by Carlo Longino

Could Terrorism Be A Boon For Web 2.0?

from the travel-light dept

After every terrorism scare, the business press explores the trickle-down effect new threats and heightened security have in creating new opportunities for companies. Typically, they look at companies with new technologies or products that can be built into the security process, but often there are further unforeseen opportunities. For instance, in the wake of the quickly implemented carry-on luggage restrictions in the UK, travelers could no longer bring laptops onboard planes. While the restrictions have been relaxed, it's not hard to imagine that they could come in to force again in the future, or that the hassle of additional security checks could simply make traveling with laptops more trouble than it's worth. So could such a scenario give a boost to Web 2.0 companies and others developing Web-based applications? Some people are already checking out USB drives with special software that carries things like browser settings, preferences and personal applications that instantly personalize any PC they're plugged into, and carrying such a device with all the relevant settings and software -- including a VPN and other security measures -- combined with web-based applications could be a preferable solution for some business travelers. This assumes, of course, they have easy access to PCs while on the road. But with hotels already adopting to the carry-on ban of liquids by offering free toiletries and other measures, it seems like they'd probably adapt fairly quickly should demand for PC access, rather than just internet access, emerge, since it could be a powerful differentiator. In any case, the reponse for many business travelers to increased security measures is to pack lighter and lighter. Web-based applications developers could try to use this opportunity to push their products, but should traveling with laptops become more difficult, it seems inevitable that interest in them will grow.

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  • identicon
    Cruncher, 17 Aug 2006 @ 10:17am

    Why the mention of web 2.0? I dont see digg,wikipedia or blogs or anything to that effect...Do you mean to refer "opportunity for new software tools"?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2006 @ 10:40am


      Wikipedia and blogs are NOT web 2.0 "things".

      Web applications that use things like AJAX to provide smooth user experiences are whats being called Web 2.0.

      That means things like gmail (particularly relevant to this article) ARE web 2.0 "things".

      And i have no idea if what digg uses.

      Perhaps you were thinking any website you use is web 2.0? That would be wrong.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chris Yeh, 17 Aug 2006 @ 10:27am

    Web 2.0 in the air

    The ideal solution for the airlines is to provide Web terminals on the plane (available for a mere $50 per flight) along with broadband access, so that people can work remotely using Web 2.0 hosted apps (Writely, wikis, etc.).

    I'm sure there would be takers on every flight, and $50 per flight adds up fast. It wouldn't take long to achieve payback.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2006 @ 10:47am

    The Virtualized computer

    A powerful enough cell phone for cosntant communications (think blackberry) and a virtualized computer is all the business traveler needs.

    Think of this. Every hotel has a VM player. Traveling businessman plugs his thumbstick into it, and it instantly boots the OS of his choice, right off his thumbstick (and connects him to the internet, where he could also be VPN connected back to his office, or RDP to a citrix farm).

    The traveling non-businessman can have his version of Window2GO on his thumbdrive (or any os) he just plugs in, and is happy.

    No need to carry around all that "stuff" (adding conveniece), computing power can be determined by how much money the "host" of the vm players has to afford (meaning a cheap hotel can still afford to put really cheap machines in, and STILL HAVE SOMETHING), a true geek can still spend plenty on his computer, and a thrifty home user can be... thrifty.

    The only "real" problem in this situation is the virtualization of 3d rendering. We would have to go back to the days of software only rendering, OR take the standard instruction set model to the gpu.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2006 @ 12:09pm

      Re: The Virtualized computer

      AC, I think this is the only ideal scenario, also. But I would recommend instead for someone to push for a standard set of hardware so that the jumpdrive could simply contain an OS and datafiles for that common terminal platform. plug it in and let it boot. bring your environment with you wherever you go. As a security measure, automatically power off the system when the bootable jumpdrive is removed.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    shane, 17 Aug 2006 @ 11:19am

    I have a portable usb hdd the "little" 60gb one from walmart, when i plugged it in i found it had an interesting sync program on it that would basicly be my computer the same as personalized favorites updates and all... this was the base little 104 dollar hdd from walmart. it is true that's all i would need to bring. no outside power source nothing, just the hdd and the usb cord.

    worst case scene sony has the super small 4 gig memory stick duos that are small enough to keep dozens in my wallet. that's way more expensive than the hdd, but hell i could hide those if i had to.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      TriZz, 17 Aug 2006 @ 11:36am


      Ummmmmmmm...execpt you backing up your harddrive, and then unleashing it onto someone's poor little hotel machine - would have a permanent effect on their machine - not only that, but all of your files and whatnot would be on that machine - letting the next chum in the room have access to all of your p0rn!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    EH, 17 Aug 2006 @ 11:32am

    $50 per flight? Riiiiiiight.

