Archive for the ‘General Observations’ Category

Revelations! More signs that the Singularity is coming soon

Okay, Kurzweil fans. More grist for your mill.
Accelerating change leads to radical transformations in just a few years.

Posted via email from Robert’s posterous

Motorola Droid vs Apple iPhone: yet another view

The Motorola Droid features a slide-out keyboard
The Motorola Droid features a slide-out keyboard

With the Droid, Motorola and Google have introduced a credible alternative to the iPhone and Apple’s vision of mobility.

Until now, the reaction among handset manufacturers to Apple’s innovation has been pretty disappointing. For more than a year, the best that the wireless phone makers could muster was mere imitation. One measure of the sheer terror Continue Reading

Another reason to be concerned about your Facebook security settings

Facebook’s decision to turn a friends-only network into a public data feed is not just bad for members, it’s great for spammers, scam artists and creeps. USA Today article.

Posted via email from Robert’s posterous

The Internet is much bigger than you imagined

These numbers from a typical day on the Internet will blow your mind.
And this medium is still in its infancy. There’s plenty of growth ahead..

Posted via email from Robert’s posterous

Here comes the next generation of iPhone addicts

This item on MacRumors makes sense.

iPod Touch use has been growing faster than iPhone use.  Appe has now zeroed in on grooming the Touch consumers as the next generation of iPhone users.  Imagine:  a whole generation of adolescent Apple fans growing up to expect (demand?) that their mobile phones are truly versatile gizmos with touch screen interfaces, downloadble apps, personalization, free access to the web, and access to software that spans all devices and networks.   

This may seem obvious today, but just a few years ago it was not obvious to Nokia, Motorola, Siemens, LG, Samsung and other companies whose strategy towards mobile multimedia rested on assumptions about an audience that was locked into desktop machines running Windows and MS Outlook and Office for personal computing.  None of these companies succeeded in recasting their customers as mobile-centric by providing access to a range of software services that span multiple devices and multiple networks.  In a weird way, the mobile handset makers behaved as if desktop computing was an immutable fact, like a law of nature.   They never really tried to posit an alternative scenario.

That’s why today the momentum in mobile software and services is with Apple and Google’s Android.  These two companies have a set forth a bold vision that transforms their audience, literally recasting the user into a new role as mobile migrant who may not necessarily need a desktop computer at all.   


Posted via web from Robert’s posterous

AT&T turns to crowdsourcing to find dead zones in their mobile network

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The Berlin Wall mentality, reconsidered

In 1986, when I returned to New York City after living in West Berlin for a long time, a lot of people asked me “When will they tear down the Wall?”

There is something typically American about this question. Behind the question was the implicit assumption that, eventually, the two Germanies would be re-united. You might call it hopeful. Others might call it naive.

However, that wasn’t the mentality in Germany at the time. Continue Reading

Why the future of video might not be the future of TV

Richard Rosenblatt has built a content factory that churns out ultra cheap video clips at staggering volume. He’s aiming to generate 1M pieces of content per month at roughly the same cost as the New York Times spends to generate 5000 articles. At this rate, Demand Media seems intent on burying traditional media with sheer verbosity, akin to TeaBaggers who recently shut down Town Hall meetings by making a lot of noise to drown out other voices. This is an audacious gambit: we don’t typically think of major media companies as underdogs, but Rosenblatt’s business model will surely undermine theirs (on the web, at least). Continue Reading

Clay Shirky on Twitter+Iran

Useful Q&A at the Ted Blog with NYU professor Clay Shirky on the role of Twitter and social media in the disputed Iran election. There’s lots of good stuff here about a new medium inventing itself in real time. My favorite is the McLuhanesque commentary about how media get more emotional as they speed up.
Whether or not we are using Twitter or some other social app a few years hence, it seems clear to me that we’ve crossed a threshold where the household penetration of fast internet, personal computers, smartphones, and web-based social apps is sufficient that huge numbers of people can organize themselves in real time in response to real world events much, much faster than traditional media, much faster than mainstream journalism, and even faster than government censors or national security. Continue Reading

Social Media is an unambiguous threat to authoritarian regimes everywhere

During the past 24 hours the Iranian government has attempted to shut down mainstream media, confiscating TV cameras from ABC and other news organizations, in an effort to supress coverage of the aftermath of a disputed Presidential election. Major media has been unable to cover the ongoing demonstrations, street protests and increasingly violent clashes. CNN weekend anchor Don Lemon has been reduced to pulling news from Twitter.

Yes, Twitter is being featured as a primary source in CNN coverage. CNN is also dependent upon their iReporter feature and other social media sources from around the web. Is this the triumph of two-way media over traditional broadcast media? See this post from the BBC for a long list of examples that illustrate how a variety of web sites are providing real-time coverage. For authoritarian governments, Continue Reading