The KIT ? Knowledge & Information Technology
No. 142 - 15 Apr 2015
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In This Issue
Cutter Summit
Privacy vs. Law Enforcement
A MOOC Study
Seen Recently
Claude Baudoin

Consulting Services
  • IT Strategy
  • Enterprise Architecture Roadmap 
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Cutter Summit            

This is your last chance to register for the Cutter Summit to be held on May 4-6 in Cambridge, Mass. As usual in these events, the program will span a continuum of business and technology challenges, including keynotes and workshops on:
  • team building and leadership skills
  • change management
  • alignment of business and technology
  • software development trends
  • the role of business and enterprise architecture
  • cloud computing
  • managing and staffing for innovation
  • project portfolio management
  • business intelligence

In addition to the great speakers, you will get to meet Claude Baudoin and his colleagues, and hear directly about the experience of some of their clients in our many interactive discussions or over lunch or dinner. 

Privacy vs. Law Enforcement

We mentioned in the last issue the healthy debates we had at the March 26 Summit on "Cloud Privacy in the Public Sector" in Reston, Va. Coincidentally, the Washington Post reports that there are discussion at the highest levels of the U.S. government of how to reconcile the public's need for privacy, which can be reinforced by encrypting smartphone data, and the needs of law enforcement agencies. The latest idea is to provide authorities with a "master key" to unlock the device and access the data, but split that key between multiple entities that would have to agree that access is required in order to reassemble the full key.

While this seems like an interesting compromise, one question is: what entities are we talking about, and will they really be independent? Otherwise, we may end up with the same situation as with the supposedly independent Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court (FISA Court), which requests modifications in only 1 to 2% of the warrant requests it receives, and only rejects 0.05%.

A New Entrant in Social Knowledge Management             

Declara, a Silicon Valley-based startup, is promising a new approach to collaboration and knowledge management, based on building a "cognitive graph" of what the users of the system know, and what they are interested in.

Declara will launch its beta release within days, and invites interested people to pre-register to be part of the beta test.
A Survey of Massive Open Online Courses
Harvard and MIT have released an interesting study of 68 massive open online courses (MOOCs) offered by these two universities, including a fascinating visualization and a classification into four interrelated clusters (computer science, STEM, humanities, social sciences) with computer science being the largest.

The article in Inside Higher Ed mentions the controversies surrounding the rate at which MOOC students drop out after attending the first few sessions (yours truly is guilty as charged). But there should also be questions about the study's methodology: is the sample size too small? Does the focus on the two Cambridge institutions bias the results, or does the fact that all these courses use their edX platform, as opposed to the Stanford-initiated Coursera, also influence the results?
Seen Recently...

"This is very much like the computer field in the 90s. No one's paying any attention to security, no one's doing updates, no one knows anything. It's all really, really bad and it's going to come crashing down."

-Security expert Bruce Schneier, in an interview in Network World 

"Big data is like teenage sex: everyone talks about it, nobody really knows how to do it, everyone thinks everyone else is doing it, so everyone claims they're doing it..."

-Dan Ariely, behavioral economist and professor at Duke University