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back to article Inside Eric Schmidt's brain: Holodecks, robo-cars and jail bandwidth

Telephony standards supremos at the GSMA love the phrase "connecting the unconnected" – the notion of getting data and voice links out to the masses. Google skipper Eric Schmidt has similar sentiments, but he's got only one thing on his mind: data. The executive chairman isn't fussy about who will bear this information, …

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Anonymous Coward

Huh, working his way back up in the public eye

Well done that man.

Still a lot of work to do for google. De-evilising itself, for one --their privacy policy "update as a very vivid illustration what road not to go down-- and true innovation in the privacy field for another. Digital currencies that emulate (some of) the properties of cash too hard? Because of regulations? Bit of a cowardly stance there.

I'm with the idea that the current infrastructure oversight works pretty well, as in IETF, but ICANN is mostly dysfunctional and the american finger in the pie is itself a lingering chronic irritation that could very well spark balkanisation. Of course, admitting that wouldn't be in the cards for an American[tm] company. They'd be pulling the rug from under their DC lobbyists.

Personally I'm a bit less sympathetic to mobile operators for though some have certainly paid through the nose for spectrum and then had to go out and put up antennae everywhere, they still made a killing. We might have to split the regulatory attention and the companies both in two, one for the mere carrying of voice/data/etc. in bulk, and one for actually delivering that to the customer. That might open up the way to "bare" data access and lower tariffs without getting in a crunch with the regulators.

Gigabit for everyone? A couple of years back you'd be served Just Fine with half a megabit. Now a reasonable base line might be one or two, unless you want streaming hd. Even so, I'm hard pressed to see what else you'd be doing with more than a hundred megabits each, except basically waste it. A gigabit? Only for the lower latency, really.

Not that I don't like fibre, mind. But want and need are different things. There's a lot of places that could stand upgrading to more than a gigabit for the entire country first. The giants have the money, but it's still not happening. I wonder why.

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Megaphone

Re: Huh, working his way back up in the public eye

Whilst I agree with mostly what you have written - your last point concerning bandwidth has prompted me to make this comment.

You ask why the need for Gigabit and question it's purpose. You have also pointed out a few years ago half a megabit would have been fine - and now a few years later - 1 or 2 would be fine.

On this basis I feel it is painfully obvious that our demand for data is growing at an ever increasing rate - and casting aside - the freeloaders who use copious amounts of data for ethically dodgy means (last I checked it was only illegal to upload copyright material - not to download it - in the UK at least) - our need for more bandwidth will just continue to grow. While there is not currently anything on the web requiring 5 or 8meg connections - that is not to say that next week a revolutionary new service will launch and we will all go "oh, that's a clever idea, I wish I had thought of that...." and after a year it will be hard to find someone who doesn't use said new service. Of course on top of that - there is the possibility of multiroom TV streaming - who knows what new online TV services will launch - sure they have been many - but they aren't a lot of use unless you already have a fast connection - when it comes to watching to watch different streams in different rooms.

Finally in the same way that Microsoft forcing the world on to a touchscreen OS will likely seriously bring down the cost of touchscreen monitors and probably herald the launch of reasonable priced Laptops with touchscreen capability. So flooding large parts of the world with high speed connections - SHOULD - cause a major drop in the price of bandwidth and backhaul. As with everything - Market demand lowers costs. (Unless you happen to be selling "3rd Party" concert tickets.... then Market demand apparently causes costs to rise threefold - name that company ;) )

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Trollface

Re: Huh, working his way back up in the public eye

"Even so, I'm hard pressed to see what else you'd be doing with more than a hundred megabits each, except basically waste it."

And 64K memory should be enough for everyone.

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Meh

Man, what a crazed demagogue!

Seriously, I can't fathom why Google seems to come in for more criticism here than FaceBook, whose founder's talks are downright creepy.

