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Why Blockchain and IoT can help save the Earth

May 12, 2016 1 comment

The internet and associated technology are evolving constantly. But we are now entering a new phase of digital transformation driven by two step-change advances, Blockchain and the Internet of Things (IOT).

As well as driving a whole host of digital advances, I also think this transformation can potentially lead us to become more responsible inhabitants of the non-digital world.

The combination of Blockchain and IOT may lead us to a world in which everything around us is connected and in which we essentially inhabit a global computer. Depending on your technophilia know this sentence will probably give an image either of Skynet or a more benevolent global digital society operated by smart machines.

If this sounds ridiculously futuristic take a trip back in time to 1994, and how people wrestled with the concept of the internet then, so simple to us now, so confusing then…

 

You’ll note the attempts by the personalities on the couch to explain it are so painful a more informed audience member is prompted to volunteer a more fact-based explanation, but which ends up being reduced by the lady on the right to “so it’s a computer billboard”.

Which was probably true about most sites in the early 90s but its limited vision missed the potential of the internet over the next two decades to transform communications, business, education, social interactions and society in general.

 

New Kid on the Blockchain

Today many like William Mougayar  have been reliving the Today Show experience and engaging in the vexing task of trying to explain this new thing.

I think Mougayar is probably one of the best writers on the subject at the moment. If you want to go a bit deeper this is a good post and he’s just published a very readable book.

But for most people these explanations are a bit like explaining in 1994 the difference between the Internet and the World Wide Web – when the conversation we should be having is the aspirational vision that writers like William Gibson were conjuring at the time:

“I sometimes suspect that we’re seeing something in the Internet as significant as the birth of cities. It’s something that profound and with that sort of infinite possibilities. It’s really something new; it’s a new kind of civilization. And of course the thing I love about it is that it’s transnational, non-profit – it isn’t owned by anyone – and it’s shape is completely user driven. What it is is determined by the needs of millions and millions of users. So cyberspace is evolving to meet the needs of individuals all over the world.  – William Gibson, 1995

Or as someone else put it: “Forget how the technology works and focus on what it does.

The way I see it is that Blockchain is leap transforming the internet from a global network of information storage and content sharing, to a global network of value storage and value transfers. Just like the information internet disrupted information and content based industries like news, books and music, this next evolution will do the same first to any industry that manages value: banks; payment networks; exchanges; lawyers; auditors.

It creates new digital paradigms for the likes of finance and even identity and its decentralised, immutable nature means there would be true digital trust at a global level, like never before.

Just like the digital disruption of the last 20 years that tore information industries apart, this new model internet will knock down walls and break up silos of industries so far largely uninterrupted. It will also move the world closer to the promise of Ethereum – essentially a world computer.

Clever things

Now combine Blockchain with the other oncoming evolution, the Internet of Things, as IBM are investigating and I think that a technology revolution could be harnessed to drive environmental sustainability.

By 2020 Cisco estimates 50bn physical devices will be digitally networked with sensors and transmitting data about what they do – from vehicles, wearables and healthcare to connected homes which will even include, for example, smart toilets.

The smart toilet will use sensors to report on your health. It will save lives through early warnings on health issues. But it could also save water and even prevent pollution. Today I may carelessly drop an earbud (or worse) into a toilet bowl and there is only my conscience standing between me and the action of flushing that object into our waterways. However a toilet that can detect pregnancy or prostate issues could easily be programmed to stubbornly refuse to flush non-biodegradeable litter.

Smarter life on earth

Free earth pic

Now take this beyond the humble, possibly comical-sounding idea of a smart toilet and imagine a world of connected devices monitoring and recording our other activities and their impacts on ourselves or the natural world. Devices can be programmed with environmentally sustainable actions such as optimising buildings for energy use; alerts for water leaks; automated lighting adjusters to save energy; monitoring soil and air.

And with Blockchain this information and the actions around it would be lodged in an immutable, trusted global network that can’t be lobbied or bribed or corrupted.

Now it’s not just my conscience between the earbud, the flush button and the deep blue sea. This digitised world could actually enforce doing the right thing by the environment.

Within this future world, populated by humans and their smart devices, the smart toilet is just one example of how this next generation internet could compel us to become more at one with the planet we call home.

