Category Archives: The Future

Posts about the Future

The Internet of Things Is More Than Just a Bunch of Refrigerators

Harvard Business Review covers the internet of things, but everyone is probably wondering what the heck is meant when people say that. The (with a capital T and capital I) Internet of things is all of the public accessible things on The Public Internet plus a subset. The subset internet of everything are the things that are semi-private to private but still accessible to private parties via internet. So in the view below you see that a nearby view of things for me shows some Global Bike Share stations, some Raspberry Pi‘s, and some Netatmo & other weather stations. You can click on the “Thingful” icon and pull up a map of your area if you want to as well.

This area is somewhat un-thinged, and un- smart compared to some cities – that will change dramatically over the next decade. In time you might see those tennis courts get a public schedule, the transit stations might show up along with real time mapping of the actual buses, web cams will pop up, restaurant menus, and some things people haven’t yet imagined will also show up.

The internet of things is going to grow up organically around us over time, and in some exponential fashion — the more things that are on the internet, the more reason there is to have even more things that are on the internet. As that occurs it will sort itself into Public, semi-public, and private spheres – with some devices and sensors present in more than one of those overlapping zones.

In your private intranet you will have things at home that can only be reached internally like maybe your security cameras, and you might have other things that can be reached over the public internet with biometric passkeys, certificates, and/or two step authentication, such as your DVR or media center. You might also have a public accessible weather station or other sensors fully public on the internet (like some of the Netatmo’s in the map above.)

In fully smart cities like Santander, Spain, all sorts of services and things might be available. In other cities, like mine, you might see smart infrastructure and services slowly integrated as refresh and replace cycles hit, and as new infrastructure is constructed. In Lenexa they’ve added an app for users to let the publics works folks know when there’s a problem. So you can snap a photo of the streetlight that’s out from your phone, upload it with the GPS coordinates, and a crew will come out to replace the bulb.

The interactive features and networked devices in smart Stadiums, factories, transport hubs, and other public venues are still evolving quickly, and will continue to do so because we do live in an exciting time and like the HBR article says, it’s not just about smart refrigerators and things in your home.

by Scott Berinato | 11:00 AM October 14, 2014 Harvard Business Review

The Internet of Things is definitely becoming a Thing, in the same way that big data’s a Thing or the sharing economy’s a Thing. And the thing about a thing that becomes a Thing is, it’s easy to lose sight of the things that made it a thing before everyone declared it the Next Big Thing that will change everything.

Got it? Good. We’ll start there. With the hype over the Internet of Things behind us. Because whether or not it’s a Thing, the internet of things is already a lot of things. Here’s a look at a tiny, tiny slice of it:

Those are a couple of dozen air quality sensors located around Boston, as documented by Thingful, a search engine for publicly available Internet of Things things (including sharks!). Click on a dot to get real-time information on air quality in the area. That alone may only cross the threshold of “neat,” but it’s also the foundation of real social and business applications.

More: The Internet of Things Is More Than Just a Bunch of Refrigerators – Scott Berinato – Harvard Business Review

Apple IOS 8 adds extensions for IoT

The new IOS extensions are Apple’s way of trying to meld their walled garden gear into the Internet of things. Essentially Apple has to poke more holes in the garden walls if they want their devices to stay relevant and useful in the coming home constellation of other devices and applications that must interact, talk with each other, and most important – know their context and their user’s context, in order to provide best utility and “artificial AI” semi-aware functionality. The real challenge is to keep those holes secure while functional.

 

Standards will evolve for this eventually…

Explaining iOS 8’s extensions: Opening the platform while keeping it secure | Ars Technica

Allowing third-party apps to communicate with other apps is just one of the problems extensions are meant to solve—third-party keyboards, connecting apps to cloud services other than iCloud, and the new Notification Center widgets are all their own kind of extensions.

Not all parts of iOS can be changed (or “extended”) by third parties. If you wanted to replace one of the default apps with your own or add some kind of toggle to the Control Center, you can’t do that. Apple defines a handful of pre-set “extension points” to show developers where they can add stuff. The iOS 8 extension points are as follows:

via Explaining iOS 8’s extensions: Opening the platform while keeping it secure | Ars Technica.

Cloud done right

This Google Cloud Data center is a thing of beauty to anyone who has maintained large scale IT infrastructure long term. It’s well constructed, simply laid out, and efficient. The computing power displayed in these fully populated rows of chassis’ used to take a small army of hands-on technicians onsite to maintain and this would suck power that you would not believe and take untold miles of cable. With this layout I imagine things are much simpler and greener.

apgoogle data center
Google Data center, Associated Press Photo

The Price War Over The Cloud Has High Stakes For The Internet : All Tech Considered : NPR by 

It’s a timely topic, since there’s a price war going on as tech titans aim to control the cloud market. Amazon Web Services, an arm of the e-commerce giant, is the reigning king of large-scale cloud services. If you’ve ever watched streaming TV on Netflix, clicked on a Pinterest pin, or listened to music on Spotify, you’ve used Amazon Web Services, or AWS.

