Posted by & filed under Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

Image result for robotic process automation

Despite talk that RPA is over hyped, Sarah Burnett, a guru on automation technologies, says that it can cut process costs by 30%, but there is another benefit, not so obvious, and it lies with creating data we can trust.

Source: Information Age

Date: March 27th, 2019

Link: https://www.information-age.com/look-beyond-rpa-hype-123481025/

Discussion

1) What is Robotic Process Automation?

2) How is Robotic Process Automation going to impact Accounting, Finance, Marketing, HR, Operations?

Posted by & filed under Cyber Security.

Phishing attacks have been a way for malicious actors to compromise organizations at alarming rates over the years. In fact, a recent survey found that 83% of respondents experienced a phishing attack in 2018, and that a successful attack costs a mid-size enterprise organization $1.6 million. Unfortunately, most industry experts agree that phishing will also be one of the top attack vectors for 2019, so it’s important to have a phishing prevention plan in place.

Source: LMG Security
Date: March 27th, 2019
Link:
https://lmgsecurity.com/phishing-attacks-and-spear-phishing-what-they-are-why-they-are-effective-and-how-to-prevent-them/

Discussion
1) Why are phising attacks so successful?
2) How could you use the information in this article to form a company?

Posted by & filed under Automation, Career, Future of Work.

Late last month, I was the keynote speaker at the Tax Executive Institute in San Mateo, CA. This was a gathering of global tax leaders from accounting firms and public companies coming together to discuss the impact of technology in tax and accounting professions. I asked several folks a simple question — how much of your time is spent gathering data compared to acting on it? The surprising response from many attendees was over half of their time — and these are expensive senior leaders! Imagine if instead that time could be spent on strategic initiatives and investing in people.

Source: Medium
Date: March 27th, 2019
Link:
https://medium.com/@Ignition_Partners/the-imminent-evolution-of-augmentation-in-accounting-and-finance-df1eae71ca4

Discussion
1) ” while Artificial Intelligence (AI) is predicted to eliminate 1.8 million jobs by 2020, it’s also predicted that AI will create 2.3 million jobs in the same time period (Gartner) ” What sorts of jobs get eliminated?

2) “while Artificial Intelligence (AI) is predicted to eliminate 1.8 million jobs by 2020, it’s also predicted that AI will create 2.3 million jobs in the same time period (Gartner) .” What sorts of jobs get added, and what are you doing to make sure you are capable of performing those jobs?

Posted by & filed under Cyber Security.

MANY OF US have little more than a weak, reused password standing between our financial assets and a remote attacker—one armed with powerful tools and a database of passwords from security breaches. This is a losing battle. It’s the most likely way for weak computer security to put our finances at risk.

Think this can’t happen to you? I’ll bet you have at least one password taken in a big security breach. A quick way to find out is entering your email address at Troy Hunt’s HaveIBeenPwned site.

Source: HumbleDollar
Date: March 22nd, 2019
Link:
https://humbledollar.com/2019/03/beefing-up-security/

Discussion

  1. Why is that even though the steps to create more personal online security are well-defined and reasonably simple, most people won’t follow them?
  2. How would you help the company you work for implement these suggestions to improve online security?

Posted by & filed under Ransomware.

For the senior manager of a large corporation in Hong Kong, it was instant cold sweat.

He had heard about this type of computer virus and how dangerous it could be. But he never thought that he would be tricked into clicking on a wrong link. Now, as he read the ransom note, he panicked. This could cost him his job.

Ransomware is a particularly nasty type of computer virus.

Instead of stealing data or money from victims, the virus takes control of computers and scrambles every single document, picture, video and email.

Then the ransom demand is issued. Sometimes it’s written inside a note left on a desktop, sometimes it just pops up on a screen without warning.

Source: BBC Capital

Date: March 21st, 2019

Link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-sh/hated_and_hunted_the_computer_virus_malware_ransomware_cracker

Discussion

  1. How can you protect yourself against ransomware
  2. How could you help a company protect its employees from ransomware?

Posted by & filed under Consumer Technology, Emerging Technologies, YouTube.

