Top 5 Reasons to Store Your Music in the Cloud, And Which Storage Provider You Should Choose?
Don’t you hate it when you want to play a particular song on your phone and realize that the MP3 file is stored on your computer’s hard drive? Cloud storage services (Dropbox, Amazon cloud drive) allow you to store music on a remove server for you to access from anywhere from a web based interface. Backup: When you save music to your cloud storage account, you create a backup of the file from your computer. Sharing: Your cloud account is available from every computer that has an Internet connection. Access From Everywhere: Not only can you sync music and back those up to your cloud but you have access to them from any computer with an Internet connection.
Cloud programs are slowly eliminating the need to use flash drives on Internet connected computers. The size of your media library – how many songs you want to store and access from the cloud?
Whitson Gordon gives an excellent rundown of all the popular cloud services that support music streaming. 101 websites for getting things done - an informative book which will make you more productive and efficient. Do you have a flair for writing and understand technology, software, gadgets and web applications well? Thoran Rodrigues does a thorough comparison of 11 IaaS cloud providers based on the same group of criteria. IaaS providers are companies that provide the most basic IT needs - servers, networking, and storage - on a usage-based payment model. For the sake of this comparison, we are going to focus on IaaS providers whose services can be purchased directly on-line, without requiring contact with salespeople of any kind.
To do the comparison, I decided to create some dimensions that try to reflect important aspects of cloud computing, such as the promise of reduced costs and economies of scale, the level of service offered to customers, the flexibility in configuring servers, and user concerns such as security, compliance, and support. Pricing Plan - Providers offer pay-as-you-go (usually hourly) plans, monthly pricing plans, "membership" discounts (where the user receives a discount in usage rates in exchange for an extra yearly payment), or any combination thereof. Service Level Agreement (SLA) - The uptime SLA offered (regardless of past performance), in percentage points. Number of Datacenters - The number of datacenters offered as a choice when deploying cloud servers. Certifications - If the vendor has compliance- and security-related certifications, such as PCI or SAS 70. Scale Up - If it is possible to scale up individual cloud server instances by adding more memory, extra CPUs or more storage space.
Free Tier - If the provider has a "free trial" tier that customers can use to test the service.
Supported operating systems - The number of supported operating systems, regardless of version, available as a pre-configured image. Cost of Outbound Data Transfer - The cost, in US$, for each GB of outbound data sent from the server.
This table can be further used to, for instance, create a numerical scoring system for the different providers. Though a lot of providers offer comparison tables on their websites, these are biased towards the features they have that their competition doesn't. I also discovered some interesting tools that allow anyone to do comparisons on current and historical availability of cloud services, as well as to compare response delays and some other metrics. This comparison is far from authoritative or complete, and didn't follow any official research methodology. Finally, if you think there are other providers, or important criteria that should be added, or even information that could change the results I came up with, please share with us in the comments.
After working for a database company for 8 years, Thoran Rodrigues took the opportunity to open a cloud services company.
Network-attached storage pioneer NetApp is pushing back against the army of upstart makers of hybrid and all-flash storage arrays with upgrades to its FAS line of hybrid devices, extending the performance and scalability of its high end and offering more cost-effective arrays at the low end. The company has not yet announced its new FlashRay all-flash machines, which will sport a new design and which will be aimed at workloads that need low latency that is consistent and predictable. While all-flash arrays are all the rage these days, for many workloads and for many budgets, hybrid arrays that mix disk and flash are a better option, and hence NetApp is still peddling such devices, which it calls the FAS Unified Storage arrays. The new top-end of its hybrid array lineup is the FAS8080 EX, which sports Intel's latest "Ivy Bridge" Xeon E5 v2 processors as their main controller engines to run the ONTAP storage operating system.
The key thing about this high-end array – and indeed any hybrid array – is that by shifting to a mix of SATA disks and flash storage, NetApp says it can lower the cost per terabyte on the array by more than 40 percent over all-disk arrays based on more expensive SAS drives. And if you really need screaming performance and scale-out capability, NetApp is perfectly happy to sell you an all-flash version of the FAS8080 EX, which will top out at more than 4.6 PB – yes, that is petabytes – of flash storage in the drive bays.
For the most part, the FAS line is designed for hybrid disk and flash, but that does not mean they cannot compete against all-flash arrays. All-flash variants of the FAS8000 series have been adopted by customers to drive large transactional databases and for virtual desktop infrastructure, where high IOPS and low latency are key. Like other NetApp products running the clustered Data ONTAP operating system, this big array supports Storage Virtual Machines, or SVMs, which provide multitenancy within the array, isolating multiple customers from each other. At the other end of the spectrum, the new FAS2500 series replaces the existing FAS2200 machines, and these are designed for hybrid or disk-only.
