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Friday, May 23, 2008

Recap of Vinton Cerf's presentation at Suntec City

Vinton Cerf
I went to the presentation by Vinton Cerf today. It was quite a geeky moment to hear from such an influential person. It wasn't at the same scale as when I heard Bill Gates nearly 10 years ago, due to the size of the crowd (big auditorium then vs. small room now). But then, the small size made for a more intimate presentation. And Mr Cerf can be amusing too.

Since I'd done a "live tweeting" during his presentation, I'll just copy my tweets here, instead of rewriting the entry from scratch.

BTW my first tweet, which says "about 5 hours ago", was sent at around 7pm.
  • Waiting for the Vinton Cerf talk. He's apparently stuck in traffic. about 5 hours ago
  • Mr Cerf is here. The programme begins. about 4 hours ago
  • Intros by The Digital Movement and Google. about 4 hours ago
  • James Seng is introducing Vinton Cerf now. about 4 hours ago
  • "Internet in 2035". But he admits he's no prophet. about 4 hours ago
  • About 10 devices per person by 2035. It's already 3-4 now. about 4 hours ago
  • 10 billion hosts! I can't even imagine 10 million. about 4 hours ago
  • Pervasive, dynamically configuring wireless infrastructure. about 4 hours ago
  • Need for standardisation of applications, services, protocols... about 4 hours ago
  • He's extolling the virtues of cloud computing and virtual environments interacting with real devices. about 4 hours ago
  • No more URLs. Permanent names will be used to identify processes and services that run for years. about 4 hours ago
  • Predict trends based on historical Google searches. Example: knowing when an epidemic starts. about 4 hours ago
  • Internet = mass media + social groupings + barrier removal for information sharing about 4 hours ago
  • Internet += avatar interacting in the real world + tremendously reduced costs about 4 hours ago
  • Bandwidth will continue to increase. File transfers will be the norm, not streaming, and at high speeds. about 4 hours ago
  • An advertisement is a thing that interrupts our enjoyment of media. Information is its opposite. about 4 hours ago
  • 10 billion mobile devices by 2035, working as remote control and information delivery. about 4 hours ago
  • Multi-touch and gestures, and haptics to replace typing and mousing. about 4 hours ago
  • Information will be real-time, geographically indexed, and always available. about 3 hours ago
  • Internet devices of 2035 will include clothes, wine corks... and they're all programmable with standard languages. about 3 hours ago
  • Q&A session now. about 3 hours ago
  • Mergers aren't a problem. Inhibition of creativity and access are the bigger headaches. about 3 hours ago
  • Vinton would want to expand TCP/IP from 32 bits and strengthen authentication / trust. about 3 hours ago
  • We need protocols for broadcast interaction, not point-to-point. about 3 hours ago
  • Large quantities of computing power may not result in intelligence. Eg. Helen Keller understood language through experience. about 3 hours ago
  • Interaction with human sensory systems are already a reality today. Future devices could enhance the human body dramatically. about 3 hours ago
  • And it's over. Applause. about 3 hours ago
  • Vinton Cerf's talk: thought-provoking and entertaining, but cautious, not as visionary as expected. about 2 hours ago


Monday, May 19, 2008

What will happen when SingTel brings iPhone to Singapore?

Apple iPhone
Well, I guess I'm a little late with the "big news", which is that SingTel has confirmed officially that it will be bringing the iPhone into Singapore. Estimated time of delivery: later half of the year. That's in line with the rumoured September launch date. If the other rumours are true, then it could also mean that we'll see the 3G version.

Meanwhile, in today's papers, there was a write-up about what could happen next. The basic premise is that people who want an iPhone already have an iPhone, thanks to the black market here. Personally, I can't imagine paying $800 for a 2.5G phone, but hey, I'm also the guy who coughed up more than $500 for my first phone with a crappy camera, so who am I to compare?

Anyway, the point is, when SingTel brings the iPhone to Singapore, it'll probably only be able to get a small share of new customers. The bigger market could come from those who want to upgrade from their hacked versions. That assumes that these people still have money to upgrade and SingTel is willing to take in these somewhat illegally modified iPhones.

So where would SingTel get its sales from? The article highlighted another group: aspirants from neighbouring countries where the iPhone is not available. It so happens that these folks are also probably the same ones who send their children to study in Singapore with money pouring out of their ears and mouths. Yeah, lots of rich kids here who are eager to snap up the iPhones for themselves and, of course, sell them back home for a quick buck, thus making them even richer.

Let the iPhone frenzy begin anew!