Five Ways The Government Can Create Sustainable Innovation | Co.Exist
The government doesn’t have the best track record when investing directly in sustainable companies, but there is a lot it can do to create an environment conducive to real innovation. This is how it should do it in Obama’s second term.

Five Ways The Government Can Create Sustainable Innovation | Co.Exist

The government doesn’t have the best track record when investing directly in sustainable companies, but there is a lot it can do to create an environment conducive to real innovation. This is how it should do it in Obama’s second term.

How To Connect 50 Billion Devices to the Internet - Tech Europe - WSJ
The concept of machine-to-machine communication, the “Internet of things”, has been around for a long time. As a post on the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Insights blog says:

Look around you for a second and count the number of electronic devices, machines and gadgets. All of them—light bulbs, cars, TVs, digital cameras, refrigerators, stereos, cranes, beds—will be connected to the Internet over the next 15 years, if they aren’t already.
This is the potential of the “Internet of Things”: billions and billions of devices and their components connected to one another via the Internet. 50 billion devices by 2020, according to companies like Ericsson. The Internet of Things will radically alter our world through “smart” connectivity, save time and resources, and provide opportunities for innovation and economic growth.

The blog post is to promote a new report from the OECD which can be downloaded as a 45-page PDF document. Aimed at legislators, the paper describes some of the challenges that have to be faced in order to create networks capable of securely handling billions of devices.

How To Connect 50 Billion Devices to the Internet - Tech Europe - WSJ

The concept of machine-to-machine communication, the “Internet of things”, has been around for a long time. As a post on the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Insights blog says:

Look around you for a second and count the number of electronic devices, machines and gadgets. All of them—light bulbs, cars, TVs, digital cameras, refrigerators, stereos, cranes, beds—will be connected to the Internet over the next 15 years, if they aren’t already.

This is the potential of the “Internet of Things”: billions and billions of devices and their components connected to one another via the Internet. 50 billion devices by 2020, according to companies like Ericsson. The Internet of Things will radically alter our world through “smart” connectivity, save time and resources, and provide opportunities for innovation and economic growth.

The blog post is to promote a new report from the OECD which can be downloaded as a 45-page PDF document. Aimed at legislators, the paper describes some of the challenges that have to be faced in order to create networks capable of securely handling billions of devices.

 Why Can’t America Make Alternative Fuels Work? – Gas 2.0
60 years ago, there didn’t seem to be a single challenge America  couldn’t overcome. Now, there’s just a lot of negativity about America,  especially when it comes to alternative fuels. What are these people so  afraid of?
In particular, I’m talking about how in the same breath a person can criticize Big Oil for rising gas prices,  and then start talking trash about any kind of alternative to gasoline  for fuel. It makes no sense to me that we, as Americans, should have  nearly infinite options when it comes to buying just about anything you can imagine, except fuel for our cars. That’s all I really want. Options. I want a  gas station that sells more than gas. I want CNG, I want propane, I want  different ethanol blends, and I want charging stations that are built  by a combination of private and public investment. Is that really asking  so much?
For some people, it apparently is. It’s as though we’re afraid of  messing with the formula that has made America the most effective  economic giant in the world for the last century or so. Make no mistake  about it, putting cars into the hands of the common people radically  altered the human dynamic. No longer were people confined to the towns  where they were born, or reliant upon massive railroads who dictated  where tracks were or weren’t laid.
If I had to pick one symbol for America in the 20th century, it’d have to be the Ford Model T. For thousands and thousands  of years, the fastest mode of overland travel was the horse, which like  humans required lots of food and lots of rest. But with the advent of  the automobile, people now had a source of mobility that could take  farther and faster than even the swiftest thoroughbred, and required  only a few gallons  of a seemingly inexhaustible source of fuel.
But we’re in the 21st century now. America may no longer  be the world’s most prolific economy in as little as 5 years. There are  many billions more people in the world today than there were 60 years  ago. And there people are starting to get their hands on automobiles  too, changing the dynamics of their lives as well. The world is  changing, and if America wants to stay on top, we need to be the  innovators in the 21st century that we were in the 20th century.
The problem is, there aren’t a whole lot of things left that we can  take the lead in, and not everything we’re first in is exactly  admirable. So why would anyone believe that, at a time when the entirety of the rest of the world is leaning towards renewable fuels, would we want to in the other  direction? If Europe and China want solar panels and electric cars and  wind turbines, well they should buy it from America. That’s a surefire  way to get our economy back on track, and the oil companies called  before Congress this week have the knowledge and resources to make it  happen. So why don’t they?
We’re afraid. We don’t want to mess with success. Oil is cheap and  abundant, except its not anymore, and we’re afraid that our lives our  going to be lesser for it. So we want to drill for more oil and build  bigger highways to we can sit in longer traffic jams and pay ever more  for gasoline, because there really is no other option?

