Tech thoughts for June 16th 2018

  1. Docker and Kubernetes: Major software vendors are now using Docker and .  Kubernetes is an open-source container-orchestration system for automating deployment, scaling and management of containerized applications. It was originally designed by Google and is now maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. This means that you don’t need VMWare and probably won’t need Linux or Windows licences. Vendors ship their software in Docker contains which are preloaded, preconfigured with Ubuntu and all the software stack. The host is controlled by Kubernetes.   This is a great way to roll out patches. One speaker from IBM claimed that they can now patch complex systems in minutes rather than hours. RedHat have OpenShift which is an alternative to Kubernetes.
  2. GDPR: 80% of companies don’t think they will be fully GDPR complaint before the end of 2018 – it’s a long journey and to a large extent it’s never complete and has to become Business As Usual.
  3. Compressing time to value“, this can be achieved through Self Service Applications and Automation.
  4. Continual Touch“, this is a business model objective where you try to be constantly working in partnership with your customer to provide a service. It’s an extension of cloud and SaaS (annuity model hosting).
  5. TIM WOODS“, I’ve read a lot on Lean-Agile over the years but somehow this brilliant acronym hadn’t come to my attention. It spells out the areas where waste happens in a business.

    T – Transport – Moving people, products & information
    I – Inventory – Storing parts, pieces, documentation ahead of requirements
    M – Motion – Bending, turning, reaching, lifting

    W – Waiting – For parts, information, instructions, equipment
    O – Over production – Making more than is IMMEDIATELY required
    O – Over processing – Tighter tolerances or higher grade materials than are necessary
    D – Defects – Rework, scrap, incorrect documentation
    S – Skills – Underutilizing capabilities, delegating tasks with inadequate training

  6. Security concepts – “Session Break” and “Secure Proxy”: These are useful concepts for keeping backend systems secure. Session Break means that a process can’t talk directly end to end to achieve a given outcome. For example, a customer might place an order via a website. Instead of having the website write the order directly to the fulfilment system it places an XML or JSON representation of the order on a file server. An entirely separate process then picks up any new order files.  This helps protect the backend fulfilment database as the web application doesn’t have any access to that database.  Secure Proxy is similar, it means that external users login to an application using a  set of user credentials that are only valid on the proxy itself. The proxy then forwards requests to the backend or maps the external user to an internal user. This again protects the backend application.

What’s your child up to online?

I get hundreds of press releases and most don’t register with me but one this week from  AVG Technologies did catch my eye. It was all about Internet security for toddlers and young children especially where they are using connected toys and services.

CHILDREN AGED 4-6 SPEND... 25% OF THEIR TIME ONLINE PLAYING GAMES THE MOST TIME ON YOUTUBE (40%) 4X .AS LONG USING APPS (16%), COMPARED TO 13-16 YEAR OLDS (4%) YET PARENTS SAY YOUTUBE, APPS & ONLINE GAMES ARE LEAST RISKY FOR THEIR KIDS

 

Personally I don’t let my children have access to YouTube when I’m not around because I don’t feel some of the adverts are suitable for the age group that the content is aimed at. I’ve decided to pay extra for content and get it from Amazon and iTunes rather than risk inappropriate and upsetting adverts to be seen.

The study reveals the amount of time today’s kids are spending online and the impact of internet-connected toys on their increasing screen time.

 Headline findings from the research (conducted among 2,200 UK parents) include:

–        One in six (16%) 4-6 year olds spend up to six hours online each day, a massive 2,190 hours every year

–        This figure is three times higher than the UK average of two hours a day, for 4-16 year olds

–        Two thirds (66%) of kids own one or two smart devices by the time they’re six

 

So, with internet-enabled toys – or ‘Connected Cuddlies’ – topping charts this Christmas it’s likely that these ‘soft toys’ could significantly increase the 2,000+ hours online kids are already enjoying. It also raises the question of the kind of connected services these toys will allow children to access.

As such, AVG is calling for parents to be increasingly aware of the type of toys – and subsequent connected commitments – they’re buying their children this holiday season.

In a future blog I’ll look at how you can monitor your home Internet connection to see what is being sent and received into and out of your house.