Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Review of "Free Men/Les Hommes Libres"

A good, serious film about a subject that I'd never heard about - the way that the Muslim community of Paris helped Jews escape from Vichy and Nazi round--ups by supplying them with false certification "proving" that they were Muslims. It's a true story; some of the characters in the film are historical people, others (including the main character) are composites of several people.

Moving, tense, well shot - though some of the dialogue seems a bit clunky; perhaps it's the subtitles rather than the original script. Interesting that the relationship between Younes and Salim, which is so central to the plot, is  so little explored. Salim is gay, and Younes is clearly surprised and upset to discover this, yet there seems to be a dimension to their mutual attraction that goes beyond friendship.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Review of The Love Punch: Worst film I've seen in many a long year

I can handle the odd romcom, and this one sounded like it might be tolerable. It wasn't. A trip to the dentist would be more enjoyable. Avoid at all costs. Stay in, wash your hair, whatever.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

IOT 14 in Cambridge

I went to this. I can't remember the last time I found a public event of this kind so interesting and so much fun. Fantastic speakers, great venue (who wants to spend a day in the dreary subterranean basement of another corporate hotel?), superb organisation, and a really nice bouncy spirit in the way the sessions were organised and chaired. Just brilliant. Other conference event organizers should watch, and probably watch out.

I hope to post another piece about what was most interesting, but didn't want to leave it another day.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Another day, another low power wireless company

Six months ago I didn't know any companies pursuing this opportunity, even though some of them have been at it for a while and have successful implementations to point at. Now I fall over them all the time, and suddenly the industry mainstream, including proper grown-equipment vendors and even network operators want to talk about this.

The company du jour is Senaptic, which has just come out of stealth mode, having been incubated within equipment vendor Plextek. The latter is precisely one of those companies that has been ploughing the low-power IoT furrow for years - 25, to be precise. Its technology is deployed in the LoJack vehicle tracking system, in a smart parking system in Moscow, and is also used by Telensa in supporting smarter street lights in British cities.

Unlike fellow low-power wireless provider Sigfox Senaptic aims to be a technology provider, not a network operator. It plans to sell systems to organisations (mainly enterprises, but also local authorities) to use for their own purposes - tracking, monitoring, controlling, whatever. So there is no need for the kind of OSS that a public network would require, to provision devices, manage their subscriptions, bill for usage etc.
But it's not 'merely' a connectivity play - it also offers a platform that does include an OSS, applications, and of course devices.

At the moment Senaptic has only six employees, though the system is still supported by staff within Plextek. In the slightly longer run it aims to have about 100 people.