Webinos – leveraging the Web as the greatest common denominator for multiple platforms ..

I am pleased to announce that my company, Futuretext is a part of an international research consortium, led by Fraunhofer FOKUS, which was awarded EU funding to drive developments for the Future Internet. The three year project will start in September 2010 and is co-funded by the European Union, which has provided a grant of ten million Euros. Besides Fraunhofer FOKUS, the consortium includes Deutsche Telekom, Telcom Italia, BMW Research, Sony Ericsson, Samsung Electronics, W3C, University of Oxford and others. It will create a truly open platform for cross-platform use of services that can be operated on multiple screens.

webinos was on the BBC this morning and webinos project lead Dr Stephan Steglich said

“Rather than develop yet another operating system or work on a service that “translates” software from one platform’s code into another’s, the project’s central idea is to make applications run in a web environment, rather than directly in the depths of a given device’s operating system.”


“The greatest common denominator among all these devices is the web browser – that’s the only thing people can use to accept the same content,”

To me, the idea of the Web as a common platform and the creation of a truly open source environment across a range of screens (platforms) is why this project has the potential to be truly transformational. We also have participation from a wide range of partners with specific vertical domain like BMW

I am very much looking forward to participating in this initiative and working with a great group of people and truly making a difference.

The full press release is at the Fraunhofer FOKUS site (pdf)

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The converged future of the Web, Cloud, mobility and sensors: A polymath approach

I am an inventor.I became interested in long term trends because an invention has to make sense in the world in which it is finished, not the world in which it started Ray Kurzweil

The title of this blog was inspired by the quote from Ray Kurzweil who could be considered one of the few polymaths today. In an age of specialization, there are very few polymaths who can see many different domains and more importantly can see the interconnections between these domains.

In a recent talk, I used this quote and then proceeded to elaborate the interconnections between the Web, Cloud and Sensor networks. So, I am trying to outline a converged vision and then work backwards to ‘connect the dots’ so to speak that point to the vision i.e. how would a polymath (someone like Ray Kurzweil) do this?

This blog is based on that talk.

The blog is really a collection of key links / interconnections and trends that I see today which point to a converged future in the evolution of the Web, Cloud, Mobility and sensor networks.

So, the talk combined both long term trends (evolution of the Web, Cloud, Mobility and sensors) but also short term trends that I see today which point to that future.

What would this converged vision look like?

Here are some pointers. Some initial notes for what this vision could mean

1) I used the analogy of a magic want based on a childhood favourite cartoon character Wendy the good little witch to illustrate the idea that interconnect for Internet of things could be achieved via the Cloud by using sensor based mobile devices – kind of like waving the phone as a magic wand to trigger sensors via the cloud which will trigger new services … If we swish our phone and all these new services are triggered off, then the vision of converged services is fulfilled. If we ‘swish’ and nothing happens, we have effectively failed to get convergence and interoperability

2) Secondly, If all media were to be converged, then I would have a ‘wikipedia’ button on my Sky Remote
I don’t need two government funded TV channels – I need a wikipedia button on my Sky remote ..

3) But against this is the privacy equation which I summarize in the Silence of the Chips

So, if we then work backwards, there are some key areas which impact this vision:

1) The Ecosystem and Open source

2) Connected devices + Sensors

3) Web + Web run time

4) Privacy

5) Capturing context

I then worked back to see which are the key trends in these areas that I see today.

This is the content of the talk and this post.

The Ecosystem and Open source

Shrinking value of twitter ecosystem ..
When twitter starts to assert itself in it’s ecosystem, the value of it’s ecosystem declines

facebook uses open source to scale
Facebook is using a whole range of open source technologies to scale.
LAMP stack + Memcached: memory object caching system: Hadoop develops open-source software for reliable, scalable, distributed computing : Cassandra: Distributed storage system for managing structured data: Hive: data warehouse infrastructure built on top of Hadoop : HipHop: which transforms PHP source code into a highly optimized C++.: Scribe: Facebook logs approximately 25 terrabytes of data a day. so Facebook developed Scribe to log data streamed in real time from a large number of servers: Thrift: Thrift provides a framework for scalable cross-language services development in C++, Java, Python, PHP, and Ruby.

open source givers and takers
There is a mismatch between Open source givers and takers
while 69 percent of the companies Accenture surveyed plan to increase their open source investment in the next year, only 29 percent plan to contribute back to the open source community.


