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Danny Bradbury

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Risky business: You'd better have a plan for tech to go wrong

Analysis Back in the days of the mainframe, technology risk looked a lot different. You paid a lot of money for a big box in the corner, using software often written by the same supplier. If it went wrong, a nice techie came along and fixed it. Business moved slowly enough that the world didn’t come crashing down if you couldn’t process …
car crash skid marks on a rural road heading into the undergrowth

The Agile and the Continuous: Database Drift ... Neat film title but something to avoid

In DevOps the talk is of development and operations, of continuous pipelines and agile updates, of rolling out builds. But it often overlooks something rather critical – the database. Be it in development or production environment, the database is a critical piece of infrastructure. And everybody in an organisation wants a …
Danny Bradbury, 24 Apr 2018
Teacher despairs at pupil's poor arithmetic

Your AI pet project is only as smart as its garbage training set

AI isn't immune to one of computing's most basic rules – garbage in, garbage out. Train a neural network on flawed data and you'll have one that makes lots of mistakes. Most neural networks learn to distinguish between things by sampling different groups. This is supervised learning, and it only works if someone labels the …
Danny Bradbury, 23 Apr 2018
Woman sits in bed and works on laptop in her home.

Build a serverless framework at home: Go on, bit of open sourcey hijinx won't hurt

Seduced by serverless functions? Lured by Amazon's Lambda? If so, why not build a serverless framework at home? Project riff, an open source serverless platform from EMC/VMware spinoff Pivotal Software, aims to let you do just that. First unveiled at SpringOne Platform in December, riff is still an early project. It emerged …
Danny Bradbury, 18 Apr 2018

A developer always pays their technical debts – oh, every penny... but never a groat more

Picture the scene: you're a developer looking at someone else's code for the first time, and you can see that a lot needs changing. Performance bugs mean it won't scale for much longer. The code design makes it difficult to port to another language, which is going to cripple that Latin American business expansion. Its …
Danny Bradbury, 12 Apr 2018
vector pixel art - man in a boat paddling with an oar

Software shortcuts: Pay down your tech debt. It's time to fix a price

Technical debt: we probably create it every day. It happens when you do things that might get you closer to goal now, but which create problems that you’ll have to pay for later. The concept “technical debt” in software design and development comes from Agile development guru Ward Cunningham. He described what happens when you …
Danny Bradbury, 23 Feb 2018

Look at stupid, sexy Kubernetes with all the cloud firms hanging off its musclebound arms

Red Hat, better known for its Linux distro despite years of work in middleware and Java, last week pushed further into cloud through the purchase of CoreOS for $250m. CoreOS is a 130-strong container startup known for its enterprise-oriented Kubernetes platform Tectonic, the Quay container registry, Container Linux and a …
Penguin on Galapagos... chain in the foreground

Hyperledger 3 years later: That's the sound of the devs... working on the chain ga-a-ang

The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger project was announced in December 2015. When Apache Web server daddy Brian Behlendorf took the helm five months later, the Foundation’s blockchain baby was still embryonic. He called it “day zero.” Driving Hyperledger was the notion of a blockchain, a distributed ledger whose roots are in …
Containers in the fridge

2017 – the year of containers! It wasn't? Oops. Maybe next year

2017 was a big year for containers. One of the biggest container events came from the Linux Foundation, and it was – by its own admission – one of the most boring. The Foundation’s Open Containers Initiative (OCI) finally dropped two specifications that standardise how containers operate at a low level. Chris Aniszczyk, vice …
Danny Bradbury, 19 Dec 2017

Sure, Face ID is neat, but it cannot replace a good old fashioned passcode

Apple's iPhone X is one of several technologies bringing facial biometrics into the mainstream. It seems to have everything bar a heat scanner; the TrueDepth camera projects an impressive-sounding 30,000 infrared dots on to your phiz, scanning every blackhead in minute 3D detail. The company claims some impressive figures, and …
Danny Bradbury, 14 Nov 2017
finger pushing first in set of dominos

How to secure a software-driven technology stack in a cloud of moving parts

Another day, another cloud security mishap. Some company exposes recordings of your kids to the Internet and then comes under Senatorial scrutiny. A security firm managing security clearance information turns out to be insecure. Well, this cloud business is hard, isn’t it? There are lots of moving parts and they’re all buried …

Onwards to Valhalla: Java ain't dead yet and it's only getting bigger

Scale was big at the JavaOne conference this week. Spotify lauded its success scaling with Java, and Oracle execs practically squealed as they reeled off adoption statistics. Big Red believes the next ten years belong to Java. "We want the next decade to be Java first, Java always," vice president Mark Cavage said on stage. …
Specs and code photo via Shutterstock

