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Finalists announced: Write your own ticket to PC Forum 2005 Contest

These are the 25 finalists for the Write your own ticket to PC Forum Contest.

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Write your own ticket to PC Forum 2005 Contest: Finalists announced

Below are the Grand Prize winner and four runner-up finalists for the PC Forum 2005 contest. The other 20 finalists are on the following four pages. See full prize details here. Entries are numbered for identification purposes only.

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Grand Prize Winner: Peter Glaskowsky, California
The next five years will see major innovations in standard high-volume computing platforms such as virtualization, partitioning, and the universal deployment of multiprocessor configurations. All of these advances represent significant improvements, but none will be as pervasive and dramatic as the introduction of hardware-based security and reliability technology. Microsoft has delayed the debut of its Next-Generation Secure Computing Base technology, but this merely reflects the magnitude of the effort involved in the initiative. By the end of the decade, NGSCB will completely change the way we think about PC hardware and software. It will be literally impossible for unauthorized software to infect PC operating systems or applications. Even legitimate configuration changes will be strictly controlled-- and some changes will even be beyond the authority of the system's users and administrators. The same technology will support unbreakable digital rights management, effective piracy prevention, and-- depending on how it's used-- allow improved personal privacy or undetectable remote monitoring. Hardware will keep these controls from being bypassed under most circumstances, forcing users and IT staff to come to grips with these new limits on their customary freedoms. This new technology will shake up the computer industry far more than anyone suspects today.


Runner-up: Ben Christy, Illinois
I believe the modular mini-program is GREATLY under valued in our web based computing today. The various standards require far too many support programs for an industry that has been virtually relegated to games and hard to find newsfeeds that remind me of post-a-notes. While the big-boys treat the modular programs like insects the insect world shows us how they can work together to do great things. Likewise, the modular programs can work together to do great things.Imagine a webpage that could read your address book and forwarn you of your anniversary or your bosses birthday. It can calculate the next holiday, its true day and when it will be celebrated. With a newsfeed connected, it can alert you to traffic problems and suggest an alternate route as well as check the weather to see if you need to cover the tomato plants. This is technology, not of the future, or even today. For years all we've needed to do is to agree on how to port the information. WE NEED such standards YESTERDAY. As soon as we have a standard then we can set it and forget it.... That is until it reminds us. Oh, what a great day that will be.


Runner-up: Ira Victor, Nevada
The gurus have failed to accurately visualize the mature stages of VoIP. It's a two-part failure, and my prediction will address both parts.First, the emergence of an inevitable user behavior pattern as VoIP evolves. Online services like Prodigy and CompuServe were initially viewed as the dominant model for internet transactions. Today, the experts are overemphasizing the ultimate role of the closed-network VoIP providers.The future of VoIP will be in open networks. Prodigy and CompuServe are a distant memory. And does anyone remember eWorld? An eWorld executive once told me they saw no way to profit from the open" internet. I predict consumers will exercise the same level of autonomy for voice communications as for online transactions, once VoIP is fully understood by mainstream users. Additionally, the gurus have failed to recognize a security and privacy problem that will persist when the pattern plays out.If spam and phishing are a security crisis now, imagine 300 voice mails each day, offering hair replacement, or special mortgage rates. Open VoIP will be as significant as the web. The bad guys will exploit the open systems. Securing open VoIP will be one of the most significant technical challenges to arise.


Runner-up: Armando Viteri, Arizona
RFID might seem an unlikely topic to suggest as being underplayed by analysts and technology gurus. But in reality, many network managers and systems integrators will break their backs by charting a course through the waves of hype that roll in from vendors and the industry pundits who follow them. RFID is being defined exclusively in its passive form, which experts predict will mature any day now with the arrival of mandate-inspired, low cost passive tags. They say this tipping point will give rise to an RFID economy where billions upon billions of items will be tracked and traced. An "internet of things" will emerge overnight as bar code disappears into the technology tar pits. It is rare indeed to find any research roadmaps which identify a migration path incorporating collective auto-identifiers. Both passive RFID and active RFID are evolutionary identification tools with natural supply chain, asset management and personnel tracking applications. They are empowering agents only when integrated with barcode, GPS, remote sensors, mesh networks, cellular networks and central information systems. Only when IT industry influencers begin to embrace the concept of hybrid RFID will their constituents derive any meaningful insight from their work.


