webinos – sensor based scenarios – managed service scenarios for sensor networks ..

Firstly, some goals of the webinos project adapted from the webinos introduction

The purpose of the Webinos project is to define and deliver an Open Source platform, which will enable web applications and services to be used and shared consistently and securely over a broad spectrum of connected devices.

In practice, this is more than the APIs on individual devices. So, within a web based scenario, the service should be able to potentially

-  Run across devices and domains

-  Share preferences, status and synchronized information across multiple devices

-  This applies to device features as well – ex to use smart phones as input devices

-  Allow consistent access to developers

-  Manage user authentication, cross device events, metrics and application distribution across devices

The tagline of the webinos project is “Secure Web Operating System Application Delivery Environment”, indicating that security (and also privacy)  is a significant part of the project.

Some of the functionality already exists in proprietary implementations – for example Sky go – which allows Sky subscribers to watch Sky TV on their designated iPhone and iPad devices. Webinos aims to do this and LOT more for the web across platforms by creating truly distributed applications.

In practice, this means for web based applications, webinos will allow for the following:

  • Applications which make optimal use of the resources on the featured devices of TV, Automotive, Tablet, PC and Mobile
  • Applications which interoperate over diverse device types
  • Applications which can make use of services on other devices owned by the same person
  • Applications which can make use of services on devices owned by other people
  • Discovery mechanisms to find services, devices and people, on multiple interconnect technologies – even when they are not connected to the internet
  • Efficient communication mechanisms, that can pass messages over different physical bearers, can navigate firewalls, and make sensible use of scarce network resources
  • Promiscuous communication mechanisms, that will find the best physical connection to pass messages over (not just IP)
  • Strongly authenticated, communication mechanisms that work bi directionally – we know we really are talking to the remote service, device we thought we were – tackling head on the spoofing and phishing weaknesses of the web
  • And finally, implementing distributed, user centric policy:
    • allowing the user to define what applications work on what devices,
    • to define what information is exposed to other services
    • and ensuring these capabilities are interoperable and transferable – ensuring a user stays in control of their devices and their applications

To implement functionality, webinos architecture introduces three components: the webinos web runtime, the webinos personal zone hub(PZH) and the webinos personal zone proxy(PZP)

A webinos web runtime, is a special type of browser which is capable rendering the latest Javascript, HTML4/5 and CSS specifications. It is responsible for rendering the UI elements of the webinos application. A webinos WRT must be able to access the webinos root object from Javascript. Via this root object the third party developer will be able to access the webinos functionality. A webinos WRT differs from a normal browser or web runtime in that all extended Javascript functions as well as some normal browser behaviours (such as XHR) must be mediated by the webinos policy enforcement layer. The webinos web runtime is tightly coupled to the PZP and presents environmental properties and critical events to the PZP.



In webinos, the Personal Zone is a conceptual construct, that is implemented on a distributed basis from a single Personal Zone Hub (PZH) and multiple Personal Zone Proxy (PZP)s

The webinos personal zone hub PZH provides a a fixed entity to which all requests and messages can be sent to and routed on – a personal postbox as it were. The PZH is also the authoritative master copy of a number of critical data elements that are to synced between Personal Zone Proxy (PZP)s and Personal Zone Hub (PZH) – for example certificates.

The PZH enables functionality like the creation of a User authentication service,  secure session creation for transport of messages and synchronisation between the PZP and PZH. The PZH also stores the policy files.

The webinos personal zone proxy PZP  acts in place of the Personal Zone hub, when there is no internet access to the central server. The PZP fulfils most, if not all of the above functions described above, when there is no PZH access. In addition to the PZH proxy function, the PZP is responsible for all discovery using local hardware based bearers (bluetooth, zigbee , NFC etc). Unlike the PZH, the PZH does not issue certificates and identities.

For optimisation reasons PZPs are capable of talking directly PZP-PZP, without routing messages through the PZH

Thus, a webinos application has the folowing characteristics:

-  A webinos application runs “on device” (where that device could also be internet addressable i.e. a server).

-  A webinos application is packaged, as per packaging specifications, and executes within the WRT.

-  A webinos application has its access to security sensitive capabilities, mediated by the active policy.

-  A webinos application can expose some or all of its capability as a webinos service

-  An application developer is granted access to webinos capabilities via the webinos root JavaScript object.

An application developer programs and packages the application according to the webinos specification. They use the API to gain access to functionality. While much of the distributed capabilities of webinos are transparent to the developer, the developer is able to access functionality like discovery and service binding.

So, how will this all work for sensor based devices(zero screen) especially in a smart cities ecosystem?

