Grid and Cloud Computing Going Head to Head: Profit for You

I was thinking about what was around before cloud computing.  I thought about mainframes and allocated computing cycles, then I thought about the SETI @ Home project with it’s transformation to grid or shared computing with Boinc.  Why did this seem to go by the wayside, or not maximized to become a secure cloud hosted by servers throughout the world.  A charge back model could have been created to allow users to receive monetary value for their compute cycles.  There are traditional answers which have halted it’s progress, however, there is a business model that allows anyone with a web host shared or leased, to turn a profit, such as Bloggers.

The world, from a personal computing standpoint, has progressed to laptops which have a highly utilized hibernate mode, which does not lend itself to leverage available compute cycles, because computers and the human processes that use computers are more efficient.  Laptops are just as powerful as our ‘old’ servers, and so our servers for project use have been relegated solely to the world of academia.

Although, I find extremely interesting, there is an opportunity where grid computing can have life once again, through blog hosted servers.  People who have blogs, which are hosted on servers other than WordPress.com or Google’s Blogger, have lower compute requirements for posting and serving up text and media then traditional apps hosted on web servers.  Hosted bloggers should be able to identify their utilization of their server, and calculate the ability to ‘lend’ server time.  In addition, a WordPress Plugin, for example, may be created as a User Interface, as well as a Boinc application interface.  A web server version of Boinc and a deployment binary package would need to be created and deployed on your web server.  At that point, WordPress APIs crafted as a plugin can be used to invoke the processing. Additional plugins or widgets for WordPress would allow for:

  • A widget on a blog side bar to display the results of a project your site ascribed to for grid computing, such as dynamic, refreshed charts and graphs
  • A plugin to embed short codes on blog pages to derive any information from the Boinc app client hosted on your Web Server.
  • A widget that allows YOUR customers to sign up, and short codes to display your charge back rates for allocation of your data streaming and CPU time.

Any project listed on the GridRepublic, or linked to by the Boinc Client from Berkeley is a potential client for your shared computing resource.  In fact, anyone, such as a game developer looking to lease cloud computing and storage resources may be a client.

The Boinc client hosted in a web server may, if engineered to parallel process, integrate in a cooperative of web hosted blog sites, for faster computing, and higher revenue margins.  This would be a phase two to the project, dividing up computing requirements to multiple servers.  An open source project for affiliate networking, and even Google Wallet, or coincidentally, PayPal, an Amazon company, may be used collect and then allocate funds based on a charge back formula to ‘affiliate’ web hosted blogs.  And this has never been tried before because?  Comments welcome.

Amazon Content Rich Advertising with Streaming Video & Audio

The Amazon advertising program should include a plugin for personal web sites and blogs that instead of getting a static image with a link to a movie, or song (with Album cover), the plug in, provided by Amazon, should have an option to have a static image, as per today, or:

  • Any movies, where trailers are available, especially for Amazon Instant Movies, have two formats for an associate plug-in.  The first plugin for low bandwidth sites, the user still continues to see a flattened image of the DVD case or CD album, but in addition, have two links, play trailer, or play music. 
  • The second, more content rich plugin, would have either one, or a rotating collection of playing trailers and/or music, with album image.  The trailer can play the standard or an abridge trailer, as defined in the settings. The music would play at the normal sample length, or an curtailed length, based on the settings.  Finally, there are two image overlays, one in the bottom left, the other in the right, but the user may click, the left has a More Info, the right says Buy @ Amazon.

The user would select a collection of songs as well as movie trailers, or the user may make multiple collections, that have movies, songs, or both.

This same Amazon Associates plugin for web sites or blogs, may be applied to other products, such as Audible.com and audio books with samples.  In the Amazon Associates Product Advertising API WSDL, I did not notice references to ‘sample’ or ‘Trailer’, so I do not think a third party can build this plugin or widget as of yet.

Concept to eBay Sale: Use a 3D Printer to Produce Your Imagination

I was just looking at eBay, and what items I had on sale.  Then as any eBay enthusiast would do, I thought about what other things I could put up to the eBay market.  At the moment I don’t have access to my own personal effects. I was sullen for a moment, and at that moment the spark of inspiration struck, why can’t I use a 3D Printer, build, create something from my imagination and put it up for sale on eBay.  It could be literally anything from a piece of Jewelry, a Craft, a Reproduction of an Antique, in fact, any reproduction I am able to envision.  I see a period when massive amount of reproductions are put up for sale, legally, of course, where ‘reproduction’ is stated.  The art is being able to capture all perspectives of the object, and reproduce it.   As an example, if you’ve been to a museum, and take pictures at many multiple angles of anything from a painting, jewelry, statues, and so on, then use your imagination to push the image into 3 dimensional reality.

