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Inescapable Data: Harnessing the Power of Convergence

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Inescapable Data: Harnessing the Power of Convergence


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  • Copyright 2005
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-185215-9
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-185215-0

  • How "data everywhere" transforms business, technology, and the way you live

  • A pioneering look at grand, new efficiencies forthcoming

As communications, computing, and data storage converge, data is becoming utterly ubiquitous...and that changes everything. In this book, two leading data management visionaries reveal how data transforms the way you do business, the technologies you use, the investments you make, the life you live, and the world you live in.

Chris Stakutis and John Webster draw on interviews with nearly 50 leading experts: technologists, sociologists, entrepreneurs, consultants, researchers, media leaders, and futurists alike. You'll discover how today's "primordial soup" of wired and wireless gadgetry is quickly coalescing into something immensely more powerful, driving applications you thought were pure science fiction. You'll also gain deep insight into the profound implications of ubiquitous data capture: implications that touch everything from your bedroom to the battlefield:

  • The emerging "Connectivity Divide." Which side of the chasm are you on?

  • Inescapable data's technical components: Async communications,

  • pervasive computing devices, wireless, and XML

  • Global calendars, momentary enterprises: Transforming your life and business

  • Uncontrolled information availability: Its risks to your security and well-being

  • The future of technical infrastructure, grids, smart storage, and beyond

  • Radical, new modes of information delivery: Nonnumeric, nontextual, unobtrusive

  • Future tech: From holographic displays to fertility "wall clocks"

  • Your DNA on a chip: The heart of your personal health and wellness program

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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The Connectivity Divide: Are You One of the Truly Connected?

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Table of Contents




1. The Inescapable Data Vision.

2. The Connectivity Divide.


    Wireless and WiFit From Confusion and Competition to Possible Synergy.

      Nokia and DoCoMo Versus the Old Guard.

      Connecting You.

      Connected and Truckin’.

      Staying Connected Down on the Farm.

      Connected Camping.

      Untethered Displayable Data.

      Religion and the Connected.


3. Inescapable Data Fundamentals.


    What Is Important in Communication.

    From Postal Mail to Voicemail to E-Mail to IM and Beyond.

    Data-Everywhere Devices.


    Hybrid PDAs (Personal Communicators).

    Video Cameras and Webcams.

    Wireless Pervasive Monitoring and Sensing Devices.

    Enabling Pervasive Networking.

    XML...Describing It All.

    Summary: The Final Blend of Ingredients.

4. From Warfare to Government, Connectivity Is Vitality.


    Instant Messaging Changing Command and Control in War.

    Battlefield Connectivity.

    A “Connected” Homeland.

    Pervasive Public Surveillance.

    Connecting State Governments...Together.


5. Pervading the Home.


    Key Foundation Technologies.

    RFID, Wireless, and XML.

    For Example, Refrigerators.

    From Laundry and Home Inventory to Energy Systems.

    Home Security: Video.

      GPS–Tracing Our Steps.


6. Connecting Medicine.


      DNA–Massive Data, Massive Value.




      Scheduling Care Delivery.

      Pediatric and Personal Health Care.


7. Work Life: Oxymoron No Longer.


    Converged Connections–Of Conference Calls, Cell Phones, and WiFi-Enabled Laptops.


      Instant Messaging.

      Groupware and Virtual Office.

      Text Messaging and Convergence.

      The New Employee: Independent Consultant.

      Social Implications.


8. Real-Time Manufacturing.


      The Changing Manufacturing Landscape.

      Value Stream Mapping.

      RFID and Real-Time Insight into the Supply Chain.

      New Computing Architectures Driven by RFID-Type Sources.

      The Shipping Business.

      Customized Through to Consumer.

      Video-Controlled Productions.


9. Sports and Entertainment: Energizing Our Involvement.


      Auto Racing by Numbers.

      Heads-Up Sports.

      Inescapable Data and the Individual.


    The Swimmer’s Edge.

    Running with Inescapable Data.

    The Inescapable Data Racquet.

      Teams and Fans: Real-Time Participation.

    Player Tracking and Analysis.