This is the problem I am trying to address:

Consider some use cases: In all cases, we are essentially considering a group of managed devices under some secure, distributed, private and managed data scenario (for example – the data is owned by the customer)

a)  Consider a standard bluetooth heart rate monitor which could be worn by a customer. In this case, the data is stored on the mobile device and accessed by the customer. However, a variant of this use case is – the data could be transmitted to the physician. This is no different than wearing the more expensive heart rate monitors which doctors normally prescribe – except that the data in this case could be transmitted to the doctor in close to real time. In this case, the PZP would be on the mobile device and the PZH would be on the server or with the doctor. In this case, we could even conceive of a ‘managed third party service’ which is specialised in handling data from multiple customers on their behalf and which the doctor can access. Such a managed service would need the security framework which webinos provides but would be far cheaper than existing medical alternatives since it is based on inexpensive devices which can be hooked together


 b)  A second scenario could be based on an open energy monitor based device such as emonbase. It is based on the idea that customers own their own data and consequently could use that data to either negotiate or switch energy providers. Once again, you could have many devices within the home each running a PZP connected to a PZH which runs on a PC or a home gateway. The above principles apply for distributed and secure data management and also for a secure, third party managed service independent of the specific energy provider (in which case, the PZH is managed by the third party).
These are exploratory ideas and I am still thinking about them – hence they will evolve. Comments and feedback welcome


Looking for sensor based device manufacturers/designer contacts for health monitoring devices, environmental monitoring , smart plugs, telematics, smart grid etc






As you know I have been working with webinos and more recently, I am involved in porting webinos to small/smart devices specifically in a smart cities context.

Webinos is a new open source/open standards initiative for delivering web based applications across multiple devices. The ambition is to have web applications that not only run across PC, Mobile, Tablet, Car and TV – but to have these applications seamlessly and securely communicating with each other.

Recently, in tandem with various Smartcities initiatives, we are looking to extend the 4 screen strategy of webinos to include what we call screen zero (sensors)

Screen Zero is the device without the screen. Machine to machine  (M2M) or the Internet of Things (IOT)

Within webinos we have a well-defined architecture that encompasses the identity, security, policy, discovery, remote invocation and communication mechanisms. We are VERY keen to try out our open source code on some funky new screen less devices.

So if you are a device manufacturer, or early stage designer, and have access to devices such as health monitoring devices, environmental monitoring devices, smart plugs, telematics devices etc. Indeed any device which is small, connected and can do/sense stuff – we  would love to talk to you to test out our code.  Any device on which we can successfully integrate our code will feature heavily in out upcoming marketing activities.

Webinos is an Open Source initiative backed by BMW, Samsung, Sony Ericssson, Telefonica, Telecom Italia, DoCoMo. Deutsche Telekom, Fraunhofer Institute, University of Oxford, and many other leading research, industrial partners  and SMEs – -including of course Futuretext

email me at ajit.jaokar at futuretext.com 



Technology predictions/trends 2012






Pdf download HERE 

I am an outsider to the Telecoms industry. Even today, the ethos of ‘OpenGardens’ and its implications are alien to many in the industry. However, the transformation of whole industries – and indeed whole economies – continues rapidly as the Web and the Mobile ecosystems converge. And this is the domain I have monitored over the last decade …

So, where will the combined ecosystem evolve in 2012?

Having worked with governments, global companies and start-ups to understand the changing value proposition over the years, here are some of my thoughts. I hope you find them useful for your work

Before that, some background to my analysis:

-       I do not conduct a ‘survey/collated results’ because I believe that the industry is aligned to the status quo. To see truly disruptive changes, you have to look at uncomfortable questions from an NPOV (neutral point of view) perspective which the industry often ignores

-       With the rise of the iPhone, prediction for a given year has become easier. The iPhone has simply taken existing technologies and integrated them very well at a device level to provide the customer with a great user experience. For example, consider Siri. Siri is powered by Nuance technology which has been around for a while but was not integrated well by any of the handset vendors (prior to Siri). So, by that logic, what will the latest version of the iPhone bring later in 2012? Cnet has a good set of features and probabilities of deployment. By this token, the winners are Biometrics, NFC and LTE and I broadly agree with this. This means, when Apple will deploy these features, the rest of the industry will take notice and deploy the same technology it as is happening with Siri- like features on Android

-       Hence, the real question is: Who else could orchestrate the ecosystem effectively like the iPhone managed to do by involving both developers and consumers? The two candidates I can think of are: Microsoft who has been getting some great reviews for their windows phones and Amazon with strategies like Kindle fire and  of course Google with Android.

-  My analysis is not purely ‘mobile’ related. It covers related areas ex tech policy

-  Finally, any prediction has to be considered within the focus (and limitations!) of the author. So, I am emphasising areas like Open systems, Mobile, Smart cities, tech policy and others which I am familiar with.

