Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Roger Strukhoff, Dana Gardner

Blog Feed Post

Endo-Digitally Enhanced Humans

Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Leonard Carl Pistorius was born with a congenital defect, and both of his legs were amputated below the knees at the age of 11 months. In 2007, the “Blade Runner,” as Oscar has come to be known, took part in his first international competition for able-bodied athletes. Oscar is a tough guy. He holds the T43 (double amputee below the knee) world record for the 200 and 400-meter distance, and once held the world record for 100 meters.

Pistorious’s power comes from “his blades” – his Flex-Foot Cheetah carbon fiber transtibial prostheses, which were developed by biomedical engineer Van Phillips and manufactured by Össur. They look awesome and, quite obviously, Oscar has more than learned to deal with his disability. I have yet to discuss the Blade Runner with anyone who has not been inspired by his remarkable story. It has certainly inspired me.

If you remember, Pistorius became the first double leg amputee to participate in the “regular” Olympics at the 2012 Summer Games. But it was not without controversy. Some thought that his artificial limbs would give him an unfair advantage over fully organic life forms. This was not a new issue. When Oscar started competing with able-bodied athletes, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) amended its competition rules to ban the use of “any technical device that incorporates springs, wheels or any other element that provides a user with an advantage over another athlete not using such a device.” The rules had to be changed so that Oscar could participate in the Games of the XXX Olympiad. They were, but it did not matter … although he posted several personal best times, he was never in contention for a medal. What would have happened if his carbon fiber transtibial prostheses did give him an advantage?

Fast forward to 2025. Endo-digital knee and muscle-wire enhancements are now common. Carbon fiber knees are 100 times more flexible than organic knee joints, and the addition of muscle wire, which increases speed by 10-15 percent and reduces fatigue by an order of magnitude, are common. Old ACL replacement surgery now seems like a waste of time. Why fix an ACL that will still be at risk, when you can replace the whole knee and add synthetic muscle enhancements that will never need maintenance and literally cannot be broken under even the most extreme athletic conditions?

The big question for the NFL in 2025 … should every player be required to have new endo-digtially enhanced knees? The kit will enable a 6’5,” 275 lb. player to run a 3.3 second 40.

Of course, this is nothing compared to the internal heads-up display that the player’s endo-digitally enhanced eyes provide. The whole team can access the entire playbook in the cloud and scan a full set of offensive and defensive scenarios during the huddle. At the snap, images from game coverage cameras and sensors built into helmets provide video-game-like capabilities.

Human brains are remarkable devices; it only takes about three weeks to fully adjust to sight and sensory enhancement. New apps are appearing everyday that let you access other information in other locations. Driving in a cloud-enabled public roadway is safer by a factor of 10. A trip to a retail environment or a movie theater is not explicable to a non-endo-digitally enhanced human. In truth, they have very little in common with purely organic life forms.

With the adoption and practical requirement of endo-digital enhancements for players – the path to professional football needs to be chosen by parents while the child is practically in utero. Science, technology, math and engineering students need the enhancements too, but they can wait until third grade.

Of course it’s not all fun and games. Endo-digitally enhanced humans are really an interim step toward the evolution of humans into a new species. Having instant access to information in the cloud (simply by thinking about it), hearing sound through bone conduction (so you can also hear ambient sound) and prosthetic enhancements that are mind-controlled by a brainwave to computer interfaces are just the beginning. The next generation won’t have a separation between the interface and the technology – we will simply merge with it.

Does this sound like the Borg (from Star Trek)? It does indeed. Does it scare you? I hope not, because nothing is going to stop this.

We could get into an argument about the morality of endo-digitally enhanced humans, but it would be counterproductive. You can imagine stories of tribes of people who shun technology and decide not to participate. It’s great fodder for Sci-Fi movies. In a very probable future, they will ultimately devolve into an un-trainable, un-educable, underclass of slaves or pets – none of us can imagine how human/machine-connected brains will work. But, you can imagine some wild outcomes when you merge computers (that do iterative calculations well) sensors (that measure instantly and flawlessly) and human brains (which reason at incredible speed). Put it all together and you get something awesome — weird, freaky, sci-fi… but awesome.

