On Wed, 2003-11-05 at 17:14, Robert Miller wrote: > And, what if all the content on this server were remotely refreshed > nightly via satellite broadcast with any updates so that those content > resources were always current as of 2:00 AM that day and were available > to students, faculty, and administration at high-speed using a simple, > reliable wireless campus network? > > Yes, this is possible and it is being done today! And, it operated on a > financially self-sustaining basis by the University or a local community > business person who is charged with providing this reliable service.
This is very interesting to me but raises some questions related to practical use and implementation. It basically seems that 'offline' content is being maintained in a somewhat current state by periodically syncing with upstream information. You mention satellite broadcasts, which imply that the information stream is one way. This makes sense to me, because if it was two way, why does one need to mirror content locally, except to save bandwidth (still worth doing!) Another question is how well this fits in with the current state of information out there. It appears that more and more, information is tied towards its source, in the sense that information is not being served raw but through an application, and interacting with an application means bi-directional information flow. Packaging it properly will avoid the problem and enable it to be used offline. IMHO, more efficient use of offline capability is needed to help information penetrate into places where this solution may be used. How much does satellite unidirectional broadcast cost versus bidirectional communication (factor in hardware cost as well as operational cost) ? Practically, I think this sort of approach needs to be combined with a hard look at equipping people with PCs on a large enough scale to really reap benefits. Community telecentres (basically shared access) is useful as a means of alleviating this problem but too much effort seems to be focused on community telecentres instead of on how to put more PCs or lower cost computing/communication devices into the hands of people. And that brings yet another problem, that of what sort of software or interfaces are going to enable these people to take advantage of information, bringing yet another problem into being, of whether the sort of information that they need is really out there. This is somewhat assumed for granted ... ------------ This DOT-COM Discussion is funded by the dot-ORG USAID Cooperative Agreement, and hosted by GKD. http://www.dot-com-alliance.org provides more information. To post a message, send it to: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> To subscribe or unsubscribe, send a message to: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>. In the 1st line of the message type: subscribe gkd OR type: unsubscribe gkd For the GKD database, with past messages: http://www.GKDknowledge.org