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The Internet Turns 40 – Happy Birthday

Friday 4th September 2009

There are a lot of news feeds running this story. Here are a few:

 

Timeline ABC News
IEEE Spectrum
National Geographic
Business Journal

 

And when the Internet first began, no-one knew what we would be doing with it today.

 

This has happened to a lot of other technologies. Low Cost Electronics and Low Power Design that can be Battery Operated has made many thing possible such as mobile phones, portable computers including netbooks, notebooks and laptops; portable media players, MP3 players, PDAs and the list has just begun.

 

But where is it going? Realistically, you need a few things to come together and the environment and carbon footprint considerations now sit alongside the more traditional requirements such as:

  • Low Cost Electronics Manufacture
  • Low Power Electronics Design
  • Design Tool Productivity improvements
  • Electronic Design Automation
  • Increased Processing Power per milliwatt (mW)
  • Embedded Software of immense complexity and flexibility
  • Flexible circuits
  • Transparent Electronics
  • Compact component size
  • Reduced Polluting and Increased Recyclability and reuse

Vernor Vinge looked into what might become of this in his book Rainbows End which I recommend as a good read and full of well thought out ideas about how augmented reality might operate including concepts such as wearable computers, gesture recognition, graphic overlays, the equivalent of doing a Google search on any object in your field of view, and other ideas like that. It is set 20 years from now.

 

The most interesting for me was the way work was conducted in the future and how much advantage there was in having 100,000 people as affiliates on a program. Pay is based on royalties for contributions. You choose what you join and contribute to. Your income directly reflects the product of your contribution and your negotiated royalty rate. A large company has 3 direct employees and everyone else is an affiliate on one or more programs of work. This produces phenomenal synergies.

 

It will be very interesting indeed to see how much of his vision matches the future.

 

Ray Keefe has been developing high quality and market leading electronics products in Australia for nearly 30 years. For more information go to his LinkedIn profile. This post is Copyright © Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

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