The KIT ─ Knowledge & Information Technology
No. 212 - 16 March 2018
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In This Issue
Migrating Applications to the Cloud
Blockchain and Chickens
Securing Edge Technology for IoT
USACM Privacy Recommendations
Stanford EE102 on video
A Standard for City Street Mapping
Seen Recently
Claude Baudoin

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Migrating Applications to the Public Cloud
CSCC 2018-03-28 webinarThe Cloud Standards Customer Council (CSCC) recently updated its guide on Migrating Applications to Public Cloud Services. In this hour-long webinar on March 28 (at 8:00 Pacific, 11:00 Eastern, 1600 GMT), Claude Baudoin and his co-authors will explain what is new in version 2 and the key considerations to ensure success of such a migration. Click on the picture to register.
Blockchain and... chickens?
Continuing the discussion started a couple of issues ago about the non-cryptocurrency uses of blockchain technology, here is a report on its use by French supermarket "chain" (pun intended) Carrefour, which is using blockchain to create a non-falsifiable traceability mechanism for the millions of free-range chickens it sells in its stores.

The speed at which blockchain (more generally speaking, distributed ledger technology or DLT) is finding new applications in securing records of transactions to which multiple actors can contribute, while cryptocurrencies are at the same time losing some of their luster (precipitous changes in value, suspected association with criminal traffic, IMF warnings about the need for regulation...) is one of the fastest technological evolutions in memory. 
Securing Edge Technology for IoT
On April 11 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern US time (11 a.m. Pacific, 1700 GMT), OpenSystems Media and Wind River will present a webinar on the security risks that affect "edge devices" in an Internet of Things network, and some of the techniques that can be used to protect the system. The focus will be on the Trusted Computing Group's open standards, which include the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) and the Integrity Measurement Architecture (IMA). Register here. Wind River will of course use the talk to "sell" the value of its Pulsar embedded Linux platform as an integral component of a secure IoT solution.
Department of Obvious Recommendations
USACM, the US Public Policy Council of the Association for Computing Machinery (like IBM, ACM now prefers to be called just by its initials, but the full name still has a quaint sound to it) issued "10 principles and practices for building data privacy into modern technological systems."

These principles comprise a total of 23 points, some of which are rather obvious ("provide individuals with clear information about how and by whom their personal data is being collected"), potentially naive (programmers working for national security agencies aren't going to post these principles in their cubicles), or vague ("routinely assess privacy risks ... using appropriate risk models").

One might wonder what took so long, or remember the saying that "a camel is a horse designed by committee."
Back to Basics (or to School)
We recently rediscovered on YouTube, and recommend to people who are not hostile to the world of electronics, the video recordings of lectures on "Electrical Engineering 102: Introduction to Signals and Systems," taught by Stanford Prof. Stephen Boyd in 1998-1999. Click here to find them all (they won't be listed in order, but the lecture number is in the title, and beware that some additional material will creep into the results). There are 26 lectures, each 50 minutes long on average -- an entire quarter's worth of material. In Lecture 1, go to the 09:45 mark to skip the opening explanation of the course logistics.

Fortunately, basic EE material does not age as quickly as programming courses do...
A Standard for City Street Mapping
So many mobile applications rely on maps nowadays that it is easy to forget that there is no standard for the exchange of street map data between geospatial and mapping software, transportation applications (such as the Waze, Uber or Lyft apps) and city planning departments. As a result, changes and alerts are hard to propagate across systems. Cities not to map not only the streets themselves, but also the lanes, curbs, bus stops, etc. SharedStreets is a proposal to fix this; it is a joint open-source project between the National Association of City Transportation Officials and the nonprofit Open Transport Partnership.

Thanks to Vince Polley for relaying an article from The Atlantic about this initiative in his Miscellaneous IT-Related Legal News (MIRLN).
Seen Recently...
"The networked organization of the future knows that the lion's share of value exists outside its walls; it looks to capture that value and bring it inside."
-- Dion Hinchliffe, @dhinchcliffe