Things are slowing down for the holidays, which is a good thing. The best news for IT and telecommunications came today in a better-than-expected job report.
Other than that, things are quiet on the telecom and IT fronts. However, as always, we saw some small news items and good commentary. Here are some highlights:
Troubling Findings in NYC Schools
It’s almost certainly true that PCs, laptops and tablets are very good for students. That is, of course, if they get to use them.
Getting the devices to kids is turning out to be the tricky part, at least in The Big Apple: The New York City Department of Education didn’t open 400 tablets and lost track of 1,817 laptops and PCs, according to a survey by the city’s comptroller’s office, according to the New York Observer.
That’s understandable, if you consider that the city has 1,800 schools. It’s considerably less understandable if those losses and oversights covered only 10 schools. That’s the case. New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer slammed the board’s record keeping and said that the losses are “just the tip of the iceberg.”
IoT Will Bring Big Changes, Challenges
IDC took a look at what the Internet of Things (IoT) will mean to IT going forward. Within three years, according to a report on the research at ZDNet, IT will go from a surplus to “being network constrained.” Ten percent of organizations will be overwhelmed, and 90 percent will have a security threat that stems from IoT infrastructure. The report also says that 90 percent of all data will be housed in the cloud.
Smart cities will be proliferating and becoming more creative:
IDC also expects to see not only a rise in the number of supposed smart cities (with an estimated 25 percent of all government external spending to go toward IoT by 2018), but also a diversification away from that vertical. As of now, things like smart cities, manufacturing and consumer applications make up the bulk of IoT focus, but IDC sees that evolving to include nearly all industries within five years.
Data Loss, Downtime Costs Explode
EMC and Vanson Bourne sponsored a survey that leads them to estimates that data loss and downtime cost enterprises $1.7 trillion during the past year. The survey included 3,300 IT decision makers from midsize to large companies in 24 countries.
Data loss, the firm found, is up about 400 percent since 2012. EWeek said that 71 percent of companies self-report they are not fully confident that they can recover after a disruption. Eighty-seven percent ranked in the bottom two categories for “data protection maturity.”
Bluetooth 4.2 Adopted
The Bluetooth Special Internet Group (Bluetooth SIG) has officially adopted Bluetooth 4.2. Verge reported that the new version of the standard increases speed and improves privacy. Perhaps the most important feature is native IP connectivity that will enable sensors and smart devices to directly connect to the Internet. That’s a big step:
That connectivity theoretically makes home automation a lot easier, with smart products such as light bulbs, thermostats, and door sensors able to access to the internet without the use of another go-between device. The BSIG says the new standard will scale with the market and let developers make devices that can easily communicate with each other, making Bluetooth 4.2 “the foundation for the Internet of Things.”
That’s Not All, Folks
And, finally, comes a very funny story. This Bugs Bunny cartoon, according to iMDB, was released on October 28, 1944. In it, Elmer Fudd reads a newspaper from 2000 in which one of the stories is headlined “Smellevision Replaces Television!”
Bugs got it almost right. ExtremeTech reports that Japanese startup Aromajoin has invented what it hopes will be the first commercially feasible solid-state scent cartridge system for use with televisions:
The Aromajoin system is the brainchild of South Korean engineer Dong Wook Kim who spent several years prototyping and testing what he calls the “Aroma Shooter.” That’s the business end of Aromajoin’s take on smell-o-vision. They’re basically little compressors that can expel a stream of scent molecules in a narrow band about 60-80 cm (2.0-2.6 feet) away.
The story – the one at ExtremeTech, not in Elmer’s paper — says that the important innovation is that the canisters are solid state, which eliminates the need to refill vials with smelly oils or gels.
Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at [email protected] and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.