Convergent TechWeek

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 24: Mikol Furneaux(L) waves two packages of Windows 95 software in the first store in Australia to sell the product at midnight 24 August. Microsoft hopes to sell between 20 and 30 million copies of the software world wide by the end of 1995. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

As some may have noticed in the profile description on the webpage, as well as if anyone has checked out my LinkedIn profile, you’ll notice the Convergent Tech Project which I’ve described as one which leverages technologies in audio visual, IT, video conferencing, Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC), cloud-hosted and virtual machine technologies, mobility/BYOD, Internet of Things and cybersecurity. Add robotics and artificial intelligence as well.

My intention with this series is to detail recent tech, trends and more (even social media) from various media resources.

This is #1 in the series:

August 24th: 20 Years Ago Today, Microsoft Launched Windows 95

I remember the launch of Windows 95 and the chaos that ensued (across the world) at the time, as Microsoft was THE big deal and this was the most anticipated OS release of all time. Apple Store sized lines (the ones that occur today) formed everywhere you could possibly purchase the software. People lined up for blocks, attended midnight madness promotions and laid out $210 for a boxed copy of Windows 95.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 24:  Mikol Furneaux(L) waves two packages of Windows 95 software in the first store in Australia to sell the product at midnight 24 August.   Microsoft hopes to sell between 20 and 30 million copies of the software world wide by the end of 1995. AFP PHOTO  (Photo credit should read TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 24: Mikol Furneaux(L) waves two packages of Windows 95 software in the first store in Australia to sell the product at midnight 24 August. Microsoft hopes to sell between 20 and 30 million copies of the software world wide by the end of 1995. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

The Windows 10 launch? Not so much. I think I may have seen about 25-30 people waiting in line around 9 A.M. at the local Microsoft Store – to get a bracelet to meet a U.S. Women’s Team soccer star that night and I guess the upgrade (hey it is free). I was there for a Windows 10 overview workshop – and to get my upgrade.

Cybersecurity and Behavior Recognition

In a TechCrunch article, the subject of cybersecurity was approached from the perspective of behavior recognition as a next-gen approach. Determining that “Preventing Data Breaches Can Never Lead To Victory” it’s stated how in a series of one-upmanship, advanced technicians are constantly coming up with new ways to stop cybercriminals in their tracks, and cybercriminals are constantly coming up with new ways to tear down those structures.

Cyber behavior

In one example presented, if you visit an e-commerce platform and move your cursor in a certain pattern, or type at a certain speed, BioCatch – a leading provider of Behavioral Biometric, Authentication and Malware Detection solutions for mobile and web applications – will be able to determine, on future visits, whether or not the user with your login credentials is actually you. Similar technology, focused on positively identifying people based on behaviors and biometric signatures, is provided by companies like startup Bionym, where when using a wearable wristband (called Nymi), the technology detects electrocardiographic activity to positively identify a user, then wirelessly confirms that identity to apps and online platforms. While conventional security practices such as high-level encryption and multi-factor authentication on the user side continue to carry great importance, a look toward behavior recognition and hardware and device-based authentication appear to be a highly logical next-step approach.

Transfer Physical Media to Google Cloud Storage

Reported in ZDNet, Google has launched a new service, Offline Media Import/Export, which lets Google Cloud Storage customers to send physical media via the post office. The service can be very be useful for companies and developers with large volumes of data on hard drives, tapes, or USB flash drives. It’s also an alternative route for customers who are stuck on poor internet connections.  Google has launched in the U.S. partnered with archiving firm Iron Mountain for the data ingestion process, the firm receives the physical media and migrates it to Google Cloud Storage.

Google cloud storage 1

Google says that encrypted data will be uploaded to Google Cloud Storage using high speed networks, while Iron Mountain can offer chain of custody process for those with compliance requirements. The customer can then choose whether the hard drive is shipped back to them or they can opt for the service provider to destroy it – or in Iron Mountain’s case, to store it in its vault.

An Inventor Goes “Superhero” With Robotic Hand 

A British inventor who is creating low-cost, advanced robotic hands that are inspired by superheroes and comic books has won the UK round of the James Dyson Award as reported in Mashable. The James Dyson Award is an international design award that celebrates, encourages and inspires the next generation of design engineers.

superhero hand 3

Joel Gibbard of Open Bionics, set out to make low-cost robotic hands that amputees would want to show off after he became terrified as a teenager about what would happen if he one day lost a hand. Open Bionics is an open-source initiative for the development of affordable, light-weight, modular robot hands and prosthetic devices – they use 3D printing to manufacture devices that are customized for each customer.

