BetaNews Staff

Why collecting data about your health doesn’t always make you healthier

Healthcare data

A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shone new light on the shortcomings of collecting data from large groups of people during medical research. The longstanding belief is that the bigger the subject pool, the more representative the results will be of the public at large.

However, the scientists discovered something different that could impact how people use fitness trackers.

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Is antivirus still relevant for your organization?

As technology evolves, it leaves behind a junkyard of products that are longer needed. Electric typewriters, dial-up modems, and floppy disks -- all once intrinsic parts of workaday life -- are now long-obsolete relics.

Although we’re not quite there yet, it seems increasingly plausible that traditional antivirus software is likewise reaching its twilight years.

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The Firefox-powered Cliqz web browser puts your security first

People are worried about their personal security. Who do you trust? Facebook recently admitted it tracks just about everything you do whilst using its network, whereas one of the biggest technology companies in the UK, Dixons Carphone, announced a huge data loss.

You have to ask yourself, if a technology company can’t safeguard your data, who can you trust? On top, do you trust your web browser? What’s it storing, what information does it pass to the manufacturer and to the website you are browsing?

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Cryptojacking for good: Groundbreaking examples

In-browser mining triggered revolutionary changes in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. It used to be that the routine of spawning new virtual coins was isolated to computers running specially crafted software. Tools like the Coinhive JavaScript miner have added the website layer to the mix.

Ideally, it means webmasters can embed such a script in their sites and thus siphon off the processing power of visiting PCs in the background to earn Monero (XMR), Electroneum or other form of cryptocurrency. This is a legit tactic as long as people are properly notified of it.

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5 keys to customer data protection now that GDPR is here

GDPR in Europe

Protecting customer data should always be a top priority for businesses. But doing so is increasingly extending beyond moral responsibility and taking on the form of legal requirement. As you’ve surely heard, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) took effect May 25. This set of regulations, which replaces the Data Protection Act 1998, legislates online data rights for any organization that sells products or services to European Union (EU) customers.

Complying with these new rules might seem daunting (and even unnecessary) for US-based small businesses, particularly since there’s still a lot of confusion regarding the specifics of these new rules and requirements. But if you can understand these five keys to customer data protection, it will go a long way toward helping your business achieve compliance.

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Solving for GDPR: It’s about technology and human behavior

GDPR graphic

GDPR -- it’s a nightmare for organizations, but a much-needed protection for citizens in our world of Cambridge Analytica, criminal hackers, and nation-states cyberthreats. There are many aspects of the regulation that are extremely tricky to implement, but let’s consider just one. Imagine the following scenario:

A new customer signs up to your eCommerce website. Their data gets moved into several back-end systems; maybe a CRM, an accounts system, an order management system, marketing, and probably some kind of data science workbench. Sometime later, an analyst is tasked with analyzing new customers and their behaviors, their retention rates, and other important factors. They know customer data is spread out across dozens of these systems, so they ask IT to prepare a dataset for them. Maybe a month later IT come back with a dataset that has been provisioned in the corporate Data Lake. The data isn’t quite fit for purpose and contains far more information than the analyst needs.

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Why London will always be a global connectivity leader

Scene on London Bridge

With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in effect, and Brexit negotiations in full swing, there is tremendous debate about London’s new place in the world economy. However, even in a post-Brexit and GDPR world, London is a resilient city with a 400-year history at the center of trade and finance.

In 1998, my company, Interxion,strategically chose central London as the location of its first data center. Twenty years later, we continue to invest in this city with the launch of our third data center, opening in July. So what makes London such an attractive connectivity hub for businesses all over the world?

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Mobile: The driving force behind digital transformation

From retail to manufacturing, the digital transformation is taking the world by storm, and mobile is leading the charge. With mobile affecting everything from corporate processes to the customer experience, it’s important for businesses to understand just how mobile and the digital revolution are bringing big changes.

