Book review – Programming your home by Mike Riley ..

 

As you know from reading the OpenGardens blog, I have been interested in Arduino

Recently, I chaired a successful event in Amsterdam called Apps for Smart cities – bringing the ideas of Open source hardware to a smart cities context.

So, when O Reilly offered to send me a review copy of Mike Riley ’s book – Programming your home – I was happy to accept it

The book is about ‘hacking the home’ i.e. home automation and Mike Riley is ‘excited about the broader possibilities for home automation and wants to instil the confidence to build upon these and your own ideas’

In this context, ‘Home automation’ is defined as a ‘product or service that brings an action or message to the home environment’

The book starts with first principles and then discusses incrementally complex examples from water level monitors to the relatively complex ‘android door lock’

The android examples are interesting since I expect that it’s a direction where apps will evolve – and was reflected in the Apps for smart cities manifesto . Android apps for home automation based on the sparkfun IOIO boards and android open accessory development kit –  and practical accessories like Xbee radios  are discussed in detail building up from simple initial ideas

I follow the idea of hacking the home (for that matter – hacking the city) with great interest especially through Arduino. The fundamentals of any arduino program are the same:

- #include statements import code libraries.

- The setup() routine is used to reference physical wiring connection points(arduiono pins)

- After variable assignment and setup the program enters an infinite loop waiting for an event

Any device (ex smoke alarm monitors) can be made ‘intelligent’ – but the significance lies in using simple, open technology.  An ‘event’ may be generated from any action in the home or city. Thus the idea of ‘the home is the computer’ – a play on the word John Gage’s famous phrase  – The network is the computer  - is a powerful concept.

Hence, my interest in the book because it leads to two ideas I have been speaking of recently:   The city is the computer (or more specifically – Smart cities should mirror the Internet – the city should be a platform) and the idea from Clay shirky that – ‘lower the barriers to a technology and the crowds pour in’.

Here in the UK, we see the Raspberry Pi – also contributing to the grassroots effort

My final thought on the significance of this book comes from a vintage interview by Steve jobs  and the Steve Jobs quote – “Man is a toolmaker, has the ability to make a tool to amplify the amount of inherent ability that he has…”

Hence I recommend this book i.e. the ability to be tool makers / hack the home/ make the home as a computer

Vintage Steve Jobs – very insightful .. and transhumanist – amplifying human ability

“Man is a toolmaker, has the ability to make a tool to amplify the amount of inherent ability that he has…what we are doing is building tools that amplify a human ability…the industrial revolution was an amplification of a human ability, sweat…What we are working towards now is the ability to amplify another human ability and we are just starting to get glimmerings of where it is going to go.”

‎”… founded on one princpiple … one person, one computer … one to one relationship …”

- Steve Jobs (1980)

Book review – connected services by Paul Golding

I have had the pleasure of reviewing Paul Golding’s books before

Like his previous books, his latest book Connected Services: A Guide to the Internet Technologies Shaping the Future of Mobile Services and Operators keeps up the excellent tradition!

These books are quintessential reference books and over the years, their scope has expanded as the industry itself matures.

Thus, in comparison to the previous books, Connected services takes a major leap forward

Over the years, the perspective and the audience of Paul’s books remains the same – i.e. the Telco professional who wants to understand the wider ecosystem – specifically the Web and the developer ecosystems that preceded the mobile ecosystem – and evolves with it.

Even relatively recent topics of discussion like Web 2.0, web v.s. apps seem ‘old’ as the industry moves fast with the merging of the Web and the Telco worlds.

Paul’s recent work with O2’s various platform initiatives gives him the background to comment on this merging of two worlds ..

This book provides both the foundations (ex sections like Beneath the hood of web 2.0 – CRUD MVC and REST) but also covers many emerging trends in great detail.

The sections I learnt from most were – Big data, Real time web, Augmeted web and modern device platforms

The last two chapters of the book are for the Telco guy .. Operator platform: Network as a service and Harnessing web 2.0 start-up methods for telcos

I read them with interest ..

Will the Telco listen to this advice or will they worry about the OTT players and lose the game entirely?

Time will tell ..

And finally, I enjoyed the great humour at the beginning of each chapter ..

Here is an example

Platform = case app

when “Game” then “Native”

when “Blog” then “Web”

when “Comms” then “Either”

when “Weird” then “Widget”

when “Everything” then “Text”

else “Web”

end

Like Paul’s previous books, I very much recommend this book.

