There was a large group this morning at the CTO Breakfast arranged by
. It was fun to see people from Novell (even some ex-Novell
employees) and even a friend of mine from SCO. This was probably
one of the largest groups of people that we have had at one of these
breakfasts. A good sign of interest!
Phil kicked off the conversation with a reference to a proposal in North Dakota
to float cell phone “towers” over the state using weather
balloons. I brought up a conversation from the 2005 Gilder Telecosm Conference this year where Klein Gilhousen, Co-founder; Senior Vice President, Technology,
of Qualcomm talked about the
Katrina disaster in New Orleans which left lots of people with cell phones
… with no way to call out due to the towers being down. He
talked about hanging cell towers from helicopters, and also
implementing peer-to-peer mesh networking in cell phone handsets. Cool … I just found that can hear the Klein Gilhousen Telecosm 2005 audio.
I then brought up the Pop!Tech podcast “Mind and Body” podcast from ITConversations about the coming man machine interfaces. The story of Jesse Sullivan
is an amazing thing to listen to. It details how far we have
progressed in using computer systems to monitor nerve activity for the
operation of artificial limbs. The doctor presenting talked about how
they can now move nerves from the upper arm, and split and “regrow”
them into muscle in the side of the chest. These nerves can then
be monitored … and the computer tranlates the signals into control
signals for the artificial limbs. Watch the videos in the link
and you’ll see how amazing the research is. The coolest part of
the conversation was when they discovered that the sensory nerves were also growing! So they can even add artificial senses to the artificial limbs!
We then got off talking about DVDs, and the growth of storage.
When I mentioned that I had seen the 320GB SATA drives at Costco for ~$179.00, Eric Smith brought up the ~$700 Buffalo Technology TeraStation
storage server that he bought. Ok … that is a cool. I
turn-key terabyte storage server for under $1000! Ok … and
where will we be in 5-10 years? When will a turn-key petabyte
storage server fall below $1000?
Bruce Grant then moved into a conversation about psuedo-AI. He is
implementing a version of the “application substrate” ideas that we
developed when we were both at SCO. The core concept is to create
a set of portable component services that can be replicated, migrated,
and connected in various ways to provide composite services. He
is now looking for ways to create emergent services … or simple ways
for the average person to define some sort of high-level goal, and have
the services create paths of connectivity automatically to create
solutions. He’s working on some very cool stuff …
The topic of “thin-client vs. thick-client” came up when someone asked
if we are about to see the turn back to “thick clients”, or to “thin
clients”. This got me thinking, and I suggested that what we are
actually watching is the natural progression of our perception
of a “thick client” until the substrate that it exists on evolves more
capacity. At this point we perceive the client as “thin”.
e.g. when we didn’t have much processing power, a browser would be
thought of as “fat” … now that we have so much processing power, AJAX
is referred to as a “thin” client. When processing and memory
evolves forward further, virtualization will continue to evolve where
running multiple entire instances of operating systems will be thought
of as “thin”! My three year old son is going to be laughing 10-15
years from now when we talk about the platform limitations that we are
experiencing now. What we perceive as a fat client today, will be seen as a background task 10 years from now.
One of the guys from Novell brought up No Machine
… a VNC-like solution for remote desktop computing. Another
person brought up what Microsoft has been working on with their UI technologies, and also the AJAX Dojo
project … all various directions that UI, remote UI, and AJAX are continuing to make distributed netowrked computing occur.
From mobile devices we got talking about child ren using them, the
user interfaces, and the way that children quickly adapt to new
experiences. We got onto the conversation about children and
computers, and that children often are more interested in the games on
DVDs then the movie content itself! They seem to be wanting the
constant interaction and challenge. I joked that eventually
children are going to want more and more
interactive media that ultimately they will realize that the most
amazing, realistic interactive media is life itself! They will realize
going out the front door of their house will immerse them in the
richest multimedia experience possible! Phil Burns brought up a
book called Natural Born Cyborgs where he said that this is one of the core topics of the book.
Hamachi was brought up as a
solution for encrypted peer-to-peer communications. This looks
pretty cool and appears to be yet another growing start-up on the
Internet. I always question a solution like this when it’s not
Open Source code … what am I really installing on my machine?
There are a lot more topics that were discussed … as usual too much
to write about. I have to admit that I like to see the continuing
tech culture growing here in Utah. There are more and more events
where you can find people who are in tune with what is going on in the
world and the Internet.
… thanks for creating this breakfast!