SmartCities’s Cyber Security Role and Ethical Challenges

Estimated Reading Time: 10 minutesThe security and safety challenges of smart cities are an area of hot discussion and it seems everyone has an opinion on it. So it’s surprising that most technical research on smart-cities isn’t addressing cyber security adequately in their design or only as an afterthought. And anyway aren’t such things better left to a security specialist […]

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digital darwinism

Streembit in the era of “Digital Darwinism”

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutesHuman Vs. machine, Atoms Vs. bits; this changes in how people communicate, connect with machines, and discover the world of things are carrying incredible technologies to Digital market. We are now beginning the era of “Digital Darwinism”. “Era where technology , society and operation models are evolving faster than businesses can adapt.” Firstly thanks for […]

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Dog Licking Fawn

Thoughts on Streembit without getting too technical

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutesI have been trying to come up with a simple explanation of Streembit. Almost like an explanation without actually explaining it: “Streembit is a peer-to-peer human and machine communication platform. Secure, peer-to-peer, decentralized network formation is a fundamental and unsolved information technology problem.“ Streembit aims to solve this problem. But what exactly is the problem […]

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Interesting Lifehacks: Use a Wooden Spoon to Block Part of your Screen

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutesWhile the benefit of the wooden spoon may not be immediately obvious to the novice user, the concept is now hailed the ‘next big thing’ in software development. Early adopters have been tinkering with some creative use-cases. Most users first realize The Spoons power when selectively blocking unwanted pop-ups. This works much better than any browser […]

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Can Passengers Access an Aircraft’s Safety Critical Systems via the IFE?

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutesInteresting discussion has popped up on my LinkedIn feed over a picture showing an ancient version of Linux used in an In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) system. The question was raised again (over and over) whether a passenger can issue safety critical commands or access functions from the cockpit. IFE’s are typically certified to Design Assurance Level […]

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The Ultimate LinkedIn Math Puzzle: ‘;–Have i been pwned?

Estimated Reading Time: 12 minutesIn May 164 Mio email addresses and passwords were stolen from LinkedIn. Most users should have received a notice to reset their password. LinkedIn says it noticed the breach on May 17th in it’s mail nearly 10 days later (pdf): LinkedIn Email Breach Notice 26. May 2016. Considering their huge user base it might have taken a […]

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Streembit: “Hello World” My 1st Ever Video Call over a Decentralised P2P Network

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutesToday I’d like to show you what Streembit, the world’s first decentralised P2P based messaging platform can do for humans (besides the IoT). Streembit uses well tested cryptographic industry standards to ensure end-to-end encryption. There are no 3rd parties, or intermediaries monetizing your data. Using a DHT, Streembit avoids the traditional pitfalls threatening the bitcoin network while remaining agnostic about the eventual outcome […]

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Streembit: a decentralised peer-2-peer messaging platform for the IoT

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutesIntroducing Streembit: a decentralised, peer-to-peer, secure communication system for humans and machines. The purpose of Streembit is to create a free, secure, decentralised, peer to peer, Open Source system that secures your real time communication in accordance to the currently evolving W3C’s Web of Things (WoT) standard. You can have as many accounts on the permission less […]

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Securing the Internet of Things

Securing the Internet of Things

Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutesA report from the Economist Intelligence Unit The internet of things (IoT) presents the ultimate scenario of technology disruption. In industries ranging from door locks to auto, from sports apparel to heavy manufacturing, the IoT is upending business models, restructuring organisations and redefining the very nature of information technology (IT). But recent research by The […]

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An incomplete List of Organizations and Alliances for the Internet of Things

Estimated Reading Time: 9 minutesDoes the IoT needs more standards? Yes because we all know that the more standards we have the better it is for the industry (sarcasm tag for those who haven’t gotten the irony). Standards are utterly pointless if we can not rely on them remaining stable. And so unless the individual standardization bodies realize their […]

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cyber tyrannosaurus rex

Attacking the Internet of Things for Fun and Profit

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutesBelow we’re collecting the most interesting and (IMHO) influential IoT Security papers. This post targets engineering professionals who want to jump-start their IoT Security foo or wish to move into this Brave New World that is the Internet of Things or more specifically learn about IoTSecurity. The below content is evolving (hopefully with your help). If you find something missing please drop me […]

