India Knowledge@Wharton writes:
It sounds like something from a futuristic TV thriller: American spies thwarting the next 9/11-style terrorist plot through a shared online community modeled after Wikipedia, the free and highly popular user-created, web-based encyclopedia.
But Anthony D. Williams, co-author of the new book, Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, recently told a Wharton audience that this online community of spies already exists, and is on the case.
Williams noted that the rise of Wikipedia, Linux — and other user-generated platforms from online marketplace eBay to MIT’s increasingly popular online curriculum — is no accident, but part of what he calls a “perfect storm” in the growth of the Internet.
The key ingredients in that storm, he said, are the technological advances — often referred to as “Web 2.0” — that make online collaboration and communication easier to transact, as well as the arrival of a generation of Internet users that has been born since 1980 and that insists on taking a more active role in creating or editing the online content that it uses.
The Economist writes about three technological fixes to reduce data centre power consumption:
The first is new multi-core processor chips, in which performance is improved not by increasing clock speed, but by building several processing engines, or cores, into each chipa far more energy-efficient approach.
The second fix comes from using more efficient power supplies. At the moment, data centres perform many conversions between alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC). This wastes energy, which is emitted as heat and increases the need for cooling. It would be far more efficient to power servers directly from a central DC supply.
The third fix is the more careful use of cooling systems. HP, for example, has devised a scheme called Dynamic Smart Cooling, which links temperature sensors installed on servers to air-conditioners so that blasts of cool air can be directed towards particular servers only when needed.
I gave a couple talks recently at different fora on emerging technologies. I did both talks from prepared notes rather than a presentation. In this week’s Tech Talk, I will outline the gist of what I said.
As one looks to the future, it is a good idea to learn from the past. Look back 13 years or so. It is 1994. The Internet era is just about beginning. Also, the mobile era is about to start. Look back another 13 years ago. It is 1981. The PC era is about to commence.
As it turned out, these three creation the computer, the mobile phone and the Internet have formed the bedrock for the technological innovations that we have seen over the past quarter century. All of these innovations came from the developed markets and have made their way to emerging markets. In India, the adoption of the mobile phone for voice has been the greatest gadget story over the past five years. However, the use of the PC and the Internet has lagged behind.
I believe that over the next 5-10 years we will see the emergence of variants of the computer, mobile phone and the Internet which will make a huge impact in developing markets. Taken together, they will help create the digital infrastructure in these countries. The digital infrastructure is what will help these countries accelerate the pace of economic growth.
The three technological innovations on which the digital infrastructure for the developing markets will be built are going to be the Teleputer, the Ubinet and the M-Web.
Tomorrow: Teleputer, Ubinet and M-Web