Introducing the AWS IoT cloud

The emerging IoT developer community received a much anticipated jolt of news when Amazon finally announced new enterprise services dedicated to the AWS IoT cloud launch at their 2015 re:Invent conference.
AWS IoT Cloud PlatformThis new AWS IoT cloud service will permit web based interfaces to manage IoT events from various devices: sensors, wearables, drones, and of course mobile tools and apps around an established AWS ecosystem.

The AWS IoT cloud emerges as Amazon’s long term platform following the SalesForce Thunder platform announced last month. Both vendors look to establish key IoT cloud solutions in the corporate enterprise space. They join Cisco’s IoT, Microsoft’s Azure IoT, Oracle’s Movintracks along side GE’s energy launch of Current IoT. The race is now on to process millions of data events from light bulbs to dishwashers and cars over the MQTT protocol and process those messages in their respective clouds.

Amazon is leveraging 11 services around their IoT Cloud strategy to include existing AWS services: Kinesis, Redshift, S3, SNS, SQS, ML, DynamoDB and Lambda. A key investment to this strategy was the recent acquisition of 2lemetry, a IoT enterprise company tuned for transforming raw data from IoT devices onto their ThingFabric platform.
Continue reading “Introducing the AWS IoT cloud”

Latest read: The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires

Tim Wu’s second book The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires is wonderful examination how American information empires were established and stifled innovation at the same time. This is my second book by Wu following his brilliant Who Controls the Internet.
The Master SwitchWu identifies long business cycles surrounding the birth of information systems. While they begin open over time they were consolidated and driven by the market to become closed.

We displays how they become open again following amazing innovations force a business change in order to survive in the new marketplace.

The Master Switch opens with the birth of the Bell AT&T telephone monopoly. This is a facinating story when held against the garage startups of Apple and Google.

There is an amazing look at how countries and cultures also view information empires differently. The case for Wu is the capitalist, independent market approach to radio vs the UK’s BBC dominated by the royal family.

The Master Switch reveals how four key markets actually hold government infrastructure: telecommunications, banking, energy and transportation. These four and their capitalist owners for generations established control over any citizen’s attempt at challenging their monopolies. The lesson Wu establishes is corporate control by closed technologies. Yet one cannot help but understand they magically protected the country from the devastating affects of revolution leading up to and more importantly the horrific aftermath of World War I that forever removed Paris as the hub for film entertainment.
Continue reading “Latest read: The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires”

Microsoft Cybersecurity Briefing

Microsoft cybersecurity
Kudos to Microsoft’s Cybersecurity briefing team for providing a great three day briefing on Greenfield and Red Forest solutions. With 24 pages of hand written notes but no swag from Ignite, Microsoft has provided a solid foundation to continue moving Azure cloud services forward for small or large corporate IT infrastructure.

FireFox at 10

FireFox turned 10 years old this week.  As much as the internet and society has had a love/hate relationship with this browser it is very important to not lose this one lesson: Initial month of deployment: 100 million downloads (10% market share) and now Microsoft was threatened by this new upstart browser and had just finished destroying Netscape.

But the real lesson not to be forgotten:  Blake Ross was a Stanford freshman (just 19 years old) along with Dave Hyatt and Joe Hewitt started developing this browser.

They were fresh out of High School when they all began developing what we now know as FireFox.

In Higher Education we need to really see that the world has changed rather significantly and for many administrators this lesson on launching a successful alternative to Internet Explorer is not lost on me.

Are we fully acknowledging that in the new App Economy we already see European countries teaching mobile app development in grade schools.

How far do we fall behind?

Can Microsoft Surface make you smarter?

At the 2009 Brainstorm conference I had an opportunity to see SMART’s Microsoft Surface knockoff, the SmartTable. SMART is selling this table for a whopping $8,000.00!

Ask any K12 teacher, Curriculum Director or Ed Tech Specialist if your districts’ approved curriculum is able to run on a SmartTable.  Chances are the answer is no. Just like SMART’s smartboards dumboards I’m afraid their SmartTable was even less impressive. Again their custom software cannot be modified easily to meet any district’s requirements. But shouldn’t it be easily modifiable to succeed and allow any educational software to run on their table?

smarttableSMART’s sales team pointed me to their custom programming tools (SDK) that permits schools to make application changes to “force” existing school software to run correctly on their SmartTable.

Lets think this through: Your school purchases software from say – Adobe, but has to have their school’s IT staff custom program Photoshop in order to join SMART’s “commonly used software” list and run on their SmartTable? Since when did over extended school districts hire ex Adobe software engineers to recode Photoshop?

I gave the SmartTable a spin at BrainStorm 10.0 and was not impressed with this “dumb” product either. I’ll admit when I first stood in-front of the SmartTable — I was thinking of Microsoft’s Surface. And that is where they ‘get’ you into purchasing. I also suggest reading their technical specifications to the SmartTable.

Many think the SmartTable is a touch screen flat panel display. Actually the SmartTable contains a projector placed on the floor inside the SmartTable (its actually a fully enclosed box) projecting a display against a glass surface. Its nothing more than their Smartboard crammed into a box.

For $8,000 that’s not high tech at all.

