Category Archives: motivation

The IoT AI Manifesto

With the recent sloppiness in implementation of software & hardware and synergizing them into so called the being called IoT  The time is appropriate that a defacto manifesto be brought in place for the artificial species called IoT.

I assume most of us are aware of the Three Laws by Isaac Asimov.

What I propose is build for the interacting robotics with lesser-minded-human-kind!

  1. An equipment if called IoT should abide by:
    1. It should be considered a legal offspring of the last hand-off human entity.
    2. It should have an IDENTU  mode that should let it spill out its purpose/identity/owners.
    3. It should have safe mode where any voice may command it to stop the current action.(something like a STATUE/RESUME mode)

Pretty simple! Very much make-possible!

Thoughts?

The Slow Moving Manifesto!

If you are being tailgated, we recommend you follow this approach to come out of that situation!

Go Absolutely Slow!

YES, surprisingly it works out just fine!

Purpose: To know who is tail-gating you AND Why?

How it works?

  • If the vehicle following you sees you slowing down, they will have no choice to speed up (which means they were not following you) or look-you-in-the-eye. (either ways, the problem is solved!)

Benefits of slowing down

  1. By slowing down, you opened an opportunity to talk.. Human Connect!
  2. By slowing down, maybe you can have a running conversation, you are driving + talking(giving direction who knows). Saves time!
  3. By slowing down, you saved lifes! No stats but still true!
  4. By slowing down, You enjoy the road-side scenary. (remember enjoy the journey not just the destination!)
  5. By slowing down, You literally look the problem in the eye than running away from it.

There goes, we have the Slow Moving Manifesto!

Credits: Smita, Rachit + (KennyG played in our neighbouring park @ 1000 hrs) 🙂

When the internet was crippled to a halt! ~ The dDos attack – A Post Mortem

The Problem

Couple of days back, 21-October-2016 everyone connected on the web experienced sluggishness in connecting to the normal sites and saw obstruction in their regular works.

The scenario can be visually described as follows:

DDOS Attack Explained
DDOS Attack Explained

Incase you might be wondering why this attack happened now, the internet is way mature, why can’t it protect itself from such attacks?

Well, then do read on…

The Players

From an ideal perspective the players in the attack are listed:

  1. Users of the web (us) (attackers and victims)
  2. ISP’s (medium through which attack was carried out)
  3. Device Manufacturers (Things, which got compromised — zombies)
  4. Regulatory Organizations (They are mostly sleeping or doing other important silly stuff, lets leave them out of this discussion)

The Premise

Let us look at those questions asked earlier and more:

What is dDos?

It stands for distributed Denial of Service. Consider your regular pesky thing that you have to do and can’t live without?(siblings,kids,neighbours.. anyhuman thing). They come nagging to you, you can handle it but maybe 10 requests in a day a max! The 11th request from that pesky thing will get a denial of service response!(simply a No!)

Now,Imagine yourself at a play house. And you are already having a minor headache(it was Friday, everyone was in the mood to relax). Multiply your single pesky thing with say 10, you are bombarded with pesky request from everywhere, what will happen to you? You might handle say 20 requests at that moment, looking at the situation, but a time will come soon where you will get exhausted and simply stop responding to important requests of like : open the door, and you are standing still!

You just got dDos’ed 🙂

Can you explain it in layman’s terms?

Here is the wikipedia entry.

I still did not get it..

See this:

Why this attack happened now?

It was waiting to happen, its like too many cooks, spoil the broth kinda scenario. Lot of unpatched/sloppy devices connected to the internet working for you and they all had a common zombie entry point, that simply got activated!

The internet is way mature, why can’t it protect itself from such attacks?

I am sure there are some orgn that were actually fighting this menace! Imagine a hospital unable to get reports of a patient in critical condition!So I am pretty sure what got reported and what actually got fixed and treated is somewhat different. So the internet is not at all mature, we are still not ready to have our life depend on it, our livelihood might depend on it but not life!So some orgn might be involved (even now) preventing many such attacks to keep the internet working, and some sleeping regulations might have also protected and saved us from a much more severe attack!

