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Seventh International World Wide Web Conference

John Patrick
Vice President, Internet Technology – IBM Corporation
Day 1 — Wednesday, April 15 1998 – Brisbane, Australia
1:30 – 2:30
Transcript of Presentation

John Patrick

MODERATOR: Good after ladies and gentleman. Again, sorry for the delay.
For those of you who saw me last evening or heard me speak last evening — for those who were able to hear — you won’t be surprised, therefore, that I might say something additional now about this idea that we’ve been running with this conference, of involving the corporate world very much with us, in not just the straight forward sponsorships, but with us in terms of helping us and taking us on through the conference.
To this end I’d like to say that IBM has a V.I.P. suite available. It’s on the second level, up the stairs at the back of Hall One in the PCIT Exhibition. And that V.I.P. suite is available there with the traditional V.I.P. hospitality there from IBM.
But more particularly, with their people there, who are very willing to talk to you about their business and about other matters. And they are willing to make that space available to you and make their time available to you, to help you with any questions that you might have.
Our keynote speaker now, in fact, will be available there for a short time this afternoon, as well — after the question session.
That leads me on to say that the question session again for this keynote will be outside of this conference hall in Room P-4. So the same as for the Jim Burns’ meeting this morning on P Level, Room 4 for the question time after this.
I will now then, introduce to you, our keynote speaker this afternoon, John Patrick, from IBM. In many ways, to a lot of us, he doesn’t need any introduction. He’s very much involved with 3-C and we could even say he’s one of the founding fathers if he isn’t too offended by the term. But he was very much involved in that establishment and indeed also, in the establishment of many other of the key activities around that time with the Global Internet Project and that sort of thing.
Currently he is the Vice President of Internet Technology at the IBM Corporation. And apart from that activity, if that were not significant enough, his numerous professional activities outside of IBM include him being involved in the projects I’ve identified, The Institute of Electrical Engineers, The Internet Society, and things of that ilk.
John is a well known member of the W 3-C, and even more well known member of World Wide Web Conferences. This is his third presentation to us. So would you please give a warm welcome to John Patrick.
JOHN PATRICK: Thank you very much. It’s nice to be here with you. Quite a change since I was last with you in Paris just a couple of brief years ago. Quite amazing what has happened since then. And, perhaps even more amazing, what’s going to happen over the next couple of years.
I’d like to use our time together this afternoon to talk a bit about that future and share with you a vision of one fellow traveler of this group and to explore the idea of transforming to a business. Now, when I say business, I really, of course, mean governments, educational institutions of all kinds and businesses large and small.
I’d like to give you a glimpse of what I see on the horizon. Many of you have your own observations about this, many leading experts at the future of the Internet here in the room, so perhaps a bit presumptuous, but I’d like to share what I think some of the emerging issues may be and lastly, some comments about: What will it be like when this active planet is really in high gear, with everything and everybody connected?
I’d like to start by commenting on three meta-trends that I believe are underlying this move to E-business around the world. The first is the natural evolution of a new medium, and I think to some extent there are still many around the world who think of the Internet as this phenomena happening off in the corner somewhere. Maybe like CB radio and maybe something that’s going to last or maybe it won’t.
But, of course, all of us know that this is something much more profound than you could possibly describe — any network. This, in fact, is the evolution of a new medium, much like radio evolved from AM to FM to FM Stereo. And television evolved from black and white to color to color surround sound, theater sound — much in that same way.
The Internet is evolving, is a very rich new medium that will facilitate natural, human interaction. And pretty soon we’ll be aware of this pipe connected to our home or our business or our academic department or government agency, and through this pipe will flow packets, little packets of information.
Ones and zeros — little packets that are pieces of E-mails, pieces of web pages, pieces of faxes, telephone conversations, of course, radio and television broadcasting and programming, and video interactive conferencing. Huge numbers of people connected — I would say a billion.
Now does that mean that there will be a billion people with PCs — oh, if it could be so. No, think it’s not that simple. People like to say, “Is it the PC or is it the NC?” And the answer is, yes, it’s the PC, it’s the NC, it’s the PDA, it’s the car, it’s the pager, it’s the phone, and it’s the kiosk — the kiosk providing the potential for universal access. Kiosks in churches and schools and government buildings, kiosks on the street corner. Kiosks on the plant floor. People taking a web break instead of a smoke break. Kiosks in the jungle.
You see it already in airports. You swipe that credit card and send an E-mail or send a flower home, check what’s going on. And this will become ubiquitous.
Now the second thing that’s going on here is that the web is putting the individual in charge. Now this is a meta-trend that I would say, there’s some denial about in many camps around the world. But I think it’s undeniable. And perhaps the most profound aspect of what’s going on here.
