So, I was on the evil internet recently and came across this most interesting article (#1) which got me wondering. What aren’t we willing to connect to the internet? What are the connection limitations to the internet? Why do we connect so many things collectively to the internet so willingly? Anyway, these just happens to be the articles I was reading. All credit belongs to the original author and I claim nothing but wanting to share. Also, take a look at the second article (#2) which gives some statistics that might blow your mind a little.
See original here.
Jacob Morgan; Contributor
I write about and explore the future of work and collaboration.
Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
5/13/2014 @ 12:05AM
A Simple Explanation Of ‘The Internet Of Things’
The “Internet of things” (IoT) is becoming an increasingly growing topic of conversation both in the workplace and outside of it. It’s a concept that not only has the potential to impact how we live but also how we work. But what exactly is the “Internet of things” and what impact is it going to have on you if any? There are a lot of complexities around the “Internet of things” but I want to stick to the basics. Lots of technical and policy related conversations are being had but many people are still just trying to grasp the foundation of what the heck these conversations are about.
Let’s start with understanding a few things.
Broadband Internet is become more widely available, the cost of connecting is decreasing, more devices are being created with wifi capabilities and censors built into them, technology costs are going down, and smart phone penetration is sky-rocketing. All of these things are creating a “perfect storm” for the IoT.
So what is the Internet of things?
Simply put this is the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other). This includes everything from cell phones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and almost anything else you can think of. This also applies to components of machines, for example a jet engine of an airplane or the drill of an oil rig. As I mentioned, if it has an on and off switch then chances are it can be a part of the IoT. The analyst firm Gartner says that by 2020 there will be over 26 billion connected devices…that’s a lot of connections (some even estimate this number to be much higher, over 100 billion). The IoT is a giant network of connected “things” (which also includes people). The relationship will be between people-people, people-things, and things-things.
How does this impact you?
The new rule for the future is going to be, “anything that can be connected, will be connected.” But why on earth would you want so many connected devices talking to each other? There are many examples for what this might look like or what the potential value might be. Say for example you are on your way to a meeting, your car could have access to your calendar and already know the best route to take, if the traffic is heavy your car might send a text to the other party notifying them that you will be late. What if your alarm clock wakes up you at 6 am and then notifies your coffee maker to start brewing coffee for you? What if your office equipment knew when it was running low on supplies and automatically re-ordered more? What if the wearable device you used in the workplace could tell you when and where you were most active and productive and shared that information with other devices that you used while working?
On a broader scale the IoT can be applied to things like transportation networks “smart cities” which can help us reduce waste and improve efficiency for things such as energy use; this helping us understand and improve how we work and live. Take a look at the visual below to see what something like that can look like.
The reality is that the IoT allows for virtually endless opportunities and connections to take place, many of which we can’t even think of or fully understand the impact of today. It’s not hard to see how and why the IoT is such a hot topic today, it certainly opens the door to a lot of opportunities but also to many challenges. Security is big issues that is oftentimes brought up. With billions of devices being connect together what can people to do make sure that their information stays secure? Will someone be able to hack into your toaster and thereby get access to your entire network? The IoT also opens up companies all over the world to more security threats. Then we have the issue of privacy and data sharing. This is a hot button topic even today so one can only imagine how the conversation and concerns will escalate when we are talking about many billions of devices being connected. Another issue that many companies specifically are going to be faced with is around the massive amounts data that all of these devices are going to produce. Companies need to figure out a way to store, track, analyze, and make sense of the vast amounts of data that will be generated.
So what now?
Conversations about the IoT are (and have been for several years) taking place all over the world as we seek to understand how this will impact our lives. We are also trying to understand what the many opportunities and challenges are going to be as more and more devices start to join the IoT. For now the best thing that we can do is educate ourselves about what the IoT is and the potential impacts that can be seen on how we work and live.
Connected Devices Accelerate the Need for IPv6 in the Internet of Things (original article)
Posted on 27 Decembter 2013 in: Blog, Featured Article, General Information, IPv4, IPv6
Just how many devices are connected to the Internet? A report from the NPD Group found there are more than half a billion Internet connected devices in U.S. homes alone – that’s more than the number of U.S. residents. And a report from ABI Research found there are more than 10 billion wirelessly connected devices in the global market. Those numbers are only expected to increase as the Internet of Things (IoT) expands to include more devices that can connect to the Internet. Gartner predicts the IoT base will grow to 26 billion units by 2020 not including smartphones, tablets and PCs. Including those items, other predictions have placed the number of Internet-connected devices in 2020 everywhere from 50 billion to 75 billion.
