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In Love With Wireless

And public Wi-Fi hotspots, texting galore, and the iPhone are the tools of this seduction. But with more applications and wireless spectrum (and YouTube clips) on the way, where exactly are we going to store all this new content?
And public Wi-Fi hotspots, texting galore, and the iPhone are the tools of this seduction. But with more applications and wireless spectrum (and YouTube clips) on the way, where exactly are we going to store all this new content?It's the question that essentially goes unanswered in a research note from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. The note is an addendum of sorts to a study on the growing ubiquity of wireless networks, applications, and devices across all socioeconomic classes.

"There is a demographically diverse group of Americans who already take advantage of mobile access to data and information," writes Pew associate director John Horrigan. "With 'cloud computing' on the horizon -- whereby applications and data storage move away from the desktop or laptop to remote servers managed by high-speed networks -- the make-up of the population of mobile users offers a distinctive opportunity for encouraging a vibrant cyberspace for the future."

Ahh, storage -- once again relegated to poor stepchild status among the technology mix of the IT marketplace. Does Horigan's argument presume that Google and Yahoo and Microsoft will house all the content that traverses these wireless byways? If the iPhone takes off as the business tool that many believe it can be, then we'll need all that additional spectrum -- and plenty of terabytes in which to back up or archive the IM session, the texting, video, spreadsheets, e-mail, Web browsing sessions, and about 40,000 other content-generating applications that will get crammed into the palm of your unwired, bandwidth-greedy hand.

It's a great sort of cascade effect that you have to love (and try to encourage) if you're a storage supplier. Or a wireless operator, device maker, third-party app developer, or just an industry observer with a blog. In the end, what wireless means is job security for lots of folk in storage.

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