Monday, March 27, 2006

Emergent convergence

Steven Johnson in Wired: "there is reason to believe that the divided metaverse is merely a transitional phase, and that its component worlds will coalesce."

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Gigabytes for centidollars

Storage will soon become a commodity, with companies competing on price and service levels. Amazon has entered the market with S3—Simple Storage Service which offers 99.99% availability and a straightforward fee structure:
  • $0.15 per GB-Month of storage used.
  • $0.20 per GB of data transferred.
Yet often you need to do more than just store and retrieve your data: for example, what if you want to search through it, or modify it in place? Downloading the information is slow and incurs transfer costs. The code is often smaller than the dataset, so it is more efficient and cheaper to send the program to the data, not the other way around.

Current storage services underutilize processing resources; providers will not have to make significant investments to offer advanced data manipulation interfaces. What's delaying this is the lack of standard for mobile code. Today there's no protocol which is accepted as a definite standard for program execution, in a way that HTTP has become ubiquitous for state transfer. Once this standard is developed, you will see an extra bullet point in the price plan: a fee per trillion instructions executed by the service provider.