Mobile Web 2.0 for sensor networks: Interfacing Sensor Networks Twitter and WordPress

This is a cool/fun topic which I have been looking into recently

In a nutshell, this blog describes a way to interface twitter and wordpress using sensor networks using two products called Waspmote and meshlium from libelium htechnologies

The actual mechansim is a bit cryptic so I have tried to make this blog more complete by adding a bit more about the two products and how they interact in case of forest fire detection and that helps understand the twitter/facebook sensor application better.

Waspmote is a modular platform for wireless sensor network which connects to a number of sensor boards. Meshlium is a multiprotocol mesh router which combines Wifi, ZigBee, GPRS, Bluetooth and GPS technologies.

Together, the architecture can be used to form an ad hoc sensor network. For example: In the case of detecting forest fires using wireless sensor networks using waspmote . In this configuration, the sensors connected to Waspmote gather information in a ZigBee wireless network which connects by WiFi to the control panel. 90 Waspmotes were deployed in strategic locations; 4 parameters (Temperature, Relative humidity, Carbon monoxide (CO) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) were measured each at 5 minute intervals

A similar architecture works in the case of detecting a threshold value and sending a tweet/creating a wordpress blog Interfacing Sensor Networks with Twitter and WordPress . On real applications, each sensor usage has its own alert parameters, and several alerts can be launched over different sensors.

The ‘sniffer’ program reads frames received through a Bluetooth Serial Port or a XBee module and store it on a MySQL database. If a detected value if greater that alert_value, an alarm is processed and a post on twitter is made. Same logic works for a post on wordpress. The relevant section of code is as below and the entire tutorial is at Interfacing Sensor Networks with Twitter and WordPress

The relevant section of code is as below

Comments welcome

Sun Tzu, Android and water: Android is winning because it can evolve in many directions

Sun Tzu art of war.jpg

I was trying to explain this reasoning about why Android is winning although Apple seems to be getting a lot of mindshare ..

Android is winning simply because it can morph in many directions . This makes it a very powerful opponent to overcome since it is hard to fight against water ..

Sun Tzu compared military tactics to Water in the Art of War

Military tactics are like unto water; for water in its natural course runs away from high places and hastens downwards… Water shapes its course according to the nature of the ground over which it flows; the soldier works out his victory in relation to the foe whom he is facing. Therefore, just as water retains no constant shape, so in warfare there are no constant conditions. He who can modify his tactics in relation to his opponent and thereby succeed in winning, may be called a heaven-born captain.

This is not merely an idealistic viewpoint and needs some explanation since it has profound implications for Apple, Nokia, LiMo, Bada and others

Last quarter, US sales of Android phones beat the iPhone by about 7 percent. Mobilecrunch says that The real reason Android is outselling the iPhone: Android is everywhere. Gigaom adds that Android is the hottest ticket in town

I agree and the reasons are because Android is (relatively) open than other platforms and it is designed to morph(transform) along many dimensions

The competitive positioning of ‘Open’ is often hard to gauge but the company which succeeds in this strategy gets very significant rewards.

Here is why:

1) Open means allowing others to add value to your platform or service

2) You need to be open since products and services evolve faster than you can plan for

3) They also evolve in unpredictable directions than the platform creator anticipated.

4) Once you accept this, then you have to consider that if products and services are evolving fast and in unpredictable directions (whether you like it or not), then it is better to have YOUR product evolve in the right directions (faster than a competitors)

5) Problem is of course: You don’t know the direction, but by being like water(fluid) you leverage the community to morph your product

Android can evolve in three directions(from the efforts of others):

- Hardware(handset vendors)

- Software(open source) and

- Services(apps developers)

Of course, Google maintains control over Android through the Android governance model. Thus, there is a tradeoff. But most people seem to accept the benefits of Android (in comparison to the Governance model)

The tradeoff has tangible benefits because:

- Google contributes code to Android. This makes a big difference

- The level of abstraction / differentiation has shifted to higher levels anyway. In other words, very few people are expecting to make money from software alone.

