Reflection – written April 22 , 2000
The world is becoming a world of packets. Email, web pages, phone conversations, radio and TV, and video conferencing. Video will soon be thought of as just another data type. We now take good quality graphics and colors on web pages for granted. Soon we will take high quality video on web pages for granted. In fact it won’t be too long before full screen jitter free video will be a reality on the web. Many sites already provide video content and festivals are happening in many places. The links below may reflect a sample of what the future of Internet video is going to be like.
One of the new dimensions of the world which will be made possible by the advent of high quality Internet video is geo-independence. There are many examples when you think about it. Experts. I define an expert as a person who spends most of their time on an airplane travelling to share their expertise. With high quality video and large flat panel video walls those experts will start leveraging their time much more effectively. Imagine going to a doctor who is on another continent. You will go to a local hospital or clinic. The doctor who is most expert in your particular ailment will be interviewing you from thousands of miles away. He or she will be on a video wall and will seem very close. There is no substitute for the “laying on of the hands” of a doctor but for some situations it may not be necessary. The local staff assists you entering a functional MRI machine. The doctor on the video wall asks you to bend your knee that is giving you such difficulty. You bend your knee and the doctor on the video wall sees what is happening in your brain on a display in his or her office and provides a diagnosis.
Our Internet Technology group is involved in a number of areas. We’ve been responsible for developing and demonstrating leading edge IBM technology in a highly visible fashion over the past four years. Projects have included large, very complex web sites that broke new ground for IBM in scalability (The Patent Database is an example of how *very* large databases can be made widely accessible on the Web), and the distributed computing environments necessary to support sites like the Nagano Olympics, IBM’s corporate home page, and numerous other events. To do this, we invented, integrated, and worked with people and organizations world-wide inside and outside of IBM. Our role is to bring together IBM Research, development, business transformation, and operations organizations through special/advanced projects to develop, integrate, and implement new and innovative technologies.
I think it’s imperative that IBM eats it’s own cooking. Making technology, processes, and services work for ourselves will have huge positive impact on what we are selling to customers. To accomplish this, we have initiatives under way in the areas of computing infrastructure, e-business applications and building blocks such as video conferencing, IP telephony, messaging, and central directories. We do our best to share our skills and expertise.
Most recently we are spending a lot of our time working with Internet2.
Shieh – Shieh: Thank you
Gwang – Hwa: A shopping area that has a lot of electronics
Tzai Chien: Bye bye
Nie how: how are you?
Gei Wuo Shau-Lung-Bao: give me dumpling
La – Der: Spicy
This post contains GPS readings from some of my travels during 1999 in Asia. The latitudes and longitudes were captured using Garmin GPS devices. Today I use a Magellan handheld and TomTom for vehicles.
Singapore, Republic of Singapore
1 degree 16.352 minutes North
103 degrees 50.673 minutes East
Distance from home: 9,495 miles
Hong Kong, China
22 degrees 16.732 minutes North
114 degrees 9.457 minutes East
Distance from home: 8,029 miles
25 degrees 2.036 minutes North
121 degrees 33.689 minutes East
Distance from home: 7,766 miles
Left house at 8 AM for an 11 AM flight from JFK to Narita Airport in Tokyo. Flight arrived right on time at 3 PM (1AM EST). Couple of hours in the Fuji Lounge to replicate email and then back to a brand new 747 bound for Singapore. I thought it was a 4 hour flight but then discovered that there is an additional 2 hour time zone difference so it is actually a 6 hour flight. Flight arrived in Singapore at 12:30 AM Wednesday morning (12/1) which will then be 11:30 AM Tuesday morning at home. So by the time I got to the hotel and checked in it was about 28 1/2 hours. Makes for a long day especially when you can’t sleep well on airplanes. After a late arrival at the hotel, some light dinner in my room, and a decent night’s sleep I was all set for a very busy day in Singapore. It started with a press roundtable and then a TV interview on CNBC’s dot com program with Keith Liu (see summary of all the press activity). Then a visit with the IBM Emerging Technology Center which is doing some interesting work with Quality of Service which is a key ingredient of the next generation of the Internet. From there to visit SingAren where some very interesting NGi work is also going on. The day was capped off with an evening presentation and then panel discussion with about 75 “netGen” companies and venture capitalists at Wong San’s Eastside.
