Well, it seems that no matter how hard I try, I am unable to keep on schedule with this, but again, here we go playing catch-up.
Privacy in the digital age…… You're kidding, right?
For some unknown reason, people are uploading stuff to the public internet and expecting that no-one will see it! Wait, isn't that the point of putting it on the internet? As a general user community, we are all guilty of a complete lapse of common sense. If you don't want anyone to see your stuff, keep it to yourself. Otherwise, SHUT UP! Facebook isn't guilty of any moral or ethical transgression. The whole site is designed for sharing information. I will grant you that the controls in place to limit public exposure were lacking, but again, it was designed for sharing and as it grew, the necessity for those controls became apparent. From a technical aspect, it's amazing that Facebook's "up time" is so high considering the number of users it has. Let's all dial back our righteous indignation a couple of notches and remember that this is "Social Media" not super-secret-private media.
The BlackBerry Debacle!
I am a BlackBerry user and have been for a long time. It just works and I don't have to mess around getting things setup and making changes with each new OS update. That said, I'm very disappointed in the RIM management with their capitulation to the overseas governments regarding security issues. This platform has been in use for over 10 years without a problem and now they are taken to task over the failings of some government's internal security.
This seems like another example of the "net" effect where everyone is fixated on one thing for a short period of time then…. It becomes less important. The problem with this scenario is that it leaves a trail of technological destruction behind it. If RIM is forced to negotiate with each government entity regarding access to users information, it will eventually inhibit further innovation on the platform. That would be a true disservice to the community at large.
UPDATE: Since I started writing this post, at least the UAE has backed down and stated that with RIM's cooperation, they have reached a suitable solution. RIM has thankfully stated publicly that they will NOT negotiate individual agreements with governments.
Putting Geo to Good Use!
Anil Dash writes about making ability maps (location based ADA maps of venues). This is one of the best possible uses of the various location-based check-in services and could provide something substantial for us to do when checking in. If we could have the Foursquare and Gowalla developers add a check box or drop down list to select the kind of ADA approved access available at venues, these services would prove more useful
Phones, Phones everywhere
It seems that you can't open a news feed without seeing another smart-phone announcement. It's almost like the period of time after IBM released its control over the PC hardware platform. During that time, PC "clone" boxes were so abundant and varied in capacity and features that businesses has a difficult time making purchasing decisions. Now, consumers find themselves in the same dilemma. There are so many models of smart-phones on the market that it would take weeks to find a "perfect fit".
Actually, if you run the feature list of these phones, they are all the same. The differentiating factors are so insignificant technically, that it really boils down to the carrier and plan and I believe that is the way the carriers like it. If you thought this market was crazy, just wait until all of the Tablet/Slate manufacturers start churning out products.