19/7/2001 Mornings chez Goodwins are a pleasant routine: shower, shave and so on, then sit gently dripping at the pooter collecting the night's harvest of emails. Today is different: there's a familiar chirrup and an instant message sits there expectantly. It's from Guy Kewney, who is unavoidably detained at home doing things of a wireless nature that he'll doubtless tell you about later. But there's an Intel briefing in town at ten; could I pop along and be Virtual Guy? The briefing is interesting enough without being world-shattering: Intel's feeling pleased with the progress of Infiniband, a 2.5Gbps bus system designed to get storage systems away from the confines of the PCI bus. There's the usual mixture of Powerpoint slides, optimistic promises and assurances; with seemingly every company in the world behind it, how can it fail? (Ask Bluetooth). It strikes me, as I schlep the press releases, Powerpoint presentation and obligatory freebie pen back to the office, that instant messaging's got a lot to answer for. These days, my interactions with work buddies starts pretty much as soon as I get up, and continues deep into the night: the IM system we use at work is also on most of our home machines, and we can watch each other slip into and out of the Net whenever and wherever we are. I have different systems for different groups of friends, but for some of them it's our major mode of conversation. And there's the constant comfort that unlike web browsing and email, IMs are nicely difficult to scan. No files, y'see. No nice, easily parsed client-server nonsense. Yet another security headache nobody's quite got around to thinking through. Fun to come.