Why Can’t America Make Alternative Fuels Work? – Gas 2.0

60 years ago, there didn’t seem to be a single challenge America couldn’t overcome. Now, there’s just a lot of negativity about America, especially when it comes to alternative fuels. What are these people so afraid of?

In particular, I’m talking about how in the same breath a person can criticize Big Oil for rising gas prices, and then start talking trash about any kind of alternative to gasoline for fuel. It makes no sense to me that we, as Americans, should have nearly infinite options when it comes to buying just about anything you can imagine, except fuel for our cars. That’s all I really want. Options. I want a gas station that sells more than gas. I want CNG, I want propane, I want different ethanol blends, and I want charging stations that are built by a combination of private and public investment. Is that really asking so much?

For some people, it apparently is. It’s as though we’re afraid of messing with the formula that has made America the most effective economic giant in the world for the last century or so. Make no mistake about it, putting cars into the hands of the common people radically altered the human dynamic. No longer were people confined to the towns where they were born, or reliant upon massive railroads who dictated where tracks were or weren’t laid.

If I had to pick one symbol for America in the 20th century, it’d have to be the Ford Model T. For thousands and thousands of years, the fastest mode of overland travel was the horse, which like humans required lots of food and lots of rest. But with the advent of the automobile, people now had a source of mobility that could take farther and faster than even the swiftest thoroughbred, and required only a few gallons  of a seemingly inexhaustible source of fuel.

But we’re in the 21st century now. America may no longer be the world’s most prolific economy in as little as 5 years. There are many billions more people in the world today than there were 60 years ago. And there people are starting to get their hands on automobiles too, changing the dynamics of their lives as well. The world is changing, and if America wants to stay on top, we need to be the innovators in the 21st century that we were in the 20th century.

The problem is, there aren’t a whole lot of things left that we can take the lead in, and not everything we’re first in is exactly admirable. So why would anyone believe that, at a time when the entirety of the rest of the world is leaning towards renewable fuels, would we want to in the other direction? If Europe and China want solar panels and electric cars and wind turbines, well they should buy it from America. That’s a surefire way to get our economy back on track, and the oil companies called before Congress this week have the knowledge and resources to make it happen. So why don’t they?

We’re afraid. We don’t want to mess with success. Oil is cheap and abundant, except its not anymore, and we’re afraid that our lives our going to be lesser for it. So we want to drill for more oil and build bigger highways to we can sit in longer traffic jams and pay ever more for gasoline, because there really is no other option?

Few Support Decreases in Federal Government Spending

Greg Sargent looks at a new Pew poll showing major contradictions in the American public’s opinion on  government spending.  Half of the people think deficit reduction is a  priority for economic recovery — until you get to specific programs. Given specific federal programs, more people favor spending increases or no reduction in spending:
Half the American public favors deficit reductions — but few support decreases in specific federal programs
Everyone wants the budget cut. But nobody wants to cut anything.
publicradiointernational:

Few Support Decreases in Federal Government Spending

Greg Sargent looks at a new Pew poll showing major contradictions in the American public’s opinion on government spending.  Half of the people think deficit reduction is a priority for economic recovery — until you get to specific programs. Given specific federal programs, more people favor spending increases or no reduction in spending:

Half the American public favors deficit reductions — but few support decreases in specific federal programs

Everyone wants the budget cut. But nobody wants to cut anything.

publicradiointernational:

Ireland needs smarter cities to capture future FDI - Siliconrepublic.com
Ireland’s success in winning foreign direct investment (FDI) will over the coming decade depend heavily on key cities emerging as smart cities with the kind of transport and lifestyle infrastructure that would attract the type of talent companies need to locate there. 

