This video explains what a “container for information” is, why there are no standards for them today, and why there will have to be in the future.
Watch it on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/49392667
[from page 27 of Trillions, in the section "The Box that Flattened the World"]
In the 1960s, the shipping industry revolutionized international commerce by agreeing to standardize the size of shipping containers. We argue that some similar simple agreements in the world of computing will cause a similar explosion in the ability of devices to communicate. In fact, we think that we won’t get very far at all up Trillions Mountain without one (that is…exactly one) universal standard for transporting information.