The people, now in charge — once and for all. Power to the people is really what this is about when you think about it. It’s not about big companies getting lots more power, it’s not about governments or universities getting more power because of their network prowess — no, it’s about people getting the power.
No longer will editors and publishers decide for you and for me what we’re interested in and when we are interested in it and the degree of depth to which we want to explore. We’ll decide. If we want to listen to “Candle in the Wind,” again, right now, we do. If we want to wait until tomorrow morning and listen to it with some friends, we do. If we want to go check the status of the temperature of the solar panels of a space vehicle — we check it right now.
We will decide the hours of operation of businesses. Businesses will no longer decide. “We are open Monday to Friday, nine to five.” “Excuse me, I’m not available then. I’m busy. Or on an airplane or working. I’m doing other things. I want to open my bank account on three a.m. Saturday.”
So we will decide. We will set the curricula and we will set the schedule and we will set the rules for how we will be educated.
So this is very much a powerful, rather incredible thing. There are many examples — I’ll tell you what, while the video is being repaired, we’re going to move on. So, the people are in charge, except in some instances.
Now the third meta-trend that’s going on here is the concept of web centric marketing. Today people have information technology systems that are sort of their center of gravity. And then over here they build a web site, and that is sort of their brochure ware, and they begin to connect the two, but he center of gravity is the information technology core.
And then there’s a juxtaposition coming before us, and this juxtaposition is going to make the web become the center of gravity, because, after all, that’s where all the people are. So you start there and then work your way back into those core business systems. The centricity of this revolves around the web.
Now this leads to a lot of possibilities here. A lot of opportunities, this notion of everyone connected. How will people find you? How will they trust you? How will you project your unique strengths? How will you come up with advantages that make you just a little bit different than those other billion web pages that’ll be out there pretty shortly. There might be a billion now, we can only count about three or four hundred million, but there’s lots of them that are not countable.
Now, the concept here of everybody connected, really does introduce the issue of who is in charge of your image as an organization. Are you in charge or is somebody else in charge? And I think many organizations have not really quite stepped up to this yet.
Recently I gave a talk to a group of paper executives and before I met with them I thought, well, I’m going to go out and learn about paper. So I went out on the web with my favorite search engine, Dog Pile, and did a search on paper and found an incredible array of information.
But one particular page really jumped out at me. And it was called “Steve Shook’s Directory of Forest Products, Wood Science and Marketing.” It is an amazing web site. It’s had a couple of hundred thousand visitors and it had every imaginable piece of information about the paper industry, including points of view, what’s going on in this industry, what are the key factors, who are the key players, what are the key trends, what are the key technologies?
So I asked this group of executives, 50 or 75 of them, from the paper industry, “Raise your hand if you know Steve Shook?” Not a hand went up. Never heard of him. And yet, here seemed to be the God of Paper, as near as I could tell.
And this CEO in the audience said, “Well, who is he?” I said, “I think he’s a student.”
“A student! Well, why is he doing this?”
“He likes paper.”
“He’s from the Pacific Northwest of America, at the University of Washington. A lot of trees out there. Maybe his family’s in the business. I don’t know. But if I were you, I’d get to know Steve Shook.”
“How do we know this information is right,” this person said.
“You don’t. How do you know anything is right? You check the veracity of it, you talk to people who know the person. You corroborate the sources, you read it. Just like a book. So if it’s not right, I’d get to know Steve Shook.
“This could International Paper or Boise Cascade or Georgia Pacific and Steve Shook bring you, The Directory of Forest Science, Wood Products and Marketing. You could partner with this person — that you want to subsidize his web site.”
So a lot of tough questions that are new that because of the accessibility, really beg these very important issues to be addressed.
Now, the opportunities are overwhelming in this space, as you all well know. We call it E-business and you may have seen that term about. E-business is a broader E-commerce. E-commerce is click here to by. E-business is click here to initiate the supply chain, click here to start “just in time” inventory flow between company A and company B. Click here to enroll for the current semester, click here to design your curricula for this semester, click here to pay your tuition, click here to grant a degree through some X509V3 certificate of some kind.
So it’s a broader set of things. It’s enabling an organization to become an electronic business, to provide applications on the inside of the fire wall, for employees, for students for faculty; and to provide applications outside of the fire wall in terms of extra oriented applications. And I’m going to show you an example of this.
Now, E-business tends to occur along three axies. Content, commerce and collaboration. And I’d like to now give you some examples of what I think some of the key features are across each of those three mentions, and point out what I think some of the issues are.
I’d like to start by talking about content. One of the most important issues with regard to content is expectations. This is an incredibly important aspect of this and I think it’s accelerating at quite a pace.
