Thursday, August 25, 2005


Nick Fessel

"Consumers will also need to take some personal data with them a lot of the times, for reasons of security, privacy, and convenience. This will also be important, for the times there is no connectivity to the Internet to be had, wired or wireless."

It's interesting to note that many are considering the Web as the computing platform of the future. Users won't need to store data on hardware- all data will reside on the Web. Of course, you make a valid point that a person may be in an area with no Web availability, so a backup such as a USB device is required- but this would only be a backup of data files, not the software. The applications will reside on the Web.

I'd rather have a website that I can log into, plug in a USB device with all of my files, and manipulate the files using the website. The files that don't need added security will remain stored on the website, and the files that require additional security will only reside on the USB drive. This separates content from the applications.

The application doesn't have to reside on the USB drive. In fact, housing all data on the USB drive, including the applications is equivalent to carrying around a hot-swappable hard drive- there is no added convenience (besides the small size of the USB drive). Whereas, storing the files and applications on the Web frees the user from having to carry around the applications. With the applications on the Web, there is less possibility they will become corrupt or accidentally deleted.

Michael Parekh

Good points...the USB or miniature hard drive in my scenario would have some processing AS WELL AS storage capabilities...this is in order for it to run mini-web server applications locally as needed.

This way, the user could continue to work on his/her applications/data offline (whether connectivity is available or not). Then when he/she plugs into the web and/or PC/laptop/cellphone/PDA etc. of choice,the content would be synced to the master version on the web.

All this would need to occur transparently for the user, since most mainstream users won't be too bothered with the details.

Remember, many users may WANT to be offline while they work, since many wireless data plans, especially on wireless company networks, have metered tariffs, either for internet access in general, for for specific applications (music transferred, use of the wireless device as a modem to a laptop, etc.)

We still have a few years to go before we have the utopian world of wired/wireless connectivity available anywhere, anytime, at free or near-free, flat rates.

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