How long will this take? Ray Kurzweil says it will happen by 2029. Some say 2049, others say by the end of the century. This is a human-accelerated evolutionary process that has already started. First, we started using our handhelds to outsource our fact-finding and way-finding. Next, we’ll add some exo-digital enhancements to our sight (like PixelOptics’ electronic focusing eyewear).

We’re just a year or two away from endo-digitally lenses that will be surgically implanted to replace our faulty, badly evolved, organic lenses. Add some Wi-Fi capability and heads-up display optics, and things start to get interesting. A few years later, computer-controlled prosthetics will get so good, able-bodied people want them and on, and on, and on until our transformation is complete.

That’s the hardware part of the puzzle, next week the economics of living in an endo-digitally enhanced world will be the focus.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the host of NBC Universal’s Live Digital with Shelly Palmer, a weekly half-hour television show about living and working in a digital world. He is Fox 5′s (WNYW-TV New York) Tech Expert and the host of United Stations Radio Network’s, MediaBytes, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment.

Cloud Expo Latest Stories
14th International Cloud Expo, held on June 10–12, 2014 at the Javits Center in New York City, featured three content-packed days with a rich array of sessions about the business and technical value of cloud computing, Internet of Things, Big Data, and DevOps led by exceptional speakers from every sector of the IT ecosystem. The Cloud Expo series is the fastest-growing Enterprise IT event in the past 10 years, devoted to every aspect of delivering massively scalable enterprise IT as a service.
Hardware will never be more valuable than on the day it hits your loading dock. Each day new servers are not deployed to production the business is losing money. While Moore’s Law is typically cited to explain the exponential density growth of chips, a critical consequence of this is rapid depreciation of servers. The hardware for clustered systems (e.g., Hadoop, OpenStack) tends to be significant capital expenses. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Mason Katz, CTO and co-founder of StackIQ, to discuss how infrastructure teams should be aware of the capitalization and depreciation model of these expenses to fully understand when and where automation is critical.
Over the last few years the healthcare ecosystem has revolved around innovations in Electronic Health Record (HER) based systems. This evolution has helped us achieve much desired interoperability. Now the focus is shifting to other equally important aspects – scalability and performance. While applying cloud computing environments to the EHR systems, a special consideration needs to be given to the cloud enablement of Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA), i.e., the largest single medical system in the United States.
In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Mark Hinkle, Senior Director, Open Source Solutions at Citrix Systems Inc., will provide overview of the open source software that can be used to deploy and manage a cloud computing environment. He will include information on storage, networking(e.g., OpenDaylight) and compute virtualization (Xen, KVM, LXC) and the orchestration(Apache CloudStack, OpenStack) of the three to build their own cloud services. Speaker Bio: Mark Hinkle is the Senior Director, Open Source Solutions, at Citrix Systems Inc. He joined Citrix as a result of their July 2011 acquisition of Cloud.com where he was their Vice President of Community. He is currently responsible for Citrix open source efforts around the open source cloud computing platform, Apache CloudStack and the Xen Hypervisor. Previously he was the VP of Community at Zenoss Inc., a producer of the open source application, server, and network management software, where he grew the Zenoss Core project to over 10...
Most of today’s hardware manufacturers are building servers with at least one SATA Port, but not every systems engineer utilizes them. This is considered a loss in the game of maximizing potential storage space in a fixed unit. The SATADOM Series was created by Innodisk as a high-performance, small form factor boot drive with low power consumption to be plugged into the unused SATA port on your server board as an alternative to hard drive or USB boot-up. Built for 1U systems, this powerful device is smaller than a one dollar coin, and frees up otherwise dead space on your motherboard. To meet the requirements of tomorrow’s cloud hardware, Innodisk invested internal R&D resources to develop our SATA III series of products. The SATA III SATADOM boasts 500/180MBs R/W Speeds respectively, or double R/W Speed of SATA II products.
As more applications and services move "to the cloud" (public or on-premise) cloud environments are increasingly adopting and building out traditional enterprise features. This in turn is enabling and encouraging cloud adoption from enterprise users. In many ways the definition is blurring as features like continuous operation, geo-distribution or on-demand capacity become the norm. NuoDB is involved in both building enterprise software and using enterprise cloud capabilities. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Seth Proctor, CTO at NuoDB, Inc., will discuss the experiences from building, deploying and using enterprise services and suggest some ways to approach moving enterprise applications into a cloud model.
