Gartner publishes Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies 2016

Gartner has just released their annual Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, for 2016. 

16 new technologies added to the Hype Cycle this year, including blockchain, machine learning, general purpose machine intelligence, smart workspace for the first time.

Interestingly, 14 technologies were taken off the Hype Cycle this year including Hybrid Cloud Computing, Consumer 3D Printing, and Enterprise 3D Printing. 

Do checkout the report here. Definitely worth a read. 
Image source: Gartner

R moves up to 5th place in IEEE language rankings

R moves up to 5th place in IEEE language rankings

IEEE has published its annual Top Computer programming languages rankings report. It starts with the line “C is No. 1, but big data is still the big winner”, indicating the rise of R, the defacto programming language used in Big Data analytics, including Cyber Security domain. 

I think this is an extraordinary result for a language which is domain-specific (big data and data science). If you compare R to the other four languages, which are general purpose languages (C, Java, Python amd C++) in Top 5, it’s a great feat, and is a clear indication of the adoption and heavy use and relevance of R in today’s Information Age where every device, system, or a “thing” (IoT) generates some form of data (logs). This also reflects the critical important of Data Science (where R is the defacto programming language used by Data Scientists), as a descipline today. 

Some interesting lines from the report:

Another language that has continued to move up the rankings since 2014 is R, now in fifth place. R has been lifted in our rankings by racking up more questions on Stack Overflow—about 46 percent more since 2014. But even more important to R’s rise is that it is increasingly mentioned in scholarly research papers. The Spectrumd efault ranking is heavily weighted toward data from IEEE Xplore, which indexes millions of scholarly articles, standards, and books in the IEEE database. In our 2015 ranking there were a mere 39 papers talking about the language, whereas this year we logged 244 papers.

R’s steady growth in this and numerous other surveys and rankings over time reflects the growing importance of Data Science applied using R. And application of Data Science concepts in Cyber security, especially in detecting  cyber attacks, is only becoming more and more relevant. 
Using conventional security monitoring tools which use rule based detection engines (yes they are called SIEM!), to detect cyber attacks, is not working anymore. Let’s face it; SIEM has come off age. Using Machine learning approach to detect cyber attacks, has become one of the most important developments in the cyber security domain in the last 10 years. And its relevance in today’s world, where there is surplus amounts of data (also called “Big Data”) being churned out by all forms of computer systems, is at its peak. And R is playing a very important role in helping Security Data Scientists build “algorithmic models” that can detect better cyber attacks 

So I am very excited and happy to see R’s popularity and adaption growing year on year. 

This is a core area of study I am currently focusing on, and I will be writing more about this here on my blog, in the coming months. 

Picture Courtesy:

Verizon’s acquisition of Yahoo

Verizon’s acquisition of Yahoo

TechCrunch just reported that Verizon has acquired Yahoo for $4.83 billion. 

This definitely is a shocker and I am sure many would agree with me. Not many of us were expecting Marrisa Mayer to call it a day by dropping the ball so soon. 

One of the most important companies of the first dot-com boom, Yahoo, has reached the end of its life as an independent company. This deal represents a stunnin decline for a company that was valued at more than $100 billion at its its peak in 2000. 

Marissa’s roots as an engineer at Google, definitely helped in improving the brand value with software programmers and technology users alike, and she did make an effort to beef up Yahoo’s technical talent. She instituted a regorous recruitment process and it worked hard at hiring computer scientists from some of the best universities. But there is little sign that these moves changed the culture at Yahoo or improved morale among the programmers working there. They always saw and projected themselves as a “media company” and not a “technology company”. I am not sure if it played out well for them, as its attempt to be a tech company and a media company at the same time, resulted in an organisation that was less than the sum of its parts. 

I strongly believe that one reason why Verizon was a strong contender was that they have done this before; Verizon acquired another struggling Internet company last year. Like AOL, Yahoo makes a lot of money by creating Internet  content and selling ads against it. So from Verizon’s perspective, this definitely looks like a logical step.

With respect to Mayer’s future at Yahoo, I am sure she is pursuing opportunities outside, as the statement that Yahoo released about this deal, “Yahoo will be integrated with AOL under Marni Walden, EVP and President of the Product Innovation and New Businesses organisation at Verizon”, makes it evident that Marissa Mayer’s future lies outside of Yahoo. 

I wish her all the best, and am sure she will build something very interesting soon in the tech business.

