Augmented Reality vs. Twilight Zone

This morning I was investigating some new opportunities for speakers at IoT Evolution in July and one of the potential speakers twitter feed had this vimeo link.

<iframe src=”″ width=”640″ height=”360″ frameborder=”0″ webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe>

It reminded me alot of all the twists and turns associated with Twilight Zone episodes such as “To Serve Man”.

Twilight Zone

Often the plot twist is one of the individual vs. the collective.

I am not sure augmented reality can network us into better relationships.  I am sure the more we try to change reality virtually the less chance we have to augment what is real.

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 Nightly Unblackening of Comedy Central

I am disappointed that Larry Wilmore will no longer be guiding me through the subtlety of White and Black experiences.

He has managed to take hard discussions and make them palatable to a tree hugging liberal like myself with few black friends.


I am not sure what Comedy Central has in mind for the future of the Nightly Show, but I think anyone competing with Stephen Colbert’s migration to CBS would have had a problem.

I am hoping that Larry and the entourage find a way to reminding us to “keep it 100”. And to call things out when they are “weak tea”.

Like Stephen, Larry added to my vocabulary with phrases that I now understand and can use in a sentence to help me speak to other people beyond my tree hugging liberal friends.

I will not claim I am blackened, but at least I am more aware thanks to Larry and the team.

Michel Martin Steve Voss/NPR

Michel Martin
Steve Voss/NPR

However, adding to the post, I want to point out the Michel Martin at NPR had similar problems connecting to more listeners with her show “Tell Me More”.

There I got to hear a barbershop filled with a diverse set of political views.

It maybe that white america is only ready for weak tea.

So while I am sad these shows are off the air, I feel they kept it 100.

Are the New Times are Better: WebRTC vs. VoIP?

If you have been with me in at past events, you know that things have a tendency to go in cycles And go knows I have seen a lot of cycles. I can remember listening to the father of analog switching telling me that digital was overrated. I can remember my own ATM bigotry as I would talk about differentiated services which no one had truly developed, while the Internet stole the show. I remember QoS VoIP debates that treated the session like a call and fundamentally did not see the amazing results possible with Best Effort.
All of this brought us to the Internet’s next wave of transformation and once again the innovator’s are blowing past those of us that see dilemmas.
WebRTC is not a replacement protocol it’s an adoption strategy. Like Apple changed the game with music and smart phones, WebRTC changes video and the web.
Video with a royalty free codec, that is light enough to be used in a variety of real time scenarios, trumps the video streaming rivals. Changing the game by building a diverse ecosystem is the goal.
The WebRTC world is definitely a diverse ecosystem, that like VoIP provides a variety of solutions. In effect the popularity of the demo event shows the richness of opportunity.
A lot of friends have told me this feels like old times and for some of us who have participated in a number of next generations it will feel good to be together again in Atlanta. To see the enthusiasm is always a pleasure, but the point of participation is to find out how you can take advantage of the opportunity.
If you have been with me in the past use this code and join me with this next generation. Being at the Cobb Galleria again will be a great chance to connect the past with the future.
And as we have seen with the Internet the future keeps getting better and closer than we think.

If Devices are Merging with the Software Companies Is the Network Next?

My cynical friends are arguing about who is the better acquisition for Microsoft?  RIM or Nokia.  The argument starts with a very good analysis from John Gruber about Microsoft’s Surface announcement and that from a marketing perspective MSFT cannot get out of its own way.

However, at the end of the day I am still not sure this makes sense.   We will include this in our discussion on Apple Tel to be held on August 16th.   Join us by clicking here to register

To Review here are the market caps that matter

Apple AAPL 567 B
ATT T 208 B
Clearwire CLWR     2 B
Google GOOG 191 B
Intel INTC 132 B
Microsoft MSFT 254 B
Nokia NOK     8 B
Nuance NUAN     8 B
Oracle ORCL 142 B
Orange FTE   33 B
RIM RIMM     4 B
Sprint S   10 B
Telefonica TEF   19 B
Verizon VZ 126 B
Vodafone VOD 138 B


I dont find the tablet particularly as strong as everyone else does.  As a matter of fact.  I find it less and less intriguing for business work.  While most of meetings were innudated with iPads a year ago the PC has come back strong.

I believe companies are lemming like when it comes to decisions.  Google made GoogleTalk and Froogle at the sametime which made ebay knee jerk to buy Skype.  I can make a case that Microsoft made the Skype acquisition just to get it out of proximity to Avaya which could have really used it.  But like other Venture funds Silver Lakes goal was maximize revenue not find synergies.

