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IoT is 2016 big bang theory

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While many believe that the big thing for 2016 will be artificial intelligence and smart devices communicating with each other, PROF BARRY DWOLATZKY believes that the main theme should really be thin Internet of Everything.

While Gartner in its ‘Top Ten Strategic Technology Trends for 2016’ says the year will be all about the Internet of Things and smart devices talking to each other, Prof Barry Dwolatzky, director of the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) says that he believes that while the hype continues around these areas including big data, cloud and Artificial Intelligence (AI), the theme really should be the Internet of Everything.

“I fully expect to see a level of maturity reached within these technologies with significant application during 2016. We should see some solid impact from big data and AI as a result of the hype over the past two years,” says Dwolatzky.

The challenge, according to Dwolatzky, is figuring out how to use the information that all the devices and associated technology would produce: “While there are huge possibilities, the challenges are almost as big.”

According to Gartner, by 2020, 25 billion devices will be generating data about almost every topic imaginable. This is equal parts opportunity and challenge. There will be a plethora of data, but making sense of it will be the trick. Those companies that harness the power of this tidal wave of information will leapfrog competitors in the process.

“While South Africa does lag behind international markets adoption curves, I fully expect to realise some benefits in 2016. We should see results from AI and big data, in fact so much so, there should be real disruption that challenges traditional industries to either reinvent or shut their doors,” says Dwolatzky.

In five or ten years we will be living in a different world he says, but in 2016, it should really be the Internet of Everything. “However, one thing that won’t change is that we will always need good quality software. While how we use it will change dramatically, the basic need for world class software that is handcrafted will always be relevant,” concludes Dwolatzky.

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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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