GeekSpeak: June 3, 2002

By Peter Coffee  |  Posted 2002-06-03 Print this article Print

I have met the enemy ... And he is me

The biggest risk to future distributed systems, said James Gosling, is the combination of high-speed networks, powerful PCs, pervasive standards, insecure consumer electronics protocols and smart people who have lots of spare time on their hands.

"When consumer electronics companies start to attempt networking, its frightening," the Sun vice president told his keynote audience at last months Borland Conference, in Anaheim, Calif. "You read their specifications and say, That was a bad idea 20 years ago—and it still is. You cant just add a coat of secure paint when youre done."

Recalling his youthful experiments in unauthorized exploration of what he could make a system do, Gosling said, "I dont worry about evil empires—I worry about me."

Peter Coffee is Director of Platform Research at, where he serves as a liaison with the developer community to define the opportunity and clarify developers' technical requirements on the company's evolving Apex Platform. Peter previously spent 18 years with eWEEK (formerly PC Week), the national news magazine of enterprise technology practice, where he reviewed software development tools and methods and wrote regular columns on emerging technologies and professional community issues.Before he began writing full-time in 1989, Peter spent eleven years in technical and management positions at Exxon and The Aerospace Corporation, including management of the latter company's first desktop computing planning team and applied research in applications of artificial intelligence techniques. He holds an engineering degree from MIT and an MBA from Pepperdine University, he has held teaching appointments in computer science, business analytics and information systems management at Pepperdine, UCLA, and Chapman College.

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