Now comes the integrated hardware story and candidly i don’t like it. I can not afford to buy an Apple toaster everytime they decide to screw around.  I find myself in the apple store these days almost as much as I am in the grocery store putting up with the near genius of barring me from touching my machine in a useful manner.

Candidly Apple’s biggest genius is the fact they have “insourced” the truck roll to retail outlet.  I never walk into an empty store.  It’s clear I am in the Whole Foods computer market.  I make an appointment and wait.

If this is the future of computing we should stop talking about the cloud.

I am having a rough time buying that hardware integration is essential for today’s software.  I think the history of Nokia’s Symbian problems should make Microsoft shy away (since it can’t resolve its own legacy issues).

At least RIM has a JAVA story that can match well to the Windows  Server migration strategy.  One other thing we should notice.  RIM has hired ex Microsoft exec Alec Saunders, who is evangelizing development efforts and I think he is making headway.

However, the story is not about a phone, it’s about the network of resources

Given the fact that we use a smart phone only 15% of time to talk I think the term smart phone is rapidly becoming the 2012 version of Vint Cerf’s “Horseless Carriage”.  I think Microsoft should as Henry Sinnreich says, “Leave the Dead to Bury the Dead.”

If you are looking for the blue ocean strategy for Microsoft,  I think the launch pad is xbox.  They have included augmented reality and what they should do is embrace and expand beyond the iPad.

What should Microsoft do next?  I think the answer is to get Voice Recognition rock solid.  From that point of view, I would suggest that Nuance is the only company in the market worth buying.

If we are going to get to our Star Trek future the voice recognition is the path.   However, almost everything I know about voice recognition is based on software not hardware.  I cannot make a case that the hardware is the important part of this equation.

I don’t think the device of our future has fallen into our lap yet.

And if Apple wants to own a network, someone is going to have to show me how the margins improve for them.


Are We Setting Precedent or Just Looking over a Precipice

Greeks are having elections; PACs are gathering Millions and Apple had their Developer Conference. It’s easy to see why; I am not catching a lot of attention. According to the news we are on the precipice. My articles focus on the precedents.

In conversations this week, I have been told that my Regulatory 2.0 efforts at best can solve minor nits. Market trends point to consolidation and regardless of who wins the election telecom initiatives are mired in problematic policies. It does not take much analysis to see the analytics of the device and apps company are a much better picture than the Service Providers data equivalent of three tone slope.

I see the issues of Net Neutrality as being more of a last device rather than a last mile issue and I would love for you agree or disagree here

However some policy changes give me hope.

Brough Turner and Tom Evslin both recognized that in the commissions super WiFi decision we were getting a new precedent on how spectrum would be allocated. I shared that point captured in Rich Steves’ article opportunity.

Another precedent is WebRTC which is captured by our friend Alan Quayle in his article for No Jitter . I tweeted the question, “Does WebRTC force the carriers to VoLTE? “

As over the top becomes the norm, I here that it’s all because of Apple’s influence.

I am always leery of giving Apple credit for insight into telecom
My friends continue to think that Apple will be a carrier, ignoring the fact that they just added Cricket to the list with ATT, Sprint and Verizon Wireless in the US alone.

Our friend’s logic is that they have all this cash that they need to find something to do with it, and from a market cap perspective companies like Clearwire are easy acquisitions. It’s easy to imagine a Brewster’s Millions remake where Tim Cook drains the coffers to make a worldwide network. As a result of this discussion, I am looking to develop a series of calls under the Regulatory 2.0 umbrella which I am borrowing form SNL and calling “Really DeviceTel?” The first one I am looking for my Wall Street Analyst friends to talk about the soundness of the financing this telco strategy. If you want to participate send a note to me .

Don’t misunderstand in terms of networks Apple has one. Like Amazon, Google and Microsoft the network supports the cloud not the call. In fact, I can make the case that these companies have created in their messenger services a better over the top service than the carriers can create. Even Blackberry Messenger could be part of this over the top RTC crowd.

So the story is about the Apps and the developers

Tim Cook, led the Apple WWDC faithful which inspired me to write my Mobility Tech article . Apple’s empire gets built one market at a time and now the sites are set on search. I tweeted “Can Apple Turn 400 Million People against Google”. I watched the faithful clapping appreciatively, I was thinking of the contrary side (It’s my job and my nature). Jeff Pulver started by providing bond analytics as an Add on to Lotus 123, his add on was embedded by Microsoft into Excel pushing him out of the market but standardizing his error codes. Watching Apple showing their embedding of Facebook, Maps and Yelp, I wonder what business plans were being destroyed in the smiling audience.

Everyone wants the developer and with HTML5 we can all be developers.

