This week’s technology news – 13th June 2014

Preparation for Government’s true digital marketplace gets nearer
February saw the launch of the Government Digital Service (GDS), aimed at creating a government digital marketplace to include CloudStore (aka G-Cloud) and other digital frameworks. This will form the access point for public sector bodies to view and buy products from approved suppliers, including their Cloud services. This week the Government announced the start of preliminary testing ahead of live user testing in September 2014. The Crown Commercial Service recently stated the current Cloudstore offering was not robust enough to host GDS’s future roll out plans and anticipated traffic and usage.

On top of previous confusion due to GDS’s interchangeable use of the “G-Cloud” brand with Cloudstore, it is hoped that by September, the Government’s public sector audience will understand what they are getting from GDS, which is essentially an approved procurement resource point, rather than a separate Cloud service as many thought. Given the confusing marketing presentation thus far, this was always going to be a big ask – however there is still time to get it right and make it consumer friendly… that’s the hope at least.

15 emerging neurotechnologies to change the world
A partnership between Policy Horizons Canada and data visualiser Envisioning has resulted in a new report, MetaScan 3, detailing 15 of the most potentially transformative neurotechnologies which scientists are currently working on. A selection of some of the key advances includes:

In neural network computing, the use of proactive software agents. These are software applications with the capacity to discern and predict likely future needs for its patient/consumer. They also include intelligent meeting scheduling, sorting email and selectively notifying the user of changes. Scientifically viable today; mainstream in 2016; financially viable in 2017. Another such tool is predictive crime prevention. This involves the use of sociometric sensors coupled with neural networked computers to statistically determine the probability of crime (or other anti-social behaviour) taking place before it happens. Scientifically viable in 2021; mainstream in 2026; financially viable in 2027. Then there is neural network image recognition, using hundreds of thousands of processor cores programmed to algorithmically determine the content of a given image and different from reverse image search. A next generation biometrics scanner possibly? Scientifically viable today; mainstream in 2021; financially viable in 2022.

In extended cognition, the use of neuroprosthetics has been marked out. These are neural devices capable of substituting motor, sensory or cognitive behaviours which might have been damaged as a result of injury or disease.
Scientifically viable in 2021; mainstream in 2026; financially viable in 2027.

In neural interfaces, EEG brain-to-computer interfaces: the almost unpronounceable “electroencephalography” remains the most feasible practice of executing and implementing brain to brain interfaces. It represents the best temporal-resolution tool for getting a picture of the brain in action, is portable, non-invasive and extremely affordable compared to other methods. Scientifically viable and mainstream today; financially viable in 2021.

And finally… next-generation brain-to-computer interfaces. These involve hypothetical interfaces for assisting, augmenting, or repairing human cognitive or sensory-motor functions and communicating thoughts and intentions to the Internet. Scientifically viable in 2020; mainstream in 2022; financially viable in 2027.

Are you ready to handle growing mobile app data?
Many of us now use mobile apps as part of our daily routine, we feed them information frequently, and we are not alone. Creators and supporters of mobile apps need to have the capacity to handle huge amounts of data, especially if the user base balloons into the next must-have-app. Gartner recently revealed “most mobile apps will sync, collect and analyse deep data about users and their social graphs”’ by 2015.

Organisations supporting these apps will need to be prepared. Gartner advices IT leaders need to begin to manage this data as part of an organizations information infrastructure. A hybrid approach of both on premise and cloud storage will be required, with careful consideration applied to make sure you have a cloud partner that can adapt as fast as needed to avoid user frustration as consumers are unable to use their latest app because of storage limitations.

Malwarebytes claims holy-grail of Antivirus – zero-day protection
Malwarebytes, the U.S Company popular for the anti-malware application it provides of the same name has announced a new product which promises zero-day protection against virtual attacks. The application has been in development by ZeroVulnerabilityLabs founded by ex-Panda Security software engineer, Pedro Bustamente, a start-up Malwarebytes picked up last year. The products unique claims is it will be able to block both known exploits but also ones yet to be discovered.

Pedro Bustamente who has been developing the technology over the past three years explains that “Most of what antivirus does is protection of the binary; [with Anti-Exploit] we are looking at the actions of the shellcode and payload.”
We will be monitoring the software closely going forwards, as surely this is a case of something a bit too good to be true.

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