Telecosm Article

Ethersphere

New low earth orbit satellites mark as decisive a break in the history of space-based communications as the PC represented in the history of computing. Pay attention to much-maligned Teledesic. Backed by Craig McCaw and Bill Gates, it is the only LEO fully focused on serving computers George Gilder “They’ll Be Crowding The Skies.” THUS STEVEN DORFMAN, president of telecommunications Read More ›

Washington’s Bogeymen

Big Government and Mass Media always feed on fear of monsters. While politicians promise to protect the people from the dreaded private sector, leading newspapers such as the Washington Post and network shows such as “60 Minutes” chime in with continuing reports on the economy as seen from the shores of Loch Ness. Peering through the shifting, inscrutable murk of Read More ›

Auctioning the Airways

Imagine it is 1971 and you are chair of the new Federal Computer Commission. This commission has been established to regulate the natural monopoly of computer technology as summed up in the famous Grosch’s Law. In 1956 IBM engineer Herbert Grosch proved that computer power rises by the square of its cost and thus necessarily gravitates to the most costly Read More ›

Life After Television, Revisited

In 1994, four years after I wrote the first edition of Life After Television, the cornucopian afterlife is indeed at hand. With microchips and fiber optics eroding the logic of centralized institutions, networks of personal computers are indeed overthrowing IBM and CBS, NTT and EEC. But as the great pyramids of the broadcast and industrial eras — the familiar masters Read More ›

Digital Dark Horse Newspapers

The perennial question of all suitors of fate and fortune now whispers and resounds through conference resorts, executive retreats and consulting sessions across the land as business leaders from Hollywood to Wall Street pose with pundits and ponder the new world of converging technologies. Symbolized in a famous mandala by MIT’s Media Lab, this grand fondue of information tools — Read More ›

The New Rule of Wireless

At first glance, Vahak Hovnanian, a homebuilding tycoon in New Jersey, would seem an unlikely sort to be chasing rainbows. Yet in the converging realms of computers and communications that we call the telecosm, rainbows are less a matter of hue and weather than they are a metaphor for electromagnetism: the spectrum of wavelengths and frequencies used to build businesses Read More ›

Into the Fibersphere

In a world of dumb terminals and telephones, networks had to be smart. But in a world of smart terminals, networks have to be dumb. Philip Hope, divisional vice president for engineering systems of EDS, has an IQ problem. His chief client and owner, General Motors, wants to interconnect thousands of 3-D graphics and computer aided engineering (CAE) workstations with Read More ›