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Five things I’m thinking about right now

Following on from Matt, Alice, Ben and Dan

1. Computing is heading towards a new, simplified era.

I’ve written about this before, but fundamentally: we’re on the cusp of a revolution in simplicity. Easy to use touch interfaces are the final piece of the jigsaw, and will devices easier to use than ever before.

2. The most important thing about the iPad is the battery life.

Yes, it’s a lovely screen and runs great apps and its easy to use. But none of this would matter if it didn’t also have the ability to be thrown in a bag at the start of the day and not plugged in again till the end. Not having to consider power makes a massive difference in how usable a device is. It’s the one thing about the iPad that really lifts it from cool toy to essential.

3. When it comes to broadband, speed is less important than always-on.

Yes, it’s great to have 50Mbits/sec pipes into your home. But it’s much, much more of a game-changer when you have 1Mbits/sec on a mobile device that you carry everywhere. Ubiquity trumps speed.

4. In five years time, not using your own name is going to look as old-fashioned as an AOL-style handle now.

Hundreds of millions of users have got used to the idea that they use their own name online, via Facebook. It hasn’t hurt.

5. “The hobbyists” are losing control… and they won’t like it.

Up until now, computing and technology’s culture has been largely determined by a group I call “the hobbyists”. Traditions like anonymity and the primacy of code have been part of the unwritten law of the Internet. That era is dying, and “the hobbyists” don’t like it. Expect culture clashes between this old Internet and the new one.

Over to you…

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  • Ian

    Somewhat unsurprisingly, I think you’ve nailed it — especially with points 2 and 3. I’m only now learning not to automatically throw the power adaptor for my iPad in my bag when I leave for the day, but not having to do so is amazing. And I hate to use a cliché, but ‘the cloud’ really is rapidly becoming vital to me; offline == missing huge chunks of stuff I need, especially as I try not to have to take the laptop everywhere with me.

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  • http://www.simiant.com nathan

    straight-back-atcha http://bit.ly/ag0Cqb

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  • RattyUK

    @nathan straightbackatcha, eh? Ian posted a list of current thoughts which crossed his mind and you post a Google manifesto – where is this straightbackatcha then?

    Ian’s first point: Computing is heading towards a new, simplified era.
    Your riposte: Apple is evil
    Devices are heading towards ubiquity and ease of use. This is a good thing. Hate on Apple all you want but they are pushing ease of use and everyone else is following. This is also a good thing. Attempting to argue that Apple have a walled garden, while fashionable amongst the technorati, isn’t relevant.

    Ian’s second point: The most important thing about the iPad is the battery life.
    Your riposte: Mobile is a two horse race that Google are going to win.
    The iPad has a fantastic battery life and it is an always on and instant on computer than can do most things that people use a computer for on a day to day basis. Battery life is essential for this. Silent handheld computing devices are definitely the way forward for the casual user. Evo battery life on the other hand is craptastic.
    Not entirely sure about your rant on the state of mobile – at the least it is off topic – but hey. The point is that Google will win the vast amount of market share. They will steal share from Windows Mobile, Symbian and the other also rans but they will make no money in doing so. This is quite important. Apple can grab the market share they want and make serious money on each unit sold. This is very important. Apple have a business model, Google appear to be attempting to break the market. After yesterdays earnings I’m not entirely sure that Google shouldn’t actually start manning up and become a serious business.

    Ian’s third point: When it comes to broadband, speed is less important than always-on.
    Your riposte: Cloud is good.
    Always on is important. I have family all over the globe. Being able to talk to them in real time is far more important to me than speed of file transfers but the geeks seem to differ on this.
    “It’s what mobile is actually about” actually being able to make calls is what it is all about actually. I don’t think we are there yet. Especially in the mobile space. Maybe with the roll out of LTE and other high bandwidth and high capacity networks then the cloud will finally work. But at the moment all that stuff being shoved over the airwaves is just not great for your fellow users. You can have all you eat as long as you don’t give a care about what others need too.

    Ian’s fourth post: In five years time, not using your own name is going to look … old-fashioned…
    Your Riposte: I only have 2 basic online identities, my name, and my old school handle.
    I confess to mostly posting under this pseudonym but it is a character I created about five years ago and have stuck with it through most areas. I have nothing to hide as such but it is convenient to keep my posting separate from what I do in real life. So, like your example, I have two basic identities, my name and my handle.

    Ian’s Final Post: “The hobbyists” are losing control… and they won’t like it.
    Your Riposte: AOL, Yahoo, Microsoft. What’s the point anymore? What do they stand for?
    Your response appears to be a bleed through of the previous point. Ian was saying that not using your true identity would be as old fashioned as AOL names. It was just an example, he meant nothing further by it. I think you are agreeing with him but I can’t be sure.
    What Ian was saying is happening is that the cabalistic technological priesthood are losing their control and power. Postings such as yours reinforce this impression.

  • http://www.simiant.com nathan

    eeeeerrr d00d, I was continuing the meme, not replying to ian. my points are unrelated.

  • Ian Betteridge

    As Nathan points out, no ripostes intended – just as mine wasn’t a riposte to anyone else! :)

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