Top 10 CTO Videos

Bob Gourley of lists his ten favorite YouTube videos of the future of technology here.  If there’s an over-arching theme, it’s convergence.  Here’s a summary of the video offerings.

  1. Pattie Maes from MIT on wearable tech.  Imagine you run into a work associate at a restaurant, and you just can’t remember his name.  Now imagine you’ve got a camera in your breast pocket that connects to your iPhone, and it has face recognition software that connects to his facebook page, and a tiny projector on the camera that projects his vital information onto his chest.  Game-changing, indeed.
  2. Informed thinkers weigh in on cloud computing.  Tim O’Reilly is a highlight. He notes that Tom Watson, founder of IBM, once remarked “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”  Ultimately, there might only need to be one.  Imagine streaming your desktop the same way you stream the video you’re watching from YouTube.  No need to have it taking up space on your hard drive, no need to constantly update Norton Antivirus: it’s all done for you at a remote server.  Cloud computing redefines plug-and-play.
  3. Inside the Obama Transition.  Check out Vivek Kundra’s comments about government IT: “One of the biggest problems in the federal government is that process has trumped outcomes…Everybody’s focused on compliance, nobody’s thinking about innovation.”
  4. Louis CK of “Lucky Louie” weighs in on technology.  It’s not hard news per se, but it helps put innovation in perspective.  He talks about wi-fi on airplanes: “Then it breaks down…and the guy sitting next to me goes ‘Pffft.  This is bulls**t’…how quickly the world owes him something that he only knew existed ten seconds ago.”
  5. Steve Perlman, creator of QuickTime and WebTV announces the launch of OnLive, a streaming video game service.  Cloud computing?  How about cloud gaming.  High-performance servers run games and compress video, which is streamed through your television via an inexpensive, wallet-sized console.  It’s like you’ve got a 3000-mile-long cord for your controller and matching A/V cables.  Goodbye $400 consoles, hello OnLive.
  6. Inside a Google Data Center.  Formerly top-secret, an inside look at the nuts-and-bolts hardware of the internet.  When you picture OnLive or Cloud Computing, picture similar banks of servers with the accompanying heating, cooling, and fire prevention systems.
  7. CloudRack by Rackable.  That Google Data Center you toured in the last video?  It’s about to change.  Setups like CloudRack reduce power usage by over 50% by eliminating a major problem.  Power Supply Units take in excess power and reduce it to the wattage used by electronic equipment.  Trouble is, that excess power is not only wasted, it produces heat, and necessitates extra wattage for fan units.  CloudRack solves those problems.
  8. Clay Shirky on the sociological implications of the internet.  Shirky outlines five tech-based revolutions in human history: print, recorded media, long-distance communication, broadcast media, and the internet.  Increasingly empowered, demanding, and participatory conusmers are revolutionizing media, and Shirky, who helped strike down part of the Telecom Indecency Act of 1996, saw it all coming.
  9. Microsoft Data Centers.  Cloud-sourced data storage is easier to update and standardize than the present model of bootstrap, piecemeal data storage across personal computers, media players, and other devices.
  10. Lars Rasmussen announces Google Wave.  A “communications and collaboration tool” that will be open-source, and merge e-mail, instant messaging, wiki, and social networking, revolutionizing the internet.

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