Recently my wife and I took a trip to visit our daughter and our new grand daughter. And my wife was taking pictures frantically, she filled up a roll of film, and she asked me if I would take the role to be developed.
I took it to a one-hour photo shop. I don’t know much about this analogue stuff, to tell you the truth, I’ve been taking digital pictures for a long time and I’m very naive at this who world of analogue cameras, but I would have to say, I was enormously impressed with the fact that within one hour I could drive down and get these nice prints back and everybody passed them around and oooh, ah over the baby and so on. One hour.
And then I contrast that with the Internet. Last July the Pathfinder landed on Mars and out of that Pathfinder drove the sojourner, this little vehicle that’s riding around Mars. I was sitting at my chair at home last July — couldn’t wait to see this.
And so the Pathfinder took a picture of the sojourner and I clicked to get that picture, and I waited and I waited — I waited 45 seconds to get that picture from 219 million miles away. That’s expectations. It wasn’t good enough — 45 seconds. But one hour was terrific.
Okay? So this is a really serious issue. Think about the web sites to which you go, you click here to buy, and up comes a page and says “Print this out and fax it to us.” Click here to buy and it says, “Great! Glad you’re interested. Call this 800 number.” And this has enormous implications that put a lot of … on us all as businesses and governments and institutions to deliver services in new and creative ways.
Permits in particular, have a tremendous opportunity here. Who likes to go an renew their driver’s license. It’s painful. Seven states in America and portions of Australia, I believe, now you can renew your driver’s license on the net.
Oh, we’re back live. Terrific! Thank you.
All right. Now, another dimension of content has to do with aggregation. Aggregation of information and this will occur in very powerful new ways.
Recently a site was launched called JCentral, which is an aggregation of information about Java, Java as a subject. News group postings, news stories, various journals and public documents. But also, beams, applets of all kinds, where you can search on a particular area of interest and find all the articles, all the news, all the beams, parched code, organized — so that you can take advantage of it.
A crawler that’s continuously looking across all of the web in all servers that are accessible to the public. And if nothing is found that meets your request, that request is queued and many in a week or two or a month or six months, you’ll get and E-mail saying, “I found it.”
Now this is a new way to think about content. Very specialized content exists on many web sites, but the concept of all information about a particular subject, is a very powerful idea, and I think we’ll see that concept spread across many different areas. Another dimension of this is our culture. Some people aren’t so sure about the web.
I remember at my talk in Paris at WWW5 that there was a requirement that at that conference, as I recall it was 15 percent or maybe it was 20 percent of the contents must be delivered in French. Those of you who were there, may recall that I said, “I can speak two languages. English and HTML.” I don’t think the organizer thought it was very funny.
Culture is incredibly important. There used to be 30,000 languages, now there are 5,000. Some people think there’s just one. I don’t think so. I think, in fact, the web will enable people to get together again who no nearly extinct dialects and be able to converse and rejuvenate those dialects. Cultures can be shared in powerful new ways through incredibly powerful scanning technologies. It brings the works of the Vatican Library, for example, to life.
Today about 1000 people per year can go to the Vatican Library. Very special people. Scholars who are screened. They can come in for two hours — 1000 per year. Now you can go to the Vatican Library and you can see those same things — 40 million people can, not a 1000.
Data hiding technology used to protect the authenticity of these rare documents. You can see Aristotle and Ptolmey and read letters from King Henry VIII to Anne Bolyen. Things under of before. Most people in the world will never get to the Vatican Library or the Chinese National Library or St. Petersburg or the national libraries in Australia or many other priceless treasure chests.
And now, with the web, our cultures can be shared, can be spread, people can improve their perceptions and their understanding of these great cultures of the world.
Now commerce has many issues, of course. Click here to find almost anything. I think what’s important at … is the introduction of new business models. Just putting a catalogue on the web, just like we had out catalogue in the print, doesn’t really cut it.
Net Grocer has a good idea, whereby you can establish your shopping list of staple items — potato chips, mayonnaise, pickles condiments, cleaning materials, diapers, whatever it might be, and you can set standing orders. “Here’s my order. Ship it every six weeks. Here’s another order, ship it to my son or daughter in college once a month.”
A compelling value proposition that establishes fulfillment models. It’s a new idea. It frees up your time to spend on picking those really special fruits and vegetables and meats and fish and things that require that extra time.
And soon, these kinds of sites will come to life with new panoramic technology that will allow you to turn them, not quite squeeze them yet, but look at them and read them and manipulate them to get a better feel for what’s going on.
