Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Jeev Trika, Karyn Jeffery, Scott Allen

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
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects). Bruce Swann has more than 15 years of experience working with digital marketing disciplines like web analytics, social med...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, will discuss the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to fo...
SYS-CON Events announced today Object Management Group® has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
Customer experience has become a competitive differentiator for companies, and it’s imperative that brands seamlessly connect the customer journey across all platforms. With the continued explosion of IoT, join us for a look at how to build a winning digital foundation in the connected era – today and in the future. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Nguyen, Group Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how to successfully leverage mobile, rapidly deploy content, capture real-time d...
What a difference a year makes. Organizations aren’t just talking about IoT possibilities, it is now baked into their core business strategy. With IoT, billions of devices generating data from different companies on different networks around the globe need to interact. From efficiency to better customer insights to completely new business models, IoT will turn traditional business models upside down. In the new customer-centric age, the key to success is delivering critical services and apps wit...
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, will provide an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC Software has been named "Siver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. BMC is a global leader in innovative software solutions that help businesses transform into digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive advantage. BMC Digital Enterprise Management is a set of innovative IT solutions designed to make digital business fast, seamless, and optimized from mainframe to mo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobile software company with over 200 develope...
SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from Web startups to global enterprises. SoftLayer's modular architecture, full-featured API, and sophisticated automation provide unparalleled performance and control. Its flexible unified platform seamlessly spans physical and virtual devices linked via a world...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
As cloud and storage projections continue to rise, the number of organizations moving to the cloud is escalating and it is clear cloud storage is here to stay. However, is it secure? Data is the lifeblood for government entities, countries, cloud service providers and enterprises alike and losing or exposing that data can have disastrous results. There are new concepts for data storage on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive data around the world. ...
SYS-CON Events announced today TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget is the Web’s leading destination for serious technology buyers researching and making enterprise technology decisions. Its extensive global networ...
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 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 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...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.