Welcome!

Cloud Security Authors: Elizabeth White, Rishi Bhargava, Matthew McKenna, Dan Potter, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @CloudExpo

@CloudExpo: Opinion

Can Cloud Computing Save Us from the Fed?

Our Leaders Don't Know Jack about IT; Apparently Not About Economics, Either

As I wrote recently, our political and entertainment leaders have, in essence, no clue about technology. They'll know what a Blackberry is and what iApple devices are, and one or two of them may have even successfully set up an email account on their laptop. But it's not their core competency; I've always imagined that the late Sen. Ted Stevens was among the more savvy members of Congress, and I continue to view Larry Ellison's appearance on Oprah as the strangest pairing since Richard Nixon and Elvis.

Oh, it's neat that the federal government has an official CIO, Vivek Kundra, and that he has been tasked with spending at least a little money on Cloud experimentation.

Another point of light was provided by a recent CTO Forum held in Washington that featured Sens. Mark Warner and Susan Collins, two of the more enlightened members of the august body. But even they felt compelled to focus on cybersecurity, cybersecurity, and cybersecurity--in other words, on what people can do to Cloud Computing rather than what Cloud Computing can do for people.

A Little Help!
But generally speaking, we need to help these folks see the light when it comes to IT.

And apparently, we also need to help them see the light when it comes to economics.

I am speaking here of "QE2," or quantitative easing, a recent effort by the Federal Reserve Bank to, in essence, print up $600 billion in new money, apparently just because it can. (Print that out in $100 bills, lay them end-to-end, and they would stretch to the moon and back, then take four laps around the Earth for good measure.)

The Fed already did this sort of thing last year (thus, the "2" in QE2). The idea is to drive interest rates down so that folks can just borrow all sorts of money to buy things (like houses and cars) again, and so companies can borrow all sorts of money to invest in all the stuff that folks will buy.

Crock is the Nicest Word I Can Find
This idea is, simply, a crock.

Americans are now "deleveraging," ie, trying to get rid of their credit card debt, as fast as they can. The last thing they want is more debt. And even if they wanted to buy a new house, banks won't lend to most of them. The banks do have millions of foreclosed properties on their hands, but clearly don't want to sell those houses until the cavalry (the Feds) comes riding in again and take all of those crappy, toxic home loans off their hands. No fault of theirs, in their opinion, that they've been supremely hurried, arrogant, and incompetent in amassing said foreclosures.

Meanwhile, businesses are sitting on an estimated $1 trillion in cash, not wishing to invest to produce something that they know they can't sell.

This is what will transpire: the increased, unwanted cash will just weaken the dollar further and give no one an incentive to invest in the American economy. Oh sure, there will always be currency speculators around the edges who will try to make a quick buck by buying up weak dollars when they things have bottomed out, but this is a fool's game.

History will probably prove the Fed right about its first round of QE. Credit markets were iced over, frozen solid. But no more. The second round is a big, big mistake. Nobody's going to invest seriously in the US economy until its leaders show some confidence. Raising rates would be the precise type of chutzpah that's needed. Traveling to India to beg for business would not be what's needed.

Should the Fed suddenly decide to do what appears to it as the contrary thing, ie, start to raise interest rates, it will signal a stronger and more confident America. This is what the world needs. It is pathetic now that the Obama administration is counting on a weak dollar to make American products and services cheaper, so that people in places like China, India, Brazil, and Indonesia will buy them.

Well, It Didn't Happen Overnight
But what does the US export? Not much, despite protestations that's it's still a leading producer of valued goods and services. Get away from planes and weapons, food, entertainment, and travel, and what do you have?

Software and iPads, to be sure, but how price-sensitive are they? How can software that's stolen be price-sensitive anyway? And trust me, from what I've seen in the developing world, people are forgoing food and clothes to get their hands on the latest Apple gadgets. I'm not commenting on whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, but price is not the main issue.

So, what is price sensitive? Boeing 747s? Missiles and satellites? List price isn't the key part of the deal with these things.

Will people from Europe or Asia put off that vacation to the US if it suddenly becomes a little more expensive? I don't think so. Will they stop watching the latest Hollywood chick flicks and action adventures because the price goes up 25 cents? (Note: you can buy a ticket to see an American for $2 to $3 in many developing countries.)

Will a stronger dollar hurt food exports, another big area for the US? Hmm, since price subsidies already make this a problematic issue, I'm going to say no.

Time to Wake Up!
In addition to believing in the fantasy that a weaker dollar will spur an increase in US exports and restore the US economy to its glory days, the Obama administration is also seemingly unaware of the tremendous ill will it is generating worldwide. It can blame China's tradition of currency manipulation all it wants; what people see, from the street-level view to the highest levels of government, are alarming increases in the value of their local currencies.

This trend that does, in fact, have the potential of killing off economic progress in developing nations. Leaders from South Africa, Brazil, and throughout Southeast Asia are very, very concerned about this. The potential damage is also of high concern to resource-rich nations such as Australia, Canada, South Africa (again), and Russia.

Cloud Computing productivity is, as I've written many times before and will write again, the key to restoring the global economy on a sound footing. But even its wonders will not be able to trump disastrous moves like the one the Fed, with the full support of the Obama administration, is making now.

The Fed, by adding even more cash into an economy that doesn't want it in this form, is doing the exact opposite of what it should be doing. Its leaders are acting like confused pilots who pull on the yoke when the plane stalls, instead of pushing it so that the plane picks up speed and regains power. Stop pulling on that lever, Ben!

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device.
Large scale deployments present unique planning challenges, system commissioning hurdles between IT and OT and demand careful system hand-off orchestration. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Smith, Senior Director and a founding member of Incenergy, will discuss some of the key tactics to ensure delivery success based on his experience of the last two years deploying Industrial IoT systems across four continents.
Basho Technologies has announced the latest release of Basho Riak TS, version 1.3. Riak TS is an enterprise-grade NoSQL database optimized for Internet of Things (IoT). The open source version enables developers to download the software for free and use it in production as well as make contributions to the code and develop applications around Riak TS. Enhancements to Riak TS make it quick, easy and cost-effective to spin up an instance to test new ideas and build IoT applications. In addition to...
Identity is in everything and customers are looking to their providers to ensure the security of their identities, transactions and data. With the increased reliance on cloud-based services, service providers must build security and trust into their offerings, adding value to customers and improving the user experience. Making identity, security and privacy easy for customers provides a unique advantage over the competition.
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus...
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) and Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) have entered into a definitive agreement under which Verizon will acquire Yahoo's operating business for approximately $4.83 billion in cash, subject to customary closing adjustments. Yahoo informs, connects and entertains a global audience of more than 1 billion monthly active users** -- including 600 million monthly active mobile users*** through its search, communications and digital content products. Yahoo also co...
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
The best-practices for building IoT applications with Go Code that attendees can use to build their own IoT applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Indraneel Mitra, Senior Solutions Architect & Technology Evangelist at Cognizant, provided valuable information and resources for both novice and experienced developers on how to get started with IoT and Golang in a day. He also provided information on how to use Intel Arduino Kit, Go Robotics API and AWS IoT stack to build an application tha...
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? You need to discover patterns that are repeatable in vast quantities of data, understand their meaning, and implement scalable monitoring across multiple data streams in order to monetize the discoveries and insights. Motif discovery and deep learning platforms are emerging to visualize sensor data, to search for patterns and to build application that can monitor real time streams efficiently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, ...