Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Adam Dunkels On the Internet of Things

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the new-ways-to-disable-your-print-cartridge dept.

Operating Systems 27

An anonymous reader writes "Techworld is running an interview with Adam Dunkels, author of the open source Contiki operating system for the Internet of Things. The interview touches on the Internet of Things, the future of Contiki, and his newly founded startup Thingsquare." If the whole "Internet of Things" concept still seems amorphous, FedEx CIO Rob Carter provides some concrete examples in which FedEx is using real-time tracking based on IP-enabled sensors.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Interesting (3, Interesting)

busyqth (2566075) | about 2 years ago | (#41572535)

Interestingly enough (to me, at least), I happen to be reading a Korean paper on the ubiquitous computing / wireless networks right now.

What I find interesting is that the concept has received government support and direction as part of a push to develop the "U-Society" (which I suppose is mean to be an abbreviation for "ubiquitous computing society"). In Korea, this is governmental industrial policy with the goal of making Korean industry a leader in producing "ubiquitously networked" products of all kinds. On the other hand, here in the United States, it seems like more of an matter of academic study and, perhaps, seen as a possible cost-saving (as opposed to profit-producing) technology.

Oh well, I guess FedEx and UPS don't mind buying all of their IP-enabled supplies from LG & Samsung if it saves them a few pennies.

Re:Interesting (1)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#41574081)

What I find interesting is that the concept has received government support and direction as part of a push to develop the "U-Society" (which I suppose is mean to be an abbreviation for "ubiquitous computing society"). In Korea, this is governmental industrial policy with the goal of making Korean industry a leader in producing "ubiquitously networked" products of all kinds. On the other hand, here in the United States, it seems like more of an matter of academic study and, perhaps, seen as a possible cost-saving (as opposed to profit-producing) technology.

And what's wrong with the US approach? I see yet again the belief that dumping public funds on R&D in an area means getting concrete, valuable results in an area.

Re:Interesting (5, Insightful)

busyqth (2566075) | about 2 years ago | (#41574725)

If all you do is dump public funds into the piggy trough then you won't get much back out. But that's not the only way to do it. Studying the economic history of South Korea is quite interesting. In the early 60s, Korea was porer than most sub-Saharan African countries with a GDP per capita of under $100. But then the government began to implement an industrial policy aimed at developing certain chosen key industries such as steel production, shipbuilding and automobile manufacturing.
Some of the companies directed by the government to initiate these industrial projects financed through government grants, externally sourced financial aid, and foreign loans were little businesses named Hyundai and Samsung. Perhaps you've heard of them. Other companies were created out of nothing to pursue this industrial strategy, such as Posco, producer of about 35 million tons of high quality steel annually.
South Korea went from being one of the poorest countries in the world to one of the wealthiest, in about 30 years. I know educated, well off Koreans who are less than 40 years old, who, as children, lived in straw-roofed huts and whose parents and grandparents slung poo in a rice paddy to survive. I'd call that concrete, valuable results.

Re:Interesting (1)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#41576391)

That system of development is well known and has brought a lot of countries out of poverty. But it has yet to get a country ahead of the pack. While we don't have a lot of examples, it's worth noting that this strategy is now holding Japan back currently. The structures that enabled them to catch up quickly, such as putting a huge portion of their citizens' savings into government backed development projects, are now dysfunctional (building a lot of concrete buildings and bridges to nowhere, for example, and depriving their banks of those savings).

And I don't see that such planning has any advantage when it comes to developing new technology. The Japanese didn't have a lot of success with their Fifth Generation AI program, for example. They got better robotics, but they'd have had that anyway.

As an aside, the US spends money on "ubiquitous" things too. If there is any value to the effort, the US will get it as well. Frankly, I don't think there will be. People vastly overestimate the ability of governments to throw money at a concept and have some of it stick. I don't think South Korea will prove to be an exception here.

