Proximity & Affinity the future of IoT

I often listen to IoT discussions that make me think I am in an episode of Highlander!  “In the end there can only be one!”

I think that premise is flawed and I think we are going to see some changes as we adopt alternative wireless technologies.

Let me explain why.

  1. Security is the starting point, but not about the way that IoT and DDoS have been linked together.  If you see what I am doing with the security summit at IoT Evolution Expo you know that I am not about IoT fixing problems that are beyond it’s control.  DNS was being attacked before IoT and it will be attacked without IoT.  However, there is a bigger problem that faces those of us that try to harden our networks.  The problem is that when a calamity hits like a earthquake, tidal wave or terrorism, the odds are likely we are going to crash the network with sensors all trying to report back.  Whether that leads to reboot break ins or just a network failure is not clear.
  2. Proximity and Affinity are the solution.   If we map where things are when a packet storm starts the network gateways can dampen the noise and create a affinity group of reporting.  Now the reality of most PLCs these days is that IoT normally has pretty simple signals that it delivers.  This is particularly true in manufacturing but also applies to field systems. In reality we have many systems that are tracking boolean data of red (stop) and green (go).  Using Affinity information allows the systems to distribute and machine learn.

As we move to intelligence at the edge the use of affinity and proximity will increase.  While the cloud is common strategy today, the edge is the more logical place to manage particularly for system security.  Here again proximity can become part of the strategy as companies can sense their surroundings to gather deeper analytics. We see the edge become so well self management that it manages alternate routing, I believe this is the concept that is driving SDNs.

The bottom line is we are going to see the edge continue to become the focus thanks to IoT.  Building a pool of sensor intelligence from multiple devices is going to become more common place.

The Bright Shiny Object Syndrome

A friend once commented on a specific country, that it was the best place to go if you wanted to see a smile while being told to go jump in a lake.  “They are very good at telling you to F*#k-off politely”

I have similar feelings about the “spirit of collaboration” in California.  I contend that the openness is a false trust factor.

I am not saying I am not interested in open solutions, I am saying that some business ideas are corrupted by the bright shiny object syndrome.

While I am impressed with all the activity, sometimes it feels like some stronger discipline is needed.  A good example is ride sharing and the offshoots.  Does Apple really have any business going into the Auto industry?   If so, what is their competitive advantage?  Are they going to be able to charge a premium for a mid market car?  Go on the high end?  The auto industry was very sick just about a decade ago.  Consolidation occurred for brands and companies.  Does this look like a ripe market?

Yes, Tesla has brought game changing technology to market, but it’s still not clear if they are not going to be an enabler for others more than a competitor.

Uber and others have indicated they are going to use autonomous vehicles to ride share. Does a driver less car change the cost factors to the point where the BOM is significantly impacted?  And does the lack of a steering wheel have other human factors that impact comfort and buying decisions.

The fact that Google left the board of Uber indicates the issue I have.  Google wants to be in the ride sharing business in San Fransisco.  Google waited until it was ready before resigning from the board.  I am not sure that follows the “do no evil’ goal, but even so, I still have to ask why?  The fact that Uber has taken a real debt with bonds and merged it’s china operation suggest that things are tougher.  Does the use of Google for maps equate to a google cab?

I would love to see the rotary guidance applied to opportunity.

Does it have to be built?

Does it have to be built now?

And does it have to be built by us?

I think a lot of projects would be abandoned once these questions asked.


Whenever I read an article, my father’s advice always comes to mind. Ask yourself who wanted the article written before thinking that the article is objective. The article about cyberattacks on worldwide banking is a case in point.

The Society of Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications [SWIFT] has suffered from three successful cyberattacks. Given the trillions that go through the system the attacks were small, remote and isolated. In fact the network (which relies on mainframe non Internet connections) was not successfully attacked. Instead hackers in Bangladesh, Vietnam and Ecuador found end user computers they were able to use to penetrate the system.

The resulting fraud was direct point to point and not part of a network breach.

Now if I were SWIFT, I would want the article written to show the network is safe and secure.

If I were someone who wanted to replace swift , I would want to suggest that the problem is not in the edge, but at the core.

So I think this article was written by friends of SWIFT. However, I think this will be used by everyone looking to replace SWIFT with modern technology.

Block chain transactions are the bright shiny technology and has been successfully used to transfer monies internationally. Expect to see more about these alternatives written about as a result of this latest news.

Should Intel and Nokia Merge

Andy Abramson had an interesting concept in his blog this week about Intel and Nokia working more closely together.  The basis of the concept starts with the battle in silicon right now.  Its and interesting question to contemplate for a number of reasons.