Now, click here to buy in the business to consumer, and of course, it’s booming, as well know. It’s very important. But more important, perhaps, ultimately, is the behind-the-scenes Extranet applications that are providing business to business efficiency which, in turn, leads to more competition, more product selection for those consumers.
The automotive industry, for example, have been working quite aggressively to tie together the whole industry, to enable a manufacturer of a part to be able to look through a net folder at the engineering design of that part, and to enable the manufacturing company to look into the inventory data bases of their suppliers to see what’s in flow. Independent of what kind of engineering design software the manufacturer has or what kind of inventory data base that the vendor has. And this is the great, profound power of the net, is this compatibility that enables tying together whole industries.
An example that I’ve just come across that I’m quite impressed with, is a company called Intralinks. Intralinks is a small start-up in New York City. They started about six months ago, or nine months now — last June — this company syndicates loans. Now, you’ll never find this web site, probably, it’s on the web — it’s there, but you won’t use it, because it’s not for us, it’s for banking customers as a bank.
A large bank will go to this site and register a new loan opportunity. X,Y,Z Company want’s to borrow $100 million, Intralinks will post that loan, they’ll enable their 400 participating banks to be able to look at the terms and conditions, the loan rate, and decide whether they want to participate. And if they do, they click here, “Yes, I want to participate in this loan.”
And someone else clicks here and says, “Okay guys, here are the participants now — here are the ten banks that are going to be part of this syndication. Let’s negotiate the details now.”
So the lawyers and the administrators get together in a virtual private work space, a virtual conference room on the web, very granular security being deployed here. And they put the deal together. No faxes, no telephone calls, no paper, no briefcases full of closing documents and people flying places to get into the closing room to put the deal together.
The 400 participants are saying that their average savings have been 30 percent. The loan values so far in the first six months of this new start-up — $50 billion. This is E-business at work here. Extranet technology making business to business quite possible.
Now in the collaboration space there a lot of things going on here. I think … interesting and perhaps a signal of things to come.
Here’s an intermediary that’s come along, a company called InCongress. This is a business. And this business is an advertising supported site which provides an index of all the legislative activities going on in America. So if you’re interested in gun control, you can go and see what’s going on with gun control are pending. And you can … see what’s General Electric or Microsoft of IBM or XYZ Company’s position on gun control, if they have one.
And likewise, the congressional staffers can go to this web site and they can find out how many people are interested and what they think about it and join into a discussion forum and look to see what the company’s positions on it are. It’s a collaboration in a very large sense, enabling government and companies and individuals to come together in a virtual private space.
Plano, Texas — of course, Texas is kind of a small place, it’s about half the size of Queensland, but nevertheless, doing some interesting things. Plano has put together some — a group where technology on the Internet to allow collaboration with the entire community. To allow people to go to see: What are burglaries by streets? So they can find out: Is crime moving my way? Where is it happening? Can I report crime or suspected crime in a new way? Can I collaborate in some way with the investigative department.
So an incredible amount of very interesting information on this web site, and also you can find a survey.
Imagine this. Here’s a police department reaching out to their community saying, “How we doing? Give us some information about you and tell us what you like and what you don’t like about police services.” This is really quite radical and I think it’s really just the beginning of some pretty impressive things.
Now let’s take this a step further here in the context of this new medium.
Now you get the idea. That’s the Los Angeles Police Department. Now, think about this for a minute. Here’s a police scanner radio, sort of the digital reincarnation of a scanner you might buy at Radio Shack or some electronics store. You know, a scanning video costs a couple of hundred dollars. You have to be like really interested in the police department to go and spend $200 for a scanner radio.
But if you have an instance when you’re interested, because there’s something going on of importance in your community, you go to the web, because the web is that single medium. It’s E-mail, it’s Fax, it’s radio it’s TV it’s, of course, telephony and all forms of communication going on at once.
Now, another segment of the collaborative world that I always like to talk about, because I’m convinced that this may be the fastest growing segment, in fact, people over fifty. We used to call them seniors. But now that I’m well over fifty, I don’t call them seniors anymore.
I don’t think of myself as a senior. I think of myself as a person. And that’s the way all of the people who visit Third Age, it’s about a half a million people per month visiting there. These are people with disposable income, these are people with time, these are people with the inclination, the motivation to get connected, to form relationships.
Fourteen marriages so far have been spawned out of Seniornet, the original network. Third Age.com people are buying things on the Internet. Fifty percent of the people over 50 have made purchases on the Internet, 50 percent have made investments on the Internet, 19 percent of all the users of the Internet, according to their study, are over fifty.
So this is a very, very important market, and I think, an important indicator of what’s to come in terms of the new medium. Occasionally I talk to boards of directors or CEOs in the executive suite, and I’ll hear this term, “Well, when this gets easy enough for my mother, then I’ll now it’s real?”