- Android provides a community of developers to those who adopt it

Thus, the platform is able to morph through existing handset vendors(ex 20 Android phones from LG ), new entrants to the handset industry(Dell), Operators. The evolution continues beyond handsets to tablets and even android TVs

The devices range from top of the range phones to 20$ phones on Amazon

This has profound implications for other platforms because the greater the community, developer support and rate of evolution – the harder it is to compete against. In other words, it is now a race for Nokia, LiMo and others to compete against the rate of change of Android and that will be hard.

And what about Apple and the iPhone?

The iPhone will always have a place and a value but it cannot scale especially considering the recent harsher/closed strategies of Apple. As Anil Dash says: Secrecy does not scale

Thus, I see that Android is already winning through a very fluid, Sun Tzu like strategy.

Image: Sun Tzu

comments welcome

Update

Android Catching Steam As Google Activates 2 Phones Per Second

Good news: Operators like Machine to Machine applications. Bad news: Operators like Machine to Machine applications ..

I believe that M2M (Machine to Machine) applications are an important part of the future of Telecoms. I spoke to a Telco exec who said that Operators are excited about M2M apps.

This was interesting for me .. Until I asked him for the reason why ..

He said something along these lines:

Machines consume less data. They don’t call the helpdesk. They pay their bills on time. Machines are ‘one to many’ connections (one person may have more than one connection). The end customer devices are simple (like Smart meters). This is all more revenue to Operators and less pain to manage it

But this is sad .. And in my view, very limited thinking ..

Should new applications and innovation be tied to limited date usage? If that’s the only criteria (as it appears to be), it will stifle innovation

I said before that: Now that the Data tsunami wars are over, the Operators will face more regulatory and customer pressure to deliver and there is no fallback(to the bandwidth hogs).

After all, spectrum is a national resource and the entire discussion of new services like Machine to Machine applications should not come down to limited data usage.

Connections to Operator are good but they are only the beginning and not an end in itself.

Thoughts?

Beware the horse buggy carriage owners’ view on innovation: Why the FTC should approve the Google – Admob deal

ford edison firestone.jpg

Here is a question:

Supposing in the early 1900s (when Henry Ford and others created the automobile industry), you went to the horse buggy carriage owners and asked them their views on ‘innovation’

What would they say?

Better fodder for their horses(will make the horse run faster and would get their customers to their destination quicker); Better carriages; even more humane treatment for the horses ..

BUT .. what would they NOT say? More automobiles ..

Why not?

Because that innovation(automobiles) is outside their field of reference and indeed a very threat to their existence.

Fast forward a century later ..

The Googles and the Apples of the world are the real innovators.

Yet, the mindset of the horse buggy owners prevails ..

The telecoms industry is full of vendors and consultants who are geared towards maintaining the status quo at the expense of the customer and of innovation. When viewed in this perspective, as many analysts have pointed out – the Google – Admob deal is good for the industry since the presence of a strong second player(Apple) demonstrates the vibrancy of the industry.

Mobile advertising is a nascent industry and there are plenty of mobile networks to go around and as moconews says Despite Google and Apple throwing millions of dollars at the market, this year eMarketer estimates that mobile advertising revenues in the U.S. will not even come close to breaking $1 billion. For this market to finally take off, it needs leadership, and enough scale to spur confidence in the advertising and publishing industries.

There are many players like Millennial Media, Greystripe and Jumptap and even relatively smaller / non USA player like Opera have acquired an ad network

So, competition exists

I agree with Ryan Radia of Forbes

The case against Google is a prime example of this fallacy in action. We know consumers have benefited tremendously from Google’s innovations in search and other digital markets, yet these benefits come largely in the form of qualitatively superior products, rather than incremental price reductions. Antitrust proceedings simply cannot gauge the impact of these innovations on consumer welfare. Government intervention would harm the very consumer interests the FTC is supposed to protect.

And the most important thing is – let us not forget the spirit of the pioneers, the entrepreneurs, the capitalists and the disruptors like Henry Ford.