On Aug 10, 2010, machines outnumbered humans as subscribers for both AT&T and Verizon human subscribers for ATT and VZW – Aug 10,2010

Trailer for arduino documentary gets 75,000 views in a day

HP CenSE, IBM Smarter cities and Pachube

The data explosion Mayer (Google) 5 exabytes of data online in 2002, which had risen to 281 exabytes in 2009.
That’s a growth rate of 56 times over seven years.
Partly, she said, this has been the result of people uploading more data.
The average person uploaded 15 times more data in 2009 than they did just three years ago.
Speed (real-time data);
Scale (“unprecedented processing power”);
Sensors (“new kinds of data”).

The European Parliament takes the view that Internet of Things will be intrinsically linked to the trust
“(The European Parliament) takes the view that the development of new applications and the actual functioning and business potential of the Internet of Things will be intrinsically linked to the trust European consumers have in the system, and points out that trust exists when doubts about potential threats to privacy and health are clarified“

AT&T sees M2M as high value bits
AT&T said it was providing connectivity to everything from dog collars that broadcast a pet’s location to pill bottles that will remind you to take your. The irony here is that M2M connectivity in many ways represents the dumb pipe future that AT&T is so worried about but AT&T executives explained that the number of bits sent via the network are high-margin bits and the machine-to-machine clients have very low churn. Total wireless operating margin rose for the carrier to 44.5 percent.


“Privacy was once free. Publicity was once ridiculously expensive.
“Now the opposite is true: You have to pay in a mix of cash, time, social capital, etc. if you want privacy.”

Ping wants to make privacy an asset so does Diaspora; Facebook continues to go the other way By allowing your friends to check you in at a location ; Quit facebook day – only 34,000 users vowed to “quit Facebook” and remember, committing to quit and actually quitting aren’t the same thing.

Privacy violation vs privacy harm – Dr Ryan carlo

FTC – “We’ve put too much burden on the consumers to understand these policies,”

There are other ways in which data benefits society
There are other ways in which data benefits society.
benefits as: Shopping, Relationships(dating), Business deliveries(ex courier services), Maps, Education(schools), Politics(openlylocal), Society (social and spatial relationships through location data), War (wikileaks), Advertising, Linked data and the future.

Danah Boyd Privacy Is Not Dead
The way privacy is encoded into software doesn’t match the way we handle it in real life. The reason for this disconnect is that in a computational world, privacy is often implemented through access control. Yet privacy is not simply about controlling access. It’s about understanding a social context, having a sense of how our information is passed around by others, and sharing accordingly. As social media mature, we must rethink how we encode privacy into our systems.

Web run time, HTML5 and the evolution of the Web

The power of HTML5 Arcadefire

Hardware acceleration

Chromium labs – open source browser that Chrome is based on

Chrome web store

But imagine if Verizon offered Chrome OS netbooks at a subsidized price if you buy a data plan.

Cloud-to-Device Messaging — Through an API, (from froyo)

Google TV – developer ecosystem(also browser driven?)

Web TV The race for £117bn global TV advertising market


One of the best definitions of mobile context from my good friend C Enrique Ortiz

A Revised Taxonomy of Social Networking Data Bruce Schnier

Bruce Schnier’s taxonomy of social data Service data, Disclosed data, Entrusted data, Incidental data, Behavioral data and Derived data

So, thats how I see the vision and the trends today which point to that vision. Comments welcome

Image: Ray Kurzweil

CTIA – chairing mobile web and mobile apps + ipad and tablets events

I am chairing two events at CTIA this year – CTIA ipad and tablets and CTIA Mobile Web and apps event

Speakers for the CTIA ipad and tablets event include

Joe Lalley- VP Product Development – MTV Networks
Robert Z. Samuels – Director of Mobile Product – The New York Times
John Paris, Senior Director, Mobile Strategy – Time Inc.
Sam Abadir- CEO – appMobi
Tanya Hall – Business Development Manager – Greenleaf Book Group
Remco van den Elzen – CTO- Distimo
Dr. Phil Hendrix – Founder and Director – immr
william volk
Irv Henderson Yahoo Mobile and Local
and others

