Sunday, July 30, 2006

Top ten proliferated new technologies by 2020

"In the year 2020 -- the death of locality and other predictions", from Infoworld with extras in bold by yours truly. Infoworld's writer had a talk with Hossein Eslambolchi, former president of AT&T Labs and CTO for the company. This is his/their top 10, except I have added my comment to Infoworld's.

Number 10 -- Next generation speech recognition and Natural Language Understanding [NLU] will redefine human machine interface. Comment: I hope it comes before then, I'm sick of typing. On the other hand I get a sore throat and what happens? Perhaps some more direct mind-machine interface would do the trick?

Number 9 -- Knowledge mining will transform the way we do business. By 2010 individual databases will store 5 terabytes to 10 terabytes of data. By 2020 Eslambolchi says a single database will contain 100 petabytes of data. Comment: can't argue against this one, it's happening as we speak (or write). Tell us something new!

Number 8 -- Open source components at network edge will dominate. Stuff that sits on the edge now, like security and XML messaging will be integrated into the heart of the network and new things will appear at the edge. Comment: hmmm, not very convincing. What's the new stuff? Should we be that concerned about where stuff "sits"? Will we even have an "edge" to consider by 2020?

Number 7 -- Broadband will be common -- death of locality. Comment: well, yeah. Once we cure famine and war we will have the death of locality. In lucky western countries we already have reasonable broadband and it doesn't matter much where you are. I am in Australia. Can you tell? But it matters in Lebanon right now, don't you think?

Number 6 -- e-collaboration and P2P will dominate the workplace. Infoworld says: Maybe. Comment: As we Kazaa and Skype our P2P way through our day now, this is a no brainer. Similarly with e-coolaboration. Like we do it now, so why should it not persist? It will proliferate. It will remain difficult to plough a field e-cooperatively but I'm sure tractors will be electronically, remotely controlled, guided by GPS and absolutely brilliant by 2020. We'll all want one.

Number 5 -- Sensor networks will proliferate. "Yes, if you sneeze into a tissue there will be a sensor on the tissue and you'll find an email in your inbox when you get home asking if you want to reorder". Comment: like we need to waste the world's resources on all those throw-away sensors. Better bet - the box counts the tissues and suggests a reorder, and the new tissues come sans-box.

Number 4 -- Wireless Internet Access will grow exponentially. Sounds obvious but Eslambolchi says gaps will be filled in over the next gen. Comment: still seems obvious. Barring a better way being developed, makes sense. Not earth-shaking. Burying/hanging copper made sense under the old water/power utility model. Thinking of which, what about data via the power lines? Talk about ubiquity...

Number 3 -- Networks will become personal. Wireless IP networks will create a new class of personal devices and services. A network dedicated to you. Infoworld supposes its 'like a personal portal on steroids'. Comment: I think we can all see this one happening. Loads of people have personal LANS, it's just an extension of the obvious.

Number 2 -- Security requirements will continue to increase. Comment: no way! Surely not? Are they wasting bandwidth writing this stuff? I'm beginning to think I am!

And Infoworld says that "the number 1 technology change we will see by the year 2020 is --
Emerging networks and the Internet will be ready for the "sextuple" play. Voice, video, data, wireless, gaming and sensory information". Comment: Go on, tell us more. Did someone have a slow news day? I'm sorry I just added to it! Anyone out there want to prognosticate with vision and insight, rather than stating the blindingly obvious??

Neverthess, as Infoworld says, "go forth and build a business around one of these. You can't lose". Indeed, it's a pretty safe bet you'll have a market. You may have to fight for your marketshare and the return on investment may be poor, but... hmmm. There's no free lunch here, folks. This is leveraging what's already well on its way with many players already claiming rights.Grab a niche or go for a big play, or perhaps build something compelling and new that leverages off these no brainers. Your choice.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Blogging gives me another reason to write. As I do want to write, and I want to practise writing, it seems to me that any method is better than no method. Blogging is a style, one that I break regularly. There's an etiquette as well, which I choose to ignore. The point to me is that I can write what I want, when and where I want. Now I always could - and did - do that. However now my scraps of paper are not filed away in a folder but published on the web. Apart from added colour and motion I have gained a small readership. Potentially, anyway. Somehow it's both inspiring and limiting to have this level of openness. Inspiring that what I write will be viewed and critiqued, and limiting in the sense that now what I write is not just for me. So I tend to edit a bit more harshly. Or not. It's my choice, and I am aware of it.

Anyway, most of my recent writing has been in my blogs. I blog about writing, photography, business, cars and bike racing. Plus I rant and rave. Or just share opinions. There's some overlap, but mostly they stay on track. Feel free to critique.