I think that Google's perceived "evil overlord" plans (eg, Google Goggles) are misconstrued; Google has a bunch of guys doing that-would-be-cool stuff in 50 areas for no particular reason. Facebook is extremely directed, something that I find much more alarning than a bunch of geeks experimenting with tech that looks horrible in patent form.

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Devil

Why Google is more criticised

Google is perceived as more powerful. Apart from privacy problems, Facebook still feels mostly harmless in comparison. I think the reason Microsoft used to be so hated was also related to the strength of its monopoly more than the faults of its products.

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Re: Why Google is more criticised

Well, that and habitually destroying/ undercutting competition by funding from windows/ office.

Lots of those products used to undercut competition were/ are actually pretty good.

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Holodeck?

Yes of course, the only thing holding back holodeck tech is insufficient internet bandwidth. When I get my 300meg connection I'm gonna beam this guy's nuts to mars.

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Happy

Re: Mars?

I thought it was one's ass that must be transported to Mars...

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Bronze badge

Internet a human right?

twat. It's not a human right. He shoudl leave his billion dollar house once in a while and step in to the real world. Not everyone wants or needs faster internet, and even if gave me an android device I wouldn't use it. I don't want touch screens, I don't play games, or have games consoles, I don't need more than 1computer - my current internet speed is fine for everything... google shouldput some of there money help social problems in the world. Not everyone wants to live in an interconnected technological world.

The last thing we need is holodecks - probably with floating adwords and a huge back bar above everyones head tracking everything that they do. In start trek they appear to spend maybe half an hour a week in one, but you can see what happens in the real world when you have artificial worlds... people start spending their whole fucking life there... look at that guy in asia who died in gamer cafe surrounded by about a 100 other people and no one noticed for 7 days or so! Holodecks - no thanks.

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Re: Internet a human right?

There, there, now. You don't _have_ to go to the holodeck.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Internet a human right?

not, you don't have to go there yet, because it's not there yet. One day it will be there, and you still won't have to go there. Another day after that, there will be nothing else to go to, but a f... holodeck. But no, even then you still won't have to go there. Just like you don't have to go to google search engine to do search.

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FAIL

Yes - a human right

This is about removing barriers that could keep portions of the world's population in serfdom in the same way that denial of education keeps people stuck in low-level labouring jobs.

Making it a right is not about forcing people into posting lolcats, browsing porn, or whatever, but it is about equality of opportunity.That is the business of government, and so making access a right should put them to work to make sure people aren't left behind with no chance to find or exploit whatever latent talents they may have.

But maybe you want to live adjacent to backwards people for the purpose of exploitation, or feeling superior, or for self-edifying anthropological studies? Well, bollocks to that.

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Thumb Down

Re: Internet a human right?

I'll summarize:

"I don't want it, therefore nobody else should either. And I can think of ways it's negative, therefore it doesn't have enough positives to warrant its existence."

Oh, and for what it's worth - net connectivity, cell phone access, and so forth have helped significantly changed the lives of some of the poorest people in Africa - where, paradoxically, technology is one of the cheaper things to get. People who had ho access to financial opportunity at -all- do; people who couldn't communicate to determine where to buy or sell food can; people who had no way to organize politically or even learn about politics and their world in general, have a way. The "help some social problems" ploy is just a rehash of the old "Why spend money on science when there are starving people?" fallacy. The research that created ARPANET could have been excoriated as only helping to make bombs and kill people, and couldn't ever help the poor or hungry - but here it is, and the poor and hungry are being helped via a network that enables aid workers to be more efficient, allows farmers to provide less expensive food, and on, and on.

Your inability to see the positive consequences of things does not mean they don't exist. And the fact that you're too pig-headed or myopic (or just plain bitter) to see a world outside your slammed-shut-and-locked front door doesn't mean that there isn't a huge, amazing world out there - one that includes kids in Africa, South Korean net cafes, xBoxes, fast networks, orchestras, and plastics research companies, and a magazine called 'Beverage World' that my wife used to intern for. It's a vast, complex, interconnected place. Try it; you might like it.

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