Tag Archives: AWS

Cloud Storage: Ingestion, Management, and Sharing

Cloud Storage Solutions need differentiation that matters, a tipping point to select one platform over the other.

Common Platforms Used:

Differentiation may come in the form of:

  • Collaborative Content Creation Software, such as DropBox Paper enables individuals or teams to produce content, all the while leveraging the Storage platform for e.g. version control,
  • Embedded integration in a suite of content creation applications, such as Microsoft Office, and OneDrive.
  • Making the storage solution available to developers, such as with AWS S3, and Box.  Developers may create apps powered by the Box Platform or custom integrations with Box
  • iCloud enables users to backup their smartphone, as well tightly integrating with the capture and sharing of content, e.g. Photos.

Cloud Content Lifecycle Categories:

  • Content Creation
    • 3rd Party (e.g. Camera) or Integrated Platform Products
  • Content Ingestion
    • Capture Content and Associated Metadata
  • Content Collaboration
    • Share, Update and Distribution
  • Content Discovery
    • Surface Content; Searching and Drill Down
  • Retention Rules
    • Auto expire pointer to content, or underlying content

Cloud Content Ingestion Services:

Cloud Ingestion Services
Cloud Ingestion Services

Time Lock Encryption: Seal Files in Cloud Storage

Is there value in providing users the ability to apply “Time Lock Encryption” to files in cloud storage?  Files are securely uploaded by their Owner.  After upload no one, including the Owner, may decrypt and access / open the file(s).   Only after the date and time provided for the time lock passes, files will be decrypted, and optionally an action may be taken, e.g. Email a link to the decrypted files to a DL, or a specific person.

Additionally, files might only be decrypted ‘just in time’ and only for the specific recipients who had received the link.  More complex actions may be attached to the time lock release such as script execution using a simple set of rules as defined by the file Owner.

The encryption should be the highest available as defined by the regional law in which the files reside.  Note: issue with cloud storage and applicable regional laws, I.e. In the cloud.

Already exists as a 3rd party plugin to an existing cloud solution?Please send me a link to the cloud integration product / plug in.

AI Personal Assistants are “Life Partners”

Artificial Intelligent (AI)  “Assistants”, or “Bots” are taken to the ‘next level’ when the assistant becomes a proactive entity based on the input from human intelligent experts that grows with machine learning.

Even the implication of an ‘Assistant’ v.  ‘Life Partner’ implies a greater degree of dynamic, and proactive interaction.   The cross over to becoming ‘Life Partner’ is when we go ‘above and beyond’ to help our partners succeed, or even survive the day to day.

Once we experience our current [digital, mobile] ‘assistants’ positively influencing our lives in a more intelligent, proactive manner, an emotional bond ‘grows’, and the investment in this technology will also expand.

Practical Applications Range:

  • Alcoholics Anonymous Coach , Mentor – enabling the human partner to overcome temporary weakness. Knowledge,  and “triggers” need to be incorporated into the AI ‘Partner’;  “Location / Proximity” reminder if person enters a shopping area that has a liquor store.  [AI] “Partner” help “talk down”
  • Understanding ‘data points’ from multiple sources, such as alarms,  and calendar events,  to derive ‘knowledge’, and create an actionable trigger.
    • e.g. “Did you remember to take your medicine?” unprompted; “There is a new article in N periodical, that pertains to your medicine.  Would you like to read it?”
    • e.g. 2 unprompted, “Weather calls for N inches of Snow.  Did you remember to service your Snow Blower this season?”
  • FinTech – while in department store XYZ looking to purchase Y over a certain amount, unprompted “Your credit score indicates you are ‘most likely’ eligible to ‘sign up’ for a store credit card, and get N percentage off your first purchase”  Multiple input sources used to achieve a potential sales opportunity.

IBM has a cognitive cloud of AI solutions leveraging IBM’s Watson.  Most/All of the 18 web applications they have hosted (with source) are driven by human interactive triggers, as with the “Natural Language Classifier”, which helps build a question-and-answer repository.