Catching up with Paul’s work – because of his significant contribution to the mobile industry over the past two decades, Paul was awarded a special visa to work in the US and currently lives in Silicon Valley where he continues to “practise what he preaches” in terms of software and product innovation. He is currently working on mobile design and product strategies for a number of companies.

Link is Connected Services: A Guide to the Internet Technologies Shaping the Future of Mobile Services and Operators

A new business model for spotify based on a ‘replay button’

Like many people, I am a huge fan of Spotify.

Spotify has caused me to abandon iTunes completely.

There has been much speculation about the Spotify business model –  however, a model that would work best would work all THREE groups
-  Customers
-  Spotify and the
-  Artists
But it should primarily work for the customer(and the rest will follow ..)
I am ofcourse not referring to the ‘free’ model .. but here is an alternative
As a customer, Spotify works for me because - It provides me choice
Extensive choice ..
Like most people, my music taste had been confined to college ..
Spotify changes all that by providing amazing recommendation features like ‘radio based on an artist’
So, once we have choice(for a small fixed fee) we have the customers – ie the audience ..
Now .. for a second observation ..
Most people’s listening habits are skewd ..
In an age of endless choice .. (which is needed) .. actual listening preferences are very narrow ex my top artists on spotify is below ..
Now, if Spotify had a ‘replay’ button .. and if many replays had a small fee .. I believe people who like artists would not mind paying that fee ..
So, if I like a song – I just replay it – for a small fee ..
This pattern already mirrors my existing behaviour ..
This would work for all parties – the customer, the artist and spotify
yes?

response to Mark Ballard’s article – Proprietary lobby triumphs in first open standards showdown

I attended a cabinet office meeting just before going on holiday last week. Mark Ballard (who did not attend) posted about that meeting. My initial comments to Mark. More follows later.

Mark

There are a number of areas where your article over simplifies things

I will blog more on my blog later this week, but here are some initial comments

a)     As I understood it, this was a first of a series of meetings – and not a ‘result’ as you imply.

b)    There were many other attendees you did not include – ex from Cabinet office, Ministry of justice etc

c)     You mention ‘telecoms’ – and yes – that’s where I come from as well. It is overly simplistic to exclude telecoms from the argument of open standards. When we include Telecoms, we also see the value of IPR in standards. Many successful standards like GSM which have licensing that includes IPR – and have been proven to be successful. We will see the same discussions for HTML5 as well ie it is a web standard but with implications for the mobile web

d)    Many in telecoms see it as a slippery slope – ex the standards hub  - covers a wider discussion of standards. So, I see an artificial dichotomy in separating telecoms  and hence agree to the belief that competition and innovation will be enabled through a more telecoms-like standards approach – ex through FRAND.

e)     Excluding such companies and innovation will be detrimental to the interests of UK companies and startups ex a UK company like picochip depends on IPR to create innovation 

I look forward to continuing the discussion

Kind rgds

Ajit

Does Google really uphold web freedom any more? Mixed signals from Google on Internet freedom and privacy ..

Many people – including me – supported Google because their actions, although commercial,  enabled web freedom.

Today that is less clear as two headlines demonstrate.

On one hand – Google is accused of invading privacy by asking people to identify blurred house numbers from pictures .. but also Google says – Web freedom faces its biggest threats

 In an interview with the Guardian, Brin warned there were “very powerful forces that have lined up against the open internet on all sides and around the world”. “I am more worried than I have been in the past,” he said. “It’s scary.”
 The threat to the freedom of the internet comes, he claims, from a combination of governments increasingly trying to control access and communication by their citizens, the entertainment industry’s attempts to crack down on piracy, and the rise of “restrictive” walled gardens such as Facebook and Apple, which tightly control what software can be  released on their platforms.

 

While I believe that Web freedom faces it’s biggest threat – the challenge for Google is – many people do not believe that Google is the upholder of that freedom.  

Google is no longer cool and after including G+ results in Google search  - many people will go along with this – but will await the results of EU findings since this is definitely a misleading picture for search.

By this I mean -

a)  Most real people (non geeks) are on FB and twitter(not G+)

b) Google is the dominant provider for search

c) By including G+ and ignoring FB and Twitter in Google search, search results do not reflect real life

Hence, while Internet freedom is under threat – one would question if Google is the upholder of that freedom?

On one hand you could argue that Google is too big to care for such intellectual support .. but the road to antitrust is paved with many companies who made exactly that mistake!

