Thursday, July 2. 2015
Thursday, June 11. 2015
Image: Google Cardboard via Wikimedia Commons
Monday, June 8. 2015
What is the meaning of life? Who would you think to ask such a question? How about a computer? A super computer.
Friday, May 15. 2015
Two years ago, I wrote about the prediction that your ever-smarter phone will be smarter than you by 2017. We are half way there and I still feel superior to my phone - though I admit that it remembers things that I can't seem to retain, like my appointments, phone numbers, birthdays and such.
Monday, February 16. 2015
Vint Cerf has been talking lately about how future historians looking to study the 21st century will find an "information black hole" because the programs needed to view our digital files will soon become be obsolete. He argues that the world needs "digital vellum" – some way to preserve digital information over a long period of time so that in the future, our files will be readable.
Vellum (from the Latin "vitulinum" meaning "made from calf") is the hgh quality parchment made from calf skin, that was was used to produce single pages, scrolls, codices or books that were meant to last over the years.
"The emails, the tweets, and all the other things that we take for granted today may have evaporated into thin air because nobody preserved them," says Cerf.
Here is an except from a recent interview with him.
"Vint Cerf, a “father of the internet”, [and currently Vice president and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google] says he is worried that all the images and documents we have been saving on computers will eventually be lost.Interviewed by Pallab Ghosh Science correspondent, BBC News, San Jose via http://www.bbc.com/news/
In a talk this month, Cerf discussed his ideas about "Digital Vellum and the Expansion of the Internet into the Solar System" and the challenge of "preserving meaning of digital objects over very long periods of time. That such a capacity is needed is surely unarguable. We already have examples of the loss of digital content, not because the bits are unreadable but because they are uninterpretable. The Internet, itself, continues to evolve and is already going off the planet, albeit on the back of a new set of protocols designed to deal with the delay and disruption encountered in deep space environments. Connectivity is not continuous and delays brought about by the inadequate speed of light are inescapable. We will discuss the current state and future aspirations of this work."
Monday, November 28. 2011
I got a "Dear Wavers" email from Google last week. It's a "Dear John" letter following up on their announcement from last year that they Google Wave would no longer be developed as a separate product.
Google also suggests some open source projects to try. Apache Wave is one of those. Another project called Walkaround includes an experimental feature that lets you import all your Waves from Google (but grab them before April 30).
Saturday, August 7. 2010
I don't think I am a laggard. Not in the usual sense of being one who is behind the rest of the group. When it comes to technology, I actually consider myself ahead of the group. In fact, it's been part of my job for many years to keep ahead on technology particularly as it is used in education.
But, I was reading a piece by a writer I like, Clive Thompson, and as usual, it got me reconsidering. He wrote in the June issue of WIRED about tech laggards and I fit the bill.
When it comes to new applications, new ways of using technology, websites, services and software, I am at the front of the line. But when it comes to the big purchases - hardware - I am in less of a rush to be that early adopter. You might guess it's a matter of money, and that might be true with personal technology. But I am hesitant to buy even when the money isn't mine personally but institutional funds.
The iPad is a good example. I had the chance to get one "free" in exchanges for "services rendered" rather than a lesser payment. I wasn't sure I needed or wanted one. Eventually, I did take it. I'm still not sure I need or want it.
One of the things Thompson questions is the standard wisdom that new tech hardware success depends on grabbing the "early adopters." Those are the people who stand on line overnight at the Apple store to but the next big thing sight unseen. They are about 13% of the market but they get a lot of attention from companies. Why? You want them on board and talking (positively) and blogging to friends (in the Net sense) and getting that all important word of mouth going.
We laggards, on the other end, are about 16% of the population. We might wait years to adopt new technology. I still haven't bought a smartphone.
Thompson references some marketing research that shows that laggards might be a very important high tech demographic. The example he uses is a laggard who bought the Walkman and loved it, but doesn't upgrade when the Discman that uses CDs or a mini-disc. But 15 years after his Walkman purchase, Mr. Laggard replaces his tired cassette technology for the hot, new mp3 player (iPod or otherwise). This is called the "leapfrog effect." He becomes an early adopter of the mp3 player.
Even outside hardware, I think of all the people and businesses who kept Windows XP and did not upgrade to Vista. I bet a lot of them leapfrogged early on to Windows 7.
I agree with Thompson that marketers should actually target laggards and try to figure out what features or new product will make them take a leap.
I never bought an iPhone or iPod Touch, yet I went with an iPad that has many of the same features. Screen size was one big factor. I suspect some other iPad purchasers might be people (I have read that this is true with older consumers) who never bought a laptop or even a home computer. Their fear of updates, viruses, device drivers and other techno-babble was allayed by a simple appliance that allowed them to surf the Net, get social and read email easily.
Are you an early adopter or laggard?
Saturday, April 3. 2010
The Apple iPad seems to be an excellent device for consuming the web. It does not appear to be a good device for creating content.
Welcome back Web 1.0.
Thursday, February 18. 2010
Google has made a $2,000,000 donation to the Wikimedia Foundation, the organization that runs and maintains Wikipedia. That's not why Wikipedia is here to stay. They have been asking for donations for awhile now. That's instead of taking on ads - which would definitely bring them some serious income - even if they just ran Google ads.
What is significant is that Google tried to create its own version of Wikipedia called Knol which launched back in the summer of 2008. Knol has not had any real impact on Wikipedia or on users.
When I first wrote about Knol, I said one of the complaints teachers have with Wikipedia is that you don't know who wrote the article (probably many people) or what their "authority" is in the subject. Some are written by experts, but many are written or revised by simply interested folks and then possibly reviewed and edited by someone with some expertise. Knol tells you who wrote the article and their qualifications right on top.
A year later, I did another post on Knol (BTW, a "knol" is their "unit of knowledge" term). Although it differed from Wikipedia by saying who wrote the article and their qualifications, and Google had started with an invited group of writers who know a particular subject, the project never caught on.
I think the donation is a kind of concession that Knol failed.
Even teachers who had problems with students using Wikipedia because of the unkown authorship and "authority" of the content, did not send their students to Knol. I don't think I ever heard a teacher mention it , and I suspect that if you surveyed teachers the vast majority would not be able to identify Knol at all.
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