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W. David Stephenson
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Author, "SmartStuff: an introduction to the Internet of Things" (e-book) and "Data Dynamite: how liberating data will transform our world." Stephenson is a leading Internet of Things, Enterprise and E-Gov 2.-3.0, data strategies, homeland security and crisis management strategist and theorist. Stephenson is known for innovative strategies empowering the public to be full partners in a wide variety of activities through creative use of personal communication devices and Web 2.0 social media.

Blog Entries by W. David Stephenson

Cars: Major Changes Coming Due to Internet of Things

(1) Comments | Posted May 8, 2013 | 6:34 PM

I've long thought that it was just plain silly that we spend so much on cars (the second most expensive purchase for most of us, after houses) yet they sit un-used so much of the time. Add in their terrible environmental impacts and you have an industry ripe for a...

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Homeland Security and the IoT: Why Didn't I See the Links?

(0) Comments | Posted January 25, 2013 | 4:34 PM

As some of you know, I used to concentrate on "networked homeland security" strategies designed to empower the public to be full partners in disaster preparedness and response.

I'd pretty much left that period of my career behind until I had a conversation the other night with...

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If the Internet of Things Will Be So Big, Why Is It Still a Mystery?

(6) Comments | Posted September 13, 2012 | 11:25 AM

A new market research study available from a British firm, Companies and Markets, predicts that by 2017 the global Internet of Things market will reach sales of $290 billion.

First, wow.

Second, I'm forced to ask again: If the "IoT" has such short-term promise (not to...

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Two Controversies Underscore Need for Win-Win Regulation 3.0

(1) Comments | Posted May 8, 2012 | 12:58 PM

Two controversies currently in the news illustrate the need for a fundamentally new, technology-based approach to regulation that would both help the regulated industries and protect the public. I refer to it as Regulation 3.0 (3.0 because it would capitalize on the so-called "Internet of Things,"...

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Ninja Blocks: Adding Fun to the Internet of Things

(2) Comments | Posted March 12, 2012 | 3:54 PM

The Internet of Things (IoT) is already changing our lives in many dramatic, and subtle ways, including the first wireless pacemaker, the IntelliStreets "smart" light post I wrote about recently and the new city-wide nerve center IBM has built for Rio.

But something important...

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Citizen Science As a Model for Disaster Information

(4) Comments | Posted March 6, 2012 | 6:26 PM

I'm tired of hearing that the public can't be full partners in preparing for or responding to disasters because we're prone to panic and/or we can't provide specific information that first responders can act upon.

With a modicum of preparation, we can in fact provide accurate information that can make...

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IntelliStreets: Digital Scaffolding for 'Smart' Cities

(0) Comments | Posted January 31, 2012 | 5:42 PM

I'll admit it: streetlamps have had a hold on my imagination since I was a little boy, visiting my grandmother in Baltimore. Coming from the suburbs, where there were only occasional streetlamps tacked on to utility poles, streetlamps were an elegant aspect of urban life to me.

Now I've fallen...

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Open Government Data: Not Just Good Policy, But Economically Sound

(1) Comments | Posted January 10, 2012 | 2:46 PM

One of the easiest targets for budget cutters in a recession is governmental initiatives to make data both accessible to the public and easy to work with. For example, the budget for the U.S. Office of Management and Budget's Electronic Government Initiatives was cut from $34 million in...

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'One Report' As Part of the Debt Package Could Cut Government Costs and Boost the Economy

(2) Comments | Posted July 18, 2011 | 5:20 PM

No matter what savings result from the current deficit reduction negotiations, there's little hope for long-term, structural savings if we continue to run the government using 20th-century management. That's why the final package should also include a management package building on similar innovations that both the GOP and White House...

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Will Another Crisis Let Japan Gain Economic Advantage?

(1) Comments | Posted April 6, 2011 | 9:30 AM

I can't think of a major economy that has suffered two massive disasters in a century other than Japan. Given the way Japan rebuilt after World War II to amass the world's third largest economy prior to the recent earthquake/tsunami/nuclear catastrophe, there is certainly room for optimism that the Japanese...

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Simple Tech Tool Could Cut Billions in Spending, Help Both Parties

(1) Comments | Posted February 14, 2011 | 3:46 PM

One way of lowering the tone of rhetoric on political issues would be to make it more fact-based.

If the White House wants to try to find any kind of common ground with Rep. Issa and his Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Investigations, and to achieve its own...

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Simple Mortgage Mess Fix Ideal for New Political Realities

(2) Comments | Posted November 9, 2010 | 9:45 AM

Two years ago I wrote in this space that a simple technological tool, automated, "structured" data feeds, could allow for "smart" regulation of banks to cut down on the abuses and fraud that led to the mortgage meltdown and continuing recession.

The latest debacle in that industry,

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The Semantic Web: Win-Win Solution for the Toyota Mess?

(1) Comments | Posted February 15, 2010 | 12:31 PM

For most, the Semantic Web (or, as some call it, Web 3.0), remains a future vision whose uses and value are still questionable. Instead, I suggest we should accelerate the transition to the Semantic Web, because it offers pragmatic, affordable solutions to many of our most pressing problems....

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Obama Can Revolutionize Government Through Democratizing Data

(2) Comments | Posted January 22, 2010 | 2:55 PM

From my vantage point in Boston, I prefer to look to an earlier period in Bay State politics, before Scott Brown's election, for a possible model to deal with the new realities the Obama Administration faces.

Back in the 1970s, two young state legislators who also went on to prominence...

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New Anti-Terror Weapons: You, Me, iPhone & Twitter

(1) Comments | Posted August 10, 2009 | 10:15 AM

Several weeks ago DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announced DHS has decided to emulate the widespread World War II strategy of actively involving the public in terrorism and disaster planning and response. As the Secretary said, "For too long we've treated the public as a liability to be protected rather...

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Recovery.gov: the First Step Toward Smart Regulation?

(2) Comments | Posted February 23, 2009 | 10:03 AM

The Obama Administration created Recovery.gov as a critical stimulus component, taking a "don't trust us, track us" approach to assure funds are distributed quickly and fairly and "recipients and uses of all recovery funds are transparent." It will also provide clues about how serious the Administration is about campaign...

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Automated Data Feeds Make Smart Regulation Possible Now

(2) Comments | Posted September 23, 2008 | 3:13 PM

There's been a lot of talk in recent days that what we need isn't more regulation of banking and business in general, but "smart" regulation. It seems to me that we also need more regulation, but we certainly need to make sure whatever is imposed is also as technologically sophisticated...

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Let My Data Go: How Activists Can Transform Government Through Public Data

(2) Comments | Posted July 15, 2008 | 5:52 PM

Whoever wins in November faces record voter skepticism about whether "government is on the right track," while record deficits will make it difficult to add new programs that might rebuild public confidence. The new administration must simply get more from less.

One novel solution, which I'll address...

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