Synopsis of the last three months: I left Microsoft, I went to IETF, I
saw Rohit, I went into a coma, the stock market had a mini-crash, FoRK
saw a lot of signups, Rohit saw a working munchkin, Rohit appeared on
Cringelyvision the day he turned 24 and was greeted by a transocean
visit from RobH, two days later RobH turned 28, FoRK saw a lot of random
posts, FoRK saw a lot of desertions, the stock market had a
mini-rebound, I went out of a coma, I saw Rohit, Rohit went to IETF, and
I remembered that on this day three years ago Microsoft officially
announced its intentions for the Internet. Somewhere in there I got
married; somewhere in there my wife and I moved to a new apartment;
somewhere in there American Express sent me a platinum card even though
I was an idiot in a coma with the salary of a destitute graduate
student; somewhere in there many of you tried to contact me and/or goad
me and/or troll me into posting even though I wasn't conscious enough to
listen to any of the several dozen Win98 crashes on my home PC, several
hundred snail mails, several hundred answering machine messages, or
several thousand emails; somewhere in there the resumes I had sent last
spring to McKinsey & Company, IBM, and Oracle for a job after Caltech
were met respectively with a rejection letter, a job offer, and a job
offer; somewhere in there I ordered from http://www.gap.com/ because I
was too sick to leave the apartment; somewhere in there Microsoft bought
me a 450MHz Pentium II Gateway mootop and IBM bought me a 266MHz Pentium
II Thinkpad; somewhere in there I went roughly three months without any
new bits whatsoever (much like FoRK, eh?). In two days I turn 29, 23
days before the beginning of the Euro, 388 days before Y2K, 754 days
before the new millennium (with two L's and two N's and two M's and one
leap year, thankyouverymuch).
Several (nontech) friends have asked me in answering machine messages
and email and snail mail if they should fear the Euro and Y2K enough to
pull all of their money out of the stock and bond markets and put them
into their mattresses, and I say no, that exiting the markets right now
would be tantamount to exiting "A Bug's Life" before seeing the outtakes
in the ending credits. The best is yet to come. There will be no
worldwide depression at the end of 1999 as long as we all keep our heads
and approach this rationally.
*blink* *blink* I was dreaming when I wrote this, so sue me if I go too
fast, but life is just a party and parties weren't meant to last.
Looking back two sentences, I can't believe I'm putting my faith in the
rationality of humanity as a whole. Heaven help me, I still firmly
believe the Dow will see 10,000 before 2000. Then again, I've been
bit-starved for three months. AOL bought *whom*? Exxon merged with
*whom*? I look at the NYSE, and Chrysler is *where*? Earthweb, The
Globe, Ticketmaster/Citysearch, and Ubid jumped *how much* in their
first days of trading?! Amazon, Yahoo, Inktomi, and eBay stocks jumped
to *what*?! Sepracor's stock is up *how much* since 1997?! Dell's,
EMC's, and Cisco's stocks are up *how much* since 1990?!?! The S&P 500
is up 23% this year, the fourth major bull year for it in a row?!?!?!
I'm sure the people whose money has been sitting on the sidelines --
assuming they managed to save at all -- have kicked themselves for
missing such gangbuster leaps in the 1990s.
Right here, right now, at this crossroads, is a fascinating time to be
alive, and I am very happy I did not, in fact, die. Three years ago,
just after Microsoft's full fledged Internet maneuver, Rohit made a full
fledged Internet maneuver of his own: starting this list. Like Rohit
himself, this list has had its ups and downs. But just as I believe
1999 will be the most interesting year yet of human existence from a bit
and clue standpoint, I do believe that 1999 will be the best year ever
for FoRK. Leave if you want, but I'm optimistic to see what comes next.
(Better than leaving, of course, would be setting your filters for
certain people on "extra crispy.")
