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M-Agriculture Empowers Farmers in Developing Economies

By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

A while back, I wrote about the potential for mobile banking to create new opportunity and economic growth in developing countries. Now, I’d like to look at how a related application, mobile agriculture (m-agriculture), is transforming rural villages.

M-agriculture is about bringing mobile information access to rural communities and small-hold farmers. While the concept is still in its infancy, early implementations suggest it can make a big difference.

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Cloud-Based Services Infrastructure Transforms Busan Metropolitan City

The need for cities to balance social, economic, and environmental resources is becoming increasingly critical. Cities, however, now have an opportunity to use the network as the platform for visualizing and modeling urban infrastructure to provide innovative urban services and manage urban sustainability. Using the network as the fourth utility (in addition to electricity, water, and natural gas), cities can integrate multiple systems to deliver on-demand services over an Internet-enabled cloud infrastructure supported by open innovation.

Busan Metropolitan City is one example of a city poised for Smart City development. Busan is South Korea’s second-largest metropolis and home to the fifth-largest port in the world. It also boasts an established 10GB broadband infrastructure, Busan Information Highway. As the city continues to grow, it faces the same environmental, economic, and social issues as other metropolitan areas. Because of this, the Busan government is investing in expanding the existing broadband infrastructure to improve urban services and service quality. Read More »

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How a B2B2C Cloud Platform Fosters Innovation

By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

My last post described some of the cloud-based home healthcare services that broadband service providers are beginning to offer. Central to this idea is third-party partnerships: allowing outside healthcare providers into the traditional “walled garden” of telecom services. It’s easy to see how this model could be extended beyond healthcare.

One can imagine all sorts of value-added cloud applications that third parties could deliver over wireline networks. Indeed, one can envision a future in which service providers follow in the footsteps of Apple’s App Store and the Google Android Marketplace, where subscribers can choose from among thousands of third-party cloud apps that take advantage of their home broadband connections, gateways, and TV set-top boxes (STBs).

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Cloud Computing vs. Virtualization: The Differences and Benefits

Both solutions can help maximize your current resources and technology dollars

Like many technologies that were once available only to large organizations, virtualization and cloud computing are being scaled down for small business use. The two technologies are often mentioned in the same breath as though they’re interchangeable—they’re not. Here’s where the two technologies overlap: Virtualization is one of the fundamental technologies that makes cloud computing work. However, virtualization is not cloud computing.

In enterprise networks, virtualization and cloud computing are often used together to build a private cloud infrastructure. For most small businesses, however, each technology will be deployed separately to gain measurable benefits. In different ways, virtualization and cloud computing can help you keep your equipment spending to a minimum and get the best possible use from the equipment you already have.

First, you need to understand what virtualization and cloud computing are. Virtualization software allows one physical server to run several individual computing environments. In practice, it’s like getting multiple servers for each physical server you buy.  This technology is fundamental to cloud computing.  Cloud providers have large data centers full of servers to power their cloud offerings, but they aren’t able to devote a single server to each customer. Thus, they virtually partition the data on the server, enabling each client to work with a separate “virtual” instance of the same software. Read More »

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Healthcare Technology in the 21st Century

By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

Is the cloud the cure for what ails you? It could be, if service providers and telehealth device manufacturers have anything to say about it.

Home healthcare monitoring technologies have become big news in the last few years, and are poised to become even bigger. According to a recent Berg Insight report, remote health monitoring of chronic diseases generated €7.6 billion ($10.01 billion USD) globally in 2010, and is growing at 9 percent each year. MarketResearch.com projects the market for telehealth monitoring equipment alone to reach $3.1 billion by 2017.

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