Runner-up: Mac McCarthy, California
The missing innovation: Project management software tailored for *knowledge workers.* PIMs are too simplistic--planning your day with one is just frustrating, but it's all we've really got. Project management, collaboration, workflow, and team systems --none of these are right for the job. Yet everyone in Esther's audience--and Esther!--works according to a *completely different* model--juggling a daily hodgepodge of large and small projects, standalone tasks, of wildly varying and changing priorities, all competing for your scarce time. No software helps you keep track, prioritize, think though, juggle, adjust, and reprioritize on the fly to achieve your goals--and it should! David Winer's outline-based products started moving in this direction in the 1980s; so did Lotus Agenda (the first example of 'artificial stupidity'). *Somebody* has to be chewing on this problem: How to help knowledge workers juggle their chaotic multithreaded constantly varying workday, with elements that come and go and priorities that shift with every passing hour. The need is greater than it's ever been--the number of knowledge workers in this fix continues to grow, and will never go backwards. This will be the breakthrough software task of the 21st Century.


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Write your own ticket to PC Forum 2005 Contest: Finalists announced

Below are other finalists for the PC Forum 2005 contest. These entrants will receive a CD with transcripts from PC Forum 2005. See full prize details here.

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Finalist: Esteban Valiente, Georgia
Biometrics has been the most underplayed and under-utilized technology that could significantly increase revenues for certain markets. As the largest portion of the population ages and technology continues to increase the division between the knows and know-nots, biometric systems could make it much easier for the non-techy, the elderly or impaired, to purchase goods and services without having to carry around credit cards, multiple forms of identification, or remembering PIN numbers and access codes. If biometrics were employed in certain key sectors; at the point where the user must identify him or herself, this process would be much easier to complete. My friends mom, who is now 68 and retired, carries around her various credit cards with a list of pin numbers in a code that she understands. And even with the PIN numbers in-hand, she still has trouble completing her daily purchases without some intervention from a felow customer or the cashier or her son. And this technology would likely be welcome by more segments if it was stamps with a guarantee of privacy, efficiency and most of all, ease of use. I would love to some day buy a car with using my thumb print.


Finalist: Jeff Nichols, California
The IT innovation I believe has been underplayed is the advent of intranet management as a new IT discipline. Intranets have now been around for ~12 years. Corporations are increasingly dependent on their intranet as a business-critical system, though they seldom manage it as such. Large, Global 100 corporations can have very large intranets, with millions of pages, hundreds of thousands of users and thousands of websites. These largest intranets have similarities with the public Internet, but because they are private information spaces they behave differently.Intranet management is about optimizing this private information space. This turns out to be difficult - you need to balance the unmanaged, creative chaos" that occurs as employees create/use web technologies for new purposes, while at the same time trying to wring some efficiences through standardization in process and technology. The Internet notion of "small pieces loosely joined" applies, though the metric for "loosely" is different for corporate intranets.For the last two years, I've worked with one of the largest tech companies on their intranet management program. We've learned that intranet management is a rich, complex and surprising new IT discipline with a large ROI. I believe it's a hidden problem in many large corporations; one that deserves attention."


Finalist: Thomas Labus, New Jersey
P2P video IM. Kids will adapt it and companies will follow within three years.Spontaneous team meetings via video/audio on the business side. The ability to market to an elusive Teen audience that has escaped TV ads to a large degree.Games will be played not just online but with instant teams.This is the beginning of Internet2 and IPv6.Universal IP addresses and easy access to the Net wherever you are-home, office or road.


Finalist: Eric Keosky-Smith, Arizona
Moore's Law will accelerate the deployment of cheap data capture devices, which when properly mined for data, and that information aggregated, will lead to an explosion of Knowledge Networks Services (KNS).As RFID-like "capture and transmit" device prices fall, coupled with ubiquitous growth of wireless networks, there exists the capability to capture data from almost anything, and aggregate and repurpose that information for other needed services. Doing so leverages "infrastructures" without jeopardizing their intent.An example:Solar powered "road dots" from Spot Devices, while used today for crosswalk safety, could be enhanced to capture vehicular data -- speed, volume, even vehicle types. Aggregating this data via wireless networks from setups every half mile or so (~ $10K per station) allows for quick and cheap road pattern visualization. This can be automatically relayed to emergency personal, as well as commercial subscribers. Cheap transmitters installed in commuter vehicles will also enhance the data, with no interaction required of the subscriber to both transmit and receive relevant highway information. Such knowledge creation out of thin air is not limited to roadways. Entrepreneurs will create an explosion of services where the real value is in autonomously aggregated data, quickly and inexpensively turned to useful information.


