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Archive for the ‘Virtual world’ Category

This blog post is Part-2 of a series that started as the ongoing thinking after our Digital Identity Tour in June 2010. In Part-1, I developed the idea of the Unpolished Diamond.

Today, I will entertain you on the concept of a Digital Identity Tuner, which in its own is also a further evolution of the Identity Rights System 3.0 post of March 2010.

It all started coming together when – during the tour – we visited PayPal.

This visit was at the end of the tour. We were welcomed by Eve Maler, Distinguished Engineer, Identity Services at PayPal, and Andrew Nash, Senior Director Identity Services at PayPal

Eve MalerAndrew Nash

These folks of PayPal basically told us to forget what we had seen earlier in the week. These are probably some of the smartest identity folks around, so you pay attention.

Indeed, I was amazed how much further ahead they were, not only in their conceptual thinking, but also in the pace at which they define and rapidly test new protocol standards.

The eye-opener for me was that there is no business in identity, but there is some significant potential when flipping the discussion to sharing and managing of user data.

 

It is not that much about identity,

but more about digital footprint.

 

Happens that a couple of weeks later I read Tony Fish’s book My Digital Footprint, where the author explains razor sharp that there is a difference between digital identity and digital footprint.

At about the same time, I saw appearing on the internet all sorts of semantically tagged enabled viewers, like this one from Recorded Future.

 

Recorded Future lets you search and find for events, based on the WHAT, the WHO/WHERE and the WHEN.

 

What if we could do this

for a person’s digital footprint ?

 

Here is where my Digital Identity Tuner comes into the picture:

phil0501

Remember those old radios ? You could “tune” into a radio channel, and there was a big button, and if you turned that button an arrow would move over a “map” of pre-defined radio stations.

What if we could do the same on your digital footprint ?

Petervan Digital Persona AUG 2010

The spectrum above is my “Digital Persona” as generated recently by MIT’s Digital Personas project. Personas shows you how the internet sees you.

Every color in the spectrum is about a certain dimension of your digital footprint: books you read, education, political preferences, musical preferences, professional attributes, etc, etc…

What if you could make that spectrum “clickable” ? Not only via a browser, but also via API’s. What if you could zoom in/out that spectrum or certain aspects of it ?

So far, we have “tuned” in two dimensions:

  • On the horizontal axis, hovering over the different color dimensions
  • On the “depth” axis, zooming in/out to get more or less detail

Let me add the third dimension of Time.

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I could tune into the past, but I could also tune into the future, as my digital footprint does not only contain past behavior, but also contains real-time data (such as devices that I may wear to beam my heartbeat-data to the Microsoft or Google or Wallgreens or whoevers Healthvault when running a couple of miles on my cloud enabled Nike shoes.

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It also contains data about my future, as I keep my calendar in Google Calendar, for example. Or the event for which I bought tickets. Or even on-line streaming events for which I subscribed.

 

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UPDATE-2: or check out this TED Video, on the Quantified Self, with Gary Wolf’s intriguing new pastime: using mobile apps and always-on gadgets to track and analyze your body, mood, diet, spending — just about everything in daily life you can measure — in gloriously geeky detail.

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So, the third dimension is time.

 

What if I would have a sort of

“Remote Control”

 

that could let me navigate through my digital footprint on those three dimensions. It’s like steering a helicopter via remote control.

 

 

Or maybe more dimensions. You would end-up with something that navigates you through a fractal or so…

Of course, we don’t live alone on this planet.

 

We are part of tribes

of swarms

with leaders and followers

 

I love the metaphor of “SWARM”

 

Imagine that we have a similar digital tuner for navigating the swarm. For seeing links between the WHO’s in the swarm.

UPDATE: just a couple of hours after my initial posting of this blog entry, I came across this great post by Greg on Digital Tonto about “The Story of Networks”. At the end he refers to a great TED talk by Nicholas Christakis “How social networks predict epidemics” 

 

In essence, it shows the “swarm” of communities, leaders and followers and their relationships. And how germs, ideas, memes, etc spread in a community based on the same S-curves as innovations happen. Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD, MPH, is an internist and social scientist at Harvard University who conducts research on social factors that affect health, health care, and longevity.

So far, we looked at “navigating”. But the system would also allow me to define and manage who gets access to what parts of my digital footprint in what specific contexts or constraints. Not only “access”, but also “usage”.

