Along comes iOS 11 and digital obsolescence……

There is a story on the BBC technology website today that indicates that the new iOS 11 imminent on your Apple devices will “kill” any old and unsupported apps. All of which got me thinking of digital obsolescence, a common and faster occurring phenomenon. All of us can recount items that have either disappeared or reduced to rare. Film vs digital, vinyl records vs cassette tape vs CD vs memory chip vs streaming, and so it goes on. But applications based on the Apple definition are those that were built and sold just 2 years ago.

Now the technical aware  will say – it’s not Apple its the hardware that is driving this change by adopting 64 bit based solutions vs 32 bit solutions. But actually 64 Bit is generating the environment for Apps to do more, faster and most importantly more potential for “big” memory. So who is driving what? Apps or hardware? Answer neither. It’s the consumer demanding more and more capability, and for things that were never possible before.

We talk “big data”, but for me “big memory” is more of the key that unlocks the doors of possibility.

Regardless of all this – losing some of my familiar and well loved Apps is still going to be a pain, but likely short lived.

 

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The Register reveals a Bug in SAP recruiting software

Bugs, they are plentiful at the moment. The Register today highlights the case where it’s possible to spoof your way into the system. It’s now fixed if you apply the note mentioned in the article.

But the alternative use of this bug described in the article, amused me….the concept of using the opening to register staff so they couldn’t apply to your competitors advertised jobs.

iPhone X….yes or no?

So to be clear, I’m not an Apple worshipper. I’m an iPad owner and think it’s great but I’ve never had an iPhone. Largely because I was one of those heretics that loved his Blackberry, and keyboard. And when Blackberry was swamped by the consumer commercialisation of Android and iOS to the extent that they lost nearly all their market share, I moved to Android. And actually I quite like Android. Even more so with the phones that Huawei were making at an extremely competitive price, with stacks of features that often exceeded some of the Samsung offerings.

So I was intrigued at what the iPhone X could bring to the market that would rival the original iPhone introduced 10 years ago (yes, it really is that long ago).

But I’m disappointed…..a depth sensing camera (which allows facial recognition), an all glass case (for wireless charging), a larger screen area and no home button. It looks good but is it worth $999? Or £999 in UK (can someone explain why it costs 30% more in the UK?). I’m not sure.

I am sure that Apple fans will rave about it, but apart from aesthetic virtues I can’t see the extra value and it sure doesn’t disrupt the market like the original did……but then I’m quite likely at the end of my current contract to move to a SIM only contract and not refresh my phone as it does everything I want, but maybe that’s just me.

 

So exactly what is safe these days?

There’s a story in the Register that talks about a risk in SAP’s point of sale software. Even the biggest software suppliers are falling victims to flaws and exploits – so what can you do to lessen the risks in this dangerous digital world? The first thing to say is that things are as safe as the way you behave. Think of this as a war. You need to construct your defence, so think like a castle. You should have a layered defence, moats, walls, gates that you open and control who comes in, and you keep the crown jewels safe in the keep at the centre.

So think firewalls, think patches of each of your layers, and for your PII data think only expose what needs to be available on a need to know basis. And this is a never ending activity….because as fast as you build up your fortifications, someone somewhere will be digging that tunnel or designing that battering ram.

So keep up to date, stay vigilant and never, never become complacent.

User Group Conference 2017 – our most interesting Keynote (ever!)

Although I say it myself, we have conjured up what I think could be the best ever keynote in our series of annual conferences. Join SAP’s Hala Zeine, and Constellation Research’s R “Ray” Wang for a fireside chat exploring how we can all move from the hype of digital transformation to the reality of Business Transformation. They will discuss the latest Business, Management& Technology trends, reviewing disruptive technologies and what they mean to you, including

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI),
  • Internet of Things (IoT),
  • Machine Learning,
  • Data Management.

Learn how everything fits together, how SAP is addressing all of these topics, and how you can help your organisation make the right decisions.

The 2 most popular speakers we’ve ever had, together at the same time!

And this is just one item in an impressive programme …….check it out here.

Yet another data breach…..

There’s been another one….this time Equifax one of the big credit rating companies has had data “stolen”. And it impacts large numbers  – 143 million people. Around the world. And the reaction to this is interesting. In the US Equifax have set up a website to let you know if you have been effected – in the UK nothing. Apparently the Information Commissioners office has “cause for concern”, and “will be advising Equifax to alert affected UK customers at the earliest opportunity”. And yet 2018 sees the arrival of GDPR perhaps the biggest single piece of legislation for protection of personal data ever conceived. The proposed new EU data protection regime extends the scope of the EU data protection law to all foreign companies processing data of EU residents. It provides for a harmonization of the data protection regulations throughout the EU, thereby making it easier for non-European companies to comply with these regulations; however, this comes at the cost of a strict data protection compliance regime with severe penalties of up to 4% of worldwide turnover. So whilst the individuals effected are unlucky, Equifax is lucky as it could have been on the end of a $126M fine if this had happened at the same time next year. It’s revenue increased 18% in 2016 and its profit by 14%, so it can hardly say it couldn’t afford to keep things safe…..

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-41192163

Data – selling facts

I always visit the BBC News Website each day – I guess it’s my equivalent of a newspaper today – and today a story or rather facts caught my eye. Under the business section was a story about how the oil industry was crying out for support from the government in these suddenly low oil price times. This from organisations that were making record profits only months ago. Also on the page was a link to how much do you pay for your fuel, essentially a country by country comparison.

Diesel comparitive

Diesel comparative

Actually fascinating that the UK – an actual Oil Producer charges so much compared to others, Venezuela another producer charges so little at the other end of the scale. Why is it so? Well interestingly in both cases it is driven by politics and country finances. In the UK around 65% of the cost a consumer pays is tax to the government, whilst in Venezuela conversely it is the government subsidy that covers approximately 99% of the value.  Such extremes reflecting the extremes of political governance.

So sometimes the “facts” revealed by data can be astounding and produce outcomes that are not always expected.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21238363