Re:Interesting (1)

Pav (4298) | about 2 years ago | (#41582533)

What does Xerox Parc (company funded), the european autodidact scientific pioneers of old (self funded or funded by weathy patrons) and NASA (government funded) have in common? They are environments that let smart people "play" with few constraints. If you're looking for advancement that's how you get it.

Re:Interesting (1)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#41584643)

What does Xerox Parc (company funded), the european autodidact scientific pioneers of old (self funded or funded by weathy patrons) and NASA (government funded) have in common? They are environments that let smart people "play" with few constraints.

And it's interesting that none of those environments have that now, much less have it in common. And NASA, the only government agency on that list, never really did have that environment.

Re:Interesting (1)

Pav (4298) | about 2 years ago | (#41591601)

Regarding NASA - I doubt that very much. Yes, bureaucracy develops when the creativity that spawns a project leaves and things go into "holding mode" eg. I read what Richard Feynmann had to say Re: his involvement in the whole O-ring fiasco. Creativity CANNOT exist in a bureaucracy unless it's finding ways of getting around the bureaucracy. NASAs early days achieved an awful lot though. I haven't read anything by someone who was at NASA during those days, but I did read Richard Feynmann's experience on the Manhattan Project (also government funded) and that certainly seemed to involve plenty of freewheeling creative fun achieving the "impossible".

I think bureaucratic interference is proportional to how much the bean counters think they understand of what's going on. I also think big companies often don't see R&D as their job anymore... they mostly just buy out the startups and university IP. As a consequence much of the R&D that happens, especially in I.T, does so on a beans-on-toast budget while the big companies are simply bureaucracies sitting on their intellectual property enforced monopolies.

Re:Interesting (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 2 years ago | (#41574581)

What I find interesting is that the concept has received government support and direction as part of a push to develop the "U-Society" (which I suppose is mean to be an abbreviation for "ubiquitous computing society"). In Korea, this is governmental industrial policy with the goal of making Korean industry a leader in producing "ubiquitously networked" products of all kinds. On the other hand, here in the United States,

The United States is a bit bi-polar when it comes to government direction of industry.
On the one hand, businesses want the government to set goals and priorities,
as it allows them to all pull in the same direction, with the knowledge that government funds will also be along for the ride.

On the one hand, we have a vocal group of people that want no government involvement in anything business related.

The end result is a fractured public policy that prevents us from having a coherent national plan for where the country and go and how it can succeed.
For countries that don't currently have this form of bipolar disorder, they can achieve great things because everyone is focused in the same direction.

P.S. This can also work under 'free' market economic systems, for varying definitions of free.

Another Thing (2)

busyqth (2566075) | about 2 years ago | (#41572573)

Second post... is that the same Contiki OS that started out as a hobby project to develop a multitasking OS for the Commodore 64?

Re:Another Thing (1)

monkeyhybrid (1677192) | about 2 years ago | (#41572629)

I'm not sure if it started out as a Commodore 64 project but it has been ported to run on that system, along with a lot of other platforms [wikipedia.org] .

From the FedEx article: (5, Funny)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 2 years ago | (#41573015)

According to FedEx CIO Rob Carter, that need to analyze events in real time has resulted in an effort to âoeradicallyâ decompose monolithic vertical applications into sets of core granular services, which the company will then mash into any number of analytics applications. The ultimate goal: a matrix of IT services that functions with the speed and flexibility of a brain, freeing FedEx from a system dependent on files strewn across any number of databases kept on disk storage systems too slow to support advanced, real-time analytic applications.

Dear God, I think this man just achieved the Buzzword Singularity. If we can harness this power ...

Re:From the FedEx article: (3, Insightful)

bonehead (6382) | about 2 years ago | (#41573669)

Ah... The art of using as many words as possible to say absolutely nothing.

It would actually be funny if it wasn't a skill that, for some mysterious reason, raises people to positions of wealth and power.

He's not saying nothing. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41574619)

He said something pretty cogent in my opinion. They're trying to develop a better algorithm for delivering packages, inspired by and utilizing teh internets.

