Technology - Will it set us Free?

November 15 2008 / by StuartDobson / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Technology   Year: General   Rating: 11 Hot

Computers have absolved our responsibilities in many areas of our lives so far. What will happen as this increases?

When computers were first invented, users had complete freedom and power, there was no other option but to allow it. However, if they didn’t follow the computer’s strict set of rules, the computer would break or just not work. Even in the days of Windows 3.11, computers remained obscure and frightening to the masses.

Once computers infiltrated more and more of our lives, it became necessary to remove the need to for “user rules”, computers had to become “user friendly”. Computers were forced to shed their unforgivable interfaces in order to increase their popularity.

So now, computers, when used by the general public, no longer have that level of freedom. To avoid them being used wrongly, computers simply limit the options general users are allowed to access. Then, instead of telling users how to act, they simply guide users through their processes, anticipating rule-breaking, and absolving responsibility. Users lost their fear of computers, complying with the rules not because they are asked to, but because any possibility of breaking them is simply removed. General users no longer have raw power over computers, they just follow the guidelines provided for them to achieve what they need from the machine. As such, even the desire to break the rules is diminished.

Continue Reading

Implications of Computing: Part 2 - User Generated Content

October 20 2008 / by StuartDobson / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Culture   Year: 2008   Rating: 9 Hot

Crossposted from Superconcepts.

User Generated Content (UGC) is increasing exponentially, as is the ease of creating and hosting home made material.

To get an idea of what this might mean for us in the future, we’ve only got to look at the best example of UGC around today: YouTube.

Blogging was great, but there appears to be far more power in a video than a long winded piece of text. Home made internet radio is pretty popular, but sadly not to the extent it could be. For this I blame the lack of microphones as standard on modern PCs. YouTube has allowed people to present themselves and their opinions in a way far more effective than has ever been seen before.

Who knows how this could evolve. Anyone can create relatively high production values given the right software. As it becomes easier to edit, present, manipulate, and even research content, more and more possibilities open themselves up to amateur creators. Professionally created material that amateurs could use in their own content, such as blue screen backgrounds, soundtracks, or special effects, could become a respectable market in a few years.

Perhaps User Created interactive experiences could have even more impact. Tools could be written allowing radical and user friendly customisation of game engines. Spore has already started to embark on this fascinating path.

Continue Reading

Intel CTO Predicts Multi-Multi Core Processing, Spintronic Memory and Infinite Battery Life

January 20 2009 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Technology   Year: 2015   Rating: 5 Hot

Unsurprisingly, Intel CTO Justin Rattner believes that accelerating computation will soon transform our everyday lives and experiences, perhaps enabling a not-too-distant Singularity.

In this exclusive Future Blogger interview, shot at the Singularity Summit, Rattner lays out his core near-term predictions for the field of computing:

Rattner's core prognostications include Massively Multi-Core Processing, and Evolving Memory Hierarcy and Infinite Battery Life.

Multi-Multi Core Processing: "Certainly systems based on processors with large numbers of individual processing elements are a major part of what we're going to see in the middle of the next decade."

Continue Reading

Implications of Computing: Part 1: Attention Spans

October 20 2008 / by StuartDobson / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Culture   Year: 2008   Rating: 4 Hot

Crossposted from Superconcepts

As consumer choice increases, and software teaches us to multi-task, attention spans are getting shorter.

TV appears to be the first casualty of this change of attitude. Simply the advent of more channels started diluting TV audiences in the late 90s. Sheer volume of choice has made people realize that they no longer need to watch what they’re told to watch, that the TV doesn’t have the same power over their lives any more. Even quality programming hasn’t saved it, as the “On Demand” paradigm has put timing in the hands of consumers.

As well as choice and control over TV content, the rise of DVD, the internet, and video games has further dispersed consumer attention. The new generations are growing up with an abundance of choice over their entertainment. This alone is causing them to demand choice and control in everything they do, something that is soon to have a major impact on our lives.

Continue Reading

[Video] MIT Media Lab's Pattie Maes and Pranav Mistry Introduce Sixth Sense Wearable Interface

March 11 2009 / by Garry Golden
Category: Gadgets   Year: General   Rating: 3

One of the hottest talks from this year's TED Conference is a wearable system demonstration from MIT Media LabPattie Maes and Pranav Mistry introduce a working prototype aimed at augmenting our world with a 'Sixth Sense' layer of information using image sensing and projection systems.

 

TED Talk Video

Continue Reading