Sunday, August 13, 2006

Terrorism and laptops.

One of the things that has fallen out from this weeks terrorists arrests in UK, is that apparently, laptops are no longer going to be allowed as carry-on luggage on airlines.

I have no idea how many teachers this is going to affect, but I think it is a great candidate for a major change in how business deals with information and data. If your laptop has ever had an opportunity to view films of airline baggage handlers tossing bags through the air into the hold of the plane, it will surely close it's top and go into hybernation when it finds out that in the future it too, will be in that load of baggage tossed through the air. It's possible that the outcome of such events will be that laptops will be built that are much more sturdy than what we see on the market now...and of course, at least in the early stages those will likely be heavier and bulkier...just the opposite of where things were headed.

More likely, I think, we will see a massive embracing of Web as storage approach. Business firms will load their materials into a remote site, and then either rent or borrow a machine at a remote location to download their materials and share them with their remote co-workers. And if you follow that a bit further, then there is at least an outside potential that no one at all will travel to the remote location, and instead, we will stream materials from one place to another. Streaming a meeting to a Blackberry or other handheld device is far more likely than taking a risk of carrying precious data in a laptop that might be damaged in transit.

How does all this affect you? Streaming is essentially the same, regardless of the codec. Some of you are already considering or at least thinking about streaming video as well as audio. This technology is already pretty much available, but in the past it was not preferrable to a live interaction. Terrorism may be the key element that changes the way we all interact on the internet.


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