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Big Data gets standards

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ITU members have approved the first ITU standard on Big Data. The standard details the requirements, capabilities and use cases of cloud-based Big Data as well a high-level ‘system context’ view and its relationships with other entities.

The Big Data paradigm provides an effective, scalable solution to deal with growing volumes of data and uncover patterns or other information capable of making data manageable and profitable.

Advances in information and communication technology (ICT) are enabling masses of data to be generated, transmitted and stored, and this explosive growth is increasing in pace. Datasets have become so large and complex, and are generated so fast, that traditional approaches to data processing are proving inadequate. Achieving efficient analysis of data within required timeframes is a significant challenge, one that industry will address using technologies in the field of Big Data.

The new standard, Recommendation ITU-T Y.3600 “Big data – cloud computing based requirements and capabilities”, was developed by ITU-T’s expert group responsible for future networks, cloud computing and network aspects of mobile communications, ITU-T Study Group 13.

“New frontiers in ICT innovation are coming within reach thanks to advances in data collection and analysis,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “The ICT industry will welcome these advances and ensure that their benefits can be achieved on a global scale.”

“This new ITU standard provides internationally agreed fundamentals of cloud-based Big Data,” said Chaesub Lee, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau. “It will build cohesion in the terminology used to describe cloud-based Big Data and offer a common basis for the development of Big Data services and supporting technical standards.”

ITU-T Y.3600 describes the meaning of Big Data and the characteristics of the Big Data ecosystem from a standardization perspective. The standard outlines how cloud computing systems can be leveraged to provide Big Data services, assisting industry in the management of large datasets incapable of being transferred and analysed using traditional data-management technologies.

In addition to its description of the fundamentals of cloud-based Big Data, ITU-T Y.3600 provides definitions of Big Data and Big Data as a Service (BDaaS):

Big Data is a paradigm for enabling the collection, storage, management, analysis and visualization, potentially under real-time constraints, of extensive datasets with heterogeneous characteristics.

BDaaS is a cloud service category in which the capabilities provided to the cloud service customer are the ability to collect, store, analyse, visualize and manage data using Big Data technologies.

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Samsung unfolds the future

At the #Unpacked launch, Samsung delivered the world’s first foldable phone from a major brand. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK tried it out.

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Everything that could be known about the new Samsung Galaxy S10 range, launched on Wednesday in San Francisco, seems to have been known before the event.

Most predictions were spot-on, including those in Gadget (see our preview here), thanks to a series of leaks so large, they competed with the hole an iceberg made in the Titanic.

The big surprise was that there was a big surprise. While it was widely expected that Samsung would announce a foldable phone, few predicted what would emerge from that announcement. About the only thing that was guessed right was the name: Galaxy Fold.

The real surprise was the versatility of the foldable phone, and the fact that units were available at the launch. During the Johannesburg event, at which the San Francisco launch was streamed live, small groups of media took turns to enter a private Fold viewing area where photos were banned, personal phones had to be handed in, and the Fold could be tried out under close supervision.

The first impression is of a compact smartphone with a relatively small screen on the front – it measures 4.6-inches – and a second layer of phone at the back. With a click of a button, the phone folds out to reveal a 7.3-inch inside screen – the equivalent of a mini tablet.

The fold itself is based on a sophisticated hinge design that probably took more engineering than the foldable display. The result is a large screen with no visible seam.

The device introduces the concept of “app continuity”, which means an app can be opened on the front and, in mid-use, if the handset is folded open, continue on the inside from where the user left off on the front. The difference is that the app will the have far more space for viewing or other activity.

Click here to read about the app experience on the inside of the Fold.

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Password managers don’t protect you from hackers

Using a password manager to protect yourself online? Research reveals serious weaknesses…

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Top password manager products have fundamental flaws that expose the data they are designed to protect, rendering them no more secure than saving passwords in a text file, according to a new study by researchers at Independent Security Evaluators (ISE).

“100 percent of the products that ISE analyzed failed to provide the security to safeguard a user’s passwords as advertised,” says ISE CEO Stephen Bono. “Although password managers provide some utility for storing login/passwords and limit password reuse, these applications are a vulnerable target for the mass collection of this data through malicious hacking campaigns.”

In the new report titled “Under the Hood of Secrets Management,” ISE researchers revealed serious weaknesses with top password managers: 1Password, Dashlane, KeePass and LastPass.  ISE examined the underlying functionality of these products on Windows 10 to understand how users’ secrets are stored even when the password manager is locked. More than 60 million individuals 93,000 businesses worldwide rely on password managers. Click here for a copy of the report.

Password managers are marketed as a solution to eliminate the security risks of storing passwords or secrets for applications and browsers in plain text documents. Having previously examined these and other password managers, ISE researchers expected an improved level of security standards preventing malicious credential extraction. Instead ISE found just the opposite. 

Click here to read the findings from the report.

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