The FAS2500 series are for sale now, and the FAS8080 EX will be available around the end of July. Here are some interesting tidbits of information to consider able NetApp and flash storage. Though it printed well (and quickly enough!) in our trials, this mid-to-high-volume laser all-in-one is held back by its cost per page. If recent developments at Dell are an indication of what the company thinks about the differences between these two models, the answers to those questions are complicated.
Beyond the basic connectivity options, you can also connect to the printer via a couple of mobile peer-to-peer options, such as Wi-Fi Direct for connecting compatible devices directly, or Near-Field Communication (NFC) for touch-to-print capabilities from compatible mobile devices. One of this MFP’s more impressive features is its 50-sheet, auto-duplexing automatic document feeder (ADF). The spacious, easy-to-use control panel, anchored by a 4.3-inch color touch screen, sits just in front of the ADF. The TILA-RESPA integrated disclosure rule replaces four disclosure forms with two new ones. Ensures compliance with Federal consumer financial laws by supervising market participants and bringing enforcement actions when appropriate. Provides, through a variety of initiatives and methods, information to consumers that will allow them to make decisions that are best for them.
The CFPB is a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives. Inform the public, policy makers, and the CFPB’s own policy-making with data-driven analysis of consumer finance markets and consumer behavior.
Strategies and investments that lay out the actions we will take to accomplish our outcomes. Prior to Congress enacting the Dodd-Frank Act, consumer financial protection had not been the primary focus of any one federal agency, and no agency could set the rules for the entire financial market. Industry structure is always changing, and therefore, so too will the number of institutions that fall under the CFPB’s supervisory authority. Develop and maintain an efficient fact-based approach to developing, evaluating, revising, and finalizing regulations.
Develop a rule-writing team with highly advanced skills in relevant and specialized legal and business areas. Work with consumers and industry stakeholders on developing regulations to implement existing Federal consumer financial laws effectively. These are some of the images that we found within the public domain for your "Vehicle Check Out Sheet" keyword. We have provided the original source link for you to also credit the image(s) owner as we have done here.
In a world where resources are scarce and urban areas consume the vast majority of these resources, it is vital to make cities greener and more sustainable. Home Area Networks: These typically use short range standards, with operating frequencies in the ISM bands. Smart energy metering: NFC-enabled post-pay electricity meters were deployed in the city of Chongqing, China, which enable consumers to read their smart meters with an NFC phone. Thingspeak [35]: Thingspeak is a platform which enables users to upload information from their sensor nodes to the Cloud.
Managing a large media library becomes really difficult, when you have multiple devices such as a desktop PC, a MAC, an Android phone, an iPad or tablets. Many websites offer an overview of cloud services, such as Justcloud Review, which discuss the benefits of using the internet to store your music library. Cloud services are excellent ways to share music with friends, family and friends on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter. Now, using cloud services, your music files are available to you from your smart phone, tablet, laptop and desktop or any computer with Internet. Music files take up quite a bit of space on your hard drive particularly the space on smaller hard drives such as smart phones and tablets. From servers and infrastructure to office software, a lot of IT is now sold on a cloud-based, service model. They typically make heavy investments in data centers and other infrastructure, and then rent it out, allowing consumers to avoid investments of their own. They were selected based both on my knowledge of companies in this space and based on the availability of information about them on the web. The more options provided, the better, but the pay-as-you-go model is the most interesting stand-alone option, since it allows for more fine-grained usage control. Some providers offer fully customizable servers in terms of CPU, these are listed as "configurable". By assigning numerical values to all dimensions, putting them into a 0-1 scale and then applying weights, it is possible to rank the providers according to the most desired characteristics. I didn't expect to find such a large variation between prices from one provider to the other, but they range from about US$ 40 to US$ 274. These tools can be found at CloudSleuth, a cloud comparison website (see Tajudeen Abubakr's overview of CloudSleuth).
Its objective is to serve as a starting point for people who are either new to the cloud and want to have a quick look at what different providers offer, as well as for people who are considering moving to a different provider. For two years his company has been providing services for several of the largest e-commerce companies in Brazil, and over this time he had the opportunity to work on large scale projects ranging from data retrieval to high-availability critical services. Please use newer version of your browser or visit Internet Explorer 6 countdown page for more information. These machines, as it turns out, also make competitive all-flash arrays if customers want to put SSDs instead of SATA drives in them. In a high-availability configuration, the FAS8080 EX has a total of 40 cores in the controller. The switch to a mix of SATA disks and flash lowers the cost of IOPS by nearly 20 percent and reduces power consumption by more than 25 percent.
Moffett says that the company has over 275 service providers and clouds that are using its arrays as back-end storage, which gives them the snapshotting and vaulting capabilities that corporate datacenters have when they deploy NetApp products. The architecture is the same: you have a pair of controllers mirrored for high availability and then you can scale up to two of these together on the FAS2520 or up to four with the FAS2552 and FAS2554. NetApp has sold 93 PB of flash storage to date, and pushed 18 PB of flash in its fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, which ended in April of this year.
