I Think, Therefore I am Connected

Posted in f5, silva, mobile, smartphone, people, human behavior, big data, iot, things, sensors, wearable by psilva on September 24th, 2014



Descartes' proclaimed that since we can think, it was proof that we existed. Well today, we exist in a connected world and while wearables seem to be all the rage - at least according to me - soon those hot items might be kicked to the curb with the next hottest thing: Thinkables.

You heard, or rather read that right. Thinkable. Just what is a thinkable? Well, it is a wearable (on your head) but it tracks brain activity. Muse is the first consumer-focused headband that reads brain activity and helps you to stop thinking so much. That's right, ahhhh...ummmm...errrr...what was that again? Oh yeah, stop thinking. It is a Bluetooth connected headset that helps you meditate. It also comes with an app called Muse Calm which tracks your Zen like state. It turns meditation into a game and you only need to play it 3 minutes a day.

Meditation can help people with anxiety, heart problems, headaches and other ails. Every morning on my walk/run I meditate and chant. Sometimes it is a Buddhist phrase or a Hawaiian chant over and over and over mixed with whatever song is in my head. It certainly does help me clear my brain but also prepare for the day. Without getting all religious or philosophical, but I am able to connect with whatever energy is stirring in the universe. Over the years, many personal roadblocks were suddenly cleared since that 'ah ha!' moment instantly appeared. 'Why didn't I think of that earlier?' I wonder to myself. It came to me since my brain was uncluttered. Einstein said that he didn't want to remember his own phone number since he could look it up (reference it) and he didn't want to clutter his brain with useless information. Have you ever noticed that some of the best ideas come when your brain is wandering or not really focusing on a single task?

But back to the Muse.

After installing on your head, it'll calibrate with your brain (and the app) and then will tell you to think of a few things. This is to get your brain away from what it is currently doing and light up your frontal lobes. Based on the initial brain readings, it'll then take you through a meditation session. When you brain is starting to slow down and your calm(er) self is focusing on breathing, you'll hear a breeze. The weather you hear reflects the state of your brain and if your mind wanders, the weather will change. If you go deeper into relaxation, then the birds start chirping. The more birds that are singing, the more Zen like you are. The app will also report how much of the time your brain spent in three categories: Active, Neutral and Calm. As far as the game aspect, you earn points for each session and can unlock additional functionality all while understanding the patterns of your brain activity.

This, I am sure, is just the initial rush of many brain readers that'll be competing for our attention - or non-attention in the case of Muse. Oh, and a plastic hanger does NOT work as a Thinkable - in case you were thinking that.




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Oh, Is That The Internet You’re Wearing?

Posted in security, f5, silva, mobile, context, humans, big data, iot, things, sensors, fashion, clothes by psilva on September 17th, 2014

I can see it now...

[Enter Dream Sequence] 'ALOHA! We're here at the Red Carpet Event at the 2021 Web Movie Awards! All the stars are here wearing the latest in fashion trends. Oh, here comes DigiTom wearing his underarm sweat blocker shirt that also calculates how much moisture he is losing and how many ounces of water he needs to replace that sweat. Cool stuff. Ah, and here comes Hank Hologram and what is amazing is how his shoes continue to change colors depending on his mood. Ooop...With all those screams, it must be super director Steve Streamer who has 500 little HHDD cameras sown into his clothes and he is making a live action movie of this event!' Can't wait to see who plays me!'


Wearables are one of the hottest trends pushing the Internet of Things. Many of us are familiar with the sensor bracelet things that keeps track of steps, distance, calories burned and all the things a pedometer used to do. But now there are sensors stitched in to our actual clothing! Nike recently patented a shirt that provides 'enhanced body position feedback.'  Basically you are wearing your coach as an outfit. It is a wearable instruction shirt that helps improve an athlete’s form or body positioning.

A Korean artist has released a kinetic wearable, Metamorphosis, which features a woman’s dress and man’s blazer that detect when you’re drunk. When consuming alcohol, the shoulders on the dress expand and transition between different colors, while the collar on the blazer rise to hide the wearer’s face. The dress is designed to show how a female’s confidence increases when consuming alcohol but the blazer hides the male when it senses too much alcohol on his breath. I'm not incoxitated ossifer!

A Brazilian designer has won an award for her lingerie that illuminates when touched. While not yet in production, there are micro sensors built into the bras and underwear and brings the red light district into your own home.

