Information Overload

On the day that Google unveils its Gears product, enabling online information to be stored and viewed offline (OK, it's news if Google does it, even if the rest of the world has been doing this forever...).

But, if Google desktop is anything to go by, Intel and AMD will be the big winners.

There seem to be an increasing number of applications such as Joost and Google Desktop that suck processing power dry on your computer (I have deinstalled both, even though I like the applications). It also seems counter-intuitive - the vision of the thin client expounded by Oracle's Larry Elisson some decade ago seems to becoming real, but not if you need massive local caches to hold all that offline information.

But, being generous, perhaps this is Google being pragmatic and that this is an interim technology on the way to 'always on' computing, especially since they're hedging their bets by rolling out free WiFi networks in San Francisco and elsewhere.

Still, video is a voracious consumer of bandwidth and storage and has only been enabled by a significant fall in the price of both of these elements.

There are a few holy grails in the online video industry. Video image recognition and lowered processing power are near the top of the list.