Urban OS makes cities smarter
A recent project aims at developing dedicated operating systems for cities. With the help of sensors scattered across the future intelligent metropolis, the platform – named Urban OS – could better integrate systems and services, and improve resource management and consumption, while reducing expenditure on infrastructure development and maintenance.
It would probably also enhance urban dwellers’ interaction with public services such as transportation, and increase population retention and quality and diversity of social life.
While a research firm considers that the necessary conditions for a city to effectively be intelligent are the smart economy, environment, governance, lifestyle, transportation and community, it is interesting to note the lack of any mention of a concept that is already a common practice among the majority of computer users– OS security.
Of course, one could imply that as long as the system is completely autonomous by circumventing today's individuals involved in communicating, manipulating and analyzing the data that currently govern the infrastructure and services there would be no need to worry. Sure, the chances that a science-fiction apocalyptic scenario starring the giant mainframe computer taking over the city by its own will are almost inexistent.
But the possibility of a dark mastermind infiltrating the network through a breach and annihilating an entire metropolis with the help of several lines of code is more likely. And we've all witnessedit, not only in the “fire sale” depicted by the action drama movies, but also in recent history, when the Stuxnet worm crippled Iran’s nuclear program. If that was the result of a single worm attacking several computers, what would the outcome of a malware attacking the OS of an entire city?
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