There are four bits that need to occur to accelerate adoption of the ‘AI Life Partner’:

  1. Knowledge Experts, or Subject Matter Experts (SME) need to be able to “pass on” their knowledge to build repositories.   IBM Watson Natural Language Classifier may be used.
  2. The integration of this knowledge into an AI medium, such as a ‘Digital Assistant’ needs to occur with corresponding ‘triggers’ 
  3. Our current AI ‘Assistants’ need to become [more] proactive as they integrate into our ‘digital’ lives, such as going beyond the setting of an alarm clock, hands free calling, or checking the sports score.   Our [AI] “Life Partner” needs to ‘act’ like buddy and fan of ‘our’ sports team.  Without prompting, proactively serve up knowledge [based on correlated, multiple sources], and/or take [acceptable] actions.
    1. E.g. FinTech – “Our schedule is open tonight, and there are great seats available, Section N, Seat A for ABC dollars on Stubhub.  Shall I make the purchase?”
      1. Partner with vendors to drive FinTech business rules.
  4. Take ‘advantage’ of more knowledge sources, such as the applications we use that collect our data.  Use multiple knowledge sources in concert, enabling the AI to correlate data and propose ‘complex’ rules of interaction.

Our AI ‘Life Partners’ may grow in knowledge, and mature the relationship between man and machine.   Incorporating derived rules leveraging machine learning, without input of a human expert, will come with risk and reward.

The Race Is On to Control Artificial Intelligence, and Tech’s Future

Amazon, Google, IBM and Microsoft are using high salaries and games pitting humans against computers to try to claim the standard on which all companies will build their A.I. technology.

In this fight — no doubt in its early stages — the big tech companies are engaged in tit-for-tat publicity stunts, circling the same start-ups that could provide the technology pieces they are missing and, perhaps most important, trying to hire the same brains.

For years, tech companies have used man-versus-machine competitions to show they are making progress on A.I. In 1997, an IBM computer beat the chess champion Garry Kasparov. Five years ago, IBM went even further when its Watson system won a three-day match on the television trivia show “Jeopardy!” Today, Watson is the centerpiece of IBM’s A.I. efforts.

Today, only about 1 percent of all software apps have A.I. features, IDC estimates. By 2018, IDC predicts, at least 50 percent of developers will include A.I. features in what they create.

Source: The Race Is On to Control Artificial Intelligence, and Tech’s Future – The New York Times

The next “tit-for-tat” publicity stunt should most definitely be a battle with robots, exactly like BattleBots, except…

  1. Use A.I. to consume vast amounts of video footage from previous bot battles, while identifying key elements of bot design that gave a bot the ‘upper hand’.  From a human cognition perspective, this exercise may be subjective. The BattleBot scoring process can play a factor in 1) conceiving designs, and 2) defining ‘rules’ of engagement.
  2. Use A.I. to produce BattleBot designs for humans to assemble.
  3. Autonomous battles, bot on bot, based on Artificial Intelligence battle ‘rules’ acquired from the input and analysis of video footage.

G.E. Plans Big Entry into IoT, Providing Analytics and Predictive Rules

G.E. Plans App Store for Gears of Industry

The investment of $500 million annually signals the importance of the so-called Internet of Things to the future of manufacturing.

G.E. expects revenue of $6 billion from software in 2015, a 50 percent increase in one year. Much of this is from a pattern-finding system called Predix.  G.E. calls its new service the Predix Cloud, and hopes it will be used by both customers and competitors, along with independent software developers. “We can take sensor data from anybody, though it’s optimized for our own products,” Mr. Ruh said.

[Competitive solutions from IBM, Microsoft, and Google] raises the stakes for G.E. “It’s a whole new competition for them,” said Yefim Natis, a senior analyst with Gartner. “To run businesses in a modern way you have to be analytic and predictive.”

G.E. is running the Predix Cloud on a combination of G.E. computers, the vast computing resources of Amazon Web Services, and a few [local] providers, like China Telecom.

China, along with countries like Germany, [are] sensitive about moving its data offshore, or even holding information on computers in the United States.  
The practice of “Ring fencing”  data exists in dozens of jurisdictions globally.  Ring fencing of data may be a legal and/or regulatory issue, that may inhibit the global growth of cloud services moving forward.

Source: G.E. Plans App Store for Gears of Industry

Cloud Storage and DAM Solutions: Don’t Reign in the Beast

Are you trying to apply metadata on individual files or en masse, attempting to make the vast  growth of cloud storage usage manageable, meaningful storage?

Best practices leverage a consistent hierarchy, an Information Architecture in which to store and retrieve information, excellent.

