[linux-elitists] Pompous Top 10 List

Don Marti dmarti@zgp.org
Thu Jun 7 09:42:19 PDT 2001

Hey, wait a minute!  I'm a magazine editor!  I get to make a pompous
top 10 list of Important Technologies Shaping the World of Next Year!
I'm not going to let _this_ opportunity pass me by.  (Naturally I
bounce it off this list first so you can tell me I'm an ass for
not including the mumblefrotz.)

1. WiFi.  No more pulling tons of copper every time your company
rearranges the cubicles, no more rooms in your house without net
access, lots of cheap freedom-loving neighborhood freak-nets --

2. VPNs Everywhere.  And I mean everywhere, from the cubicle to
the hotel room to the poolside chaise to the restroom. See WiFi.
Also see "1982 Pontiac Sunbird full of spammers in your parking
lot, getting on your WiFi network at night."  And preach as we
might, nobody is going to follow the Model Rocketry Safety Code
of Host-based Security, so heavy packet filtration and VPNs to get
through it will be the habit.

3. Big Racks of Little Boxes: Split servers for security, consolidate
servers for management.  How to do both? Either a rack of individual
"server blade" servers with software to handle failover, or an IBM
System/390 with virtual hosts and hardware to handle failover.

4. Dual Athlons: It's an Athlon! No wait, it's two Athlons!  Whoa!
Badass!  The desktop must-have for [your favorite winter holiday]
2001.  Memo to Jeff Nguyen: get cases made in a "foot rest"
configuration for toasty feet on cold winter nights.

5. Embeddabrowsers: Web appliance frenzy is not dead, it's just
quietly aggregating more and more doo-dads...phone, MP3 player,
digital camera, until some ARM-based all-in-one becomes the New
Palm Pilot.  It'll need a browser with (icky but popular) Flash to
see a lot of popular sites.  Konqueror?  A Mozilla derivative?

6. Recording-studio-in-a-box: Ignore the dinosaur record companies
and VC-funded DumbassMusicDotComOsaurus -- mammals are making music
for themselves with dirt-cheap hard disk recorders and surprisingly
excellent software (much, unfortunately, proprietary).  As far as
free software goes, digital music is prime hillside real estate
in the noosphere, close enough to walk to all the cool clubs, far
enough away that people have already puked by the time they walk
by your lawn.

7. Crypto coprocessors: see VPNs Everywhere.  Not needed on the
overpowered client, but on the server, hell yeah with a capital

8. Pimp2pimp platforms and elitism-ware: talk to the autoresponder
cause the eyeballs ain't reading.  More and more people are joining
the too-much-mail, too-much-information crowd (you're not even
still reading this), and we're scoring and filtering mail, proxying
out advertising, and conserving attention.  Procmail is too hairy.
And don't forget the filtering _in_.  Recommend something to me,
please, but don't make me navigate your whole damn "today my cat
coughed up a hairball" site to do it.

9. Web as process: Vignette StoryServer?  Dave Winer's weblog
software?  Rusty's k5 stuff?  All steps toward something like what
we had in 1980s newsrooms with the Atex machines -- technology that
assists in process.  Fill the news hole.  Don't make people do the
same processes over and over again.  Let the computer be a computer,
not a typewriter without White-Out.  (This is where "office" or
"productivity" software utterly fails and must die.)

10. Power management: (see WiFi) You're wireless, you're bad,
you're nationwide...you have two hours.  Suck!  Embedded and laptop
developers know that the secret word for today is "eke".

Don Marti              "I've never sent or received a GIF in my life."
http://zgp.org/~dmarti    -- Bruce Schneier, Secrets and Lies, p. 246.
dmarti@zgp.org    Free the Web, burn all GIFs: http://burnallgifs.org/

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