Public WiFi security risks are real, not imaginary. This paper from the Royal Holloway College, University of London highlights Security Risks associated with the use of public Wi-Fi hotspots.
Should Quarkside publicise this paper? The advice works both ways. It gives as many clues to potential criminals as it does to those who should take more care.
Conferences come and go. It is a valuable business for organisers and a useful channel for suppliers. Both rely on the attracting the best shod feet through the door. Imagine the surprise on seeing:
“We have noted that you appear to have not opened the joining instructions sent to you – therefore we have sent this email as plain text so hopefully it will get through. If you have already received and read the joining instructions then please disregard this email.”
The technology has been around since the last century, but it had gone into rarely visited long term memory archives. So, if you want to do it yourself, try the charmingly named SpyPig. If you follow this link, it gives you your current IP address and some unintelligible Internet Service Provider details.
The Internet of Things may eventually enter the vocabulary of Members of Parliament (MPs). But as Dr Julian Huppert, MP, pointed out, the eyes of MPs glaze over at the mention of digital technology. He was not joking when he said that in the debate about child protection, there was a call to get all the URLs into a room for a meeting.
The use of acronyms adds to the confusion when they could have alternative meanings. When discussing the protection of IP addresses, an MP can be forgiven for thinking it is about the protection of Intellectual Property addresses.
The point was well made at the beginning of yesterday’s meeting of the Digital Policy Alliance (the DPA, not to be confused with the Data Protection Act). If digital technology terminology is to permeate policy, then DPA publications must be clear and have value to MPs in their constituencies. This enabled the meeting to massage the message into five topics on the Internet of Things (IOT), not to be confused with the Internet:
Machine learning via neural networks produces impressive results. The Blood Glucose prediction hackathon used three data streams: historical blood glucose, insulin dosage and carbohydrate consumption. This explains approximately 50% of the prediction.
Blood Glucose Predictive Power
Adding three more streams would increase this to 85%; other nutrition, activity and other lifestyle factors. All these could be simply collected from mobile devices and used in other health prediction applications. It shows the value of monitoring data streams for multiple purposes. This data could also be analysed alongside logs of blood pressure and heart rhythms.
Just think of the value to people who are at risk of heart attack or stroke. Real-time predictions of heart rate and blood pressure could set alarms that would moderate a person’s behaviour. An impertinent machine telling you to Stop driving!, sit down! or have a rest! may upset your plans – but it is better than risking your own or another life.
Machine learning is not rule based – it calculates the rules.
“The future of the BBC licence fee is threatened by political ideology and the impossibility of stopping people from watching on line free of charge.”
is quoted from Private Eye No 1341, page 12.
There are some people who watch BBC programmes on iPlayer who have a TV licence but no TV. They stick by the condition that you need to be covered by a licence if you watch TV online at the same time as it’s being broadcast on conventional TV in the UK or the Channel Islands. Watch it an hour later and you don’t need a TV licence.
The BBC is not obliged to provide content for free. It is not a new idea, but they could contemplate a governance regime that licensed people to view on-line. A personal data store could have an identity attribute for a current TV licence. Mydex is free for personal use and would be easy for the BBC to check before a programme downloads. Registering for viewing on-line content is commonplace and it is reasonable to change conditions to maximise revenue.
Yes, there will be ways of cheating the system – but 40pence per day is not excessive when compared to cable and satellite subscriptions or the indirect cost of TV advertising. The BBC could then consider developing global terms and conditions which earn extra income.
So it’s not impossible – just unlikely that the BBC will attempt to reduce free viewing.
McKinsey have analysed the applications of big data technology in US healthcare and show that direct intervention and predictive power is increasing:
Big Data in Healthcare
“If early successes are brought to scale, we estimate that big-data applications could eventually strip more than $300 billion in costs from the nation’s health-care system and improve transparency to drive better patient outcomes. Such applications might help avoid costly readmissions, enhance the understanding of chronic diseases, and ensure that patients are treated in the care setting that best meets their needs.”
This should encourage UK and EU investment in smart software to help in diagnosis and treatment to improve health outcomes. There’s big money for those innovators that provide scalable machine learning and prediction. The Internet of Things is capable of generating more data than can be analysed easily by traditional techniques. Singapore is doing it.
The Internet of Things now has so many players. Companies trying to rise to the top in horizontal and vertical markets. This Techcrunch article attempts to make sense of them. Emerging industry has so many innovative start-ups, all seeking to become market leaders. However, don’t be surprised if the oligopolies win in the end – by internal investment or purchase of smaller companies.
Where does anybody start if they want to develop an idea through proof of concept to a sustainable business?
Apologies if this image blows the size of your browser screen. It works OK on Opera with ‘fit to width’. Otherwise look up the original Techcrunch article.
In the era of big data, analytical methods have to be fast and effective. Traditional statistical and rule based methods cannot keep pace with volumes and variety of data being collected. They will miss patterns of data that could improve decision making.
The time has come when there is little option other than starting to consider automatic machine learning on an enterprise scale. Patterns in data can be identified and used to calculate the probability of events in the future. The prediction can be done in real time applications, such as intensive care monitoring in hospitals.
There seems to be a view that machine learning, pattern matching and prediction is expensive, slow or inaccurate – or all three! Here is an example that demonstrates otherwise. A Hackathon produced a prediction of blood sugar level in a diabetic patient in less than a day. The machine learning algorithms were not meditated by any additional clinical input.
Blood sugar prediction
Similar techniques could prove invaluable in care of the elderly, early dementia and psychiatric patient monitoring.
This Predictive Monitoring hackathon was held in Singapore. The UK should be more proactive in supporting such machine learning innovation, or a lead in vital technology could be lost.
Digital technology will impact everybody in the second half of their lives. The age from 50 to 100, for the vast majority of people, will be a decline of most faculties until death do them claim. Now is the time to think of the technology implications and develop a policy for public debate.
Here’s a table that shows the decreasing personal digital needs of people over 50 and the increasing needs of their family, friends and service agencies. There’s an shift from being active and independent to moribund and entirely dependent and others. There a wide range of intermediate states of health and vigour, and digital needs should be individually tailored for the best outcomes.
Digital half life – Needs
The active, social person with no major health problems has lots of choice with the faculties to manage digital technology with ease. For many this can last into their nineties. However, the vast majority steadily need more external support. They wish to live independently, and this becomes easier and more economical if they accept external monitoring services. Currently these are expensive, using old technology in the home. There are gaps in the market for home monitoring services – some idea is given in the table below:
Digital half life – Gaps
The Internet of Things will lead the revolution. Low cost home networked sensors are critical to the way forward. It also needs good communications to data centres and analytical software as part of an affordable infrastructure. Automatic sensing of changes to normal behaviour are necessary, in addition to the commonplace detector alarms. With intelligent investment, the UK could develop a World leading technology industry.