The IoT is a true demonstration of the evolution of the Internet, but its potential could be slowed by IPv4 depletion. As the number of available IPv4 addresses dwindles, it is more crucial than ever to ensure new consumer devices and the networks that support them are IPv6 enabled.
Every device needs a unique IP address to connect to the Internet. Drawing only from the pool of addresses that IPv4 provides, there just simply won’t be enough to connect every new gizmo and gadget to the Internet. Fortunately we have IPv6 that has been in production across the web on many networks for years that can meet addressing need challenges. There are 340 trillion trillion trillion IPv6 addresses available to allow the Internet of Things to come to fruition. What is more, transit networks as a whole need to support IPv6 in order for all of these new devices to function properly and efficiently.
The Internet of Things has the potential to open new markets for innovation for many businesses and even entire industries. Take for example the car industry, where Ford’s director of technology predicts cars will have voice recognition capabilities allowing drivers to connect to their apps, pre-order a coffee or pre-pay for gas – all using their voice. Let’s not forget about safety, either. Envision a future with wearable sensors for drivers with medical conditions that connect to your car and can prevent accidents during medical emergencies.
The possibilities of the IoT with IPv6 are endless and the bottom line is consumers don’t want devices that will only connect them to part of the future Internet. The IoT is a dawning reality and its evolution is dependent on the use of IPv6.
…………… there was a baby boy born to a mother who would never see him, never hold him, and never be a part of his life. It was on this day that this baby boy was giving the chance to live a life. It was on this day that a boy took in his first breath and was given the beginning of the rest of his life. I am thankful everyday for that first breath I was granted the opportunity to take. Look at it like this, she could have swallowed, he could have pulled out, or she could have aborted her pregnancy at any time. Luckily, she chose the adoption option and soon after the world was granted the opportunity to witness my presence. You see, we are all equally lucky. So, enough of the heavy shit everyone has heard before. I am here because she made the right choice back in 1968.
I will be the first person to admit that I’m the person y’all hear about that is so hard to buy birthday presents for. Why? Simply because I don’t ask for anything, ever. Why? Because if I want something I save up for it and go buy it. Generally it isn’t for my self tho, it’s usually for other people. I don’t buy my self much. When I ask for something it is utilitarian, like underwear, socks, and stuff like that. After having the same cell phone for 4 years I finally upgraded and replaced it will a fancy new one. I did this a week or so ago, my own birthday present to myself and I said it just like that. I told my wife and kids that I would buy my own present this year so don’t bother. You know women tho, they rarely listen when the man is talking….. lol.
Somewhere during the course of the last year I mentioned two things “in passing”, meaning it was random and out of the blue, which were that I wanted to pick up the new KISS Monster cd, yes I wrote cd, I like cds. The other thing was a tablet because my laptop crapped out and I don’t want to spend the money to get another one, so a tablet seemed reasonable. But, like life itself, other expenses always come first because the cost of “living” is sometimes more than I bring home. So, as mentioned, they were fleeting comments not really meant to be taken as a hint or anything. But, my wife and kids took note, because like I said, I don’t generally ask for stuff, I just get it when I want it. In the end I was happily surprised and really glad they were paying attention because I had completely forgot about both of them.
Unfortunately I’m working today (right now to be exact) but I will be heading home later tonight and that will be perfect. I will be cooking my own dinner, grilling actually, since when asked what I wanted I wanted steaks. So, my mother-out-law provided me with steaks, potatoes, and some tequila for me to use tonight. The tequila will be for margaritas by the way. After we eat I plan on soaking my bones in the hot tub, rain or no rain, matters not to me, I like to relax and soak my bones. Today I work (or do this) and when I get off the party will just get kicked off. Hell, what am I saying, I live like it’s my birthday everyday. My kids tell me it is a special day to celebrate. I always reply that I celebrate the start of every day with that first recognizable breath, it’s a beautiful day each time I wake up. I won’t deny I’m lucky to be here, but aren’t we all.
What is Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD)?
What “Internet addiction disorder” (IAD) is still difficult to define at this time. Much of the original research was based upon the weakest type of research methodology, namely exploratory surveys with no clear hypothesis or rationale backing them. Coming from an a theoretical approach has some benefits, but also is not typically recognized as being a strong way to approach a new disorder. More recent research has expanded upon the original surveys and anecdotal case study reports. However, as I will illustrate below later, even these studies don’t support the conclusions the authors claim.
