Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Blog Roll 2015

It’s that time of year when we gift and re-gift, just like this text from last year. And the perfect opportunity to re-post, re-purpose and re-use all my 2015 blog entries. If you missed any of the 89 attempts including 59 videos, here they are wrapped in one simple entry. I read somewhere that lists in blogs are good. I broke it out by month to see what was happening at the time and let's be honest, pure self-promotion.

Thanks for reading and watching throughout 2015.

Have a Safe and Happy New Year.

January 2015
And a couple special holiday themed entries from years past.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Top 10, Top 10 Predictions for 2016

The time of year when crystal balls get a viewing and many pundits put out their annual predictions for the coming year. Rather than thinking up my own, I figured I’d regurgitate what many others are expecting to happen.

7 Future Predictions for the Internet of Things – IoT is one of the hottest terms and trends. From connected cars, homes, businesses and more, connected devices are becoming more prevalent in our lives. Stable Kernel looks at the future economic growth, development of smart cities, wearables, privacy challenges and how voice commands will become the norm.

Top 10 Humanoid Robots Designed To Match Human Capabilities And Emotions – While once a dream of The Jetsons, companion robots in the home will become as common as pets, even if the pet is a robot. WT VOX explores whether robots could fully replace humans by 2045 as some predict and takes a look at the top 10 that are starting to match human capability.

The top security threats of 2016 – ZDNet digs into McAfee's 2016 cybersecurity threat report covering areas like hardware, ransomware, cloud services, connected cars and the warehouses of stolen data. From the Ashley Madison hack, to Jeeps taken off-road and the TalkTalk breach, digital infiltration is now a daily occurrence and no one is immune.

Forrester’s top 10 predictions for business in 2016 — and what they mean for tech – Computerworld summarizes Forrester’s top 10 predictions and how 2016 will be the year that the companies that thrive will be those advancing down the customer obsession path. They look at critical business issues like loyalty, analytics, personalization and how privacy will become a value to which customers will respond. You need to live a customer-obsessed operating model to survive.

IBM predicts tech world of 2016 – At number 5, IBM has published its 6th annual Five in Five - where it predicts five innovations that will change all of our lives in the next five years, with mind-reading machines apparently set to be interpreting our thoughts by 2016. From generating our own energy to no more passwords to almost everyone having some sort of mobile technology, IBM Labs is exploring these emerging technologies.

DDoS Predictions for 2016, IBM Insights – Also from Big Blue, they are sharing insight into new types of DDoS attacks that are to be expected during the coming year. DDoS is no longer a nagging problem but a bona fide technique to disable a company’s resources. BitTorrent, malicious JavaScript and Temporal Lensing DDoS (pdf) attacks are all explained. As I’ve mentioned before, there have always been protesters and activists - some write letters, some picket on the sidewalk, some throw rocks and with the advent of the internet, now you can protest (and more) by creating digital havoc.

5 IT industry predictions for 2016 from Forrester and IDC – CIO.com hits on the 2016 predictions of IDC and Forrester, two of the largest analyst firms. In their distillation, there could be a bleak future for legacy vendors since according to IDC, ‘by 2020, more than 30 percent of the IT vendors will not exist as we know them today.’ There will also be some cloud consolidation, big data gets even bigger and traditional enterprises will turn into software companies. Software developers will become a scarce commodity.

IDC Software Licensing and Pricing Predictions 2016: Top 10 Predictions – And speaking of software, Amy Konary of IDC writes about focus areas like the growth of subscription and outcomes-based pricing, the real cost of licensing complexity, usage models in IoT, the business model impacts of the convergence of cloud, mobile, social, and big data technologies.

10+1 Commandments For Companies Developing Wearable Health Trackers – Many of us will be getting a wearable or two this holiday season so ScienceRoll rolled up it’s 10+1 commandments every company developing wearable health trackers should follow. Practical value, online communities, long live batteries and gamification are what user’s desire. We know you want to make money but focus on helping people live a healthier life.

In-depth: Top 10 Internet of Things companies to watch – We started with IoT and figured I’d caboose this with another. RCRWireless digs in to the top players in both Industrial IoT and Consumer IoT. Many of the names are familiar: Cisco, IBM, ATT, Google, GE, Samsung and a few others are already hedging their future on all these connected nouns. See what these organizations are doing both internally and externally to embrace IoT and take advantage of this proposed multi-trillion dollar market opportunity.