As we said about the H625cdw, the H825cdw is an able-performing MFP with higher-than-average print quality, as well as a fairly competitive monochrome cost per page (CPP).
Conventional duplexing ADFs, after scanning the first side of a two-sided original, pull the document back inside the ADF, flip it, and then scan the other side. The Basic free service supports printing from and scanning to cloud sites, while the Premium service allows you to scan documents to searchable PDFs, as well as various Microsoft Office document formats.
We take in data, manage it, store it, share it appropriately, and protect it from unauthorized access.
This means developing and leveraging technology to enhance the CFPB’s reach, impact, and effectiveness.
Therefore, we invest in world-class training and support in order to create an environment that encourages employees at all levels to tackle complex challenges. We serve our colleagues by listening to one another and by sharing our collective knowledge and experience. We believe in investing in the growth of our colleagues and in creating an organization that is accountable to the American people. The result was a system without sufficiently effective rules or consistent enforcement of the law. The CFPB is designed to be agile and adjust its approach to supervising the financial industry in order to respond rapidly to changing consumer needs. Advanced systems to improve and automate processes within a city will play a leading role in smart cities.
IntroductionA smart city is a city which functions in a sustainable and intelligent way, by integrating all its infrastructures and services into a cohesive whole and using intelligent devices for monitoring and control, to ensure sustainability and efficiency [1]. Users create an account on the platform, register their devices, and get access to their sensor data as desired. How do you keep your music files in sync and access any file from any device at any given moment? You get access to your music files on your laptop, desktop and smart phone all using one cloud service.


If your laptop crashes, you still have your music in the cloud and can download it back when you repair your laptop. Next time you go to a party, you can share that new song you found with your friends and family. Saving these files to the cloud frees up much need hard drive space giving you more room on your computer and continuous access to your music files in the cloud. If its the first case, you won’t have to spend a dime, just create a Windows Live Skydrive account and store files up to 25 GB, absolutely free of cost.
It would be better to test the speed of your mobile’s internet speed first and then take a decision. This means that any comparison of cloud providers can not only be very complex, but can also end up measuring companies that don't even compete with each other.
I ended up with 11 companies, ranging from the large and well known to smaller, newer ones. If we assume that every dimension has the same weight, and normalizing numerical values by the maximum (or minimum) value, the top three providers would be, in this order: Rackspace, OpSource and Amazon EC2. For some inexplicable reason, some companies also hide important and relevant information in weird places. In this sense, I tried to choose dimensions based on the foremost advantages claimed by cloud computing providers (ease of scalability, improved service levels, cost reductions) and on user concerns (security, compliance, monitoring, ease of access).
The controllers in the smaller FAS8020, FAS8040, and FAS8060 arrays are based on earlier "Sandy Bridge" Xeon E5 v1 processors.
The thing is, great connectivity—from a PC just next to the printer, or over your network, or via the Internet—is all well and good. But these kinds of discounts have a way of recurring over time, and now that the H825cdw and the H625cdw (with its current $50 off) cost the same, it set us thinking. Not this Dell ADF, though: It’s a “single-pass” mechanism, meaning that it can scan both sides of a page simultaneously using two separate scanning elements. That includes customizing the Web-based interface itself via color tiles, on which you can create, edit, arrange, and move options on the screen as desired. Currently, the Premium version is free, but that will probably change as the service becomes more widely used and further developed.
The Bureau is developing targeted outreach to groups that face particular challenges, as required by the Dodd-Frank Act.
Our aim is to use data purposefully, to analyze and distill data to enable informed decision-making in all internal and external functions. We strive to be recognized as an innovative, 21st century agency whose approach to technology serves as a model within government.
From smart design of buildings, which capture rain water for later use, to intelligent control systems, which can monitor infrastructures autonomously, the possible improvements enabled by sensing technologies are immense. In a world where population numbers are constantly rising, significantly driving the consumption of resources causing resource shortages and climate change, the incentive for innovative solutions is evident. For instance, nodes used for structural health monitoring, deployed in bridges and similar structures, can readily use this kind of harvesting. How do you make sure that your entire media library can be accessed from the internet, without you having to manually upload and sync all those Mp3 albums over and over again?
Never again will your favorite song be on your desktop computer when you want to listen to it in your car. While the largest and most well-known are focused on the general public, with fully on-line automated set-ups, there are also some niche players that cater only to the enterprise market, as well as smaller companies that resell infrastructure from larger ones, usually with some added services.
While this can reduce initial fears about moving to the cloud, it remains to be seen if they can sustain this level of service over time, and what will be the results if they can't.
I also tried to keep it as simple as possible so it would be easy to include new providers or new dimensions in the future.
Running the clustered Data ONTAP operating system, which allows for multiple NAS arrays to be clustered together to scale them out – much as organizations do for server workloads – the FAS8080 EX can scale up to 24 nodes (or 12 nodes in an HA configuration).