Let us accept innovation from outside the traditional domains and recognize that these players are the foundation of new industries and wealth.

Blocking the Google – Admob deal will be a victory for the horse buggy types ..at the expense of the consumer and innovation ..

Image: Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Harvey Firestone from the wikipedia entry for henry ford

Disclaimer: I have no commercial relationships with either Google or Admob. However, with a blog like OpenGardens, I am intellectually biased towards Open systems and benefits to the customer

The fallacy of the Better mousetrap: Privacy advocates want to have their cake and eat it too

The fallacy of the better moustrap.jpg

I saw a curiously mis-titled article from Julie Meyer called ‘Why the IT sector is vital for small firms’

The article is actually about privacy, digital footprint etc and it says:

If they (Google) don’t cut the individual into receiving a piece of the value of their personal information, as it is used in search and purchase transactions, someone will, and that new party will rise to dominance.

Recently, there have been many such discussions mainly targeting Google, Facebook and other players ..

I have a differing view on this .. Let me explain ..

Suppose you are walking down the street. A stranger takes a picture (not YOUR picture – but a picture of the surroundings). While you are not the focus of the picture, you are ‘in it’ because you were walking.

Now, she enters the picture in a competition. She wins a 1000$.

Great.

But, would you ask for your share?

Note that the picture is not about you, you just happen to be in it.

In the words of the privacy advocates, your ‘personal data’ in this case, image, has been used by someone else for (shock, horror!) commercial gain!

They proclaim: ‘Give us our share! You did not ask our permission. WE own the data. And YOU profit from it’!

This is of course silly .. But exactly the same case is being made here

There is also another aspect to this.

People WANT to contribute to the web because they want to be found. Maybe someone sees your picture in the photo and if you are attractive enough, makes you a modeling offer!

In other words, people who contribute content are discoverable and there are benefits to the person (often commercial) to being discovered.

But what if you DON’T want to be found?

Do what Rupert Murdoch does .. Password protect your content

If it works for Rupert, it will work for others?

But will it work for Rupert(let alone for you!) (PS: Note that According to his biographer Michael Wolff, Murdoch has not used the internet, let alone Google (he only recently discovered email)

I think not ..

Here is why ..

There is a saying from Ralph Waldo Emerson that: If you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door ..

But do you really believe that in the Internet world, others will beat a path to your door?

Much as I like the work of the Sage of Concord/Ralph Waldo Emerson , this wisdom does not apply to the Internet age ..

Many people who may try to assign a value to their personal information may subscribe to this fallacious view i.e. somehow that their content is valuable and that if only it were ‘gated’ we could monetize that value (directly or indirectly)

In my view, the options are password protect (which is a valid choice) OR treat it like a random photographer in a tourist destination. Hope that someone sees you in that picture and makes you a modeling offer :)

But you can’t have it both ways! i.e. publish your content/data and then ask for a share of profits!

Image source:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_Bf48JKOl5HQ/SbXeXn34CWI/AAAAAAAABM0/44xKm031gs4/s400/closeup.jpg

Is a 45% drop in the rate of Amazon deforestation related to the death of the newspaper industry?

Death of newspapers.JPG

The rate of deforestation in the Amazon has dropped by 45% and is the lowest on record since monitoring began 21 years ago, Brazil’s government says.

This is GREAT news.

Are we seeing the green effects of the death of the newspaper industry?

There have been recessions before – but not a 45% drop in rate of deforestation. The difference now is – newspapers are dying

I wonder if anyone is investigating the green effects of the death of the newspaper industry? i.e. it would be interesting to see if a 45% drop in the rate of Amazon deforestation is related to the death of the newspaper industry ..

But this is great news for the rest of us .. and for the Planet ..

Image source: The Economist

Eric Schmidt, Magic of Cloud computing and mobile – and my blog as the phone becomes a magic wand ..

I once had a blog called The phone becomes a magic wand to the cloud services: Mobile sensor based interface to the cloud to jump start the Internet of things .. .. Hence interesting to see a brief video from Eric Schmidt and coverage from Mike Arrington on the magic of Cloud computing and mobile .. which I totally agree .. The magic is just beginning!