Chinese cyberattacks on US Government

This does not leave me sleeping well at night.  It should bother you:

“When the US Department of Defense is the target of no fewer than 128 information infrastructure attacks per minute from China, and we discover that while DoD is almost universally using off-the-shelf Microsoft Windows systems while China is engaged in working toward 100% military deployment of security hardened FreeBSD, it becomes clear that there’s definitely something wrong with US information security policy.”

Source: TechRepublic

The amount of cyber attacks from foreign countries is pretty amazing.  K12 School Districts are not amune from foreign attacks either.

Tags: China, network, The Great Firewall of China, globalization, national security, Microsoft Windows, Censorship, education, technology, trends

Latest read: Who Controls the Internet?

Think the internet is still the wild west?  Think again.  In a new update of Who Controls the Internet?: Illusions of a Borderless World law professors Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu share how the long arm of foreign governments still can stretch the illusion that the internet (and thereby globalization) are shrinking the world.

On the surface you may believe — even in 2009 that you can still say anything, do anything or hack any computer around the globe without impunity because you can hide inside the internet.

Goldsmith and Wu challenge Tom Friedman’s (The World Is Flat 3.0: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century) position that globalization is opening up communication in countries that have long suppressed their citizen’s ability to speak freely.

China for example. Or think about the European Union.  Is the EU able to dictate how Microsoft releases software?  Think again.  When Microsoft published it’s passport technology it was rejected by the EU.  Rather than pay a fine Microsoft added the tougher security standards dictated by the EU for all customers worldwide.  Those standards are even tougher than those used in America.

Can France tell Yahoo or eBay what products to sell?  They can and they already do.  This book is written from a legal standpoint since both teach at the Law Schools of Harvard and Columbia respectively. Is it strange to see government control over the internet?  Would this be different if today was September 10 2001?  Goldsmith and Wu share their insight to the way Law helps and hinders the internet.  From simply selling memorabilia to cybercrime you learn gaping holes exist even today to prosecute offenders and criminals.

The “I Love You” virus that cost US companies millions of dollars originated in The Philippines, but since there is no law against this type of crime in the The Philippines the US was unable to arrest the known hacker.  Similar rules apply in Russia. When the FBI arrested a hacker who extorted millions from US companies, Russia did not acknowledge this type of crime and did not agree to extradite, so the FBI was forced to release the criminal.

Goldsmith and Wu share the legal case between Yahoo and the country of France that forced Yahoo’s online store to pull Nazi related memorabilia even though Yahoo is an American based company.  But Yahoo’s remote offices in France proved to the key error Jerry Yang overlooked.  Yahoo has stumbled a lot lately.

Continue reading “Latest read: Who Controls the Internet?”

Latest read: Hot Property

Its all in the timing.  The global economic crisis has placed my latest read Hot Property: The Stealing of Ideas in an Age of Globalization into a pretty unique light. Regardless of the delay in the US economy the impact of globalization, technology and good old corporate espionage has impacted the world’s stage in manufacturing and distribution.

From aspirin to automobiles with computer technology stolen right in the middle. Author Pat Choate, an economist was the 1994 University of Oklahoma Arthur Barto Adams Alumni Fellow.  He has also written Agents of Influence: How Japan Manipulates America’s Political and Economic System.

The core arguments focus on the use of historical legal patents and technological advances of foreign companies competing against American interests by stealing.  Today its known as corporate espionage.  The end result: the US government does not protect companies in today’s global marketplace.

This book will leave most Americans frustrated.  Globalization has changed the way people and business must evolve to simply stay in business.  The auto industry is a timely example of how America lost this business to global competition.

The old assumptions in American business do not work today. When you innovate and invent, patents will protect your dedication and hard work against competitors around the globe.  How wrong Choate proves this idea is today.

Hot Property will quickly show you how far from the truth the real-world works … against you.  Reminds me of T-shirts I see around the Univ. Wisconsin-Madison campus:  “Don’t let school get in the way of your education”.Choate illustrates how major American companies like GM, Microsoft and Cisco are powerless to stop Chinese counterfeiters. To remain a “favorable company” in the Chinese market, American companies sacrifice their own development, technology and employees while trying to gain business in China.  It is somewhat amazing to see the RIAA use it’s legal arm against elderly Americans for downloading an MP3 file but turn a blind eye to the stunning levels of piracy in China.

Continue reading “Latest read: Hot Property”

Microsoft & Seinfeld: Lame

After watching this clip I realized two things.  The commercial lacks creativity and Seinfeld’s show closed before 9/11.  Our world is a lot different today.  The AD/PR firm should be fired.  I thought there were creative types in NYC.

Sugar Labs is cool

The OLPC program is moving through a rough time right now with the announced departures of initial key members and the new Microsoft announcement to bring XP onto the XO Laptops.

Walter Bender, former President of OLPC has launched Sugar Labs to promote the use of Sugar on more devices. Sugar is open source and I’m running it on my Powerbook via VMware’s Fusion. Sugar Lab’s approach: children should not be forced to learning a legacy operating system designed for adult computer programmers.

Lets face facts. XP is not designed for the world’s children living in poverty. The design is simple and perfect for children:

Sugar on OS X

Continue reading “Sugar Labs is cool”