounds tend to do better provincewide
tests in reading, writing and mathematics that all students take in
Grades 3, 6, 9 and 10 under the Education Quality and Accountability
Office., but within that generality there are sharp variations.
Background is not destiny. Kids in poor districts don't have to have
lousy schools. Kids in rich areas don't always get great schools either.
testing  schools  Marcus_Gee  performance  Ontario 
august 2009 by jerryking
Randomized testing is fast and cheap, but few seem interested
Lenore Skenazy. Advertising Age. (Midwest region edition). Chicago: Oct 1, 2007. Vol. 78, Iss. 39; pg. 22, 1 pgs
testing  research_methods  randomness  randomized  trial_&_error  fast  cheap  fast-paced 
august 2009 by jerryking
Ping - How Google Decides to Pull the Plug - NYTimes.com
February 14, 2009 NYT article By VINDU GOEL on how Google
evaluates budding projects, its key tests for continued incubation, its
use of its own employees as a test bed, and its use of product-specific
blogs to communicate and listen to, the public.
attrition_rates  stage-gate  Daniel_Pink  Freshbooks  decision_making  business  innovation  Google  exits  trial_&_error  commercialization  projects  kill_rates  test_beds  assessments_&_evaluations  Communicating_&_Connecting  testing  blogs  new_products  Michael_McDerment  culling 
february 2009 by jerryking

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