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The role of the Business Analyst in Agile Projects

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutesI still find that many engineers and even decision makers planning large-scale Agile Transformation are unaware of what a Business Analyst does and how critical their value can be to a project. So today let’s take a closer look at the often misunderstood job definition of “Business Analyst” and what makes a BA outstanding in their field. […]

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US DoS site data leak

Misconfigured US DoS website leaked classified files into

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutesthié has recently pointed out that the robots.txt file from the US Department of State website contains a grave misconfiguration. A robots.txt is part of a webservers configuration and supposed to be publicly readable. It tells search engines which links on the site should (not) be indexed. But the configuration directives which were used in robots.txt must have […]

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mercury retrogrde

The Software Engineers Guide to Mercury Retrograde

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutesAccording to Western astrology, there’s this thing called “Mercury Retrograde”. Before you dismiss it as mumbo-jumbo remember that this “science” is several thousand years old. And probably too complex for even software engineers like you and me to understand 🙂 During a this “planetary” alignment some activities (like hosting long meetings or code-refacturing) are safe, others are not. […]

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devops in a box

Is DevOps Bullshit?

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutesIn a recently trending rant on hackernews Josh Johnson pointed to his negative experience with the DevOps process after taking on a new job in a firm that had a “dedicated devops team”. The post is mainly a rant about “that devops is utter bullcrap” and any sane developer should run when they hear the term. My problem with this is that […]

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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: US industrial espionage in Germany

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutesa quick reminder that NSA surveillance is not just a post 9/11 phenomenon. “Echelon” was a US industrial espionage program in Germany. See this post from 2000 calling for the shutdown of the program. “Germany’s national intelligence agency, Verfassungsschutz, openly warns its business and industry community against Echelon. Germany’s intelligence agencies do more than just warn […]

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Tony Hoare

Tony Hoare: Invention of the null-reference a billion dollar mistake

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutesComputing Pioneer Sir Charles Antony Richard Hoare (aka C.A.R. Hoare) was mostly known for his Quicksort algorithm, but less remembered for the idea of the “null-reference”. He noted in 2009 that it was his “billion-dollar mistake” which he regretted and only implemented it because it was so easy to do: I call it my billion-dollar […]

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service level agrement

Service Level Agreements for Carrier-Grade Clouds: beyond best-effort

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutesService Level Agreements (SLAs) are a the nuts and bolts of a business agreement and next to QoS and Security the final pillar of a Carrier-Grade Cloud offering. SLAs define functional and non-functional conditions under which the service should be delivered. They allow for penalties or compensations to be directly derived. Ironically these SLAs have historically been best-effort, static (sometimes paper) constructs, taking only […]

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QoS considerations for Carrier Grade Clouds: location, location, location.

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutesA Carrier-Grade Cloud (CGC) is a cloud platform suitable for deployment, with stringent Availability, Reliability, QoS and Security requirements which are fundamental for Real-Time applications in many domains such as Telecoms, Automotive, Banking (Trading) sector. In our previous post we looked at the security requirements paramount to the design of such systems. Now lets see how […]

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DevOps and Security

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutesSoftware developers are “bonused and incentivized” for causing change. That’s how they make their money. Operations people inherit these changes and earn their money by maintaining stability. As change is the natural enemy of stability, developers and operations are natural enemies. DevOps changes this by harmonizing and aligning their incentives.  But what about Security? The recent “heartbleed” and “shellhock” exploits […]

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Flow: my addiction behind programming!