And if you want to see if any of the previous year’s predictions came true, here ya go:


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Monday, December 7, 2015

Punchbowl, Pearl Harbor and my Grandparents

(Originally posted December 07, 2009)

In honor of Pearl Harbor day, I want to share a bit of history you might not know about. This has nothing to do with technology, security or current trends but felt compelled to honor my grandparents along with service men/women everywhere today. I am Hawaiian (1/8th, direct from Kekaulike line). I was born there and most of my ancestors lived there while it was still a Monarchy. My great and present grandparents all were born and raised and some witnessed the great destruction that day, 74 years ago. A shell even landed in my grandmother’s backyard while they were at church that Sunday! Both my grandfathers played a significant role in the days and weeks following the bombing. My paternal grandfather was a carpenter and lived in Pauoa Valley (O’ahu) which is situated right next to Punchbowl, the National Cemetery of the Pacific. While many equate O'ahu with Diamond Head (Leahi – Brow of the Tuna – to the Hawaiians), Punchbowl is also an old volcano that helped create the island. When my grandfather was a kid they used to play there and he spoke of many fun times running around inside Punchbowl as a youngster.


When Pearl Harbor was hit, many locals were called (and wanted) to help, as you can imagine. As my grandfather tells it, they needed a place to temporarily put those who had died in the Pearl attack and Punchbowl was both the closest (about 15 miles), had the space and was known as the ‘Hill of Sacrifice’ to the ancient Hawaiians so it had historical significance. Being a carpenter and living less than a mile from Punchbowl, he was part of the team that built the wooden caskets for the 2400 fallen. As the days went on and suitable re-locations were not available, they decided to start properly laying to rest those who had perished – right there at Punchbowl. The Pearl Harbor victims were among the first to be buried there, 776 of them. About 8 years later, they officially dedicated it as the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific – it’s the Arlington for the Pacific Fleet. Those who have served in the Pacific Fleet have their choice of Virginia or Hawaii as their final resting place.

My maternal grandfather, who happened to be a Honolulu Detective at the time, was born in Yokohama (although not Japanese) and had learned Japanese while attending school there. He moved to the Hawaiian Islands with his parents when he was still a teenager and grew up on the Big Island. Since he understood Japanese, the US Government assigned him to guard the Japanese consulate when the US declared war. He really didn’t like the assignment since he had become friends with staff due to being a local police officer and had fond memories of being Japan. After the attack, there were curfews and blackouts, and my grandfather had to make sure there was still a little illumination but nothing too bright inside the consulate. One evening as he was coving an exposed light bulb with a mimeograph carbon copy he pulled from the garbage, he noticed the backwards Japanese characters of some correspondence. As he looked closer, it contained information of about the locations of ships and other munitions stationed at Pearl Harbor, which became a key piece of evidence as they started to piece together what happened.

As the years roll on and those who witnessed the Pearl Harbor attack become memories themselves, I offer these couple short stories to the Internet to file, store and recall whenever someone wonders about all the little back stories of this significant event in our history.


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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Arguing with Things

As more things get connected, we may find ourselves disagreeing with them.

We all argue, especially if you’re passionate about something. Sometimes it’s with our spouse, sometimes with friends or co-workers and sometimes we scold objects that aren’t doing what we want them to do, ‘Ah, come on pen…don’t run out of ink now!!’ As more of these things get connected and are interacting with us, will you find yourself arguing with inanimate objects even more?

echoThe other day I was talking to my wife about Alexa (the Amazon Echo) and suddenly from the other room we hear, ‘I will add that item to the shopping cart.’ We looked at each other and simultaneously said, ‘What was that?’ with the added ‘jinx’ that quickly follows. We walked over to the device and started interrogating it as to what it just added to the cart. ‘I don’t understand the question…I can’t seem to find what you are looking for…I can’t understand what you said,’ were the various responses. These answers would drive a detective to charge it with obstructing justice. This is not a complaint against Echo mind you, we like it. It just couldn’t understand our questions until we asked the right way.

It also seems to have feelings. My daughter told it that it was stupid (for not understanding us) and Echo replied with, ‘That’s not very nice.’ M3S looked at me, looked at Alexa and then apologized to the cylinder. Not sure if she forgave us, but we’re a little more courteous around her now. Over at The Guardian, Rory Carroll experienced the same thing and he writes about how these home robots hear everything and the types of data captured by many of these home services. There are no more boundaries between home and the outside world. 

When I’m in the car and pass the intended route, the GPS keeps telling me to make my first legal U-turn, even though I know where I’m going. On a few occasions I’ve quipped, ‘Stop bossing me around!’ It ignores me and keeps reiterating that I’m going the wrong way. Tossing it in the back seat doesn’t help.

With the holiday season upon us and wish lists getting fulfilled, you may find that in 2016, your quarrels will be with gaming consoles, thermostats, fitness trackers, security cameras, refrigerators and other gadgets instead of humans.

I guess that’s better than making a scene at the dinner table.*


* Except in cases where smart utensils have been deployed.


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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Inside the ALOHA!

Originally posted Nov 25, 2013

I shot this a couple years ago in Hawaii during Thanksgiving week and wanted to express my gratitude to all of you for watching our videos throughout the year. With Honolulu as a backdrop, I share a little Hawaiian history along with why I open my videos with 'ALOHA!'


