Welcome!

Web 2.0 Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Elizabeth White, Peter Silva

Blog Feed Post

This Week in the Future: All Tomorrow’s Catastrophes

Hurricane Sandy in NYC

Hurricane Sandy in NYC

Each week, Team Shelly Palmer sends me a prompt for this column, focusing on a topical event or idea, which I then explore in regards to the future. This past week, the last week of October 2012, I received no prompt. I hadn’t really expected to. It’s been a hard week on the east coast of America. Hurricane Sandy made a mess of nearly the entire eastern half of the United States. As I write this, Shelly still doesn’t have electricity or water in New York City. It seemed appropriate to take a look at catastrophes.

Manhattan Island versus Hurricane Sandy in 140 Characters or Less

History is important to futurism. Understanding where we have come from helps us understand where we’re headed. This week I was struck with how much has changed since just a few years and catastrophes ago. The conversations in the media, on the Internet and with local communities have changed. Well, the conversations haven’t changed all that much – people are still worried about their friends, family and fellow Americans – but how they have those conversations has really changed.

Most Americans were glued to their TVs as Sandy marched its way inland. Flipping from news channel to news channel, the minute-to-minute coverage of the event was manic at best and hysterical in its lack of control. Journalists stated facts, reported for the scene and basically keep the viewing public informed. But the minute-to-minute coverage was almost irresponsible in its casting of the coming catastrophe as if it were some heavyweight prize fight in Las Vegas.

Ding! Ding! Ladies and Gentlemen… In this corner we have the current heavyweight champion of the world, the Island of Manhattan. Loved and hated by scores of fans. Managed and coached by Mikey “Quick Hands” Bloomberg, this champ is a rock solid fighter with a strong back and a feisty disposition. And in this corner, we have the unknown wonder, the kid from the south making his way up the record charts… he’s big, he’s slow moving, but he packs a wallop… Hurricane Sandy! Two will enter the ring but only one will emerge! Ding! Ding!

Let’s be clear, I’m not playing down the effects of the storm or the need for the public to have as much information as possible about the event. But the reports and projections were a breathless mix of fear and excitement, urging us to stay tuned.

Don’t get me wrong: I love TV, but for the first time, I had a different place to go for minute-to-minute coverage of the storm. Unlike TV, this coverage was not on the brink of hysteria and was surprisingly level-headed and in-depth. What was this new news source? Twitter.

The residents of Manhattan, New Jersey and the entire eastern seaboard of the United States tracked the storm in 140 characters or less, often with photos as well. I know the Internet is the Internet and Twitter is Twitter. As with most media, you get what you put into it. Most times, people share nothing more than a steady stream of personally relevant information that is at times amusing, offensive and usually just noise. But just as Americans can rally together in a time of crisis, so too can Twitter.

Twitter provided real-time updates from individuals as they lived through the catastrophe. As with most news, beyond the high level facts, it’s the details and the human stories that really give us a sense of what’s happening. Twitter provided a platform for people to connect and organize, similar to what we saw during Arab Spring.

Watching Cory Booker (@CoryBooker), the Mayor of Trenton, New Jersey, as he gave updates on the storm was incredible. People tweeted Booker to ask if they were in flood zones and he responded. They asked him to check on their loved ones and he did. They asked what shelter to go to and he answered. Booker used Twitter not only as a platform to get out official word but also as a personal way to reach specific people who needed his help.

Cory Booker

Cory Booker

To get a different perspective you could have followed political activist and writer Baratunde Thurston (@Baratunde) as he made his way across Manhattan and into Brooklyn as the storm bore down on the city. He acted as an embedded reporter with a sense of humor, taking snapshots of the preparations while also stopping at bars to have a drink with the locals and hear their thoughts. It was style of “reporting” that wasn’t possible just a few years ago.

Baratunde Thurston

Baratunde Thurston

Baratunde Thurston

Baratunde Thurston

I’m not saying that we should all throw out or TVs for Twitter, but the widespread use of smartphones, the Internet and social media have given us a way to communicate we didn’t have before. This new, more personal means of reporting has created a whole new set of expectations. We not only want minute-by-minute updates, but we expect that technology to work in the middle of the catastrophe.

