Blogging: High-Tech

7 Reasons Chrome OS Means the End of Microsoft

The future is undoubtedly “in the cloud”– where personal data is accessible anywhere. Whether Chrome provides the best means for doing this, or whether it’s a simple blip on the radar, remains to be seen… but it’s on the right track. Microsoft has a poor track record of integrating proper sync tools and useful means of accessing information. They have also consistently failed at search– both on the Web and on the desktop (Windows Search, anyone?). It is unplausible– and essentially unbelievable– to imagine that they could emerge with a solution that rivals Google’s. “…Long ago, the idea of the “network computer” seemed like a safe bet. Store everything remotely, and access it however and wherever you want. But the idea didn’t work in practice because network technology simply couldn’t compete with dedicated local storage and performance-oriented hardware. Nowadays, Web connections are fast enough that this is less problematic. The performance of scripting languages such as Javascript and AJAX has improved the interactivity and immersiveness of the Web to the point where it can “behave” more like a desktop computer. And Chrome OS leads the way in ending our dependency on a single, local terminal forever.”

Location Services will erode trust, smash hierarchy, and change the world

escape key.“…Location services are here to stay, and doubtless will be used by the public at large once they hit “critical mass”—mainly to get a free smoothie, or tell their friends they’ve “arrived” (literally and figuratively).  But all that data, and the simple connect-the-dots it enables for a whole range of undesirables (stalkers, governments, ad agencies, even irritating coworkers) is worth significant thought.”

“…At some point in the future, when a large or perhaps even a majority of consumers are broadcasting their whereabouts, they’re almost guaranteed to give a different weight to the issue of privacy. Just as the current college generation grew up without any sense of the information they should keep private (something they are now trying to retroactively control), future generations will likely “opt-in” to more and more of these broadcasting services—that is, if they provide customers with enough value to be useful. (In the new economy, value is the driver of all consumer spending). These choices will, ultimately, define the “new norms” of private or public data. In other words, according to Zuckerberg we’ve already made that choice on Facebook. What choice will we make “IRL“?…”

How to Outdo 40 Years of Product Design

“…The other design victory here is in the machine’s simplicity. The entire screen stays blank, except for a large set of arrows that indicate what to do: insert card, take your cash, choose a language. Impossible to mistake, even without being able to read. I’ve always been a fan of simplifying as many things as possible down to INPUT and OUTPUT. For the vast majority of human-machine interaction, input/output is literally the only thing happening. So why add complexity? IDEO seems to get it. There are two slots: one for your card, and one for everything else. Receipts, cash–everything comes out at the same place. Even nicer: the bills are ejected with their edges pushed slightly out of the machine, so there’s no chance of missing one. Traditional (“non-rotated”) ATMs can’t really do this, because everyone would see how much money you withdrew. This is a fantastic idea.”

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