How much would you pay for an amazing 3 dimensional Diorama of Vincent van Gogh‘s painting of Cafe Terrace at Night?  At the Home Depot, a Mural 18 in. x 24 in. Wall Tiles sells for $260, and that’s for a 2 dimensional view.  How much would an art collector, or anyone appreciate someone pushing the image to a third dimension.  An excellent perspective, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, could sell very well.

Then I looked up the price of these 3 dimensional printers, and the prices were what you would expect for a new technology entering the market.  The prices range on eBay for these printers from a few hundred dollars, a thousand dollars, to several thousands, and this is, of course, due do the size of the machine, and how big the reproduced object would be manufactured.  There are costs of the materials to build these items, similar to an ink cartridge for a printer.  MakerBot seems to be a name brand in 3 Dimensional printers, and they tout the price of $2,199 as affordable model.

Apparently, this is a feasible business model today.

The price of a printer to steep?  Now imagine a big cloud company comes along, and allows you to use one of their 3D printers in their cloud, and then ships it off to you, or puts it in their “Amazon Locker”.

 

Wal-Mart to compete with Amazon Locker Concept

Wal-Mart steps up its online game with help from stores | Reuters.

This is a very interesting perspective.  From the corporate side, they are mazimizing the logistics of their order workflow, gaining more control, and perhaps cost savings.  We MAY see fewer options with free shipping on items, e.g. over N dollar value orders, across retail if this process workflow catches on in the industry.

The consumer, for lower cost items, where they shop on line, and already pick up their orders, we will see a positive result in the customer service experience, e.g. the consumer does not have to wait on lines to pick up their order.  However, if the consumer would have, under the old program, had free shipping, this may alter the perspective of the customer, that they are getting less service, i.e. before they did not have to leave their homes.

All and all, if these stores balance their models, and continue to offer the free shipping option for high price items, whatever the watermark, e.g. $50 USD, and this option is available for all items which can fit in the locker, many consumers may be pleased.  If Amazon was smart, they might take advantage of as many partners as possible, as well as leveraging many of the small ‘long standing’ for rent shops, with one employee, if their logistics workflow includes not just leveraging partner’s shipping workflow.

In addition, this option, if progressed or evolved for retail, B&M, we may see fewer shortages.  That is for another article.

Mobile Phone Carriers Sponsor App Portals with GaaS

The phone carriers like Verizon are putting out their own storefronts to distinguish themselves from other Android based phones from other carriers. So far, with little success.

The secret might be in the game architecture, and not in the storefront to both attract customers and developers.  NVIDIA at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show conference was touting their new gaming as a service.  This architecture enables game developers are able to develop and host their games using hosted cloud gaming servers to maximize the game performance and consumer experience.  The carriers could host these racks in their data centers and offer these services to their developer partners: super fast gaming,  with state of the art technology. The lure for their customers: amazing blazing fast games.

The lure for game developers?   They will be able to access high end graphics capacity, and if the carriers keep pace, and upgrade as new revisions come up.  Developers may salivate at the opportunity to get the access to the latest cloud tech computing.  The chip advantages are not only with the on demand cloud capacity for the gamer’s lighting fast experience, but the abilities of the graphics processors are leading edge in the industry.

Slippery Slope: F.A.A. May Loosen Curbs on Fliers’ Use of Electronics

A quote from the New York Times Article, RE: the F.A.A.’s stance on electronics:

In a phone interview, Ms. McCaskill said she had grown frustrated with the F.A.A.’s stance on devices after she learned that the agency now allows iPads as flight manuals in the cockpit and has subsequently given out devices to some flight attendants with information on flight procedures.

“So it’s O.K. to have iPads in the cockpit; it’s O.K. for flight attendants — and they are not in a panic — yet it’s not O.K. for the traveling public,” she said. “A flying copy of ‘War and Peace’ is more dangerous than a Kindle.”

via Disruptions: F.A.A. May Loosen Curbs on Fliers’ Use of Electronics – NYTimes.com.

I actually think it is now more dangerous than ever to allow electronics and loosten these methods, although governance is more appropriate.  Giving iPads in the cockpit of an airplane with information on flight procedures is like allowing a loophole for a person to expose information, confidential information, which could be exploited, and potentially manipulated to the person’s advantage.  This is a small example.

Adding advanced accessories, such as technological advances, onto to commercial airlines that were additionally designed, and advanced through out the years, granted, however, these vehicles are based on core deigns over three decades ago.  Not only airline staff but passengers have more intricate and powerful technology than the original design of the aircraft.  The consumer technology grows at such a rapid pace, the protocols of flight and laws which govern those flights cannot keep pace.

As a simple example, what if those flight procedures on the iPads actually interface, in the future, with the planes electronics.  The pre-flight procedure is validated before takeoff, however, once in flight, a hacker terrorist communicates with the iPad, and then turns off some of the pre-flight validations.  What if that ‘Use Case’ is not tested during the design of the integration of the iPad / Plane integration (preposed), maybe the plane then interprets this pre-flight check as a failure, and automatically makes sure the wheels are down and locked in place, as a ‘saftey measure’?  In pre-flight checks, it may make sense to make sure the wheels don’t move, and lock in place.  But already in the air, well, that would not be good.  In this case, maybe the wheels actually lock in place and are not able to open when the plane tries to land.  That can have significant  ramifications to life as well as litigation that may insure.

