Re: The Spike, nanotech, and a future scenario

Brian Atkins (
Mon, 06 Oct 1997 12:19:41 -0400

Dan Clemmensen wrote:
> Brian Atkins wrote:
> >
> > Full agreement here...
> >
> > So how long do you think it will take for your car to become an
> > extension of your home entertainment system? It is one of my
> > current dreams (if I had the money) to form a company to network
> > my car to a CD jukebox at home so I can listen to any of my
> > CDs without having to cart them all around. Ditto for programming
> > your VCR from afar... The only real limitation I see is the cost
> > of wireless connections. But with companies here in Atlanta offering
> > unlimited airtime until Jan 1. and companies in SF like Metricom
> > offering unlimited 28.8 speed access for $40/month it seems
> > possible. All of this of course is an extension of the idea in
> > Negroponte's Being Digital book about moving bits not atoms...
> > --
> > The future has arrived; it's just not evenly distributed.
> > -William Gibson
> I thought CDs used a fairly high bandwidth, on the order of
> 44K bytes per second per channel? If so, your radio bandwidth must
> get a lot cheaper to support this application. Also, it's supposed
> to be illegal to build gear that delivers the raw binary from the
> audio CD: only the analog waveform is delivered from your player,
> I thought. This is why you have that silly extra wire connecting
> your CD-rom drive to your sound card to play audio CDs. All in all
> you are probably better off using a DAT tape to copy the CD.

True, but RealAudio and other compression technologies are getting
good enough nowadays that you can deliver near-CD quality (like
playing a portable CD player through your car's cassette player)
over a 56kbit modem. So just hook up a RA server at your house
and a laptop in your car and you are set. You could even theoretically
make your own wireless network using wireless ethernet transceivers
if you don't travel too far from your house. Voila, free networked
audio. The only challenge is to consumerize it enough to make a
product... Just the idea of being able to ditch your discman and
be able to listen to any of your music anywhere in your city would
catch on quite easily if it was fairly competitively priced.

The future has arrived; it's just not evenly distributed.
                                                       -William Gibson