On 20 June 2005, Business Week reported:

The 35 employees at Meiosys Inc., a software firm in Palo Alto, Calif., didn’t know they were joining a gang of telecom-industry marauders. They just wanted to save a few bucks. Last year they began using Skype, a program that lets them make free calls over the Internet, with better sound quality than regular phones, using headsets connected to their PCs. Callers simply click on a name in their Skype contact lists, and if the person is there, they connect and talk just like on a regular phone call…

When users fire up Skype, they automatically allow their spare computing power and Net connections to be borrowed by the Skype network, which uses that collective resource to route others’ calls. The result: a self-sustaining phone system that requires no central capital investment — just the willingness of its users to share…

The nearly 1 billion people online worldwide — along with their shared knowledge, social contacts, online reputations, computing power, and more — are rapidly becoming a collective force of unprecedented power. For the first time in human history, mass cooperation across time and space is suddenly economical…

Behold the power of us. It’s the force behind the collective clamor of Weblogs that felled CBS…anchorman Dan Rather and rocked the media establishment. Global crowds of open-source Linux programmers are giving even mighty Microsoft Corp…fits. Virtual supercomputers, stitched together from millions of volunteers’ PCs, are helping predict global climate change, analyze genetic diseases, and find new planets and stars. (more…)

Though this article is not directly defense related, it is important to note that the same ideas of collaboration and sharing are also at the heart of efforts to transform the U.S. military.  Collaboration and information sharing are at the heart of the network-centric warfare concept.  Such ideas are also behind efforts to reform the U.S. intelligence community by promoting open-source itnelligence

Source: "The power of us," Business Week (20 June 2005).

 

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