The rules are pretty simple, everyone is united on this matter and no one likes a dDos attack to happen! It actually interrupts normal/perceived flow of life on a day-to-day basis.

So basically its the attackers who (misued?) a compromised device and affected the network. Its pretty clear, there is something that needs to be fixed/controlled in the wild. And its not impossible..

Onto the solution then, shall we proceed?

The Solution

Two parts solution can be proposed:

  1. Regulation. In an ideal world, regulation is already in place and device manufacturers are supposed to follow them and hence they are able to sell their products. So something stronger needs to be put in place for regulation. Say if a device is an IoT kinda device, then as per regulation it should be allowed to use 5% of the bandwidth. If its a phone or a computer, then it will not have such a restriction, or maybe it can have!
  2. ISP Level Quota Software. ISP’s would want to pitch in this idea, where a custom configuration software would be installed at per user site and there based on the MAC address the bandwidth quotas can be defined. Say you got a new IoT device for your home, you will get to configure and set a max bandwidth that device is allowed to consume on your home network.

Thoughts?

Java EE 9 Survey ~ Technology has gone Democratic and Political(rant!)

If you are in the Java ecosystem, please fill out this survey.

After you are done laughing and wondering what you just saw, I will pen down my thoughts and serious objections to the way they are doing the survey.

Here are a few things asked, which I think are absolutely unnecessary, humorous to ask in a tech survey:

  1. How important is Eventing support for the next generation of cloud and microservices applications?

    • Is there any application which does not have eventing? Is there any application that has only Eventing support system??
  2. The current practice of cloud development in Java is largely based on REST and asynchrony

    • So cheeky statement!
  3. Application development style is changing…

    • This is happening for the first time in history of mankind!
  4. How important is HTTP/2 for the next generation of cloud and microservices applications?

    • What if it is important and then What if  a newer protocol/standard comes?
  5. How important are the new features proposed in JSON-P for the next generation of cloud and microservices applications?

    • How many people are aware of these concepts?
  6. The databases may be used as replacements or additions to standard RDBMS storage

    • ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
  7. Should we standardize a Java EE application configuration API?

    • no let United Nations drive this initiative.
  8. In the Cloud, failure of application instances and services are inevitable

    • Truth statement, not a survey question!!!
  9. Should Java EE introduce a mechanism to communicate the health of the cloud application to the cloud infrastructure?

    • umm.. why just health? why not a cumulative health parameter listing?
  10. Current trends talk about building ‘stateless’ applications and services, but the need to store some state exists nonetheless

    • why NoSQL did not happen yet?
  11. To be successful, many microservices need a scalable, fault tolerant state management solution

    • someone tell me how Oracle defines a micro service?
  12. Should Java EE investigate standards for state management? Should Java EE 9 investigate how to package a set of microservices together?

    • Let some federal body do the investigation? Is modules dead??
  13. The Java EE runtime components could provide an “embedded” API

    • what on earth is an embedded API? some kind of zombie api??
  14. We could enhance key Java EE APIs such as JAX-RS to better handle these technologies.We could integrate JCache with the Java EE platform

    • so kind of you!
  15. We could define a secret management facility suitable for a cloud environment

    • there oracle’s way of management is *secret*… Where on earth are Sun Microsystems engineers?
  16. How important is MVC API for the next generation of cloud and microservices applications?

    • (scared of the spring tools?)
  17. How important is the Management API, as proposed in JSR 373, for the next generation of cloud and microservices applications?

    • So there will be a mgmt api and a secrets management api! I already  like Oracle!
  18. How important is the continued evolution of the JMS API for next generation Java EE applications?

    1. wow! That is so political, stop working on something just because there is little traction… Does not happen in tech guys!

