USIgnite2014: Day 2: Cybersecurity as a Service

Jonathan Rajewski, Champlain College in VT

Digital forensics: anything that can read, store or transmit information, that can be presented at trial. Digital is complex. Hollywood glamorizes the forensics process, which is a problem. Ads of what tech can do, new technology always evolving. Public safety officers investigate crimes that involve technology. Problem: backlogs, each state follows different procedures. Court cases illustrate this. It’s a nationwide public safety issue, delays can affect personally in different ways.

What they do: secure communication portals, copy files. This happened in VT. Time is of the essence in forensics: how many devices in a house? what operating systems? Do people know how to deal with this? Complications: all terabyte drives with lots of data.

Forensics Operations center: each of the people have different specialties, training and tools. Another example in Chattanooga. Evidence in house is complex, and school had 4 different iMacs. Using Internet 2 architecture, they connect the local resources with their service.

Demo: using two tools to copy data from devices at target IP, run forensics to determine what pages they’ve been searching, files on the machine. He’s doing triage: not moving whole drive across the network.

Bringing this to reality: SUI Investigator reports to local and virtual forensics centers to develop a solution as soon as possible.


USIgnite2014: Day 2: THRIVE Air Quality Monitoring Project

David Lary, University of Texas at Dallas

thRIVE: timely Health indicators using Remove sending and Innovation fro the Vitality of the Environment

Public health report: 3.7 million died due to ambient health pollution, 4.3 million deaths due to household air pollution. This is a Big Data problem of great social relevance: requires bandwidth, wearable sensors and Internet of things, cloud processing, and two-way communiciations for applications to be responsive. If you have a child with asthma, child might have a personal sensor to communicate alerts and other signals.

Think big: bio informatics growing, medical informatics, environmental (weather, etc.) — bring data out of separate silos and combine together. PM2.5 (pollution, an invisible killer) is tiny: less than 2.5 microns (compare with human hair, about 70 microns wide). Wide range of problematic health outcomes from PM2.5.

Cities may have one or two big sensors, 8,000 sites across 50 countries. David wants more data in tighter granularity. What’s ubiquitously available? Multiple satellites, high time precision, Aqua DeepBlue project (satellites) for both an estimate and error bar of data sets. We can then relate that to health outcomes.

Slide of long-term average map of global particulates, 1997 to present. Some areas show dangerous levels (red), e.g., China where lifespan was reduced by 5 years. Small island where lifespan is 27 years due to military bioterrorist weapons testing nearby. Timely alerts between extreme events may be alert to bring inhaler vs visit to the emergency room.

Workflow shows lots of data sources and partners, machine learning, research with VA Hospital, software development for alerts; this is just the beginning.

Next generation will also monitor for fire and drought. Prevention is way less costly than event like great fires. Water and irrigation is another key issue for future. Taking informatics to a whole new level.


US Ignite Application Summit 2014

US Ignite Applications SummitI’ve been working over the last couple of years with Lit San Leandro, one of the companies that are in a public-private partnership with the City of San Leandro. Their initiative is about economic development through the installation of and access to a fiber optic Internet connection. There are significant parts of this post-farming and post-industrial town that are not served by the incumbent telecom and cable companies. In other parts of town, they’re lucky to have access to one or two T-1 lines (1.54 Mb/s at best). The new “San Leandro fiber loop” (as it’s called locally) will serve these areas with multi-gigabit service the likes of which they’ve never seen here. What are those companies going to do with gigabit lines besides checking email, transferring really large files between offices, or using high-definition video conferencing? Good question. Enter US Ignite, a non-profit group that “fosters the creation of next-generation Internet applications that provide transformative public benefit.” The City and Lit San Leandro are members of US Ignite, and as such are explorers of what it means to have these high-speed connections available to businesses. In order to promote the exchange of ideas, US Ignite hosts an annual Application Summit where the cool projects are demonstrated, and conversations accelerate many developments forward. Last year’s Application Summit was held in San Leandro. You can read more about that event on Lit San Leandro’s blog:

This year’s Summit will be held in Sunnyvale, CA, from June 24-27, 2014. I’m going, and I’ll be live-blogging from the event. Woo! Watch for the USIgnite posts to come.


Proto-Post Scarcity

On the blog, Rick Webb wrote a lovely post on the period of time and culture that transitions us from where we are now to the big question of what comes next. There’s no sense in continuing our current version of capitalism now that the vast wealth in our financial system is controlled by so few. This includes twerky control of the democratic wheels (Congress, Judicial branch, and the Executive), as well as our cultural messages (mass media: TV, movies, the “news” and other feeders to our public dialog). Here, Webb walks us out to a future I can believe in.

I promise this is about Star Trek. Sort of. Bear with me a moment.

I’ve been reading a lot about robots lately. When I read about robots, and the future, I can’t help but think about it in economic terms. And that inevitably turns my mind to the branch of economics called post scarcity economics. Traditional economics, of course, deals with the efficient allocation of inherently scarce materials. Post scarcity economics deals with the economics of economies that are no longer constrained by scarcity of materials — food, energy, shelter, etc.

The thing that never sits quite right with post scarcity economics, though, at least the very little that I’ve read, is that it’s always sort of an all or nothing affair: you either don’t have enough of anything or you have enough of everything. Thinking of this as a mental exercise is kind of fun, I think, but in reality it seems to me that getting from point A — a scarcity economy — to point B — post scarcity — is going to be a long, complicated journey as some things become more abundant in some places, while other things are still scarce.

What is needed is some sort of interim-, or proto-post scarcity economics. …

Take a few minutes (he suggests 20) and walk with him through a compelling story.

As a side note, back in 1998 I wrote a “speech” by Chu, a young person from the future. You can read that talk here.