Image source: rescuepost

 

 

I will be attending the first neurosky developer event in London

London Tech Hub UK Event – April 17th

I will be attending the first Neurosky developer event in London
from their press release below
Facebook group is NeuroskyBCI
Riding the Brain-Wave: How Developing with NeuroSky’s Brain-Computer Interface Changes the Way You Experience Your Brain  
When: Tuesday, April 17th, 6:00pm to 8:30pm

Where: Tech Hub, TechHub @ Campus
4-5 Bonhill Street
London  EC2A 4BX, UK

http://www.techhub.com/

Description: Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) Technology promises to revolutionize interactions with mobile devices by enhancing interactivity, increasing the mental benefits of game play, allowing machines to adapt to the players’ mental states, and using insight into the brain for personal evolution.

NeuroSky is the leader in mass market Brain-Computer Interface technology. Their ThinkGear technology has been an award winning and financial success in the toy industry and is being leveraged by top universities like Stanford, taking neuroscience out of the lab and into the hands of the public. Now, NeuroSky is turning its sites on the mobile market. The new MindWave Mobile headset uses Bluetooth to connect to iOS and Android mobile devices, as well as PC and MAC.

NeuroSky works with partners ranging from independent developers to fortune 500 companies. Brainwave technology introduces opportunities to revolutionize most existing industries and also create new markets.

Opportunities for applications include: Simulating telekinesis, bringing mental states into game play, mental tracking, stress relief, meditation, mental fitness, content stimulus and brain response, quantified self, awareness, cognitive load, telecommuting, efficiency, EEG algorithm development, mental gamification, etc.

Come learn more about this amazing technology and how it is changing the way we know our brains.

After attending the Gadget Show Live conference, NeuroSky is hosting a casual open development event in London to demonstrate the technology. Refreshments will be provided.

**To RSVP please email [email protected]**

About NeuroSky
NeuroSky, Inc. is the leader in Brain-Computer Interface technologies for consumer product application. Founded in 2004 and headquartered in San Jose, CA, NeuroSky works with industry partners, developers, and with academic and research institutions, to provide innovative products and solutions across a wide range of areas. NeuroSky currently distributes their brainwave reading devices to USA, EU, Japan, China and Korea.

Grounded in more than 60 years of use in the medical community, NeuroSky has taken proven EEG (electroencephalograph) technology, and evolved it for application to the mass market by making it more user-friendly and cost-effective. Technological innovations include significant advancements in electrical noise reduction, dry-sensor development (rather than requiring a wet conductive gel), substantial “cost engineering” (reducing the price), and enabling the wearer to use it outside of a lab (without the assistance of a doctor). www.neurosky.com

*NeuroSky’s BCI ThinkGear chip is most well known for its use in Mattel’s extremely successful Mindflex and the Star Wars Force Trainer by Uncle Milton. The Mindflex was recently awarded TIME Magazines “All Time Best Toys”, and the NEW Mindflex Dual won the “Best of 2012″ Popular Science Award.

Links: 
NeuroSky on The Gadget Show, winning a Guinness World Record: http://fwd.channel5.com/gadget-show/videos/challenge/surprise-special-part-4
Overview: http://vimeo.com/31409018

Agency Projects:
http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2011-04/28/flavourcollider
http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/02/04/wired.olympics.mind.control.lights/index.html

Mobile Apps: 
Myndplay: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQPAz4xBdVI
UpCake: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.personalneuro.upcake

Developer Resources

SDKs:
http://store.neurosky.com/products/developer-tools-3-iphone
http://store.neurosky.com/products/developer-tools-3-android
Developer Site: http://developer.neurosky.com/
Game Concepts: http://developer.neurosky.com/docs/doku.php?id=presentations

Research: 
Stanford Sleep Clinic: http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/health&id=7214820
P300 Brain & Body Workshop: http://vimeo.com/25115812
Assistive Technology: http://vimeo.com/25831726

IndieGogo Campaign: 
http://www.indiegogo.com/Trapped-In-My-Mind

New book – concepts of programming languages for kids – by Ajit Jaokar and Aditya Jaokar

We now have a vibrant facebook page for this book. Please join the community by LIKING our page http://www.facebook.com/ConceptsOfProgrammingLanguagesForKids

 

As a company, our goal has always been to make a difference.  The vision of OpenGardens is a case in point. More recently, I have been thinking of expanding our vision beyond technology for business and I have been working on this concept for some time.

