Microsoft legal has a philosophy that local laws ought to apply to data — the only part that gets fuzzy under this approach is cloud data that is mirrored in multiple servers across multiple nations.
This discussion and case is highly important for the future of technology – if one country can by fiat demand that only country of origin laws apply to US companies doing business in foreign countries, what kind of reception and business can they expect? If your data is not secure when housed in US data farms, where will the data farms go? There will be lots of fallout from this case that could affect US employment. Right now businesses seek secure and stable locations that have class A networks for their data farms – if we fall behind in laws protecting data, and in network, we aren’t going to see many cloud farms built here.
The major market share players for PaaS and SaaS cloud services are Amazon, Google, and Microsoft – if the NSA continues to take an “All your base are belong to us” approach then that’s not going to continue.
Microsoft’s fight against the US position that it may search its overseas servers with a valid US warrant is getting nasty.
Microsoft, which is fighting a US warrant that it hand over e-mail to the US from its Ireland servers, wants the Obama administration to ponder a scenario where the “shoe is on the other foot.”
“Imagine this scenario. Officers of the local Stadtpolizei investigating a suspected leak to the press descend on Deutsche Bank headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany,” Microsoft said. “They serve a warrant to seize a bundle of private letters that a New York Times reporter is storing in a safe deposit box at a Deutsche Bank USA branch in Manhattan. The bank complies by ordering the New York branch manager to open the reporter’s box with a master key, rummage through it, and fax the private letters to the Stadtpolizei.”
In a Monday legal filing with the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals, Microsoft added that the US government would be outraged.
So I have this feeling often while taking photos — and then I try to do something different, but actually doing something different that’s not been done before is exceedingly rare because … 7 billion. Let me repeat that: Seven Billion. Now say it again like Carl Sagan would, then feel the hope and despair.
The headline statement won’t be true until the real broadband apps are actually there because while you can predict a trend you can’t predict the future. Locking into broadband apps until real broadband is in place a while would be premature. I foresee a day when musicians will regularly collaborate in real time or near real time on the network, I see phone calls going video, but the ability and the openness comes first. You have to be open to get those true broadband apps propagated, and if you remain open you will have apps that foster “stickiness” for your network.
From Jason Meyers, Light Reading:
The report, published by Broadbandtrends LLC , surveyed 88 service providers in various parts of the world (with a heavy focus on North America) about their plans for delivering gigabit broadband. Not surprisingly, the study credits Google Fiber Inc. ‘s announced intent in 2010 to enter the market with both raising consumer consciousness about gigabit services and catalyzing other providers. Google, the report suggests, sparked a race to save face.
“When we asked what the drivers were, it was interesting that being perceived as a tech leader was number one,” says Teresa Mastrangelo, principal analyst for Broadbandtrends. “It wasn’t about the speed at all. It wasn’t about future-proofing the network. It was about saying ‘We’re the first in this market,’ and being perceived as very forward-looking.”
It also wasn’t about identifying and fostering new or enhanced applications like gaming or high-definition telepresence, for example, that could fully leverage the speed of gigabit networks, Mastrangelo says. That’s significant, especially given widespread skepticism about the need for gigabit speeds — particularly in residential environments — and industry efforts to foster creation and development of gigabit-ready apps.
The other day I participated in one of Cisco’s weekly Internet of things chats, ( #IoTchat ) and found it thought-provoking and worthwhile. The online chat in turn inspired me to do another “Things to Come” post. Some of this will be about the internet of things in the consumer realm, and some later posts will be about sensors, lack of standards, and other things, all of it will be somewhat master of the obvious to those in the know.
Several large players are positioning to make their products the leading edge or the “hub of hubs” for the consumer market of the internet of things. They include Home Depot (Wink,) Lowe’s (Iris,) Best Buy (Peq,) and Samsung has now bought the fan favorite, SmartThings – which is good news because Samsung’s “Smart TV” is certainly underwhelming and could use improvement. Samsung also bought a US Air Conditioning company (Quietside, ) which further demonstrates their strategic direction.
All of this looks good at the surface glance, but with the exception of SmartThings, none of it really plays well together. Interoperability will be key in the future. Consumers aren’t going to want a hundred little apps, one for each item, or even five “Swiss Army” apps – they will want whatever they buy to plug into their version of their control panel or dash, and they will want devices to interlace easily and transparently. So there’s a lot of hype coupled with somewhat flawed and problematic products out there.
Here’s where we are in the Gartner emerging technology hype cycle below is their graphic and here’s a link if you desire the detailed explanation of this latest curve (these Gartner reports are celebrating their 20th year. )
The early adopters have already hit that disillusionment curve, and it’s where I am at. The IoT has great potential but it’s not at the plateau of productivity yet (I think it’s actually a stair step progression versus a plateau, but more on that in a future post where I’ll talk about how some technology surpasses even the wildest hype after some time passes.)
Since I am disillusioned here is a list where the internet of things is really underwhelming me. Just a forewarning: some of this might get a wee bit on the rantish side,
Let’s start with a pet peeve: Clocks, Watches, or any other digital device including tablets, pc’s, phones, etc. that keep or use the time should all set themselves automatically every time they are first turned on, and periodically as they operate. The only users who should have to manually adjust anything should be that one or two percent minority who need to keep times from another zone, and not the normal users.