1)  The WiMAX, ATOM revolution has not produced the momentum that Intel would like.  Google, Comcast, Sprint and all the other elves involved with Clear are not enough to get the billions of cellphone devices looking to include Intel in the their space.  So forging a relationship with Nokia where they could have a stronger presence in the 3G world makes sense.

2) If the goal was not to be a device company but to turn Nokia into a platform strategy, that would have a lot of value to Nokia, which has been coping with a market that is heading towards less customizaton. Nokia has been stuck delivering lots of phones with nuances to carriers, why not make this more like the PC market.  You could even bring the PC manufacturers into the mix and have them be the private label.

3) It allows Nokia to get reset on so much of its legacy Symbian flavoring.  Bringing the Nokia Developer community to the web where it can stop the internal battling and take advantage of the tools coming of age as we head toward HTML 5.0.  The IPhone has everyone scrambling and it maybe that the goal should be to keep the apps as close to web development as possible.

While it is fun to speculate, I am not sure this is the move, that Intel wants to do next.  I can see more advangates to Nokia, but it maybe that I just see the flaws in Nokia’a armor right now.  Intel can afford to have several missteps in this market and unless their PC manufacturing customers are ready to attack the ARMy of cellullar players it maybe that all these things can be done with Nokia without the merger.

But if does happen, remember Andy said it first.

Jim Courtney & Carl Ford Converse about Skype & VZW

In case you can not tell. I am Psyched about Skype and Verizon Wireless announcement.

It has real meat on the bone to talk about. I came into the call expecting it to be something akin to termination strategies our support for over the top VoIP. What we got instead was something more intriguing. Peering relationship that is a direct benefit to the consumer.

Jim Courtney of Voice on the Web points out that on ATT we are going to have VoIP skype apps and on Verizon Wireless we are going to have a 3G app. It makes for an interesting comparison. We know in theory the Skype on Verizon Wireless on a Blackberry should be a better application.

We have scheduled a calliflower call for 11 tomorrow to discuss in more detail For now this is a great warm up podcast.

Video is the New Voice – Bob Logan of Dialogic

Bob Logan and I have been talking about doing an interview about Dialogic’s video work for a while now. As Bob says on the podcast “Video is the new Voice”. So we did an interview together in several forms. Hope you enjoy listening reading and watching.

CF: What is new in Dialogic these days?

RL: One thing that is not new is that Dialogic provides enabling technologies… platforms… etc etc. For a long time, we have specialized in media processing and signaling… especially in the voice world. To answer your question, we think that Video is the New Voice. Applications that have been voice or audio-enabled will be video. More specifically, within the video space, we see lots of opportunities for mobile video… fits with our talents. Etc

Our focus is on mobile video, and our specialty is highest quality with the highest performance.

CF: What types of applications do you see happening today in mobile video?

RL: You know what, Carl? Some of the most popular applications today are actually capitalizing on the fact that not all networks today handle video services. There are some cool applications around call completion – probably a pretty boring topic on its own, but one that has always been a big revenue winner for the carriers.

Lots of applications around entertainment and social media. There is an application in Asia called “love meter” – basically the app has some software that tries to measure the caller’s mood to determine if he or she is compatible with the person on the other end.

There are always applications that kind of catch me by surprise. In Japan, a very popular application is a remote surveillance application that lets you check remotely on the status of your pet.

And finally, we need to acknowledge that adult content has always been on the leading edge of communications technologies and mobile video is no exception.

There are lots of examples (none from the adult industry) on Dialogic’s YouTube channel,

CF: What are some new applications that you see with increased bandwidth – 4G and beyond?

RL: A lot of the high bandwidth mobile applications will be similar to those we have on our computers today – video streaming, music streaming, interactive video telephony.

People are becoming more comfortable with mobile video. The people at Nielsen publish a nice report each quarter – the most recent data are from 3Q10 and it shows 15M people watching video on their mobile phone – up >50% since last year. And naturally, teenagers are the heaviest users. It’s becoming more mainstream and higher bandwidths will just accelerate the trend.

I think that high bandwidth networks make it much easier to monetize mobile video – advertising becomes easier. Combining this with increased information about the user (likes/dislikes), geographic information available in the device, information on the content being viewed… the advertising can get very targeted.

One thing to keep in mind, Carl… the high bandwidth networks will help, but new devices will also help. Look at how the iPhone has revolutionized mobile video.

CF: You’ve given some applications and examples from the consumer market – what about enterprises?

RL: We’re seeing a lot of enterprises adding video to their IVR systems, turning them into IVVR.

