IBM and Internet of Things  

Posted by Big Gav in , , ,

Bruce has a post on IBM's efforts to get into the "internet of things" market - Spime Watch: IBM and Internet of Things. As usual, Bruce's interjections are marked with ((( ))) pairings.

((( The thing that’s endearing about IBM is their deployment of real money. Like, megatons of money. Plus swarms of real-world machinery and thousands of actual engineers. )))


“I recently spoke to Andy Stanford-Clark, a Master Inventor and Distinguished Engineer at IBM. Yesterday we wrote about how Stanford-Clark has hooked his house up to Twitter. Today we delve more into what his employer, IBM, is doing with the Internet of Things.

“IBM is involved in some very interesting projects at the intersection of two big trends we’ve been tracking in 2009: The Real-time Web and Internet of Things. They have a website devoted to this topic, called A Smarter Planet. As the name implies, it focuses on environmental matters such as energy and food systems. Sensors, RFID tags and real-time messaging software are major parts of IBM’s smarter planet strategy.

(((I like the idea of a multinational corporation with a “smarter planet strategy.” Decent of them to realize they don’t get an extra planet after dominating one of them.)))

“The catchcry for the site - Instrumented, Interconnected, and Intelligent - is about outfitting the world with sensors and hooking them to the Internet to apply the ’smarts.’

“IBM has a whole set of RFID and sensor technology solutions. But more importantly it has been busy working with various manufacturers and goods suppliers in recent months, to introduce those solutions to the world.

“This month IBM made an agreement with Matiq, an IT subsidiary of Norway’s largest food supplier Nortura. The project involves using RFID (radio frequency identification) technology to track and trace poultry and meat products “from the farm, through the supply chain, to supermarket shelves.” This food tracking solution will help ensure that meat and chicken are “kept in optimal condition throughout the supply chain.” The system uses IBM’s WebSphere RFID Information Center, together with IBM’s sensor and actuator solutions.

“A similar project is one that IBM announced at the end of June with Danish transportation company Container Centralen. By February 2010, Container Centralen undertakes to use IBM sensor technology “to allow participants in the horticultural supply chain to track the progress of shipments as they move from growers to wholesalers and retailers across 40 countries in Europe.”

“Specifically this refers to transportation of things like flowers and pot plants, (((no, no, not actual “pot plants,” that’s more of a Californian cottage-industry thing))) which are very sensitive to the environment they travel in. Having sensors as part of the entire travel chain will allow participants to monitor conditions and climate during travel. Essentially it makes the travel process very transparent… (((etc etc etc)))

Bruce also has a look at the emerging market for tinfoil hats for passports - Arphid Watch: Passport Sleeves.
((( Haven’t had any arphid news on BEYOND THE BEYOND in a while. Not because we lost interest in RFID, but because the technology itself looks snafu’d. As the technology ages, its original headlong tech impetus is unable to overcome its many poorly-designed deployments. )))

((( Here’s the Obama State Department shrugging about their RFID train wreck, and hoping nobody notices that the previous Administration installed zillions of terror-friendly radio beacons in the purses and pockets of the American civil population. )))

“…when the sleeves come off, “you’re essentially saying to the world, ‘Come and read what’s in my wallet,’” says Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, D.C.

“By obliging Americans to use these sleeves, he says, the government has, in effect, shifted the burden of privacy protection to the citizen. (…)”

((( Well, yeah; the State Department installed the arphids in there, and if you’re worried about that, they don’t mind if you now go buy and install your own tinfoil hat. Up to you. Pal, voter.)))

((( Given their mournful fait accompli on the ground, they probably lack any rational alternative, except to INSIST that everybody go buy some tinfoil hat for their passport, in which case the Global War on Terror situation looks even more aggressively crazy than it was before. Not to mention the tremendous publicity boon for RFID hackers seeking employment with terrorist hotel-bomber types, who’d no doubt love to bug any doorway anywhere on earth, and automatically count the vulnerable foreigners walking through it. )))

((( Also, according to the original genius plan, you were supposed to be using these safe-and-secure arphid beacons to merrily zip through airports, en-masse, subway-style, like with Oyster cards. Seen any of that jolly high-tech activity anywhere lately? Me neither. Instead we’ve created a huge, botched superpower effort that is paranoid, semi-secret, global in scale, leaky in security and at best semi-functional. “Gothic High-Tech.” )))

(((Later: George Mokray write in:)))

“I’ve been making my own duct tape wallets (and notebook covers) for years. My most recent credit card came with an RFID chip so I decided to make my next wallet with an aluminized mylar substrate from a potato chip bag rather than the paper I used to use. My assumption is that the aluminized mylar will dampen the RFID signal. My passport was renewed just before RFID chips became standard issue, thanks to your head’s up. The wallet is wearing well, better than the old paper and duct tape ones.

“Doing a Tuvan throat singing workshop at NE Conservatory the next couple of days with actual Tuvan artists, Allash. South African choral music all day Saturday. Ain’t globalization grand.

“Solar IS Civil Defense,
George Mokray”

(((Great job with the duct tape potato chip bag Tuvan throat-singing solar arphid wallet, George. Always great hearing from you; you are our kind of people.)))

And one last item from Bruce - The Gothic “Ghost Properties” of the London Rich.
At an abandoned home with yellowing newspapers on its front stoop, Paul Palmer peeks through a mail slot to find letters and leaves carpeting the entryway. The house next door has a dead plant chained to its porch, which is covered in faded utility bills.

