Still a long road ahead for smart cities

In 2007, while working on a blueprint for the technical deployment of a smart city project in the middle east; the infrastructure was not so complex, we had thought of connected devices but the Internet of Things economy was in its absolute basic infancy so the development of applications was really just reduced to a control platform of data exhibits. In hindsight, we were limited in our vision for the city by the screens and devices we would have to deploy to get mobility incorporated and last mile connectivity ensured.

11 years hence, I am excited to be working on another huge project for a citywide deployment. Assessing the deployment in terms of readiness of the city technology base, its use in the creation of a suite of smart city applications and adoption by the residents; there seem to be a myriad possibility if only the right model for the right city be deployed.



The most significant barrier, however, seems to the sensorization of the city infrastructure. Something that was considered the easiest part of the execution strategy seems to have become a roadblock. The technology base comprises three components - the sensor; the communication protocol and the open data portal that will enable the applications.

Whereas Singapore, New York, Stockholm, and Seoul seem to the readiest cities in the world in terms of the components of the technology base required to roll out smart city applications; other cities have been left far behind.
The same gap reflects in the readiness of these cities to host smart applications relating to housing, healthcare, economic development, utilities, security and mobility and therefore in adoption parameters of awareness, satisfaction, and usage.
Unless the cities create the basic technology infrastructure to support the deployment of smart cities; we will see varying levels of transparency and advancement and therefore varying degrees of data to define the relationship between smart cities and smart governance and therefore transparency.



Crypto Money Laundering - Are we ready for this ?

Ciphertrace just reported that more than $700M was stolen from Crypto Exchanges in the first six months of 2018. The current market cap of the top 100 cryptocurrencies globally is around $250 Billion. With a thousand plus of cryptocurrencies and globally distributed exchanges; a new crop of cybercriminals is emerging - The Exchange CyberCrims.

Most exchanges and startups issuing new coins are not regulating the identity checks of the users and most of them are represented by anonymous addresses. This is a big loophole in creating trust in the system.

When crypto criminals stole $2000 in coins from me in a transaction a few months back; it was even difficult to trace or enable regulation to trace the transaction. They were gone and the services were never performed. The laws trail behind as always. Cybercriminals 1; You Zero.

Corporate and Economic Espionage

It's not what you are imagining. A well fitted Daniel Craig stealing your company data files on an NFC induced cellphone while drinking a martini with you. Not that. 

A former Apple engineer was arrested by U.S. authorities at San Jose International Airport while preparing to board a flight to China earlier this week and charged with stealing proprietary information related to Apple’s self-driving car project.

Your economic espionage agent may not be a fabled operative; it may just be your employee. Sometimes a trusted one. 



According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, intellectual property (IP) accounted for $5.06 trillion in value added, or 34.8 percent of U.S. GDP in 2010. IP alone accounts for over 40 million U.S. jobs and over 60 percent of all U.S. exports. U.S. companies have a lot to lose.

What makes employees commit economic and corporate espionage? Most workers are unconcerned about the privacy of corporate information: More than half (56%) of employees in a recent survey say that they do not believe it is a crime to use competitive data taken from a previous employer. Half of the employees who left or lost their jobs in the last 12 months kept confidential corporate data, according to a global survey from Symantec and, worse, 40% plan to use it in their new jobs.

Employees steal not only confidential information but relationships deemed privy to the business. 11 years after being employed by us, one of our employees was found to be siphoning off margins of deals through back end discounts to himself through another company. Another ex-CEO was found to siphon funds as discounts to suppliers and customers.

A woman employee of 5 years was caught siphoning funds during an internal audit. She was fired under corporate fraud laws. She walked away with company data and a company owned laptop refusing to return it and used the blatantly to harm the company and other employees.

These employees exist in our midst and are harmful to any organization they serve. Their criminal actions bring economic and reputational harm to any organization they associate themselves with.

Mass Entrepreneurship in China

Over 200 square kilometers in the north of Nanjing is now a high-density technology outpost set up by the China Government to compete with Silicon Valley. 

For the China Government, investing in innovation is a huge priority. The startups in Nanjing are innovating for the use of the Chinese Government. Is this the reason for the onslaught of the US-China Trade war?


Three out of the Four most valuable companies in the world are Chinese. A discussion by the Trump administration to prohibit Chinese capital in the US has sent worry into the fundraising strategies of the Silicon Valley venture funds. 

While the US blames China for "Economic Aggression", China is executing the most ambitious economic policy based on tech innovation as we speak.


Innovation by millions of startups funded by the government to enable 2025 Made in China Economic program offering tax-free status and subsidies to most of the innovating startups.
This is truly a country executing "mass entrepreneurship and mass innovation"

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