PS: Ethereum conference in New Zealand next week

If you want to learn more about the business opportunities around Blockchain and Ethereum come to www.ethereum.nz next week in Auckland and Wellington. You will hear from five speakers from all over the world, including Ethereum founder and CTO Taylor Gerring, and have the opportunity to ask questions

 

An experience with Google Glass

September 14, 2013 Leave a comment

I had an experience with some step-change technology recently that reinforced how sometimes your opinion is worthless until you’ve actually tried something.

I’m talking about Google Glass. Last month I had the great privilege of visiting Google’s  Googleplex campus in Mountain View, San Francisco, and found myself wearing a pair of the internet connected eyeware.

Like every other person on the tech-obsessive-geek-scale I had read much and watched as many videos as I could when these glasses were first announced. I had followed Google’s founder and Head of Innovation Sergey Brin as introduced Google Glass through a team sky-diving from a Zeppelin, filming their descent live on the internet using Google Glasses.

I had also looked at the media around the first prototype, bulkier versions and thought – “no way”. And I’d certainly had more than a few water-cooler conversations around the potentially socially-awkward nature of talking to someone else while wearing a pair of glasses behind which you may or may not be searching information on that person or filming them.

“Remember when video cameras first came on phones and everyone was worried you’d be filmed in the changing room”, remarked one male colleague.

“What if you’re standing by a children’s playground wearing one of those? How could you prove you’re just looking at the sports results and not some videophile.”

The whole action of someone’s eye’s flicking upwards and away from you to look at an invisible screen while in conversation just silently screamed as being socially unacceptable.

And to be honest my encounter with Google Glasses at Mountain View couldn’t answer those questions completely. But what I did learn was that as a user the experience was quite amazing and which left me hungering for more. The experience was so positive any previous doubts suddenly vanished into the air like soap bubbles.

The frames are very very light, stylish but robust. I wear glasses everyday and they felt just as comfortable as my frames do.

The right hand frame arm is where the glasses gear is kept and that was barely wider than some designer frames you get on regular glasses.

To fire up Google Glass you simply say “Ok Glass” and suddenly there’s a screen that seems about the size of a widescreen TV hovering at what appears a metre or so away from your eyes, slightly up to the right. When you look up at it the screen it appears to move down into your path of vision.

You can use a number of voice commands to call up maps; Google search; take a picture and other commands to send or share via Google+, Facebook or Twitter. Or you can tap and swipe down with your fingers on the right hand frame.

Sound comes through sound waves going through your cranium, rather than via your ears. It feels a bit weird at first but then is quite natural. And apparently the Project X team at Google have had reports from deaf users that they can now hear things again – an amazing and unexpected spin-off.

You are suddenly hands-free on everything your smartphone can offer you. It really is like the first time you take your hands off the handlebars of a bike – it’s a rush! You act a bit crazy.

After a few minutes it was amazing how comfortable it felt having the internet literally right in your face. I felt like a learner driver – and my New Zealand accent was giving the glasses some pause for thought – but very quickly it had gone from feeling like a sci-fi experience to one of usefulness and joy.

Sergey Brin’s vision right from the start of founding Google was that one day search queries would be irrelevant – the right information would just come straight to you. He believes Google Glass is that vision made manifest. He talks more about the philosophy of Google Glass in this Ted Talk.

I believe there is one set of Google Glasses in New Zealand being worn by an artist somewhere down south. He was given them by Google to aid with sculpture but now apparently uses them in every part of his day. He told them he couldn’t go back to life without them.

If I’d read that before wearing them I probably would’ve scoffed at that remark. Google Glass are definitely the shock of the new – and I guess sometimes you just have to physically experience the new for it to make sense.

Banks, big data and doing the right thing

July 21, 2013 Leave a comment

How comfortable are we about our banks mining personal data?

Banks around the world are wrestling with the complexity and the opportunity around big data as a way to deepen their relationship with customers online.

According to a study earlier this month by Infosys nine out of 10 people would be happy sharing some data with their bank if they received more customisable offers or experiences.

The study compared consumers attitudes to sharing data with retailers, banks and doctors and, probably predictably, banks came out as slightly behind the other two sectors when it came to data trades.

However, despite the finding above the study clearly shows consumers are in some conflict over the benefits and drawbacks of banks using big data.

Almost half  (49%) also say they do not want their purchase and transaction data used to offer new services based on their habits but, almost in the same breath, 48% of bank customers would be happy for the bank to use email or social media to provide them with updates or insights.