It’s too high for an ostensible midrange-to-high-volume MFP.If you’re okay with printing primarily black-and-white pages with a few color pages thrown in here and there, then fine.
We seek input from and collaborate with consumers, industry, government entities, and other external stakeholders.
The Dodd-Frank Act increased accountability in government by consolidating consumer financial protection authorities that had existed across seven different federal agencies into one, the newly formed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Ubiquitous sensing poses numerous challenges, which are of a technological or social nature.
Urban areas, in particular, are responsible for the major part of resource consumption, instigating an increasing need to create smarter infrastructures, in search of greener and more energy efficient urban dynamics. Sensing PlatformsWith the advent of ubiquitous sensing, various devices and platforms are currently available for this purpose. In that case, you have to opt in for a dedicated cloud music manager service e.g Amazon cloud drive, Google Music, Spotify and so forth. Finally, I thought I would see more companies with "free tier" offerings to allow for customer experimentation on cloud platforms. The full-on 24-node setup can have 17,280 disk drives with a maximum raw capacity of 69 PB, plus up to 432 TB of flash cache storage (called Virtual Storage Tier by NetApp) to accelerate data access. For essentially the same price, with the beefier model you get a higher maximum monthly duty cycle (50,000 pages, versus 38,000 in the H625cdw), as well as a somewhat faster page-per-minute (ppm) rating of 30ppm versus 25ppm.Aside from these somewhat modest differences, the larger H825cdw also supports a set of larger “XXL” toner cartridges. These page-description languages, or PDLs, are beneficial because they allow your printer to emulate a PostScript or PCL printer, which, in the desktop-publishing and graphic-design industries (both of which are very much alive) can be quite valuable.One use of both languages, for example, is to create color separations on high-end imaging and typesetting machines. These authorities include the ability to issue regulations under more than a dozen Federal consumer financial laws.
This paper presents an overview of the state of the art with regards to sensing in smart cities.
Solutions to these issues comprise of improvements to a majority of components of urban dynamics, as illustrated in Figure 1.It is predicted that the global economy will be significantly disproportionate due the growth of cities, with forecasts that by 2050 more than 6 billion people will live in urban areas [2]. Although ideas to implement these platforms have been around for decades, only recently have these systems been feasible from a cost perspective, driven by reduced manufacturing costs as well as low-cost electronic components such as radio transceivers, microcontrollers, microprocessors and sensors. HPCense's ultimate goal is to deploy more than a trillion sensors around the planet to collect a range of information such as seismic activity. At the same time, since most providers offer "pay-as-you-go" pricing models, customers can spin up an instance for a few hours, try the platform out, and then spin it down, all for a few dollars. In addition, with its strong single-pass document feeder and host of mobile-connectivity options, the H825cdw is designed more as an overall document-processing machine, not just a monochrome-page churner.Yet another thing to consider before going headlong into a laser or laser-class MFP purchase is, unless you’re required to have, or have a proclivity toward, true laser output, the ink-cost wars going on right now in both the low- and high-volume inkjet-printer sectors are pretty fierce.
Topics include sensing applications in smart cities, sensing platforms and technical challenges associated with these technologies. Sourcing these components in bulk becomes increasingly less expensive as technology progresses.Sensor nodes can be interfaced to a number of sensors. Smarter Planet is an IBM initiative which encourages companies to adhere to their solutions to improve the efficiency of their current systems.
The FAS8080 EX has 3 TB of cache memory on the controller nodes, and each controller has 32 GB of battery-backed non-volatile memory so data stored in this DDR3 cache can be preserved in the event of a power failure. As we pointed out in our H625cdw review, Epson offers a few printers with both color and monochrome CPPs under 1 cent, and HP and Brother are both getting into the low-cost bulk printing game.While we liked the H825cdw well enough, our take on it was much the same as it was on its smaller sibling. With the consolidation of existing and new authorities under one roof, the CFPB is now focused and equipped to prevent financial harm to consumers while promoting practices that benefit consumers across financial institutions. In an effort to provide a holistic view of how sensing technologies play a role in smart cities, a range of applications and technical challenges associated with these applications are discussed.
To solve these challenges, cities which are more resource efficient and technology driven, are necessary.Sensing is at the heart of smart infrastructures, which can monitor themselves and act on their own intelligently.
For instance, at utility's facilities, nodes deployed for condition monitoring can exploit vibrations for energy scavenging, as shown in [32].
These include building management solutions and IT infrastructures for scalable data storage. If, like many business users out there, all you require in the way of printing is a modest amount of black-and-white pages each month, with very few color prints, it can be a good pick, especially if you're a budget-minded small business and spot it on the same (or a close) sale as we did.