2011 trends which will play out in greater detail

Some trends which we saw in 2011 will continue to play out in 2012

  • The patent wars worsen
  • Hybrid apps with HTML5 will be the norm
  • We will see the rebirth of the music business with the spotify model
  • More ‘springs’ motivated by the Arab spring – all driven by social media
  • Privacy
  • Operator consolidation
  • NFC – more for interactions than for transactions because the secure element discussion is yet to be resolved at a mass market level. Transactions need credentials to be stored on the device in a ‘secure element’ which can be accessed by third parties. There are three ways to do this – the SIM card, secure memory or embedded within the chipset.  These three techniques do not have a common API for third party developers albeit some efforts are under way in that direction through the Sim alliance open API). Hence, NFC will be first used for interactions(tap on a product to get extra information etc – and over time, some of those interactions will be transactions)
  • Augmented reality is making some great strides as Hilel’s blog shows

So, here are my top predictions/trends for 2012:

1)       What if you called a bandwidth crunch and no one came? AKA have you ever seen a bandwidth crunch in Boise Idaho?

 2)       The decline, fall and potential rebirth of SMS in a world dominated by Smart phones

 3)       Will we see a compromise on SOPA?

 4)       Why Facebook will make an impact beyond advertising in 2012

 5)       Free.fr and the business model of unbundling the set top box: I have been tracking the rise of  free.fr for some time .. and it could be truly disruptive. Gigaom explains the context and says that the set-top box could be a stealth weapon. Unbundling – decoupling the set-top box could be a powerful concept.  It is also relatively easy for other providers/countries to also do the same i.e. decouple the set top box from the network and provide connectivity services by including Nano cells/femtocells etc

6)       The perfect storm driving the uptake of Smart cities : Relating to my work on the advisory board of the Word Smart Capital Initiative  - Amsterdam, in the recession, many local governments all over the world will adopt the idea of smart cities. Smart cities reflect ‘Internet of things’ in action. There are three drivers to Smart cities: the Smart home, the smart building and mobile devices. However, the biggest driver for Smart cities could well be Smart data and the enabling of people to ‘add intelligence’ to locations and objects –ex the tweeting cat door , the live blogging catAdruiono etc.  This is a perfect storm of many elements: Cheap sensors , open source hardware and software, Sensors in mobile devices, networked homes and most importantly, Open data. For instance, the European Commission has launched an open data strategy  and here in the UK, professor Nigel Shadbolt will lead an “Open Data Institute” with Tim Berners-Lee.  This is the perfect storm driving Smart cities. See my presentation at the Oxford University on Apps for Smart cities

7)       Tech policy issues impact mainstream computing because they effect both cloud computing and the Internet:  Cloud computing is everywhere – but the technology is not the only issue now for CIOS. SOPA, the Patriot act and other regulations are now taking center stage. Privacy, identity and cybersecurity dominated tech policy headlines coming.  The U.S. government’s National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace addressed key issues around creating an “identity ecosystem online.”, the eG8 showed that online innovation and freedom of expression still need strong defenders. We covered this in the policy bloggers network – Fostering trust in the Cloud in the face of law enforcement access to data and IGF – Nairobi : voices from the blogosphere and beyond

8)       Social media ‘inside’ like ‘Intel inside’ – TV finally becomes a ‘social’ platform: Social media is fast becoming ‘embedded’ i.e. ‘Social media inside’ (just like Intel inside ). The value of Social media is not in itself but rather as a component of other services. This will have the greatest impact on TV this year. Already, we can login via facebook or twitter, we can logon using spotify on virgin (i.e. listen to spotify on virgin media) etc. Social media recommendations via TV,  co-viewing apps (tablet apps used to watch with TV) etc all are becoming mainstream. A year ago. Western Europe suffered its first Q1 drop  in TV sales ever and now Smartphones, tablets are edging out television sets on buyers list-Accenture. So, this year, TV will finally become a social platform – despite some resistance from the traditional TV purists.

9)        Transhumanism: I have been interested in transhumanism like many in the technology industry specifically my latest book  - Meditation in the age of facebook and twitter – this trend of ‘augmenting human capability through technology’ is being picked up by more mainstream companies – IBM says mind reading is no longer a science


Here are some of the events I am speaking at in Jan and the near future: If you are there, happy to meet up:

-      Attending as an observer/invitee Driving the Digital single market – House of Lords – Westminster

-       Speaking at The Digital media forum Dubai – the first event of its kind in the middle east bringing together media, mobility and technology – Jan 25, 26

-       Keynote at “Exclusive Mobile VIP-Night” – Central Munich. An invite only event of leading innovators in the Munich area where I discuss some of the predictions for 2012. If you are interested in getting an invite, please email Frank Stepan at [email protected]

-    keynote at    Consciousness, media and technology conference in London co-organised by my good friend Dr Ornella Corazza

-    The transatlantic policy network event in Washington

-       Finally, as of this week, I have been invited to be on the Scientific Advisory Board member for the BIT Annual world conference at Dalian – China (known for its technology and IT industry research) and I am looking forward to attending and speaking at this event

Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2f/Old_Farmer%27s_Almanac_1793_cover.jpg.  The Old Farmer’s Almanac is the North America’s oldest publication – famous in the US for its (not necessarily accurate) long-range weather predictions.


