The Internet as DIY connectivity for people and things (IoT)

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 at 6:30 PM

nvidia (Marco Polo Room)


6:30 - 7:00 Pizza + Drinks, Networking
7:00 - 8:30 Talk and Questions

Organizer: IEEE Consumer Electronics Society SCV

Session Abstract:The Internet is exciting and has been transformational in many ways. But to fully understand why it has been so it is necessary to revisit communications theory and recognize that the Internet is a sharp departure from the idea that speech, AKA communicating, is something inside channels. That's the old paradigm. With the Internet as the new paradigm the meaning, and the value, is entirely outside the channel.

In this talk we look at how the concept underlying the Internet was discovered as we learned how to interconnect computers using any available means without depending on network providers. Without this dependency we were able to concentrate on the task at hand rather than the third parties along the path. This has strong implications as we look at connectivity as a resource. We no longer need to pass messages using a different infrastructure and protocol for each application.

To fully realize the opportunity of the Internet (and connected things) whats needed is borderless connectivity without gatekeepers in the path. We need understand the history of the Internet as DIY from the edge. We can get more Internet or, more to the point, create opportunity by funding the facilities we use in much the same way we fund common infrastructure such as sidewalks and roads.

Speaker: Bob Frankston

Bio: Bob Frankston was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1949. He received S.B. degrees in both computer science and mathematics (1970) and master's and engineers degrees in computer science (1974), all from MIT.

In 1979, Frankston founded Software Arts with friend and Harvard MBA student Dan Bricklin to develop and sell VisiCalc, the first electronic spreadsheet program for personal computers. VisiCalc was first available for the Apple ii personal computer, which significantly drove Apple ii sales. It became a blockbuster product and remained a widely used program for personal computers for many years. After VisiCalc was purchased by Lotus Development, it evolved into Lotus 1-2-3.

From 1985 to 1990, Frankston worked at Lotus Development, where he created the Lotus Express product and a fax facility for Lotus Notes. At Slate Corporation, (1990 to 1992), Frankston worked on mobile and pen-based systems. At Microsoft (1993 to 1998), he focused on the consumer use of computers, in particular, home networking, and the idea of wireless networking.

Since 1988, he has been an angel investor providing early-stage financing for technology start-ups.

Frankston is a Fellow of the IEEE and ACM and holds the ACM Software System Award (1985).