|By Roger Strukhoff||
|December 11, 2010 06:45 AM EST||
Cloud Computing has been flexing its muscles over the past week, much to the discomfiture of the American government and numerous other diplomats worldwide.
The ability for Julian Assange and his acolytes to keep the information flowing on the one hand, and to paralyze websites of those that they oppose on the other, demonstrates the original brilliance of the Internet's decentralized structure and protocol.
These cyber-gymnastics will, unfortunately, most likely provoke a reaction opposite of that intended by WikiLeaks and its supporters.
Rather than bullying governments into a new era of transparency and disclosure, it is likely to unleash an underlying fascism that will manifest itself in increased calls for insane ideas like Internet kill switches, international prior restraint treaties, and strengthened Patriot Act-type nonsense under the guise of anti-terror laws.
If you think the American government has acted fascistically in the past, well just wait, you ain't seen nothin' yet. Just as it is now clear that the so-called War on Terror transcends political parties, it will become equally clear that a riled-up donkey is at least as dangerous as an angry elephant.
Who Is On Your Side?
Well played, laddies! You now have noted democracy icon Vladimir Putin on your side, and somewhere, China's leaders are smiling.
It struck me as ironic that many of the world's most technically adept people--ie, geeks--are now telling diplomats how to do their jobs. I can't think of a less diplomatic gathering than a roomful (real or virtual) of geeks; perhaps a room full of umpires or DMV employees.
Opaque, misleading, treacherous diplomacy has been a fixture of all civilizations for thousands of years. The revelations coming out of the WikiLeaks diplomatic cable fiasco hardly seem to qualify as anything of a major major nature.
As one German diplomat has commented, "you should hear what we say about you (Americans.)" And anyone who's ever worked in an organization of any size can no doubt recount politics and business moves of a far dirtier nature than anything that's come of light from the WikiLeaks leaks.
But the episode does make me wonder what would happen if geeks ran the diplomatic corps. I guess we'd have reports of "a frank exchange of flame," "agree to mutually trash one another," and "my esteemed hopeless idiot colleague."
The flip side of this is the question of what would happen if diplomats wrote software?
If diplomats had created MS-DOS and Windows, for example, we'd have had the Blue Screen of Denial all these years. The Mac OS would throw a smiley face your way rather than a bomb when it crashes.
There would be no "404 error - page not found" but instead a "404 episode - page accord expected." You would never have a "registry error," but instead a "senior-level communique."
In a world of software created by diplomats, we'd no doubt be faced with inscrutable error messages, a confusing welter of non-standard standards, defiant stonewalling from companies whenever anything went wrong, and an inability to find out for sure what is really going on inside our systems.
Oh wait, maybe diplomats did write all this software after all! Maybe geeks are the same people, playing some sort of double-role spy game on the rest of us.
What is True?
Or maybe geeks are simply the yang to diplomats' yin--whereas diplomats are liars who speak facts as if they are opinions, geeks are truth-tellers who speak opinions as if they are facts.
The DDOS attacks on Visa, Mastercard, et al perfectly demonstrate the concept of the anti-corporate tripwire that exists in the minds of so many of Assange's supporters. These folks are just waiting for an excuse to launch against one of the evil corporate masters who control the world today.
Their mission is a political mission, one that should be viewed as an outlier position within the political spectrum.
To my mind, there's nothing inherently wrong with that. Accepted political debate in the US these days, for example, maddeningly runs the gamut from slightly center-left to slightly center-right.
But the idea that a "war" has been declared is the sort of dangerous talk that gets people killed. The famous Churchillian dictum that "jaw jaw" is preferable to "war war" is an evergreen.
One of Mr. Assange's stated goals is to end the war in Afghanistan. Well, who's against that except for all of the powebrokers in Afghanistan who benefit from the continued largesse of the US and its increasingly slim roster of allies?
Setting aside for a moment whether he's chosen a wise way to pursue his goal, one has to ask how declarations of a new war from some of his backers will end the old one.
War talk is cheap to create, but becomes dreadfully expensive when taken seriously. And you can believe with all of your heart and soul that the US government is taking it seriously, and actively (joined by the tacit approval of the usual suspects who enjoy letting the US be the bad guy in geopolitical affairs).
