tech-newsIs North Korea Behind $81 Million Cyber Theft?

Cybersecurity experts are worried that an $81 million cyber theft could open a new front in a shadowy global cyberwar with no traditional boundaries.

North Korea is the main suspect behind the breach of the central bank of Bangladesh, resulting in the theft of $81 million. The heist was apparently one of several in which cyber criminals used the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) network to illegally siphon funds from legitimate accounts.

The breach of the Bangladesh central bank exposed how banks of all sizes are vulnerable to cyberattacks using the Swift network, once thought to be among the most secure messaging systems in the world,” write Michael Corkery and Matthew Goldstein in the New York Times.

Intel’s Game Changer: 3D XPoint Might Radically Shift Hardware Markets

Intel might have just launched the radical game changer that many industry watchers have been waiting for. The company’s new 3D XPoint computer memory is roughly 1,000 times faster than flash solid state drives and can hold ten times more data than DRAM.

The real impact of Intel’s new tech won’t be felt directly by consumers. But it’s likely to send shock waves rippling through the world’s largest Internet companies, such as Google, Facebook and Amazon. For those companies, 3D XPoint means good news and bad news. The good news is faster performance and greater efficiency. The bad news is they might become increasingly dependent on Intel, which would reduce their power to bargain for lower prices.

Intel has been working on its new memory for years, and most of us in the tech industry are genuinely happy that it’s been launched. But like everything else in modern life, there will likely be glitches and unintended consequences. This will be interesting!

For a more granular look at 3D XPoint, I suggest reading "Intel's Bold Plan to Reinvent Computer Memory," by Cade Metz in Wired.


Apple Buys Workflow, an Automation Tool for iPad and iPhone

This is worth keeping an eye on: Apple just purchased Workflow, a respected tool that enables developers to connect the best features of their apps, essentially combining steps and collecting workflows to save time and effort.

The acquisition is a big deal for Apple since the Workflow team is highly respected and the tool is already well-liked by the developer community. That make’s Apples move seem both cool and prescient. For CIOs, it means that going forward, developers will find it easier to build apps for iPads and iPhones.    

“The special sauce of Workflow is that it enables users to dip into specific ‘deep linked’ functions of individual apps and connect those actions together into a string of seamless, invisible commands. If that sounds familiar then you might be thinking of the budding Siri API — which will only be getting more beefy as time goes on,” writes Matthew Panzarino of TechCrunch.

Learning About the Limits of AI

It’s popular to talk about how AI is coming to take all of our jobs, but the truth of the matter is substantially more nuanced. Most jobs, especially those in IT, are composed of multiple tasks and sub-tasks. Unquestionably, some of those tasks can be automated. But it will be very difficult to automate all of them.

And that’s the rub – if you can’t automate all of the tasks, then you really can’t automate the job. And that means you still need a human in the loop. To be sure, many jobs in IT will become more automated. But only a handful of them will become fully automated in the very near future. For CIOs, that means you’ll still have to compete for talent and devise strategies for retaining your best workers.

The legal profession faces a similar situation. For years, people have been predicting that legal processes would become largely automated. But so far, it hasn’t happened. I believe the same will hold true in our field.

For an interesting perspective, read "A.I. is Doing Legal Work. But it Won't Replace lawyers, Yet.," by Steve Lohr in the New York Times.