Finalist: Robert Mclaws, Arizona
I spend most days staying on top of what goes on in the Tech world. While I've seen a lot of hype over RSS, offshoring, and RFID, I have hardly seen any pundits weigh in on the potential of WiFi/Bluetooth to allow vehicles to talk to each other. Just think if your car's computer had the opportunity to communicate with the cars around you. Combined with other external vehicle sensors, the number of accidents could be greatly reduced. You'd be able to know when erratic drivers are behind you. You could be warned if a turn you want to make would cut someone else off.Another great use would be for in-vehicle alerts. With WiFi everywhere, and IPv6 around the corner, what if every car was hooked into the net? Then you could get in-car Amber Alerts, or warnings when emergency vehicles are approaching. You could connect to your car with a built in web interface, like most broadband routers, to get detailed information on your cars health, without any special diagnostic equipment.Sure, the IT industry will continue innovating in the home and office. But people spend much of the day in their car. It's time to improve life there too.

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Write your own ticket to PC Forum 2005 Contest: Finalists announced

Below are other finalists for the PC Forum 2005 contest. These entrants will receive a CD with transcripts from PC Forum 2005. See full prize details here.

Page 1 - Page 2 - Page 3 - Page 4 - Page 5


Finalist: George Grieger, New York
End Users have recognized that they require appropriate means to reach a higher level of security. Biometrics represents a powerful tool to accomplish this. Biometrics has been around for many years, but historically it had been very expensive and somewhat difficult to use. The technology is now affordable and easily available to satisfy the increased demand for authentication. Biometric Layering provides a more secure, hierarchal structure of authentication and identity protection. To layer biometrics, you must first start with a secure authentication platform such as a fingerprint reader using a USB interface for PC and data access. Today, the most common means for verifying the identities of individuals in network environments are passwords and personal identification numbers (PINs). However, these older authentication methods are vulnerable for most applications. Passwords and PINs are often easily guessed or cracked by a skilled hacker, are frequently forgotten, leading to demands on help desks, and can be shared between several users, leading to multiple users having access to a single account. Whether you're looking to layer a Fingerprint Reader, with an Iris Reader, or Smartcard or Token, whether you're looking to match templates locally or centrally, an open biometric architecture enables you to implement your configuration of choice.


Finalist: Michael Lissack, Florida
The success of Google has led to a new industry wide focus on search. BUT, "search" is far more than the services presently offered by Google and its imitators. What is forgotten in the hype is that while searching is a necessary step in the process, the user's goal is to "find."Present search efforts allow a user to type one or a few words and receive back often overwhelming numbers of results. These results are "narrowed" by increasing knowledge of the user. Finding is haphazard at best.Overlooked are technologies designed to actually "find" appropriate results by allowing for lengthly search queries against "authenticated" databases. Longer search queries (e.g at http://web1.learnerslibrary.com the "Virtual Research Assistant" allows search queries of up to 5000 words) allow for better "finding." Keywords and tagging are not the answer. Restricting the databases to "authenticated sources" allows for a higher degree of both relevance and confidence. The search industry is overly focused on keeping the input simple and not focused enough on keeping the output relevant. Fine if the goal is to sell ads. Terrible if the goal is to provide a service users will gladly pay for.Finding is the IT innovation the industry has overlooked.


Finalist: David Uhlman, Arizona
It comes back to a sleeper technology which is beginning to radically redefined the standard web based application, that technology is Javascript remoting. In a nutshell this lets you update lists, do autocomplete, give the user the real time interactivity and feedback without causing the browser to reload the page. A lack of responsiveness has been the achilles heel of web based applications, so called click and wait". With javascript remoting users can have their cake and eat it too, gaining user interfaces they would typically find only in a thick client system but keeping the ease of deployment and low barrier to entry web applications offer.It was Google who started it with Google Suggest and GMail but now with the Open Source JPSpan library things are really taking off. The sky is the limit and proof of concept and beta stage implementations in areas such as real time VOIP notification to web applications (XRMS), a major refactoring of the way web based applications offer search features(ClearHealth), and much richer interfaces (GMail) are now showing up. The major tech media have been asleep at the wheel in highlighting just how dramatic a change implementing this technology will foster."