It's time for the geeks to tone down the rhetoric a bit, to stop promulgating the "fact" that Mr. Assange is some sort of political prisoner, and to stop using WikiLeaks activity as a pretext to act on pre-conceived conspiracy theories about American arrogance and corporate malfeasance.
Keep it technical, laddies.
Go ahead and mirror WikiLeaks utnil you've run out of IP addresses; but keep the war talk and actual cyberattacks to a minimum, please. It's not helpful, and is likely to provoke the opposite reaction from what you intend. Read this scolding from Reporters Without Borders to get the big picture: http://bit.ly/9lgLGE
Who are you? How do you introduce yourself? Do you use a name, or do you greet a friend by the last four digits of his social security number? Assuming you don’t, why are we content to associate our identity with 10 random digits assigned by our phone company? Identity is an issue that affects everyone, but as individuals we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ben Klang, Founder & President of Mojo Lingo, discussed the impact of technology on identity. Sho...
Feb. 22, 2017 12:30 AM EST Reads: 5,272
"Operations is sort of the maturation of cloud utilization and the move to the cloud," explained Steve Anderson, Product Manager for BMC’s Cloud Lifecycle Management, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Feb. 21, 2017 10:45 PM EST Reads: 1,765
"I think that everyone recognizes that for IoT to really realize its full potential and value that it is about creating ecosystems and marketplaces and that no single vendor is able to support what is required," explained Esmeralda Swartz, VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud at Ericsson, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Feb. 21, 2017 09:45 PM EST Reads: 618
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
Feb. 21, 2017 09:30 PM EST Reads: 652
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Feb. 21, 2017 09:15 PM EST Reads: 634
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Feb. 21, 2017 09:00 PM EST Reads: 1,094
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his Day 2 Keynote at @ThingsExpo, Henrik Kenani Dahlgren, Portfolio Marketing Manager at Ericsson, discussed how to plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the...
Feb. 21, 2017 08:30 PM EST Reads: 4,566
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @CloudExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
Feb. 21, 2017 07:30 PM EST Reads: 1,184
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Now has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IoT Now explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs, and it passes on some lessons learned from those who have taken the first steps in next-gen IoT services.
Feb. 21, 2017 06:30 PM EST Reads: 1,274
SYS-CON Events announced today that WineSOFT will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Based in Seoul and Irvine, WineSOFT is an innovative software house focusing on internet infrastructure solutions. The venture started as a bootstrap start-up in 2010 by focusing on making the internet faster and more powerful. WineSOFT’s knowledge is based on the expertise of TCP/IP, VPN, SSL, peer-to-peer, mob...
Feb. 21, 2017 06:15 PM EST Reads: 1,579
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
Feb. 21, 2017 06:15 PM EST Reads: 935
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, discussed the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports.
Feb. 21, 2017 05:30 PM EST Reads: 1,178
With billions of sensors deployed worldwide, the amount of machine-generated data will soon exceed what our networks can handle. But consumers and businesses will expect seamless experiences and real-time responsiveness. What does this mean for IoT devices and the infrastructure that supports them? More of the data will need to be handled at - or closer to - the devices themselves.
Feb. 21, 2017 05:15 PM EST Reads: 1,792
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dataloop.IO, an innovator in cloud IT-monitoring whose products help organizations save time and money, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Dataloop.IO is an emerging software company on the cutting edge of major IT-infrastructure trends including cloud computing and microservices. The company, founded in the UK but now based in San Fran...
Feb. 21, 2017 04:30 PM EST Reads: 2,342
Big Data, cloud, analytics, contextual information, wearable tech, sensors, mobility, and WebRTC: together, these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Erik Perotti, Senior Manager of New Ventures on Plantronics’ Innovation team, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it m...
Feb. 21, 2017 04:00 PM EST Reads: 6,929
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Feb. 21, 2017 03:15 PM EST Reads: 859
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Feb. 21, 2017 03:00 PM EST Reads: 6,004
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
Feb. 21, 2017 02:30 PM EST Reads: 1,392
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry’s single source for the cloud. Fusion’s advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including cloud...
Feb. 21, 2017 01:45 PM EST Reads: 3,642
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud computing technologies. Ge...
Feb. 21, 2017 01:30 PM EST Reads: 1,174