The few days I spent there in November were grey, wet, cool and thoroughly enjoyable. in part because its a place that doesn't take itself too seriously, has some interesting and relatively positive approaches to developing cities in the 21st century, and they have some very cool people working on networks and tools there. Not least of who is the excellent Jon Husband and his Partner Ramen who shared their flat and broadband with me for a few days in November. Jon is a leading light in the development of Qumana, which I'm beta testing and using to post right now.
So it comes as no surprise that this comes from Vancouver Via Roland Tanglao. Comvu - LIVE Mobile video broadcast from your mobile device
As part of the planning process for the events at the Torino Olympics with New Media BC, Mobile Muse and Raincity Studios, Kris and I met the folks at Comvu, yet another local Vancouver mobile company. They have a cool product: a way to broadcast from your mobile device LIVE to people on the Internet who can watch on their mobile devices or on a web browser on their desktops. A great complement to the timeshifting of videoblogging. In fact, apparently the live video is saved on server and has RSS so it could be video podcasted and blogged after the fact!
Wouldn't it be great if you could see a demo of this during the Olympics and see how we can broadcast from our mobile devices from Torino to Vancouver and Vancouver to Torino? Well it's not a pipe dream; we'll do our best to make it a reality soon hopefully during the Olympics timeframe! And of course I am working to get them to give a demo at MoMoVan say in March or April.
And wont it be interesting the next time there is a civil or natural disaster as people inside the event whip out their mobiles and broadcast it from inside the smoke and falling masonry, maybe even from under the cops truncheons, briefly anyway. Imagine if this had been available in the WTC on September 11 2001, or inside a hijacked aircraft.
Now, add this, Resistance is Futile
Broadband networks offered or facilitated by municipalities are going to become the norm, not the exception, according to analyst Pam Duffey with visiongain. The London, England-based company's new report, "Municipal Broadband Networks: Market impact and implications, 2006-2011" talks about the facts — there 400 cities and regions thinking about installing wireless broadband networks across the globe, and 100 that are actually doing it, 40 of which are in the United States — and makes the prediction that the numbers will double this year. Legal opposition in some states notwithstanding, Duffey says in a statement, "We believe resistance toward Muni networks is futile."
She says the idea that a municipality should provide the network, or at least the means for widespread broadband, is quickly becoming not just an option but a duty. "By 2010/2011," says Duffey, "we believe the majority of cities and townships in the US will have a municipal wireless network in place, and the focus then will be on uniting them into a seamless, if not centralized, national network." Many, she says, will offer wireless broadband service as a utility along with gas, electricity and water.
Exactly, connectivity as ubiquirtous and trivial as a footpath. Something that will inevitably lead to this; Alex Soojung-Kim and David Pescovitz's article in Wired on Cyberspace is Dead now has a blog:
Cyberspace is a "metaphor we live by," born two decades ago at the intersection of computers, networks, ideas, and experience. It has reflected our experiences with information technology, and also shaped the way we think about new technologies and the challenges they present. It had been a vivid and useful metaphor for decades; but in a rapidly-emerging world of mobile, always-on information devices (and eventually cybernetic implants, prosthetics, and swarm intelligence), the rules that define the relationship between information, places, and daily life are going to be rewritten. As the Internet becomes more pervasive-- as it moves off desktops and screen and becomes embedded in things, spaces, and minds-- cyberspace will disappear.
As an occasional photographer with pretensions, it used to drive me nuts that I would take a great pic and have it wrecked by telephone wires right through the middle. Like most of us, I had been so used to them being there that I no longer see them, unlike the camera.
back when we used to talk about how we would know when the Internet had reached "critical mass", my answer was always that it would be true when we stopped talking about it.
We knew that "having a telephone" had reached critical mass when we could just say "call me", without having to ask if you had a phone, same with "email me". And when I hear 2 people talking in a room and the answer to a question is "google it", I know we are probably there.
As Jon says in the comments, maybe it will be something like a "Wirearchy", and he's probably right, but but the time we get there, it wont need a name.