Ireland needs smarter cities to capture future FDI - Siliconrepublic.com

Ireland’s success in winning foreign direct investment (FDI) will over the coming decade depend heavily on key cities emerging as smart cities with the kind of transport and lifestyle infrastructure that would attract the type of talent companies need to locate there. 

Council Mission | the internet of things

We believe the “winning solution” to making the most open, inclusive and innovative Internet of Things is to transcend the short-term opposition between social innovation and security by finding a way to combine these two necessities in a broader common perspective. The Internet as most people know it – the www - is 16 years old. In these sixteen years we have seen disruptive innovations in content (individuals gaining power with their ideas and opinions through blogs, issue websites, online collaboration), and in formats (youtube video, tomtom navigation).

Council Mission | the internet of things

We believe the “winning solution” to making the most open, inclusive and innovative Internet of Things is to transcend the short-term opposition between social innovation and security by finding a way to combine these two necessities in a broader common perspective. The Internet as most people know it – the www - is 16 years old. In these sixteen years we have seen disruptive innovations in content (individuals gaining power with their ideas and opinions through blogs, issue websites, online collaboration), and in formats (youtube video, tomtom navigation).

The future of humanity: the un-conference	 :: SciVestor Insight
On November 15th and 16th, a remarkable un-conference will take place.  Convergence 08 is being hosted at The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.  The event is sponsored by a group  of long-term-philanthropy non-profits: The Foresight Institute, Humanity +, Imminst.org, The Singularity Institute, The Long Now Foundation, The Methuselah Foundation, and CyBeRev.

The future of humanity: the un-conference :: SciVestor Insight

On November 15th and 16th, a remarkable un-conference will take place.  Convergence 08 is being hosted at The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.  The event is sponsored by a group  of long-term-philanthropy non-profits: The Foresight Institute, Humanity +, Imminst.org, The Singularity Institute, The Long Now Foundation, The Methuselah Foundation, and CyBeRev.

A hundred years ago, companies stopped generating their own power with steam engines and dynamos and plugged into the newly built electric grid. The cheap power pumped out by electric utilities didn’t just change how businesses operate. It set off a chain reaction of economic and social transformations that brought the modern world into existence. Today, a similar revolution is under way. Hooked up to the Internet’s global computing grid, massive information-processing plants have begun pumping data and software code into our homes and businesses. This time, it’s computing that’s turning into a utility. (via The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google)

A hundred years ago, companies stopped generating their own power with steam engines and dynamos and plugged into the newly built electric grid. The cheap power pumped out by electric utilities didn’t just change how businesses operate. It set off a chain reaction of economic and social transformations that brought the modern world into existence. Today, a similar revolution is under way. Hooked up to the Internet’s global computing grid, massive information-processing plants have begun pumping data and software code into our homes and businesses. This time, it’s computing that’s turning into a utility. (via The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google)

People are already using this economic slowdown to retool and reorient economies. Germany, Britain, China and the U.S. have all used stimulus bills to make huge new investments in clean power. South Korea’s new national paradigm for development is called: “Low carbon, green growth.” Who knew? People are realizing we need more than incremental changes — and we’re seeing the first stirrings of growth in smarter, more efficient, more responsible ways.

Robin Qiu asked me to write a first editorial for the newly launched on-line Service Science journal.  As I was thinking about what to write about, a speech by IBM CEO Sam Palmisano came to mind.  His speech calls for the creation of a Smarter Planet in response to the current global challenge.  As soon as I wrote my editorial, which is entitled “Welcome to Our Declaration of Interdependence,” a play on the ubiquitous ‘welcome to our website,’  I received a note from IBMer Craig Nygard pointing me to an on-line video of Palmisano’s Smarter Planet speech. I also found an excellent blog by IBMer Keith Instone that also points to an easily accessed version of the speech on the Council of Foreign Relations website.

Ubicomp [ubiquitous computing] isn’t just part of our cities of the future. Its devices and services are already here. Think of the use of prepaid smart cards for use of public transport or the tags displayed in our cars to help regulate congestion charge pricing or the way in which corporations track and move goods around the world. These systems will expand geometrically over the next decade building the blocks for our future cities. The question is: what will we choose to build? A City of Control or a City of Trust?