This is my opinion. Could be utterly wrong or out of context.

But Dear World, use democracy judiciously, by indicating you are a a thought leader, do not sit on the general opinion and say you created a standard. A standard creation needs long term vision and astute conformance that a chosen approach would suffice for years to come!(Java is 20+ years already no?)

(Here is an aside…)

It is like you have your food daily on the dining table, its a standard. What you are saying, hey our neighbors are here for couple of days,they have trouble walking, why don’t we have the food daily in the bed itself?So let’s ask everyone if its okay to have food in the bed daily? Let’s ascribe whether we can have chow mien while we are still  in bed?

So please STOP taking opinions and start taking a firm stance and start defending it to your core.You all are at the top of your game so when are you going to put to use of that knowledge? And if something is wrong, humbly accept that for the betterment of the standard. You all sound like a group of politicians gathered to sit and harp on majority public opinion.

Now is the best time for all the smartest minds of the world to forge and take charge and establish standards that are the outcome of their experiences, and not just there to please the majority public opinion. What is correct as per their experiences should be put forth and debated as standards. Not whether X should be a standard or should Y be the standard. What is the use of your expertise then?

Please get back to being engineers and not just tinkerers!

Sculptor’s Log

There was once a log, ready to have a meeting with the Sculptor, getting ready for the grind!
Casually it approached the scene, not knowing what is to happen to it next,
Waiting to see who/what is the Sculptor is and what can he do for it?
Seeing a couple of wasted logs around the scene, it could not resist but ask their state!
They said in chorus – “One word, Do as the sculptor says” as they were tossed out of the view.
“Ahh, What could the Sculptor ask me to do” was the only thought pacing up and down the log’s mind!

Log being chiseled!

And the moment of the log’s meeting arrived…
Placed in the hands of the Sculptor, the log could not giggle profusely!
And then.. Bam! Sculptor’s chisel tore apart a big chunk from the log.
And the log screamed to the Sculptor, “What are you doing, please stop”
The Sculptor stopped, and asked whether the this log did not have a chatter with other logs?
The log said, “They said only-to listen to you,they did not tell you’ll make me undergo this chisel”
The Sculptor looked clueless, and the log asked itself to be excused.

After some time of pondering…
The log thought of going through the process as one strike a day…
And the deal was made…
Days,Weeks,Months passed and the log took the blow daily and frowned and complained..
And then one fine day, the Sculptor said to the log, I’m done with you.
And then the sculpted-log was moved to a different place — not knowing where and for what, it cooperated!

Being sculpted

A few days later…
The log was placed at a higher platform, and then by chance it got to see itself in a mirror!
And it could not believe what it could see — A beautiful deity crossed its sight.
Not believing that was It, the log waited for another such day and then the belief was confirmed.

Outcome of fore-bearing the chiseling

The log had a good after thought..
All the suffering, the chiseling, was given to it for its shaping.
Had it complained and not gone through the grind, it might have become another wasted log…
Thanking the Sculptor, (and the wasted logs for the advice), for his efforts, it just smiled.

(This post is inspired from a story over-heard — all images are googled, no claim on ownership)

Bots – BOring Tasks Systematized!

We are surrounded and supported by a bots ecosystem. I will try to bring that into perspective to evaluate the current rate of explosion of bots and newer solutions coming around it — and how to stay human still!

Connected with the Bot Ecosystem!
  • When we wake up,with help from an external alarm clock , we are taking help of a Bot.
  • When we are parking our car and when reversing it, there is a smart system that warns us for the exact safe-distance to keep going. That’s a smarter Bot!
  • Notice the cool soap dispenser that spits soap when we put our hand under it? That’s a Bot!
  • Recall the automated vacation response you configured in your favorite email client? Well, you have guessed, that’s also a …Bot!

We have never thanked these systems for their existence, for we know they are physics concepts glued together mechanically. A Thank-You comes and goes via a heart! 🙂

Coming back to the topic, now imagine all of those Bots, fusing into a single system with a human structure!

