Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Monday, March 9, 2009

Shameless self-promotion

So, on the off hand chance this blog remains in someone's blog roll, I am posting a link to my STA Internship contest video.

Marvel at the streaming HD video!

Gasp at the sweeping vistas!

Comment to increase my youtube notoriety!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Looks like I was right about those cell phone companies.

This story from Reuters covers cell phone conglomorate opposition to the FCC's proposal to auction off frequencies for free wireless internet.

Here's my original story.

T-mobile is claiming the free broadband internet would cause "radio interference." That excuse sounds pretty weak to me; I'm thinking "profit interference" would be more accurate.

-Robot Crusoe

Sunday, August 17, 2008


My life is over.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Free the geeks! Or moving the web out of our homes and into the world.

Imagine a World Wide Web that you access everywhere, all the time, without ever sitting behind a computer.   

I think that's the future, but in order for it to happen, we need a new paradigm regarding the Internet.

Excepting a few, limited mobile Internet technologies, the web is still something we primarily access from our homes and offices, sitting in front of computer screens. 

The future, as I imagine it, would be a person walking down the street, accessing information about everything around them, without looking at a screen or typing into a keyboard.

Here's how I think we can achieve that with technologies that exist or are emerging today:

1. Centralized computing or cloud computing.  
The device offering connectivity would not need massive processing power or storage space; it would simply be a means of accessing on-line storage and processors.  

2. A head's up display that integrates information into the world around the user.  And if you think glasses are dorky, perhaps you'd prefer the contacts version.

3. Hands-free computing.  There are a number of solutions currently available.  Voice recognition seems like an obvious choice, but would be inconvenient in public or noisy environments.  I anticipate direct brain control over our electronic devices, and probably sooner than we think.  UC Irvine scientists are currently working to develop a noninvasive brain to brain communications system.  Carnegie-Mellon scientists can distinguish the thought pattern for a hammer from the thought pattern for pliers.

The idea that computers sit on a desk in a study will seem as ridiculous as the early computers that took up several rooms in a building.  We just need to start thinking outside the office to get there.

One day the phrase "web-surfing" will only be used to describe people who are literally surfing and accessing the Internet at the same time.

-Robot Crusoe

The Future of this Blog

This blog was initially conceived as an assignment for one of my graduate classes.  This class is now over and I think I will continue to post here, though I may change the format and topic slightly.  

I hope to focus more on my original ideas concerning the future of networking and communication, and I will attempt to link information that supports my theories.  

I appreciate everyone who reads this blog, and if there's anything you want to bring to my attention or any of my ideas you'd like to debate, don't hesitate to comment.  


-Robot Crusoe

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A network of things


I think this talk is significant for everyone but there are a few concepts I'd like to address specifically in terms of "the media." For the purposes of this post I am going to specifically address newspapers.

Newspapers have been slow to adapt to the Internet. One inherent problem is profitability. The Internet provides information at no charge; Newspapers profit by selling information. Old business models will not work in this environment.

There were a few attempts to continue a subscription based service online, most notably by the New York Times, but they didn't last long.

Local and national publications are creating more sophisticated websites and looking for profit from advertising, but they are organisms in an environment hostile to their physiology.

In the past, local papers reported national and international news by themselves subscribing to the AP wire. A story that broke elsewhere went on the wire and became the shared property of all participating newspapers, each repackaging the information and selling it to specific markets.

I submit that what was once the function of the AP service, is now the function of any Internet search engine. I no longer read a local reproduction of a story on the AP wire, I merely go to the original story which can easily be located on the Internet.

Knowing what to look for is certainly a service I appreciate; but I don't need a local reporter to trouble him or herself with re-writing what is already written.

I think this is where the concept of linking data with data to which Mr. Kelly refers comes into play. Newspapers are trying to profit by enticing people to view their "pages" but the network of pages is already an old paradigm. I have no need to visit your page to get data when the data itself is available to the network.

How will Newspapers sell me this data in the future?

There is certainly a need for local reporting and news; otherwise there would be no original data on the Internet to search; but the re-selling of data is going to be a thing of the past.

If the network of things truly becomes a reality, then I wonder what form reporting will take. Imagine that an airliner, when crashing, essentially reported the story itself to the network it was a part of. All of the newsworthy information would be immediately online; who, what, when, where and potentially why.

It may be that this last question will be the sole realm of the journalist: a data detective in a future where most information is freely available. His or her purpose: to find missing pieces of data and add them to the network.

But who employs such a person? A free market economy suggests the answer is simply: the people who want the data. But it might not be the realm of a specific person to add all missing data; instead it would fall on those concerned with specific data. In the case of the airliner, a company engineer who wants to prevent further catastrophe.

I don't know the answer to all of these questions but I will say this about newspapers:

They will innovate or they will die; but people will always need the news.

-Robot Crusoe

EDIT: The embeded video would not play so I have replaced it with a link.