The original research into this disorder began with exploratory surveys, which cannot establish causal relationships between specific behaviors and their cause. While surveys can help establish descriptions of how people feel about themselves and their behaviors, they cannot draw conclusions about whether a specific technology, such as the Internet, has actually caused those behaviors. Those conclusions that are drawn are purely speculative and subjective made by the researchers themselves. Researchers have a name for this logical fallacy, ignoring a common cause. It’s one of the oldest fallacies in science, and one still regularly perpetrated in psychological research today.
Do some people have problems with spending too much time online? Sure they do. Some people also spend too much time reading, watching television, and working, and ignore family, friendships, and social activities. But do we have TV addiction disorder, book addiction, and work addiction being suggested as legitimate mental disorders in the same category as schizophrenia and depression? I think not. It’s the tendency of some mental health professionals and researchers to want to label everything they see as potentially harmful with a new diagnostic category. Unfortunately, this causes more harm than it helps people. (The road to “discovering” IAD is filled with many logical fallacies, not the least of which is the confusion between cause and effect.)
What most people online who think they are addicted are probably suffering from is the desire to not want to deal with other problems in their lives. Those problems may be a mental disorder (depression, anxiety, etc.), a serious health problem or disability, or a relationship problem. It is no different than turning on the TV so you won’t have to talk to your spouse, or going “out with the boys” for a few drinks so you don’t have to spend time at home. Nothing is different except the modality.
What some very few people who spend time online without any other problems present may suffer from is compulsive over-use. Compulsive behaviors, however, are already covered by existing diagnostic categories and treatment would be similar. It’s not the technology (whether it be the Internet, a book, the telephone, or the television) that is important or addicting — it’s the behavior. And behaviors are easily treatable by traditional cognitive-behavior techniques in psychotherapy.
Case studies, the alternative to surveys used for many conclusions drawn about online overuse, are just as problematic. How can we really draw any reasonable conclusions about millions of people online based upon one or two case studies? Yet media stories, and some researchers, covering this issue usually use a case study to help “illustrate” the problem. All a case study does is influence our emotional reactions to the issue; it does nothing to help us further understand the actual problem and the many potential explanations for it. Case studies on an issue like this are usually a red flag that help frame the issue in an emotional light, leaving hard, scientific data out of the picture. It is a common diversionary tactic.
Why Does the Research Leave Something to Be Desired?
Well, the obvious answer is that many of the original researchers into the phenomenon known as IAD were actually clinicians who decided to conduct a survey. Usually doctoral training is sufficient to create and test a survey, yet the psychometric properties of these surveys are never released. (Perhaps because they were never conducted in the first place? We simply do not know.)
The obvious confounds are never controlled for in most of these surveys. Questions about pre-existing or a history of mental disorders (e.g., depression, anxiety), health problems or disabilities, or relationship problems are absent from these surveys. Since this is one of the most obvious alternative explanations for some of the data being obtained (for example, see Storm King’s article, Is the Internet Addictive, or Are Addicts Using the Internet? below), it is very surprising these questions are left off. It taints all the data and make the data virtually useless.
Other factors are simply not controlled for. The current Internet population is nearly 50/50 in terms of proportion of men to women. Yet people are still drawing conclusions about this same group of people based upon survey samples that have 70-80% men, comprised mostly of white Americans. Researchers barely mention these discrepancies, all of which will again skew the results.
Research done in a particular area should also agree about certain very basic things after a time. Years have gone by and there are more than a few studies out there looking at Internet addiction. Yet none of them agree on a single definition for this problem, and all of them vary widely in their reported results of how much time an “addict” spends online. If they can’t even get these basics down, it is not surprising the research quality still suffers.
More research has been done since the original surveys were released in 1996. This newer research has been conducted by more independent researchers with clearer hypotheses and stronger, less biased population sets. More about these studies will be discussed in updates to this article.
Where Did It Come From?
Good question. It came from, believe it or not, the criteria for pathological gambling, a single, anti-social behavior that has very little social redeeming value. Researchers in this area believe they can simply copy this criteria and apply it to the hundreds of behaviors carried out everyday on the Internet, a largely pro-social, interactive, and information-driven medium. Do these two dissimilar areas have much in common beyond their face value? I don’t see it.
