Big Data? No. Big Signal!

One of the best ways to understand VRM (Vendor Relationship Management) is to look at it from a more familiar perspective.  When it comes to consumer data, one of the most familiar perspectives is that of Big Data so naturally many questions about VRM are couched in Big Data terms:

  • How big is VRM data anyway?
  • How much data is (or will be) in the personal cloud?
  • Who crunches VRM data to come up with something useful?

The answers to these questions lead to one inescapable conclusion: VRM isn’t a difference in scale.  It is a difference in kind.  This isn’t Big Data.  It’s Big Signal.

[Read more…]

Duking it out with miicard

In my never-ending quest to make the world make sense, I have turned my attention to once again.  They are pretty good, use HTTPS where it counts, don’t email my stored password around, and I even let them verify bank accounts.  But they are not without some issues.  In the interest of cutting to the chase, I’ve emailed James Varga (CEO) & Stuart Fraser (CTO) links to this post.

[Read more…]

MQTT and Personal Clouds

In an email to the Personal Clouds list, Johannes wrote:

Let’s say I’d like to use MQTT to make the doorbell in my house communicate with the living room lights. I think what would have to happen is this:

  1. the doorbell and the living room lights would have to be an MQTT client each
  2. somewhere in my house I’d run an MQTT server
  3. doorbell and living room lights need to find that server, and register with it, one as a “producer” of information, one as a “consumer”
  4. some piece of code that runs the logic (“If somebody rings the doorbell like …—…, flash the living room lights in red”) must run somewhere in my house
  5. that piece of code would subscribe to appropriate topics as producer and consumer on that MQTT server

 Am I getting this about right?

My response outgrew an email so I’m posting it here.

[Read more…]

Minimal web security recommendations

For many years now, I have made an effort to contact owners of unsecure web sites and attempt to persuade them to fix the sites.  Lately as I have become increasingly involved with the Personal Clouds and Vendor Relationship Management communities, I have found many unsecure web sites within that community.  These communities are relatively new, fast growing and potentially transformative of Internet commerce and culture at large, so it’s important that security does not become a choke point for growth.  It is also my contention that the consolidation of one’s information into a personal cloud results in greater risk and therefore requires consistently strong and effective security design.  With this in mind, I offer my minimal list of requirements for any non-trivial web site.

[Read more…]