Speakers for the CTIA Mobile Web and apps event include
Jon von Tetzchner, Co-Founder – Opera Keynote
Jon Beber, M-Commerce Data Strategy and Innovation – AT&T Mobility
Bryan Perez, Sr. Vice President and General Manager – NBA Digital
George Linardos, Vice President Products and Media – Nokia
Matt Womer – Ubiquitous Web Activity Lead – W3C
Gary Schwartz, Founder – Impact Mobile – Chair MEF North America
Cindy Tai, V.P. Marketing and Products – OpenMarket
Juan Lopez- Valcarcel – Director Digital Product and Consumner Technology – Pearson
Eric Harber, President – Hipcricket
Benoit Shillings, CTO – Myriad Group AG
Chetan Sharma, President – Chetan Sharma Consulting
Siva V. Kumar, Co-founder and CEO- TheFind
Pankaj Mittal, CTO and Sr. VP of Engineering – Impetus Technologies
Ray Sharma, President, XMG Studios
Michael Grubbs, V.P. Products – Ecrio, Inc.
Ram C. Kumar Sr. Technology Adviser – HCL Americas
Ajit Jaokar, President – futuretext
Greg Goldman, CCO – Philo

Both are getting a lot of traction, and if you are attending, I look forward to meeting you there!

Please contact me at ajit.jaokar at futuretext.com

My top 20 mobile trends for the next decade for Africa ..

Our friend @Rudy De Waele asked me to give 5 mobile trends for Africa over the next decade for his talk at Mobile Web Africas. I have long supported mobile web in Africa(long before this blog became famous) see The mobile Internet will do more for Africa than live 8! and also the Mobile Web Africas conference created by @Matthew Dawes. So, I want to be particularly radical.

Here are my top five trends for Africa over the next decade – you can add some more below or send them to Rudy

1) Mobile commerce creates efficient economies

2) The Mobile phone enables knowledge so repressive regimes are changed to democracy

3) wildlife is protected more(less poaching due to sensors)

4) Companies emerge FROM Africa to EXPORT mobile expertise to the west!

5) An augmented reality application is developed that maps Genes to regions. Thus, visitors to Africa are able to see where their ancestors lived by a probability of gene pool as they travel. This is based on the Out of Africa theory on study of mitochondrial DNA

Nice to be included .. Top 20 mobilists to follow on twitter

Nice to be included .. Top 20 mobilists to follow on twitter

Are the luddite studies on the dangers of social networking stating the obvious? – Collecting social network support links ..

I am sick and tired of all the so called scientists and luddites talking of the horrors of social networking.

A new movement seems to be gathering pace with Nicholas Carr and the shallows, to baroness Susan Greenfield and others all warning us of the perils of social networking

The Luddites of the old destroyed mechanical mills because they felt they were threatened. The Luddites of today attack electronic communication. The principle remains the same. A belief that the status quo is somehow ‘better’. And thank goodness that the Luddites of the old did not succeed else we would still be weaving cloth by hand!

In a talk at the EU parliament, I once said that we risk creating regulations on behalf of younger people who are going to have to live with them long after we are gone.

Leaving them the legacy of Global warming is bad enough!

Many of the concerns are being amplified by media but that may be very one sided

Take calls to shut down Google street view, Who has not benefited from Google street view? Millions of people happily use it(for free!) or the very sad story of the what the media labels as the Facebook killer. My question is: If two people meet by letters, and a crime is committed, would we call it the ‘Royal mail killer‘?

Blaming the medium is never the solution

Meanwhile, the Mayo clinic says that Social network support is a way to reduce stress .. and Stanford University Law School Dr Ryan carlo distinguishes between Privacy violation vs privacy harm

In my view, the OPPOSITE is true .. i.e. blindly publishing something under some form of ‘authority’ is malicious to humanity.

Take the case of the infamous Malleus Maleficarum

The Malleus Maleficarum (Latin for “The Hammer of Witches”, or “Der Hexenhammer” in German) is a infamous treatise on witches, written in 1486 by Heinrich Kramer, an Inquisitor of the Church, and was first published in Germany in 1487. The main purpose of the Malleus was to attempt to systematically refute arguments claiming that witchcraft does not exist, discredit those who expressed skepticism about its reality, to claim that witches were more often women than men, and to educate magistrates on the procedures that could find them out and convict them.

