Securing Transport To The Cloud

A new article by Andy Blumenthal on cyber security and cloud computing in Public CIO Magazine (June 2012) called Securing Cloud Data Means Recognizing Vulnerabilities.It’s the principle of inertia: An object in motion stays in motion unless disturbed. Just like a car on a highway, everything zips along just fine until there’s a crash. This is similar with information on the superhighway.”Let’s all do our part to secure cyberspace.Hope you enjoy!

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Kenny Holston 21)

Undersea Internet Cables-See Them for Yourself

Gregs_cable_map

I’ve always been interested in maps, geography, and geospatial information systems (GIS). 

Coming across Greg’s Cable Map–I thought this is sort of idiosyncratic, but fascinating too. 
This is an interactive map of our global undersea telecommunications infrastructure.
If you ever wondered how you were able to connect with someone anywhere in the world in split seconds (satellites aside–since we all don’t have immediate access to that), here it is.
How it works: Either you can search the list of cables of the right, click on any one of interest and it highlights it on the map for you or vice versa click on a telecommunications link on the map and it bring up in the right-hand column the points of the cable landings and reference to more information . 
Another cool feature, is the ability to display the telecommunications infrastructure from before, during, or since any period of time–so you can get a historical perspective of what the Internet for example looked like or didn’t look like only ten or fifteen years ago. Can anyone say carrier pigeon?  🙂
There is also the ability to click on the bottom of the map on the check boxes for either or both the active or future cable links to see where we are now (“as-is”) and where we are going (“to-be”) in terms of Internet connectivity. 
Next time you read in the newspaper about a large-scale Internet outage like the multiple ones that occurred when undersea cables were cut in the Mediterranean in 2008 causing outages from the Mideast to India, you can look it up here and see for yourself how “the foot bones connected to the ankle bone.”  
Enjoy and have a good weekend!

>Glass, More Than Just Window Dressing

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This is FANTASTIC!

Video by Corning on glass uses for the future and what a future it is going to be (G-d willing).

Called: “A Day Made of Glass…Made possible by Corning.”

This made me want for more of these capabilities NOW.

Imagine everything you do, but doing it better with glass display powered by technology and lots of information–all around you, as you need it!

I was aware of Corning’s use of glass in high-tech ways for fiber optics transmission (i.e. Internet) and for the Hubble Telescope.

Now so many types of glass for seemingly every functional area of our lives

  • Photovoltaic
  • LCD Television
  • Architectural
  • Surface
  • Appliance Veneer
  • Handheld
  • Automotive
  • Large-Format
  • All Weather
  • Wall Format
  • Work Surface
  • Electronics Ready
  • Large Panel
  • Flexible
  • 3-D TV
  • Portable
Smart products, great vision, and a future that I want to buy into.

Thanks to my relative, Alex S. for sending this video my way.

>Awesome Emergency Management Technologies

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Obviously, I am a technology aficionado, but there is none more awesome than technology, which saves lives.

So to me, defense systems (a topic for another blog) and emergency management systems are two of the most fascinating and compelling areas of technology.

Recently, I have been closely following the story of the Chilean miners trapped beneath 2,200 feet of rock and earth due to a cave-in on 5 August.

It took 17 days to even find the miners in the winding underground mineshaft, and since then the ongoing determination and ingenuity of the emergency rescuers has been incredible.

The Wall Street Journal, 1 October 2010, in an article called “Inventions Ease the Plight of Trapped Miners” describes this unbelievable rescue effort.

Here are some of the technologies making their way a half-mile underground to the 33-trapped miners:

The Paloma (or Pigeon)—supply pod that is “a five-foot-long hollow cylinder that works like a pneumatic tube.” Rescuers stuff it with supplies and lower about 40 of these every day through a 4 inch diameter shaft to supply the miners food, medicine, electrical supplies.

The Phoenixrescue capsule, 10 feet tall, 900 pounds, with its own oxygen supply and communication systems designed to extract the trapped miners and bring each of them for the 15-40 minute ride it will take to get them to the safety of the surface.

Fiber Optic Communications—the miners are using a fiber-optic video camera and telephone link hooked to videoconferencing equipment. This has been cited as one of the biggest boosters of the miner’s morale.

Video Projectors—cellphones with built in projectors have been sent down to the miners allowing them to watch films and videos of family and friends.

iPods—these were considered, but rejected by the chief psychologist of the rescue effort who feared that this may isolate the miners, rather than integrate them during this emergency.

Modern Hygiene Products—Dry shampoo, soap-embedded hand towels, and self-sterilizing socks, have helped reduce odor and infection from the miners.

NASA engineers have exclaimed about the innovation shown by the Chilean emergency rescuers: “they are crossing new thresholds here.”

There are some great pictures and graphics of these devices at an article in the U.K. Telegraph.

What was once being targeted as a holiday rescue, by December, is now being envisioned as an October-November rescue operation. And with the continued application of innovation and technology, the miners will soon we back safe with their families and loved ones.

Also, ongoing kudos to the heroic rescuers!

>Corning and Enterprise Architecture

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Corning is one of those successful companies that almost seem to defy logic.

Perhaps best known by consumers for glassware and Pyrex, heat-resistant glass, Corning is a company that continually reinvents itself and in quite unexpected ways.

The Wall Street Journal, 7 March 2008, reports that “Corning has survived 157 years by betting big on new technologies, from ruby-colored railroad signals to fiber-optic cable to flat-panel TVs.”

Now, “under pressure to find its next hit, the company has spent half a billion dollars—its biggest wager yet—that tougher regulations in the U.S., Europe, and Japan will boost demand for emissions filters for diesel cars and trucks.”

Strange history of product development, no? (maybe even stranger than 3M and their yellow sticky notes?

How do they continually reinvent themselves?

“In Ervin, a few miles from the company’s headquarters in Corning, the glassmaker is spending $300 million to expand its research labs. There some 1700 scientists work on hundreds of speculative projects, from next generation lasers to optical sensors that could speed the discovery of drugs.”

Culturally, they’re not afraid to invest and lose money for many years.”

Corning has also not outsourced production, but rather “continues to operate the 50 factories that churn out thousands of its different products.

What is the drawback to Corning’s approach?

They “often depend heavily on a single product line for most of its profits—92% of last year’s $2.2 billion profit came from its flat-panel-display business.”

What is Corning’s EA strategy?

Corning is a company that goes where the profits are. They are like the nomad hunter-gathers of yester-year that followed their prey and harvest wherever that happened to be. They put a stake in the ground and then up-end it when it’s time.

They do not copy others, but rather like futurists, they seek out and develop the next great product and make a market for it.

While glassware is not generally considered high-tech; Corning has tech-enabled this everyday product in a myriad of ways, including: heat-resistant Pyrex glassware, fiber-optic cable, flat-panel TV displays, Corning has brought glass into modernity.

Even when looking into the distant outposts of space, it is Corning that had developed the special glass mirrors for the largest telescopes in the world to do this. Corning is truly the master architect of everything glass.