Via Planet Apache Assaf Arkin‘s post lead me to Matt Webb’s delightful talk about design. Which notes in passing a project to treat the newspaper’s printing plant as a kind of cloud computing accessory. I’m fascinated by the idea of plugging unique peripherals into cloud computers, or maybe maybe just the network OS. But it’s particularly delightful to see old media repurposed this way.
Jane Jacobs is the first place I encountered the idea repurposing idle capital equipment during the off hours. Booking the local school auditorium for commercial concerts. Letting the library out for weddings. Letting your firm’s idle cube space out as office space to for small businesses. I used to think about that when ever I gazed out the back window at the idle climbing structure. These are just coordination problems, and that’s one of the things the net gives us new tools to tackle.
I’m increasingly convinced that the cloud computers are really all about enabling the handling of impulses. Enabling new kinds of systems that survive entirely because they can capture the value in the rare moments when they are slashdotted. Mast years as a business model. Why can’t I have the impulse to print up a 1000 copies of a little newspaper and have it delivered to my door tomorrow by the Boston Globe’s printing and distribution infrastructure?