Picture courtesy:

Live transcription of OpenVis Conference

Live transcription of OpenVis Conference


OpenVis Conference is a 2 day annual conference, held in Boston, about the practice of visualising data on the web. A must for all the Data Visualisation professionals amongst us.

This time, what is interesting is, they are Live streaming the Conference, in the form of Transcript, on their site, as shown below.Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 9.44.24 PM

The conference is being held today (Apr 25) and tomorrow, and there are some really interesting Talks lined up. Some of these concepts have direct implication to Cyber/Information Security too.

I am hoping that the Presentations will be made available for people who couldn’t make it to the conference.

Interesting Data Science projects of 2015

Interesting Data Science projects of 2015

Here is a list of some really interesting Data Science projects of 2015. Thanks to Jeff Leek from @simplystatistics for putting this together. 
Some of my picks from the list are:

* I’m excited about the new R Consortiumand the idea of having more organizations that support folks in the R community.

* Emma Pierson’s blog and writeups in various national level news outlets continue to impress. I thought this oneon changing the incentives for sexual assault surveys was particularly interesting/good.

* As usual Philip Guo was producing gold over on his blog. I appreciate this piece on twelve tips for data driven research.

* I am really excited about the new field of adaptive data analysis. Basically understanding how we can let people be “real data analysts” and still get reasonable estimates at the end of the day. This paper from Cynthia Dwork and co was one of the initial salvos that came out this year.

* Karl Broman’s post on why reproducibility is hard is a great introduction to the real issues in making data analyses reproducible.

* Datacamp incorporated Python into their platform. The idea of interactive education for R/Python/Data Science is a very cool one and has tons of potential.

Picture Courtesy:

Apple Watch and self-surveillance

Apple Watch and self-surveillance
Apple’s foray into the wearables industry was being rumoured for 2-3 years, and ever since the rumour mill started, many companies (Google, Samsung, etc..) started coming out with their mostly unfinished and unimpressive wearable products. And as it usually turns out, Apple came along with their Watch, and has stirred up the wearables industry, including the multi-billion dollar non-tech Luxury Watch industry.
But there has also been a lot of debate on the privacy aspects of wearable devices, and Google Glass had a a lot of negative attention due to this aspect. Apple Watch has also been talked about for the same issue. But the balance between privacy and convenience has always been tough to maintain, and looking at the recent trend of social media and technology use by consumers, it is obvious that users prefer the latter over privacy.
I think Apple Watch is also going to experience the same preference – the convenience and utility value that the Watch provides, will be found to be more valuable to consumer than the loss of privacy.
Paul Krugman has an interesting taking on this perspective, and has put down his thoughts on NY Times
His reference to the Varian Rule, which basically says one can forecast the future by looking at what the rich have today, is specifically interesting.
…rich people don’t wait in line. They have minions who ensure that there’s a car waiting at the curb, that the maitre-d escorts them straight to their table, that there’s a staff member to hand them their keys and their bags are already in the room.
If you have seen the recent Apple Event where Kevin Lynch demoed some of the use cases of the Apple Watch, wouldn’t you agree that the Varian Rule can actually be true?
Image courtesy:

Flipkart and flipside

Flipkart and flipside

I congratulated Sachin Bansal on Twitter when it was announced that they have backed out of the deal. But here are some observations/questions I have, which others have also raised in the social media, about this whole turn of events surrounding this issue:

  • Were the founders really unaware of the implications of initiatives like Airtel Zero?
  • Was their primary motive behind this move, only to increase their reach to people who don’t/can’t afford an internet connection on their mobile phones (their prospective customers)?
  • Has their size, perceived dominance in the e-commerce market in India, and pursuit for growth, made them ignorant to the concept of #NetNeutrality?

Here is K. T. Jagannathan reflecting on similar thoughts for The Hindu Daily.

Picture Courtesy:

Book Review: The Intel Trinity

Book Review: The Intel Trinity

A concise review by Brad Feld about the book The Intel Trinity,The: How Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore, and Andy Grove Built the World’s Most Important Company.

I work with many first time and young entrepreneurs who know the phrase “Moore’s Law” but know nothing about the origin story of Intel or the history of how Moore’s Law built the base of an industry that we continue to build on. I also know many experienced entrepreneurs who seem to have forgotten that the phenomenon we experience around innovation, disruption, innovators vs. incumbents, and radical shifts in the underlying dynamics of markets is nothing new. If you fall into this category, as hard as it may be to acknowledge, get a copy of The Intel Trinity and read it from cover to cover.”

Do checkout the full review here:

Its a must read for all technology enthusiasts.