The Malleus Maleficarum was able to spread throughout Europe so rapidly in the late fifteenth and the beginning of the sixteenth century due to the innovation of the printing press in the middle of the fifteenth century by Johannes Gutenberg. Popular accounts suggest that the extensive publishing of the Malleus Maleficarum in 1487 launched centuries of witch-hunts in Europe.

Estimations of deaths have varied widely but they range into the thousands and often these were poor, defenseless women

The point is, you could not publish this kind of a book NOW because everyone would challenge it and it’s intellectual shortcoming and frankly, stupidity, would be apparent.

So, far from rewiring us or making us stupid as the experts claim, social networking is actually making us wiser and more critical by merely exposing us to different points of view.

Like the famous open source dictum goes Linus’s law : Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow

Finally, let us address the question directly:

Does social networking change your brain? Yes ofcourse.

In order to drive a traditional black cab in London drivers have to gain “the knowledge” – an intimate acquaintance with the myriad of streets in a six-mile radius of Charing Cross. Taxi drivers given brain scans by scientists had a larger hippocampus compared with other people. This is a part of the brain associated with navigation in birds and animals. The scientists also found part of the hippocampus grew larger as the taxi drivers spent more time in the job.

So, using parts of your brain in a certain way changes it.

Is that harmful?

Not necessarily

Nicholas Carr and Susan Greenfield are merely stating the obvious.

You don’t need to go through all that effort.

Ask your local London black cab driver and trust me, they have a view on everything!

It is part of natural evolution as Dawrin or Dawkins would tell you .. But lets not go there .. It’s open season on men and women of reason this week!

To conclude: We need to educate and increase the awareness of reason and critical thinking. Blocking the flow of new ideas is not a solution

I want to collect stories about the positive/support benefits of social networking. Not your personal stories but more links.

I may use it in a forthcoming book. For instance, my favourite is the case of the 90 year old blogger!

Please comment or email me at ajit.jaokar at futuretext.com

Image: Leader of the Luddites presumably on the way to burn down some mechanical looms (wikipedia)

A change in my twitter usage strategy ..

I have been using twitter for a while but as of yesterday I decided to test a change in my approach.

I read RSS extensively i.e. I read so many feeds/blogs etc and they are from a range of topics since I am involved deeply in a few areas like: Mobility, Future Internet, Open(Systems thinking), Policy, Social networking and Internet of Things. And there is other areas like comics, archaeology, quantum mechanics, music, human rights etc etc.

So, I follow a lot of feeds.

Instead of just ‘starring’ the post in Google reader, I am going to also Tweet it with a comment where I can. Hopefully, this will be useful for you if you are following me and are interested in these areas

My blogs have always been much longer and detailed and since the upgrade to wordpress over the summer, we have been enhancing the blog a lot as well. So, this is complimentary. I will also try and comment more and twitter is good for that as well

Please follow me on Twitter at @AjitJaokar

The core conference

The core conference in San Francisco on Sep 23-25 brings together community leaders and technology developers to exchange pioneering practices, tools and strategies. The objective is to conceive the future of communities in context of both economics and culture.

The concept can be best explained by the conference’s overview

The economic impact and well being of individuals is greatly influenced by the qualities of communities we are connected with. (Note – I love this sentence!)

Communities are as unique as the individuals and contexts that create them. And at the core of each, lies a basic set of ingredients that hold their intent, structure, and resiliency. Through the unique confluence of individuals and organizations brought together, theCOREconference will provide the setting to explore and exchange ideas, practices and strategies inherent in those basic ingredients and the leadership required to maintain them.

theCOREconference will help expose the inherent pillars that hold communities structures together and provide us with new leaderships insights into the human behavior practices (coherence building, dynamic governance, collaboration methodologies); technological tools (online community platforms, crowdsourcing software, collaborative wikis); platforms (offline, online, physical space, currency systems) and the purposes (collective intent studies, movement building strategies, business models) that underlie all types of communities and organizations.

