Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Liz McMillan, Xenia von Wedel, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Tim Hinds

Related Topics: Mobile IoT, Open Source Cloud

Mobile IoT: Article

Should RIM BlackBerries Be Rented?

Is the U.S. Mindset Fundamentally Different From Europe's?

So I was sitting under the hot lights at SYS-CON Media’s headquarters in Montvale, NJ recently, trying to mind my own business but expecting to get hit with some sort of surprise question by my SYS-CON.TV colleague Jeremy Geelan.

Jeremy, who serves as Publishing Director of SYS-CON, brings a wealth of journalistic and technological experience to the game, backed by the sort of elocution one would expect from a former BBC producer. And as a European, he often speaks from a viewpoint that, simply, can seemingly be designed to rub a solid U.S. citizen the wrong way.

He also likes to spring things on me. He and I were taping a SYS-CON.TV segment and talked of several recent developments in the IT business that particular week. Several minutes into the discussion, I could see by our clock that our time was almost up.

Then it came. “As an American, Rog,” he says, and the rest of his question became a blur. I dislike being characterized as “an American” or any other subset of humanity, be that subset aging bald guys, sports fanatics, or left-handed dog-and-cat owners.

As I tried to listen, I divined that Jeremy was talking about the increasingly popular concept of renting things of everything from bicycles to Blackberries in typically pioneering, savvy Nordic places such as Scandinavia and Finland. “Would such a concept work in the U.S.?” he wanted to know.

Or, listening between the lines, I think he was asking whether I would feel such ideas to be utopian, EuroWeenerish, even Communistic down to the depths of my red-white-and-blue being.

I couldn’t give him a short answer to this question, but did point out that new ideas are often adapted in the U.S. just as quickly as in, say, Finland, but usually in select places. The tiresome blue state/red state stereotype has some merit, and one can find what many Americans consider to be radical ideas being freely adapted in resolutely blue citdadels from Greenwich Village to Madison, Wisconsin to Berkeley.

That doesn’t make the ideas wrong or impractical. The first bans on smoking in San Francisco and Berkeley were considered lunatic fringe at the time, as were countless other issues and trends, some controversial, some not so. This will continue.

But the larger point that I failed to make, being as blessed as anyone with the ability to say the right thing a few days after it should have originally been said, was that the U.S. (and the U.S. market) should never be viewed monolithically.

Big Country
It’s a big country with a very large economy, and one can succeed by appealing to a very small percentage of it.

For example, 5% of the total U.S. market still represents a GDP that would rank in the Top 20 Worldwide, in between Taiwan and Australia. And appealing to only 1.3% of the total U.S. market lands you a GDP the size of Finland’s.

So, surely the idea of rented Blackberries—which despite my non-aversion to rented cars or flying in the same well-warmed airline seats as who knows who—sounds to me a bit like rented bowling shoes (yuck), could very well succeed in the U.S., even if almost 90+ percent of the population thinks it’s a bad idea.

The variety of opinion in the U.S. on all matters is diverse (or divers, as Jeremy would have it spelled), much more so than most people (including many Americans) think. This is due not only to the country’s multicultural stew and capitalistic orientation, but also to its federated nature.

By federated, I don’t mean the federal, unifying aspect of the U.S. government, but the fact that the country is a federated collection of states, which are in turn a collection of townships and counties, which in turn are broken into endless numbers of local and regional governmental and regulatory entities. In other words, an amazing percentage of the country’s laws and regulations are decided at various local-leaning levels.

Try explaining to an international visitor sometime why it may be OK, for example, to possess marijuana according to a city ordinance, sort-of OK by state law, and definitely not OK by federal law, and don’t forget to factor in littering laws that might be in effect if you try to consume said weed in a regional or county park that falls within the jurisdiction of a unified fire protection district and urban sanitation zone, or worse, in a business park patrolled by private security.

So as I said, it’s a big country. Lots of jurisdictions. And this "loosely coupled" mindset extends to the business world, with lots of segments, sub-segments, niches, and segmented sub-niches within almost any product or service category. Knock yourself out if you want to start a service to rent out Blackberries. Just don’t expect to take mine unless you pry it from my cold, dead hands!

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.

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
trickster 11/04/05 08:58:23 PM EST

this blackberry idea is a communist plot. who owns the hardware in this scheme? the government? bad idea.

@ThingsExpo Stories
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
BnkToTheFuture.com is the largest online investment platform for investing in FinTech, Bitcoin and Blockchain companies. We believe the future of finance looks very different from the past and we aim to invest and provide trading opportunities for qualifying investors that want to build a portfolio in the sector in compliance with international financial regulations.
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...