The devices should do this via internet to NIST atomic clocks, or from the local router, or via GPS triangulation, or by reading radio waves. It’s not that difficult for a clock to set itself on power up, and figure out what time zone it is in from GPS. Let’s make that a standard someone, anyone? We can leave the old, collectible analog devices for the OCD purist types to set themselves.
Weather stations are for the most part overpriced and plumbed to use antiquated LCD (!) display panels, some will talk to your PC via USB however… (can you detect the dripping sarcasm?)
Smart TV: I unhooked Frankenputer about a year ago when we bought our Samsung Smart TV LED flat panel, but after a year of trying out the Samsung apps built it I hooked the old Frankenputer back up. It streams much smoother, doesn’t glitch, is more controllable with mouse and keyboard, and produces better picture and sound. So a 6 year old core duo PC kicks ass on Samsung’s smart TV. That’s not surprising as most “Smart” devices use under-horsed CPU’s and not enough memory. That’s not just to save money, it also conserves energy / battery, but it doesn’t much sense for a Television, where streaming and HD video are required.
Thermostats : These are over priced, but everyone wants them once the price drops. Nest has great ideas, but the first thing they should be tackling is working with the aforementioned weather station, and adding things like humidifiers, air mixers, and whole house fans.
Refrigerators – the dream is that your fridge (or stove) inventories everything in your kitchen via RFID or other tag, and prepares your shopping list and lists of recipes that use the ingredients that you do have left. It could tie to the cooking channels, magazines, and local store home delivery services, and there’s huge potential there, but nothing comes close yet.
Home security and monitoring is the area where the IoT is the strongest, but that’s a given since much of that has previously been handled by remote services anyway – they have a leg up on other Smart Systems. That said, nothing combines it all in one good package yet, someone will take the lead here in the next few years.
Medical and health: again too many different services and devices that don’t play well together. See my previous post from 2011 here. While there are improvements, there’s still not a home health hub per se that unites and intelligently uses the data the devices collect.
Media sharing – this is a kludgeterfest of things that don’t play well together – getting videos, books, songs, and work docs between devices is getting better with cloud services, but….. every device wants you in their cloud, sharing their way, and none of the clouds interlace or work work well together. To get something moved there’s often too much poking, prodding, and head scratching to get it done. It’s very frustrating from a consumer standpoint right now — I wish someone would come up with a service or app that laced all the clouds together into one whole transparent personal cloth or cloud front. When it comes to that Google is winning overall, since Android is the most open and flexible at present. That said, I still have dropbox, Icloud, Amazon, the ambitiously named “Microsoft Onedrive,” Adobe, and probably some others.
When push comes to shove most of the cloud services are useless to me since none have enough space to contain my media. (I’m a photographer who shoots in RAW format, but even if I were shooting average Joe JPG’s at 30K pictures and a few thousand songs, I would still over run the space.
The opportunity is there for a hub or appliance, or just a “Home OS” that operates on a standard PC, but nobody’s fully filling the gap yet. It will happen however, but it’s going to be awhile before we have a home dashboard that includes it all. In future articles I will discuss some of the M2M opportunities, and how business has conquered a lot of IoT space in their realm, but not on the consumer front, already. We will also talk about the lack of standards, spectrum, and the rest of the limiting factors.
Rob Enderle advocates a corporate step back from Arm based Pads to full windows / Intel architecture. With the kludginess of connectivity, speed of I/O, and pure amount of jiggery pokery that users have to manage to keep their Pads and Ipads productive, I can certainly see why he would call for this.
On the other hand the longer term trend will be to go to mobile I/O and generic device computing – most of the shortfalls of ARM and Pads rest not in the pad, but in the fact that most corporate infrastructures are not built thin or to support pads. It’s the apps, the infrastructure, and the design that’s in the way, not the devices. That will change over the next few years, and whether you use pads or PC’s the drivers are still there to get that true cloud infrastructure evolution completed.
[ hint: if it’s just your data in the cloud, then you’ve done it wrong. The apps, the virtual workstations, the heavy processing, transactions, and the security management all need to go to the cloud or you have failed. To succeed at the evolution you must first start to think of the PC or Pad as just another input / output device.]
From Rob at IT Business Edge:
If you have been watching both Apple and Samsung, who lead the tablet segment with their iOS and Android products, have experienced a sharp drop in tablet growth so far this year. Based on anecdotal information, this appears to be primarily due to two things: A large number of people that had hoped to be able to create on tablets found they couldn’t and shifted back to PCs, and a large number of people figured out that the latest tablets from either company aren’t a significant enough improvement to justify buying a new one. There is likely a third reason for the decline and that is that a lot of folks just didn’t find the tablet all that compelling in the first place and put it on the shelf never to be seen again (I’ll bet the majority of these were gifts).
PC sales, on the other hand, have started to pick up again and Intel just had a record quarter as a result. This was even before Broadwell was released, and with Broadwell, the pressure on tablets from PCs will be significantly higher.
With massive pressure on cost, the new 2-in-1 products coming to market in the second half of this year should be far more attractively priced and as noted thinner, lighter, and more capable than the iPads and Android tablets based on ARM currently in market. (These new tablets were showcased at Computex earlier this year.) Yes ARM can get thinner, but beyond this point you lose structural stability and you’ll end up with far more broken screens. In fact, whether we are talking ARM or x86, we are likely close to as far as anyone will want to go in terms of thinness because of the risk of increased breakage.