I’m going to start a mother’s revolution. Our mothers are using it. Our grandmothers are using it. And they’re not intimidated whatsoever by this technology.
Okay. Content, Commerce and Collaboration. It makes it possible to have a rather incredible transformation. What’s it take? First the recognition that there’s an extension here. That there’s a marriage happening between the web and information technology. It’s not separate. There’s this extension, there’s this creation of the universally compatible 52/50 or VT 100 or 3270 or whatever your favorite terminal type of the past might be — it’s now the web.
You need to build your organization from outside in, out where the people are — create that web site and work your way back into those core business systems. If you start from the inside and gradually work your way out, it takes a lot longer.
You need to figure out how to connect the dots and put the hardware and the software and the services and the consulting and the financing and the education, and put all of that together as an integrated whole, just like you did with your traditional information technology systems.
Because it’s not longer just IT and then there’s the web. It is IT. And so it has to be treated in a way that can assure that you can achieve reliability, availability, scalabilty, manageability — just like you’d expect from local area networks or in-house systems.
And, of course, to fuel the cultural change. You know about that, because you are the people who are the cultural change. But you need to help your colleagues above you and below you, to buy into this and to understand it so that it doesn’t become suppressed in any way.
I think there are some very key considerations here with this world of pervasive computing that we’re moving into. It really does … like an architecture or a framework. It’s not just throw up the web server in the corner and hope it work, and if it doesn’t, fix it.
Certainly there is room for experimentation and trial by fire is a pretty good way to get some things going, but as you begin to think of this as a mainstream capability, you really need to have as plan in mind. Some form of architecture or framework to give you a blueprint.
Pervasive computing is going to be upon us pretty soon. You might think it is already, but I think we’ve seen nothing yet. The real answer to pervasive band width is going to be having disk drives and servers on telephone poles — and they’re happening already. And that’s where caching comes in. Caching is the great promise to change the world of the web, it’s the next big thing, I believe.
Cashing will occur and will be refreshed through broadcasting technologies that will enable you to think you have local access, when in fact, the origins are far away.
Secondly, we need to think about standards moving to a higher level. We have many low level standards that people have bought into. There’s not a lot of debate these days about if TCPIP is the way to go? I don’t think there’s any debate. But there are some debates on higher levels on a lot of issues. And so we need to evolve these standards into a much higher plane. The World Wide Web Consortium, I think, is doing a wonderful job making that happen.
A reporter said to me today, “You know, this W C-3 thing, it’s really slow.” I said, “That’s an interesting comment. It’s only existed for about three years and in the span of months has introduced standards that are perhaps more important than what took decades to create in the past.”
It’s easy to forget that information technology’s been around a very, very long time. Before many of us in this room were born. And so I think the pace is actually quite exciting. And you know, the concept of thinking of this as a marriage with information technology is really true, and companies don’t want to change everything every six weeks, so it’s more important to get it right than to get it done in six weeks. And I think W C-3 is doing a great job of that. And XML and OPS, and many of these higher level standards are extremely important.
Now, Java, I think, is pretty important here also. Not because of 100 million desktops — I’m not into that particular debate with you here. I’m talking here about Java from a network sense, in that it’s really about connecting a lot of things. Not just computers.
Maybe there’ll be 100 or 200 million computers, and when we hit those numbers we’ll be looking at billions of things, pagers, and appliances and vending machines — things that want to communicate, things that want to be able to tell headquarters about a … or this appliance is down, or this part is broken and to be able to have these very lightweight forms of communication. It doesn’t need an elaborate operating system. It needs a simple way to communicate, but it also needs a consistent way to communicate from device to device.
A lot of interesting things, of course, are possible with Java. I want to just show you a little application we’re doing on our Intranet. I thought you might in enjoy it. It’s really having quite an impact and it has to do with sharing communications.
Someone in our company may give a speech somewhere about some subject, and somebody films it, and now you have a VHS tape or what do you do with that? How many copies do I make and who do you send them to?
Well, with this jukebox concept, you drop it in a FedEx bag and get a control number assigned and it goes off to a lab that compresses it and stages it on to a server and you get an E-mail with a URL, and now it’s in this video jukebox and employees can go to this video jukebox from wherever they might be, at home or in the office or traveling —
I won’t play this in the interest of time, but this is a video of our chairman meeting with Jaing Zemin in New York City. A very important meeting in terms of global affairs. Something we want our employees to know about.
Now we could send out a press release like we always have, an internal press release — we could send pictures of the meeting. But they don’t impart what was really going on. They don’t impart the laughter. They don’t tell you what comments were serious and what was not serious. They don’t show the facial reactions that people have. You don’t really know what was going on here. You don’t get the full import of the communication.