To stimulate the mind, theCOREconference will provide a spectrum of ideas around community building and collaborative leadership, from the theoretical to the practical, covering such diverse topics as: Patterns in ecological biology, The sacred in community life, Instilling trust in virtual communities, Collective intelligence, Crowd sourcing, Creative innovation, Online movement building, Multi-stakeholder collaboration, Coherence building, Dynamic governance

Why am I interested in this conference? The philosophy of Systems thinking and complex systems underlies my research and blogs (especially OpenGardens)

Systems Thinking has been defined as an approach to problem solving, by viewing “problems” as parts of an overall system, rather than reacting to a specific part, outcomes or events. Systems thinking relates to the study of phenomenon such as unintended consequences, events that are separated by distance and time and small catalytic events can cause large changes in complex systems. A complex system is a system composed of interconnected parts that as a whole exhibit one or more properties not obvious from the properties of the individual parts

And the fascinating thing is: these interactions ultimately lead to Emergence i.e. the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions.

That’s why OpenGardens is more than a telecoms play for me but rather an underlying, pervasive philosophy. For the same reasons, I think the core conference should be interesting because it brings together diverse groups spanning human behaviour practices, technological tools, platforms and collaboration models. Who knows what can ‘emerge’ from such complex and diverse interconnections?

forumoxford future technologies conference – Oct 15 2010

forumoxford future technologies conference 2010.jpg

For the past four years, I have co-chaired the forumoxford future technology conference at Oxford University alongwith Tomi Ahonen. This year, this year’s ForumOxford: Future Technologies Conference 2010 will be held at the University of Oxford on Friday 15 October 2010.

The conference is industry led i.e. not academia/students

ForumOxford: Mobile Apps and Technologies Conference is a one-day event on Friday 15 October 2010 in Oxford to explore emerging technologies with a Mobile/Web 2.0 focus.

Why you should attend:

· we have a great line-up of speakers (see list below)

· this is a relaxed and informal conference

· plenty of time for you to meet all the speakers and other participants

· the ForumOxford conferences consistently receive excellent feedback

· low attendance fee of £205 (before 30 Sept) inc 3-course lunch, refreshments and free post-conference drinks

· held in the beautiful city of Oxford (only 1 hour from London)

· three top quality training courses available prior to the conference

· no sales pitches – this is a conference for presentation and discussion

Conference Speakers 2010:

· James Elles, Euro MP Presentation: tbc

· David Marutiak, User Community Ambassador, Vodafone Internet Services Presentation: Communities

· Chetan Sharma, Founder and President, Chetan Sharma Consulting Presentation: tbc

· Jeanette Carlsson, Business Strategy and New Media Leader, Communications at IBM Global Business Services
Presentation: Social Media on the Web

· Jonny Bentwood, Head of Analyst Relations and Strategy, Edelman Presentation: The Influencer Tipping Point: How the collision of social media has enabled influencer relations to be a reality.

· Kevin McDonagh, Director at Novoda, Organiser of Droidcon, the UK’s Android conference Presentation: Get smart, Android’s not just about phones

· Patricia Timoner, Strategy Consultant, Mobile Digital and Interactive Marketing Presentation: Emerging world mobile

· Dan Virtopeanu, General Manager, Voxline Communication Presentation: How to develop creative and effective SMS-based mobile games

· Volker Hirsch, Co-Founder and Director at Blue Beck Limited Presentation: tbc

· Kris Rockwell, President/CEO, Hybrid Learning Systems, USA Presentation: m-learning

· Vic Keegan previously at the Guardian writing about business, economics and technology and now a freelance writer, app developer and adviser on mobile strategies Presentation: The Poetry of Location

· Sean Mitchell, CEO, Movidius Presentation: Taking mobile entertainment to the next dimension!

· Xi Sizhe, Masters Degree Student at Vrije Universiteit Brussels and an Entrepreneur from China Presentation: Sensors, the ‘Internet of Things’ and opportunities for the manufacturing industry in China

The conference will be chaired by:

· Ajit Jaokar, futuretext

· Tomi Ahonen, Independent 3G Strategy Consultant and Author

Link is –
forumoxford future technology conference

Contact me at ajit.jaokar at futuretext.com if you want to speak/sponsor at this exclusive conferece or contact peter.holland at conted.ox.ac.uk at Oxford University