SuperBot
Hey, I am SuperBot and can do everything that was listed above & much more!
  • What was your reaction when the last time, your car backing system told you incorrectly that you were 1 meter from an obstacle while there was a gap of roughly 5 meters!
  • When was the last time your alarm clock did not wake you up?(battery out or way too low?)
  • Isn’t it way irritating when the mechanical soap dispenser does not spit the soap, instead only throws out the air?
  • Haven’t we all misfired a wrongly configured vacation response and feeling way embarrassed and apologizing for it for all day long to colleagues and co-workers!?

As for the premise, these bots *independently* do their job perfectly. But when they break, nothing else is affected around it. Well I am yet to hear about misconstruing a vacation response due to a non working soap dispenser!(all right that’s way too much exaggeration — but we get the point!).

The fact that they are disconnected, allows us, the user of that system to fallback/switch to another means. Say the car backing system is down, well ask a passerby to help you. Your alarm clock is out, well start working on your body’s alarm clock(no excuse here!).

I will construct two hypothetical views that are actually happening in the bots eco-system and obviously I am opposed to such developments. Hence suggesting a way out, as I cannot stop these movements.

  1. Once these systems are connected, and one of its components starts acting strange(see I elevated it to a human), the whole behavior might be eccentric to say the least. If your SuperBot is out of battery, it might just get you to wake you up but might not be able to help you with and send the vacation responses.
  2. Add the internet to the mix!

    I’m out of order but controlled via the internet.

The take away from the whole story:

  1. Let us as individuals, not try to fuse all our bot dependency into a single system. It makes it highly probable to fail and although it gives us lot of convenience, but at a high cost of dependence. This whole connected thing is a convenience at the cost of our freedom.
  2. The most secure sites are still subject to theft/fraud ( I am only referring to financial losses). When a fused bot with the thinking of the whole internet is there, and one small error/condition unchecked/unnoticed will be not safe, to say the least.

As for the bots ecosystem, I would love to see

  • a centralized parking bot, letting a big relief to all humans from this petty job
  • an aerial bot that delivers newspapers

But then again, I won’t allow either of them talk to each other, A single Bot good for One Task. 🙂

Questions to ask to a VC

Incase you stumble upon a VC, here is a list of questions that can help you use their knowledge/expertise/insight for your products long term vision and validation!

1/Does your experience tell you [your-product-name] is a unique solution?

2/Do you think the idea will be accepted?(a)by people b)by investors?)

3/Are you convinced by the idea and ready to risk loosing your investment? 🙂

4/What are the areas that [your-product-name] needs to specifically work on?

5/What is the suggested milestones/checkpoints you recommend that are
important post launch/before/beyond?

6/Do you think [your-idea-name] needs investment/funding/backing?

7/Does [your-product-name] need to rush the idea to the market?

8/Is it ok to go for an [country-location-name] only launch for now?

After this form of scrutinizing is over, ask the VC to take off their hat and give feedback about your product as a normal user(if they have the capacity to be your products consumer).

Hope this is helpful to anyone reading it 🙂

Autos hold the key to the future of self driving cars!

This is part-2/epilogue to an earlier post title Why is new-style(apps based) cab booking still a mess?

In my recent bad-experience with the cab booking scenario, I decided to try out the autos on a similar route of commute! Fortunately, I can shout out to an auto-walla from my home and there is never a dearth of options thanks to the auto-wallas agreeing to go by the meter!

Time for a good detour of the main route?

What is the most weird mode of transportation you have ever been subject to?

My 7 km long most weird transport medium! [PS: I was not driving! ;-)]

While keeping a tab on the state of self driving cars, and the experiments being done, no wonder the google-car looks so much like a delhi-auto!

Delhi-auto as google-driverless-car!