As productivity increases, so does the need to communicate more quickly. Currently, it takes 50 milliseconds to send a piece of data from one mobile device to another. Impressively, with 5G, that time will be cut to just one millisecond -- now, that’s fast. While operators are projected to spend $1.7 trillion on equipment upgrades between now and 2020 in preparation for the arrival of 5G, the results will be well worth it. By 2025, 5G is expected to reach 2.6 billion subscribers -- or one-in-five mobile connections around the world.

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Xbox One reported to integrate with Google Assistant and Alexa

Rumors are swirling that it won’t be long before people could talk to their smart speakers to control aspects of their Xbox One systems. Details are scarce, but here’s what’s known so far.

Microsoft formerly offered voice control functionality for Xbox players through its Kinect accessory. But, once the company discontinued it in 2017, and then quit making Xbox One adapters for the Kinect shortly afterward, gamers became more limited. The Xbox One does have Cortana, but the availability of features that work with Alexa and the Google Assistant could help players do even more with their systems.

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Ransomware: As big a threat as the media claims

Ransomware is a very real threat that targets businesses of all sizes and industries. Really any business can be a target. With that being said financial institutions and retail are most at risk given the transactional nature of their business and the number of people that may have access to a terminal or computer at any given point in time.

The first thing that an organization needs to do is recognize that they are a target for ransomware just like any other company. Next, they need to ensure that they have the proper tools anti-virus/anti-malware installed on all computer systems to detect and defend against ransomware attacks. Of course, after this comes ensuring that the anti-virus/anti-malware software is kept up-to-date to ensure that the signature and traffic detection patterns are updated. It is critical that businesses have some sort of ransomware defense plan in place.

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Three steps to avoid being the next victim of an insider data breach

insider threat

You may be wondering why I’ve chosen to specifically focus on "insider" breaches. The answer is simple, virtually every breach of any consequence has been the result of abuse, misuse, or hijacking of legitimate user credentials. More often than not the credential in question is an administrative login such as root (aka Superuser), database administrator, system administrator, or any of the myriad of admin accounts that proliferate every business system that processes and stores sensitive data.

Let me start by providing you with some background.

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VR is changing user experience design

Virtual reality has skyrocketed in popularity in just a few short years. Ten years ago, VR tech simply wasn’t there, and if it was, the hardware was prohibitively expensive.

Now, your smartphone can act as a VR headset. With Google Cardboard, a smartphone with VR capabilities, and a 3D printer, you can gain access to VR tech for almost no cost whatsoever.

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An inside look at Google’s hiring and onboarding processes

As one of the most iconic IT companies in the world, Google is, unsurprisingly, a popular place to work. Reports have indicated the company gets about one million resumes every single year. Google needs to have a solid system in place to narrow down its applicant pools and choose the best people for each open position. What exactly does this process look like, and how can other IT employers learn from it?

Let’s take a closer look at Google’s hiring, onboarding, and background check processes to find the answer.

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A lesson in IT from M&S -- adapting to a digital-first world

The UK retail sector is in a state of flux, with well-known businesses like Mothercare, Debenhams and New Look closing down stores and cutting jobs, while high-street stalwarts like House of Fraser and Marks & Spencer are struggling to keep their head above water and their income out of the red.

One of those retailers, Marks & Spencer (M&S), has turned to revitalizing its IT department in a bid to remain competitive and focus on returning profits to their previous highs. This new Technology Transformation Programme saw 250 roles move over to Tata Consulting in March, but remain based in M&S’ Middlesex headquarters.

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After eight years in development, Camera+2 is finally released

When you’re on a vacation, you want to make sure you can get the best possible photos from your environment. This meant (and still does for many) dragging around a huge DSLR camera with telephoto lens all day.

Problem is, apart from the weight, dragging a DSLR can attract all the wrong attention. You look like a semi-professional commercial photographer on an unauthorized shoot and, travel to places such as Miami and Los Angeles, and there are lots of locations where you can’t take your sizeable camera.

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