June 20th, 1995
The Future of the Internet

06/20/95 RMIUG Meeting Minutes - The Future of the Internet

The June RMIUG meeting was held Tuesday night, June 20th at the NIST auditorium. Approximately 140 people were in attendance, with Bryan Buus as emcee.

Alek Komarnitsky thanked the Colorado SuperNet for sponsoring the evening's room rental and Internet One for refreshments. Alek mentioned that RMIUG continues to solicit sponsors for the meetings. This costs $225, and the RMIUG will put your advertisment on the back page of the agenda. If we don't have a sponser, we'll have to pass the hat to pay for the rental of the NIST auditorium.

Alek explained changes to the RMIUG executive committee. Will Clurman has moved on to other endeavors, and Art Smoot (aesmoot@rmiug.org) is the newest RMIUG "Exec." Please see the RMIUG WWW Home Page (http://www.rmiug.org/rmiug/) for more info. In addition, Dan Murray has changed jobs, joining Customer Communications Group as a WWW Project Manager and Internet Business Consultant.

Finally, Alek mentioned that we hope to have an RMIUG summer special event, which will be a BBQ in Boulder. This is tentively scheduled for Saturday, July 15th, and more details will be forthcoming. Since RMIUG has no money (!), this will be a "bring your own"/potluck, but if anyone wants to bring a common item (keg of homebrew, etc.), please contact Alek directly at alek@rmiug.org.

Various announcements were made from the floor including:

  • David Eisler (dave@dash.com) offered copies of "Flip/Flop" a windows launch application,
  • Sandy Weston announced the potential for a computer consultants/trainers Hot Line. (when the audience was asked how many fit into that catagory, about 40% raised their hands!).
  • Dan Murray announced the upcoming Internet Chamber of Commerce meeting,
  • Steve Billig (SBillig321@aol.com) solicited comments on the Internet in Movies.
  • Bill Managhan announced a fall CU Continuing Education class on the sociological impacts of the Internet.

The featured speaker of the evening was Cricket Liu from Hewlett Packard (cricket@hp.com) who addressed the issue of "Will Success Spoil the Internet?". Cricket quoted statistics of 25 millions users on 5 million hosts, spanning 7 continents and, once, the space shuttle. He noted that if sustained, the growth of World-Wide-Web traffic will surpass digital voice communications in 3 years. Reviewing internet history, he referred to the application generations:

1st generation: telnet, ftp, uucp, talk
2nd generation: archie, gopher, usenet, irc
3rd generation: mime, wais, www, internet phone

He then referenced the coming next generation of applications:

Knowbots and Intelligent agents like the Mercury Newshound, and CU's Harvest.
THe Next Generation of the WWW with URL's turning into URN's, where the browsers can decide where to go get the URL.

Cricket discussed the move of "commercialization", where various clients and servers are moving from the normal "free" versions to for-fee "commercial" enhanced versions. He also speculated on "new" applications like Digital audio on demand, video on demand, video-conferencing (CUSeeMe) and tele-education.

Cricket talked about the key technologies which are coming along, including public key encryption, carrier-based ATM and ISDN. Addressing the Issue of "Who's gonna play the Internet?" he drew the lines to include the cable companies, the telcos and the merged-media companies like Viacom. If the cable companies win, he speculated that we will see a broadcast oriented network with "lots of junk", whereas if the phone companies win we must put up with the "sloth and beaurocracy" of the existing companies. A dark horse could be the gas and power utilities. They have the rights of way and understand how to meter service. The key to winning will be understanding universal connectivity, the ability to publish and make money and to understand two-way interactivity, not "shovel down your throat" consumerism.

Cricket ending the evening with an explaination of the new internet topology, defining NAP (network access points), NSP (Network Service Providers), ISP (Internet Service Providers), RNP (Regional Network Providers) and vBNS (very high-speed Backbone Network Services).

At the July 11 RMIUG meeting, Christopher Locke, Editor and Publisher of Net Editors from internetMCI, will talk on "Business As Usual: A Surefire Path to Internet Oblivion."

Mr. Locke (clocke@panix.com) will roll out his vision of business on the Internet and how it fundamentally differs from traditional business models. He will share ideas on enlightened approaches to success on the Net. This promises to be a stimulating talk from a well-known contrarian figure in the Internet community. Thanks to internetMCI for bringing Mr. Locke in from the East Coast to join us. Net Editors can be found at http://www.internetmci.com/whats-new/editors and the archive at http://www.internetmci.com/whats-new/editors/archive. Mr. Locke's homepage is at http://www.panix.com/~clocke.

Submitted by Art Smoot, aesmoot@rmiug.org

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