And of you think these are one-offs, this October in Portland there will be FashioNXT’s first annual Wearable Technology Fashion Competition. They are looking at ways to bring wearables into mainstream adoption with the focus on ensuring the technology blends into the essence of the clothing.

To top it all off, there is an interesting article about the 5 psychological challenges facing wearables. It is about behavior change technology and if these apps can actually change what a person does. The 5 challenges include:

  • Apathy - if you're not motivated to change, it doesn't matter.
  • Simplicity vs. Complexity - You can’t just shove complex psychology into an app and expect an incredible user experience.
  • Personalization vs. Scale - Psychology is generally applied in a clinical setting, with the best results from 1:1 interactions & does not scale.
  • Relapse - The process of anticipating/preventing relapse is integral to lasting behavior change. This important step is almost always overlooked in technologies
  • Integration with Real Life - There exists a natural barrier between doing something on your phone and taking action in real life.

With 82% of American wearable tech users believing that it has enhanced their lives, I'm sure this is just the beginning of the Wearable Internet.




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Internet of Food

Posted in f5, silva, big data, iot, things by psilva on September 9th, 2014


For those of you who like to post food pictures, this is something I can see being a benefit. Smart Chopsticks! Yup, you heard that right. Soon you'll be able to poke that dim sum and know if the food is tainted. Baidu, China's internet giant,unveiled them at their annual conference last week. While not ready for the mass market, Baidu says the chopsticks can detect oils containing unsanitary levels of contamination. They predict that you'll be able to detect the origin of oil and water and other foods...and whether they’ve spoiled and their nutritional content. You can hook them up to a smartphone to capture the content.

They have a video which shows them dipping the chopsticks in olive oil and getting a 'good' reading and then doing the same with recycled oil and getting a 'bad' reading. As of today, the chopsticks only measure the freshness of cooking oil but future chopsticks also will be able to measure PH levels, temperature and calories.

Of course I did a little digging to see what other utensil type things have gotten smarter.

At CES 2013, Hapi Labs shared their Hapi Fork. A little bigger that your regular fork but after a charge, it'll monitor how many bites of food you take and at what rate. If you try to stuff your mouth with more than 1 bite every 10 seconds, the fork will vibrate to tell you to slow down. With USB, you can upload the data to track your eating or share with friends along with the plate in front of you. How about an instrument which tells you when you're about to bite the inside of your mouth?

Then we got the Smart Cup, which counts the number of liquid calories you are two-fisting. Vessyl is a cup designed to automatically determine what’s been poured into it and track what you’re drinking in real-time. Whatever you pour into it, coffee, soda, juice, the sensors break it down to the molecular level to identify the beverage. It can even differentiate brands. Imagine the Pepsi Challenge in the one of these. It gives calorie count plus total grams of sugar, fat, protein, sodium and caffeine. You then connect to the app and it stores the drink along with making suggestions on healthier choices. Bad Bourbon...but so good.

I know there are already smart refrigerators but I wonder what they'll be in the future. I was thinking about a fridge that had Rubik's cube type inside and based on whatever the sensors pick (smelly, past date, UPC, recall, whatever), those cubes move to the front so you can see what's about to spoil or needs to be eaten. How many times have you pulled a few things out and suddenly seen the science experiment covered in plastic wrap?

This Internet of Things is branching in so many directions and it's interesting, at least to me, just how many items are starting to get sensors. The food supply has had it's share of recalls, contaminations, cover ups and other challenges and smart utensils really could be a life saver for some people, especially with food allergies. For me, it would be pretty cool to stick some food to find out if there is any lactose in it and then predict how soon I'll be bending over in stomach pain.

That's smart.




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The Breach of Things

Posted in security, f5, silva, cybercrime, humans, breach, iot, things by psilva on September 9th, 2014

Yet another retailer has confessed that their systems were breached and an untold number of victims join the growing list of those who have had their data was stolen. This one could be bigger than the infamous Target breach. I wonder if some day we'll be referring to periods of time by the breach that occurred. 'What? You don't remember the Target breach of '13! Much smaller than the Insert Company Here Breach of 2019!' Or almost like battles of a long war. 'The Breach of 2013 was a turning point in the fight against online crime,' or some other silly notion.

On top of that, a number of celebrity's private photos, stored in the cloud (of course), were privately stolen. I'm sorry but if you are going to take private pictures of yourself with something other than a classic Polaroid, someone else will eventually see them.