This blog is based on a presentation for a new book written by me and my eight year old son Aditya. (Concepts of programming languages for kids - By Ajit Jaokar and Aditya Jaokar) – It will be a book but much more ie a new teaching technique for the concepts of programming languages  

It is based on a technique I used to teach him computer programming which I elaborated in a paper I wrote for  a leading education technology journal(see below).  I love the ethos of teaching computer programming in a completely different way.  I presented these ideas to education technologists in Europe and America and to other programmers who I respect.

We welcome your comments at ajit.jaokar at futuretext.com

A portion of all earnings will go to autism charities.

 

Image source: Nasa

I once knew a Nasa scientist who said very poignantly that ‘In a world of division between humanity, Space is one of the few things which unites us all .. ‘  - I think so does technology – especially when taught to young people

However, the way computer programming is taught could be changed and improved in the Internet age. I am reminded of this excellent quote from  Richard Feynman

“You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you’re finished, you’ll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird… So let’s look at the bird and see what its doing– that’s what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.”Richard Feynman

 

The ideas here are presented in a leading educational publication as a paper.

Educational Technology Magazine is the world’s leading periodical publication covering the entire field of educational technology, an area pioneered by the magazine’s editors in the early 1960s. Read by leaders in more than one hundred countries, the magazine has been at the forefront of every important new trend in the development of the field throughout the past five decades.  Its list of published authors is a virtual “who’s who” of the  leading personalities and authorities from all over the world active in educational technology research, development, and application

Here in England, they say that Programming is the new Latin (to be potentially taught to all students as Latin was once). There is some merit to this because programming teaches you how to think (as Latin also taught you a structured way of thinking)

But we risk making the same mistakes ..

We risk teaching children merely ‘how to program’ instead of teaching kids how to think.  And the two are not the same. To paraphrase Richard Feynman: we risk knowing the ‘name of the bird’ in many languages but risk understanding the bird itself ..

 

Concepts of programming languages is a set of techniques that teaches kids how to focus on the thought process behind programming languages  ..  i.e. to think ..

Broadly, there are two contrasting approaches for learning – Constructivism which implies inquiry based teaching vs. direct instruction where the teacher explicitly guides the student – the  Logo programming language used constructivist ideas.


Aditya Jaokar

The problem we ended up addressing : Re applying some of the original ideas of constructivism (from the 1960s) to a different problem – namely how to use constructivism to teach concepts of any programming language to kids(as opposed to teaching kids a specific language).

Programming languages are not new and in fact they predate computers because programming was used in devices such as Jacquard looms  (Jacquard looms used punch cards –which is a form of programming).

A programming language provides a mechanism for defining two things: Structured pieces of data and also the ability to perform operations on that data. Thus, a programming language is simply a way to communicate a set of instructions to a machine. In most cases, but not all cases, the ‘machine’ is a computer.

Why constructivism suits programming ..

A constructivist led approach is suited for learning concepts of programming for the following reasons:

-  Programming is by nature constructivist i.e.it is designed to be an enabler – and in doing so, programming is designed to be ‘invisible’ because programming is mechanism to solve real-life problems. However, in teaching programming, we divorce it from real life problems. An exploratory approach suits learning since it can often be used to relate to real life problems

-  A programmer needs to adopt the mind-set of an engineer i.e. the engineer starts with a set of tools and materials but every problem she solves is different. No two bridges are exactly the same. Thus, the ‘minimal guidance’ approach of constructivism are suited to programming because it encourages multiple ways of solving a problem

-  Finally, the Web and the Internet lend themselves to a constructivist mode of teaching since networks lend themselves to exploration

These ideas(constructivism) could be be re-applied in the Internet age by relating them to more conventional applications.  For instance, many conventional programming languages are used in the programming of the MARS Rover and it is easy to relate ideas of programming to concrete examples like the MARS Rover

Similarly, kids understand Javascript .. simply because its ‘under the hood’ for any web page and is so easy to learn

 

JavaScript is ‘real’ to an eight year old who is familiar with the Web (and many eight year olds are!).

Here are some techniques we followed … Note that the information is freely available, but we differ from previous approaches by focusing on teaching the concepts of programming languages 

1)  Teach more than one real world languages:  Why confine to only one language? We expanded our study to more than one language and in the end we decided to focus on four languages – JavaScript, C, Scratch from MIT and Raspberry Pi . Each language has different characteristics but they are all real languages used to solve real problems.

