The KIT ─ Knowledge & Information Technology
No. 152 - 16 September 2015
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In This Issue
Hybrid Cloud Day
IoT Cyberattacks: Perspective from Japan
Design by Contract
EA Anti-Success Stories
Smart Information Grid
Seen Recently
Claude Baudoin

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Hybrid Cloud Day
The Cloud Standards Customer Council will host a full day of presentations on hybrid clouds on Thursday, September 24 at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge, Mass. The last session will be a panel, moderated by Claude Baudoin, with renowned cloud experts Judith Hurwitz and David Linthicum, and Pamela Wise-Martinez, Senior Enterprise Architect at the US Government's Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) and an expert on risk management. You can still register here.
If Japan News Says So...
If you're tired of the repeated warning messages about the security challenges of the IoT, contained in the last year or so of KIT issues, get ready for the arrival of all the articles that now finally take security seriously. The latest analysis comes to us from Japan News: "Behind the Scenes / IoT devices vulnerable to cyber-attacks." The author digests some of the talk heard at the Black Hat and DEFCON conferences in Las Vegas, and gives us a Japanese perspective by identifying the lack of security standards from the Japanese government, and hints at the impact of vulnerabilities on the 2020 Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo. While a cyberattack on the games would gain worldwide visibility, we assume that remotely taking over the controls of cars, high-speed trains, or the electric grid would actually be more catastrophic.

The good news is that if the press is starting to educate the public on IoT security, the makers of devices and systems are going to have to up their game. The bad news is that we're going to plunge from what the Gartner Hype Cycle model of technology adoption calls the "peak of inflated expectations" into the "trough of disillusionment," and that drastic fall from one excess to the opposite extreme is never good. Time, money and goodwill get wasted before we reach the "slope of enlightenment." We could be getting there faster if a preoccupation with security had emerged at the same pace as connectivity solutions (and marketing slides).
Design by Contract
Most software developers nowadays use object-oriented programming languages, and usually (but not always) understand the principles of "information hiding." or the encapsulation of data and methods inside objects, that underlies object orientation. But the fundamental design principle behind this, and its implications on quality, is like the forest hidden by the proverbial trees. In the upcoming ACM Webcast, "Design by Contract: A Guiding Principle for Quality Software," Dr. Bertrand Meyer of ETH in Zurich (and inventor of the Eiffel language) will bring us back to the basic reason why specifying the "contract" between an object or component and its "clients," and writing the code in order to fulfill that contract, has an impact on software quality.

As of last week, there were already over 2200 people signed up to listen to the talk and Q&A. Don't wait: this is taking place tomorrow, September 17 at noon, Eastern US time! Go to the above link and click on the title of the talk to register.
Enterprise Architecture Anti-Success Stories
We always talk about needing to hear (and write) success stories. But we're also told that we learn best through failures. Claude Baudoin put this maxim in practice recently in a short article for the Cutter Consortium on "Enterprise Architecture Anti- Success Stories." If you're not a Cutter client and get stopped at the paywall, let us know and we'll wave our magical wand to get you a copy.
Smart Information Grid
We recently had the opportunity to talk to Erik Thomsen, Principal Scientist at Charles River Analytics in Boston. His company does complex work on information extraction for decision-making, based on an ontology. You can read one of their use cases here, and navigate to the rest of the site for more information.
Seen Recently...
"Basic research leads to new knowledge. It provides scientific capital. It creates the fund from which the practical applications of knowledge must be drawn."
-- Vannevar Bush, scientist and policymaker, in
"Science, the Endless Frontier," a 1945 report
to President Truman that led to the creation
of the National Science Foundation (NSF)