Mr. Palmer investigates abandoned homes for a living. But his turf isn’t a poverty-stricken corner of this financial capital. It’s the Mayfair district, home to wealthy financiers, celebrities, the U.S. Embassy — and a few squatters. (((<— Is it necessary for me to point this little arrow at the “squatters,” or are you catching on yet?)))

In the city of Westminster, where Mayfair is located, homes can cost up to £50 million ($81 million). Yet Westminster is fifth among London’s 33 boroughs in the number of unoccupied properties. In 2008, 1,737 homes had been vacant six months or more, the third highest number among all London boroughs, according to the Empty Homes Agency, a nonprofit group that seeks to put empty homes back into use. (((I wonder where the Empty Homes Agency gets their NGO funding, because they’re gonna be busy guys.)))

Unlike people facing foreclosures in other neighborhoods around the world, Mayfair’s homeowners aren’t down on their luck. Rather, the properties serve as investments for owners who pay the bills to keep them empty — something the neighbors and city object to when the homes fall into disrepair. (((It’s hard to conceive of a practice more Gothic than this — it’s a financial practice for human shelter that evicts human beings and then destroys the homes through entropy. Wait, I can think of one financial practice even more spooky and extreme: profitably burning dead fossil fuels so that the *entire planet* becomes humanly uninhabitable.)))

Many owners decline to rent the homes due to local council tax rules, which tax properties at a lower rate if they are empty and unfurnished. That loophole frustrates Mr. Palmer. “We shouldn’t be rewarding these people,” he says. (((Can’t blame capitalism all the time, especially in the Wall Street Journal. Posh neighborhoods inhumanly determined to keep up property values can also regulate themselves right out of human existence.)))

As the Westminster City Council’s empty-property officer, Mr. Palmer strolls the area’s streets six hours each day to identify vacant homes and track down their owners. Under British law, local authorities have the power to seek an order to claim ownership of the ghost properties and put them up for sale….


Post a Comment


Locations of visitors to this page

blogspot visitor
Stat Counter

Total Pageviews




Blog Archive


australia (619) global warming (423) solar power (397) peak oil (355) renewable energy (302) electric vehicles (250) wind power (194) ocean energy (165) csp (159) solar thermal power (145) geothermal energy (144) energy storage (142) smart grids (140) oil (139) solar pv (138) tidal power (137) coal seam gas (131) nuclear power (129) china (120) lng (117) iraq (113) geothermal power (112) green buildings (111) natural gas (110) agriculture (92) oil price (80) biofuel (78) wave power (73) smart meters (72) coal (70) uk (69) electricity grid (67) energy efficiency (64) google (58) bicycle (51) internet (51) surveillance (50) big brother (49) shale gas (49) food prices (48) tesla (46) thin film solar (42) biomimicry (40) canada (40) scotland (38) ocean power (37) politics (37) shale oil (37) new zealand (35) air transport (34) algae (34) water (34) arctic ice (33) concentrating solar power (33) saudi arabia (33) queensland (32) california (31) credit crunch (31) bioplastic (30) offshore wind power (30) population (30) cogeneration (28) geoengineering (28) batteries (26) drought (26) resource wars (26) woodside (26) bruce sterling (25) censorship (25) cleantech (25) ctl (23) limits to growth (23) carbon tax (22) economics (22) exxon (22) lithium (22) buckminster fuller (21) distributed manufacturing (21) iraq oil law (21) coal to liquids (20) indonesia (20) origin energy (20) brightsource (19) rail transport (19) ultracapacitor (19) santos (18) ausra (17) collapse (17) electric bikes (17) michael klare (17) atlantis (16) cellulosic ethanol (16) iceland (16) lithium ion batteries (16) mapping (16) ucg (16) bees (15) concentrating solar thermal power (15) ethanol (15) geodynamics (15) psychology (15) al gore (14) brazil (14) bucky fuller (14) carbon emissions (14) fertiliser (14) matthew simmons (14) ambient energy (13) biodiesel (13) cities (13) investment (13) kenya (13) public transport (13) big oil (12) biochar (12) chile (12) desertec (12) internet of things (12) otec (12) texas (12) victoria (12) antarctica (11) cradle to cradle (11) energy policy (11) hybrid car (11) terra preta (11) tinfoil (11) toyota (11) amory lovins (10) fabber (10) gazprom (10) goldman sachs (10) gtl (10) severn estuary (10) volt (10) afghanistan (9) alaska (9) biomass (9) carbon trading (9) distributed generation (9) esolar (9) four day week (9) fuel cells (9) jeremy leggett (9) methane hydrates (9) pge (9) sweden (9) arrow energy (8) bolivia (8) eroei (8) fish (8) floating offshore wind power (8) guerilla gardening (8) linc energy (8) methane (8) nanosolar (8) natural gas pipelines (8) pentland firth (8) relocalisation (8) saul griffith (8) stirling engine (8) us elections (8) western australia (8) airborne wind turbines (7) bloom energy (7) boeing (7) chp (7) climategate (7) copenhagen (7) scenario planning (7) vinod khosla (7) apocaphilia (6) ceramic fuel cells (6) cigs (6) futurism (6) jatropha (6) local currencies (6) nigeria (6) ocean acidification (6) somalia (6) t boone pickens (6) space based solar power (5) varanus island (5) garbage (4) global energy grid (4) kevin kelly (4) low temperature geothermal power (4) oled (4) tim flannery (4) v2g (4) club of rome (3) norman borlaug (2) peak oil portfolio (1)