Monthly Archives: September 2002

Pep Talk from Dan Wood

Pep Talk from Dan Wood. Watson developer Dan Wood, in an interview with O’Reilly, gives Mac developers a great pep talk: “It’s actually possible to get a new product built and selling with a minimal outlay of time and money. Of course, you need a good idea, and you have to work hard, but it is possible to make a living and build a successful software company, even in today’s economy, even deploying on a ‘minority’ operating system like the Mac, even Mac OS X only.”

There’s more, of course—just go read the article already. []

Mobile wireless ubicomp unleashes learning on campuses

Mobile wireless ubicomp unleashes learning on campuses. Remote bell-tower hacking is just one of the ways the wireless network is changing life at Dartmouth. The network is subtly but profoundly altering teaching techniques, social interaction, study habits, and personal security. In spite of its remoteness, the college has long been one of the most wired places on earth, fashioning its campus into the prototype of the fully wireless, always-connected community: a microcosm that provides a peek at what our residential neighborhoods and office spaces may look like in a few years. [Smart Mobs]


Technopolis. The advent of the automobile changed how–and where–people could live. Are advances in telecommunications actually changing the definition of what a city is or should be?

All types of wireless technologies or, more generally, mobile technologies that are coming along, like position systems, location-based applications that they can support, 3G, etc.–they are really changing the capacity of cities to support face-to-face interaction. If you think about it, people with a mobile phone can use their time much more efficiently. They don't have to go to that meeting if it's been canceled and then waste their time getting back. It permits people who live in cities to be much more flexible and adaptive, and as a result, more gets done. It makes the city more efficient but also more dynamic.

There is some really interesting work being done. Howard Rheingold–who's known for his earlier work on virtual communities–referred to what's called “swarming behavior.” This is the idea that mobile technologies are creating much more mobile, dynamic communities that more closely resemble swarms than the way we've done things before.

He doesn't do this, but if you extend it to what'll happen in cities, it means that you are going to need different kinds of spaces to accommodate people who are moving and communicating and using space differently. Waiting rooms become something of an anachronism because no one really waits anymore.  [Smart Mobs]

Going Wireless

Going Wireless. A dirty little secret about 802.11b is that it can cover more than 20 kilometers with suitably directional antennas. Imagine reaching places that do not have sufficient commercial value to justify classic infrastructure. In these cases, the viral nature of unlicensed telecommunications becomes a major force of human development, transforming everything from education to entertainment, hospitals to hiring halls. And won't that make an astonishing splash. [Smart Mobs]

The Circle

The Circle. The Circle is a scalable decentralized peer to peer application. Which is quite a mouthful. In English, what this means is that there's no central authority running the show. Which means no entry taxes, no one booting you off the network, and (in theory) no weak point which can break the whole system. As long is there's one Circle peer running, anywhere in the world, there's still a network. Circle does not try to provide anonymity, which allows it to be much more scalable than gnutella. [Smart Mobs]

Add To My [Someday] Reading List

Add To My [Someday] Reading List. Classrooms of the Future

“Verner Vinge's Fast Times at Fairmont High just won the Hugo for best novella. The story is set in the 2020s in a world where wireless technology, pervasive computation, augmented reality and wearables make future classrooms and their ethics a lot more complicated for both students and teachers.” [Smart Mobs]

[The Shifted Librarian]