The evolution of communications is a fascinating subject. From the primordial event where two people at the same place exchanged a single piece of semantically significant information to Gene Roddenberry’s resplendent “Transporter” vision you have to wonder what were the incremental and disruptive steps—what endured and what did not. Like historians then, we use that thesis to predict what will work in the journey into the future of communications, and what will not.

In our lifetime the world has evolved from analog phone calls and telegraphs to PC-based communications. We have watched the PC and the Internet grow to reach more than a billion people in a span of 15 years or so. We have witnessed how the union of software and ...

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