The KIT ─ Knowledge & Information Technology
No. 107 - 1 November 2013
Was this forwarded to you?
In This Issue
How Many Devices?
The Morris Worm
Seen Recently
CB photo

Consulting Services
  • IT Strategy
  • Enterprise Architecture Roadmap 
  • Business Process Modeling & Analysis 
  • Enterprise Software Selection 
  • IT Innovation Briefings
  • IT Due Diligence
  • Executive IT Seminars
  • Cloud Computing
  • Security Maturity
  • Software Process 
  • Knowledge Strategy
  • Technical Communities
  • Knowledge Capture
  • Taxonomy development 
  • Enterprise Social Media 
Contact Us:
c�b� IT and Knowledge Management

+1 281 460 3595
Twitter: @cbaudoin 
Forward this newsletter to colleagues and friends: use the "forward email" link below at left, rather than "Forward" in your email software, to preserve your privacy, give the recipient more options (their own unsubscribe link, etc.) and to give us better click-through data from ConstantContact. Thanks!
How Many Devices?
About 15 years ago, experts (including Jackie Fenn from Gartner, a respected future technology forecaster who invented the company's "hype cycle") were predicting that by now each of us would carry 10-20 mobile or wearable interconnected devices.

That vision hasn't been realized, and it's probably a good thing in many ways, but it is interesting to pause and consider why. One reason must be our reluctance, as human beings, to transform into cyborgs (it is reported that the first question most often asked of a Google Glass wearer is: "are you recording me?"). Another reason is cost. But the ability of the smartphone to become the "Swiss Army knife" of IT devices -- one that does a bit of everything, but doesn't really do anything as well as a dedicated device -- is probably one of the reasons too.

Consider also the overlap between device functionality: a large smartphone like Samsung's Galaxy II may decrease the need to carry a tablet, while the largest and most functional tablets may replace laptops, and most laptop users don't need a separate desktop PC.

Still, we see new devices appearing in niches that are arguably left open by the current range of computers. This is the case of Google Glass (notwithstanding its social acceptability issues) or the Google and Apple watches. Others are looking for more unfilled needs: a startup called Cubit makes a device, not much larger than a key fob, that displays alerts from your phone in a more discreet manner.

The tension between the desire for more functionality and the awkwardness of carrying too many devices will continue, perhaps indefinitely. It seems unlikely, however, that the earlier Gartner forecast will be realized. It is more likely that we will peak at 3-5 devices (e.g., smart watch, smartphone, laptop, and some other sensory enhancing devices such as a retina display), which already seems to be plenty, and that as these devices evolve, they'll keep becoming more functional instead of leaving space for an ever-increasing, and perhaps unmanageable, panoply of gadgets.

As always, feel free to voice your opinion, and let us know if we can quote you by name.
Let There Be Light
Visible Light Communications (VLC), a.k.a. Li-Fi, uses micro-LED light bulbs to transmit data using visible light. Researchers in the UK, Germany and China are working on the technology in parallel, and are rapidly increasing the speed of transmission into the multiple gigabit/sec. range. Not only would this rival other short-distance transmission methods, but the low-cost of the device, and the ability to limit the area of reception to a single room, could make this a cost-effective and secure replacement for certain Wi-Fi networks. See the Ultra-Parallel VLC project's Web site for more information.
The History of the Morris Worm
Tomorrow, Nov. 2, marks the 25th anniversary of the Morris Worm, the first widespread instance of malware. Its author claimed that it was accidental, but was still convicted under a 1986 law. Renowned security expert Gene Spafford, from Purdue University, discusses this event -- including the lessons we still have not learned from it -- in this Intel Free Press article.
Seen Recently...

"Since a camel is a racehorse designed by a committee, we knew one of the surest ways of killing an initiative like this was to get a committee together and define requirements."

-- Dr. Vince Kellen, CIO of University of Kentucky, in
"Applying Big Data in Higher Education," a case study
to be discussed at the Cutter Summit in Boston, Nov. 4-6


"Join Dell, Microsoft and a guest expert for an in depth look at how OS migration can enhance security and end user productivity."

-- An online ad, spotted by a reader of the World Wide Words

language newsletter, who pointed out that the missing hyphen in

"end-user" gives a more sinister meaning to the quote than intended.