As some of these applications and technologies belong to different disciplines, the material presented in this paper attempts to bridge these to provide a broad overview, which can be of help to researchers and developers in understanding how advanced sensing can play a role in smart cities. Using sensors to monitor public infrastructures, such as bridges, roads and buildings, provides awareness that enables a more efficient use of resources, based on the data collected by these sensors. You'll also get the ability to process (scan, convert to editable text, and catalog) documents at a pretty good clip via the single-pass auto-duplexing ADF and optical character recognition (OCR) capabilities available at Dell Document Hub. Although this certainly presents itself as a solution to the addressing issue, the coverage issue is tightly coupled to the communication technology itself, which is inherently short range (in the order of hundred meters). In this context, properties from industrial control networks can be applied in these sensor networks for added robustness and reliability [25].
Amongst these scavenging techniques, harnessing energy from vibration is probably the most efficient approach. As sensors collect terabytes of information, this data needs to be aggregated and processed. Firstly, there needs to be a communication infrastructure in place for these sensors to communicate with each other. Dash7Dash7 is a promising standard for WSNs and is aimed at long distance, low power sensing applications. Wireless Sensor NetworksWireless sensor networks consist of wireless sensor nodes, which are devices equipped with a processor, a radio interface, an analog-to-digital converter, multiple sensors, memory and a power supply. With the recent technological advances in mobile computing, in the form of smartphones, the Cloud has become a critical element for data storage and processing. Secondly, what is the most efficient way to aggregate and process this data?Aspects related to sensing in smart cities as well as efficient processing of data collected by these sensors is discussed in the remainder of this paper. The general architecture of a wireless sensor node is illustrated in Figure 2.A range of open source sensor nodes are available to the research community. Internet of Things SystemsSensor nodes described in the previous section, typically send their data to a sink node, which in turn sends it to some sort of processing centre. In simple terms, the Cloud is a collection of platforms and infrastructures on which data is stored and processed, allowing users to retrieve and upload their data for a specific mobile application or computer program, at any location with available Internet access.
It is organized as follows: Sections 2 and 3 review the current state of sensing and enabling technologies, respectively.
Some of the most widely used sensor nodes recently in research are Mica, Mica2, IMote, Telos, TelosB, Stargate and IMote 2. These two components (sensing and processing) are not explicitly unified, from a WSN perspective.
Hence, the Cloud is a pool of resources accessible via the Internet.The ability of outsourcing processing power is particularly appealing, because resource intensive applications can be dispatched to the Cloud instead. In Section 4 existing sensing platforms for smart cities are discussed, and in Section 5 sensing applications in smart cities are discussed. For home area networks (HANs), for instance, this frequency is appealing, as it allows better penetration through walls than 2.4 GHz. Table 2 contains details on available sensor motes used in research and commercial applications.
From the perspective of ubiquitous computing and sensing, the Cloud is essential.For smart cities, combining the Cloud and sensors is crucial, so that the sensing data can be stored or processed. The utopia of WSNs is an extremely tiny low-power, low-cost sensor node which can be deployed in any environment, with sufficient battery power to last for a few years, with the capability to continuously sense its surroundings. Challenges and future directions are discussed in Section 7, and the paper is concluded in Section 8. Dash7 has received considerable attention for military applications, including substantial investments. In reality, even with recent advances in microelectronics, these have still not been realized. Nevertheless, to the best of our knowledge, there is no significant active academically driven research focused on Dash7. The only project to come close to this idea was Smart Dust, which was active up to the early 2000s [26].
The integration of sensor devices into the Internet requires IP compatible protocol stacks.The Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP) is an application layer protocol, specifically for energy constrained devices, described in [40]. A process is improved based on its environment and for a control system to be aware of its environment, it is typically fitted with an array of sensors, from which it collects the required data. 3G and LTEIn terms of existing wireless communication infrastructures, 3G and LTE, have available infrastructures worldwide, even in third world countries. The device in question (in this context, a sensor node) communicates with a CoAP client, which in turn communicates with a web server.
It then uses the appropriate variables to characterize its environment and adjusts its operations accordingly.The availability of a multitude of different sensors and continuously evolving technology enable applications that were infeasible in the past due to high costs and limited availability. These technologies are meant for broadband connectivity, and were not designed for short range, low power operation. Technology advances not only drive the innovation behind sensors, they also enable sufficient processing power for small-scale devices to which these sensors can be interfaced to at a relatively low cost. Although they have been adopted by mobile devices such as smartphones, these devices operate on a rechargeable battery, in contrast to sensor nodes which are ideally deployed sparsely, with no intention of charging or replacing batteries. In this context, if sensor nodes running CoAP are connected to the network, sensing data could be retrieved by a web browser through GET requests, in the same way a HTTP agent is queried.