Almost everything seems breach'able these days. Last year, the first toilet was breached. The one place you'd think you would have some privacy has also been soiled. Add to that televisionsthermostatsrefrigerators and automobiles. And a person's info with a dangerous hug. Companies are sprouting up all over to offer connected homes where owners can control their water, temperature, doors, windows, lights and practically any other item, as long as it has a sensor. Won't be long until we see sensational headlines including 'West Coast Fridges Hacked...Food Spoiling All Over!' or 'All Eastern Televisions Hacked to Broadcast old Gilligan's Island Episodes!'

As more things get connected, the risks of a breach obviously increase. The more I thought about it, I felt it was time to resurrect this dandy from 2012: Radio Killed the Privacy Star for those who may have missed it the first time. Armed with a mic and a midi, I belt out, karaoke style, my music video ‘Radio Killed the Privacy Star.’ Lyrics can be found at Radio Killed the Privacy Star.




VMworld 2014 – F5 Management Plug-in for vCenter Orchestrator (feat Munson)

Posted in f5, big-ip, cloud computing, silva, video, vmware, sddc by psilva on September 3rd, 2014

Kent Munson, F5 Principal Solution Engineer, explains why the F5 Management Plug-in for vCenter Orchestrator wonBest Partner Solution – VMworld 2014 – in the Cloud Automation category. The F5 Management Plug-in for vCenter Orchestrator provides automation, management, and orchestration of BIG-IP atomic actions within vCO workflows. Kent shares what it is, what it does and the benefits for VMware administrators everywhere

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VMworld 2014 – F5 & VMware Alliance (feat Rowland)

Posted in f5, cloud, cloud computing, interview, silva, video, sddc by psilva on September 3rd, 2014

Calvin Rowland, F5 VP Business Development, talks about the F5 & VMware partnership and brings us up to date on some of the latest developments. He also explains the criticality of technology alliances in today’s application driven world along with F5’s philosophy and guiding principles around technology alliances. Integration, collaboration and interoperability. We aim to satisfy business needs with architectural and technical solutions. Great insight and a fun interview.

Also check out our first video together almost 5 years ago. We haven’t aged a day: Oracle OpenWorld - Interview with Calvin Rowland

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VMworld 2014 Partner Spotlight – BIG-IP & AirWatch Integration (feat AirWatch’s Berenato)

Posted in security, f5, big-ip, silva, video, mobile, smartphone, policy, mdm by psilva on September 3rd, 2014

Andrew Berenato, AirWatch Business Development Manager, does a great job explaining the many enterprise mobile device management challenges that the BIG-IP & AirWatch integration solves. BYOD, secure corporate apps, maintain compliance and employee privacy are all covered. True enterprise mobility management.

AirWatch by VMware simplifies mobility for organizations, while empowering end users. With AirWatch, organizations can easily deploy, configure, secure, manage and support smartphones, tablets, laptops and other devices across multiple mobile platforms and operating systems.

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VMworld 2014 – The F5 Reference Architecture for VMware NSX (feat Pearce)

Posted in f5, virtualization, silva, video, vmware, network, infrastructure, vmworld, sddc by psilva on August 25th, 2014

https://f5.com/solutions/architectures/vmware-nsx  Nathan Pearce, F5 Sr Technical Marketing Manager, shares a ton a great insight about NSX: what it is, what it does, why organizations deploy it along with how BIG-IP integrates with NSX. This integration solves two challenges – time to value and time to change. Wondering what that is? Take a peek and learn how you can quickly provision services without worrying about procuring equipment.  VMware NSX Solutions

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VMworld 2014 – Security Considerations for the SDDC (feat Frelich)

Posted in security, f5, silva, vmware, vmworld, sddc by psilva on August 25th, 2014

Brandon Frelich, our Marketing Services Architect for Cloud & Security, talks about some of the implications and considerations for organizations looking to move toward a Software Defined Data Center. Areas include DDoS protection, identity & access management and policy control.  Delivering the Software Defined Data Center (pdf)

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VMworld 2014 – Global Applications with vCloud Air (feat Church)

Posted in Uncategorized, f5, cloud, virtualization, cloud computing, silva, vmware, vmworld by psilva on August 25th, 2014

Bill Church, F5 SE Manager, gives us the low down on VMware’s vCloud Air, why organizations would use it along with the benefits, both for visitors and administrators, of globally distributed applications. This includes the ability to dynamically and automatically provision services for those cloud applications. BIG-IP can provide the global DNS services to ensure your people are getting to the right resources. Cloud bursting with F5.

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