Accidental Empires, Chapter 17 — Do the Wave

surf_board-legAnd so our two month retrospective comes to an end with this 17th and final chapter, circa 1996. I hope you have enjoyed it. Tomorrow I’ll be back to talk about the eBook version of this work as well as what I’ve been up to for the last eight weeks. It’s more than I ever expected… and less.

ACCIDENTAL EMPIRES

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

DO THE WAVE

We’re floating now on surfboards 300 yards north of the big public pier in Santa Cruz, California. As our feet slowly become numb in the cold Pacific water, it’s good to ponder the fact that this section of coastline, only fifteen miles […]

The DARPA Way

Depending on who you are talking to there were several very different reasons why the Internet was created, whether it was military command and control (Curtis LeMay told me that), to create a new communication and commerce infrastructure (Al Gore), or simply to advance the science of digital communications (lots of people). But Bob Taylor says the Internet was created to save money. And since Bob Taylor was, more than anyone, the guy who caused the Internet to be created, well I’ll believe him.

Bob Taylor, probably best known for building and managing the Computer Systems Laboratory at XEROX PARC from which emerged advances including Ethernet, laser printing, and SmallTalk, was before that the DARPA program […]

What He Said: Cisco Steps Up Its Router Game

Last week Cisco Systems made a big product announcement that the networking giant said would change the Internet forever. What could it be? Well it was a big router, a really big router that would allow more bits than ever to flow over the world’s fiber backbones. And the market yawned, because bits are a commodity and it is hard to tell a million bushels of wheat in a pile from two million bushels of wheat. And Cisco’s enterprise customers — its biggest business customers — have plenty of bandwidth already, thanks.

Well that’s the entire point: corporations, where T1‘s still dominate, use less bandwidth per person than we do at our house, […]

By |March 15th, 2010|2010|65 Comments

Apple and the Future of Publishing – Part One

robot typing on keyboardIt’s not that hard to predict what will happen in the future (I will die; Fifi, my son Fallon’s stuffed orca, will eventually need restuffing, etc.) but it is very hard to predict with any accuracy when things will happen. For technologies, I tend to see events happening long before they actually do, which makes me something of a prophet, though a pretty useless one.  This may be proved yet again in the coming months as Apple and other companies attempt to take most of the paper out of publishing, something I thought we were about to do 15 years ago, but didn’t.

Back in 1994, I proposed to my […]

By |October 7th, 2009|2009|139 Comments

Collateral Damage

blackoutThere was lots of good discussion last time about cyber warfare, cyber security, and U.S. policy, but what most respondents seemed to miss was the international nature of the IT business — all the outsourcing and offshoring that we were told was so great — and its implications for U.S. security.  The upshot is that any U.S. cyber warfare czar will have to effectively function as a WORLD cyber warfare czar, a fact that neither Republican nor Democratic Administrations have yet been willing to embrace, at least in public.

Forget for the moment about data incursions within the DC beltway, what happens when  Pakistan takes down the Internet in India?  Here we have technologically sophisticated regional […]