Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Darren Anstee, Peter Silva, Roger Strukhoff, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Java IoT

Java IoT: Article

Fear of the Dark

Fear of the Dark

As I'm pathologically fond of pointing out - I'm a child of a bygone era. Oh, I'm not old enough to remember the time before Sputnik, light bulbs, or the coagulation of the planets from protostellar dust clouds, but I surely do remember GI Joe at 45 caliber, Ray Stevens at 45 RPM, and factory-rolled cigarettes at 45¢ a pack sold to anxious minors desperate to rebel (just like everyone else).

It seems ironic to me that this column - gilding the edge of JDJ's ultramodern fabric - deals mostly with dusty memories of my vanished youth. On the other hand, I've heard that I should "write about what I know," so my options are extremely limited. Extremely. I mean, how many cab-driving stories can a person take? (Many would say that one is already too many.)

I suppose I could repeatedly spew the first 50 digits of pi - which I happened to memorize as a teenaged proto-geek - but that would be almost as stupid as the original act of memorizing it. I've always thought that those brain cells I still use to hold pi might have otherwise created some history-making invention, or developed the cure for the common cold, or at least been happily sacrificed on the altar of top-shelf single-malt Scotch whiskey. Never too late to hope, though, I guess.

Uh-oh, here it comes, I feel a recitation coming on:

"3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841
9716939937510"

<sigh> Boring, eh?

My sincerest hope, dear reader, is that perhaps I can finally count my own self among the "things I know," and that you will enjoy some of these vacuous recollections from the goofy amalgamation of quarks that is my personal "main storage." And, by all means, if I'm so utterly irrelevant or patently offensive that you're thinking about dropping your JDJ subscription, please drop me a line so I can quit this gig.

So, to the task at hand: this month's "stuff."

As I think back - searching for this month's Thread fodder in that blurring database of murky self-awareness - certain recollections stand out boldly in my memory, maintained with (at least the illusion of) crystalline clarity. Some such moments are undoubtedly the result of a simultaneous psychic shock - the assassinations of JFK, MLK, RFK, and John Lennon; the first moon landing; the Challenger disaster; 9/11.... Others are seemingly just random snippets of remembered awareness, inexplicably preserved for personal perusal.

For example, something just reminded me of one particular evening in December of 1967. I was 10 years old and had come home from a friend's house in time to see the name of Dr. Christiaan Barnard as it flashed on the TV screen. It seemed to me that "Dr. Christiaan Barnard" had a pretty doggoned funny way of spelling his first name, but the venerable Mr. Cronkite didn't even crack a smile as he told us the incredible news: this remarkable man from South Africa had successfully performed the first human heart transplant.

Twilight was just giving way to evening as Walter awed us all with this landmark news. What promise the world held! What wonderful cause for hope and optimism and pride in the human race! We cured polio, managed to forestall nuclear holocaust (so far), and now were on the verge of removing and replacing the human heart.

However, lovely evenings during a South Dakota winter don't usually last very long, and this was no exception.

Through the darkly colored glass of distant recollection, it seems as though darkness fell too swiftly, as Mr. Cronkite inevitably turned to the daily body counts out of Vietnam: so many dead, so many wounded, so many missing in action. So very, very many. Reality blends smoothly into surreality, as I remember the shards of shattered optimism quietly exploding at the sight of graphic footage. Film at 11.

While I can nearly picture Walter's face in my memory, I can't remember the actual body count from that particular day. One thing is certain, though, there was a body count that day; there was a body count every day.

I sure hope I'm wrong, but it looks to me as if the world may be in for another extended bout of nightly body counts on the "Nightly News." Is there anything we can do to stop it? Should it be stopped? Don't ask me. I'm just a family man, computer programmer, and ersatz freelance writer.

More Stories By Blair Wyman

Blair Wyman is a software engineer working for IBM in Rochester, Minnesota, home of the IBM iSeries.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Pulzze Systems, Inc. provides infrastructure products for the Internet of Things to enable any connected device and system to carry out matched operations without programming. For more information, visit http://www.pulzzesystems.com.
If you’re responsible for an application that depends on the data or functionality of various IoT endpoints – either sensors or devices – your brand reputation depends on the security, reliability, and compliance of its many integrated parts. If your application fails to deliver the expected business results, your customers and partners won't care if that failure stems from the code you developed or from a component that you integrated. What can you do to ensure that the endpoints work as expect...
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, will discuss 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. The session will include a working demo and a technical d...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform moder...
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
I'm a lonely sensor. I spend all day telling the world how I'm feeling, but none of the other sensors seem to care. I want to be connected. I want to build relationships with other sensors to be more useful for my human. I want my human to understand that when my friends next door are too hot for a while, I'll soon be flaming. And when all my friends go outside without me, I may be left behind. Don't just log my data; use the relationship graph. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Boyd, Engi...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business in 2016. However, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will drill down to the components in this fra...
The vision of a connected smart home is becoming reality with the application of integrated wireless technologies in devices and appliances. The use of standardized and TCP/IP networked wireless technologies in line-powered and battery operated sensors and controls has led to the adoption of radios in the 2.4GHz band, including Wi-Fi, BT/BLE and 802.15.4 applied ZigBee and Thread. This is driving the need for robust wireless coexistence for multiple radios to ensure throughput performance and th...
Enterprise IT has been in the era of Hybrid Cloud for some time now. But it seems most conversations about Hybrid are focused on integrating AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google ECM into existing on-premises systems. Where is all the Private Cloud? What do technology providers need to do to make their offerings more compelling? How should enterprise IT executives and buyers define their focus, needs, and roadmap, and communicate that clearly to the providers?
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Digital innovation is the next big wave of business transformation based on digital technologies of which IoT and Big Data are key components, For example: Business boundary innovation is a challenge to excavate third-party business value using IoT and BigData, like Nest Business structure innovation may propose re-building business structure from scratch, as Uber does in the taxicab industry The social model innovation is also a big challenge to the new social architecture with the design fr...
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...
IoT is fundamentally transforming the auto industry, turning the vehicle into a hub for connected services, including safety, infotainment and usage-based insurance. Auto manufacturers – and businesses across all verticals – have built an entire ecosystem around the Connected Car, creating new customer touch points and revenue streams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Macario Namie, Head of IoT Strategy at Cisco Jasper, will share real-world examples of how IoT transforms the car from a static p...
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the protocols that communicate data and the emerging data analy...
SYS-CON Events announced today that China Unicom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. China United Network Communications Group Co. Ltd ("China Unicom") was officially established in 2009 on the basis of the merger of former China Netcom and former China Unicom. China Unicom mainly operates a full range of telecommunications services including mobile broadband (GSM, WCDMA, LTE F...
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, will discuss how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your...