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Saturday, October 09, 2004

PODCasting and Occasionaly Connected Computing

Phil Windley writes "PODCasting is the Poster Child for Occasionally Connected Computing." PODCasting is a term coined by Doc Searls to describe the recent phenomenon of pointcasting audio programs over the Internet to people's iPod for later listening.Phil Windley says,Chris Thomas, Intel's Chief Strategist,is very big on what he calls "occasionally connected computing." We don't pay enough attention to this problem. Thousands
of jobs are performed with only an occasional connection to the network. A good example is a State Trooper in a rural area. They've come to rely on networked resources to do their job, but connectivity in many places is not very good. Applications had to be designed to work with occasional connectivity. PODCasting is likely the largest application of the occasionally connected computing model. The whole infrastructure has been designed to support that model. That's one reason
PODCasting wins over streaming. Streaming requires a constant connection.PODCasting
could have a huge impact in developing countries because:
- Many people don't read, so audio is better than text (even in the US, where
people are literate, they don't read).
- Connectivity is spotty. In some places, even power is occasionally
- MP3 players are significantly cheaper than computers. This raises interesting possibilities for remote education and content delivery. Imagine, someone taking a course, delivered via audio in a developing country. They have a cheap MP3 player with USB connectivity. They subscribe to a course that delivers course lectures inside RSS feeds. Once a week they stop at the Internet cafe and download that week's courses. Very doable with what we have now.
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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"