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutesThe psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced six-cent-mihaly) has studied the state of effortless attending, or  flow, as he called it. Flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does. People who experience flow describe it as the “ultimate state” of effortless concentration and “joyful immersion”. So deep that they lose sense of time, of themselves and their problems. Hence Csikszentmihalyi calls it […]

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Software-Defined Networking: A Comprehensive Survey

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutesThis is probably one of the most complete papers on the subject I have seen to date, published 02/06/2014 by by Diego Kreutz, Fernando M. V. Ramos, Paulo Verissimo, Christian Esteve Rothenberg, Siamak Azodolmolky, Steve Uhlig. So if you’re new to SDN or need an in-depth look, grab yourself a fresh coffee and get started: Software-Defined Networking […]

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imposter syndrome

The Imposter Syndrome in Software Development

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes“The impostor syndrome, is a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others […]

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hype cycle

Gartner Hype Cycle 2014

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutesGartner predicts that the Internet of Things will replace Big Data at the top of the “peak of inflated expectations”. I like the idea of illustrating Hype Cycles because buzzwords to me become quickly annoying. My data aggregation is full of blah and press-releases and “tech-news” are often just empty blah! Words like BigData and Cloud are being thrown around by […]

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Considerations for Carrier Grade Clouds: Security

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutesA carrier-grade cloud is a cloud platform or infrastructure suitable for deployment, with stringent availability, reliability, QoS and security requirements which are fundamental for real-time applications in Telecoms, Automotive, Banking (Stock Trading) and the Energy (Smart-Grid) sector. These industries operate under regulations that can prevent data sharing in many circumstances. Additionally, companies are reluctant to […]

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DevOps in Telecoms

Estimated Reading Time: 12 minutesA recent article on CA takes a look at how DevOps is making strides into many industries to improve the speed in how we deploy our solutions in Agile development environments. What surprised me was that in Telecoms the adoption of DevOps is much higher than generally believed and seems most willing to extend their […]

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Cloud / BigData Architecture & Design

How SDN will affect your job as a network engineer

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutesRemember the time when every large ICT company had its own telecoms department? A group of experts who went around installing cabling, terminals and phones, ensuring  central communication systems were in place. This changed very quickly as Telecommunications moved to VoIP and the IT department then took over most of the tasks that the old […]

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Businessmen fighting with golf clubs

Root Cause Analysis: Problem identified between keyboard and the chair!

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes“No matter how technical it looks at first, it’s always a people problem” is the famous quote of Gerald M. Weinberg, who noted that in computer science we tend to look at all problems as engineering problems. What makes or breaks your project are process and people issues. We search for technical solutions, when we should be […]

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fortran team at IBM

Lest we forget: The first Agile software guys!

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutesDuring my research into the early days of computing, I made the obligatory mention of John Backus and his team at IBM. The value of their contribution, by making programming accessible to everybody with a “formula translator” (aka FORTRAN ;-)) remains undisputed! What fascinated me most though, was they: were a diverse team, all the way […]

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DISCLAIMER: this post may contain buzzwords!

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutesbuzz·word  (bzwûrd) n. 1. A word or phrase connected with a specialized field or group that usually sounds important or technical and is used primarily to impress laypersons: “BigData”, “Cloud”, “Internet of Things“, “Agile“, “DevOps” …. 2. A stylish or trendy word or phrase. When people in tech hear buzzwords, it usually makes their skin […]

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BreakingNews: Hapless recruiter searching for LAMP developer; hires electrician

Estimated Reading Time: 11 minutesAll joking aside, the current state of the recruitment industry is no laughing matter. It is a world lacking any form of entry barrier and as bizarre as something directed by David Lynch himself! It’s not only the candidates who are getting fed up. Also HR departments are fending off hordes of thick skinned recruiter-goblins. And […]

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Which first language is best for learning programming techniques?

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutesMost people would suggest Python, which no doubt is a good language for beginners. But a lot depends on what you plan to do. If this isn’t only an academic experiment and you’re looking to seriously expand your programming ability then I’d argue for C on GNU/Linux. C is not object-oriented and certainly more difficult. […]

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Landing a job in Europe for (Indian) foreigners

Estimated Reading Time: 10 minutesMy network of foreign contacts in ICT is “considerably” large. The niche-recruitment arm of Valbonne Consulting receives over a hundred non EU based CV’s from qualified engineers each month. We often get asked by applicants how to land a job in Germany/France/Holland, as a foreigner … So I’d like to shed some light here. Germany is now the hot-spot of the EU […]

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