The study also finds consumers are more concerned with their account security. Around four fifths (82%) want their banks and financial providers to mine their data to detect anomalies from identity thieves, with the same amount (82%) expecting their banks to already be doing this.”

It is such an important issue that just over three quarters (76%) agree that they would consider changing banks if one offered assurances that their data and money would be safer in their systems.

Financial services futurist – and co-founder of MovenScott Bales has an interesting theory that following Edward Snowden’s revelations the strength of feeling around how our data is used could create a new social and political movement around transparency.

Digital natives will come to demand complete transparency on how their data is being used not just by governments, but by corporates as well.

He says: “The reality of the modern world is that if your doing something wrong behind closed doors. The Facebook Generation will find out,  they will share what your doing, and you will be held accountable.”

The Infosys study shows consumers expect better deals from retailers in return for sharing personal information and better attention from their doctor’s office for a similar trade. But banks don’t have a great track record in utilising what they know about the customer: e.g. “Would you like insurance with that?”

Post-GFC, trust in banks generally is going to take some time to recover – particularly in Europe and the US where bank failures have destroyed consumer confidence. One UK survey predicts it will take a generation before banks are trusted again.

How banks use big data to interact with their customers online (and by online I really mean mobile) in the next few years is going to be critical to the relevance of banking and the securing of trust in the minds of a new generation of customers.

There is an amazing opportunity for banks to use the data opportunity to transform their customers online experiences for the better. Instead of going down the retail route of using the data just to flog more products what if banks decided their focus would be purely on using insight to create ways to make customers richer; safer and happier?

But above all there is an incredible opportunity for banking to use big data in a way that embraces openness. That combination of deep insight and transparency could be the difference between banks continuing to be relevant to a new generation of consumers. Or not.

Tesla and wireless electricity – a 157th birthday commemoration

July 10, 2013 2 comments

Who knew the internet was envisioned in 1908 – five years after the Wright Brothers flight and the year New Zealand completed its first North Island end-to-end passenger rail service?

Nikola Tesla holds balls of fire

Nikola Tesla – luminary in all respects

In 1908 the Serbian-American physicist and electrical engineer Nikola Tesla in predicted: “It will be possible for a businessman in New York to dictate instructions, and have them instantly appear in type at his office in London… An instrument not bigger than a watch will enable its bearer to hear anywhere… music or song [or] the speech of a political leader… delivered in some other place, however distant.”

Tesla was definitely a man out of his time – a visionary and inventor in the same league of Da Vinci, and today would be his 157th birthday. As well as envisioning the internet Tesla’s list of inventions is incredible – radio (US Supreme Court recognised his precedence over Marconi in 1943); remote controls; alternating current and the AC motor.

So my post today is in honour of this great man who, like Turing, was treated badly by his time. For more on this there’s a great, vitriolic Oatmeal post on on why Tesla was the greatest geek that ever lived.

Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla holding a gas-filled phosphor-coated light bulb which was illuminated without wires by an electromagnetic field from the “Tesla Coil”.

But while I am in awe of Tesla’s inventions such as AC and radio – it’s his work in wireless electricity that really really spins my wheels and, because it’s his birthday, I wanted to profile that stream of his genius and where it is today. While Tesla achieved fame his inventions never received the backing to achieve their vision. He died on January 7th, 1943 in the Hotel New Yorker, where he had lived for the last ten years of his life.

As I write at my desk my mind is immediately drawn to the web of of wires that powers the six entertainment devices in our living room and the multiple other electrical things around the house. But mainly the constant, half-starved nature of my smartphones that crave electricity on a daily basis like ultra-marathon runners crave carbs. Imagine a world free of wires and in which devices magically power up without ever having to plug in.

Tesla successfully proved wireless electricity in 1891 – the same year he became an American citizen.

At his lab, Tesla produced streams of electricity 135 feet long. People walking along the street observed sparks jumping between their feet and the ground. Electricity sprang from taps when turned on. Light bulbs within 100 feet of the lab glowed even when turned off. For Tesla I would imagine the vision of our world literally wrapped in wire would have been nightmarish.

While Tesla was famously predicting an unprecedented global industrial revolution from wireless electricity in 1906 – in 2013 the focus is more how this technology can address specific commercial and personal painpoints.