As usual, comments and feedback welcome

Kind rgds

Ajit ajit.jaokar at futuretext.com 

Pdf download HERE 

Will we see a compromise on SOPA?








This is my first post in 2012 and hope you had a good break over the holidays.

I have been spending some time thinking and on holidays – and here is a viewpoint on  Stop Online Piracy Act

Of SOPA and Net neutrality

My personal views on SOPA are well known - Crippling the Internet through SOPA could kill off the next industrial revolution(s) . The anti SOPA sentiment is strong .. For instance:

-          EFF says that free speech is only strong as its weakest link

-          why the music industry cannot innovate and the result is SOPA

-          Godaddy had a change of heart on SOPA

However, having been involved in policy and regulatory discussions for a few years now, I am sceptical of the public rhetoric vs. the actual positions which many companies take

Take the well-known issue of Net neutrality.

For all the rhetoric, suddenly we saw a deal between Verizon and Google.

Most people view the Google – Verizon net neutrality deal with some suspicion.

The EFF also worries about the Trojan horse problem with this approach but Google puts a spin on it saying that it is a – joint proposal for the Open Internet.

The irony is: It’s quite different from the PUBLIC positioning of companies (both Google and Verizon)


So, now let’s look at SOPA. Last week, we find that  Vinton Cerf surprisingly says that Internet access is not a human right (contrasting Tim Berners Lee who says that Internet access is a fundamental human right) .

Today, SOPA is no longer a  USA only affair with Spain (Spain has its own version of SOPA which is also setting the Web on fire), France (3 strikes law) and the UK anti-piracy law

Further, the mass scale piracy problem is real (and most people on both sides of the argument would admit it).  Recently, the Spanish novelist Lucía Etxebarria quits writing in piracy protest

The award winning Spanish author says that more copies of her book have been downloaded illegally than sold, and claims politicians too scared to act.

She says that:  “People are making millions out of online piracy by setting up in places like Belize, which is where the money goes,” and that “our (Spanish) government doesn’t dare legislate.” Furthermore, she says that the laws in France and Germany offer greater protection to authors. Many downloaders commented that they could not afford to buy her books or “Literature is not a profit-making job, but a passion” – etc. However,  irrespective of these views, I believe that  no author one should be compelled to give away their work for free. This should be the prerogative of the author else it becomes a bit like the London riots where the rioters felt ‘entitled’ to other peoples’ property

The changing nature of the Content industry

The content industry is changing fundamentally in many ways and will do so even more in the near future.  Here are some examples:

-          The cover of Forbes says that – Spotify’s Daniel Elk is the most important man in music

-          for the first time in the music industry, digital sales surpass physical sales

-          Celebrities choose Amazon – is this the end of traditional publishing

-          Netflix says that its members streamed 2 billion hours of video in Q4

-          The X factorization of music


So, here is why I see that there will be a compromise:

-         The changing dynamics and new business models will be the norm. Once, there is a legal way to make money from content, the only issue will be mass scale copying (as opposed to individual copying)

-         In the ultimate analysis, the whole argument can be seen to be between content providers protecting their content vs. web companies trying to avoid compliance costs

-          Very few people such as Tim Berners Lee are truly commercially neutral and take a consumer centric view in this argument

-          The real reason why people don’t trust the content industry is due to their past behaviour ex RIAA suing 12 year old girls and those chickens have come home to roost. This may be a chance for the content industry to do a ‘version 2.0’  i.e. learn from past mistakes. But time will tell ..

Hence, I predict that despite concerns from individuals and the rhetoric, we may see a compromise ie walking the middle path: much like we saw for Net neutrality!

Image source: The middle path – Nick Margolies. (c) Nicko Margolies. Image used with permission and commercial terms of Nicko Margolies photography

Which developments could radically disrupt net neutrality arguments?









for a forthcoming blog post/article – I am exploring the question of which developments could radically disrupt net neutrality towards more openness?

On one hand, the regulatory arguments could chug along at a slow and bogged down by legal hurdles

On the other hand, customers and others could change the game.

I am looking for such game changers

1)  The Dutch net neurtality developments - Net neutrality goes Dutch

2) The forthcoming BEREC report Net neutrality gets European Parliament backing | ZDNet UKLawless Net Neutrality vs. the “Resolution of Disapproval” – Forbes

3) The push for broadband – EU commissioner wants telecoms firms to boost broadband access 

4)  A new converged regulator? (for media – consumer and telecoms)

5)  A new ‘alternate’ regulator - There needs to be an Alternative Communications Providers Association (ACPA or OTTA) to counterbalance the GSMA

6)  FCC? – not radically disruptive but still to watch ..

