February 8, 2006

Increasingly Connected Computing

Every now and again I try to push a phrase into the common vernacular. Like the phrase, "Not so much." - I claim I invented and popularized it in the late 90's.

OK, maybe not so much.

I have quite a few new pithy phrases I've been known to whip out over the last few years, but none has really caught on yet. For example (remembering that I told you in advance this would be an "industry" blog):

  • "Its not rocket science - its barely computer science!"
    (c'mon - that's a good one!)
  • "Your vote doesn't count, but your voice does.", or its variant:
  • "It's not a democracy."
  • "The intellectual capital at software companies is in its people, not its code."
    (trite, I know - but that one's true)
  • "He who last laughs laughs last laughs laughs last... laughs laughs... uh ... last."
  • "We need a little rizzle-dizzle, yo!"
  • "What you call 'fertilizing', I call 'dropping turds'."
  • "Your PRD [product requirements doc] is NOT your architecture diagram."
    (oooh - burn!)
  • "Buzzword compliance does not a [Platform/Product/etc] make."
  • "The best way to predict the future is to invent it"
    (oh wait, I only
    wish I said that...)
As you can plainly see, its just crazy that one of these gems has not yet fully memed out into the public zeitgeist. In the same vein, my wife has one she's been trying to get out there for years:

  • "You gotta love the blues."

I don't know what it means, exactly, but I like the sound of it, and use it at every reasonable opportunity for some cheap brownie points.

For example, right now.

(I'm also trying to see if she actually reads my blog; she claims she does.)

In any case, a new one I've been trying out in a number of places for the last two months or so is "Increasingly Connected Computing" .

Its a direct play on a concept from Intel (at least, that's where I first heard it) that they call
Occassionally Connected Computing - which is about how wireless is cool, but kinda flaky (this was when the Centrino was first coming out). Wide Area WiFi (WaWiFi? yoinks!) is more or less in the same boat, conceptually - not to mention the rise of portable computing generally - and, therefore, you really need to build more resilience into your data models.

My notion of "Increasingly Connected Computing" is both social and technological, and related to the Intel phrase in the idea that our data model has to evolve significantly to solve for the disruptive experiences that will emerge in the near future.

I think that as barriers to communication and data proliferation lower, because of ubiquitous and fat and unwired connectivity pipes, because of the preponderance of connected computing devices (PCs, laptops, phones, PDA's, remote controls, PSPs, Consoles, pens, etc., and the rise of cheap storage, there will be broad new opportunities to enable a wide class of new behaviours, consumer and otherwise - though I think the PC will continue to be a task oriented hub (as opposed to more social activities which be increasinly untethered).

That's not a big new prognisticative thought - "convergence" has been a buzzword for HOW long now?

But at the core of that, I think the underlying data model will be synchronization based. No more IMAP, or HTTP, or NFS, or ... you get the idea. Just transparent, secure, generic data access. And by this I don't mean
Network Computing or Web/Host based storage. Those might be underlying enablers, but the really interesting user experience stuff will be at the edges - in those "Occassionaly Connected Computing" devices...

This is clearly the space in which peer-to-peer, tagging, bluetooth,
swarming, edge-serving, etc. live. I think there are also some interesting social behaviours that we'll see in an increasingly connected computing environment (look! I even used it in a sentence!) - for example, I think we'll see far more transience in terms of community and group spaces and communities. The number of abandoned blogs, and stranded homepages and e-groups presages that (all that work right down the drain)...

But as I said, I don't think I'm tossing out any particularly new thoughts here....

...I'm just naming it :)


Tim O'Shaughnessy said...

* "A PRD is more of a product guidelines document."
* "The only metric that really matters is this one: $$$"
* "Everything is negotiable"

Sree Kotay said...

Hey, not bad - is that "Guidelines" one one of my mine? Sound like it :)

Anonymous said...

So who takes credit for "Bit Twiddling" - if not you?

Sree Kotay said...

Though I may have introduced YOU to it, Bit Twiddling has a long and fine tradition: see here :)

Anonymous said...

Ever heard of MIT's Project Oxygen?

Anonymous said...

oh man do I really need to add an href?

Sree Kotay said...

Yes, Project Oxygen captures a lot of the more far reaching implications of connected computing - its PRETTY cool thinking, especially because there's some attempt to explore the social implications; but I'd put it squarely in the "academic" arena - not that there's anything wrong with that :)

mv10 said...

I know this blog entry is ancient, but some friends and I were searching around for the origins of "not so much"... and if you invented it, you should contact the Guinness Book of World Records, as the OED shows references dating back to 1425...

a1425 Cursor M. 16960 (Trin.), He [th]at neuer synne dud, ne so muche as hit [th]ou[ygh]t.
1576 FLEMING Panopl. Epist. 197 Not so muche as putting pen to paper.
c1643 LD. HERBERT Autobiog. (1824) 124 Without giving me so much as the least warning.
1697 W. DAMPIER Voy. I. 144 There was not so much as a Meal of Victuals left for them.
1713 STEELE Englishman No. 40, I do not remember to have seen any small Birds, nor so much as a Crow or Magpye.

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