The blog again ..

The phone becomes a magic wand to the cloud services: Mobile sensor based interface to the cloud to jump start the Internet of things ..

50 Disruptive trends I am tracking at the moment ..

These are the disruptive developments I am tracking(In no particular order!). These are mainly ‘cross stack’ and they range from companies (Skype) to specific products(Palm Pre) to specifics(Android based netbooks). They dont include general themes like ‘Open’ and the ‘Mobile Web’ which I have historically tracked through this blog and my books

Can you suggest more? Am I missing any?

1) Can device mnufacturers who have no previous history be at an advantage?(Ex Palm v.s. Nokia)

2) How many appstores will an operator support?

3) How will Operators try to influence appstores?(ex provide APIs to

specific appstores?, to specific APPs within the appstores etc?)

4) Will RCS have a role to play in LTE?(ex in managing a session that

spans cellular and femto?)

5) Verizon is mandating Ipv6 – what are the implications?

6) What does Intel’s acquisition of wind river mean?

7) What does Intel’s emphasis on 3D mean?

8) What is the implication for video for Cisco’s acquisition of pure

digital? http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/pda/2009/mar/20/digitalvideo-apple

9) Facebook user names and verified twitter accounts are defacto identity systems. Through facebook connect – it is already possible for iPhone apps to have a facebook identity. Will this trend be extended?

10) Qualcomm talks of Smartbook (sub-notebooks which are connected and have a high battery life). This is a new category. Will we see more of this?

11) What about Android netbooks?(ex from Acer)

12) What innovation can emerge from emerging markets and could be deployed globally?

http://www.fastcompany.com/fast50_09/lists/the-most-innovative-companies-in-india.html

http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/133/as-the-world-turns.html

13) Operators will find it difficult to charge for IP. But will they be able to charge for a different format(ex 3D) which will need some greater IP management?

14) Will we see an EU/Japan cloud?

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13846_3-10241081-62.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20

15) Will smaller operators behave differently in a recession? Will they want to differentiate and innovate more?

16) IBM’s 100million $ investment in mobile and what it means

17) The rise of Huawei

18) Opera Unite

19) Google Wave

20) Augmented reality browsers

21) Mobile payments http://news.cnet.com/8301-13577_3-10265243-36.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20

22) Verizon’s cloud computing ambitions

23) Microblog search http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-10264633-2.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20

24) Browser extensions http://news.cnet.com/8301-13505_3-10263598-16.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20

25) Will Flash be used as an ‘anti’ iPhone?

26) The impact of Intel Wind river acquisition

27) The impact of the Intel-Nokia partnership

28) Microsoft Hohm – Google power meter etc http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/hohm_microsofts_answer_to_googles_powermeter.php

29) Palm Pre

30) Microsoft Cloud strategy and Azure

31) The tendency towards ‘Green’ phones and will that be a growing trend

32) The death of the feature phone market and the emergence of the smart phone market especially in emerging economies

33) Will smaller Operators and a consortium of smaller Operators act different? Ie be more innovative?

34) How many Operators will leapfrog to LTE?

35) The tendency of CDMA Operators to adopt LTE

36) Appstores

37) Microsoft Bing

38) HTML5

39) Opensorce uptake within micosoft

40) Femtocells

41) Google Flipper

42) VOLGA

43) Twitter search and APIs

44) Intel ATOM

45) Google voice

46) Skype

47) OMTP BONDI

48) Privacy, Identity and Reputation(PhD interest)

The dark side of open: (lack of) Privacy

49) Nokia

50) Integrated design(beyond the UI – http://opengardensblog.futuretext.com/archives/2009/05/the_myth_of_mob.html)

51) (Future and impact of) Internet of things. Thanks @Enrique Ortiz

52) Regional trends Thanks @Tomiahonen

m-wallets/m-payments in Africa(ex MPESA), MVNOs(in some markets), Dual-SIM phones, machine to machine communications

