Well I guess we are at the point where we are going to see many of the early pioneers of IT pass away now. I am nearly 60 and most of first rung CS leaders predate me by at least another 20 years. So it is time.
Yesterday we lost John McCarthy at 84. The unparalleled voice of Artificial Intelligence and the co-developer of the LISP programming language. He was known as a cankerous sort but an acknowledged leader in several fields. McCarthy unknown to many was also significant in developing core systems used by a firm called BBN. Lest you know, BBN was the hand maiden to the Internet, being the firm that DARPA turned to for turning a paper idea into a physical net reality.
Wired has more here.
A huge loss.
For the love of God, please stop trying to make your own tablets.
The Tribune Co., owner of the Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, the Los Angeles Times and several other newspapers and television stations, is reportedly the latest media giant to be seduced by the sweet siren harmonies of multitouch gestures and brushed aluminum. “More than half a dozen current and former Tribune employees” confessed to CNN that the Tribune’s CEO is smitten with the idea of a tablet of his very own, first requesting “anonymity for fear of losing their jobs or of souring relations with a former employer.”
According to these accounts, the Tribune would like to partner with Samsung to produce a modified Android tablet, even though Samsung already makes a popular and quite capable Android tablet, and the Tribune Co. to date has no tablet-optimized Android apps for its newspapers. (Is any part of this making sense yet?)
The author of the piece goes on to recount tech companies better than NYT that flat out failed in the market place. So like the author, I agree that I do not hold much hope for a newsie to get it right. Considering that NYT’s paid for website is not doing all that well I don’t consider they have the track record to pull it off. However —
There is a route that a news publisher could go and still have their tablet narviana. The core of this idea is you don’t build one, you subsume one. It would go something like this:
Do that and you will have an fair chance of make a transition technically. However I should caution that all the tech in the world will not make up for trash content. Too many papers today are a walled garden of mental trash. Seriously, when the primary reason that many people buy a paper is to read the `Page Six` gossip content? Well then you have become nothing more than a move up from The Inquirer.
Good night and Good luck.
This blog has been up nearly 4 years. In that time we have been beating the drum that its the governemnt – telecom axis that has delayed US deployment of faster, better, cheaper services. Don’t take our word for it –
Why is European broadband faster and cheaper? Blame the government
If you’ve stayed with friends who live in European cities, you’ve probably had an experience like this: You hop onto their WiFi or wired internet connection and realize it’s really fast. Way faster than the one that you have at home. It might even make your own DSL or cable connection feel as sluggish as dialup.
You ask them how much they pay for broadband.
“Oh, forty Euros.” That’s about $56.
“A week?” you ask.
“No,” they might say. “Per month. And that includes phone and TV.”
It’s really that bad. The nation that invented the internet ranks 16th in the world when it comes to the speed and cost of our broadband connections. That’s according to a study released last year by Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society on behalf of the Federal Communications Commission.
It’s not surprising that we lag behind such hacker havens as Sweden (number one worldwide, according to the study) and Finland (number seven), nor densely-populated Asian nations like Japan and South Korea (numbers three and four). But the U.S. also trails countries that are poor by European standards: Portugal is just ahead of us in 15th place; Italy is number 14. (The full rankings are on page 81 of the study.)
We’re barely behind of Portugal folks and by next survey we will have sunk even further. Count on that. We as a nation are sinking in the morass of a cabal that likes it the way it is. Its, the 4th of July, Ben Franklin would be pissed if he saw our current state of affairs.
In the U.S., if you want a 50- to 100-Mbps connection, it is going to cost you plenty: about $105 with a triple play plan. On the other side of the planet, however, you can buy a 1 Gbps broadband connection for $20 a month, as long as you sign-up for a 24-month triple play contract with Hong Kong Broadband Network Limited, a division of local Internet service provider, City Telecom.
The same company had launched 100 Mbps to the home back in 2005. In February 2010, you could buy the 1 Gbps connection for $215 a month. According to the Akamai State of the Internet report, at the end of 2010, Hong Kong was the fastest place in the world when ranked by average peak connection speeds of 37.9 Mbps.
The reason it can offer at such low prices is the low cost of passing each home with fiber — it’s about $200 per home. Hong King is an extremely dense environment, and that lowers the cost of the network buildout. At present, HKBN has about a million homes passed for its fiber network and is on target to hit 2 million homes passed by end of 2011.
In the U.S., there are a few pockets that will or do have access to
low cost1 Gbps fiber connectivity — the cities of Chattanooga, Tenn. and Kansas City, Kan., for example. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings in an interview with GigaOM said that fiber is the key to future Internet innovation.
Now I will grant, Hong Kong is a high density area, so that favors the providers as far as mile cost per household, but not at the rates being quoted. in the article above. New York, Chicago, Boston have some of the same urban densities in sections.
The point is, the consumer is not being fairly served by either the carriers or the FCC. We are being taken and we should not take it.
You’ve probably heard the tales of the NetFlix swamping the interwebs. Right? Do you think it is so? Well give a read –
The portion of the network Netflix hogs is only the ISP’s edge connections – from a distribution hub to the house of Netflix’ subscribers.
The heaviest traffic is in spikes during one part of the day, which is irrelevant from a network-infrastructure standpoint. Even if the spike is only an hour, the network segment through which the spike passes still has to have enough capacity to handle it.
For the ISPs that is the good news, though they already know this and simply leave the good news out when complaining they must be allowed to throttle Netflix to avoid having their networks swamped.
Netflix doesn’t swamp the ISPs’ backbones or even their high-volume network spokes because its content is distributed and cached ahead of time. When it launches it travels only across the edge, vastly reducing the logic behind arguments by AT&T, Comcast and Verizon that they have to keep adding to their core networks to keep up with bandwidth-sucking competition from Netflix.
For the benefit of our readers who may not be net savvy. The ‘edge’ in net parlance is that last mile hop that has to be made from say the Dallas TelNet farm to my home in Arlington. There are several providers of ‘edge services’ where companies like Net Flix, Microsoft and others forward store content, files, programs, movies, etc. Akami and Amazon are examples of such vendors.
So in general, the backbone as the snippet above intones is hardly bruised. Fact what I think many ISPs complain about is that they did not think to get into the edge services business sooner. But then they thought that the entertainment channel bandwagon was going to go on forever. That’s where firms like Akami have eaten their lunch.
So the real gripe is that they did not think of it as a service offering. The fact that they are letting firms like NetFlix take the heat is just a salve for their bad marketing.