The theme which is going to be behind everything that happens at Le Web 2012 in London this week is “faster than real time”. Real-time is something I can really relate to. I have been working in IT for 25 years. Back in the 1980s, computers used to be handled, most of the time, through batch programs. A programmer would design a piece of code, and large chunks of data would be crunched by the computer, most probably overnight, and then results would be delivered.
The computer company I was working with at the time, Unisys, by then the second computer manufacturer in the world, was renowned for its 4th generation language (Mapper) which enabled users to manipulate vast amounts of data… in real time. I even became a specialist in that area, and for at least 10 years I developed advanced Information Systems aimed at marketers across the world.
A quarter of a century later, and although I have a long standing experience in Web stuff, I must admit that I have a difficult time trying to understand what “faster than real-time” could actually mean.
Therefore, throughout these 2 days in London at Le Web 2012, I will endeavour to find out what can be faster than real-time and see whether that notion actually means something. I will challenge the various players, in and beyond our blogging team, regarding the facts that we could actually go faster than is actually possible and even desirable, at a time when individuals, at least in the western world, are expressing the need to break away from real-time and enjoy the luxury of being disconnected.