Applications like remote filing of insurance claims, enterprises offering video training to consumers (think about video help on how to assemble your kid’s toys on Christmas Eve)

These examples are streaming, but I think the real breakthrough to the enterprise will be from enhanced analysis of the video stream itself.

Detecting whether a video is authentic, whether it has been tampered with, determining if it contains objectionable material, ensuring high quality. These are things that matter a great deal to an enterprise, and these are the areas where Dialogic is spending its research and development investment.

CF: You mentioned video quality. Do you think that really matters in a mobile world?

RL: Yes, Carl, I really do.

For one thing, we need to realize that the mobile operators are looking at the increased levels of traffic that video is bringing onto their networks, and they are getting concerned. There have been discussions about throttling traffic or at least making people aware of how much traffic they are consuming. Carriers are approaching this with a mindset of restriction or punishing consumers. I want to make a prediction – I think that some carrier is going to realize that there is a revenue opportunity here – that they will offer a higher quality of user experience and be able to use that as a way of generating additional revenue for network investment. I think someone will turn this into a carrot instead of a stick.

Do you remember that Nielsen report that I referenced earlier? Well Nielsen has also reported that people who watch video on their laptops typically watch “short form” video – YouTube clips and the like.

But people who watch mobile video are typically watching professionally-produced content. Some of this is because the carriers provide this content as part of their service offering. But I think viewers have a higher expectation of quality when they watch professionally-produced content.

Combine that with larger screen sizes, better display technologies, and networks with higher bandwidth and we believe that quality will be increasingly important for consumers.

Yeah, quality matters.

How is your Intellectual Digestive System

Am I burping when a friend sends me an article and I reply with a single observation.

I got a note about the NYC Big Apps competition. It was aimed at providing e-government solutions.

Apps are all the rage right now and it is going to continue. The big questions are not are people making apps, it how are they finding them. Is a contest the only way to highlight an application. If almost all the apps are free? Doesn’t free start to lose its viral nature?

Axxcelerating the Apps

As you know, I don’t think the technology of LTE vs. WiMAX is half as
important as the issues of applications. I had the benefit of meeting
with the Axxcelera folks and we got on the subject of government
applications. Video Surveillance specifically, and I was not allowed
to say more.

Which of course prompted me to do this video.

What I enjoyed about the full duplex nature of the system is that it
enables some very interactive camera movement and who knows what else
big brother would want to do. Ignoring the paranoia, the overall
effect of having such a system is pretty compelling to me.

Here are some of the other characteristics. While it is WiMAX it’s
designed more for some private solutions operating between 3.3-3.8 GHz
spectrum and supports a Full Duplex FDD (Frequency Division Duplex)
architecture. It does not need line of sight and supports error
checking and other quality management characteristics.

It could also be used for voice (VoIP) services given its full duplex nature.

Kolmisoft announces the release of MOR 8

From Kolmisoft – September 22, 2009:

We are very excited to announce the latest and most powerful version of MOR Version 8 is now available for download. Version 8 represents improvements in features, stability and reliability of the MOR system. This release is the most robust and powerful version in Kolmisoft’s history.

The first thing you will notice is that visually MOR 8 feels almost like previous version, just with some tweaks. However once you dig in you will begin to appreciate the changes.

New Features

First and foremost, MOR 8 becomes one of the most powerful billing software that runs on Asterisk. Some Asterisk specialists and developers find it hard to believe that MOR running on Asterisk can handle more than 100 simultaneous call per server.

You don’t believe it? Test it on your system – you will see that MOR easily handles even 300-500 simultaneous calls on a single server. The GUI in previous versions of MOR have been such a success among MOR users that we decided to bring the same user friendly GUI. You can now manage your business comfortably from nicely designed and simply GUI.

Talking about new features, there we added 15 of them, for a detailed list please click here. Furthermore, we added two new modules- Mobile Number Portability add-on that enables mobile telephone users to retain their mobile telephone numbers when changing from one mobile network operator to another and Recordings add-on that allows to record selected users’ calls for monitoring purposes.

Special offer for VoIP start-ups

As part of our client community is start-ups, we decided to release a free edition of MOR 8 with ability to make up to 10 simultaneous calls. This will be perfect solution for start-ups as they can get VoIP system for free and upgrade it as their business begins to grow!

About Kolmisoft

Kolmisoft are creators and developers of all in one solution softwich with billing and routing functionality. Our product is known worldwide with deployments over 40 countries.

So if you decide to start VoIP business or just want to switch to a more advanced platform, we are always here to assist you!

Visit for more information