7)   SOPA/DMCA - Would ISPs Trade Net Neutrality for Safe Harbor? European Parliament adopts net neutrality resolution (Wired UK) ,

8 )  Consumer issues  Am I blocked or Not: Wisconsin version

9)   Web providers naming and shaming – ex content providers warning customers to avoid certain networks/ISPs


what else?

email me at ajit.jaokar at futuretext.com if needed

many thanks …

image source: http://people.oii.ox.ac.uk/dutton/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/neutral-bits.gif



Digital agenda survey


The objective of the blogger outreach has been to complement the Digital Agenda Assembly by spreading awareness of the Digital agenda through an bloggers and influencers  and soliciting feedback.

To achieve this, I asked open ended questions to active bloggers who are influential in the digital world, but have no clear knowledge of the EU’s Digital Agenda.  We produced for them a summary of the key pillars of the Digital Agenda, and asked what comes to mind?


In a short time span, we had about 15 detailed responses.I was pleasantly surprised with the depth of the responses as we can see below. The ages ranged from 27(youngest) to sixties.

The below is a synthesis of responses, organised around the DA themes, and our selection of “the top 5 questions” received.

Top five questions: (sources below in specific DA sections)

1)    Is there a formal process to include hackers into the conversation? That would add to overall cybersecurity.

2)    Any views on Bitcoin? (the open source, virtual P2P currency).

3)    Is there a proposal to introduce the equivalent of NSTIC (US national identity process)?

4)    Is cable not the last ‘walled garden’? Cable uses public property – is there no obligation to ‘open up’ the cable ecosystem?

5)    Rather than mandate towards a high speed Internet, shouldn’t each country in the EU be mandated to boost to acceptable coverage Internet coverage in their ‘rural areas’? Each country has thousands of mini areas where internet connectivity is pathetic at best

Digital Single Market

-       Ignoring digital – for one Europe, why is Postage much more expensive across borders?! Is that on the agenda?  Jonathan Marks

-       DRM initiatives are often designed to benefit the publishers. How do we ensure that the interests of the artists are protected? (and these may be different from the publishers) Dr Nick Allott

-       Is cable not the last ‘walled garden’? Cable uses public property – is there no obligation to ‘open up’ the cable ecosystem? (Ajit Jaokar – OpenGardens)
Interoperability and Standards

-       Standards are too slow – why not embrace open source as a faster way to encourage “collaboration”?  Dr Nick Allott

Trust and Security

-       Is there a formal process to include hackers into the conversation? That would add to overall cybersecurity. Muriel Devillers

-       Any views on Bitcoin? (the open source, virtual P2P currency) Muriel Devillers

-       Is there a proposal to introduce the equivalent of NSTIC (US national Identity process) (Ajit Jaokar - OpenGardens)

-       Germany has its national implementation of identiy and perhaps payment in the future based on data more or less securely on the national id-card. What about other countries? Would it be compatible?

Martin Sauter – wireless moves

-       Every country needs a cyber task force, if it hasn’t already got one. Jonathan Marks
Very Fast Internet

-       Rather than mandate towards a high speed Internet, shouldn’t each country in the EU be mandated to boost to acceptable coverage Internet coverage in their ‘rural areas’? Each country has thousands of mini areas where internet connectivity is pathetic at best .) Christine Maxwell Director, New business Development Morodo Ltd

Research and innovation

-       The process of managing FP funding is too long and cumbersome. What is being done to reduce the bureaucracy to not put off the real innovators!Dr Nick Allott

-       Is there an emphasis on e-health? Europe could establish competitive advantage here (US medical system is broken)  Werner Souza (India)
Enhancing e-skills

-       Develop playful e-skills to improve cross-border understanding. If the US can set up schemes that re-captcha to improve the scanning of books, why can’t we set up playful schemes to encourage the public to improve machine-translation? About 200 million CAPTCHAs are solved by humans around the world every day. Imagine what that could do for cross-border understanding. Europe has the broadest range of language knowledge on the planet. Jonathan Marks

ICT for Social Challenges

-       EU should champion Net Neutrality. I want the freedom to choose providers that do not filter based on the applications I am using. The Netherlands is to be the first European country to guarantee open and free access to the internet. Economic Affairs Minister Maxime Verhagen has embraced an opposition bill about ‘net neutrality’. In future, telecom operators will no longer be allowed to charge extra for internet services.Jonathan Marks

-       Access to Information is a human right. The attempts by some governments to set up “Three strikes and you’re out” policies are not only unenforceable, but in all cases where you isolate communities and individuals, they will rebel and become open to influence from extremists. Solitary confinement is the one of the worst forms of punishment. Doing this to a community is a recipe for disaster. Jonathan Marks

-       Improve Access to Europe’s Cultural Heritage There are EU organisations like Europeana which are trying to provide public access to heritage. They need help in understanding the business models and also much closer cooperation with public broadcast archives and production houses. Such organizations need to understand that putting a library on line doesn’t work, unless they provide context to their collections.  Jonathan Marks

Broadband penetration – the social dimension: The statistics hide the human element

This is the text of my talk at OxOnLine 2010 – Connecting Oxfordshire - How can Oxfordshire provide the best digital infrastructure for the future?.

