February 11th, 2004

Blogging on the Train

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I been taking the train to work lately. Standing in the train and typing this in my Zaurus, I begin to wonder how long will it take for the Internet to be really perversive.

I mean, the technologies are already here. We have Wifi (802.11), 802.16, 3G etc. But getting companies to invest and deploy these infrastructure is still a problem. Getting such services to the consumers at an affordable price is a bigger one.
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February 10th, 2004

Horizontal Layering


I been thinking about something Joi told me over lunch last week: “Power company is making tons of money off data center”.

Power is something we take for granted. We assumed it is there whenever we need it. We don’t even factor it in our network design. Yet, in a discussion of Internet business model, here, the most boring of all business is making money from the Internet!

Now, many smart people has already said how Internet is going to be like power, about how Internet is going to be ubitquous, always on and anywhere. No doubt about the trend, but that’s not what’s interest me.

I been thinking about vertical integration vs horizontal layering and what’s that means for businesses and consumers. I am also thinking about the effect of such fundamental changes. And most important of all, I been thinking what the telecommunication industry can learn from the power industry.
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January 30th, 2004

Architecture of the Internet

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Andrew Odlyzko, author of The many paradox of Broadband, published an equally thought-provoking article:

Pricing and architecture of the Internet: Historical perspectives from telecommunications and transportation

While engineers and technologist like myself have been arguing the need for “End-to-End” principle either on ideological or technical reasons, Andrew provides an economical perspective of why the “threats” to the “Stupid Network” are just noise.
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January 28th, 2004

More on outsourcing


living-on-the-fault-line.gifWired ran another article on the outsourcing to India trend. I got a mixed feeling of between been proud to sad for the situation as the article confirmed the predictions i made last year on outsourcing.

But there are many lessons to learn from the article, like the one comparing the introduction of computers in the 50s which started to threaten jobs, then as it enhance productivities, workers ‘evolve’ and start using it as a tool. This validated my thinking that programmers need to move up the value chain.

Coincidently, I found some time yesterday to read Living on the Fault Line which I bought last year. Surprise, surprise, the first few chapters talks about the concept of “core” vs “context” work, and how “core” work will move to become “context” over time. Most important, why companies should outsource their “context” work as soon as possible. I am going to enjoy the rest of the book…

January 17th, 2004

Lessons from history

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John Berresford, Attorney for Media Bureau at FCC, just published a draft on the webpage for Harvard Program for Information Resources Policy. It is called “How Government Can Bring New Communications to All Americans: Six1 Lessons from History Discovered by a Libertarian”. (via Dave Farber’s IP list)
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January 2nd, 2004

Vint Cerf on the Internet

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BBC News have an interview with Vint Cerf on his view on the development of Internet.

The next decade, he believes, will see the net spread even further and start to become the basic communications infrastructure for almost anything. To begin with, he thinks, the net will stop being a part of the telephone network. Instead the telephone network will become a part of the net.

He goes on to talk about IP Telephony and ENUM! Yeppie! :-)

2004 could indeed be the year of VoIP.

January 1st, 2004

What’s next?

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manging-in-the-next-society-peter-drucker.jpegPeter Drucker is really an amazing man. I learn new things from his book everytime I read them. Last night, I read this book (for the 5th time), this paragraph got me thinking:

The decline of manufacturing as a producer of wealth and jobs changes the world’s economic, social, and political landscape. The economic miracles – Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore – were based on exports to the world’s rich countries of manufacturered goods that were produced by developed-country technology and productivity but with emerging-country labour costs. This will no longer work.

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December 31st, 2003

FCC Chairman on Internet Telephony

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Mercury News ran a story on Michael Powell field trip to the Sillicon Valley (via Jeff Pulver).

“Now to be a phone company, you don’t have to weave tightly the voice service into the infrastructure. You can ride it on top of the infrastructure. So if you’re a Vonage, you own no infrastructure. You own no trucks. You roll to no one’s house. They turn voice into a application and shoot it across one of these platforms. And, suddenly, you’re in your business. And that’s why if you’re the music industry, you’re scared. And if you’re the television studio, movie industry, you’re scared. And if you’re an incumbent infrastructure carrier, you’d better be scared. Because this application separation is the most important paradigm shift in the history of communications, and will change things forever. . . . I have no problem if a big and venerable company no longer exists tomorrow, as long as that value is transferred somewhere else in the economy.”

December 17th, 2003

The future of Voice

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David Beckemeyer has a follow up on his entry on IP Telephony. We are definately in sync altho I have a two comments.

First, I agree with David that ENUM is not a magic bullet to the universal addressibility problem with current IP Telephony deployment. If the basic infrastructure is a close network, ENUM, which is essentially a mapping of number to (SIP) address would not help at all. ENUM is an only a value-add, making life easier for folks who is familiar with +65 1234-5678 but not sip:jseng@sip.provider.com. The former is also easier to type when you only have a 12-keypad.
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November 26th, 2003

The future for television show

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I just have a discussion with Grant Henninger on using RSS feed on #joiito.

<jseng> Grant: what we need is TV station providing RSS feed (channel) of their tv shows. Viewers will subscribe to the RSS feeds and then download the tv shows they want to watch.

<Grant> jseng: i had a post that said almost that very thing a few months ago.

<jseng> Grant: cool :-) not difficult to hack bittorrent with RSS.

<Grant> jseng: my BT downloader program supports rss feeds, i just dont quite know how it works or where to find rss feeds for shows.

<jseng> Grant: that would be an interesting business proposition for some entreprenaurs right?

My views? Converged Network: RSS & P2P Content Distribution is Television as SIP & ENUM is to Telephony.

The future is already here (We just need to make it simple enough for mass market :-)