In trying to think about this, I was reminded of my old math book, which led to my M2M article and my Bob Newhart’s button down mind .

My path the next few weeks has me returning to Washington DC and then to Boca Raton. If you are in these areas let me know.

At one point I am going to be at two places at once. A new precedence for me based on the video world that is changing our future, (and a Firesign Theatre overtone). I am going to participate in IMTC’s 2025 and the SIP Forum’s SIP NOC .

I will try to point out the precedents that will lead to the future and not cry that we are on a precipice.

Envy + Google

Google+ Envy
Unlike Facebook where I am victim of my personal life bleeding into the pages and my two personas having no distinction between each other.
Google+ so far has been very professional. And what has been really great is the ability to add into my circles people of interest for my various activities.
For example, for circle following I am putting in a general basket of people who show up in the people I care about.
I have a circle for everyone one of my events and also for my personal interests and I move from circle to circle to see what the difference is in the walls. Buy in large no one is in more than one circle that gives me the most coverage of what people are saying.
However, certain friends are clearly the “A” team of Google+ Om Malik has almost 30,000 followers and even though I am in his circle, I feel a tinge of envy.
Rob Scoble has over 100,000 people following him, while Ashton Kutcher has a little fewer than 37,000.
On Twitter, Ashton has over 47,000 fans, Rob has almost 200K and OM has over 1.4 million.
Obviously the question needs to be asked what do the demographics look like and are these device dependent or post dependent stats.
For me as my favorite New Zealand Poet has written Boldly Bring I up the Rear. If you are interest in being just a follower, I have to warn you I strive for perfect symmetry where I follow as many as follow me. However for now, I seem to be lagging in the followers.
Hence the envy; we could even call it “Envy+”

A Little Leavity For These Times

Obama is praying to G-d and his prayer is answer by the ghost of Moses who says to Obama, “Have Congress ratify the Ten Commandments”
Obama brings the leaders of congress in and tells them he wants to ratify the Ten Commandments.
Well the democrats consider this a violation of church and state and say they don’t want like the G-d part, but maybe they can go along with the rules about personal property.
The republican like the G-d part but think the killing part is some sort of back door against the military so they want to modify that it only applies to the murder of unborn babies and police officers.
The tea party is upset and refuses to participate because they would like additional commandments about marriage, balanced budgets, and the right to bear arms.
Obama then goes on TV and tells the people he needs their help and cable networks blast him for his inability to compromise. After all he only talked about the commandments in generalities he never wrote them down nor referred to a specific bible.
Obama turns to Michele and asks her for support when he goes back to tell Moses what has happened.
Moses listens and is about to raise his staff when Michele steps in and says. Look, if you can do that Red Sea thing on Capital Hill, we won’t have a problem.
Moses thinks for a moment and says you’re right. I only had one Pharaoh to contend with you. You have two rooms full of them.
And so our prayers go unanswered.

Until Women Had Faces

Zogby International surveyed nearly 2,000 people about what technologies were the most impactful in our lives. The headlines about the study are missing the main point of the story.

High Speed Internet won, but the reality is that almost every one of the innovations being discussed were enabled by the high speed Internet.

Here Is the real story.

Facebook is a generational and gender giant. Women and the young rated Facebook much higher than men.

Google was rated much more important by kids.

The expectation for next year is that home entertainment expands.

From my perspective this is just a continuation of the impact of broadband, When TV integrates over the top the opportunities will be talked about as gaming, video, etc.

But as my friends say, It’s all the Internet.

Go Figure: Solving the Deficit.

The time has come the Walrus said to speak of many things,

The New York Times has put up an interactive deficit model that I find very helpful in discussing the Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson proposals on ending the deficit.

When I looked at what I could live with I found the mix was pretty good at 65% Spending Cut and 35% Revenue increases.

I could work to improve this more and the problem or runaway healthcare is still the biggest problem.

For me, this just proves that the Health Reform was the right move. As I sit and watch my family age, I am all to aware that the existing insurance models are broken.

Of course i have other suggestions on what can be done to solve the deficit not listed on the system, but my two favorite topics are there. The amount of troops we have stationed around the world and the amount of farm subsidies we have that are seriously off track.

When my friends talk to me about Welfare states, I wonder if they realize that these two expenditures are the same kind of problem.

If you want to have a positive conversation start with the simple question, what is the baseline we want to achieve. If we want people to stand on there own two feet who can and give them aid when they can’t. That’s a good place to look at the big picture.

By the way, I may sound liberal, but according to the Libertarians, I am only a left leaning centrist.

Go Figure. Literally, I mean go to the link and go figure.