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The Actuator – June 12th

Level 17

This week's Actuator comes to you from sunny San Diego and Cisco Live! If you are here, and reading this, then you still have time to stop by Booth #1621 and say hello. I enjoy talking data with anyone, but especially with our customers.

As always, here are some links from the Intertubz that I hope will hold your interest. Enjoy!

Baltimore ransomware attack will cost the city over $18 million

I wonder how much it would have cost for the city to keep their systems up to date, and able to be patched in a timely manner.

Many iOS Developers Don’t Use Encryption: Report

So, Apple tries to force the use of encryption, but allows for developers to easily override. This is why we can't have secure things.

EU will force electric cars to emit a noise below 20 km/h on July 1

I would pay good money for my car to sound like George Jetson's.

Employees are almost as dangerous to business security as hackers and cybercriminals

Always a difficult conversation, when you want to enforce security standards and your colleagues take offense, as if you don't trust them. And yet, they are often the weakest link. Security is necessary to help good people from doing dumb things.

Uber’s Path of Destruction

A bit long, but worth every minute. Uber, along with other tech companies, are horrible for our economy. And they will remain so, until we elect legislators that understand not only technology, but the business finance of technology companies.

Microsoft and Oracle link up their clouds

The biggest shock in this article was discovering that Oracle has a cloud.

AWS launches Textract, machine learning for text and data extraction

Just a quick PSA here, but the code and model driving this service likely has inherent biases in a similar manner to issues with facial recognition tech. "Trust, but verify" should be the disclaimer pasted at the top of the page for this and every other AI-as-a-Service out there.

This is my first Cisco Live! and I think there's a chance I'm the only DBA here:


Level 16
Level 16

I would want mine to say "look away from the phone..."

EU will force electric cars to emit a noise below 20 km/h on July 1

Level 14

Thanks for the links!  I thought "Duh" to myself on the employees vs hackers danger article.

Level 12

The article about Uber explained exactly what I thought about Uber, with more detail and eloquence than I could have provided. Thanks for sharing!


Cool article

Level 12

Good stuff. Yes, you can have employees or you can have security, but you can't have both! And encryption is hard!

jetsons's car - YouTube

Level 9

Employees.  Layer 8 of the OSI model.  So many variances.  So hard to secure.

Level 12

EU will force electric cars to emit a noise below 20 km/h on July 1

I think I would like to go the other way and pay to have the Flintstones' car (running feet) sound.

In other news, I heard that sqlrockstar​ was the best SQL DBA at CiscoLive!

Level 13

Thanks for another group of fascinating links.  Definitely thought provoking.

Level 12

"Oracle wants to be seen as a major player in this space." If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!

Poor Baltimore, and any other organizations that don't keep their systems updated and employees well-trained. 

It's challenging to live in a structure depending on public funding.  Particularly when the public seems to pay most attention to candidates who shout "Vote for me and I'll reduce taxes!". 

The corollary is "You voted for me and I cut funding to reduce taxes.  That means you voted for (insert your particular concern here:  worse schools, more unemployment, ignorance, increased corporate greed, decreased public security (physical and online), degraded roads & bridges . . . ).

Apple, and all other software developers, MUST require secure coding and encryption.  Or get out of the business.

I'm a bit of two minds regarding mandating electric cars  to increase their noise pollution.

I'll go with the side that says "Leave 'em silent.  In a few generations the gene pool will be weeded out of those who remain unaware of their environment."

There's a part of me that suspects employees are MORE of a risk to a business than hackers and other outsiders.

You KNOW the outsiders are there, trying to get in and do bad things. You don't expect employees to be doing the same, either inadvertently or maliciously.

That article on Uber WAS long, but it covers serious concerns.  I don't need to dig that deeply into it to know Uber's wrong for me, and probably wrong for the world.

My parents' guidelines from 50 years ago seem to target Uber directly.


Hmmm.  Cloud-based Oracle.  Am I the only one that sees problems and risks with that?

Frankly, I'm no DBA.  And so I wonder "Why is Oracle still a thing?"  My company still uses/supports it.  Apparently it does things other products can't.  But it doesn't seem to do them simply or affordably.

I'll agree with the idea that "Trust but verify" must apply to AWS's new offering.  But it doesn't go far enough--it must apply to anything on the Internet, and particularly anything stored in the cloud.

Level 15

Thanks for the interesting block of articles.

Level 13

Thanks for the articles.

Level 14

It's always easier to get the money to secure yourself against attacks after an attack than before.  There are too many areas asking for money and not enough to go around.  Senior management just hope that nothing bad will happen whilst they use what little cash they have to fix something else.  If only there was some sort of justice system that really punished the criminals and might act as a deterrent. 

Level 14

Of course developers don't use encryption.  It's all about churning out code fast and taking the cash.  It's nothing new.  Y2K was exactly the same.  No one coded properly then either (except me, my code written in 1988 for a major client was Y2K ready because I'm anally retentive like that). 

Level 14

Electric cars to make noise.  Good idea in principal but I see mobile phone zombies every day walking out into noisy traffic because their own little world is more important that taking time to watch where they are going.  If they can't hear a fire engine with lights and sirens on max. what hope have they (yep saw that one this week).

Level 14

I'd say employees are more dangerous.  They already have access whereas the criminals have to break in first.

Level 14

Uber.  I've never understood the grow or die model lots of business use.  Surely it would be better to grow at a pace that you can sustain driven by profits not revenue or external investments.  Their model is also self defeating because, as it said in the article, they have created an over provision.  Too many taxis looking for the same amount of business leading to empty cars either sitting waiting for fares or driving around in hope of being in the right place when there is a demand.  It's good for the consumer but bad for the drivers and the environment.