53) Ribbit and Google Voice

http://radar.oreilly.com/2009/06/silicon-valleys-first-phone-co.html

54) Smart grids and LTE

LTE and Smart Grids: A huge opportunity for Telecoms and the Cloud but with caveats for privacy

55) Linux on mobile devices

Nokia – Maemo, Qt et al http://www.rethink-wireless.com/?article_id=1646

Limo and Android

56) Google Chrome OS http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/introducing-google-chrome-os.html and in general the unification of the mobile and the PC at an OS level

Of Opera Unite, Femtocells Mickey Mouse and the Art of war …

The art of war - Sun Tzu1.jpg

Update

You can follow me on Twitter @AjitJaokar

a) Many thanks for the comments and feedback on this article. This is a conceptual article – hence the ideas are more a Gedankenexperiment(Thought experiment) as I often do on the OpenGardens blog

b) UPDATE ON OPERA STATS

>>>>

This may need a seperate blog .. but it seems Opera browser figures are a lot higher especially considering the global perspective

The newest State of the Mobile Web report: from Opera

Q1 report from Opera (slides 4, 19, 34):

StatCounter numbers:

I will probably do a seperate blog on this..

<<<<

c) I have been historically supportive of Opera's innovation in the mobile space such as with Mobile Widgets but not of it’s stand in the EU over Web standards Microsoft vs. the EU: Can we legislate to force a company to use Web standards ..

d) Having said that, Opera Unite is true innovation and should be encouraged since it could be disruptive(like any peer to peer service) and needs radical thinking

e) In general, I am NOT a big fan of bearer aware applications, differential charging of IP, tying services to network types etc. However, I AM a big believer in femtocells and their potential for Operators because femtocells benefit the customer – and in doing so, if femtocells are adopted widely – could also be used for unique services which are bearer aware(ie tied to femtocells/home gateways. These will benefit the Operator. As a general theme, bearer aware mobile applications are still emerging

f) While I use Google as an example(since it is often a real question Operators ask – even if it is framed in context of the ‘Web’), the concept is generic to web search as it works today.

g) Every new computing paradigm has a new market leader because the strengths of the existing one are tied to the current paradigm

Introduction

Last week, Opera unite was launched.

The pre-announcement said that ‘Opera will re-invent the Web’. A statement like that makes you sceptical, but in this case – from an innovation perspective, we were not disappointed. Opera Unite is significant and Opera deserves kudos for taking a truly innovative step even within a recession.

The basics of Opera Unite have already been discussed before- but not how it could be used.

Hence, I will cover a potential application of Opera Unite as I see it.

Opera Unite is a classic disruptive application (in the tradition of crossing the chasm by Geoffrey Moore ) which says that a new class of customer will often take up a disruptive application and will sustain it till it potentially becomes mainstream.

The attempt here is to find that new class of application/user.

Specifically, I am going to co-relate P2P with the network/femtocell layer(i.e. a bearer aware peer-to-peer service) and in doing so – I see a potential reason for converged network Operators to consider Opera Unite. The intersection of Privacy,P2P, mobility/convergence is of research interest to me with my PhD work – hence I am interested in this topic from a broader perspective(and also this article will refer to some research papers).

As I see it, there are two (sometimes contradictory) trends:

On one level, we want to put information in the Cloud. At another level, we want some privacy for our data. We want to be ‘Open’ but we also worry about the power of providers to ‘harness’ the metadata and to co-relate data elements for ‘advertising’ and behavioural targeting. Couple this with developments on the network layer where networks are evolving ‘beyond 3G’ to LTE and we could have interesting applications. (Femtocells/ home gateways are an important part of LTE).

Increasingly, we are seeing bearer aware applications i.e. services which will be able to leverage the power of the underlying network. Rather than trying to consider universal convergence, network operators may consider convergence between the ‘home’ (through home gateways and femtocells) and ‘outside the home’ (through the cellular network)

Consequently, Opera unite could co-relate these network layer developments to the service layer through P2P and at the same time mitigate the privacy concerns of people

What is Opera Unite

Opera Unite transforms the browser into a server and it makes your browser a potential node in a peer-to-peer network. Thus, any content can be posted on your Opera Unite instance and it becomes available to others within the network. Peer to Peer is opposite to the ‘Cloud’ philosophy.

