|By David Strom||
|October 30, 2012 08:53 AM EDT||
It has been 20 years since I set out to start my own business, and this column is a combination of a look back and a way of saying thanks to all of you that are still reading my work.
I thought about this milestone when I had a chance to meet one of my readers this past month that I had never met, an IT manager with a large non-profit organization. He was excited to finally meet me. We reminisced about one of my reviews of a now-defunct product that he ended up purchasing and using for many years. That interaction brought home to me the kind of influence that I have had over time, and made me feel proud of the body of work that I have created. So for all of you that I have met, and those that I haven’t, I just wanted to say thanks for your attention all these years. My work product is a partnership among readers and vendors who keep innovation alive in the world of IT. It has been a terrific run.
In 1992, I was just coming off a very successful launch of Network Computing magazine for CMP (now United Business Media). I had hired the staff, worked with our designers, and built one of the first digital content management systems that ran on desktop Apple computers. In the first year of publication we had turned a profit. The publication still exists today and many of the folks that I had hired are still working journalists. Back then we had PCs that ran megahertz clock speeds with megabytes of RAM and disk storage: even our phones today have dual core processors and gigabytes now of stuff. Speaking of cell phones, they were anything but smart: the first Blackberry precursor was still on the drawing boards. Wifi hadn’t yet happened, let alone wired networking; the Internet was still the province of academics and the military; and IBM still thought its minicomputer line was part of the picture for most businesses. Microsoft Windows was at version 3.1, and just beginning to catch on. Computer CD drives were still new and were read-only.
Back in 1992, many of today’s tech influencers had yet to hit their marks. Sergey and Larry were still undergrads that hadn’t yet even met each other at Stanford, let alone come up with the idea of Google. Zuck was barely out of kindergarten. Steve was still fooling around with Next and Pixar and hadn’t yet come back to guide Apple. Chambers was still running Cisco’s sales and not yet the entire company, and Linus’ doctoral dissertation was known to just a few tech-heads.
They were certainly different times.
In the 20 years I have written thousands of magazine articles. I wrote my second book on computer networking which came out the week after 9/11, much to my disadvantage. I have had the opportunity and honor to work with some of the most exceptional people in our industry. I have enjoyed staying in touch with many IT managers as they have grown their careers and continue to correspond with many entrepreneurs as they have moved from one startup to another.
Yes, those publications at the dawn of the PC era are mere shadows of themselves today: PC Week (now eWeek), Infoworld (where I wrote a weekly column in the mid-1990s), Datamation, Computerworld, and even my baby Network Computing. Print has been replaced by the Web, and tech advertising has migrated elsewhere. The stack of paper on my desk on Monday afternoons is now replaced by the initials http.
Will I still be at my computer 20 years from now? I have no idea. But I hope you continue to read what I compose each week, and I am proud to have you as my loyal readers. Thanks for a great first 20 years together. And as Natalie Merchant has written,
You’ve been so kind and generous
I don’t know why you keep on giving
For your kindness I’m in debt to you
For your selflessness–my admiration
For everything you’ve done
You know I’m bound–I’m bound to thank you for it.
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We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
Nov. 26, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 994
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Nov. 26, 2014 06:00 PM EST Reads: 997
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 26, 2014 05:45 PM EST Reads: 937
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
Nov. 26, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,034
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
Nov. 26, 2014 03:45 PM EST Reads: 998
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Nov. 26, 2014 02:00 PM EST Reads: 1,474
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Nov. 25, 2014 09:30 PM EST Reads: 1,231
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
Nov. 25, 2014 09:30 PM EST Reads: 1,282
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Nov. 25, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,320
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
Nov. 25, 2014 04:30 PM EST Reads: 1,325
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Nov. 24, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,630
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
Nov. 24, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,516
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Nov. 24, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,656
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
Nov. 24, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,672
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Nov. 23, 2014 07:30 PM EST Reads: 1,838
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 23, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,790
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Nov. 23, 2014 07:45 AM EST Reads: 1,820