So video, of course, as you know — there’s been a lot of exciting things out here on the floor you can see, but the power of communications of people and of organizations and, of course, across the Internet at large, but very specifically, to enhance communications inside of organizations, especially as they become large, is going to be an extremely important use of this technology.
Now, scalability is very important and there are many dimensions to it. I’m greatly looking forward to coming back here in 135 and a half weeks from now, to Sydney. And it’s quite fun to think about what it may be like. Is it going to be the web, or is it going to be TV? Of course, it’s going to be both, but just how many people will think of the web as the preferred way to find out what’s going on. I think many will. Perhaps most will have to wait and see.
One thing I know for sure is that we don’t know how many people are going to come to that web site in 2000. We don’t know when they’re going to come, and we don’t know what they’re going to do when they get there. So this requires a lot of thought and it also requires a lot of very advanced technology to provide, basically, and infinite scalability and responsiveness and adaptability, to be able to deal with the requests.
We learned a great deal about this at Nagano, by the way. And without hitting all the details, our peak rate of requests was 103,000 in a minute. Now I don’t know what the average was, but it doesn’t matter, you have to be able to handle the peak and that’s what scalability is all about.
Now the foundation underneath the Internet is very important. How do we know that the Internet’s going to be scalable? How do we know it’s going to be reliable? How do we know it’s going to be secure? How do we know it’s not going to be regulated, which could, of course, slow it down?
Well, there are five very important foundations that effect the Internet that you see on this screen. It’s vitally important that the private sector, in partnership with academia, aggressively address these issues and take the lead here.
There’s also a role for governments to be supportive, to urge an awareness in this area, to prod people along, but we must move quickly together as academia and business, to address these issues and increase the awareness generally, else we will face regulation that will be very difficult, regulations that will be like trying to regulate the wind. But regulation that may be attempted.
In the area of security, there are many issues — is it strong enough isn’t one of them. But are we taking security seriously, as organizations? Do we know who runs our fire will? What’s the state of their morale? Do we take passwords seriously? Do we have an aggressive audit procedure to make sure we’re testing, continuously to see if we fan break into our own networks? Do we take it seriously, pro-actively?
And security needs to evolve to higher levels of standards also. The secure electronic transactions per call, is vitally important.
Now, unfortunately, SSL has worked so well, that people have learned that their credit card number is very safe on the Internet. I remember talking about this in Paris. People believe it. The only thing is, they don’t know who it is they’re talking to, so the encryption technology that we have can do much more than protect the privacy of that exchange of zeros and ones. It can provide authentication and authorization and, of course, confidentiality. Also, integrity that nothing was changed in the message and non-repudiation that allows for the protection of both the buyer and the seller.
So having a standard way to do that is vitally important and it must be moved forward.
Content labeling — you know about this issue. It would be impossible to regulate, in my opinion. We have a wonderful technology called Pics, thanks to the leadership of the W3C. Pics, the platform for Internet content selection has enormous potential, we have just barely scratched the surface for what it can do to enable parents and teachers to be empowered, to be able to provide the filtering that is appropriate for their children.
And with the capability of Pics under the covers, to have label bureaus, to have proxies, that can allow you to pick who your proxy is, and I can pick who my proxy is, is an enormously powerful idea and I urge us all to talk about it and increase awareness and get this moving faster.
Privacy, likewise. People are now comfortable that their credit card number isn’t getting abused, but they seem to be comfortable also, that they can provide their name and their address and their mother’s maiden name and their ship to address and their date of birth and whatever it takes, because they’re so anxious to get that bottle of salsa or that CD or that bag of groceries.
So, privacy is a big deal and there’s an enormous political pressure mounting to regulate as a solution here. Now, fortunately, there are some good private sector initiatives there and we need to get behind them as an industry. Trustee is a good example. It’s not the only one, but I think it’s a very good one. There will be others. It provides for certification, it provides for contractual agreements, it provides for trust marks, and it provides the teeth, the accountability, so that companies should … trust … better follow their private policy.
Private policy can be quite varied in scope. You can have a policy that says, we freely give away any information that we get about you, and some people won’t care. The key is disclosure of what your policy is.
Governance. Who’s in charge of the Internet anyway? Who owns it? Well, as we know, nobody owns it. Well who manages it? Some would say, the same group. This is an important issue. It’s an enormously complex issue. As you know, much of the Internet started in America through initiatives of the Defense Department — that was a great contribution by a government, to bring a good idea along. It’s time for the U.S. Government to step away from that. The U.S. Government feels the same way and has put a proposal to privatize or move into the public domain, all aspects of the Internet. And this is very important that this happen and happens quickly.
