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Collaborative Argumentation Study

In this project, Intel Information Technology and MIT studied web-based social media as a tool for understanding collective intelligence and distributed decision-making. The useful question we posed was "What are good ways to balance the potential productivity advantages of open collaborative computing versus the data security needs of the organization?"

 

 

 

 

 

Over the three week period we generated 73 author accounts, with 51 from outside Intel. The users contributed 64 certified posts, with 40 from outside Intel. Twenty five ratings were collected. Our resulting deliberation map was well structured and remarkably complete.

 

What did we learn?

 

 

 

 

First and foremost, we validated that there is good potential in the combination of social media and argumentation. Social media gives us ability to host large scale discussions with a vast number of diverse users over the internet. It enables us to readily combine discussions that are internal and external to Intel, if desired.

 

 

 

One of the biggest benefits of Deliberatorium was the ease of generating the argument map. The "moderate-as-you-go" approach saved a great deal of time during the post-processing of the data collected. This was especially important as the number of users and topics scaled. The compact format was useful to reduce complexity and helped "make sense" of threaded discussions (conversations) characterized by other tools. It also provided an artifact that can be used for later data mining or as a historical record of the project.

 

 

Based on this effort, we have decided that the argumentation capability is an important overlay for social computing tools. In the future we want to find and link all related content regardless of the source: web, wiki, etc. The key is flexible input with robust analytics and reporting to get better output.

 

Thank you for participating

Thanks to everyone who participated in our study, especially our top contributors: Luca, Ultimo15, Adam, and Lfriedl. Inside Intel, thanks to our most active contributors: Chris Wisehart, Guillermo Rueda, and Matt Rosenquist.

 

For more information

Klein, Mark and Iandoli, Luca,Supporting Collaborative Deliberation Using a Large-Scale Argumentation System: The Mit Collaboratorium(February 20, 2008). MIT Sloan Research Paper No. 4691-08. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1099082

 

 

 

 

 

Visit the MIT Deliberatorium Tool

Everyone wants information security to be easy. Wouldn't it be nice if it were simple enough to fit snugly inside a fortune cookie? Well, although I don't try to promote such foolish nonsense, I do on occasion pass on readily digestible nuggets to reinforce security principles and get people thinking how security applies to their environment.

 

Common Sense

I think the key to fortune cookie advice is ‘common sense' in the context of security. It must be simple, succinct, and make sense to everyone, while conveying important security aspects.

 

Here is my Fortune Cookie advice for November:

 

When it comes to employees and how securely they use their system, "trust, but verify".

 

We give them tools, harden their software, teach them good security practices, and reward them for safe behaviors. But end users may still cause great harm to their computers and more severely, the organizations data, systems, and operations. Trust must exist, but every security pro worth his salt, is paranoid with good reason.

 

It is not practical to wall out our own users. Some level of trust must exist. I believe the right balance for most organizations which maintain mature foundational controls, is to “trust, but verify”.

 

Made famous by former US President, Ronald Reagan, this quote was applied to situations where another party possesses the capability to do harm but agrees to refrain, for the greater good. Trust they will act appropriately, but maintain diligence to validate.

 

In the information security world, we too can strike the balance of security and functionality by allowing end users access to do their work effectively, while maintaining verification controls to insure they are not causing themselves or others unacceptable harm. This is no substitute to good training, security awareness, security tools, etc. as part of preventing undesirable events. But detection capabilities are a key element to a good defense in depth security program, which can allow more of a tradeoff between risk and productivity.

 

 

 

 

 

So am I contributing to the problem of over simplifying security? Or am I reaching out to those who might not take an inordinate amount of time necessary to understand the complexities and nuances of our industry? You decide and feel free to share your knowledge-nuggets.

 

 

 

Information Security Defense In Depth Whitepaper is Now Available

 

 

Fortune Cookie Security Advice - September 2008

 

 

Fortune Cookie Security Advice - August 2008

 

 

Fortune Cookie Security Advice - June 2008

 

 

Fortune Cookie Security Advice - May 2008

 

 

Deconstructing Cyber Security Attacks - Threat Model

 

 

Defense in Depth Information Security Strategy

We know that privacy does not exist in the Internet age. But what that “meant” at one time is not what it means now. Then information was available but hidden. Now it is all on the surface, aggregated, and correlated.