Unfortunately I didn’t get much chance to see the sights of Singapore except that early this morning I had a breakfast meeting with the Singaporean Information Technology Council, a group of a dozen executives from various companies. We met at The Tower Club which is on the 62nd floor of a very modern skyscraper in downtown Singapore. The view was spectacular. Singapore is the busiest harbor in the world and the skyline is beautiful. For a country with a small amount of land I was surprised to learn that there are seventeen golf courses! I learned a lot of interesting things in Singapore. One was that at age 60 a person has to get a complete medical examination in order to renew their driver’s license. After three years they then have to do this every year. Makes sense and quite different than America! Then a few press interviews and then a delightful luncheon with a group of IBM customers from Singapore and Malaysia. I talked about NGi and then we had a lively Q&A session.
The Cathay Pacific flgiht to Hong Kong was superb. Cathay is a long standing IBM customer and is noted for their great service. This was my first flight with them and I see why it is such a successful airline. After another late night hotel arrival and room meal I rested up for another really busy day. Started off with a presentation at a large conference on e-business hosted by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. Then an interesting luncheon with the Efficiency Unit of the Hong Kong government. I gave a presentation on NGi and then we had an interesting Q&A session about people and government issues. Then a press conference with a dozen Asian journalists and a one to one interview with ComputerWorld. The day finished with a dinner with a group of executives from Cathay Pacific, one of our fine customers in Hong Kong. I was pleased to be able to report to them about the great flight I had on their airline from Singapore.
Saturday was mostly a day off. It is very rare that I have any spare time on my business travels but this was an exception since I had to be in Taiwan on Monday. It would have taken me more than a weekend to go home from Hong Kong and then back to Taiwan!
Karen and Alfonso Jim must be two of the very nicest people in Hong Kong. They spent a whole day showing me around Hong Kong. We started by taking a train to Tung Chung on Lantau Island. There are over 300 islands that make up Hong Kong and Lantau Island is the biggest. Bigger than Hong Kong but with not nearly as many people. The island has many beautiful parks. The most impressive thing is the Budda at the top of a mountain. It is more than massive. See the pictures in the Photo gallery.
Another delightful flight with Cathay Pacific to Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. Some IBM colleagues met me at the Taipei airport and took me to center city where I visited the Information Month Exhibition (where I would be speaking later in the trip) at the Taipei World Trade Center. This is an incredible event that lasts for about two weeks and draws 1.5 million visitors. It is focused on all dimensions of information technology and is aimed at better educating people about the future. Monday morning started out with a visit with the chairman of the National Science Council. Then a luncheon was held with a couple of dozen CEO’s of various financial services companies in Taiwan. A presentation about NGi and discussion followed. Dinner that night was very special. It was hosted by General Kuo who is the president of the Institute for Information Industry. It included all the speakers for the next day at Information Month. About 2,000 people attended the presentations. At lunch I presented to a large group from the American Chamber of Commerce. Normal subject and discussion.
Taiwan’s culture is a blend of its distinctive Chinese heritage and Western influences. Fine arts, folk tradtions, and popular culture embody traditional and modern, Asian and Western motifs. One of Taiwan’s greatest attractions is the Palace Museum, which houses over 650,000 pieces of Chinese bronze, jade, calligraphy, painting, and porcelain. This collection was moved from the mainland in 1949 when Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist Party (KMT) fled to Taiwan. The collection is so extensive that only 1% is on display at any one time. I was fortunate to tag on to a short English tour enroute to the airport on my final day of the trip.