See related  Barco Partners With Logitech to Combine ClickShare Conference

Here is Open Bionics presenting their 3D printed robotic hand at CES 2015, worn by a gentleman missing his right hand.

Los Altos, CA high school launches BYOD program – why is this a big deal?

Well, it isn’t really, except for the fact that it showcases how K-12 (as well as Higher Ed) has greatly leveraged the strategy while the enterprise continues to struggle with it. Reported in the Los Altos Town Crier (a town whose population was reported at 28,976 in the 2010 census), Mountain View High School students have two options for the program – either bring their own laptop or check out a Chromebook through the school to use during the year – much like an enterprise “partial BYOD” program which blends employee and company-owned devices within the organization. Funding from Google Inc. and the Mountain View Los Altos High School Foundation enabled Mountain View High to provide more than 1,000 laptops for student use.

BYOD school

“This is just about helping our students become ready for the world,” said Teri Faught, an instructional support teacher for the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District. “It’s about helping our students be competitive and fluent in the society that we live in.”

Of note, to go along with BYOD discussion on this level, is a company named Impulse, a provider of solutions SafeConnect and IdentityConnect (which uses contextual intelligence technology) specifically for K-12 and Higher Ed (they do provide for Enterprise a well) assures that an organization’s BYOD experience is highly manageable and secure. This to go along with a strategic mobile device management (MDM) strategy as well – Good is one of those providers.

Telepresence Robots Enable Higher Ed Students to Tour Campus, Take Classes — From Anywhere 

In an era where telepresence and robotics is fast becoming forefront technology, I received a press release which announced that Carousel Industries, a company in unified communications, managed services, data solutions and visual communications, had signed an agreement with Oral Roberts University (ORU) in Oklahoma to deliver seamless wireless connectivity across its entire 263 acre campus, which will enable the university to be linked to students all over the globe. The installation (which is already underway) features wireless equipment from Extreme Networks, a network infrastructure company (who showcased solutions in the AVnu Alliance booth at InfoComm), and will occur over multiple phases through mid-2016.

ORU campus

The infrastructure updates coincide with ORU’s 50th anniversary, and will include more than $7 million in upgrades designed to “impact academic growth and expansion. James Marsh, Chief Revenue Officer at Carousel Industries commented “Working with visionary ORU staff who are dedicated to geographically inclusive education principles, we are committed to helping their vision of a digital society become a reality by leveraging our unparalleled expertise in wireless technology, managed services and distance learning.”

Here He Is – Apple’s First Employee

Apple IIe 2

I noticed an article in Tech Republic titled Apple’s first employee: The remarkable odyssey of Bill Fernandez and intrigue set in. Bill Fernandez, for those who don’t know, may just be the person responsible for Apple’s existence in the first place as he’s best known as the person who introduced Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. It begins like this:

The Apple II got there first. It was the Wright Flyer I of personal computers.

When the Wright brothers made their historic first flight in 1903, lots of other inventors were trying to fling their own shoddy little planes into the air. And in 1977, when Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs unveiled the Apple II, there were a zillion other nerds working on building a personal computer.

But Woz beat them to it, and Jobs knew how to sell it.

Here is a YouTube video titled: Why Steve’s best friends won’t watch the biopic which includes a short interview with Bill Fernandez:

Enough said. Give it a read.

Apple Watch Pulls Up to #2 Wearable Behind Fitbit

According to a new report from IDC, Apple is now the number two wearable maker, thanks to the Apple Watch – coming in just behind market leader Fitbit during the second quarter of 2015.

Apple watch 2

According to TechCrunch, the report states that Apple shipped 3.6 million units in Q2 2015, just 0.8 million units short of Fitbit’s total 4.4 million units. In terms of the figures,Apple now has nearly 20 percent of the wearables market, while Fitbit has just over 24 percent.

Looks like the Apple Watch may be for real after all…


Next-Gen Cybersecurity Is All About Behavior Recognition

Superhero-inspired robotic hand wins UK Dyson award

Mountain View High launches Bring Your Own Device program

Telepresence Robots Enable Oral Roberts University Students to Tour Campus, Take Classes, and Participate in Graduation from Anywhere in the World

Apple’s first employee: The remarkable odyssey of Bill Fernandez

Apple Watch Not A Flop – Now #2 Wearable, Just Behind Fitbit