 

People protect themselves from the implications of no privacy in different ways. Some protect themselves by being extremely circumspect. I know of a person who though professionally distinguished has but one search engine hit and that comes from a bibliography. How did he/she do that? (I am not going to disturb this carefully protected profile by attributing a gender to it. If I could plausibly claim it was a space alien I would.) Others protect themselves by “not caring”. But what we don’t care about changes as we find new settings to play in and as new capabilities emerge.

 

I just did an Internet search on my name. I had not done this in maybe a year. I was happy to find repeat hits for proceedings volumes I edited with others. And I was surprised to find that those proceedings are for sale on several sites. I think I have about 50 books to sell unless I threw them out already. There was a time when you couldn’t or wouldn’t sell all the extra stuff in your house on the Internet. Those books are being offered for $185 each! I can beat that price if I can find the books.

 

But let's get on to the disturbing part. In the late 80s I dashed off an invited paper for a special issue of an obscure regional academic journal. That was when I was one of a tiny handful of (X Academic degree holders) working in (X Field). I was not working in research when I wrote the paper. I wrote in a chatty bloggish fashionahead of my timeand filled the paper with silly metaphors and cute turns of phrase. I hate that paper.

 

To make matters worse, someone at the low-cost self-publisher of this journal retyped the manuscript and turned my silly paper into an illiterate paper. The rights are apparently now owned by a major academic publisher. I accept silly as a side-effect of spontaneity. But I fancy that I do know how to write in English, and am particular about English words. I had consoled myself that very few people would ever find this paper due to its low print volume and being regional, applied, low topic interest, etc. Now it is prominent in my search results, possibly due to the prestige of the new copyright holder. Get it? The context is all switched around. The non-digital becomes digital, the low profile gets acquired by a higher profile.

 

“Freak!”

 

I have been careful in the past not to flame (public) distribution lists and to avoid posting irresponsible digital content under my name. But now that things are being scanned in from the printed pages of prehistory, and who knows, the entire contents of (Former Employers) backup server archives???.... It’s not skeletons in the closet; it is zombies that will keep me up at night.

 

There are so many new considerations now. One of my search hits lists my political contributions, with a map to my house! Both of those things ought to be public knowledge, but also in theory, they ought to have been hard to find and they would have been in separate files. Someone would have to deliberately look for them; but no, not now. Now this information is a published portrait.

 

I read in today's New York Times that the entering administration is asking cabinet candidates to include their Internet nicknames on their background applications. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/13/us/politics/13apply.html?nl=pol&emc=pola1 Think of the intemperate things you may have said behind the supposition of anonymity, just in the area of opinions, letters to your representatives. Sure, you tried to frame them reasonably, but admit it—for about half of us those opinions may have a careless statement or two in them.

 

We have sensed that privacy was dead for a long time. But I didn’t really think I was a particular person whose privacy was dead. I thought I was too obscure, like that journal. I thought I could manage my public persona. That was an illusion.

 

The experience makes me want to hide forever behind the firewall of Intel with my Information Security friends in black hats standing guard around my cube. In addition to keeping me compliant, they would make sure I don’t say anything stupid. Word to the wise...you do know that your face is a pattern that can be searched anywhere, don't you? http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/01/070105-photo-search.html For most of us it is too late to take that pattern back from the public domain.

 

I didn't intend to sign up for the “I don’t care” club. I do care. But I did sign up, a long time ago. The meek shall indeed inherit the earth, by not having said anything. Now I know what "meek" means and why they will inherit the earth.

Do you have the right skills to speak the right speak and do the right things?

Are you really ready to work in a large company?

 

Recently I've had the opportunity to speak with some college graduates and ask them about different aspects of their work and college-level experiences. They were taught theory and some practical skills very well but they lacked the right focus to help them be successful in a company setting. Book knowledge and practical implementation cannot be two separate things.

 

They lacked the tools to be successful as a developer within a team!

 

This is not an analysis on their interpersonal or communication skills. It is merely an observation on the understanding of what is required at a large company.