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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Identity Theft: Not So Scary Anymore?

This article originally appeared on F5.com on 10.20.15.

With Halloween in our rearview mirror and the holiday shopping season upon us, a couple surveys are out examining our fears and in particular, our concerns about identity theft. Apparently, ID theft is not so scary anymore - like entering a haunted house for the hair-raising screams but walking out with nervous giggles.

Over at Bankrate.com, only 54% of surveyed tricksters says they are somewhat or very frightened of ID theft. That's down 80% from those who expressed the same level of concern back in 2008. Almost half, 43%, claim they have little or no fear, trouncing the 19% who were brave in 2008. This is all while the overall victim count remains at similar levels - 12.5 million in 2008 verses 12.7 million in 2014 according to Javelin Strategy & Research. As far as knowing someone who has been hit, 46% say they or a friend has been a victim compared to 34% in 2008.

They chalk it up to people being desensitized to breaches due to the almost weekly confessions of data intrusions. The general feeling is that if large retailers, health care providers and credit agencies can't keep my data safe, how can I. More of those same folks however are also following some good advice of shredding sensitive documents (72%), checking their credit report regularly (56%), avoiding insecure WiFi (54%) and almost 20% have frozen their credit files. These are all good ways to help you worry less.

And Chapman University published their Survey of American Fears, Wave 2 (2015) examining the fears of average Americans. The domains of fear include areas like crime, natural and man made disasters, personal anxieties, environment, technology and others. Along with the corruption, terrorism and warfare, identity theft comes in at 39.6% and credit card fraud sits at 36.9%. Both in the Top 10.

So, while ID theft is still one of our top fears, by the time you get to Nightmare on Identity Street 4, Freddy isn't so freighting and you have some tools to deal with him.

Besides, your insecure connected kettles could be exposing your WiFi passwords without your knowledge. Now that's scary!


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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Connecting the Threads

What was first used to protect humans from the outside elements is now monitoring our body's inside environment.

According to eMarketer.com, wearable usage will grow almost 60% in 2015 verses 2014. This year, almost 40 million U.S. adults will use wearables, including smartwatches and fitness trackers. And that's only 16% of the penetrable market. They expect that number double in two years with close to 82 million adults wearing something connected by 2018. Almost two in five internet users by 2019. You probably think that it'll be all those youngsters growing up with connected objects but over the next four years, older Americans will see the biggest growth with the flood of wearable health monitor devices. Don't fret, I'm sure that new outfit for special occasions will monitor something. These connected wearables will soon be able to cover our body.

198643Even with that growth, adults are still exploring the value of wearables, above the wow-cool factor, for the real benefit of the investment. With prices still high for many of these gadgets, the adoption will be slightly lower than the recent mad rush for smartphones and tablets. Yet like many new technologies, as sticker-shock drops, the adoption grows. In addition, as more apps are developed to work with this new wardrobe, more people are likely to use it...just like the mobile device market. After all, that's what these things are - mobile devices. And once that happens, the advertisers will be all over that segment, which is currently very sparse.

And what typically follows mass adoption of technology? Vulnerabilities and security risks.

More connected personal devices in the office means more enterprise security risks. Whether it be from smartwatches having access to sensitive corporate data or the lost bandwidth from all the updates and alerts sent to these devices. Corporate BYOD security policies could soon include smartwatch use or any other wearable that poses a risk to the organization. As Steven Wright says, 'Right now I'm having amnesia and déjà vu at the same time.' BYO2.0

And we haven't even touched on the lack of security being built into some of these devices.

From insulin pumps, to glucose meters to pacemakers, anything that is wireless enabled is vulnerable to attack. While the bad guys are always looking for an easy score, it could also be the disgruntled employee looking to fix someone's wagon. And when I say fix, I really mean break. There are also privacy concerns for those who might be wearing smart eyewear. That casual, always awkward conversation at the urinal now takes on new meaning. For highly sensitive meetings, there could be a clothes rack and changing station so someone doesn't need to strip down just to participate. Forget about spy pens with wireless mics, my shirt's logo has a camera weaved into the seam.

All is not lost though, as there will be plenty of top 10 lists guiding you so you do not become a social (real world) outcast. WT VOX has put together it's Top 10 Worst Wearable Tech Devices So Far list. From a tie that has a QR code built into its back, to smartwigs, selfie-hats and drum pants, they explore the wild gadgets that are clamoring to cover our body. And on the flip side, they also look at the 10 Wearables and IoT Companies To Watch In 2015. Here, you get a glimpse of the future of smart lighting, dealing with big data, new IoT chipsets, IoT cloud platforms and other entities focused on our networked society.

Hashtag: Amazing.


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