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Q&A With: Mike Lazaridis

The cofounder of Research in Motion spoke with Spectrum Online about the BlackBerry maker's R&D efforts, market expansion, and future directions

8 min read

Mike Lazaridis is President and Co-CEO of Research In Motion (RIM), a company he founded while studying at the University of Waterloo, Canada. At RIM, Lazaridis is responsible for product strategy, research and development, product development, and manufacturing. He is known in the global wireless community as a visionary, innovator, and engineer of extraordinary talent. Since founding RIM, he has received more than 30 patents and dozens of awards for his innovations in wireless technology and software.

Lazaridis supports his community through philanthropic gifts made possible by his success in business. His most noted commitment established the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in 2000. In its brief history, Perimeter has established itself as a leading center for fundamental research. Lazaridis was named Canada's "Nation Builder of the Year" for 2002 by readers of The Globe and Mail (Toronto). He holds an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from the University of Waterloo and in June 2003 was named the university's eighth chancellor.

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Why the Internet Needs the InterPlanetary File System

Peer-to-peer file sharing would make the Internet far more efficient

12 min read
An illustration of a series
Carl De Torres

When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in early 2020, the world made an unprecedented shift to remote work. As a precaution, some Internet providers scaled back service levels temporarily, although that probably wasn’t necessary for countries in Asia, Europe, and North America, which were generally able to cope with the surge in demand caused by people teleworking (and binge-watching Netflix). That’s because most of their networks were overprovisioned, with more capacity than they usually need. But in countries without the same level of investment in network infrastructure, the picture was less rosy: Internet service providers (ISPs) in South Africa and Venezuela, for instance, reported significant strain.

But is overprovisioning the only way to ensure resilience? We don’t think so. To understand the alternative approach we’re championing, though, you first need to recall how the Internet works.

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