Finalist: Hank Williams, New York
After years of serious C++ software development, I Recently have been inspired by the incredible power and potential of the Macromedia Flash platform.Flash is a cross-platform, operating system independent application development environment. Most people haven?t really figured this out yet (and -wisely- not even Macromedia talks about it), but Flash is capable of building fully functional windowing applications that don't know the slightest thing about Microsoft.Write once, run anywhere was the Java mantra, but it never really worked out that way. On the desktop, Flash delivers on that promise. The flash player is running on 9X% of PCs in the world. And while the world has already realized that the browser is a great OS independent platform, you?ll never build MS Office with HTML.Flash presents a fundamental shift in what it means to build modern apps, and it is a paradigm shift that Microsoft cannot stop --though their Avalon graphics platform is aimed directly at Flash. Soon we will see Flash based stand-alone and browser applications with a desktop feel. And because it is free, Flash may ultimately be the first real threat to the Windows franchise, and a Trojan horse for Linux on the desktop.


Finalist: Mark Haviland, New Jersey
The most interesting oversight is the lack of prediction(s) about the growth of storage capacity at a pace faster than expected, and faster than similar advances in microprocessors as heralded by Moore's law.When storage for personal or consumer technology devices exceeding 1 GB, and the roadmap for business storage proceeding at a faster pace, this would seem to be the biggest miss.

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Write your own ticket to PC Forum 2005 Contest: Finalists announced

Below are other finalists for the PC Forum 2005 contest. These entrants will receive a CD with transcripts from PC Forum 2005. See full prize details here.

Page 1 - Page 2 - Page 3 - Page 4 - Page 5


Finalist: Matt Brzeski, Wisconsin
I believe that voice-controlled computing is an underappreciated technology in IT today. There are two visually-handicapped students using text-to-speech technology to assist in their studies on my campus. We are investigating use of Dragon's voice-to-text technology to help students with reading issues. Alternative input and output in computing is where I believe that businesses may have to expand their efforts with a changing workforce.


Finalist: Laura Koenigs, Florida
I thought Biometrics would be mainstream by 2005. In my home I have a thumblock for my front door which eliminates the need for extra keys to be made when I have guests or a key gets lost. I also use a keyboard with a thumblock on it used in combination with my BIOS and Windows password to prevent everyone from using my computer. In the workplace Biometrics can be used to keep track of time for hourly employees and maintain access security to rooms and systems. A keycard is not as secure because it can be stolen or lost and used by an unauthorized user. In these days of heightened security Biometrics should be flourishing; however it appears to be merely a blip on a few people's radar.


Finalist: Marc Nathan, Texas
The most important current trend that many IT players have overlooked is the integration of the "Remote Desktop" in the work habits of many computer users. The remote desktop is not one single technology, but the much broader concept of accessing local files from any device, regardless of form factor or connection speed. The trend is the logical next step in the convergence of disparate systems such as 24/7 broadband, P2P file sharing, and software like Google Desktop Search. The ability to manipulate, backup, and most critically -- synchronize large volumes of user-created data that can be accessed from any device connected to the internet will be a significant change in the way most people use their computers. As more digital data is created over time and storage capacities grow at an exponential rate, large libraries of both commercial DVD?s, home movies and music, not to mention office documents and email will make remote desktop applications a crucial part of the computing experience. A consistent interface and all user data tied together seamlessly across various devices such cell phones, laptops, and set top boxes will be the key to getting more consumers comfortable with computing technology.


Finalist: Michael Olenick, Florida
Experts have entirely missed the upcoming emergence of a new breed of physical security systems: the systems that open doors, digitally monitor, route alarms, etc... As wireless networking eliminates the need to rewire buildings to install electronic physical security systems -- and IP switching makes routing digital video faster and less expensive -- these systems are set to explode in popularity.Physical security issues cause 82% of workplace security failures, including many that are wrongly attributed to digital security failures. For example, identity theft is much more likely to occur as a result of the failure of a physical security system. Yet almost all industry focus -- including money -- has been spent on digital security.A new breed of IP-based, ubiquitous physical security systems -- digital surveillance, electronic access control, pattern detection, document and asset tracking, biometric identity management, etc... -- is sorely needed.


