Subject: Re: on the horizon -- broadband filesystems v. distributions
From: Mark Eichin <eichin@thok.org>
Date: 31 Oct 2002 02:29:58 -0500

This seems mostly strategic, rather than FSB-specific... but
"broadband" has been around for years, and there was even an
opportunity for it to change the way proprietary software was
distributed [see Arepa/Into Networks, which lasted until earlier this
year, approximately the time it took for the patents to actually be
issued...]

As for booths in every airport - the booths started up a few years
back, businessmen didn't really trust them [or were told not to, by
forward-thinking IT depts] - but wireless nets at airports [and around
lots of starbucks] are popping up, since it's the *connection* that needs
infrastructure, the computer is already in the pocket.  I have a
friend who does a lot of his [coincidentally FSB] development work in
either a starbucks or the classier coffeeshop nearby that is still in
wireless range.  The service is cheap enough that it's worth
subscribing, as an expense on his development contracts.

>	* Will some universities, who have managed this kind of
>         environment for quite a while, cut out the middleman and
>	  go back to taking the R&D profit directly?

As far as I can tell from the OpenAFS community (an example of one of
the successful university-scale infrastructures that has become viable
for "small" use over the last 2 years, thanks again IBM), the
"universities" are really "a couple of clever people with huge amounts
of skill-based leverage" at strategic places; if the universities
don't maintain the advantages they have now as employers, and those
people "disappear" into the traditionally-commercial world, the
universities will probably be stuck.  "golden-goose" scenario...

If you want something for FSB's to fear in this space, look at some of
the things speculated for the danger.com HipTop/T-mobile
SideKick... it's a GPRS "net everywhere, always" tool, for which the
killer [or perhaps only :-)] app seems to be "video blogging."
There's talk of a developer program, but apparently the focus is on
developing services that *the telcos can provide*, possibly as
gateways to "real" services.  The platform only looks open at
first glance, or at least that's how the speculation goes...