2) Combine abstractions with non-abstractions: An abstraction is a concept or an idea not associated with a specific instance. Most people struggle with programming and mathematics because both these disciplines involve abstractions. In practise, some abstractions which traditionally are taught later on are easier to understand upfront – for example Arrays. Kids understand Arrays because they are visual and are easier to relate to (for example an array can be a list). Thus, by teaching some elements like arrays earlier, programming becomes easier.

3) Teach in two stages and don’t get bogged down in syntax :  Programming is taught in a liner way. Traditionally, you start with the ‘hello world’ program. Then you learn specific statements like the IF statement, the FOR loop etc.  This approach has the disadvantage that kids get bogged down with syntax but soon get bored because they are not solving real problems. We teach a lot faster. We teach programming in two stages. In the first stage, we focus on the basic syntax for the instruction and in the second stage, we focus on the variants of the syntax. For example, to teach the idea of a LOOP in the first stage, we explain the loop concept and in the second stage, we explain different types of loops (FOR loop, WHILE loop, FOR .. IN loop etc). This means, we approach real problems a lot faster

 

So, this will be an ongoing effort over this year. We are already working with partners and friends as we expand the idea . We welcome comments and feedback at ajit.jaokar at futuretext.com

Digital Policy update – March 2012

Note:

I follow policy issues at the Policy bloggers network. If you follow Digital policy, would welcome comments. Please email me to sign up to the policy bloggers network

Introduction

Spring has sprung .. And a year ago – it was the Arab spring – the repercussions of which, are still being felt. The Internet is at the root of social transformations like the Arab spring. At the policy bloggers network, we track the impact of the Internet on digital policy – in many areas. The monthly newsletters also track trends – including ‘under the radar’ trends relevant to policy makers.
Here is our analysis for March ..

In this newsletter, we look at the Internet and the elements of the Internet(Internet governance, Privacy, Human rights, Social media, Security, IPR, Cloud, Standards and Transatlantic collaboration) followed by the areas impacted by the Internet for Digital technology policy(Smart energy, Healthcare, Telecoms and Mobile, Evolution of news, Evolution of media and Innovation)

Let’s start with this wonderful infographic from Intel which shows us what happens in an ‘Internet minute’ (and what will happen soon ..)

 

Here are some more details by segment ..

Internet governance and human rights

All over the world, governments continue to assert their rights over the Internet. Not just Iran and North Korea but Pakistan (Pakistan Internet Filtering Scare: Citizens await answers | Bytes for All, Pakistancontent.bytesforall.pk),  the UK (Internet activity ‘to be monitored’ under new laws) and China with a rumoured coup(China’s censors out in force as coup rumours spread • The Registerwww.theregister.co.uk ) .

Meanwhile, at a human level, we always ask why are there not more women in technology (Why aren’t there more women in technology? Here are a few clues | Technology | guardian.co.ukwww.guardian.co.uk)  and bloggers continue to be restrained(Human Rights and Free Expression Groups Demand Release of Vietnamese Bloggers | Electronic Frontier Foundationwww.eff.org)   and citizen journalists get rights to record activities of law enforcement in Boston( After a major First Amendment ruling, Boston police settle a cellphone recording lawsuit » Nieman Journalism Labwww.niemanlab.org)

Surprisingly, even the most astute politicians struggle with the impact of the Internet (Bloomberg Says Social Media Can Hurt Governing – NYTimes.comwww.nytimes.com). When it comes to social media, Mayor Bloomberg has a few concerns and speaks of the difficulties of leading a city into the future amid a political culture that is often focused on the short term. Mayor Bloomberg says – “Social media is going to make it even more difficult to make long-term investments” and that “We are basically having a referendum on every single thing that we do every day,”. Amongst all this, we must not forget that the Internet Accounts for 4.7% of the U.S. Economy [STUDY]mashable.com

Privacy

But we are constantly reminded of the dark side of the Internet and in March – it was the ‘Girls around me’ application (This Creepy App Isn’t Just Stalking Women Without Their Knowledge, It’s A Wake-Up Call About Facebook Privacy [Update] | Cult of Macwww.cultofmac.com).  Girls Around Me is a standard geolocation based maps app but it does what it says on the box – i.e. through a combination of facebook profiles, foursquare profiles etc – identifies ‘Girls around me’ – without their consent. There has been a predictable backlash against Girls around me application from the industry (Foursquare shuts off API access to creepy app, Girls Around Methenextweb.com)