For all that to happen, we need to fundamentally rethink how we deal with digital footprint.

 

We have to navigate away from identity systems that mimic our brick-and-mortar world, that are still based on the metaphor of identity cards, or passports, or electronic equivalents based on PKI systems and certificates.

 

No, we almost need a new semantic tagging language. Not to “tag” pages or servers, but to tag my digital footprint.

And not only “tag” it but allocate and manage “usage” rights to it. And I should be the owner of those data, whether they sit on my computer, in Facebook, or distributed open source models like Diaspora.

 

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So that I end up with a collection of different “where’s” where data about me is kept. It may lead to some new form of DNS, but then a DNS of people. Not pages or servers.

Maybe all this is a bit of futuristic/iconoclastic thinking. Maybe. But when reading the book “Iconoclast: A Neuroscientist Reveals How to Think Differently” by Dr. George Berns, I came across the following two sentences and took them a little bit out of … context.

But they are so relevant to our identity context:

There are two paths in spectrum: one for identity/categorization and the other for digital footprint / Trail / history/future (time dimension, recording, in the future,…)

The high road is concerned with extracting where objects are located and throws away the elements related to their identity. The low road, on the other hand, is concerned with identification and categorization, and less so with objects’ spatial locations

As Tony Fish so well articulated in his book: we have to separate identity an footprint.

The discussion

about internet identity

has moved from identity to footprint

how we are going to manage that

with a privacy ethic

that is adapted

to our hyper-connected world

 

Privacy is not dead. It needs to be redefined.

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Found this TED 2010 video via Kurt Vega’s tweets.

From the TED site: “Tan Le’s astonishing new computer interface reads its user’s brainwaves, making it possible to control virtual objects, and even physical electronics, with mere thoughts (and a little concentration). She demos the headset, and talks about its far-reaching applications.”

Out-of-the-box support for facial expressions and emotional experiences, with some sensitivity adjustments available for personalization.

The demo is focusing  on the “cognitive suite”: the ability to move virtual objects with your mind.

And it just costs only a few hundred dollars. Like an iPAD, but it’s a hPAH “head-PAD”

Start mixing this with the ongoing discussions on personal digital identity. As you will notice, the demo starts with making a personal profile for this headset owner. And tuning to a neutral signal, a signal where you’re doing nothing particular, your are relaxed, hanging-out: a but like my holidays at home where I basically don’t do anything particular other than hanging around.

It’s interesting to see that the test is about “pulling” an object forward instead of “pushing”. I may be too influenced by John Hagel’s latest book “The Power of Pull” ;-)

The cool stuff starts when the helmet man starts visualizing something that does not exist in real life: making something disappear.

Applications are obvious in virtual reality games, domotica systems, all sort of gesture and thought based interactions, control an electric wheel-chair. In banking it would be nice is I could raise the balance on my account just by thinking about it.

What I do NOT like about it is that the “system” has some built-in leveling system. It makes me think of Jaron Renier’s fantastic rant / manifesto that I mentioned in my previous blog “you have to be somebody before you can share yourself”

Start mixing this up with some of the cool ideas like Mark Pesce’s Plexus which is a quite novel way of looking and using your social graph in a sort of

event driven pub-sub system

where you decide as a user

what you listen to and

who and what you want to share

with

Sometimes, I think of myself as a disc-jockey (which I was as a matter of fact for more than 15 years starting in the late 70’ies), and I very much like Ethan Zuckerberg’s description of a DJ in this also great TED 2010 video on our distorted world-views.

His talk is basically about

getting you out of your normal orbit, of stepping out of your usual “flock” of people you normally interact with (both on- and off-line).

Around min 15:30, he describes a DJ as a guide:

A skilled human curator, who knows what material is available to her, who is able to listen to the audience, and who is able to make a selection and push people forward in one fashion or another

Of course, I could now make jokes on Faithless “God is a DJ”, and/or refer to one of my previous posts called “We are as gods and might as well get good at it”, but I won’t do that.

Instead, I’d like to share with you the feeling of giving pleasure to my audience.

It’s something I feel while writing these blogs, and it’s a very similar feeling as being a DJ in front of an audience and pushing people forward.

Its has a same sort of stage-fright

when starting a gig,

and the same sort of excitement

when you see your crowd getting

excited

As a DJ, I was doing some quite big gigs for 3,000 people or so, and my following community is not that big yet. But the feeling is the same, and everyday there are some more folks following my tweets. Some more reacting to my blog. Some more getting inspired by what’s on these pages.