Thanks to David Doughty Chief Executive at Oxfordshire Economic Partnership for inviting me and Prof Steven Cowley for hosting the event and ofcourse to MEP James Elles for recommending me to speak at this event


- Perspective of a practitioner i.e. someone who has direct experience of social media

- Also that of an analyst


• Broadband Internet access – is a high data rate Internet access—64 kbit/s up to 2.0 Mbit/s typically contrasted with dial-up access using a56k modem

• In 2002, Gartner Dataquest said that the impact of ubiquitous broadband in the U.S. could total as much as $500 billion worth of goods and services produced over a span of ten years. But it also said the estimate is based on what it calls “true” broadband, defined as 10 megabytes per-second data transmission speeds.

• In 2010, Broadband celebrates its tenth birthday in Britain.

• A recent study by Said business school ranked UK as 31st out of 66. The study found that the average global download speed was 4.75Mbps (megabits per second). It is estimated that countries will need an average download speed of 11.25Mbps to handle future apps

• Top 5 : South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Sweden , Switzerland

• Sweden has the highest quality broadband in Europe. Sweden is the most successful country in closing the broadband quality gap with residents outside the most populated cities enjoying better quality than those in the cities. Sweden which reached an average download speed of 12.8Mbps. It has also made the pledge that 90 per cent of its population will be able to get speeds of 100Mbps by 2020, with 40 per cent already having it by 2015

• The South Korean government recently promised universal speeds of up to 1Gbps (gigabit per second) by 2012.

• Brazil has a goal of 40 million broadband households by 2014.

A provocative question: Does Broadband REALLY make a difference? Networks are only potential applications. Does it make a difference to the GDP if rural Scotland can download videos?


1) The old – The 90 year old blogger – Phyllis Greene, who is in hospice care in Ohio, talks about why she decided to start a blog at the age of 90 and how technology has brought a new dimension to her life. Year ago 90 year old blogger.

‘heavens knows I have time on my hand’

‘Blogging has been a life saver’

Sunday, September 19, 2010: All of you wonderful readers have me me realize that. even though I was assuming that I was writing for my own amusement and pleasure, there are people all over the world who now will search out this simple little blog.

I’m about to take a nap– after all, those of us in the public eye :-) need to get our rest. But first, I want to post this on my Facebook page-

I hope I they think of me fondly when I am gone

link at BBC for video

2) The young – Arrowes
Arrowes – how my son uses technology and Google

Communities are not uniform. They are niche. There is a community for the mainstream(babycenter) but also for your specific situation – from catholic mothers online to single parent fun


3) Society, Human rights and liberty
- Saudi Arabia – bloggers now need a license

- News has become a social experience: Pew Internet research study shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans — more than 90 percent — use multiple platforms to get their daily news, that the days of loyalty to a specific news outlet or brand are gone and that news has “become a social experience.”

4) Facebook, Twitter – conversations and a mirror of society
- Facebook and Bebo abuse – if a crime was committed by post – would we call it the ‘Royal mail killer?’

- Quit facebook campaign – only 15,000 pledged(not left!). vs 500 million active accounts and 150,000 new members per day

- Zuckerberg (FB founder) richer than Rupert Murdoch(79)

5) Jobs
3D printing could revolutionize manufacturing and lead to local manufacturing: A 3-D printer, which has nothing to do with paper printers, creates an object by stacking one layer of material — typically plastic or metal — on top of another, much the same way a pastry chef makes baklava with sheets of phyllo dough.

Its all about conversations. And Emergence. ie spontaneous collaboration with no central structure.

That’s how humanity has always worked!

Speaking at the #140conf in Barcelona Feb 15 alongwith John Landau, Bill Gajda, JP Rangaswami and others

140 characters barcelona.JPG

Being an Avataar fan .. it’s great to be speaking at an event with John Landau

I am speaking at the #140conf conference organised by Jeff Pulver on Feb 15 in Barcelona(same time as mobile world congress). As the name suggests, it is about Twitter/Real time web etc. More interesting is the fascinating group of speakers from media, education and industry.

These include Jon Landau – Movie Producer (Titanic, Avatar), Bill Gajda – Chief Commercial Officer, GSMA, Jeffrey Hayzlett (@JeffreyHayzlett) – Chief Marketing Officer, Kodak,

Jeffrey Merrihue (@JeffreyMerrihue) – Chairman, MoFilm, Pilar (@englishteach8) – Teacher & bookworm, JP Rangaswami (@jobsworth) – Chief Scientist, BT, Mahesh Murthy (@maheshmurthy) – Founder, Pinstorm; Venture Capitalist

And others ..

I am speaking on the ‘Role of Twitter as the glue for the Internet of Things’

You can register HERE ..

A brief survey and my nomination to the World Economic Forum – Future of the Internet council

This year, I was nominated to the global agenda on the future of the Internet by the World Economic Forum

While it is nice to be considered amongst the foremost thinkers in this space as per the WEF, it is quickly apparent how little we all know about the potential future impact of the Internet, especially as more people in emerging markets are connected.