I don’t know of any other disorder currently being researched where the researchers, showing all the originality of a trash romance novel writer, simply “borrowed” the diagnostic symptom criteria for an unrelated disorder, made a few changes, and declared the existence of a new disorder. If this sounds absurd, it’s because it is.
And this speaks to the larger problem these researchers grapple with… Most have no theory driving their assumptions (see Walther, 1999 for a further discussion of this issue). They see a client in pain (and in fact, I’ve sat in many presentations by these clinicians where they start it off with just such an example), and figure, “Hey, the Internet caused this pain. I’m going to go out and study what makes this possible on the Internet.” There’s no theory (well, sometimes there’s theory after-the-fact), and while some quasi-theoretical explanations are slowly emerging, it is putting the chicken far before the egg.
Do You Spend Too Much Time Online?
In relation to what or whom? Time alone cannot be an indicator of being addicted or engaging in compulsive behavior. Time must be taken in context with other factors, such as whether you’re a college student (who, as a whole, proportionally spend a greater amount of time online), whether it’s a part of your job, whether you have any pre-existing conditions (such as another mental disorder; a person with depression is more likely to spend more time online than someone who doesn’t, for instance, often in a virtual support group environment), whether you have problems or issues in your life which may be causing you to spend more time online (e.g., using it to “get away” from life’s problems, a bad marriage, difficult social relations), etc. So talking about whether you spend too much time online without this important context is useless.
What Makes the Internet So Addictive?
Well, as I have shown above, the research is exploratory at this time, so suppositions such as what makes the Internet so “addictive” are no better than guesses. Since other researchers online have made their guesses known, here are mine.
Since the aspects of the Internet where people are spending the greatest amount of time online have to do with social interactions, it would appear that socialization is what makes the Internet so “addicting.” That’s right — plain old hanging out with other people and talking with them. Whether it’s via e-mail, a discussion forum, chat, or a game online (such as a MUD), people are spending this time exchanging information, support, and chit-chat with other people like themselves.
Would we ever characterize any time spent in the real world with friends as “addicting?” Of course not. Teenagers talk on the phone for hours on end, with people they see everyday! Do we say they are addicted to the telephone? Of course not. People lose hours at a time, immersed in a book, ignoring friends and family, and often not even picking up the phone when it rings. Do we say they are addicted to the book? Of course not. If some clinicians and researchers are now going to start defining addiction as social interactions, then every real-world social relationship I have is an addictive one.
Socializing — talking — is a very “addictive” behavior, if one applies the same criteria to it as researchers looking at Internet addiction do. Does the fact that we’re now socializing with the help of some technology (can you say, “telephone”?) change the basic process of socialization? Perhaps, a bit. But not so significantly as to warrant a disorder. Checking e-mail, as Greenfield claims, is not the same as pulling a slot-machine’s handle. One is social seeking behavior, the other is reward seeking behavior. They are two very different things, as any behaviorist will tell you. It’s too bad the researchers can’t make this differentiation, because it shows a significant lack of understanding of basic behavioral theory.
What Do I Do If I Think I Have It?
First, don’t panic. Second, just because there is a debate about the validity of this diagnostic category amongst professionals doesn’t mean there isn’t help for it. In fact, as I mentioned earlier, help is readily available for this problem without needing to create all this hoopla about a new diagnosis.
If you have a life problem, or are grappling with a disorder such as depression, seek professional treatment for it. Once you admit and address the problem, other pieces of your life will fall back into place.
Psychologists have studied compulsive behaviors and their treatments for years now, and nearly any well-trained mental health professional will be able to help you learn to slowly curve the time spent online, and address the problems or concerns in your life that may have contributed to your online overuse, or were caused by it. No need for a specialist or an online support group.
This information was forwarded to me by my daughter who is a double Bachelors in Engineering candidate attending college as we speak. One of her elective classes offered a free writing essay for their final exam grade. A grade with is 65% of their overall grade. My daughter chose to write about the theory of Internet Addiction and chose this article by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. as her launching point for her research. Why did she send me this article to read? Probably because I tell her that she spends too damn much time on the internet and the fact the we talk about disabilities every once in a while because there is so much bullshit out there called a disability. I believe this is my daughter’s attempt to humor me, she didn’t say exactly. Funny enough is the fact that she sent it to me but I had sent her the picture below just a few days ago because eventhough she has unlimited data usage on her cell phone plan, she is always taking “Free Wi-Fi ” into consideration when heading out.
What do you, the reader on the internet right now, think about studying internet addiction?