Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Freedom of the Net

I find it exciting to look back and see the personal computer go from the CoCo's, the C=64's , and the Atari to the machines we have today. Looking back, to what we have now, it is kind of amazing. From little machines that ran BASIC to the GUI interfaces of Apple , Windows, and Linux. Those little machines that ran Basic could only hope to connect via a modem to a BBS or one of the larger super systems like AOL. And the machines of today connect to the World Wide Web. And currently most of us have enjoyed pretty much an unlimited amount of time online, and a unlimited amounts of download capacity.

That's going to change. The places where we connect to the web want to start to meter our usage. All at the time when there's movies to download, or upload. YouTube videos to stream. Music to listen to via a stream or DL. All when Podcast content from creative and scrappy internet evangelists of our choice are offing content at an astounding rate. So much so, that I, and I'll admit I'm not the norm, don't spend much time with broadcast TV or Radio. Sure there's a few programs that I enjoy, but very few, and I find them from word of mouth recommendations.

Bob Frankston has written a few articles about the shape of the data transport of the future, or how it could be. Or as I hope. It will become. It's a little hard to wrap one's head around a new idea at times, but Mr. Frankston has it nailed down. I'm envisioning data being transported from little devices about the size and shape of our cell phones and using just as little power. Little enough that they could be powered via solar panels. All connected via a mesh network, and senders and receivers of data wirelessly. All it's going to take is for a neighborhood to connect themselves to each other. It wont matter if it's via Copper, or 802.11, or Packet Radio. Want an internet connection? Just fire up the machine that you own, choose a connection method that fits your needs, and you're on. As he's pointed out, we've already created the way to do it. It's right here. Right now. All we have to do is create it by connecting ourselves to each other without Ma Bell or ComCast.

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