A New Zealand company is leading the world in delivering the vision of a wireless electronic future.

PowerbyProxi is a start-up that’s come out of Auckland University’s engineering department and which has taken some ground-breaking wireless power technology innovations and created business and consumer products. They say wireless power today is a proximity based system – to do things efficiently power can be transmitted over a maximum distance of about 8 inches. So customer benefits and value have to be derived from within that fundamental design envelope.

The company was founded in 2006 by Fady Mishriki and Greg Cross – 101 years after Tesla closed up shop and laid off his staff after losing backing for a 187ft tall tower in New York that would transmit both signals and power without wires to any point on the globe.  The huge magnifying transmitter would turn the earth into a gigantic dynamo which would project its electricity in unlimited amounts anywhere in the world. His financial backer, J P Morgan, infamously pulled the plug on this by declaring: “If anyone can draw on the power, where do we put the meter?” (Source – Tesla society biography)

So fast-forward to 2013 and Power By Proxi has invented a way to wirelessly transfer efficient power in the most difficult places: from a miniaturized receiver inside a AA battery to a mission critical solution in the demanding and hostile environment of a wind turbine control system. The company has worked with customers on over 50 real world projects initially focusing on complex industrial applications.

Power by Proxi

But it also has created the first commercial wireless recharging system capable of 3D power transfer, regardless of how the device is positioned in the recharging unit.

In the US in 2006, Marin Soljacic, a physics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, sent wireless electricity across a room to light a 60-watt bulb. Soljacic used electromagnetic induction, but with a twist. By tuning the sending and receiving coils in his electromagnetic field to resonate at the same frequency and engage only at that frequency (the way glass will shatter when struck by sound waves of just the right pitch), the current is focused and bypasses everything else, humans included. Resonant coupling, as Soljacic’s process is known, is far more efficient than Tesla’s attempts, and safer too.

Soljacic has a company called WiTricity, and he can now send 3,000 watts across a room—or a garage, since 3,000 watts can charge an electric car. You can see a compelling demo of wireless electricity by WiTricity in this TED talk.

I find it fascinating that a technology demonstrated over a century ago is now being taken seriously by science and business. And today I salute the genius of the 19th Century-born Nikola Tesla who pioneered what seems like such a 21st Century concept.

Webstock 2013 – Clay Johnson

February 24, 2013 Leave a comment

Clay Johnson

The man who created Obama’s election site, Clay Johnson, kicked things off at Webstock 2013 with a presentation that possibly should’ve been the grande finale.

Clay Johnson at Webstock 2013

Clay Johnson at Webstock 2013 (Image from Webstock 2013 Flickr stream)

Like a surgeon performing Bariatric procedure he carefully laid open the flabby body of media we have today – where the news we get is saccharine and designed to affirm the perceptions of the mass market consumer, rather than challenging.

“MSNBC tells the ‘Left’ what they want to hear. Fox News tells the ‘Right’ what they want to hear.”

It’s an old adage that a society gets the news it deserves and Johnson’s prescription for the consumer was to use a diet analogy and treat news like food. Opinion may taste better than fact-based news in the same way that pizza tastes better than broccoli, but opinion-based news also comes with side-effects you don’t get with green veges. So as with managing food, he advises we need to consciously consume news – rather than unthinkingly graze through the day on the content equivalent of fried potatoes or meat.

He made five recommendations:

  1. Consciously consume – write down content you consume for a week and analyse it to see when you were consuming, what it was and whether it added value.
  2. Schedule your daily social media or TV consumption ‘urges’. “Time is our true non- renewable resource. You can always get more money but not more time.”
  3. Go local with your news consumption – be aware of your local environment. You can influence more at a local level, so understand what’s going on in your backyard.
  4. Be a producer rather than consumer. Take action/react rather than just passively consume. He gave each delegate the challenge of writing 500 words before 8am every day. Johnson said he treats this as if it were gym – stretch and strengthen the mind on a daily basis. Become mentally active in a way that adds to the betterment of humanity.
  5. Enable whole news movement. Support content rather than advertising. “Every click we make is an ethical choice – we vote for more of that.”

Johnson’s presentation left me with two other thoughts that have been ringing in my ears since the conference. The first that in 10 years time people who don’t get computers will be same as people now who can’t read. And there’s a lot of people risk being left behind in this transformation.

Threat to society?

