Divining the Future at ISPCON '97
by Robley Curtice
After briefly mentioning the PC market (Kolstead thinks the PC market is moving, but not a lot), he moved on to what is thought a moribund operation system, Unix. The system is not dead, but its revenues are actually growing (some estimated 14% this year). His next thoughts concerned security, everyone's bugaboo. He reiterated what we had heard many times in the last two months: ActiveX is basically insecure and that Java is slightly more secure, although not in all features. Denial-of-service (where the computer is tied up but doesnt lose any data after being re-booted) attacks are increasing, but not fatal.
BandwidthHere's another speech at every conference. It seems that the offered load on the internet doubles every three to four months, so is it ever going to get ahead of the game? UUNET, according to Kolstead, is working in the area of 10 billion hits a second and spends in the neighborhood of one million dollars a day on routers and switches. What a neighborhood!
Finally, Kolstead advised the ISPs to become Network Service Providers because this was the market that would sustain them during the coming amalgamation of the ISP world by the Big Boys. Business has found that networks, extrworks (networks between business partners) and Virtual Private Networks (routed encryption instead of direct lines) are very efficient and time-saving.
And finally something to throw into the mix: Wildcards that could change everything. A new true Killer App, for instance, that takes the world by storm would put a new face on the Internet. Conversely, a huge security disaster or a long-term communication outage would put a different spin on the Net.
Robley Curtice (email@example.com), a San Franciscan, is an early-retired teacher who haunts West Coast technical conferences searching for the 21st Century Killer App.
Copyright © 1997 by Robley Curtice. All Rights Reserved.