The KIT ─ Knowledge & Information Technology
No. 238 - 16 April 2019
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In This Issue
How I Built My Stack
Knowledge Management Toolbox
A Weakening Legal Basis for Location Privacy
The Global IoT Security Market
Seen Recently
Claude Baudoin

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How I Built My Stack
At a recent event hosted by Google in San Francisco, several startup founders shared their experience about the technology stacks they used to create their product or service. We heard in particular from the founders of Backr (connecting women sports fans to events, teams and athletes), ConciergeBot (supporting the communication between renters and owners through chatbots and AI) and NextWeek (an app to help you follow up with people you met at an event).

The most mentioned technologies were Twilio (call/SMS automation), node.js for coding, Heroku (platform-as-a-service for app development), TypeScript (a superset of JavaScript, from Microsoft), PostgreSQL (old relational database technology, but a proven workhorse), and of course, since we were at Google, GCP (Google Cloud Platform, available for free to young startups pre-Series B).
Knowledge Management Toolbox
We recently took a call from a non-profit company that was seeking advice on best practices and tools for knowledge management. The person charged with defining a KM strategy was well versed in the main principles and challenges, and receptive to the fact that a KM strategy is not just a set of tools, but that it is a combination of people, processes, content, and tools.

Still, tools matter, and it was interesting to hear what they currently use:
  • For content management and sharing, they use Google Drive. Since documents may pertain to several categories, they supplement the folder structure with shortcuts -- just as one might do in a Windows file structure. While Drive is a common solution with some excellent features, especially its joint authoring of documents, versioning and approval workflows are entirely manual. This will work for a while... until there are enough documents, versions, and owners that a more functional ECM is needed.
  • For customer information, which is a key part of their knowledge, they use the commercial version of Salesforce.
  • For discussion forums, they use Slack. Some organizations find it hard to achieve the discipline of using Slack systematically -- people easily revert to e-mails, text messages, etc., out of habit.
  • Finally, and that surprised us, their tool to capture the knowledge that's in the heads of their experts is... PowerPoint. "We're consultants at heart, we think and breathe PowerPoint. To share knowledge, we create presentations." Of course, if it works, let's not criticize success. But it is hard to believe that (a) people are not wasting a lot of time with the formatting and graphics of their slides instead of focusing on the ideas, (b) there is never a need to quickly add ideas or comments to existing content, as can be more easily done in a wiki.
We're interested (as always) in reader comments, reactions, and sharing of their own experience.
A Weakening Legal Basis for Location Privacy
Legal analyses are not often exciting material for technology-inclined readers, but "Losing Our Fourth Amendment Data Protection," an article by Dr. Josephine Wolff in the New York Times, explains very clearly why, in the context of the United States legal system, our own expectation that data and metadata -- including our location -- is shared with Internet providers and telecommunication companies can cause us to lose the right to protect that data from others. There is an interesting discussion of the impact of the accession to the bench of younger judges from the "digital natives" generation.
The Global IoT Security Market
ASDReports estimates that the global IoT Security market will grow from about $10 billion in 2018 to $74 billion by 2027, a rather torrid 25% increase per year on average, or roughly doubling every three years. Endpoint security will account for 30% of that market, and the Asia/Pacific region will see the greatest expansion, mostly due to increases in Internet penetration in China and India. If you want more details, it will cost you, as is always the case with ASDReports -- to the tune of $3995 for a single-user copy or $8995 for an enterprise license.
Seen Recently...
"Email is the cockroach of the Internet -- it just won't die."
-- Rohyt Belani, CEO of Cofense, a company that specializes in
the detection and elimination of phishing attacks. According to them,
1 in 7 emails that make it past spam filters contains some sort of malware.

"How do you know you're at a technical conference? There's a backup at the men's bathroom while the women's line is non-existent. Sad!"
-- Navpreet Jatana, Director of Enterprise Security at Zions Bancorporation