But he also talked to an even more worrisome future state where the sheep-like affirmation-centric behaviour of digital consumers clicking on the advertising links they are given by the likes of Facebook or other online behemoths, slowly transforms the rights and liberties that sustain our society.

Facebook’s business model is to mine personal data and use that for advertising  – as a publicly listed company the pressure from Wall Street to deliver on this logically means Facebook’s hunger for our personal data will only increase. Which, to some, may make them the most dangerous company on earth.

And if you follow this argument of a now global profit-driven organisation reliant on extracting ever more personal details of its members to supply ever more relevant advertising   – well, you can get to quite a dark place. It is dark because it’s about driving consumer behaviour through advertising that is based on very good data about who we are as individuals – but on a global scale.

Now one could argue that advertising has been doing this for decades, based on focus groups and quantitative data from surveys – but there’s never been a platform where one organisation can record whatever intimate details and relationships that members share with friends, in such detail and on a global scale.

We have a choice
Of course, at the end of the day, we all have a choice with our level of engagement in social media. We don’t have to put all our lives in updates and tweets for the world to consume. But Facebook has a decidedly chequered history on privacy issues – graph search is the latest to raise concerns. And the stories of young gay people being outed to their parents because of the often opaque nature of Facebook’s privacy settings calls into question how much “choice” Facebook really allows members.

But Johnson’s underlying message – and a theme that continued throughout Webstock – was that there is the potential of a  positive outcome for society as we as individuals act in a more discerning way. By not blindly consuming, by focusing our attention rather than abdicating it, on an individual basis we can ensure a brighter future – despite the commercial pressures of the internet giants of today.

“A billion people dictating how people communicate and interact is law,” said Johnson.

Our choice is whether we want a future driven by advertising clicks, or  or future driven by betterment of humanity.

Webstock and why it’s life-changing

February 24, 2013 Leave a comment

Has Webstock become the greatest internet conference of the century?

Webstock 2013

Webstock 2013 opening (Webstock Flickr stream)

Last week was my fourth Webstock and the fact that I describe it as an experience rather than just as a plain event (“fourth time I went to Webstock”) is an indication of the intensely powerful and inspirational feelings it leaves you with.

In fact Boing Boing described this year’s as “the most radical” tech conference ever.

What is Webstock? It’s a web technology and design conference and workshops held here in Wellington every February since 2006 and which attracts the great and good from the global internet community to present to, this year, 875 delegates.

The calibre of international speakers attracted to this New Zealand conference is high and in itself attracts many delegates who travel also from the US and Europe to listen and participate.

Speakers from the past include software luminaries such as Ben Goodger (Firefox/Google); Nat Torkington (Perl); Michael Lopp (Apple/Palantir); Thomas Fuchs (Ruby); Kathy Sierra (Creating Passionate Users); Technologists such as Tom Coates; Scott Hanselman; writers like Bruce Sterling and Lauren Beukes; designers like Jared Spool and John Gruber; entrepreneurs such as Sam Morgan; Eric Ries; Jim Coudal; Derek Handley and Tony Hsieh; musicians and artists like Jason Webley; Amanda Fucking Palmer; Scott McCloud and The Oatmeal and even a Hollywood big hitter like Michael B Johnson.

Despite the variety of the 24 or so speakers across the conference, individual Webstocks seem to coalesce into a theme over the two days of presentations.There is always a huge amount of pure design; UX and technology inspiration but each year the carefully crafted programme appears to want to leave you with a deeper. more soul-searching message.

I remember 2010 feeling particularly entrepreneurial in nature, with the likes of lean start-up guru Eric Ries and Digg founder Kevin Rose. 2011 felt like we’d learnt how to create a cool internet business and were now making the product look beautiful and inspiring; 2012 felt like a mid-life realisation that it wasn’t all about the money and we need to be doing greater things for humanity to live with ourselves; and this year it felt like the what-the-hell-have-we-let-happen-to-our-internet? moment.

Like other attendees I spoke to I left Webstock with my brain overflowing with an ever-expanding mixture of inspiration, insight and philosophical questions. Last year I kept the pages of notes I took on my desk and used them for an injection of the above when the metaphorical skies were grey and drive to do good in my work waned. In terms of getting me back into a creative, dynamic space it beat the coffee or the snack machine every time.

This year I want to use this blog to expand on my notes and pull out some of the speakers and thoughts that I think are worth sharing.