From the perspective of the requirements for smart cities, wide availability of these technologies translates to a large number of opportunities in terms of sensing.As an example within the context of the smart city, meters to determine gas, electricity and water consumption have traditionally been mechanical. Furthermore, these services are provided by service providers and the data cost is still relatively expensive compared to their fixed line counterparts such as ADSL. Figure 3 illustrates how CoAP and HTTP co-exist.Efforts are made to integrate these services into each layer of the protocol stack, such as in Sensinode [13], where these are combined in the protocol stack. With millions of sensors uploading gigabytes or even terabytes (in case of video) of data to the cloud, these technologies are rendered infeasible for IoT. As with mechanical solutions, they must be robust, cheap, easy to maintain and reliable, as their readings will be used to determine billing.


In [42] a performance analysis on Sensor Web Enablement (SWE) protocols for data exchange between mobile devices for environmental monitoring applications is presented.
Electricity meter readings have evolved from the manual procedure of reading the mechanical meter, to automatic meter reading (AMR) which were deployed to reduce costs and improve the accuracy of meter readings, eventually to an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) which differs from the AMR in that it enables two-way communications with the meter, driven by a growing understanding of the benefits of two-way interactions between system operators, consumers and their loads and resources.A sensor is a converter which converts parameters of a physical nature to an electronic signal, which can be interpreted by humans or can be fed into an autonomous system. Hence, for these technologies to be adopted for sensor networks, power consumption has to be considered. These signals for conventional sensors, amongst others, include light, pressure, temperature, humidity, moisture and a variety of other parameters.More sophisticated sensors include accelerometers which can be used to measure acceleration and vibration. By analyzing the execution speed of the XML parsing process, and comparing to alternative formats, such as JSON, or EXI, with reductions in the file size in the order of 40% to 90%, as well as faster parsing times, it was concluded that EXI-C, even though it adds considerable overhead in processing times, results in greatly reduced message lengths. LTE, in particular, has been a main enabler of high performance M2M applications, due to coverage, high throughput and low latency. Apart from the integration of sensor devices onto the Web, another issue is the large volume of data due the large number of sensors.An example of Cloud architecture to solve the high volume data issue, named CLEVER, is presented in [43]. An even later generation of sensors is based on semiconductor physics and nano-technology, and intelligent sensing devices include, amongst others, smart phones.CMOS based sensing, due to the relative low cost, enables a range of smart sensors. This architecture allows the virtualization of different types of sensing structures so that a common interface can be used for multiple sensor networks. In [4], a smart temperature sensor with a one-point calibration technique and MOSFET circuits is proposed.
RFID and NFCWith regards to short range communication, there are two prominent technologies in the context of smart cities.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) consists of an RFID tag (which can be either passive or active), where data is stored, and an RFID reader, which induces an electromagnetic field when in near proximity to passive tags and by this means provides power to the devices (longer ranges for active tags), enabling it to read data from the tag's memory. Other CMOS-based sensor applications include monitoring the quality of food products, by observing the temperature and time of exposure, which are parameters related to the quality of food products [5].
RFID enables a range of applications for smart cities, such as localization and tracking of objects [14], healthcare applications [15], asset management [16] and smart parking [17], to name a few. Within the context of the smart city, these devices can also sense air and water quality, amongst others.In particular, stick-on or printed sensors can be attached to devices as labels to measure various physical parameters, such as humidity [6], temperature [7] and gas [8].
As the circuitry in tags is printed, it is natural to integrate these tags with smart label sensors, therefore creating RFID tags which do not only contain data which has been manually written, but they also capture environmental data as described in [9]. C-SENSOR is compliant with SWE and it interacts with sensor data in an event-based or on-demand fashion. A Host Manager directly interfaces with the sensor network and a Cluster Manager, which interacts with the system's front-end and database. Additionally, because passive tags are inexpensive, these can be deployed in very large numbers for pervasive sensing. Each sensor network is virtualized as a virtual pervasive element (VPE), which is an integral part of the Host manager.
For instance, on a single flexible foil, a multi-parameter sensor for temperature, humidity and gas, using flexible polyimide foils, is proposed in [9], with the capability of sensing propane and similar gases.
Furthermore, the passive nature of these tags translates to low cost and low power consumption, as these tags only need to be powered when needed.Near Field Communication (NFC) is used in mobile and similar devices, for a very short bi-directional communication range (in contrast with RFID which is unidirectional). A possible application for these sensors, as indicated in [9], is humidity monitoring, by embedding these sensors into construction materials, or environmental monitoring [10], an important capability for smart cities.Nano-technology, although mostly applicable for bio-sensing applications, is a key enabling technology for sensor development, as advances in nano-technology will undoubtedly drive development in MEMS and photonics, inevitably leading to the development of highly sophisticated but low-cost sensors.
This technology will enable applications where not only an individual's surroundings can be sensed, but also the person's health, at high granularity, for instance, and linked to social networks.The ever increasing number of smartphones opens up a totally new sensing scenario. The recent integration of NFC into smartphones has enabled a range of applications which facilitate day-to-day activities and enable smart living. Water Distribution SystemsWater (along with electricity) is one of the most important resources in urban areas. Smartphones are fitted with a variety of sensors such as GPS, gyroscopes, accelerometers and compasses, enabling a variety of crowd sourcing applications, which will eventually be augmented by the Internet of Things. A selection of general applications which have emerged with NFC is given:The most predominant application of NFC is the digital wallet.
