Technometria with Phil Windley
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In the 17th century, William Ames wrote a book called
Technometria. Technometry meant literally "the measure of a skill or
art." As Ames used it, he meant the study of the theory of the
interrelation of the arts and sciences. (See Why
Technometria for more detail.)
This is the Technometria podcast. I'm Phil Windley and I'm usually joined
by Scott Lemon and Ben Galbraith, good friends and
great technologists in their own right. Matt Asay has been a co-host in the past. We may talk him into coming back someday.
Technometria is our attempt to make sense of the technology that
surrounds us through exploration, analysis, and, hopefully,
reason. In these podcasts you'll find discussions of Web 2.0,
programming and software development, open source, identity, new
media, enterprise computing, and many other topics.
If you enjoy these podcasts, let us know by giving them a rating or sending us a note. You might also
enjoy Phil Windley's
Peter Michalek is leading the the oX/OpenLynx effort, a scalable and comprehensive conceptual solution to support the needs of this next wave of computing. As described by Toby Considine, "plug'ins are used for each new control protocol (BACnet, ModBus, DNP, …) to be exposed in the oX server. This model distinguishes between the low level low voltage protocol used for each system and the information harvesting that one wishes to do in the wide world." Peter discusses the project and its current status and use.
According to the Supermechanical website, "Twine is a wireless module tightly integrated with a cloud-based service. The module has WiFi, on-board temperature and vibration sensors, and an expansion connector for other sensors." Developer John Kestner describes the device and its development. He reviews how it works, what decisions were made in its design, and how It allows you to connect things to the Internet. He also discusses the community that is working to make the product better.
As stated on the MQTT website, MQ Telemetry Transport "is a machine-to-machine (M2M)/"Internet of Things" connectivity protocol." Meant to be used remotely particularly when bandwidth is at a premium, it can be used in both mobile and dial-up situations. Developed as part of his work at IBM, Andy Piper discusses the project, including its concepts and background. He also reviews examples of its use and reviews future development plans.
In this time of continued concern about the future of energy, technology specialists are looking for ways to better control how power is used in commercial buildings where people sometimes work twenty-four hours a day. Toby Considine, an expert on smart energy and Jon Udell discuss current activities to create an open source model that allows for better communications among the various technologies to develop a building automation system.
As personal computers have become an everyday part of our lives, consumers and businesses have to deal with the issues and problems of technology. Robert Stephens created the Geek Squad as a way to help people correct computer problems quickly and easily. When Best Buy bought his company, he became CTO of the retail giant. He talks about his background, what led him to create Geek Squad, and how he developed a business model that depended on a flat fee structure, rather than hourly rates.
Originally known as the Apache Group, the Apache Software Foundation is a leading supporter of open source software development. First established in 1999, the non-profit organization provides support to a number of open source projects. Software developer Nick Burch discusses the work of the ASF and its upcoming ApacheCon North America conference, scheduled for November 7-11, 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbia.
As stated in its draft from the core working group, "the Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP), a specialized web transfer protocol for use with constrained networks and nodes for machine-to-machine applications such as smart energy and building automation". As one of its developers, Brian Frank is uniquely qualified to describe its uses. He presents a detailed, technical review of its development, as well as his other software development work.
The concept of scalability has been around as long as the need to deal with ever-expanding systems has. Marty Abbott and Michael Fisher, authors of the book Scalability Rules: 50 Principles for Scaling Web Sites, discuss the problems with how technology experts have to deal with expansion as more organizations increase their web presence. Having written an earlier book (The Art of Scalability), they are uniquely qualified to give practical advice to IT professionals.
Pachube is an on-line database service provider that allows developers to connect sensor data to the Web and to build their own applications on it. Its creator, Usman Haque, discusses it, reviewing what Pachube is, how it can be used, and examples of its value as a way to manage data. He argues that services like Pachube can take advantage of open data to discover and share information.
Nearly every day the news media carries stories about how much information the government compiles about the average citizen. As Daniel J. Solove writes in his new book Nothing to Hide: The False Tradeoff Between Privacy and Security, many people say, "If you've got nothing to hide, you shouldn't worry about government surveillance." However, Solove argues that it should not be necessary to choose security over privacy. He discusses the history of privacy law and reviews the problems of technology and privacy.