“We delivered computing power as if it was a utility,” says Matt Wood, Amazon Web Services’ chief data scientist.

A decade ago, startups and other Internet companies had to set up their own data centers and computing backbones, which meant a serious capital investment up front and fairly fixed computing resources.

via The Price War Over The Cloud Has High Stakes For The Internet : All Tech Considered : NPR.

Future of Technology survey from Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project

A majority of Americans are optimistic about technology’s potential impacts on our future even after the last couple of decades of dystopian future films from Hollywood. Most of them when asked about specifics like personal implants or robots caring for elderly were against those notions of technology.

When asked for their general views on technology’s long-term impact on life in the future, technological optimists outnumber pessimists by two-to-one. Six in ten Americans (59%) feel that technological advancements will lead to a future in which people’s lives are mostly better, while 30% believe that life will be mostly worse.

Demographically, these technological optimists are more likely to be men than women, and more likely to be college graduates than to have not completed college. Indeed, men with a college degree have an especially sunny outlook: 79% of this group expects that technology will have a mostly positive impact on life in the future, while just 14% expects that impact to be mostly negative. Despite having much different rates of technology use and ownership, younger and older Americans are equally positive about the long-term impact of technological change on life in the future.

Read the full survey here Future of Technology – Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

Intelligence Gathering and the Unowned Internet – NSA, Berkman Center Panel Discussion

A good discussion on what’s right and what’s wrong with the current NSA rule sets and oversight. It starts dry but gets very interesting, please stick with it to the end.

The long-term viability of an unowned, open Internet remains in question. Any analysis of where the Internet is headed as a protocol and a platform must take into account the activities of both public and private entities that see the Internet as a source of intelligence — and a field of contention. Yochai Benkler, Bruce Schneier, and Jonathan Zittrain of the Berkman Center are joined by John DeLong and Anne Neuberger of the National Security Agency in a conversation moderated by Berkman Faculty Director Terry Fisher on the future of an open internet in the face of challenges to privacy in an unsecure world.
More info on this event here: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/events/2…

This talk was co-sponsored by: the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, the Harvard Law School American Civil Liberties Union, Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, National Security Journal, and National Security and Law Association.

License

Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)

via Intelligence Gathering and the Unowned Internet – YouTube.

Some Sanity From the Kansas House

Educating our children is one of the most significant things we do as parents and as a society. It’s something key that differentiates us as a species from the other species on this planet – no other species takes as much time to nurture and pass their knowledge to their children. We spend 18 years or more on just our children – and we commit to paying taxes to educate all children, not just our own, even after our children are long out on their own.

That’s why I applaud this vote by the Kansas house, which is a rarity these days. We can’t just have Johnson county as the shining beacon on the hill, we have to raise the level of education throughout Kansas to match our best school districts. In this interconnected age we can’t afford to be an island of knowledge wealth in a sea of misery and ignorance because that will bring disaster longer term for all of Kansas. All Kansans should be proud of the monies we spend on education, it’s to create a better future for everyone. History shows that islands of knowledge in seas of ignorance tend to wash away – so all children in Kansas need their education to be the best it can or we will create a grim future for everyone, including our descendants.

House rejects compromise on school finance bill | Wichita Eagle

  • By Bryan Lowry
  • Eagle Topeka bureau

The House sent a strong message to the Senate early Sunday by voting down a school finance bill that was packed with conservative policy changes.

The House had passed a bill with overwhelming bipartisan support on Friday, but a conference committee with Senate leaders Saturday yielded a bill that Democrats and moderate Republicans refused to support.

And enough conservatives also decided that the bill, which would have stripped teachers of due process rights and granted property tax breaks for parents with children in home or private school, went too far.

via House rejects compromise on school finance bill | Wichita Eagle.

‘Electronic skin’ equipped with memory

This is merely the beginning — nano-technology razor thin wearable and/or implantable sensors coupled with computer on a chips wearing highly accurate medical devices that track everything will become the norm as these devices will become printable or otherwise available for mass production. Forget about those bulky android watches, this is the real future to come.

From : Nature News & Comment
Researchers have created a wearable device that is as thin as a temporary tattoo and can store and transmit data about a person’s movements, receive diagnostic information and release drugs into skin.Similar efforts to develop ‘electronic skin’ abound, but the device is the first that can store information and also deliver medicine — combining patient treatment and monitoring. Its creators, who report their findings today in Nature Nanotechnology1, say that the technology could one day aid patients with movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease or epilepsy.The researchers constructed the device by layering a package of stretchable nanomaterials — sensors that detect temperature and motion, resistive RAM for data storage, microheaters and drugs — onto a material that mimics the softness and flexibility of the skin. The result was a sticky patch containing a device roughly 4 centimetres long, 2 cm wide and 0.003 millimetres thick, says study co-author Nanshu Lu, a mechanical engineer at the University of Texas in Austin.

via ‘Electronic skin' equipped with memory : Nature News & Comment.