Here is an example:

I attended the first World Economic Forum meeting in Dubai last week and I met a lady from the World bank who was working with villagers in Kathmandu to create a system that provided villagers in Nepal with an accurate picture of water supply. On first impressions, this is a simple task. But not so in practise .. Weather information and patterns are known but that data is not easily available to those who need it most. Even if were, is not in a uniform format. So, first the data has to be liberated from various agencies (think work of bodies like the sunlight foundation ), next it has to be massaged and scrubbed (a classic ETL operation) and then the insights have to be deployed (through mobile technologies) to the people. Somewhere in the midst of this, sensors are involved to capture real time weather and water patterns on the ground to be fed back to the system.

As she summarised it: We have Google Earth – but I wish we had Google Water!

I agree ..

Long before the OpenGardens blog became well known, I had been an advocate of better information as a road to progress for developing countries(and especially for Africa) . Thus, in my view, the future of the Internet lies in this kind of cross domain application that enriches the lives of ordinary people. It also needs collaboration from many people across their respective areas of expertise globally.

Hence, this blog comprises of two sections: Firstly, a brief survey on the future of the Internet which I seek your feedback on; and then a personal view on the Future of the Internet from my various discussions at the World Economic Forum council in Dubai.

Although I was a part of the future of the Internet council, I was also working closely with the groups on Cloud computing, Mobility and Government. Hence, many thanks to Joanna Gordon (Cloud computing), Dr Paul Jacobs (chairperson of the Mobile group) and Bruno Lanvin (INSEAD)and Don Tapscott (Future of Government council) who invited me to their respective groups.

Areas of interest for me which I hope to contribute towards at WEF are:

a) m-health

b) smartgrids

c) secure cloud and Cloud computing in general

d) Privacy and data protection

e) mcommerce

f) Emerging markets

g) Impact of mobility

Any comments/feedback/synergies in this space welcome

If you are interested in a paper I wrote as an example of some of the ideas I am interested in, see Smart grids – a need for collaboration


Try to complete this survey spontaneously within 10 mins – you can always elaborate but try and say what’s the first thing that comes to your mind. Thanks for your insights for the survey. In a recession year, I hope these findings can help in refining the thought process.

1) If you are asked: What will be the future of the Internet. What keywords come to mind?

2) The Internet is a platform. It is generative i.e. its uses are unpredictable since intelligence is at the edge of the network. What threats do you perceive to role of the Internet as a platform?

3) The Internet is extending to be a ‘Network of networks’. In which circumstances do we see that the IP protocol may NOT be applicable as it stands? (One example is Critical Infrastructure protection)

4) Mobile will be one of the key drivers of the Internet. The Internet incorporates any device connected via the IP protocol. In that sense, all mobile devices are a part of the Internet. However, if the Internet is viewed as a set services (and that is often the user’s perspective anyway), then the mobile device could be the primary mode of access to the Internet for a majority of the people in the world. Their experience of the Internet will be very different(social, connectivity, creation, richness etc). Which examples of innovation do you see coming from emerging mobile markets?

5) Sensors could be an important part of the future of the Internet, which are the examples of sensors in the short to medium term?

Many thanks for this.

My personal views on the future of the Internet at the world economic forum


In a nutshell, we have 20th century institutions and we are facing 21st century problems.

Going forward, with global problems and threats, we need new forms of collaboration which will comprise (at least) of: State to State; Cross domain multi stake holder collaboration (informal networks) and Sub national(between cities). Risk is the new ‘normal’ and as the asymmetry of information decreases and citizens globally become more aware, new models of collaboration are needed and in many cases, these will be driven by the Internet.

Here are my views and notes from attending the Future of the Internet council and also from discussions in Future of Mobile and Future of Government councils

Note that these are my personal views and notes.

The broad question we are addressing in the Future of the Internet council is: The Internet grew from the ethos of Open collaboration. As the Internet becomes mature and pervasive, there is a tendency from Government to ‘lock down/close/block’ the freedom and the ethos of the Internet on which it has thrived so far in response to a perceived systemic risk/threat

My personal views are as follows (and are based on the notes and ideas that resonated with me in these three sessions).

