Forecast and Review: Ancient Chinese security secrets

David Pye, Assistant Site Editor

Microsoft Certified Instructor Douglas Paddock pontificates on 9/11, .NET and the networked abacus while discussing what's around the corner for wireless technologies and disaster recovery

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practices. Yes, we said abacus.

1. What do you think were the biggest IT issues this past year?

The events of September 11 and their impact on national security as it affects the IT field, and the lack of security in many IT companies. (Since we're discussing IT, let's not branch out into all the other areas that will be or are being impacted.). Also, the federal government's efforts to get involved in the field will bring up some very big issues surrounding software, hardware and bureaucracy. It's just starting to ramp up, but this is going to turn out to be a very intrusive issue.

2. What do you think the biggest IT issues will be in 2003?

Further crackdowns on homeland security, privacy issues and the ACLU vs. the government on issues for both the home and business (for example, the government's right to plant keystroke loggers). It is entirely possible that Microsoft may release .NET server next year, although this is by no means guaranteed. Things to watch, in light of tight budgets and the lack of acceptance of Active Directory by many organizations Who will just skip Win2k and go straight to .NET? How many engineers and programmers will ramp up to .NET? How many programmers are rushing to implement .NET, and what effects if any will the economic downturn have on .NET?

3. What do you predict will be the hot technology or technologies for 2003?

Wireless, once all of the security issues have been worked out. I think disaster recovery planning and prevention will take off, in combination with security. Companies that previously gave disaster recovery lip service may actually start to test and implement it -- instead of just writing a plan that gathers dust on a bookshelf. Unless Microsoft fixes both its actual security issues and its perceived image security-wise, I believe it will start losing business. You can already see this happening in recent news reports with some fairly major players -- including the Japanese government.

Lastly, I think the networked abacus will make a serious comeback. The abacus has very little overhead, is secure (unless faced with termites,) and always works when the power fails. I once had a Chinese gentleman demonstrate how fast they were while I was stationed in South Korea. He stomped me into the ground when I attempted to beat him in a contest where we added up ten numbers: my calculator vs. his abacus. The beads are also fun to play with at your desk when business is slow, especially since the clicking noise will drive your cubicle neighbors nuts.

- Back to the 2003 Predictions featured topic

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