Furious About the Government Shutdown!

Posted on 30th September 2013 in Uncategorized

I try to keep this blog focused on the Internet of Things and related topics such as big data, but I will deviate on occasion (look for at least one post in the next month about the World Champions to Be, AKA the Boston Red Sox!), and this is one of them!

For months, I’ve been looking forward to moderating a panel at the international M2M and IoT Summit, to be held tomorrow and Wednesday at the National Press Club in Washington.

As of now, one of the panelists is Mark Eichorn, Assistant Director, Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, Bureau of Consumer Protection, at the Federal Trade Commission (the only US agency that’s demonstrated interest in the IoT).

BUT THAT MAY NOT HAPPEN! You see, if the ignoramuses (let me be blunt about it) who make up the 40 or so (out of 435: you do the math — does that constitute a majority???) “Tea Party” types in the House of Representatives don’t suddenly change their ways, the federal government will shut down at 12:01 AM tomorrow, and Mr. Eichorn and the other federal representatives who were supposed to participate in the conference or attend it, won’t be allow to!

I happen to think federal workers are great such as Mr. Eichorn are great: they work long hours, come in for a fair amount of abuse, and have already suffered financial losses because of the equally stupid sequester.

If you agree, please call Speaker Boehner’s Office, 202 225-0600, and tell him what you think about his spineless leadership.

OK, got that off my chest…

PS: Oh, the cause of all this stupidity? The Affordable Care Act, modeled on our own Massachusetts health reform law, signed by a Republican governor in 2006, and acknowledged by all as a success. It works. Get over it. Give me a break!

PSS: The Tea Party? Latest poll shows public support for them has shrunken to near all-time low!

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I’ll moderate D.C. panel on IoT privacy and security!

Posted on 5th September 2013 in privacy, security, Uncategorized

Huzzah!  As you know, I’ve been repeating the mantra that, as technological barriers such as battery size disappear, the most important obstacle threatening full development of the Internet of Things is the linked issues of privacy and security.

That’s why I’m quite honored to announce I’ll be hosting a panel on those issues at the 2013 M2M and Internet of Things Global Summit, to be held October 1 and 2 at the National Press Club in DC! 

It’s an impressive panel:

Other panels at the summit will discuss a related issue, device security; actualizing the IoT’s benefits; financing the IoT; IoT devices in the 4G era; and global standards.

Major speakers include:

  •  Edith Ramirez, Chairwoman, FTC
  • Chris Vein, Chief Innovation Officer, The World Bank
  • Kevin Petersen, Senior Vice President, Digital Life, AT&T
  • Ed Tiedemann, Fellow and Head of Standards, Qualcomm
  • David Hoffman, Director of Security Policy and Global Privacy Officer, Intel Corporation
  • Alicia Asín, Co-Founder and CEO, Libelium
  • Chad Jones, VP Product Strategy, Xively
  • Chris Rezendes, President, INEX Advisors
  • Doug Merritt, Senior Vice President, Product, Solutions & Industry Marketing, Cisco

It should be a great conference. Sign up now! See you there!

PS: What questions do you think I should ask the panelists?

Finally! Feedburner feed finally available for this blog!

Posted on 17th July 2013 in Uncategorized

It took me forever, but I finally figured out how to create an easy-to-use Feedburner feed for this blog! All you have to do is to click on the RSS chiclet in the upper right-hand corner of this page to subscribe to the feed so this blog will automatically show up in your favorite reader whenever there’s a new post.


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Woot! You can finally buy my books directly from my site!

Posted on 3rd May 2013 in Uncategorized

I just found a WordPress plug-in (Buy This Book — thank you!) that allows a direct link to Amazon, iBooks, etc. so that you can now buy both my books, SmartStuff: an introduction to the Internet of Things, and Data Dynamite: how liberating data will transform our world, directly from this site.

Buy away!

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Pinoccio is latest #IoT controller

Posted on 28th April 2013 in Internet of Things, Uncategorized

Pinnocio (no h…)  is the latest connectivity device for the Internet of Things, and it looks impressive.

The company calls itself “a complete ecosystem for building the Internet of Things.”

