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.

Enjoy!

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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.

 

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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Lifesaving, simple device in India

Posted on 19th September 2012 in Uncategorized

Now handheld devices are actually saving lives.

CNN carried a fascinating story of a handheld device developed by a team of Indians (the lead, Myshkin Ingawale, was educated at #IoT hotbed MIT.  Watch his TED Talk.) that is quickly and cheaply diagnosing anemia, which kills as many as a million or more children and pregnant women if untreated.

The problem is that the traditional device to diagnose anemia is big and costs more than $10,000, making it impractical for use by village health workers in impoverished Indian villages.

They created a simple device, the ToucHb, that slips over a finger and emits three wavelengths of light. By reading how much of the light goes through the finger, how much scatters and how much is absorbed, the village health worker can determine how much hemoglobin is in the blood, and whether the person is anemic.

Neat!

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I’m back!

Posted on 7th September 2012 in Internet of Things, Uncategorized

My old blog quickly fell by the wayside when I became Twitter user #262 six years ago, and while I made half-hearted efforts to revive it, there was just too much relating to my prior life (which I still sustain as a sideline) as a homeland security strategist for it to work anymore.

Thus I took a deep breath and deep-sixed the entire site (I will eventually add some of my articles and presentations dealing with homeland security to this site, mainly for historical interest), and today I’m starting over.

Bear with me: I still tend to think in 140-characters, but will try to make this a lively site for those who are interested in my new passion — the Internet of Things — the general area of data liberation that I pursued my my book, Data Dynamite: how liberating information will transform our world; and random bits of miscellany, from recipes to biomimicry, that catch my eye.

Glad to be back!

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