(Credit: Konstantin Ermakov)

Most mornings after Grace Lee wakes up, she spends two hours thinking up ideas for her YouTube channel, What’s So Great About That?, a series focused around popular films and TV programmes. Lee, a 24-year-old from Peterborough, England, researches ideas, then writes scripts that help explain the concepts to her 29,000 viewers.

After that, she moves onto her work for another channel, The Financial Diet, a financial advice organisation with 630,000 subscribers. There, she researches and edits a series of animated explainer and life-hack videos.

“I’ve been on YouTube since the year it started, but I didn’t know about professional help for YouTubers until I was in my second year at university,” Lee explains. “I still forget, with the people I watch, that they have a team – even though I’m part of a team.”

Source: BBC Capital

Date: March 15th, 2019

Link:http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20190307-the-hidden-armies-that-power-the-internets-new-stars

Discussion

  1. The internet and sites like YouTube were supposed to bring about the “democratization of technology”. What does this mean?
  2. It seems that there is a natural force that means that leads to large, powerful players dominating. Why is this?

Posted by & filed under Emerging Economies.


Betelhem Dessie, 19, is one of the youngest tech pioneers in Ethiopia. Over the last three years, in addition to patenting several software programs, she has travelled the country teaching students how to code and conducting innovation workshops. So far, she has reached more than 20,000 young people.

Source: BBC Capital

Date: March 15th, 2019

Link to video: http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20190308-how-ethiopias-youngest-tech-pioneer-inspires-a-generation

Discussion

  1. What do you think it takes for a 19 year old to travel her country and teach 20,000 young people how to code
  2. Is teaching young people how to code all that is needed?

Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence, Cyber Security, Microsoft.

The silhouette of a Microsoft executive speaking during a keynote session at the Microsoft Developers Build Conference in San Francisco on March 31, 2016.

Microsoft Corp. unveiled two new cloud security services to help customers find and stop threats and manage their cyberdefenses by tapping experts from the software giant.

Azure Sentinel, available for customer preview Thursday, is what’s called a Security Information and Event management tool. Microsoft said it’s the first of its type based in the cloud. The product uses artificial intelligence to comb through data to find threats and lets customers rent computing power from the company rather than buy more of their own servers to crunch information.

Source: Bloomberg Technology News

Date: March 6th, 2019

Link (open using incognito mode to prevent article download tracker) : https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-28/microsoft-unveils-azure-sentinel-cloud-security-program?srnd=technology-vp

Discussion

1) Why might companies not want Microsoft AI to “comb through [their] data”?

2) Why is it a good idea to hand off cybersecurity to “experts from the [Microsoft] software giant”?

Posted by & filed under Solar Energy.

Solar panel debris is seen scattered in a solar panel field in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Humacao, Puerto Rico on October 2, 2017.

When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in 2017, many residents lost power for months — and some neighborhoods are still struggling to get electricity back up and running.

Puerto Rico had solar panel fields generating power before the hurricane, but much of it was inaccessible when the grid (or the network that delivers electricity to people) went down.

That’s one of the biggest challenges with solar energy, which provides an alternative way to power homes and businesses. The technology is still limited, not only because sunlight collection can be inconsistent on cloudy days and unavailable at night, but also because rural or remote areas often lack proper infrastructure.

Some companies are working on solutions to make solar energy technology more resilient and efficient.

Source: CNN Technology

Date: March 7th, 2019

Link: https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/06/tech/yotta-solar/index.html

Discussion

1) Data centers and cloud service provision centers consume enormous amounts of electricity.  How could this technology help?

2) Most residential solar panels, the ones you see on house roofs, are “grid-tied”.  Grid-tied means they only produce electricity when tied to the electricity grid.  Why are they “grid-tied”?

Posted by & filed under Huawei.

“it’s hard to see how – given Huawei’s role in providing equipment and key ICT services to the AU building and specifically to the AU’s data centre – the company could have remained completely unaware of the apparent theft of large amounts of data, every day, for five years.”

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: March 6th, 2019

Link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-sh/Huawei

Discussion

1) “Huawei was given the status of a Chinese “national champion”. In practice, this meant the government closed the market to foreign competition.”  The Chinese government says that Huawei is independent of it.  How likely is this?

2) Why does it matter to western companies and governments that Huawei is likely part of the Chinese government?