    And if they charged a billion dollars per flight, they could earn their money back even faster! If they only got two people to go for it, they'd be rich! Rich, I tell you!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Faz, 17 Aug 2006 @ 11:41am

    Google Spreadsheets will rule the world...

    very intresting ideas..

    i travel a lot for work, from one site to another and i still need files left on my machine, but internet storage and applications, i can try.... only thing is i was at a site once where teh wireless connection kept dropping and things took me 2 hours longer than they needed to. e.g. my outlook syncs and online file stirage sites... so things to keep in mind + after reading an email i store them on outlook folders on my drive, i guess i will need a larger usb if this tech is evr adopted by our company

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    dennis parrott, 17 Aug 2006 @ 11:42am

    web 2.0 on a stick won't fly...

    reason 1) the MORONS who thunk up the ridiculous restriction in the first place were NOT going to let a Shakespeare researcher coming back to the US the other day take his 3 jump drives (full of Shakespeare research) on the plane with him! the story i saw (on a reputable news site -- via BoingBoing, cf. http://www.boingboing.net/2006/08/16/airport_officials_se.html read had the (in)security screeners undies in a horridly twisted bunch. he only got to bring the drives home by BEGGING to get them placed in a plastic baggie and then flew them in the cargo hold of the damn plane... sorry, it won't help the poor folks who normally cart a laptop because more of them tend to fly with carryon luggage only to avoid waiting for luggage.

    reason 2) many bigger businesses have IT departments that go apoplectic when their people start using the public internet. these IT folk are deathly afraid that "somebody" is going to intercept their communications and data and put it to nefarious uses (hmmm... like NSA maybe?). besides that, i just don't see the high power consulting types trying to hit a low-life internet cafe to log on...

    reason 3) when i go on vacation for more than a few days and i'm taking my camera(s), i need my laptop. with the new bag weight restrictions, i can't afford to put my laptop in a crushproof container and take up valuable luggge space. if i can't fly my electronics in the cabin, screw it, i will quit flying altogether.

    web 2.0 will take and fly if it offers enough value to enough people. it may get a few folks to leave computers at home but the ones who carry them around every day while doing business travel probably won't be the ones who do.

    and as far as "security" goes, we'd be better off without the current sad sack mess of idiots who are trying to convince us we are really more secure and better off... those folks are as full of shit as any metropolitan sewer and aren't likely ever understand the true nature of how to be more secure...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    James, 17 Aug 2006 @ 12:02pm

    New technology boost with no effect on web 2.0

    Having a problem to solve will definitely be a stimulator for new technologies to emerge, but Web 2.0 will not be effected by this trend either directly or indirectly.
    Having said that, Web 2.0 technologies will be developed and spread due to basic needs driven by the popularity of Internet usage and the challenge to have some order in all the information created and maintained

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2006 @ 12:52pm

    Re: Re: The Virtualized computer

    A standard set of hardware would indeed be a bad thing and is entirely unnecessary. Anyone who's used a version of knoppix knows that you can get by just fine using a large amount of generic drivers. This "virtualized" computer idea is actually a great one and I could definetly see it implemented in the future.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Shawn McCollum, 17 Aug 2006 @ 1:08pm

    rent a gadget

    how about instead of taking your laptop with you, you drop it off at a counter at the airport then when you get to the other side you pick up a similar model with your laptop virtualized on it. then when you get back your laptop is returned with everything you did. Sure there's limitations but for the most part bookmarks and office files are all there. big problem might be licensing.

    Maybe the same thing with an ipod, leave your old ipod at a counter and pick up a newer version where your going with all your music on it. You just need connections with alot of bandwidth to move all the data around.


    Just some thoughts I had last week.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2006 @ 2:06pm

      Re: rent a gadget

      The ipod idea could work. I doubt a lot of people would be fine letting their laptop sit somewhere, where who knows what happends to it, and then recieve a "similar" laptop that can not possibly have all the programs you have on your original laptop. There would be too big of a need for network experts to actually send all the needed information from one aiport to another. There are far too many complications for it to work.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rupert, 17 Aug 2006 @ 6:08pm

    Eyeos might be a solution

    Maybe these guys are onto something? http://eyeos.org/

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Donald Duck, 17 Aug 2006 @ 10:58pm

    Could Security be a boon for Web 2.o




    and you can boot any computer with GNU linux on a hot stick.

    Here's the link only 60mb's.


    I have used Opera portable


    and Firefox on a hot stick for a long time now and it
    works perfect. I can use it any where. It comes up the same on every computer. You can have the same home page on every computer you have access to.

    So I don't have to go on some ones computer and use their IE go through there cuss word blocker my opera works every where. At work leaves no traces that I was playing my fantasy football.

    The fact is that the global market is worth billions. Some one could make a web2.0 something and make $100 billion dollars in personal wealth.

    I"m sure that all of these things they do make is used for security as well. They have cell phone blockers, they have guards at the airports that makes you take off your Nike's :) dump out the baby milk.

    Let me add that radio tag's a'int nothin these day's. but their usage is a problem in my opinion. HP made something better. It's smaller and can do much more things, even video. It's name is "Memory Spot" here is the link.


    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Aug 2006 @ 6:35am

    Web 2.0 is also known as the Participatory Web, which includes blogs, wikis, etc. MySpace and Facebook are both Web 2.0. You don't need AJAX and DHTML to make something Web 2.0.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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