Meanwhile, amid extra scrutiny from Congress around privacy issues, Apple this week has started rejecting apps that access UDIDs, or identification numbers that are unique to every iPhone and iPad.(Amid Privacy Concerns, Apple Has Started Rejecting Apps That Access UDIDs | TechCrunchtechcrunch.com) and a storm is brewing with employers demanding Facebook passwords (ACLU: Facebook password isn’t your boss’ business – CNN.comwww.cnn.com)

We continue to push privacy boundaries (Japan Court Tells Google to Disable Autocompletethenextweb.com)  and the privacy violations continue( RockYou to pay FTC $250K after breach of 32M passwords – SC Magazinewww.scmagazine.com) And EU Commissioner: US Should Catch Up with Europe on Data Privacy

Smart energy

There is BIG news in the Smart energy segment with the Green button initiative but first we have the 100 networked grid movers and shakers(The Networked Grid 100: The Movers and Shakers of the Smart Grid in 2012 :Greentech Mediawww.greentechmedia.com)

The Green button is the big news of the month (“Green Button” Open Data Just Created an App Market for 27M US Homeswww.readwriteweb.com).

The Green button is the project launched by former US CTO Aneesh Chopra to unleash energy data. The Obama Administration announced that nine major utilities and electricity suppliers have committed to using and extending the Green Button to enable some 15 million households to access data about their energy usage. Similar to the Blue Button for healthcare data, the White House asserts that providing energy consumers with secure access to information about energy usage will increase innovation in the sector and empower citizens with more information. The Green Button is like OAuth for energy data. It is a simple standard that the utilities can implement on one side and web/mobile developers can implement on the other side. And the result is a ton of information sharing about energy consumption and in all likelihood energy savings that result from more informed consumers.

The Green Button gets a lot of coverage(The Green Button Goes Commercial : Greentech Mediawww.greentechmedia.com) and (Apps for Energy looks to jumpstart open innovation around the Green Button | Gov 2.0: The Power of Platformsgov20.govfresh.com)

Social media

Social media is the driver to all the change .. and this month – Twitter turns six Happy Sixth Birthday, Twitter – Bo Kim – Voices – AllThingsDallthingsd.com.  However, the focus has already shifted to the new kid on the block – Pinterest (As Pinterest grows visitors 52% in one month, journalism profs find news uses for it | Poynter.www.poynter.org)  and there are questions if Is Pinterest the next Facebook? – Fortune Techtech.fortune.cnn.com and How much does Pinterest actually make? — Tech News and Analysisgigaom.com with speculation on its valuation (What kind of revenue numbers would justify Pinterest’s $200 million valuation?). Even the president is on Pinterest (The president now pinning on Pinterest – :: Future of Journalismwww.nextlevelofnews.com)

Also as social media platforms like Twitter mature we see the phenomenon of Twitter quitters (Twitter quitters: increasing numbers of celebrities leave the site – Telegraphwww.telegraph.co.uk) and High School Student Expelled For Tweeting Profanity; Principal Admits School Tracks All Tweets | Techdirtwww.techdirt.com

Finally, this month we also see DC’s Top Ten Influencers in Social Media | InTheCapitalinthecapital.com

Cloud

Like social media, the Cloud also continues to evolve and shape the Internet. The debates around Private cloud continue – (Private cloud-public cloud schism is a meaningless distraction | Cloud Computing – InfoWorldwww.infoworld.com) – As does thinking around the Civic cloud(Is the Civic Cloud the Next Big (er, Small) Thing? | Cloudline | Wired.comwww.wired.com). Major initiatives like the UK’s G-cloud are still being played out( Whitehall’s G-Cloud: Hype or hope? • Channel Registerwww.channelregister.co.uk) It appears that the G-Cloud is not quite what it seems. As per the register, for now, the G-Cloud is merely two things: “a way to approve and certify software, hardware and services from technology companies – from handsets and calling plans to hosted email and collaboration services, and something the government calls Cloudstore, which lists the services and the contact details of their suppliers.”

Meanwhile, the Chinese search firm Baidu has launched a cloud storage service in the country, bringing it into competition with local rival Alibaba, as well as Dropbox, Microsoft and others in the space, according to Techweb [Chinese]. (Baidu Launches Cloud Storage Service in Betathenextweb.com)

Finally, we see the Top 10 cloud computing leaders in 2012 – Top 10 cloud computing leaders in 2012searchcloudcomputing.techtarget.com

Security

In the security space:

1)      3 Approaches to Securing Identity in the Cloudwww.readwriteweb.com Today, there are a multitude of alternative architectures put forth by services opting to be your one source for identity, and ReadWriteWeb has chosen to spotlight three of them.