My first piece looks at the thoughts of Clay Johnson.

NB: For other notes on Webstock 2013 the shining light is Mike Riversdale’s (@MiramarMike) shared note taking on Google docs. While one may not agree with all his opinions, Mike has become a Webstock recorder of note and an invaluable repository of goodness from the week. Scoop also has a briefer file notes overview on Webstock 2013.

10 things that won’t be around in 10 years

January 20, 2012 5 comments

On the day that Kodak’s century-long business crumbles into nothing; Apple makes the text book irrelevant and the US government shuts down one of the world’s largest filesharing sites I’m prompted to muse about 10 things that won’t be around in 10 years

  1. Cheque books: Almost gone now. In NZ 95% of transactions (according to Payments NZ) are electronic.  UK stepped back from abolishing them by 2018 due to a backlash from older users. It’s an older-aged and therefore declining customer use base by the year.
  2. Wallets/Credit Cards/Cash machines: With the domination of electronic payments by card soon to migrate from the plastic in your wallet to your smartphone what’s left to carry in your leather wallet? Your payment, transit, reward, and identification cards will all be digitalized within the next 10 years. And with contactless micro-payments at all terminals (MasterCard are mandating all merchant terminals to comply with contactless payment technology by 2013) and the ability to make person-to-person payments using the same mobile contactless technology, who would you pay in cash?
  3. Postal bank statements: Particular bug-bear of mine. Totally useless pieces of paper that go towards 13% of landfill content being paper. With online banking now being fully mobilised we just don’t need them now, let alone in 10 years time. They’re as relevant as encyclopedias or Kokak film. Period.
  4. The computer mouse: This 1970s invention will follow the demise of the desktop computer as touch, gesture and voice control finally enable human beings to interact with personal and business electronic devices without developing repetitive strain injury. Our grandchildren will look at us in our dotage with our crippled, useless hands and talk about late 20th/early 21st century offices  in the same way we refer to 19th Century factories.
  5. DVD rental stores; music stores and mass market bookshops: Amazing to think that only a few years  ago these were like the hygiene factors of every decent main street or shopping mall.  The music store never recovered from iTunes giving the music industry a new business model; DVD rental stores are only around because the TV industry’s wake-up call legacy from Steve Jobs hasn’t occurred yet. It will this year. And the big chains like Borders; Dimmocks; Waterstones (sans apostrophe) only survived until online shopping became mass-market. Niche bookshops and graphic novels will survive by offering a tactile, olfactory, social experience around specific reading subjects that digital won’t be able to recreate. The other interesting play will be whether governments try to institute local territory good and services taxation on global online operations.  However, as it’s US corporations that dominate the online commerce market – it’s unlikely any other government would attempt this.
  6. Digital cameras (outside of mobile phones). Gone the way of photographic film, probably in 5 years.
  7. Broadcast TV: Whether iTV from Apple revolutionizes the TV manufacturing and content industries this year or next in 10 years time the idea of waiting to view a programme will be incredible.
  8. Hardware to access online services that costs more than $100. Expensive desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone technology will be replaced by cheap-to-replace; recyclable touch screens and digital membranes of various sizes, shapes and capacities in the same way we think of light bulbs today. Hard drives will be a thing of the past as personal and business computing and digital entertainment will move to the cloud.
  9. Non-ubiquitous internet access: The growth of free wi fi will spread access like water or electricity. Combine this with LTE and, for New Zealand, a much bigger cable via Pacific Fibre to the rest of the world plus that almost all home electronic devices will be linked to the web we will all be part of the matrix. The issue of online identity and personal privacy protection will be the great debate of the 2020s. In a scenario almost the reverse of 10 years ago, unless you’re wealthy enough, you won’t be able to avoid being connected to the web.
  10. Illegal online filesharing: If your business model is based on restricting access to digital content then it’s unlikely you’ll be flourishing in 10 years. I’m definitely not saying this is necessarily a good thing – creative IP should always be rewarded and therefore recognised in some way – what I am saying is that the genie is well and truly out of the bottle in regards to digital rights management. Investigating alternative compensation systems will dominate the next 10 years for content industries. The events of today only underline the challenge of retaining a closed and complicated model for managing digital rights. If the short and volatile history of the internet has proved anything, it’s that closed and complicated models are always trounced by simple and open.