So, I just continue doing that, and hope to inspire you to dream and execute your dreams.

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Have a look at this stunning gesture based interface with character Milo. First of all, it is more than gesture based. Milo also reacts to voice intonation, movements, etc

It is difficult to assess how much of this is a word-by-word script, or how much real interaction is going on here.

The most stunning effects are:

  • The women trying to capture goggles that thrown by Milo
  • The women moving the water with her hands
  • The women handing over a piece of paper, that gets scanned and taken over by Milo

It gives a sense where we are heading. Imagine this on your iPAD. My conservative guess is this will be real within the next 5 years.

This is very similar to what Oblong is doing with gesture based interfaces. See my previous blog on Oblong here. John Underkoffler indeed also said 5 years before this hits any PC.

Oh yes, in case I forget, Oblong will be at Innotribe at Sibos 2010 in the Smart Data track.

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I have a job where i regularly meet fascinating people.

I recently had the opportunity to chat with Gary Thompson from CLOUD, Inc.

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CLOUD Inc. is the Consortium for Local Ownership and Use of Data, a non-profit organization that has filed for 501(c)(6) status with the IRS and is open to people, companies, and other organizations. CLOUD has been formed to create standards to give people property rights in their personal information on the Web and in the cloud, including the right to decide how and when others might use personal information and whether others might be allowed to connect personal information with identifying information.

So all this is about your personal digital identity, and giving back control of these data to the user. Kim Cameron (Chief Architect Identity at Microsoft and the man behind www.identityblog.com will love this – and i am not cynical ;-)

A couple of weeks ago, i had a fascinating chat on identity. How identity is all about context. Where you are, what you do, etc. During that conversation, Gary suddenly used a metaphor of what i would call “identity weavers”.

I found this metaphor really powerful. And i suggested Gary he should blog about it, and that i would offer him a guest post ;-)

So, here is Gary with his post on Reweaving the Fabric of the Internet on his personal blog The End of Linearity. Peter Hinssen will love this story, as so closely related to the Explore the Limits story.

I just have cut&pasted some strong one-liners. For the full story, check out Gary’s blog.

From health to education to finance and beyond, the ability to bring together people, concepts, and ideas (threads) in new ways is an invigorating journey.  Our “weavers” of the future can design beautiful new fabrics from cures to cancer to dynamic global learning communities to rapidly evolving financial models.  When thread and fabric are unleashed, when weaver and woven can dynamically change places, when loom and head are released from the bonds of the physical, the Internet can take a vital step forward.  By applying an end of linearity to how we think about the Internet, we can see the true beauty of Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn’s creation. It is a connector of people, not of web pages, and it is at the heart of a new future, a rewoven future.

This compelling vision goes way beyond the web of pages, goes way beyond the early thinking on Semantic Web. It is in essence proposing an identity architecture for the Internet. Because the internet is broken. It was never designed with identity in mind.

By now, you will notice that Digital Identity is much more than distributing hardware tokens, or putting an PKI infrastructure in place.

Its about user control of personal data. It’s about context awareness. It’s about who i am, how i am, and what i do and intend to do in an on-line world.

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Another great article on Technology Review MIT, this time about cloud computing. Together with the 2 documents i posted earlier today on innotribe.com this should give the average IT literate reader a good overview of where we stand end 2009/begin 2010.

The clientele for Amazon’s cloud services now includes the New York Times and Pfizer. And Google’s browser and forthcoming operating system (both named Chrome) mean to provide easy access to cloud applications.

The focus of IT innovation has shifted from hardware to software applications

But not everyone is so sanguine. At a computer security conference last spring, John Chambers, the chairman of Cisco Systems, called cloud computing a "security nightmare" that "can’t be handled in traditional ways."

A similar viewpoint, if less colorfully expressed, animates a new effort by NIST to define just what cloud computing is and how its security can be assessed. "Everybody has confusion on this topic," says Peter Mell; NIST is on its 15th version of the document defining the term. "The typical cloud definition is vague enough that it encompasses all of existing modern IT,"

Given the industry’s rapid growth, the murkiness of its current security standards, and the anecdotal accounts of breakdowns, it’s not surprising that many companies still look askance at the idea of putting sensitive data in clouds. Though security is currently fairly good, cloud providers will have to prove their reliability over the long term

Cloud providers don’t yet have a virtual steel fence to sell you. But at a minimum, they can promise to keep your data on servers in, say, the United States or the European Union, for regulatory compliance or other reasons.