Until recently, many organizations required specialized departments to perform mapping and geospatial analysis, and they used Esri on-premise solutions for that work. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Dave Peters, author of the Esri Press book Building a GIS, System Architecture Design Strategies for Managers, will discuss how Esri has successfully included the cloud as a fully integrated SaaS expansion of the ArcGIS mapping platform. Organizations that have incorporated Esri cloud-based applications and content within their business models are reaping huge benefits by directly leveraging cloud-based mapping and analysis capabilities within their existing enterprise investments. The ArcGIS mapping platform includes cloud-based content management and information resources to more widely, efficiently, and affordably deliver real-time actionable information and analysis capabilities to your organization.
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mac Devine, Distinguished Engineer at IBM, will discuss bringing these three elements together via Systems of Discover.
Cloud and Big Data present unique dilemmas: embracing the benefits of these new technologies while maintaining the security of your organization’s assets. When an outside party owns, controls and manages your infrastructure and computational resources, how can you be assured that sensitive data remains private and secure? How do you best protect data in mixed use cloud and big data infrastructure sets? Can you still satisfy the full range of reporting, compliance and regulatory requirements? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Derek Tumulak, Vice President of Product Management at Vormetric, will discuss how to address data security in cloud and Big Data environments so that your organization isn’t next week’s data breach headline.
The cloud is everywhere and growing, and with it SaaS has become an accepted means for software delivery. SaaS is more than just a technology, it is a thriving business model estimated to be worth around $53 billion dollars by 2015, according to IDC. The question is – how do you build and scale a profitable SaaS business model? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Jason Cumberland, Vice President, SaaS Solutions at Dimension Data, will give the audience an understanding of common mistakes businesses make when transitioning to SaaS; how to avoid them; and how to build a profitable and scalable SaaS business.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual Controller™ Technology (SVCT) to eliminate the I/O blender effect and accelerate applications Gridstore delivers vmOptimized™ Storage that self-optimizes to each application or VM across both virtual and physical environments. Leveraging a grid architecture, Gridstore delivers the first end-to-end storage QoS to ensure the most important App or VM performance is never compromised. The storage grid, that uses Gridstore’s performance optimized nodes or capacity optimized nodes, starts with as few a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Solgenia, the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Solgenia is the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions. Designed to “Bridge the Gap” between personal and professional social, mobile and cloud user experiences, our solutions help large and medium-sized organizations dramatically improve productivity, reduce collaboration costs, and increase the overall enterprise value by bringing collaboration and infrastructure solutions to the cloud.
Cloud computing started a technology revolution; now DevOps is driving that revolution forward. By enabling new approaches to service delivery, cloud and DevOps together are delivering even greater speed, agility, and efficiency. No wonder leading innovators are adopting DevOps and cloud together! In his session at DevOps Summit, Andi Mann, Vice President of Strategic Solutions at CA Technologies, will explore the synergies in these two approaches, with practical tips, techniques, research data, war stories, case studies, and recommendations.
Enterprises require the performance, agility and on-demand access of the public cloud, and the management, security and compatibility of the private cloud. The solution? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Simone Brunozzi, VP and Chief Technologist(global role) for VMware, will explore how to unlock the power of the hybrid cloud and the steps to get there. He'll discuss the challenges that conventional approaches to both public and private cloud computing, and outline the tough decisions that must be made to accelerate the journey to the hybrid cloud. As part of the transition, an Infrastructure-as-a-Service model will enable enterprise IT to build services beyond their data center while owning what gets moved, when to move it, and for how long. IT can then move forward on what matters most to the organization that it supports – availability, agility and efficiency.
Every healthy ecosystem is diverse. This is especially true in cloud ecosystems, where portability and interoperability are more important than old enterprise models of proprietary ownership. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Mark Baker, Server Product Manager at Canonical/Ubuntu, will discuss how single vendors used to take the lead in creating and delivering technology, but in a cloud economy, where users want tools of their preference, when and where they need them, it makes no sense.