By Sandy Bird
Over the years, the game of cat and mouse between cyber attackers and the people charged with defending networks against their advances has become increasingly more complex. Every new advance in defensive technologies has forced attackers to adopt new tactics, and every new attack technique has produced a new response.
We’re at the point where some of the most diligent and advanced security organizations in the world have deployed over 60 different security products; products that, unfortunately, infrequently communicate with one another. Realistically, we can’t rely on these disconnected technologies to be successful 100 percent of the time, especially when they operate in isolation. We need a different, foundational approach.
Fortunately for security professionals, even the most advanced attackers share the same human limitations as the people defending the networks: they are not perfect and they will leave clues about their presence in a network. The enduring challenge is to figure out how to identify and combine those subtle indicators of an attack. Today, more advanced organizations are turning to Big Data in search of evidence of security breaches. Continue Reading »
By Clyde Pereira
Informed, empowered, and demanding social-media savvy consumers. They’re here to stay – and no one has been more affected by them than those working in the consumer goods and retail manufacturing industries.
While we often point to the Internet as the underpinning of the empowered consumer evolution, thanks to a number of external factors – such as the increased use of mobile devices, social media, Big Data and the interconnectivity of all of our devices – today we must also look at cloud computing as another major force adding to the “consumer power” phenomenon. But cloud’s new reach doesn’t stop there.
In fact, recent research by IBM indicates that while 16 percent of the global sample of business leaders surveyed were already using cloud capabilities for sweeping innovation (such as entering new lines of business or reshaping an existing industry) within the next three years, 35 percent intend to use it to transform their business models. Continue Reading »
By Ed Cole
Earlier this year, the New York Times ran an article in which it called Nashville, Tennessee – the “it” city.
The coverage was an exciting and complimentary tribute to Nashville as a culturally-rich, fast growing metropolitan region. The Times highlighted the culture with music and trendy restaurants, and the economic health of the region attributing that in part to our, “mix of employers in fields like health care management, religious publishing, car manufacturing and higher education, led by Vanderbilt University.”
For all the accolades in the Times piece, there was mention of a very real problem in our “it” city – the need for better transportation.
How are we going to get to enjoy all the city has to offer, the live music venues, the parks, the museums, or the chic social gatherings, if our roadways are choking with congestion? Continue Reading »
By Dr. James Hendler
Every single student in the Department of Computer Science here at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has the potential to revolutionize computing. But with the arrival of Watson at Rensselaer, they’re even better positioned to do so.
Watson has caused the researchers in my field of artificial intelligence (AI) to rethink some of our basic assumptions. Watson’s cognitive computing is a breakthrough technology, and it’s really amazing to be here at Rensselaer, where we will be the first university to get our hands on this amazing system.
With 90 percent of the world’s data generated in the past two years, the ability for people and even traditional computing systems to make sense of this data has grown complex. The addition of Watson to our campus is very timely considering the growth of what some have termed “Big Data.”
In 1976, Joseph Weizenbaum, a leading computer scientist, wrote a book called Computer Power and Human Reason: From Judgement to Calculation, in which he criticized the field of AI for trying to replace human creativity and thought with the power of computers. He suggested that humans and computers were inherently different, and that trying to get computers to think like humans was an insurmountable task, if it was possible at all. Continue Reading »
By Chris Steinkamp
Last year was the warmest in recorded history. But now we’re experiencing a sudden shift from the unseasonably warm temperatures of 2012 to below-freezing temperatures as we begin the new year.
We all know that what’s happening out the window is weather, not climate, but these radical shifts in temperature are likely to be more frequent due to global climate change – a long-term trend caused by increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. And we’re already seeing how nature is responding.
President Barack Obama pledged in his inaugural address last week to respond to the threat of climate change. Looking at the Big Data already generated from scientific researchers from around the world, a level of insight is needed to identify and analyze extreme weather patterns such as raging fires, crippling drought, powerful storms and dramatic shifts in temperature – as well as to outline the steps needed to reduce our carbon footprint. Continue Reading »
By Naveen Lamba
Circling for a parking spot, worrying about feeding the parking meters, and ultimately wondering if you should just turn around and go home. These are familiar feelings for anyone who has ever had to find a parking spot in a hurry. Not only is it frustrating, but the time spent looking for parking also contributes to traffic congestion – some research suggests 30 percent on average – and air pollution.
Parking is an area of transportation that had seen little innovation until a just a few years ago. With today’s technology – from sensors to smarter meters to advanced analytics – cities can reinvent parking to help reduce congestion and make our cities more livable.
Enter Streetline, a Silicon Valley start-up that provides Smart Parking solutions to cities, garages, airports, universities and other private parking providers. The company is the creator of Parker™, a free smartphone app that guides drivers to available parking spaces in real time.
The company won the 2010 IBM SmartCamp, a global entrepreneurship program that identifies early stage start-ups in the Smarter Planet industries. Through this program, Streetline had access to a global network of experts and advisors. Since then, Streetline and IBM have continued working together.
(Next week IBM will host the 2013 Global SmartCamp Finals in New York City.) Continue Reading »
By Christina Peters
Today is Data Privacy Day – a day designed to promote the protection of privacy and data.
Most of us want to keep at least some information about ourselves private. But as we lead our increasingly digital lives, we create larger and larger amounts of personal information which gets used in a variety of ways. Sometimes we feel uneasy when we realize that we may not understand how or why, or by whom, our information will be used. Other times we share it to get something we want or need, like a map application that uses our location data. When we understand how our information is used and see the benefit, we see not a privacy violation, but a helpful tool.
Information – including personal information – is becoming a helpful tool on a grand scale. When combined in great quantities and put through sophisticated analysis, it is helping solve some of society’s most pressing problems. Continue Reading »
By Nancy Staisey
Recently I was reminded of the first time I went to New York City as a child for a ticker tape parade. What is etched in my memory was the experience of paper shreds and ticker tape snowing down on us as the parade approached.
In that moment, my eyes weren’t on passing cars or heroes, but rather on these little slips of paper covered in numbers and letters. I just couldn’t understand why anyone was throwing all of this data away. It was a snowfall of information that someone thought was worthwhile to print, but not worth saving and using.
Today every one of us produces an avalanche of data. Experts say that the world’s information is doubling every two years, but for many cities, this data is an unrecognized natural resource. This new natural resource can be turned into information and insight that can help transform the way our cities, our country, and our businesses operate. Continue Reading »