Now a paper was written on how to do this, called “The Green Paper.” You can find a link to it on my web site, and you can find our company’s view of that and suggestions for improvement to it, if you’re interested. But the point is, it’s a proposal to move into the public domain, it’s a pretty good proposal. It is not an American proposal. It happens to have been written by an American — somebody had to write it.
But it’s an international proposal that includes integration of many international organizations. And it is designed in a way — and again, it can be improved upon, but it’s fundamentally a sound approach — to insure the representation of all countries and interested parties. And I urge us to all push it along. Because, if it stalls, it’s bad for everybody.
Lastly, infrastructure. Infrastructure has to do with the speed of the Internet, the standards of the Internet and the advanced applications.
The speed, of course, as you know, is going to be incredible. It comes as a surprise to many to think there could be any optimism about speed, but as many of you, I’m sure know, just looking at the basic science here tells you that very short, and already in some instances, the network is faster than the computer.
Irbium-doped fiber with wave division multi-plexing, all optical amplifiers, can enable trillions of bits per second in the backbone.
“What about the last mile? — you might say. First I would say, why isn’t it the first mile, not the last mile, from a consumer perspective. Whichever you call it, the reason for optimism is competition. We have cable, we have copper wire, we have wireless, we have satellite, we six or eight, very good technologies.
Now the great thing about TCP/IP is it doesn’t care about what medium the packets move through. A packet is a packet and it can go through the air, it can go through glass or it can go through copper. And so there’s a competitive threat here. Each of these technologies threatens the other and, therefore, we’re getting a leap-frogging.
In Phoenix, Arizona a local cable company started offering very aggressive services from at home. Ninety days later the phone company brought out digital subscriber lines that perhaps were an even better deal. So this is going to happen. I know there are concerns in various parts of the world that it’s never going to happen. And it’s like people used to say, the East and West and Europe will never come down, and one day we picked up the paper and it was down. And one day soon we’re going to pick up the paper and we’re going to say, “Band width’s not a problem.”
So infrastructure is moving forward at a good pace. Internet2 is a global organization that has recently been formed. The University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development is making announcements in Washington as we speak about rolling out new networking capabilities. From that we’ll evolve new standards such as quality of service, which will allow discrimination of packets. And E-mail needs to move to the slow lane. And that video conferencing packet needs to move to the fast lane and be accelerated. And we just can’t do that today.
Technically we know how to do it, we’ve got to get together and get those standards agreed to over the next six to twelve months so that we can then introduce the third part of the infrastructure which is very advanced applications, immersive capabilities, tele-medicine, distance learning and video capabilities of all kinds.
Now, what’s on the horizon? I think first, ease of life. We all know about an ease of use. We all get frustrated when things don’t work right, like the video fell apart here and things of that nature — that’ll get solved. The marketplace will demand it and it will happen.
Ease of life is a different concept. It’s when it’s actually easier to renew your driver’s license on the web. When it’s easier to set up your curriculum, when it’s easier to buy your fulfillment orders of staple goods, when it’s easier to pick a ticket and pick entertainment activities.
Freeing up time, so we can spend our more precious time with people. Time is going to become the most scarce of all commodities. Band width won’t be scarce. Nips won’t we scarce. Disk drive space won’t be scarce, but our time will. And ease of life is so important to emerge on the Internet. Give us that time to spend with a loved one or a friend, enjoying those important things.
Now, real time collaboration is on the horizon. Many of you, if you have teenagers, or perhaps yourselves participate in these various buddy lists, instant messaging and whatever you might call it — it’s emerging in a sense that there’s only 12 million people using it, which as a percentage of the world’s population rounds to zero. But it’s growing pretty fast, and I think on the horizon we can expect to see new forms of instant collaboration.
This is my buddy list here of people that I collaborate with, sort of my circle of people that I interact with. And I see here, the days on line — this is simulated here, of course, and I click on it and here comes Dave.
Instant messaging. Hit the button. We know they’re connected and, you know, one of those times — did you ever run into this where you — “I’ve just got this question I’ve got to ask this person.” You really don’t know where they are, so you don’t know how to call them, they may or may not have an assistant, so you just can’t get a hold of them. So you send them an E-mail.
Well, maybe they get the E-mail five hours later. Well, instant messaging, if they’re connected, wherever they might be, they get the message right now. And then you can drag and drop other people into the conference and you can get together with people to solve a problem like — right now. I think it’s very important. It’s going to change the way organizations operate.
Insight is becoming the competitive advantage. In a sense, the new currency is insight. Bass Ale delivers 80 different kinds of ale to 1,500 pubs every week, 2,500 times. That’s a lot of data. What do you make out of that data?