2)      Former cybersecurity czar: Every major U.S. company has been hacked by China | ITworldwww.itworld.com Former White House cybersecurity advisor Richard Clarke has made a career out of issuing security warnings.

3)      The Europol is announced: Europe to assemble crack cyber-intelligence nerve centre • The Registerwww.theregister.co.uk

 Standards

1)      2015 is the time when royalties will be charged for MPEG-LA - The time bomb called H.264 is set to explode in 2015. Are you watching?www.freesoftwaremagazine.com

2)      Silicon Valley leads the world in technology but it’s losing a debate over how that technology should be used. A new surge in patent lawsuits shows that Chicago, not Silicon Valley, is setting the rules for how patents should encourage innovation. - How Chicago Is Beating Silicon Valley At The Patent Game | paidContentpaidcontent.org

Healthcare

The Internet and Social media affect many domains – such as healthcare. In The problem with social media and healthwww.kevinmd.com  the author considers the view that “Social media is absolutely wonderful at spreading new ideas, new being the operative word. In order for social media to exist and function, it must engage users on a daily basis. And therein lies the problem with social media and health. But to understand this, we have to define health to users.”

In research as well there is speculation that citations of journal articles and the impact factor are widely used measures of scientific impact. Web 2.0 tools such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs and social bookmarking tools provide the possibility to construct article-level or journal-level metrics to gauge impact and influence. (CasesBlog – Medical and Health Blog: The Number of Tweets Predicts Future Citations of a Specific Journal Articlecasesblog.blogspot.com)

But there is also speculation that Healthcare may be different(Why Healthcare Is Different | The Health Care Blogthehealthcareblog.com) – A very insightful analysis that gives five reasons why healthcare may be different( The health care field will not adopt a Silicon Valley mentality, Regulations can’t force change, The insurance companies are not the locus of cost and treatment problems, Doctors don’t want to be care managers, Patients don’t want to be care managers). Meanwhile we continue to get reports that ‘healthcare could adopt social media faster’ – (Canadian Healthcare Slow on Social Media Adoption « Susan L. Greigsusanlgreig.wordpress.com)

Telecoms and Mobile

The world of Telecoms and Mobile continues to change, transform us and also be transformed. Here are some interesting areas:

Apple has reportedly offered its design for itsy bitsy SIM cards — known officially as nano-SIM — to other mobile device makers that are part of the ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) without asking them to pay for it. There’s probably more to it than a sudden spirit of generosity. Apple loves to control the entire experience of its products, and when it comes to the iPhone and now iPad, the biggest uncontrollable element is a customer’s wireless carrier. And having a say in the SIM card, in theory, pushes Apple closer to the long-term goal of controlling every aspect of its mobile devices. (Why does Apple care so much about SIM cards anyway? — Apple News, Tips and Reviewsgigaom.com )

In Japan - Japan Smartphone Shipments to Rise by 55%thenextweb.com But all platforms continue to grow - After 16 Months, Windows Phone Has 70k Apps. How Long Did it Take iOS and Android? | The inneractive Blogblog.inner-active.com.  And Best Buy Is Selling Nearly as Many iPhones as Apple Itself – John Paczkowski – News – AllThingsDallthingsd.com

Networks continue to evolve – with some conflict (LightSquared hits FCC right where it hurts • The Registerwww.theregister.co.uk)  And some speculation (56 London Overground Train Stations to get Free Wifithenextweb.com) and we continue to invest in innovation(Microsoft and Nokia Invest $24 Million in Finnish AppCampus Programthenextweb.com)

The on-going debate around ‘web vs. mobile’ continues with the Pew centre joining in (The Future of Apps and Web | Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Projectpewinternet.org)  and another bit of research from the Pew foundation investigates - What do teens do with their phones? | Pew Internet & American Life Projectwww.pewinternet.org

