Much fun stuff at the Intel Developers Forum over in California. The 3.5GHz Pentium 4 demonstration shows that the new architecture really is capable of going faster than AMD: expect Intel to make as much advantage out of this as possible, as soon as possible. Some of the new architectural features are finally making good on ideas that have been floating around the industry for many years, and the general impression is that with luck and a following wind Intel is over the period where it just couldn't do anything right.
Perhaps the most exciting demonstration is a thousand-station ad-hoc wireless network. This is the sort of technology which can -- will -- finally murder the telcos in their sleep, cause authoritarian regimes to sob openly for their mothers and usher in a new age of universal enlightenment and emancipation. Perhaps not overnight. But the demonstration did show that large numbers of independent wireless nodes can negotiate, organise and use their own network without any imposed infrastructure. And no infrastructure means nobody in control, nobody exacting tolls for using their digital roads, nobody to tell anyone what to do. It's an even purer form of the Internet than the Net itself, and once you stir in satellites, fat fibre pipes and cross-country microwave links you have the makings of a very different world indeed.