 

Teams work together. That means sharing thoughts, sharing server space, and sharing code. There are concepts (and tools) in place to help make this work easier, such as:

  • Source Code Control

  • Collaboration Areas

  • Bug/Defect Tracking

  • Change Management

  • Code Testing and Tools

  • Code Migration

  • Enterprise Standards

  • Naming Standards

  • Architecture Compliance

  • Change Control Boards (and approval)

 

Additionally, there are newer approaches for development, rapidly being adopted at large companies. This enhances the standard software development life cycle (SDLC) with items such as:

  • Agile Development

  • Test Driven Development

  • Self Documentation

 

Some additional areas I noticed lacking were in the practical knowledge space of helping any developer get their job done:

  • Requirements gathering and documentation

  • Dealing with difficult people

  • Problem resolution

 

Your language may be slightly different, however, most companies have some aspect of these, in order to keep them moving forward, with less complexity, and a higher level of integration.

 

What I recommend you do:

  • Read blogs (find some software development blogs and follow them)

  • Read books (outside of school, on different topics)

  • Get involved (in some open-source/community development task)

  • Code as a hobby

  • Look at the above topics and do some independent research

 

As someone looking for a job are you prepared to answer questions about these approaches and tools? Are you really ready to work in a large company?

Most of the people participating in this part of the Intel Community are IT folks. We all share some common skills and backgrounds, and likely degrees in similar things like Information Systems.

 

We also share a commonality in the workplace - we work in a cost center. IT, in most cases, is not a money-maker for a company. Product divisions create things, sales and marketing divisions sell things, but IT just keeps it all up and running. Money doesn't flow through IT, it flows TO IT to pay for the networks, phones, servers, clients, software, websites, etc.

 

So when it comes time for cost-cutting, the cost centers are the first on the chopping block. So how do you keep your employees going when all around them budgets are being cut, headcount actions remain a possibility, and the economy around them pours through instability?

 

Now keep in mind we're not perfect - we don't always do things as consistently as we should, but we try.

 

Here are Heath's Five Suggestions for IT in 2009.

 

1. More consistent communications - get the CIO and the senior IT leaders in front of people talking about what's going on within the IT. Be open to listening to your internal blogs and forums environments where people tend to be more vocal, and actively participate in these "new" communication styles. Communication shifts, and we have to shift with it.

 

2. Regularly scheduled on-site social events. We've had a catered breakfast and two lunches this year for all of IT on site. We also did an "Amazing Race" competition that brought teams together from all parts of IT, complete with catered BBQ lunch, some exciting video game playing, and wacky relay races. Get people away from their desks and provide opportunities to socialize with their peers. I know people who work in a 3 aisle radius, but there are a ton of other people in IT that are just as cool and just as interesting - give me an opportunity to meet them.

 

3. Embed the fun at a department level. A number of departments have purchased video game systems and are setting up game time over the lunch hour for their teams. Right now I'm participating in one with my entire program team, and I got feedback from one of my employees that this has gone a long way in bringing fun into the workplace. You don't have to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on a gaming system, so bring in a board game to your staff meeting, and instead of spending an hour on passdowns, spend an hour flying around Park Place* and Boardwalk* with your team.

 

4. Reset your expectations if necessary. The world is not the same as it was in the dot com boom. Companies are shifting their spending to research and innovation, and growth is slowing. You can't expect that people will maintain the same level of passion they had before if you aren't actively encouraging it and promoting it. If you're a manager, you can't keep raising the bar if people feel like they are beaten down by outside influences. Be realistic about what your team can achieve and set REAL stretch goals.

 

5. Focus on strengths, NOT areas of development. People in IT will always have something new to learn, but let them do that when they are ready for it. Focus on what they are good at and talk about those things. Get them into jobs that accentuate the positive and not punishment for the improvement areas. Yes - make sure people have the basic skills for the job and interact positively in the workplace, but if you've got someone who is superior at programming and not at public speaking - stop trying to put them in front of the customer and let them code to their heart's content!

 

Give it a shot and see what happens in your team! IT has a strategic place in the growth and development of any company - but you have to make it happen.

 

I welcome all feedback and comments about what your organizations are doing to keep the motivation and the passion in IT.

Hey, I started this in a discussion forum and though better of it in a blog, please comment!

 

Original Post:  SSD: Throw out your hard disks!

 

SSD: Throw out your hard disks!

