Microsoft Predicts 2016

Microsofts predictions for 2016. Worth a read. Lots about machine learning, big-data and encryption. All very optimistic including one guy (Lucas Joppa) who expects the human race to wake up to technology being the saviour to our impending doom. Unfortunately I fear the human race is all too desperate for a saviour – real or imagined – and that desperation can lead to a belief in false gods little better than the devil we know today. But still, there’s a huge amount that can be done to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of technology in general and so vast room for improvement. Lets hope Mr Joppa is right…

… oh, and yes, environmental impact is a non-functional characteristic.

Cash-haemorrhaging public cloud

Interesting point of view on how cloud service providers are haemorrhaging cash to sustain these models in the hope they’ll win big in the long run.

As data storage and compute costs fall they may well be able to sustain existing pricing though I suspect ultimately they’ll need to ratchet things up. Cost comparisons are also hard to get right due to the complexity of pricing from suppliers and I also believe the difference in architectural patterns used in the cloud versus on premise further complicates things (something for another day).

What I do know is that their are those in the industry who cannot afford to be left behind in the race to the cloud; IBM, Microsoft and Google notably. They will likely be pumping all they can into the cloud to establish their position in the market – and maintain their position generally…

eDNA – The next step in the obliteration of privacy online?

How your electronic DNA could be the secure login of the future (but let’s hope not).

More big-brother stuff over at The Guardian with eDNA (Electronically Defined Natural Attributes). I suspect that the NoMoreCaptchas product isn’t terribly strong as it feels like it could easily be subverted by introducing more natural delays into bots but it should help  slow them down which can often make it not worth the bother.

More worryingly though is that it’s all too easy for a website to capture this information without you knowing. Many sites already capture key presses, mouse movements, hover overs etc., some for legitimate functional use but many are just to help the marketing guys spy on you. What if the next time you google something they can tell if you’re drunk, stoned, had sex or are just plain tired… Do you really think they wouldn’t want to use that information to push more targeted ads at you?

Drunk => Show ads for porn sites.

Stoned => Show ads for local pizza companies.

Had sex => A combination of babies clothing, pharmacies and the most direct escape route… And of course Facebook would just auto post “Jamie just shagged Sally” in some pseudo scientific experiment on social behaviour.

As I said before, if you want your privacy back then lie! To subvert eDNA we’ll need something to inject noise between fingers and keyboard. Joy.