It might be a creepy level of surveillance, but it sounds to me like a legitimately... *ahem* "innovative" move to make the business of moving packages more efficient.

Re:He's not saying nothing. (1)

RabidTimmy (1415817) | about 2 years ago | (#41578179)

I'm thinking maybe you should be the FedEx CIO.

Re:He's not saying nothing. (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#41584669)

He said something pretty cogent in my opinion. They're trying to develop a better algorithm for delivering packages, inspired by and utilizing teh internets.

It might be a creepy level of surveillance, but it sounds to me like a legitimately... *ahem* "innovative" move to make the business of moving packages more efficient.

It's not what he said, it's the way he said it.

Re:From the FedEx article: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41573693)

Because YASET (Yet Another Surveillance Enabling Technology) is more concise but less pleasant...

Re:From the FedEx article: (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 2 years ago | (#41574621)

I saw the word "matrix" and had flashbacks to the movie Office Space
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2_Yi-1Ryf4&t=16s [youtube.com]

The MBAs really need to learn how to dial back the jargon when they're talking to anyone who isn't part of their clan.

Re:From the FedEx article: (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#41584701)

âoeradicallyâ in your post was "radically" in TFA.

My fridge is a troll ... (-1, Offtopic)

Turminder Xuss (2726733) | about 2 years ago | (#41573175)

Who wants haters like the bathroom scales getting nerd raged by my troll fridge ?

Move to SlashBI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41574101)

I think this belongs in SlashBI

The complete lack of interest and comments would seem to confirm this!

Huh? (1)

Animats (122034) | about 2 years ago | (#41574175)

"For example, when waking up a on a summer day, wouldn't it be nice to have an app that tells you what beach is sunniest?"

What about that requires the "Internet of Things"? If you wanted to implement that right now, you'd fetch the National Weather Service's XML structured weather data [weather.gov] for the points of interest. Given a latitude and longitude, the NWS server will compute their weather model for any desired point in the US on request. For beaches, there are already sites with current surf reports, and the major surf spots have webcams.

There are applications for low-powered devices that talk IPv6, but this isn't one of them. Most of the useful applications are industrial.

UNIX much? (1)

drcheap (1897540) | about 2 years ago | (#41574641)

TFA: ...an effort to “radically” decompose monolithic vertical applications into sets of core granular services, which the company will then mash into any number of analytics applications.

So they are basically going to "write programs that do one thing and do it well." [wikipedia.org] ? What a concept!

And then TFA goes on to talk about how it will be faster by using in-memory databases. Well, Fscking Duh(tm)!

Also, one doesn't need Winderz Ate to "broker data between services" ... there are already plenty of message queuing systems [wikipedia.org] available that are not necessarily so OS dependent.

The PR stench is strong with this one.

Re:UNIX much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41575563)

Dude... Shut the fuck up.

Take your 6 gigabyte unix, and shove it up your ass. Sideways.

You apparently have no idea what Contiki is. The only things approaching it in awesomeness are wozniak's apple floppy driver, and the webserver-on-an-fpga. Do some fucking research before you open your shithole again, shithead.

Re:UNIX much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41579199)

I'm sorry, I think I'm going to have to side with the comment you're replying to on this one.

I first heard of Contiki quite some years ago. My understanding is it was a hobby project to run on some old Commodore 64. Now suddenly this website makes it sound like it's the greatest thing ever. PR stench is right.

Meanwhile embedded Unix-like OSes are already happening, you probably have one in your pocket, and it requires much less than your claimed 6 gigabytes. Not as absurdly low spec'd as a C64 but they are cheap.

The run Ruby, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41574707)

Because a language where an integer can respond to network requests is perfect for a system where a doorknob can respond to network requests.

the whole "Internet of Things" concept still seems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41576993)

Yes, "the whole "Internet of Things" concept still seems amorphous" to the extreme. What the heck is it? Why have I never heard of it before?

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?