Photo by Florian Olivo

Otoy Changes the game

Because responsiveness and action are so central to many games, developers are concerned that the lag between when the distant cloud computer renders a scene and when that scene shows up on a player’s screen will spoil cloud computing’s promise. “The real-time nature of games means that cloud processing will have too long a latency to help with the biggest bottleneck in real-time game graphics,” says Tobi Saulnier, CEO and founder of 1st Playable Productions, in Troy, N.Y.Julien Merceron, worldwide chief technical director of the London-based Eidos, creators of Tomb Raider, says latency and limited bandwidth “will tend to severely limit the type of game that could benefit from the cloud and limit the resolution at which you can play Read More ›

Telecosm recap

You should have been there! Telecosm was thrilling. I will list the ways, in chronological order in two or three posts over the next few days. (Below is Part 1.) 1) Lawrence Solomon, author of The Deniers, demonstrated, beyond cavil, that nearly all the relevant scientists, outside of the government echo-chambers, completely repudiate the climate panic. He concluded by pointing to evidence for a cooling trend ahead. 2) After I presented the statistics showing that most of the global economy is driven by innovation in the Telecosm–teleputers, datacenters, optical fiber, fiberspeed electronics–Steve Forbes gave a magisterial tour of the world economy. Relevant to the debates on the Gilder Telecosm Forum subscriber message board was his assertion that the Fed had Read More ›

Healthy Huber

Peter Huber with a long and typically brilliant article explaining why the new medicine makes socialized health care impossible. Excerpt: Insurance makes sense for risks that people can’t control. Or to put it more bluntly, socialized medicine was a smart idea back when medicine was too stupid to halt infectious epidemics, discourage suicidal lifestyles, or discern the perils in killer genes….. But we’re now past the days when infectious diseases were the dominant killers, and heart attacks and lung cancer seemed to strike as randomly as germs. And insurance looks altogether different when your neighbor’s problem is a persistent failure to take care of himself. Many people willing to share the burden of bad luck eventually tire of sharing the Read More ›

Gilder at Always On

Watch our colleague George Gilder discussing technology and the Net on two panels at last week’s Always On conference at Stanford: (1) In Out of the Lab and into the Market , George moderates a discussion among IBM, SAP, and HP executives about innovation at large companies. (2) Next, in The Democratization of Media: Good or Bad?, George responds to Andrew Keen, author of Cult of the Amateur, which argues that the open Net, social networks, and Web 2.0 are negative cultural forces.

Digital Prosperity Report Concludes IT Investment Critical

Policy makers should recognize information technology as the centerpiece of economic policy and develop their plans accordingly, concludes the Digital Prosperity study published this week by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.
“In the new global economy information and communications technology (IT) is the major driver, not just of improved quality of life, but also of economic growth,” writes Foundation president, Dr. Robert D. Atkinson, author of the study.
Atkinson is a widely respected economist who formerly served as project director of the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, and is the former director of the Progressive Policy Institute’s Technology and New Economy Project of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council.
Based on reviews of other studies, and Atkinson’s own research, the report maintains, “IT was responsible for two-thirds of total factor growth in productivity between 1995 and 2002 and virtually all of the growth in labor productivity” in the United States.

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Can Technology Defeat Terrorism?

The following is a transcribed excerpt of Peter Huber’s Gilder/Forbes Telecosm 2006 keynote, delivered earlier this month in Lake Tahoe:
When a deliberate nuclear release occurs in the United States, as I think it inevitably will, we will almost certainly find that the material originated somewhere mundane–a hospital, a factory, an industrial setting. There is a whole lot of nuclear material out there all over the place. It has many useful applications. People who want it will find it.
The London subway bombers used Triaceatone Triperoxide (TATP). They brewed it in the bathtub using acetone, drain cleaner, and bleach. The Japanese subway attackers home-brewed their Sarin gas. The Oklahoma City bombers mixed liquid fertilizer and diesel fuel.

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Another Telecosm Bit: Health Care

Another thought from our Telecosm conference last week: We had a couple very good presentations on health care from Andy Kessler and Art Robinson. Kessler’s new book, The End of Medicine, focuses on advances in digital imaging, as we go from single “slice” CT scans to 4 to 16 to 64, 256, 1024, down the line. The scanners are getting faster, higher resolution, and can now create 3D images. These things put out enormous amounts of data. The new ones yield around 2 gigabytes (GB), or about as much as a full-length DVD movie. Read just a bit about these marvelous new technologies, and one thing radiologists say over and over is that the data storage and bandwidth problems associated Read More ›

Telecosm Tidbits

We often forget about the secondary and tertiary effects of massive capital infrastructure investments. Two panel discussions at George Gilder’s 10th annual Telecosm, just concluded in Squaw Creek, California, indirectly reminded me of these virtuous side-effects. On the first night of the conference, Terry Turpin of communications equipment vender and hyper-tech defense contractor Essex Corp., was listing some of the pluses and minuses of the telecom boom (bubble?). Essex makes optical processors capable of the most demanding computational tasks ever known, from breaking codes to looking through the walls of caves in Afghanistan. Can you do 5 petaflops on just 10 watts? Didn’t think so. Anyway, Turpin mentioned that some of the machines he’s built in the last half-decade would Read More ›

George v. Joy

George Gilder and Bill Joy just finished their panel on “Is Technology Making Us Safer?” at the Always-On conference at Stanford University. Joy, once a co-founder of Sun Microsystems and now a new partner at Kleiner Perkins ventures, seems to have somewhat moderated his views on the “relinquishment” of technology — for example, saying biologists should have a sort of Hippocratic oath to help prevent the spread of dangerous bio-information rather than a bureaucratic government response as he previously suggested — but he is still just as worried about global warming as ever. He asked George, “Don’t you read Nature magazine?” as if the climatologists published there are dispositive. Joy said there is a consensus about global warming, and asked Read More ›