Peer-to-peer (P2P) networking

is a method of delivering computer network services in which the participants share a portion of their own resources, such as processing power, disk storage, network bandwidth, printing facilities. Such resources are provided directly to other participants without intermediary network hosts or servers. Peer-to-peer network participants are providers and consumers of network services simultaneously, which contrasts with other service models, such as traditional client-server computing.

The Web (in it’s original Tim Berners Lee version) was always meant to be a ‘Network of peers’ the ‘Client server’ paradigm was added later since it made practical sense from an implementation standpoint. Thus, a return to a Peer to Peer mode would be indeed ‘re-inventing’ the Web and bringing it to its grassroots.

Centralization overcomes two problems of Peer to Peer: Availability and security. Availability implies that the content is accessible only as long as your node is on – and when your computer is shut down, the content disappears from the network as well.

Hence, centralization was needed to overcome these issues. However, with centralization came the issues of data ownership and unintended use of data. By extension, decentralised Online social networks(Peer to Peer) could offer a solution to the problem by bypassing the current client server paradigm of the Web.

Who could use this and why?

Who could use Peer to Peer and why?

Mobile network Operators are paranoid of Google.. and about a year ago when an Operator asked me the question: ‘How can we(Operators) overcome the Google threat?’ – I mentioned that Peer-to-Peer is a potential solution.

Specifically as I said then in P2P may be Google’s biggest weakness and an Operator’s biggest asset:

>>>

And what has this(Peer-to-Peer) got to do with the Web and Google?

Think server farms ..

Google is client server .. It has to be .. if it needs to store, manage and index the Web. Indexing the Web, as we know it, has to be centralised ..

Consequently, if a decentralised – P2P architecture takes off – then Google cannot match it because it is not in Google’s DNA to do so(just as the Web was never in Micosoft’s DNA) .. And furthermore .. it will be a service which people will want(Doubt that? – My Skype account shows 8,663,106 online at the moment!)

This is classic Sun Tzu ..

Unfortunately, more strategies are driven by Mickey Mouse than by Sun Tzu ..

And I mean that quite literally .. in the sense that it is driven by the content industry aka the Disney’s and the Warners of the world. The telecoms industry sadly does not realise that it is in the communication business – and not the content business.

<<<

So, if an Operator were to really think like Sun Tzu(strategic and disruptive) as per the ancient Chinese classic Art of War and not worry about Mickey Mouse(the content industry) – they could have a unique competitive advantage

LTE – femtocells, bearer aware applications and P2P

Much has happened since I made that comment in late 2007

Firstly, there is a clear move towards LTE and specifically femtocells

I have been following bearer aware femtocell applications for some time. and as I said in Femtocell(bearer) aware web services

>>>>

My overall vision is: It is hard to sell capabilities of networks themselves(or for that matter to charge for networks). However, Operators can sell services. Customers understand services. They are used to paying for them. The basic version of the service could be free followed by some premium features.

From a mobile perspective, services could be:

a) Long tail i.e. completely decoupled from the device or the network(this is mainly in appstores)

b) Coupled to the device – ex deep integration of a web service to the device(ex address book integration of facebook(INQ1) or Skype(N97)

c) Coupled to the network

Learning from Amazon (and the Web 2.0 in general), the more the customer interacts with the provider, the better the service could be because the provider captures insights and preferences from the customer and can use them to enhance the service.

I have covered (a) and (b) extensively before. There were not many examples of (c) i.e. services coupled to networks.

In one sense, services should not be coupled to networks. However, femtocells could provide an exception to this model by creating services which could be useful to the customer. From an Operator standpoint, they provide an opportunity for customers to stay on their network longer and to provide services that can be improved by usage.