And having experienced first-hand the skills of an auto driver, I am inclined to suggest,for any thinking future self driving company, if you are looking out to train your cars, reach out to the auto-wallahs!

Here are the motivations:

  1. Lowest ground distance — matching to the sef-driving car’s design.
  2. They know the best routes — Point A to Point B, you end up spending 500 bucks or 250 bucks!
  3. They know how to best absorb a speed breaker cruising @ 25 kmph and make you feel as if you’re flying!
  4. They know how to best wake you up(in case you start to feel dizzy) by bumping you in a pot hole!
  5. I have never heard/read about an auto wallah being involved in an accident( a quarrel is not an accident) — Best premise for self driving cars!

What I am suggesting is have the driverless cars minds trained by putting an Augmented Intteligence chip in an auto! First ride, they just learn what is the route all about, good roads, bad roads,bumps,breakers. In latter rides, they should pick up: speed up/slow down suggestion,collision detection, collision prevention, safe stopping etc. All this should happen in shadow mode, where in realtime the chips response and the actual response should be monitored! Once an acceptable level of confidence is arrived at, let the chip start talking about its suggestions. Once the driver starts trusting the suggestions, go auto-pilot! 🙂

Also, I doubt if the driverless cars are made to ride as a sensitive travellers? Like lets say someone cannot handle bumps as efficiently as a child can, Do these vehicles cater to this requirement?(PS: auto wallah do cater to this requirement!)

The future of driver-less cars is exciting, but the possibility of breaking it down is also very high, as someone can use a VR thingy and make the AI sensors of the car sense that an obstacle is coming and in reality there is no obstacle and eventually a future race of hacking driver less cars where you’ll come across advt like “Make the other driver-less cars around you go automatically slow”

My car makes other cars give me more way!

In closure, The roads will be way too full of cars and quarrels, we should look up! 🙂

Why is new-style(apps based) cab booking still a mess?

I assumed this new style will beat my old/traditional way of the whole cab experience, but HELL NO!

Every riders woes – Minutes before boarding a cab!
  1. Booking beforehand
    • Apps:You cannot book the app based cabs beforehand. One service allows, but only 0000 to 0700 hrs ? That’s superb customer service, Their systems maybe do not take peak hour requests!
    • My Way: Go ahead and book the cab even two weeks ahead and the cab will be right there for your need!
  2. The day of the booking
    • Apps: You forget about your last minute travels plannings, instead dedicate one human to constantly check for cab availability.
    • My Way:No problemo sire! We’ll be there and we’ll also carry your luggage from your house to the cab!
  3. At the 11th Hour of the booking
    • Apps: Hope you get through “ride now” option! And if you cancel, you are logged out of making any further bookings! Grr!
    • My Way: We will be there in exactly 10 minutes! Unfailingly!! (beat this experience!)
  4. The cab is there — where?
    • Apps: I am standing here, where are you (happens atleast 2 times) + Sir I thought booking was for 1130 hrs, you are coming after half hour, please cancel your request + Sir, you please cancel as you are not coming + Once I had this cab driver run away,with the cab, right infront of my eyes! That was so sorry look on my face!
    • My Way: The cab is visible right infront of your gallery!(Beat that! again? anyone??)
  5.  The ride begins
    • Apps: Sir, which route?. Hope you know where to go. We’ll ask someone there.(spend 15 minutes searching and asking everyone around)
    • My Way:Sit back, relax, sleep, They tell me when the spot is reached!(They use their phone for reaching the destination! -Ain’t that smart!)
  6. Post-The-Ride :: Tu Kaun?
    • Apps: me:Thank you for not abducting me and extorting money!
    • My Way: me:Thank you for taking care of my traveling woes!

Although “My Way” is 2x cost wise, but other comforts are simply not comparable! I can quote 10 more other problems with the apps. It’s still not my preferred way of traveling!

Driving dislikes me! I am interested to reach my destination with least hiccups!

I’ll post a follow-up with the state of self driving cars!