Many reports post-Sandy focused on the lack of cellular service and Internet connectivity. People talked less about their lack of water than they did about their inability to get onto Facebook so they could check in on their loved ones and let people know they were okay. Sandy illustrated something about the vital services we will need in future catastrophes that has moved beyond water, power, shelter and food: We need to add Twitter, Facebook, the Internet and 4G to that list. In fact, many folks were giving up shelter to seek out 4G and Twitter. These new necessities change our future, change how we plan for the next catastrophe and make us better prepared.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the host of Fox Television’s "Shelly Palmer Digital Living" television show about living and working in a digital world. He is Fox 5′s (WNYW-TV New York) Tech Expert and the host of United Stations Radio Network’s, MediaBytes, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment.

@ThingsExpo Stories
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. 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 Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal an...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential Internet of Things Brand by Onalytica in the ‘The Internet of Things Landscape 2015: Top 100 Individuals and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed Twitter conversations around the #IoT debate to uncover the most influential brands and individuals driving the conversation. Onalytica captured data from 56,224 users. The PageRank based methodology they use to extract influencers on a particular topic (tweets mentioning #InternetofThings or #IoT in this case) takes into account the number and quality of contextual references that a user receives.
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
Enterprise IoT is an exciting and chaotic space with a lot of potential to transform how the enterprise resources are managed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Hari Srinivasan, Sr Product Manager at Cisco, will describe the challenges in enabling mass adoption of IoT, and share perspectives and insights on architectures/standards/protocols that are necessary to build a healthy ecosystem and lay the foundation to for a wide variety of exciting IoT use cases in the years to come.
Avnet, Inc. has announced that it ranked No. 4 on the InformationWeek Elite 100 – a list of the top business technology innovators in the U.S. Avnet was recognized for the development of an innovative cloud-based training system that serves as the foundation for Avnet Academy – the company’s education and training organization focused on technical training around top IT vendor technologies. The development of this system allowed Avnet to quickly expand its IT-related training capabilities around the world, while creating a new service that Avnet and its IT solution providers can offer to their...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the M2M space. This really allows some room for influential individuals to create more high value inter...
SYS-CON Events announced today that B2Cloud, a provider of enterprise resource planning software, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. B2cloud develops the software you need. They have the ideal tools to help you work with your clients. B2Cloud’s main solutions include AGIS – ERP, CLOHC, AGIS – Invoice, and IZUM
It's time to put the "Thing" back in IoT. Whether it’s drones, robots, self-driving cars, ... There are multiple incredible examples of the power of IoT nowadays that are shadowed by announcements of yet another twist on statistics, databases, .... Sorry, I meant, Big Data(TM), tiered storage(TM), complex systems(TM), smart nations(TM), .... In his session at WebRTC Summit, Dr Alex Gouaillard, CTO and Co-Founder of Temasys, will discuss the concrete, cool, examples of IoT already happening today, and how mixing all those different sources of visual and audio input can make your life happier ...
The WebRTC Summit 2015 New York, to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 16th International Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY., and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides private all-in-one social intranets allowing workers to securely collaborate from anywhere in the world and from any device. Social, mobile, and easy to use. MangoApps has been named a "Market Leader" by Ovum Research and a "Cool Vendor" by Gartner...
The world's leading Cloud event, Cloud Expo has launched Microservices Journal on the SYS-CON.com portal, featuring over 19,000 original articles, news stories, features, and blog entries. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. Microservices Journal offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Follow new article posts on Twitter at @MicroservicesE
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch of Docker's initial release in March of 2013, interest was revved up several notches. Then late last...
There is no doubt that Big Data is here and getting bigger every day. Building a Big Data infrastructure today is no easy task. There are an enormous number of choices for database engines and technologies. To make things even more challenging, requirements are getting more sophisticated, and the standard paradigm of supporting historical analytics queries is often just one facet of what is needed. As Big Data growth continues, organizations are demanding real-time access to data, allowing immediate and actionable interpretation of events as they happen. Another aspect concerns how to deliver ...
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
In his session at WebRTC Summit, Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, will look at creating interactive communications via the web by adding messaging, file transfer, and group communication (group chat and audio/video conferencing) into the web experience. He will also discuss potential applications of this technology in areas including B2B, B2C, P2P, and gaming. Peter Dunkley is Technical Director at Acision. He graduated from The University of Edinburgh in 2000 with a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science. After graduation Peter worked on a PSTN switch developing signalling stacks for SS...
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
What if, during a snow emergency, an on-the-ground sensor could automatically trigger a relevant emergency notification related to snowfall and road impact. And then, after it’s triggered, that notification is delivered intelligently to individuals based on an extensive set of rules designed to alert the most available and capable responders. This “what if” question about “smart highways” is short-sighted. We are already there, and we are only getting started. While mainstream attention is paid to machine-to-machine communications, new technologies are being developed to make these communica...
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here