by Roopinder Tara, Tenlinks.com
Autodesk has come out strong in favor of online CAD and cloud technology. Many new apps announced here at Autodesk Universtiy 2013 are browser-based, requiring online acces. In the press Q&A session, both CEO Carl Bass and CTO Jeff Kowalski rolled over any opposition to online apps and cloud technology.
In response to Autodesk's adamant stance on online sharing and collaboration, a press member from Argentina explained, "We don't like to share."
Another from India added, "Only 6% of us are online."
Suddenly with those six words, the world that we in the USA take for granted -- 24/7 broadband access, smart phone always in hand, iPads at the airport, one step from having our toasters text us when the toast is ready -- collapsed to its true size.
That's nearly a billion people right there in India who can't see our modern picture. Add to this most of Africa, the rest of Asia, and Latin America. You have the majority of humans who are a long way off from having the online tools and toys we take for granted.
Do tech execs dismiss them as irrelevant? I feel ashamed.
Aren't those countries the growth markets we are always going on about? Don't we pat themselves on the back for sending them baby incubators made from car parts, or low emission high-tech cooking stoves so everyone in the mud hut doesn't die of respiratory failure? We drop coins in the beggar's cup, but we think no more of him when we clink our wine glasses together.
Consider the plight of Rwanda. Landlocked with uncooperative neighbors and denied access to Internet submarine cables (which is how most of the world gets access), it has to rely on expensive satellite signals, which are split in so many parts that the few available connections are spotty. A technical school only a hour's drive from the country's capital has been trying to get Internet connection for years.
The privileged few that set the tech policy really ought to get out more.
[Reprinted with permission of CAD Insider.]