I gave the discussion-starting talk for this week’s CS departmental BoF session. The topic this week was “Unlimited Internet bandwidth – Would it be a game changer or no big deal?” My opening talk was just to get people up to date on the current events to kick off a discussion, though it is very similar to asking “What will we do with the internet” in the early ’80s, and thus rather difficult to suggest up plausible cases that aren’t “The same thing but faster.”
Gigabit to the home is rapidly becoming a reality. Programmable hundred gigabit networks are already being constructed. Cellular networks are improving so fast that people are dumping their wired connections in favor of wireless. In short, networks are becoming so fast that one can begin to imagine a world where bandwidth is essentially unlimited.
But how would the world change if we had (essentially) unlimited bandwidth to everywhere? Would it change anything? Don’t most apps already have all the bandwidth they need? Aren’t networks already fast enough to support “the Cloud”? Have we already max’d out on bandwidth? Are there any super-cool apps that could still be enabled by even faster networks? If so, what are they? Will they be truly radical, or just an incremental improvement?
Come and find out at our next CS Bof, Friday, Nov 1 at 3pm when we will debate whether there are apps that will benefit from even faster network speeds. If there was unlimited bandwidth, what new apps could *you* see emerging? Join us Friday to dream about the possibilities and give your opinion.
In a related note, I’ve made slides for several presentations recently in Beamer, including this one, and I’m pretty convinced I’m never voluntarily using Powerpoint or any obstinate WYSIWYG slide system again. Beamer is a superior tool for the job for every kind of presentation using slides I’ve ever run into.