Written on a flight from London to Munich, edited in my hotel and sent to silicon.com from an Apple Store in a shopping mall in Charlotte, North Carolina, via a free wi-fi service.
For me, networks have always been a source of wonder and interest. It is not just their topology and the way they grow, but how they perform and what they do that intrigues me.
For those in a certain age range, the word 'network' is associated with really solid concepts such as road, rail, air, sea, telephone, power, gas, oil, radio, TV, internet, vascular, nervous and social.
Those constructs are all things you can grasp. They are physical, easy to conceptualise and they have set the scene for much of our network thinking.
New perceptions about wireless
At the younger end of the age range, we have people with new experiences. They have never used a telephone tethered to a wall by a wire, or indeed a laptop or games machines wired into a network. Theirs is a wireless world where even a mouse and keyboard come disconnected.
This population has a different view of what constitutes a network, and it isn't solid, but more like a gas or mist. Dare I say it? More like a cloud.
From location to location, they hop on and offline at will, but with no real idea of how it works and what is involved. Does this behaviour matter? I think not. In fact, it has the potential to add to our overall richness of thinking. It also changes our wider expectation and future mobile abilities.
The real problem is the number of companies and institutions that just...
Peter Cochrane is an engineer, scientist, entrepreneur, futurist and consultant. He is the former CTO and head of research at BT, with a career in telecoms and IT spanning more than 40 years.