Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 8th May 2012 23:42 UTC, submitted by M.Onty
OSNews, Generic OSes "An operating system designed to power the smart cities of the future will be put through its paces in London. Living Plan IT has developed its Urban OS to provide a platform to connect services and citizens. With partners including Hitachi, Phillips and Greenwich council, it aims to use the Greenwich peninsula as a testbed for new technologies running on the system. The OS aims to connect key services such as water, transport, and energy." UrbanOS goes way over my head - it'd be great if someone could summarise how it works and what its key aspects are.
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Buzzwords, buzzwords, and more buzzwords
by Neolander on Wed 9th May 2012 00:15 UTC
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08
There's not much to it...
by kwan_e on Wed 9th May 2012 02:14 UTC
kwan_e
Member since:
2007-02-18

A bunch of sensors and measuring equipment are placed all around the city. They're controlled in one spot. A bunch of software interprets the data. Then there are user software that allows people to use the data.

Reply Score: 2

I've seen that before...
by zima on Wed 9th May 2012 03:25 UTC
zima
Member since:
2005-07-06

Judging from one of the image files on the UrbanOS summary page ( http://living-planit.com/images/UOSimages/Layered%20Architectur... ), it appears that the key aspect, the core idea, is... to build a real world SimCity (the isometric graphic ones)

I'm not sure I like it - though of course, ultimately, that will depend on who "plays" it, and what disasters the "game" throws at them (what would fit London? Flood? The Blitz? Daleks? Royal wedding? Luckily we're not talking about Tokyo & Godzilla-like monsters). Or, at least, in depends if I'm anywhere close to London.

I wonder if it will have portable terminals in the style of SimCity DS - say, for the mayor and other top staff.

And last but not least: achievements!

Reply Score: 3

RE: I've seen that before...
by Wafflez on Wed 9th May 2012 14:48 UTC in reply to "I've seen that before..."
Wafflez Member since:
2011-06-26

Ha ha, you ride to work with your bike instead of driving, SMS gets delivered:

Achievement Unlocked: Saving the Planet

Would be epic.

Reply Score: 1

Earl Colby pottinger Member since:
2005-07-06

The important thing to remember is to never be in London during Christmas!

Reply Score: 2

Security?
by obsidian on Wed 9th May 2012 03:44 UTC
obsidian
Member since:
2007-05-12

"... aims to connect key services such as water, transport and energy."

Security will be very important for this.
As soon as I saw this, I thought "Stuxnet or similar malware would have a field-day with this setup."

I'm aware that Stuxnet is a Windows-specific thing, but still....

That's what Living Plan IT will need to think about.

Reply Score: 3

it is a...
by _QJ_ on Wed 9th May 2012 11:44 UTC
_QJ_
Member since:
2009-03-12

It is a... Its is a... Blob...

A blob based on CISCO ISR routers, Windows Server, SQL server, UOS, bla, bla bla, APIs, bla bla bla.

Wondering the leaning curve on this... er...

Don't have words to call this.       8-@

Reply Score: 2

RE: it is a...
by Soulbender on Wed 9th May 2012 21:20 UTC in reply to "it is a..."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

A blob based on CISCO ISR routers, Windows Server, SQL server, UOS,


In other words, the worst in show.

Reply Score: 2

hrmm
by TheNerd on Wed 9th May 2012 12:12 UTC
TheNerd
Member since:
2007-06-30

I could see this being useful under certain circumstances. Mainly giving the city an infrastructure that can be centrally monitored from one location. Something similar to what cities do with disparate systems now such as power, rail, water etc... Maybe they would use this to monitor it all from once centralized location.

Unfortunately, this seems like it would be a prime target for hacking. I hope that cities who use this are smart and start off slow and take precautions (over and above the OS) to ensure that data traveling on this system is protected. However, being an eternal pessimist, leads me to think that there will be breaches quick and often.

Reply Score: 1

RE: hrmm
by Laurence on Wed 9th May 2012 13:23 UTC in reply to "hrmm"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I could see this being useful under certain circumstances. Mainly giving the city an infrastructure that can be centrally monitored from one location. Something similar to what cities do with disparate systems now such as power, rail, water etc... Maybe they would use this to monitor it all from once centralized location.

Unfortunately, this seems like it would be a prime target for hacking. I hope that cities who use this are smart and start off slow and take precautions (over and above the OS) to ensure that data traveling on this system is protected. However, being an eternal pessimist, leads me to think that there will be breaches quick and often.


It's not outside breaches I'd be worried about - it's the system becoming self aware.

eg you run a red light; the OS gets pissed off with you and then floods your house.

Seriously though, last time I read up on UrbanOS the documentation was light on detail about their security / safety protocols. I too hope there is some pretty advanced (and upgradable) systems in place and that they're not just relying on security by obscurity.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: hrmm
by TheNerd on Wed 9th May 2012 13:36 UTC in reply to "RE: hrmm"
TheNerd Member since:
2007-06-30

Start planning your defenses now because it will become self aware. It also throws another meaning at the phrase "going off the grid".

But in all seriousness, I haven't seen too much about the security either. I could have missed something but do we even know if it's written from the ground up or a pseudo os running on top of Windows or Linux?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: hrmm
by Soulbender on Wed 9th May 2012 21:17 UTC in reply to "RE: hrmm"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Seriously though, last time I read up on UrbanOS the documentation was light on detail about their security / safety protocol


This usually means "we didn't think of it so lets pray and hope for the best".

Reply Score: 2

RE: hrmm
by bouhko on Wed 9th May 2012 13:39 UTC in reply to "hrmm"
bouhko Member since:
2010-06-24

Even though I'm concerned with security, I find this really interesting in term of monitoring / consumption prediction. I imagine a statistical analysis of all those sensors could lead to a lot of optimizations in the way power/water/whatever is distributed, constructed and so on.

Now, regarding the security, I'd say that if it is only used for _monitoring_, security is probably not such a big deal. I mean there are still risk that some hacker fake the statistics or spy someone's power consumption, but I don't see any major security risk there. Plus, if my city would put such a system in place, I'd except the data to be public anyway.

Now, if it's really used to actually control the distributions, it's a completely different story.

Ah yeah, it has too many buzzwords too, but I guess they had to find a way to sell it :-D

Reply Score: 1

The answer
by aargh on Wed 9th May 2012 20:26 UTC
aargh
Member since:
2009-10-12

> it'd be great if someone could summarise how it works and what its key aspects are.

Obviously:

http://stargate.wikia.com/wiki/Atlantis

Reply Score: 1