Finalist: Bruce Wilcox, California
Technology in support of education, be it core literacy development or more advanced skills, has failed to reach the student population of our world's K12 primary, secondary and tertiary school systems. In every nation, developed or emerging, students share computing technology, reaching a North American average of roughly 7 students for every 1 computer (7:1). Internationally, this number more likely approaches a 30:1 or an even less favorable ratio. As such, in support of educational attainment, technology has been relegated to no more than a supplementary or secondary task in providing instruction and fundamental literacy skills to the world population. Through the embodiment of One-to-One computing (where every learner has real time access to a personal learning device and the digital tools to support literacy attainment and lifelong learning) information technology, as an industry, can 'transcend' the role of information appliances, data architectures, and link libraries, to the more fundamental task of enabling a literate, and therefore more able and economically prosperous world population ---thus greatly expanding the addressable technology marketplace. What IT innovation have experts underplayed? The direct correlation between educational attainment, prosperity, and the 'individual demand' for information technology.

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Write your own ticket to PC Forum 2005 Contest: Finalists announced

Below are other finalists for the PC Forum 2005 contest. These entrants will receive a CD with transcripts from PC Forum 2005. See full prize details here.

Page 1 - Page 2 - Page 3 - Page 4 - Page 5


Finalist: Julia Schwerin, Vermont
Storage technology is improving in performance one order of magnitude every five years (Schwerin's Law, first theorem). Each main segment of technology is one generation apart in performance, i.e. for a given capacity of fixed magnetic, removable optical is one order of magnitude behind, and solid state one order behind that (Schwerin's Law, second theorem). Storage technology is thus progressing along a similar trajectory as Moore's Law. Displays and bandwidth have a similar velocity of performance improvements over time.At the end of 2004, about 158 million households have broadband and/or HDTV access, while about 196 million CD and DVD recorders are installed worldwide according to Infotech, www.infotechresearch.com. The next generation blue laser discs will come on the market this year, and will set new sales records over their life cycle for both local storage of files received (legitimately or not) over the internet and of files created by users in the content commons, stimulating a new generation of prerecorded HD movies for playback and games for play. The transition of content delivery and storage from atoms to signals will have been greatly exaggerated. The reality of their coexistence is the untold story.


Finalist: Lawrence Catchpole, Georgia
The major issues in developing IT solutions for business have for many years centered on bad communications between business people and IT, time, and cost. Bad communications lead to business people wanting a dog but getting a cat. Once compromise has done it's job and you have a cat-dog change is resisted because the exercise of creating the cat-dog was so painful. This painful development process is time consuming and therefore expensive.Today's hype centers on SOA - component software. Lately BPM has been touted as necessary to really achieve SOA. Both of these panaceas ignore human interactions. IBM pundits say interactions are seperate. I disagree. Component software is good. Process modeling is good as the process changes less frequently than the technology underlying the process solution - but it is irrelevant if the human interactions in the process are left out of the equation. And in today's multi-modal world - people choose their mode of interaction.Ubiquitous, broadband, converged networks have and will continue to drive massive change in how human beings interact with IT systems. Unfortunately most of the technology world seems to have it's head in the sand about people- centering only on the technology.


Finalist: Kevin Schofield, California
The emerging chaos in email delivery is an area that NEEDS innovation. To note just two examples of the need, ISPs are experimenting" in filtering some, but not all SMTP email on port 25 (albeit with only certain domains), and email service providers are trying different black list filters that may or may not have anything to do with the origintor's IP address; e.g., from an intermediate system IP address. www.dnsstuff.com notes over 150 filters! The dependence of business on this standard (SMTP) is not sustainable. IT experts need to continue to push for a convenient standard in authenticated relays!"


Finalist: Dewey Hunt, Tennessee
Simplification. In true support of this 'innovation', I should just leave it at that. But I will instead ask the question, what is the point of adding features to a product? The iPod is put down by Dell as a fad at the same time they try to market a competing product with more features. Sony watched for years as the iPod invaded and now dominates a market they created almost 30 years ago. The first Walkman just did one thing and did it well.At every level of the IT industry we need products that work as advertised that do what 'technology' is suppose to do and make the lives of people everywhere better. What would the world be like if an IBM mainframe was as easy to manage as an iPod?


Finalist: Steven Etzler, New York
The impact electronic communications (email, IM) has on human replationships. From both a business and consumer perspective, our relationships with each other have funademtally changed. Instantaneous eletronic communications has turned our personal and professional worlds upside down. Someone should do a study on the impact of electronic communications on our daily lives including how we manage our time and prioritize personal/professional tasks. We now live in a information cluttered world where we are bombarded by electronic communications. We are at the same time more accessable and frustrated with the quality of relationshps with people that matter most. Most of us feel that we are constantly fighting a battle with information overload armed with ineffective tools to make sense of it. I guess information overload is not an IT innovation but that's what I'm going with. Cheers.