According to an email from company co-founder Eric Jennings to  Design News, it works through:

..a mix of hardware, wireless networking, and an API that we’ve built into each board. Every Pinoccio device has a unique URL that you can view in a Web browser to monitor or actuate it.

One of the things I found appealing about the Pinnocio is that it uses mesh networking.  Their radios  “support wireless and over-the-air programming with 2.4GHz connectivity using the 802.15.4 wireless standard. Web connectivity is available using a WiFi shield.”

The company placed special emphasis on long battery life. The rechargeable lithium-ion battery can run for 400 days if only the MCU is running, but that drops to 28 hours if both the MCU and radio are running at full power. With the radio sleeping and the MCU running battery life is 122 hours.

Ease of use is also a major priority for Pinoccio. Jennings told Design News,

.. within five minutes of opening a Pinoccio package, you can have hardware pushing data to a Web page, or the Web page controlling the hardware….What you do after that is only limited by your imagination.

Pinnocio was designed to be compatible with Arduino boards — Arduino tools can be used to upload software to them.


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Hurricane Hackers: using digital tools to recover from Sandy

Posted on 2nd November 2012 in Uncategorized

As readers of my old blog know, I’ve done a lot of work on the use of social media and mobile devices in disasters. That’s why I was pleased to see that MIT students and staff have taken the lead in Sandy response, creating Hurricane Hackers to solicit and distribute ideas on responding to this horror.

(Important note: Heather Blanchard and the good people at Crisis Commons [THE go-to-people for this issue on a continuing basis] are lending their un-matched expertise by organizing a number of Sandy Crisis Camps this weekend. Crisis Camps are a great way of brainstorming creative disaster response tools!).

You can read what they’ve brainstormed so far here.

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#IoT: “Smart grid” could reduce damage from storms such as Sandy

Posted on 31st October 2012 in Uncategorized

NPR ran a feature this afternoon exploring the “smart grid” concept from the standpoint of being able to speed recovery of the grid following a disaster such as Sandy.  While the cost would be high, that should be seen in the context of the billions that it will cost to recover from Sandy.

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Building a connected health ecosystem

Posted on 26th October 2012 in Uncategorized

(Liveblogging from Center for Connected Health Symposium)

*Halle Tecco, Rock Health non-profit @ intersection of health & technology, incubator.

*Amir Nashat, Polaris Ventures, 20-30% of investments in health care area

*Naomi Fried, in charge of encouraging innovation @ Boston Children’s. Working on telehealth

*Michael Balmouth, Edison Ventures. Looking for revenue-producing companies.

*Halle — they’ve physically located startups right in midst of Longwood Medical Area.

*Amir: Boston-based medical startups tend to focus on systems improvements, while the SF ones tend to think of medical establishment as problem, go directly to medical consumer.

*European Connected Health program is bringing in all players, emphasizing need for “global health” that encourages collaboration.


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Esther Dyson

Posted on 26th October 2012 in Uncategorized

(Liveblogging from Center for Connected Health Symposium)  creating new market for medicine: health itself. Changing because of new devices for self-measuring, such as Fitbit and FuelBand. Quantification helping change habits: suddenly have a “craving for fitness.” Also have genetic info: she’s had her genome mapped through 23andWe.

Genomera: allows you to do research on yourself, set up own controls, etc.  Next step will be ability to analyze own blood levels.

Employers likely to be next big market for use of Fitbits, etc., because they not only want to cut health care costs but also improve health.


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Charles Duhigg: the Power of Habit

Posted on 26th October 2012 in Uncategorized

(Liveblogging @ Center for Connected Health Symposium) draws analogy between medicine and Starbucks:  cues and rewards now known to change habits. Starbucks sells experience, but problem is that workers haven’t had any work experience, were being rude.   Started to study research on how to sustain performance over time, build willpower. Learned that willpower could be taught by making it a habit: taught them L.A.T.T.E. method to deal with bitchy customers. Really worked.

Example from hospital where recovery rates from knee & hip replacement soared simply because doctors had asked them to identify rewards they’d get for exercising.

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