At a regulatory level - EU mobile biz barons agree to slash roaming charges • The Registerwww.theregister.co.uk.  Again with Mobile Operators - Mobile operators mourn death of embedded 4G • The Registerwww.theregister.co.uk. Contrary to expectations, about 90 per cent of tablets sold in the US towards the end of 2011 were Wi-Fi only. In addition, all major smartphone platforms now support tethering – the ability to share the phone’s mobile broadband connection – normally with up to five devices. Tethering effectively turns the handset into a Wi-Fi hotspot, using the 3G/4G connection as backhaul. The article in the Register argues that – “there’s something fundamentally wrong with operators charging for something I’m already paying for. If I’m on a mobile plan with a 1GB limit, I should be able to use that data allowance for whatever I want. “

Meanwhile, in the developing world, mobile phones continue to change lives - World News: How the developing world is using cellphone technology to change lives – thestar.comwww.thestar.com. An excellent article which lists the impact of FrontlineSMS, Ushahidi, Refugees United, NextDrop, MercyCorps, M-Pesa, Boom, iCow, CocoaLink, mFarm, NAFIS, Senevote2012, Samadhan, uReport, TulaSalud, Childcount+, Txtalert

Evolution of news

The evolution of news, a topic of recent EIF events, is also in the news itself

Google offers a new alternative for news monetization (A paywall alternative? Google launches revenue-generating surveys | Media news | Journalism.co.ukwww.journalism.co.uk) and Alan Rusbridger: What are you prepared to give back in return for journalism: money, time or data? – :: Future of Journalismwww.nextlevelofnews.com

NYT gains some success in the digital subscriptions battle and decides to restrict free content (

NYT: We Have 454,000 Digital Subs So Let’s Turn Down The Meter | paidContentpaidcontent.org)

Meanwhile, the Top 100 Apps in the iPad’s Newsstand Bring in $70,000 a Day Combined – Technology – The Atlantic Wirewww.theatlanticwire.com - contrast that with the fact that in 2011 the New York times raked in $705 million annually, or $1.9 million a day, in circulation, both in print and digitally, and $756 million in advertising, or $2.1 million a day.

News organizations face some of their own transparency battles (News Organizations That Lobby Against Their Own Reporters’ Interests : CJRwww.cjr.org)

Amid speculation of monetization of news (Mobile and the news media’s imploding business model | Michael Wolff | Comment is free | guardian.co.ukwww.guardian.co.uk), we also see innovation.

1)      Gannett Buys 1,000 iPhones For Journalists | ITProPortal.comwww.itproportal.com

2)      Layoffs At CNN As Network Transitions To Acquisition Model For Documentary Programming – TVNewserwww.mediabistro.com

3)      Will Hachette Be The First Big-6 Publisher To Drop DRM On E-Books? | paidContentpaidcontent.org

4)      10 More News Organizations To Follow On Pinterest – 10,000 Wordswww.mediabistro.com

 

Evolution of media

Post SOPA, media also continues to evolve

1)      White House calls for new law targeting ‘offshore’ Web sites | Privacy Inc. – CNET Newsnews.cnet.com

2)      White House’s New Report On Intellectual Property Enforcement Should Get A Copyright As A Creative Work Of Fiction | Techdirtwww.techdirt.com

3)      Google+ Gets its First UK TV Ad Campaignthenextweb.com

4)      Ireland’s Largest ISP Wants Country-Wide Three-Strikes Piracy Response | paidContentpaidcontent.org

5)      How social media users multitask while watching TVwww.lostremote.com

 

Innovation

And finally, in the innovation section here are some trends to watch:

1)      Twine, The Gadget That Senses Your Environment And Tweets You, Is Coming In May | Singularity Hubsingularityhub.com

2)      Knowledge is a property of the network: Mapping Britannica’s world in a Wikipedia age » Nieman Journalism Labwww.niemanlab.org “The problem, however, isn’t that we’ve grown complacent about the nature of knowledge, but that the nature of knowledge is changing in the context of networks. The vision of knowledge as paradigmatic, structured, ordered, like the hierarchy of the church and the deputations of sovereignty, was very much a product of encyclopedism’s golden age, the eighteenth century. “

3)      $35 Raspberry Pi Linux PC delayed once againwww.bgr.com

4)      Wikipedia’s Next Big Thing: Wikidata, A Machine-Readable, User-Editable Database Funded By Google, Paul Allen And Others | TechCrunchtechcrunch.com

5)      India and United States jointly develop Open Government Platform — Federal Computer Weekfcw.com

6)      That latest student craze sweeping China: Supercomputing wars • The Registerwww.theregister.co.uk

7)      Chinese gov wants global e-commerce crown • The Registerwww.theregister.co.uk

 

Hope you enjoyed this episode!