 

Wait, not all of them just yet! I'm officially jumping on the hype bandwagon as I've been exercising and testing Intel SSDs (read long hours here) for the last three months. The comments from several online hardware reviewers are flattering, but they don't tell the whole story as they focus on single disk client machines. BTW, my Vista Ultimate Intel quad-core takes 20 seconds from POST complete to login with an Intel SSD. But, I'm a hardware guy at heart I need to know what implications these devices have for the datacenter and my apps. So we took the SSDs, dumped them into a number of differing servers and controllers to really work them and find out what breaks and where. Results, fantastic - RAIDed SSDs beat out their 15k spinning cousins in sequential reads and almost best them in sequential writes - ho hum you say? This is where the paradigm shifts, the more interesting story is around random I/O. Somewhere between 6x and 12x the performance of traditional disk is where these cool operators land, depending on block size and queue depth of course. Massive throughput gains and latency reductions with a SATA device attached to a SAS controller, which downgrades the SATA bus speed to 1.5gbps and imposes the overhead of SATA Tunneling Protocol. That's not bad for a hamstrung Olympian?

 

 

 

Backing away from the face melting speed of the SSDs random I/O, what does this mean for the computing? Yes fast, yes low latency, yes.... We've been designing applications, firmware, and everything we know about I/O to get around the random stuff. Ever since your first ST-506... We cache it, lay it down in stripes, defrag it religiously, anything to make it more sequential than random. What if that doesn't matter anymore? What if we don't have to engineer and program around the I/O bottleneck? Time to pull out the random I/O paradigm and watch it crumble. The great part about this shift is that it starts today and only gets better with initial SATA and then native SAS devices at 3gbps. Today NAND is limited by write cycles, needs some time to charge cells, more time in a multi-level cell device (MLC), and has block erase cycles and write amplification to contend with. 3-5 years from now... BOOM - phase change memory replaces traditional NAND for more endurance (+100x), faster read/write (µs vs. ns), and single bit alterability. Passengers, please sit back and place an extra fan on your Northbridge or array controller, we are entering a time when your I/O doesn't lag behind your CPU by a factor of 100x. What can this change, what can this change improve, and what will this do for your business?

 

The COD5 BETA has been released for the PC. It's about time too, I've been waiting for this for like 3 months. I even pre-ordered a copy of COD5 from GameStop because apparantly that was supposed to gaureentee you a spot in the BETA but then after I ordered I found out that all you had to do was signup for an account on the COD website. I ended up doing both and, as luck would have it, I didn't get my gamestop key yet, only my COD key. So good thing I pre-ordered.

 

 

 

 

I've already taken some FRAPS vido of the game, I wanna be one of the first to get a good sniper montage uploaded to youtube. I'll come back and edit this post to include the youtube link once the video is all done. OK, so here's how to get your key BTW:

 

 

 

 

 

-


 

In order to take part in the BETA you needed to signup at the CallofDuty website with a free account, or pre-order the game from GameStop.

 

 

 

 

If you haven’t already signed up for your fre account at CallofDuty

forums, you can do it now but I don’t know if that will score you a

BETA key or not. For everyone who had an account at the CallofDuty site

before todays date, you can find the BETA key in your profile.

 

 

 

 

Here are the official directions and official BETA download links:

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Download the PC Beta Installer from the below mirror links.

    1. FilePlanet

    2. GameSpot

    3. WorthDownloading

    4. Big Download

    5. GameZone

    6. FileShack

    7. Call of Duty HQ

    8. Filefront

    9. Gamershell

    10. Planet Call of Duty

    11. ComputerGames.ro

  2. Install the game using the CD-KEY you received in your email. If
    you’ve confirmed your community account, you can also find it in your profile page.

  3. Download the in game instruction manual.

 

Xbox 360

 

  1. Receive your Xbox Live™ Marketplace Token and write it down. You will not be able to download the Beta without it

  2. Log into Xbox Live with your gamer profile

  3. Access Xbox Live Marketplace through the Xbox 360™ Dashboard

  4. Click Redeem Code

  5. Enter your Xbox Live Marketplace Token when prompted

 

 

 

 

Source: Call of Duty

 

 

**update**

 

 

There are huge problems with the BETA. Everything from DX errors to black screens and sound driver errors. You may want to take a look at this post if you're having any problems and perhaps it will help you. Lucky for me I haven't had any problems what so ever...I like COD5 way more than COD4 too ;D

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