The characteristics of the Internet on Governance

a) The overall vision of the Internet going forward is to create a universal platform that works for the whole world

b) Traditional systems are based on scarcity and control. The Internet is based on abundance and access. It needs collaboration, co-ordination and co-operation

c) Social systems are resilient. Technological systems are more fragile. There is a tendency to regulate the technology by treating the technological system like a social system, but that will not work.

d) The Internet is a platform. And whatever it touches, it also converts into a platform. Thus, the tendency of the Internet is to make Government into a platform. If the Government became a platform, it would be based on services that are not anticipated in advance.

e) The Government no longer becomes a ‘broadcast medium’ since it starts to incorporate the views and feedback from a citizens (closed feedback loop)

f) The Internet has a faster rate of change than Government. This causes conflicts in regulations i.e. the Internet is ahead of the regulatory curve.

g) The Internet is based on the ‘coalition of the capable’. This ethos will spread across other domains.

h) Internet governance has been built without governments. It has transcended Governments.

i) The Internet is a fundamental right(like access to water)

Impact of the Internet on Governance

a) Areas where there is consensus are easier to regulate. However, the number of stakeholders are increasing and are becoming global. This means, Governments have to realize that decisions will be complex and multi-stake holder. Multi-stake holder collaboration will be the default rather than the exception

b) For a diverse set of opinions, it may be necessary to get views from people within a specific Government. The Web makes capturing such views possible

c) The Internet is a universal global platform that works because government is one voice among many and not the final arbiter. Governance of the Internet needs working with a complex socially technical system. There is a tendency to regulate based on what we know and a feeling that the G20 could do it themselves.

d) Would we create a more polarized society or a less polarized society?

e) The younger generation (which has grown up with Internet, social networking and Mobile technologies) brings with it to the workforce a different set of values. This will create a generational conflict.

f) Internet allows us to create bite sized innovation rather than big bang innovation

g) Emerging markets like Brazil and India will lead to innovation in different areas going forward

h) If the Internet mirrors the social networking, we are likely to see 10% contributors; 40% commentators. This will be a positive change

i) Sensors and Mobile devices are the key future drivers of the Internet. Hence, applications like Mobile Health and Smart Grids will be important

j) Transparency will be the currency of the Internet and will be important going forward

k) We have yet to see the privacy impact of issues like putting the individual’s whole genome online

l) Internet collaboration has many positive case studies ex Kiva micro banking which hit 100 million dollars four years after its founding and ofcourse Wikipedia


a) Mobile will be one of the key drivers of the Internet

b) The Internet incorporates any device connected via the IP protocol. In that sense, all mobile devices are a part of the Internet

c) However, if the Internet is viewed as a set services (and that is often the user’s perspective), then the mobile device could be the primary mode of access to the Internet for a majority of the people in the world. Their experience of the Internet will be very different(social, connectivity, creation, richness etc)

d) IP is fundamentally disruptive. It is not possible to charge for ‘interconnect charges’ across countries since packets flow freely across geography.


My recommendations would be (for which WEF could act as a catalyst)

a) The rate of change of the Internet is greater than that of the legal framework. Hence, there needs to be a place/forum where legislators can collaborate and share information. It could be called a ‘Pre law’ forum or as I called it once ‘A back channel for the Internet’

b) The Internet needs a ‘rapid response button’ – we already have a similar idea in social networks like Bebo as of a few weeks ago(http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/nov/18/social-networking-sites-criticised). That idea could be extended

c) The Internet needs an early warning system

d) We need ‘patterns and anti patterns’ that work i.e. templates (for the lack of a better word) which can be used to share best practice globally

Any comments feedback welcome.

If you blog/tweet about the survey, please let me know

Please email me your responses to survey at ajit.jaokar at futuretext.com

Some pics below



From left to right:

Ross Anderson University of Cambridge

Paul Twomey President and Chief Executive Officer (ICANN)

David L. Sifry Technorati Inc.

Mitchell Baker Mozilla Corporation

Jonathan Hsu 24/7 Real Media

Bruce Schneier Chief Security Technology Officer BT

Drew.Bartkiewicz The Hartford

Jun Murai Keio University

Ajit jaokar (me) :)

Alan Marcus – Senior Director, Head of IT and Telecom Industries – World Economic Forum

Dorothy Attwood AT&T Inc.

Wu Jianping CERNET

Jonathan Zittrain Professor of Law Harvard Law School who is the chairperson of the group is not in the pic and there are others who were not at Dubai

(thanks to Paul Twomey for the pics)

Paper – Smart Grids and the need for collaboration.

As I have posted before, I am ultimately working on Privacy and Smart Grids .. which I will post as we go along. But here is a paper about is Smart Grids and the need for collaboration – first published in the World Economic Forum networks.

Comments welcome

Note this is still in draft form.


This brief paper was first published on World Economic Forum WELCOM network.

Drawing insights from the principles of Internet, it discusses the implications for the evolution of Smart Grids. Most people are ‘over exposed but under educated’ in relation to the Internet. Thus, everyone ‘knows’ the Internet since they use it, but few people realise the disruptive potential of the Internet. This paper explores the influence of the Internet to the Smart Grids ecosystem. It recommends that early engagement is the best strategy rather than waiting for the industry to be transformed totally. A collaborative model which engages with competitors, partners and customers is a practical approach going forward.

Note: I had some problems embedding this link. If you have problems accessing it, please let me know

PDF link – http://opengardensblog.futuretext.com/archives/Smart%20Grids%20%E2%80%93%20The%20need%20for%20collaboration.pdf