The power JavaScript: 'Gandalf of JS' Wirfs-Brock on ECMAscript 2017

JavaScript has become the interface to the web thanks to browsers, it's leaked onto servers with Node.js, and is now carving out a small niche in Machine Learning – but JavaScript just wouldn’t be without ECMAScript. ECMAScript is the standard language definition on which JavaScript is based and this summer saw an important …
Danny Bradbury, 26 Sep 2017

TfL hackathon showed data can keep transport running and people safe

Sponsored If software is eating the world, then hackathons are its fast-food restaurants. Groups of developers come together for short periods to try to solve pressing problems. This happens in sectors from healthcare to retail, and now it's happening in transportation too. London, the UK's capital, is a city groaning under its own …
Danny Bradbury, 18 Sep 2017
Brain image via Shutterstock

Former UK.gov IT man and Python king's guide to neural networks

Interview If you're going to learn about neural networks, you could do worse than learn it from someone who got five A levels (all grade As), has his MSc in Advanced Computing, and can tell you how to build your own neural network in 30 lines of code, even if you don't know any calculus. There aren't many people fitting that description …
Danny Bradbury, 14 Sep 2017

Grab a fork! Unravelling the Internet of Things' standards spaghetti

The great thing about standards is that there are always so many to choose from. We've seen the standards forest grow countless times before. The Internet of Things is a vast digital petri dish for them, and they just keep growing. Recently we've acquired another initiative to pull together vendors working in IoT. It's called …

What sort of silicon brain do you need for artificial intelligence?

The Raspberry Pi is one of the most exciting developments in hobbyist computing today. Across the world, people are using it to automate beer making, open up the world of robotics and revolutionise STEM education in a world overrun by film students. These are all laudable pursuits. Meanwhile, what is Microsoft doing with it? …
Danny Bradbury, 24 Jul 2017
Footprints sand photo via Shutterstock

The lady (or man) vanishes: The thorny issue of GDPR coding

Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is now less than a year away, coming into effect in May 2018, and any legal or compliance department worth its salary should already have been making waves about what it means for your organisation. As a technology pro, you know that these waves will lap up against the side of …
Danny Bradbury, 21 Jul 2017

Is this a hotdog? What it takes for an AI to answer that might surprise you

Artificial intelligence isn't going away. Even if the hype abates its presence will have succeeded in raising awareness of a smorgasbord of interlinking concepts, technologies and ideas – neural networks and machine learning, cognitive intelligence, recommendation engines, big data, statistics and analysis – that together let …
Danny Bradbury, 10 Jul 2017
Brain

Why, Robot? Understanding AI ethics

Not many people know that Isaac Asimov didn’t originally write his three laws of robotics for I, Robot. They actually first appeared in "Runaround", the 1942 short story*. Robots mustn’t do harm, he said, or allow others to come to harm through inaction. They must obey orders given by humans unless they violate the first law. …
threats image

Network-sniffing, automation, machine learning: How to get better threat intel

IT teams can get away with poor service management, outdated software development methods and outdated apps running on legacy tin, but they might want to think twice before skimping on cybersecurity. If you don't stay on top of this stuff, while you might not be found out today or tomorrow, eventually, your customers’ personal …
Danny Bradbury, 24 May 2017

Sorry, Dave, I can't code that: AI's prejudice problem

Bureaucrats don’t just come in uniforms and peaked caps. They come in 1U racks, too. They’ll deny you credit, charge you more for paperclips that someone in another neighbourhood, and maybe even stop you getting out of jail. Algorithms are calling the shots these days, and they may not be as impartial as you thought. To some, …
Young robot studying photo via Shutterstock

A bot lingua franca does not exist: Your machine-learning options for walking the talk

So, you want to create a hugely successful machine-learning startup? Or you've been asked to start investigating ML for your firm? Well, you'd better get programming – but what language should you use? No languages have been designed specifically with ML in mind, but some do lend themselves to the task. Developers …
Danny Bradbury, 25 Apr 2017

Your machine used to crunch numbers. Now it can chew over what they mean, too

Promo Artificial intelligence can solve all your problems. It can raise your children, argue with idiots for you on Facebook, order you a curry from the shop down the road, and even give you a foot massage while you’re eating it. Well, not yet, but probably soon, if the tech elite are to be believed. In the meantime, you can content …

Learn to use machine learning

Promo Artificial Intelligence has crested the top of the Gartner hype cycle, and is on the lips of every technical marketing exec. Companies are doing things with it, but many projects are still proving out the concepts. You can’t talk about the weather these days without a gimmicky, gee-whiz weather chatbot trying to impress you with …
Danny Bradbury, 29 Mar 2017

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