Cover V11, I10




"Innovation happens faster in a down market." I recently read this quote by Carl Howe, a principal analyst for Forrester, and I really liked it. It makes me more optimistic than perhaps I should be right now.

In the story I read on, Howe was commenting on the many microprocessors that are scheduled for release at the 15th Microprocessor Forum in October. More than 15 new microprocessors from major manufacturers are being announced, which leads analysts like Howe to point out that even companies that are trying to cut costs rarely reduce their research and development staff.

And lately, it has seemed that researchers everywhere, besides building faster microprocessors, are developing technologies that have the potential to change the world. For example, Vinton Cerf (co-designer of TCP/IP) is pursuing the idea of an Interplanetary Internet, which among other things will allow astronauts to be able to access the Internet.

Other researchers are working on quantum cryptography, which uses principles of quantum mechanics to ensure that encrypted material will be secure, not just until computing power catches up to where someone can crack the algorithm, but forever. For more information, see PC Magazine's special report on quantum cryptography at:,4149,440168,00.asp.

Tim Berners-Lee (inventor of the World Wide Web) is fostering the idea of a Semantic Web. This huge project involves building a vast framework of metadata with which to catalog the Web and, in the words of Berners-Lee, take the "Web of today to a Web in which machine reasoning will be ubiquitous and devastatingly powerful." See: for Berners-Lee's draft of the project.

These ideas and innovations inspire great optimism about the future, which is intrinsically the future of technology. The quote from Howe above also reminds me of a question posed in a meeting not too long ago. The question was "Where do you want to be when the market recovers?" The answer, of course, is different for everyone, but the implication is the same. If you have more time because business is slow, spend some of it on research and development. Try to improve your processes and get more out of your systems. Put yourself there now, so you'll be ready.

Sincerely yours,

Amber Ankerholz
Editor in Chief