Beyond that, capabilities computer science has documented and used time and time again, checksum algorithms. Used frequently after a file transfer to verify the file you requested is the file you received.  Most / All Enterprise DAM solutions use some type of technology to ‘allow’ the enforcement of unique assets [upon upload].  In cloud storage and photo solutions targeted toward the individual, consumer side, the feature does not appear to be up ‘close and personal’ to the user experience, thus building a huge expanse of duplicate data (documents, photos, music, etc.).  Another feature, a database [primary] key has been used for decades to identify that a record of data is unique.

Our family sharing alone has thousands and thousands of photos and music. The names of the files could be different for many of the same digital assets.  Sometimes file names are the same, but the metadata between the same files is not unique, but provides value. Tools for ‘merging’ metadata, DAM tools have value to help manage digital assets.

Cloud storage usage is growing exponentially, and metadata alone won’t help rope in the beast. Maybe ADHOC or periodic indexing of files [e.g. by #checksum algorithm] could take on the task of identifying duplicate assets?  Duplicate  assets could be viewed by the user in an exception report?  Less boring, upon upload, ‘on the fly’ let the user know the asset is already in storage, and show a two column diff. of the metadata.

It’s a pain for me, and quite possibly many cloud storage users.  As more people jump on cloud storage, this feature should be front and center to help users grow into their new virtual warehouse.

The industry of cloud storage most likely believes for the common consumer, storage is ‘cheap’, just provide more.  At some stage, the cloud providers may look to DAM tools as the cost of managing a users’ storage rises.  Tools like:

  • duplicate digital assets, files. Use exception reporting to identify the duplicates, and enable [bulk] corrective action, and/or upon upload, duplicate ‘error/warning’ message.
  • Dynamic metadata tagging upon [bulk] upload using object recognition.  Correlating and cataloging one or more [type] objects in a picture using defined Information Architecture.  In addition, leveraging facial recognition for updates to metadata tagging.
    • e.g. “beach” objects: sand, ocean; [Ian Roseman] surfing;
  • Brief questionnaires may enable the user to ‘smartly’ ingest the digital assets; e.g. ‘themes’ of current upload; e.g. a family, or relationship tree to  extend facial recognition correlations.
    • e.g. themes – summer; party; New Year’s Eve
    • e.g. relationship tree – office / work
  • Pan Information Architecture (IA) spanning multiple cloud storage [silos]. e.g. for Photos, spanning [shared] ‘albums’
  • Publically published / shared components of an IA;  e.g. Legal documents;  standards and reuse

Amazon Cloud Services uses their Shipping Logistics to Build and Ship

Amazon leverages its existing shipping and logistics knowledge and applies it to a new cloud resource, a 3D Printer.

Using Amazon’s platform, a user can connect through Amazon’s cloud services, lock a shared cloud resource, a 3D printer, feed the printer one of several formats: 3D blueprint, 3D digital scan, or industry spec file format.  The object is then printed out, and shipped using Amazon’s shipping logistics engine.

Make the object you want and Amazon will ship it to you.  How much does it cost? Cost of materials used to produce the object is quantified and charged, in addition to a cloud [resource] usage fee, and potentially discounted shipping based on Amazon’s current scale.

As the service is matured, design tools, basic and advanced, will be provided to produce your designed object.  Only your imagination, and capability to express it limits your ability along with Amazon to deliver your products.

At some point, a seller can have a storefront, where objects can not only be shipped, but build on demand as well.  For example, circuit boards can be sold now, with the above engine and service, from a seller with the proper schematics.

 

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.

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”.

 

Google Takes Cloud Computing Services; Adds Android APIs to SDK

Google Takes on Amazon and Microsoft for Cloud Computing Services – NYTimes.com.  This is the first bit of ‘news’ I’ve read all week with regard to Technology.  The article holds no suprises, but a good read to the uninformed.  I am unable to disagree, or apply additional insight to this article.  Amazon has a strong lead, and as I mentioned last year, I saw Google getting into this space with it’s software and APIs available.  It may have needed the manpower, and or infrastructure to build the back end to support the extensibility of the front end.  Google also may offer new business models to complement it’s existing API offerings, as well as expand those APIs, and provide user friendly tools.  I’d see, from this article, an Android API SDK extensibility to grab market share from Amazon.  The article quotes that Android applications are using AWS, so if Google adds Android APIs to it’s SDK, it would give developers an easy, plug in option.