    Participatory Games.

    TV: Yielding to User-Designed Viewing.

    Video Business, Connected Style.


10. Connecting to Retail


    RFID and the Grand Retail Vision.

    Mining Retail E-Commerce

    Charting the Course of Customers.

    Watching Store Operations.

    Metro’s Future Store: A Look at Where It  All Comes Together.

    Buying Shoes–How Extreme  Customization Is Possible.


11. Computer Storage Impacted by Inescapable Data.


    Data Classification.

    Store Everything?

    The Data Preservation Challenge.

    Breakthrough Compression.

    Video and Media Driving Storage  Growth.

    From Blocks to Files to Objects.

    Data Protection.

    Storage Utility.


12. Super Computers, Visualization,  and Networks


    Super Computers.

    Visualization and 3D Graphics.

    XML and New CPUs?

    Intelligent Networking.

    Internet Enterprise.



13. Inescapable Data in Perspective.

    What Is Inescapable Data?

    Venture and Investment

    Should I Worry About Too Much Data  and Connectivity?

    What Should I Be Doing to Exploit the New World?





      Home and Life.

      Work and Business.





Untitled Document


Greetings. Technology and technological advances are always interesting. The intention of this book is not just to showcase new technologies and their specific values, but rather to examine the special values that emerge when some key technologies are intermixed, and primarily intermixed with many different (usually real-time ) sources of data.

Data is all around us and it is growing at a furious pace—from cellular-controlled ovens to video-controlled manufacturing to embedded chips in our bodies—and we cannot help but wonder whether the new pervasive wireless technologies will allow for unforeseen power to come from all this gathered data. The Inescapable Data environment specifically looks for new streams of data to be combined and analyzed against other streams or historical data in an effort to drive higher personal or business value. For example, although it might be interesting to have your child's school record available electronically, it is perhaps more interesting to be able to correlate various achievements and progress against a wide population—and even further interesting to correlate that data against a detailed analysis of his or her medical history.

In a more business-oriented example, technology might enable us to track inventory levels better and in real time. However, inventory-level information might be the wrong question to ask? New levels of efficiency appear in the Inescapable Data world because business systems are tied so closely together, across company boundaries, that inventory level no longer becomes the question and is replaced by "are any manufacturing dependencies suggesting date-skew anywhere in our outside supply chain for product X?" In the Inescapable Data world, we allow our business systems to join together throughout a product's value chain—and even perhaps to competitors—for the sake of efficiency and flexibility.

Similarly, our personal lives demand continuous connectivity to all the activities that comprise our days. Whether it is communication with customers in different time zones or e-sending to the team a better map to the soccer field, we discover time efficiencies that in turn give us more flexibility. The tools of our business lives have become the exact same tools used in our personal lives, allowing for a convenient blending of activities.

Most of this, we believe, is for the good. Some of it brings new worries and exposures. But as notable Harvard sociologist Nicholas Christakis says, "There is a way in which technology is inexorable, so I doubt there is a way to stop any of this."

Intended Audience

This book is designed to inform the modern business manager (as well as the techno-curious) about important developments and usage of data-everywhere devices and networks. Our mission is to help a wide range of decision makers learn to spot the emergence of Inescapable Data and capitalize on it appropriately. A wider audience for this book includes individuals from engineering through marketing in high-technology companies who want to be informed of trends outside of their more narrow industry segments. That said, the book is broad enough in scope and written with only a modest assumption of technical understanding so that most adults can understand, appreciate, and possibly value the information.

The Interviews as a Foundation

Although we consider ourselves knowledgeable regarding computing, networking, and data storage, we wanted to get out on the street and talk firsthand with key people from many different disciplines. We reached out to nearly 50 different executives and experts for one-on-one interviews (the vast majority conducted in person). We wanted to learn what these people are seeing, and then showcase their knowledge in a broader light, supplemented by heavy direct research.

The inside front cover of this book identifies the various people whom we interviewed at length to gain a richer understanding of the technology and trends occurring in a variety of industries, thus supplementing our general research. Their thoughts and views assisted in formulating the notions presented throughout this book.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.


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