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I suppressed the smirk and was wrong. Image and sound compression techniques of several kinds are now every day reality, so much so, that direct to home television is a whole industry built upon compression of data. This week, all television networks heralded the break through on the Internet in broadcasting live, the birth of a baby boy. Step by step, television and computer technology are blurring, just as my son took his Ninetendoand mated it to his computer monitor so he could use the dedicated computer processor of the game machine on the sophisticated monitor with its stereo speakers.

In discussions like this, if you are trying to score some points and look wise, just nod your head knowingly, it works for me. There is no hint or clue as to the direction or even a distinguishable trend. If you ask, "Where isall of this going to lead us?"The answer is a resounding silence and a shrug, followed by a bunch of babble as we try to bridge the gap between known and unknown with words with obscure meanings. But, just in case, try these out: network computer, appliance, streaming, thin technology, api, bandwidth and integrated connected environment.

Here are some clues:

1. Everything exists as a descendent, may that be people or technology.

2. Adaptation is the secret to success of living and technological entities.

3. All things physical and intellectual congregate then disperse in cycles.

4. The majority is always the last to adopt successful innovation.

5. Identify what is not and apply clues 1 - 4.

Timothy W. Shire Faster Than Light Communications