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  | embedded world |  Silence of the Brands | IoT Security | Can AI be Racist? |
 
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Happy New Year! 

It is difficult to know when to publish this newsletter as the UK is in a very turbulent time, yet nothing seems to change! 

We have a constant uncertainty! Which reminds me of a discussion on the use of "const volatile" some years ago. In a similar vein see the item from the Wicked Which of the West on the idiosyncrasies of C and  the item on Racist AI from the IET.
PhaedruS SystemS
 You can't patent software… or can you?
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imageAddressing one of the most common misconceptions in the electronics industry relating to intellectual property, Sam Cleary (European Patent Attorney at Dehns) provides insight on the elusive (or not so elusive) patent for software-based inventions. 

Perhaps getting protection for your ideas isn't beyond the realms of possibility, even if those ideas exist in software implementations rather than in the hardware itself. read more http://www.phaedsys.com/library/blog/018dehns-SWpatents01.html
Subversive C . Was that unspecified or just undefined.
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imageC is a very tricky language and not really understood by most people. Particularly by those who think they do. We work with many on the C standards panels and no one there professes a complete knowledge of the language. 

The Wicked Witch of the West has been digging up more idiosyncrasies in the C language that even fool some state analysis tools. Read more….
  
SCSC Conference, Bristol  5-7 Feb
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imageBack in Bristol at the Royal Marriott, Collage Green, for it's 27th year this is the event for critical systems As usual there will be a wide range of speakers and exhibitors.

The SCSC is primarily "safety" however with everything being connected these days security is creeping in too. As with past years we expect the discussions between the sessions to be as interesting as the presentations:  It's not all on the internet.  See the taster video https://youtu.be/D4TsMFFhB7M

The information on the location, exhibition and presentations is on this link https://scsc.uk/e569
Phaedrus Systems at Embedded World
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imageembedded  world in Nuremberg  is the biggest embedded systems event in the world with over 30,000 visitors and over a thousand exhibitors plus a 4 day multi track conference. You really should go ew  at least once in your career.  As with SCSC much of the information never gets on to the internet. see the video https://youtu.be/Kk9cO_T79yw

This year Chris, our CTO, will be speaking on MISRA-C at the ew conference. There is an official MISRA thread to the ew Conference for the first time! 

You can register for the trade show and conference tickets here.   
https://www.embedded-world.eu/home.html
Art in computing 
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imageIt is with sadness we have to mention the death of Arthur Hills,  Art to his friends, age 89.

Art had an interesting career: De-Havilland's aircraft company, RAF Boscombe Down, NGTE (Pyestock), something at the post office and finally the CEGB. 

He started computing in 1952 as he said "We had 6 computers in the UK but could only talk about 4 of them" Art worked on the engine design of the TSR2, Harrier and Concorde along with many other interesting experimental aircraft for 30 years before moving to the CEGB in Barnwood  via Box. 

On  a couple of occasions he "borrowed" an Atlas computer for engine data test runs.  In those days you had to go to the computer as it had a building to itself!
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlas_(computer)

Art lectured in programming in the 1960's  and his notes are still relevant now. He will be greatly missed. 
                                                                                                                                                   
 Art 1929/09/21 to 2019/01/10
Silence of the Brands...
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image… is  the headline Forbes has run with after reading the IoT Security Foundation  report on vulnerability disclosure. 

The  IoT Security Foundation (of which Phaedrus Systems is a founding member) is trying to raise awareness of vulnerability reporting as good practice and active defence as part of our mission 

Forbes article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/daveywinder/2018/12/13/the-silence-of-the-brands-90-of-consumer-iot-vendors-dont-let-researchers-report-vulnerabilities/#649c14439c88

IoTSF Report 
Can AI be Racist?
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imageRacist (or sexist) AI? Well the IET have asked the question as part of the Turing lecture series  (see https://events.theiet.org/turing/index.cfm )  Which is interesting as of course Turing was himself greatly affected by human and institutional bias of his time.    
As ethics and morality are not absolute and as it is people who program AI, who is going to be able to program a "neutral" AI that has no biases?   You only have to look at any political, moral, ethical discussion to discover that there is no "middle ground" between the "snowflakes" and the "racists/sexists" etc.  So who will make the rules for Ai?  Who will interpret/program them?  Especially as what is moral/ethical will change over both time and place.  
Something to ponder on before we have autonomous vehicles and  the  programmer  has to stand up in court to justify his ethics and morals… 
IoT Security Foundation Releases Documents
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imageThe IoT Security Foundation (IoTSF) has published a new, free to download report titled: 
"IoT Cybersecurity: Regulation Ready". 

It is aimed at businesses that produce and use IoT systems as there 'is a veritable minefield' of regulatory issues that exist. Legal sanctions are highlighted, some of which may only become apparent when something goes wrong. Examples are given as to how regulators have already taken action against IoT providers using existing laws.
 
The first two publications provide concise and detailed analysis on the IoT regulation environment of governments, regulatory bodies and legislation, and also serve as a resource for IoT manufacturers, innovators, distributors, retailers, and regulatory bodies to better understand the current regulatory landscape and the differences and similarities across jurisdictions.
free download from here https://www.iotsecurityfoundation.org/best-practice-guidelines/
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This newsletter has been a little short as the editor has been/is still suffering man flu.  I have discovered quite a few of you have also been suffering. 

The up side is that we have an interesting year planned  with all sorts of options. There should be a few announcements that will surprise and delight developers but more of them in a month or two.and no, I don't mean product launches!
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