On a recent Tuesday night tapas meet-up, my friend and I were talking about social media and her use of it. She had been studiously avoiding it in an effort to keep her online profile low. I countered with my usual “that ship has sailed” speech: She has a Gmail account, uses Google, debit and credit cards, club and membership cards, etc. Her eyes grew wide in disbelief and she launched into a somewhat predictable reaction of fear, loathing and righteous indignation over the violation of her privacy.
I sighed and began to talk about technology, how and why we use it, Big Data and the Internet of Things, which may not have been the smartest of moves, but was fueled by our solid friendship and the arrival of miniature plates of mussels, crostini, and warmed olives.
I can’t help it. I am authentically interested in how new technology moves from the academic to the novel to the ubiquitous over time and I’ve been a spectator of that evolution for over a decade. (more…)
The Internet of Things. Of Things. When you hear it said or see it written, it might make you wonder what these things are and why they matter. If you aren’t familiar with the idea, it might even make you think that there is another Internet out there, something that exists within the realm of some abstract collective of interconnected things. In fact, the Internet of Things (IoT) isn’t separate from us and our daily use of technology, rather it’s in almost everything we use today.
A Horrifying Vision
I’m back in the office today after two days at an Internet of Things Expo in Manhattan. We’re clearly at a weird state where everyone in the world knows that something big is about to happen, but no one has any idea where or how. Lots of people were expressing frustration that there are no clear standards yet. COAP? MQTT? Turns out that there are already startups doing their best to sell services that will abstract away pesky details like underlying wire protocols. I even brought home a brochure from a company that’s claiming that they’ll be able to implement your entire IoT product vision without any software development effort at all! I think I’ve posted here before about how many times in my career as a developer I’ve seen this wave of ‘Programming without Programmers’ snake oil come back to life.
One panelist commented that it felt a lot like the early days of the internet all over again.
During another presentation, I saw how right he was. (more…)