Well, the traditional way is what did you sell to whom, but with data mining capability you can get underneath this and use algorithms that don’t know the question, they just look for relationships. And you find out that Wednesday afternoon in Chess Hunt, people like dark ale. Why is that? Well, who knows? It maybe doesn’t matter.
But now that you know that’s what’s happening, you can target that segment, you improve the efficiency of your deliveries, you can make competitive thrusts to gain more market share. This is all about deep computing. Now we’ve learned quite a bit about this from out chess matches, that I’m sure you’re aware of, and we’re now applying that same idea to the concept of data mining.
Now … is natural net? What’s it going to be like when we’re really all wired up with good band width. And I think some amazing things are actually going to be possible.
Now that’s Mozart. The Jupiter Symphony, my favorite. Those needles there are just to make it looks analogue.
It is CD music without the CD. Just zeros and ones. No distortion.
Mpeg-Layer 3. Incredible technology and it’s just the beginning. Mpeg-4 is going to bring all the various media types together in an integrated composite media capability, perhaps integrated with a Java media framework that will allow for this natural composite capability. We won’t think of web pages anymore, we’ll think of a natural web experience where these various media type leverage the natural conversations that we have and enable us to get the help that we need and participate in very new ways.
Well, I need to conclude here. Looking forward I would say that this E-business concept certainly is driving this very active planet that we’re a part of. Things are simplifying and at the same time accelerating. The result is an enormous explosion of opportunities. And I’d like to conclude by just showing you a brief experience I had that makes me so optimistic.
I recently got an E-mail from a young boy. Fourteen years-old. His name is Jeremy.
“Dear Mr. Patrick, I was surfing around the web the other day and I came upon your personal web site. Not bad Mr. Patrick. Do you know about Sachem High School? We’re a high school in Long Island, New York — East Suffolk County — 14,500 students in our school district.
“And at the high school we have a web site. We call it Sachem On Line. It’s all run by us, the students. We design it, we build it, we operate it. By the way, Mr. Patrick, we have sponsors on our web sight.
“Like, is it possible that IBM could be cool enough to be a sponsor of our web site.”
Well, I was pretty impressed with this young, fourteen year-old boy. So I went and took a look at this web site. And my jaw dropped when I saw how comprehensive this is, and the nature of the materials in this table of contents. This is not MIT here, this is a high school. Fourteen and fifteen year-old kids. They don’t know this is supposed to be hard. They just do it. They mastered it.
Who are they? Well, there’s the next CEO of IBM, perhaps.
Right there. And I could go take a closer. Who are these web slingers, they call themselves. And I read a description about how they’ve organized and how they run their organization. There’s sort of a foot not at the bottom about “other contributors.” That’s the teachers.
It’s like in parentheses, “They don’t get it.”
So I was pretty impressed with what I saw here. And here’s the kids themselves. Some of them are pictures, as you can see, some of them are avatars, they’re virtual representations of themselves. These kids are quite amazing. I invited them to come to IBM and see our super computers and what have you and one day this big yellow bus rolled up in front of IBM and the door opens and out come these kids with their backwards baseball caps on. About a dozen of them.
They came into the conference room and we showed them some things. I’m not sure who learned more. Us or them. I think it was us.
Pretty soon they’re going to be looking for jobs at your company. My company. And guess what? We don’t get to interview these kids, they’re going to interview us. They want to find out if we get it. They’re going to have really tough questions.
They’re not going to ask about our organization charts or titles or business strategies, they’re going to ask us about — “Like how much band width will I have here? How big will my display be? Do I get a T-3 or just a T-1? Do I get a 45 inch display, or just a little 21 inch display? When I call in from my home, 3,000 miles away, where I’ll probably live, do I get complete remote access to all the systems for which I’m authorized?”
Those are the kind of questions that these kids are going to have, and that’s why I’m so optimistic about this future.
Well, I invite you all to visit my web site, and you’ll be able to find copies of this … In fact it’s there right now, if you’re interested in any of these URLs or material. You can download it. It’s johnpatrick.com.
You’ll also find some very important business sights there, like the Micro Brewery, Brew Pub and Wines Guide. You’ll find things, of course, about Java and Security and E-business and many of those things as well as music and GPS and running and various hobbies. This is — my main hobby is running this little web site. And so please feel free to drop a question there. If you’d like to, we’ll have our question and answer session, I believe in P-4.
But if you’re not able to come or think of something later, please don’t hesitate to E Mail me.
Thank you very much for your attention.
At least the audio worked. Thank you.
MODERATOR: Thank you John. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your patience as well. Just a small gift from the conference to recognize your presence here.
PATRICK: Thank you very much.