Diggin' technology every day

October 5, 2011

Cisco: the future was here 40 years ago

Filed under: Random Thought — Tags: — Nate @ 2:27 pm

Just read this from our friends at The Register

“You may not agree, but I believe video will be the basis of all communication going forward,” he told attendees at the Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco. “It’s where we see ourselves going – we no longer make devices that aren’t video-capable.”

I don’t know myself, I personally do not like video calls, the other caller can’t see that your playing a video game, or on the toilet, or driving in your car or whatever. Then there’s the compatibility/interoperability issues,  Apple has this face time thing, then there is Skype, and I think several of the IM clients do video. Skype seems the closest thing to a de facto standard. I use skype all day every day but it’s for text chat (99% of it is work related), maybe a couple times a week do a voice conference call, but video, few times a year at best, for me anyways.

Then I can’t help but think back to all of those Star Trek episodes where the enterprise is struggling to communicate with someone else either over video or over voice, I want to scream JUST SEND A TEXT MESSAGE AND REPEAT IT 5000 TIMES FOR REDUNDANCY! It will take less bandwidth and you’re almost certain to get the message across.

I remember back in my BBS days I came across an archiver called UC2 Ultra Compressor 2. It had some pretty crazy redundancy tricks in it, my memory is very foggy as this was about 20 years ago but there was a couple of times when my modem connection was really bad and my modem program registered literally hundreds of errors uploading and downloading data, but UC2 was able to recover it for me. Send your messages with that kind of redundancy, keep it simple, you don’t need to fill your 140″ flat screen TV on your ship’s bridge with garbled video hoping to get the message across.

“Captain! Please repeat, your last transmission was garbled  … DO YOU READ, Come in captain! We’re not reading you!”

Not only that, but text can be more secure, how many times have you seen Star trek episodes where the crew is talking really softly into their communicator so they aren’t heard by the bad guys. A nanosecond of time used to broadcast a text message is also probably harder to trace than a big burst of data used for video or voice.

Looks like AT&T had their first video phone booths back in the 60s, and slowly companies have tried time and again to do video but it’s never caught on, it’s a solution looking for a problem that really isn’t there. There are times when video is nice, but I don’t see a time coming when video communications will dominate over regular voice, or text or whatever.

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