From supplying residential customers to public infrastructures, such as public parks, the distribution of water has to be done efficiently and has to be regulated.
Furthermore, efficient quality control has to be performed to ensure that water is safe for human consumption.
A typical water distribution system consists of a water collecting point (such as a river or lake), storage facilities (such as reservoirs) and a distribution network, which typically consists of pipes (placed either above or underground and underwater) connecting water collecting points, storage facilities, to the customers' premises.These distribution systems are in essence non-intelligent. For instance, if there is a leak in one of the distribution pipes, it can be tricky to diagnose the system early enough to detect the fault, especially if it is not readily visible (in case of underground pipes for instance). Enabling TechnologiesSome technical issues regarding communication between sensor nodes still have to be resolved.
In the context of the Internet of Things (IoT), the communication between sensors nodes has to be wireless, as cabling costs for millions of sensors is impractical and extremely expensive. Possible locations to deploy sensors and parameters of interest, from a monitoring perspective, in water distribution systems, are shown in Figure 4. Low power communication standards, suitable for an extremely large number of devices and their heterogeneity, are necessary.
Examples of such applications include monitoring the content level in reservoir tanks, leak detection and monitoring the water quality at specific points along the distribution system.For pipeline monitoring, the method shown in [44] consists of sensors deployed around the pipeline for continuous monitoring. In particular, depending on location and necessary coverage, there are a number of different networks in smart cities. Typically, three parameters used to indicate faults in pipelines are vibration, pressure, sound (made by the liquid as it leaks) and water flow [45].
In [46], a WSN monitors hydraulic, flow and acoustic data, as well as water quality, with nodes deployed at strategic locations along the pipeline and also in sewers to determine content levels.For pressure sensing, this system uses a piezo-resistive sensor and for measuring water pH (for quality monitoring purposes), a glass electrode is used.
For water level monitoring, an ultrasonic sensor was placed on top of the collector, and two pressure transducers were placed at the bottom [45].
These sensors are deployed along the pipes as shown in Figure 5.The collected data is then analyzed to search for leaks. By analyzing the pressure data using Haar Wavelet transforms, pressure pulses along the pipe can be detected to determine whether bursts occurred and their approximate location.
Since sensors are typically placed apart and by cross-correlating the data collected by neighbor nodes, and considering time differences due to the sensors' spatial positioning, the location of a leak can be determined. As these analysis methods require considerable processing resources, the data collected is analyzed remotely and not locally on the sensor nodes. Other methods consist of placing meters inside the pipe to determine liquid flow [47].Hence, integrated sensing, processing and actuators results in an intelligent structure, where the actuator's decisions do not require human intervention. The data is collected by the sensing agent, analyzed, classified and an intelligent decision is carried out by the actuator.
Electricity Distribution SystemsConventional electricity distribution systems are in essence non-intelligent.
Typically, these energy distribution infrastructures provide unidirectional flows, from the generating station to the customers. The amount of supplied electricity is estimated or predicted, through previous available data, in order to perform load shedding for instances where the demand exceeds the supply.An improvement to the conventional distribution scheme is a bi-directional system, in the sense that electricity flows from the utility to the client's premises and vice versa. A more efficient use of energy is then possible, whereby electricity can flow back to the utility (to be stored for later use) in cases of low demand. The concept of distributed generation enables a scenario where, instead of having a centralized generation scheme, additional electricity generation points can be located closer to customers, therefore reducing the impact of losses on electricity transportation over long distances.
Additionally, this enables more innovative demand response programs to be put into action.In contrast to conventional power grids, smart grids introduce many improvements. Firstly, smart grids have self-monitoring capabilities [48], where sensors can be deployed anywhere along the distribution network, in locations such as substations or overhead transmission lines, for instance. Sensor data can then be used to report relevant events (in terms of performance and reliability) back to appropriate entities. An important sensing application in smart grid, amongst others, is the monitoring of overhead transmission lines.
For instance, systems like STAMP [49] sense the temperature, sag and tension values of an overhead line in real time and determine the state, or health, of the line from these measurements (illustrated in Figure 6). STAMP achieves this using a distributed temperature system (DTS) and thermocouples for temperature measurements, a laser range finder to detect sag and ground clearance, and two load cells to monitor tension. These parameters have to be carefully monitored to ensure that the conductor is operating at its ampacity rating, which is dependent on temperature.Furthermore, parameters such as voltage, current and phase can be determined through voltage and current sensors, such as medium voltage (MV) sensors [50], placed directly on the transmission lines, or non-intrusive sensors, which measure magnetic field variations. An example of a stick-on, low-cost sensor for such purposes is proposed in [51], which can be readily deployed in transformers and overhead conductors.