<<<<

The co-relation

a) Femtocells/home gateways couple services to the network

b) Such services empower the user by making applications and meta-data resident in the home gateway(and with the Operator)

c) Opera unite also empowers the user by being ‘anti-cloud’

d) The femtocell applications need a service layer which could be provided by Opera unite.

The privacy paradox

Anyone who researches privacy knows of the privacy paradox l aka while we are concerned about privacy – our behaviour does not reflect that trend(including mine I must admit). For instance,

A Pew Internet Study from 2005 showed that 54% believe that Web sites that track their behaviour invade their privacy. But the same study showed that 64% would give up personal information to get access to a Web site. In other words as the Forbes article says: Users talk the talk about privacy, but they don’t change their behaviour.

Privacy alone is not enough .. We need more. So, bearer aware services could provide more especially if you extend the ‘home gateway’ to devices .. Probably a topic for a subsequent blog i.e. I am saying that the home gateway/femtocell may capture a lot of data about devices at home and users will be DEFINITELY very reluctant to let that data fall into the hands of search engines

Further reading

This is an emerging area and here are two papers of interest

Privacy, Cost, and Availability Tradeoffs in Decentralized OSNs(pdf)

The paper presents three schemes for decentralized online social networks. In all three, each user stores his own personal data in his own machine, which we term a Virtual Individual Server (VIS). VISs self-organize into peer-to-peer overlay networks, one overlay per social group with which the VIS owner wishes to share information. The schemes differ in where VISs and data reside: (a) on a virtualized utility computing infrastructure in the cloud, (b) on

desktop machines augmented with socially-informed data replication, and (c) on desktop machines during normal operation, with failover to a standby virtual machine in the cloud when the primary VIS becomes unavailable. We focus on tradeoffs between these

schemes in the areas of privacy, cost, and availability.

VISs self-organize into peer-to-peer overlay networks, one overlay per social group with which the VIS owner wishes to share information. This structure supports many of

the social networking features provided by popular OSNs, such as forming groups, finding friends, exchanging messages, etc. We use the word “virtual” because VISs can take the form of virtual machines, which offer important manageability and other advantages when compared to physical machines. The main insight behind this scheme is that users may be willing to replicate some of their personal data on machines belonging to social connections who would in any case have access to the data through normal OSN operations.

A Platform and Applications for Mobile Peer-to-Peer Communications – Takeshi Kato. Norihiro Ishikawa. Hiromitsu Sumino. NTT DoCoMo Inc(pdf)

To conclude

I make the co-relation between LTE/femtocells and Opera Unite where I propose that a Peer-to-Peer network is philosophically compatible with femtocells and home gateways. Both of which could potentially empower the user and a bearer aware P2P application may be a unique competitive advantage to a Telecom Operator in an converged LTE scenario

Update: See this blog from Martin Sauter which also explains the same concept Opera Unite and the Anti-Cloud

Image source: wikipedia

he beginning of The Art of War, in a “classical” bamboo book from the reign of the Qianlong Emperor.

A question for O2 (and Operators who have deployed appstores) – Did third party iPhone apps lead to a deluge of support calls?

I asked this question to Vodafone at the Open Mobile Summit – but I want to ask it to all Operators who have deployed appstores.

For years, Operators have said that they don’t like third party applications on their networks since they will generate support calls.

Now, in most markets we have had third party applications through the iPhone now for more than a year.

Question is: Did third party iPhone apps lead to a deluge of support calls?(as Operators feared)

Are there any numbers for support calls or was it(as I suspect) an overblown threat?

Alternately, Apple a strong brand – are the suppoort calls going to Apple(if any);

Or

Is the price point low – and hence instead of support calls – do we simply have refunds?

Furthermore, If Brands(like Apple) reduce supoort calls to the Operator – does it mean we will see stronger device brands – say Ovi – (Since that helps reduce support calls)?

Well thats more than one question but all very critical.

Ray Anderson founder and CEO of Bango had some unique insights and I have requested him to add his views – but I am keen to hear views from any Operators since it is a critical issue going forward