But fully ensuring the security of cloud computing will inevitably fall to the field of cryptography. Of course, cloud users can already encrypt data to protect it from being leaked, stolen, or–perhaps above all–released by a cloud provider facing a subpoena.

To find and retrieve encrypted documents, groups at Carnegie Mellon University, the University of California, Berkeley, and elsewhere are working on new search strategies that start by tagging encrypted cloud-based files with encrypted metadata.

"For me," Zittrain says, "the biggest issue in cloud security is not the Sidekick situation where Microsoft loses your data." More worrisome to him are "the increased ability for the government to get your stuff, and fewer constitutional protections against it; the increased ability for government to censor; and increased ability for a vendor or government to control innovation and squash truly disruptive things."

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Fascinating article on how stock market is getting completely automated in a matter of seconds. Who was saying something about real-time.

04_traderfaces

Article found on MIT Technology Review. 5 pager can be found here.

Some extracts:

The profits go to the company with the fastest hardware and the best algorithms–advantages that enable it to spot and exploit subtle market patterns ahead of everyone else

TheTabb Group, a consultancy based in Westborough, MA, estimates that high-frequency automated trading now accounts for 61 percent of the more than 10 billion shares traded daily across the numerous exchanges that make up the U.S. market.

Trading is now essentially a virtual art, and its practitioners put such a premium on speed that NASDAQ has considered issuing equal 100-foot lengths of cable to the brokers who send orders to its exchange servers.

Hardware used at the facility will operate at a 40-gigabyte-per-second standard, enabling it to handle as many as a million messages a second.

New York City-based Lime Brokerage, wrote the SEC in 2009 to voice concerns over the proliferation of brokers who allow major clients to engage in high-frequency trading without validating their margins–that is to say, without making sure they actually have enough money to back a trade

Jacobs regularly sees algorithms executing more than 1,000 orders a second. At that rate, one algorithm trading the wrong way could execute 120,000 orders in two minutes. At 1,000 shares per order and an average price of, say, $20 a share, that’s $2.4 billion inunintended trades in 2 … SECONDS.

Institutional traders like Fidelity, which buy large blocks of shares for their mutual funds, use algorithmic trading to split their enormous orders into blocks of 100 to 300 shares so that other traders don’t recognize the true demand and take advantage of that knowledge for their own profit.

These are big numbers. And it happens every day. Scary.

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http://www.ted.com At TEDxUSC, computer graphics trailblazer Paul Debevec explains the scene-stealing technology behind Digital Emily, a digitally constructed human face so realistic it stands up to multiple takes.

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The big news this week is that Layar’s iPhone App is approved and available.

From now on we call it the “Reality Browser”

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See also sub-line “Available for Android”. I clicked on the Android Marketplace and this is what i got.

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Also have a look at the 162 Layers that are already available. Yes, you got it right: 162 Layers available already.

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One of those Microsoft Labs videos. Always well done.

Most of this and more you can touch and feel in Living Tomorrow,  from Belgium and much better (as the chocolates) than the video ;-)

You can visit the Store of Tomorrow and also the Bank of the Future. Store is sponsored by Delhaize, Bank by ING.

What a co-incidence ! At our SWIFT Innotribe @ Sibos on 14-17 Sep 2009 in Hong-Kong, we’ll have a Face-to-Face debate on “The Future of Banking”.

Check out www.innotribe.com : that’s what i am doing for a living.

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Good overview of latest Augmented Reality examples on ReadWriteWeb.

The example i “like” most is the Augmented Identity one.

I am re-iterating the thinking we did before on this blog on how any on-line person is starting to have its own “information shadow” that is unique. No more need for identity “cards” or alike.

In that context, I recently met Dave Birch, Director at Consult Hyperion, who is 1) a very cool presenter on identity and digital money and 2) has two pretty interesting blogs on these subjects:

- His identity blog is here

- His money blog is here

Not much to add to the ReadWriteWeb article.

Have a deep dive in Gartner’s 2009 Hype Circle for Emerging Technologies.

gartner-emerging-technologies-hype-cycle-2009

See also that Human Augmentation now appears at the very start of the Technology Triggers.

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