Smart Buildings and HomesIn an effort to promote green living and sustainability, there are various initiatives to decrease energy consumption in buildings.
In this context, methods to significantly reduce energy consumption in buildings are various, from intelligent systems to smart design. These are necessary because buildings (especially with the easy accessibility to inexpensive electrical appliances or other electronic devices such as computers, etc.) consume a very large portion of generated electricity. In particular, heat, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) constitutes the largest contributors to increased consumption. Hence, sensing is crucial in buildings for appropriate actions to reduce consumption can take place. For building automation systems, for instance, before an appropriate action can take place (which could be dimming lights or switching of air conditioning) the state of the environment has to be properly assessed.
Energy sensing measurements are interfaced with a smart meter for accurate consumption reports. Approach to Energy SensingAccurate power usage measurement at the load side requires appropriate sensing.
Additionally, the existence of a bi-directional grid enables the use of smart meters at customer premises. Determining how much power electrical appliances and electronic devices are utilizing is crucial. With distributed sensing, a sensor is placed on each appliance, which means that although measurements will be more accurate, it is an expensive approach due to installation and maintenance costs.
Single-point sensing, in contrast to distributed sensing, measures voltage and current entering a household. By monitoring raw current and voltage waveforms, and subsequently performing feature extraction on these measurements, a classification algorithm can be used to determine which appliances are on or off, by comparing the measurements to existing device signatures. For intermediate sensing, smart breaker devices are installed in a household's circuit panel to provide a more detailed analysis of consumption. Other sensing approaches described in [52] are based on voltage signatures, where voltage noise signatures or current signatures are used to classify operation of electrical appliances, by observing the spectral envelope of the harmonics and comparing these observations to existing templates. Correlation between Demand Prediction and Weather ConditionsThe concept of Smart World as an interconnection of smart infrastructures is introduced in [53].
This concept includes sensing a range of parameters describing the earth's state, such as environmental pressure, temperature, radiation and similar parameters which can be exploited by the global community to improve the efficiency of services provided to the community.For instance, accurate demand prediction is necessary to avoid rolling blackouts or similar measures when demand exceeds supply. With regard to demand prediction, the correlation between weather (which is typically characterized by temperature, pressure, humidity and wind speed and direction) and demand, or human behavior, is of particular interest.
It is found that the highest correlation weather variables with power consumption are temperature, global solar radiation and humidity [53], for different times of the day and seasons. This is correlated with the usage of appliances, as heaters, geysers and air conditioners tend to comprise a large percentage of a house's electricity consumption, and the use of these appliances is correlated with seasons. By using environmental data and intelligent agents to help predict load, it is possible to achieve greatly improved demand prediction. Occupancy and User ContextThe most basic action when it comes to occupancy is to determine whether there are people in a room or not.
These sensors include passive-infrared (PIR) sensors [54] or more sophisticated camera based methods such as the methods shown on [55], where people can be actively counted to determine occupancy numbers and locations.
Apart from occupancy, another important feature is the user context, as highlighted in [56].
This can be achieved by behavior activity classification using video cameras for instance, as shown in [57]. The data from these sources enables an appropriate plan of action with regards to the people in the room. For instance, lights in corridors, elevators, and or other facilities can be dimmed if there is no human activity, hence reducing the overall energy consumption.
Indoor MonitoringOf interest are also the buildings' ambient temperature and ambient lighting. For instance, with light emitting diodes (LEDs) lamps, the intensity can be reduced in cases where ambient light, from open windows for instance, is sufficient.
These windows are made of tintable material which reacts to changes in the environment [58], and can reflect or absorb light, depending on an external electrical stimulus. This is a simple example of how energy consumption can be reduced by smart design.Indoor temperature can also be monitored so that parameters in the HVAC system can be adjusted to meet specified temperatures, described by predefined set-points. For these purposes, humidity and temperature are deployed in strategic positions to collect the required data for actuation.The smart thermostat proposed in [59] is an example of a combination of sensors and actuators in the smart building context. The thermostat is coupled with motion sensors to detect occupancy and then creates an optimal setback schedule based on this collected data for autonomous operation.In [60] a ZigBee based HVAC control system is described for ensuring an adequate comfort level in buildings, using machine learning techniques. Sensor nodes are equipped with temperature and humidity sensors, from which data is collected at one-minute intervals and sent to a logging system.
This data is clustered and matched to user feedback, where users can indicate their current comfort level. In the control phase, the control system and clusters classified as uncomfortable can be moved to the closest comfortable cluster.Apart from monitoring and controlling HVAC systems, it is also necessary to monitor electrical appliances, to detect any faults and to be able to assess current operating status remotely, and having the appliances wirelessly connected to each other in a home area network (HAN). Furthermore, these systems can be connected to social networks to share notifications, enabling remote monitoring.



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Comments

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