One of the first things I found in one of my first hops online in three
months is from
and included below. In one sense, these is not new, groundbreaking
bits: we all know the bandwidth issue is going to get worse before it
gets better (and, hopefully, eventually, irrelevant). So I want to put
this article in the FoRK scrapbook just as indicative of an era we'll
look back and laugh at someday. ("The DoJ thought they could take
Microsoft to court?! Bawhahahahaha!")
Nevertheless, there are some short-term obstacles we must overcome
before we can tackle some of the big-picture, longer-term issues.
Probably sometime before year's end I'll do a bunch of bitsurfing to see
what I've missed these past few months. I'll pitch a summary of my
infosponging here to this list in what will probably be 100-200k of
adamspew, some of which you'll have already heard before but hopefully
some of which you might have missed. To spare your delete key finger,
I'll consolidate it all into a single post.
Anyone who has anything sour, stupid, senseless, or cynical to say,
please send it just to me and not to this whole list. Common courtesy
would dictate to delete five things you were planning to post for every
one thing you actually do send. Otherwise, whenever you do actually
have something interesting to say, no one will listen.
Think early. Think often. And by all means, smoke like FDR - a man
stricken by polio, stuck in a wheelchair, fighting the Nazis all the
while, smoking three and a half packs a day.
Included article below:
> Internet capacity major theme for 1999 - study
> By Frances Hong
> NEW YORK, Dec 6 (Reuters) - With traffic over the Internet doubling
> every 100 days, the major theme for the computer, telephone and cable
> industries next year will be the need to boost speed and capacity for
> information highway cruisers, a technology survey said.
> The PricewaterhouseCoopers' ``Technology Forecast: 1999,'' due to be
> released Monday, sees demand for bandwidth, or the communications
> capacity to quickly and efficiently handle voice, data and video, as the
> big technology issue for 1999.
> Comparing the movement of data on the Internet to traffic jams on Los
> Angeles freeways, technology experts say the biggest challenge for the
> industry going into 1999 will be squeezing more traffic through existing
> access lanes.
> ``We're seeing huge plays by the telephone, cable and satellite
> companies all struggling to be the bandwidth provider of choice to
> consumers,'' said Michael Katz, of the professional services firm's
> global technology center.
> In the last year, the phone and cable industries came to unexpectedly
> rapid agreement on standardized equipment for delivering high-speed
> Internet connections and set the stage for widespread use of such
> services starting next year, he said.
> ``These providers will be challenged by decreasing prices they can
> charge for bandwidth and meeting increasing demand -- and they're hoping
> that traffic goes up faster than the prices go down,'' he said.
> Continued consolidation in the telecommunications market will lead to
> the emergence of four or five global supercarriers by 2002 as well as up
> to 4,000 national and regional niche players, the report said.
> Bandwidth is also critical to the success of electronic commerce.
> ``Shopping over the Internet can be frustratingly slow, but increasing
> bandwidth can enrich the (online) shopping experience,'' said Katz.
> Meanwhile technology will continue to improve as its cost falls.
> Increasing competition in the industry will not only force consolidation
> but drive prices even lower in 1999.
> Consider the personal computer market. A year ago, the introduction of
> $1,000 PCs provoked even the non-techie to take a ``byte.'' Now Compaq
> (NYSE:CPQ - news), IBM (NYSE:IBM - news) and other computer makers have
> flooded the market with computers for as little as $500 to $600 ahead of
> the holiday shopping season.
> Experts also predict a wave of mergers among suppliers of enterprise
> resource planning software, which a growing number of companies are
> using to link manufacturing, payroll, customer service and other
> operations, both on internal office networks and through suppliers'
> In coming years, the lines between the public Internet and internal
> office networks will continue to blur, which promises smoother rides for
> business and recreational Web users alike.
> More information on the report, the 10th edition of an encyclopedic
> survey of the computer and telecommunications industries, can be found
> at http://www.pwc-tech-forecast.com/ (New York Newsdesk--212-859-1700)
Silence may not be golden, but at least it's quiet.
Don't speak unless you can improve the silence.
I have often regretted my speech, never my silence.
It's better to be silent and be thought an idiot (or dead) than to open
your mouth and remove all doubt.