There are so may variations, which can go wrong, even now, it is becoming increasing easier, and scarier to fly the friendly skies.

Press regulation in the U.K.: Royal Charter Applies to Internet

BBC News – Press regulation: How royal charter applies to internet.

In this article, I find it extremely interesting, and I see both sides of the coin.  On one side, we have a regulated press, where approved concepts and ideas are allowed to be expressed, even by the common blogger.  In the U.K. you need a license for a T.V., however, some of the rationale for this may be specifically for news or stories that are accurate comes back from a long history at the Associated Press, where news needed to be confirmed by three sources.  In addition, the history of the Assiociated Press is an interesting one.  If there was a ship from England entering the bay, people would take row boats out, and compete to get the news from the ship, so it was agreed to send one ship and share the news.

In essence, regulated news, maybe for political reasons, maybe to not ensure a panic to maintain a society in case of an emergency, after all, a thought, a single idea, as they say on the Internet can be believed to be true if articulated well, and go ‘virual’ as they say, and pass for believable, and something that was not true, may cause societal breakdown, to the extreme.  One case of this is the broadcast in the United States that caused a mild panic, because people thought it was a plausable story, it was 1938, and it was the War of the Worlds, appropriately coined a few years before world war.

An argument can be made to the contrary, which is one person may report a factual story, but yet, without government sanction, the story would have legal precident to be blocked, recended, and the person may be fined or jailed, depending on the story.  Is this good, is this a removal of such liberties as the United States has the freedom of speech, which this country was founded upon?  Is this now an archaic principle?  Only time will tell.

Thin Pen Device Covertly Answers Questions

Todays Scuttlebot: Smart Shoes and the Top Social Network Among Teens – NYTimes.com.

A random thought regarding this article and word association:  A ‘pen’ can have two modes, and a built in Bluetooth transmitter for communication to and from your smartphone.

The initial mode of the thin ‘pen’ like device allows the person/student to read the question using Optical Character Recognition by moving the thin pen like device over the question.  The question is wirelessly transmitted to your smartphone, then the second mode of the device receives the answer from the smartphone in your pocket using the smartphone search, and can allow the user to have a simple output of ink, by rolling the highlighter against a white background.  The inverse of the highlighted area would contain the letters for the answer.  A bonus is to have disappearing highlighting ink.  Just an idea, kids.

Upbeat Music Sales Increases with Innovation & Cross Selling

History Shadows an Upbeat Music Sales Forecast – NYTimes.com.

There is even more to come.  It would be great if we would see more integration of Music Streaming Shops with Music magazines for example.  I use Amazon MP3 on my Samsung S3, and the store is fairly decent, but I would like to click on an artist in the store, and not only see what they have for sale, but am able to see more, such as:

  • when and where are there next concerts, and partner or become a ticket retailer and sell tickets to that concert
  • allow the user to see an array of recent articles from music periodicals, and based on the business model of the periodical allow the user to read the first 10 articles for free, but after that they need to subscribe to that periodicals music news, or have a collective fee, and disperse the margin for the collating of the music news
  • This can happen on the current phones, phablets, or tablets, and you may see a lot more cross pollination of ‘music sales’ as an industry as a whole, which will allow this particular sector to grow.
  • Hey, even partner with Ebay, if a certain artist has put up their guitar for auction, for charity or otherwise, auction tickets, backstage passes, or more.

The list seems endless.

Samsung and Cambridge to Produce Interactive Avatar

BBC News – Is this interactive avatar the face of the future?.

I read this article, and instantly saw a logical progression of taking the eye & facial tracking software, such as built in Samsung S4, and integrating that feature with a cost effective version of the Cambridge project.  There are many applications:

  • The S Voice Drive, or another voice recognition component driving smartphone features may display, instead of the typical microphone, a ‘friendly’ avatar, such as one of several choices, e.g. a famous star, a comedian  an actress, or sports athlete.   Then the eye and facial tracking software may ask you what you want smartphone functions you want to perform.
  • An AI induction engine, i.e. an learning rules engine, may record your facial gestures, eye movements, as well as sounds, even inflection, as data points to correlate, so now the responses can be proactive, not reactive, e.g. the avatar would say, “Should I call your wife?   You seem tense, and you may want to call her to relax you.”
  • This is a slippery slope with respect to an AI providing advice on how to react to human output, such as eye movements and facial gestures.  It seems people are, at present, more comfortable with integrating mechanical AI induction engines, such as an eye movement to turn a page, read mail or make a phone call.  These very mechanical processes and allow people to feel more comfortable with the technology.