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Just when you thought it was safe to go online

Facenet and dating of the future

Sometimes there are times when you read something that makes you consider the future in a very poor light. Having this particular program made publically available at this early stage of development is also a cause for concern of how skewed the world will become in the near future.

Many people will have by now at sometime in their adult life joined , have a close friend or family member that has experienced one of the online dating services. The services generally rely heavily on the basis of instant attraction. In many, you are presented with a visual of the person before any details of the personality are supplied to the browser. Again on the visual impact, the browser can choose to like / skip etc.

Think now to the newly released python script, from Charles F. Jekel and Raphael T. Haftka of the University of Florida [arXiv:1803.04347 [cs.CV]], that based on just 20 of your likes is able to build a generic facial representation, which when applied to further images has an accuracy of 60% of knowing if you will like that image.

Once trained on 406 profiles, where each like represented a different classifier, it was over 70% accurate. Being one of the first algorithms in the area, accuracy is likely to improve over time. The question being then is where will this lead ?

Will you be able to take your liking profile from one supplier and use them with another. The reality of how oddly familiar this all seems, think about where else your liking data is used for marketing. Marketing teams will see the usefulness of this data being collected. Will the privacy agreement you’ve signed protect you liking data. The company you use could use that data for their own purposes as long as it is in their privacy agreement.

Fast forward a few years, and every website you visit could be presented by a computer generated personna that is facially configured to match your dream person. How could you resist not purchasing 63 pallets of widgets that you really don’t need just because you want to please them.

During the rise of computers we were wowed by the amazing graphics and realism that slowly grew as processors became more powerful. Soon the realism will not be realism but a distortion of reality based on our dreams and desires.

Back in reality however, it may just be time to think twice about how you let companies use your data, not all of your data is input by you on a clearly laid out form. Your data is how you navigate, how you interact, how you choose, what you look at. Under GDPR companies must release all your data they collect about you to you, and must tell you how they are processing it.

For more information about the FaceNet script see * arXiv:1803.04347 [cs.CV]

For more information about GDPR email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


How much downtime is acceptable ?

System 36 - 30Mb Hard drive

Many years ago, once a year, in a production factory that ran 24/7, everything would come to a halt for the Test. While the Test was in progress all orders were stopped, people hung around like they were waiting for the starting gun of a race.

Deep inside a locked room people would be busy dismantling and inserting a loan hard drive into the System 36 and then the big restore from 12 inch disks in magazines, 1st the monthly back up, then the weekly back up, then the daily back up. After many hours and copious cups of coffee and boxes of biscuits, the system would be sent live to see whether everything had worked successfully. The downtime was costly, and that was thankfully without any live customers trying to connect online to see the status of their order.

Fast forward to just a few years ago, and replication was the in thing. Some companies built whole triplicates of their server rooms, with a duplicate site only a few miles away, ready for raiding for parts, and another site a few hundred miles away ready for major disasters. Testing the fail-overs resulted in many issues of lost orders, lost data as people didn’t realise they were entering data onto the temporary fail-over test systems.

Fast forward to a few of years ago, Enterprise companies were migrating to the cloud, aware of the cost, but knowing of the saving of having a system that would be always on and able to expand and reduce as the demand suited, backups are still required but testing of those can be done in a separate cloud area without disrupting the main business.

Fast forward to today, and the costs have lowered, and now every business Small and Medium can enjoy the cloud benefits. Whether it is full in the cloud servers through Azure, or using Cloud services such as Office 365 and G-Suite.

What comes next is open to debate, but the server-less architecture looks to be a fair bet, which will see that server you built dynamically grow or shrink depending on how busy and how much work it is doing. So you won’t be paying for power you’re not using, and you will be saving the environment.

Stick with us and we’ll keep you up to date


PS. Don't forget to try out our downtime cost calculator

Code Smells, a rise to maturity

The smell of Orchids

Today’s world is full of an increasing amount of program code. Back in 1999 Martin Fowler[1] defined the basis of Code Smells. Smells, being the inherent way humans in nature detect bad, and good things, likewise, Code has a smell, be it bad or good. A bad code smell being code that contains bad programming techniques, duplicate code, ie. poor quality. A new paper called Code Smells, by Peter Kokol, Milan Zorman, Bojan Žlahtič, Grega Žlahtič [2] , has been published.

Kokol’s paper[2] analysed the rise of discussion around code smells. Using bibliometrics to analyse research papers which contain references to code smells, Kokol was able to map and detect the changes in frequency and geographical distribution of papers.

Their results highlighted 337 publications which contained references and of those 70% were related to conference proceedings. Which they concluded may mean that code smells is still in the rising state of maturity.

They plotted the details on a timeline and identified that the largest rises were in 2009, then in 2014. They also identified which countries were using the term the most, and as might be expected USA was top, with almost twice the next country, Italy. Italy contained the individual institution that had produced the most papers, with 19 papers published by the Universita degli Studi di Milano.

The research papers indicated that code smell research was split into 3 themes, smell detection, software refactoring, development & anti-patterns. Of these themes code software development and anti-patterns, was the most popular themes, using anti-patterns and knowledge of software development problems code quality can be increased.

Overall an interesting and highlighting paper that shows that in the future, machine learning, and other analysis tools may be used against software development code to identify if it smells of sulphur or wild orchids.

[1] M. Fowler, Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code., Reading: Addison - Wesley, 1999.

[2] Peter Kokol, Code Smells, 2018


Looking to test the quality of your IT configuration, talk to our consultants about what changes you can make to get that wild orchid smell :

Call telanova on 01344 567990

10 Reasons to Fly to the Cloud

You’ve been told that everyone is moving to the cloud. Now before you start booking plane tickets to see where they are, let’s take a look at some reasons why you might want to consider more cloud activity in the near future.


When you’re working in the cloud, the whole team have the same information at the same time, and many tools will allow live collaboration regardless of physical location.

DDos attacks against QKD networks could be mitigated with SDN

Communication at the speed of a photon

The Latest Technology in Secure Communications is Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) , these rely on single photons traveling between points via an optical channel. Detection of eavesdropping on QKD networks is possible based on the fundamental constraints of quantum mechanics.

However, you may not be able to listen in to QKD traffic, but malicious people can exert a Distributed Denial of Service (DDos) attack. As a QKD detects any disturbance, the key generation between the two points is disrupted and has to be re-established. Naturally DDos can continue to disrupt the communications.

Thanks to collaborative research by the teams at the High Performance Networks group, the Centre for Quantum Photonics at University of Bristol, and British Telecom Research and Innovation they have published their findings on this issue. ( Experimental Demonstration of DDoS Mitigation over a Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) Network Using Software Defined Networking (SDN) Feb 2018 )

Using a Software Defined Network (SDN) application to handle the situation, the SDN was able to monitor the breakdown in communications (key generation) and then automatically selects a different route for the traffic away from the DDoS.

It’s good to see that before technology has become widespread, the research has begun on how malicious attacks might take place and how to protect against them.


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