Friday, 11 August 2006

Subtlely profound

I cn see why these additional OSX Leopard imporovements were not touted in the WWDC keynote. They would have bored every lay person to tears. That said, these are quite subtle yet fundamental tweaks. Gmail showed us the possible alternative uses of RSS by making your inbox an RSS feed, so embedding RSS features into the OS is a neat move. Same with iCal and addressbook. And enhancing the script-to-framework programming to Ruby and Python is excellent future-proofing - it means that whatever language or script you prefer, you can still use OSX natively. That said, it could also be a virus writer's heaven..!

Thursday, 10 August 2006

Hyped technologies for 2006 [printer-friendly] | The Register

This is one of these research companies' (Gartner in this case) better ideas: a prediction of where technologies are in terms of hype, rather than in terms of who is selling what this month. It's actually quite informative - especially in distinguishing between tectical and strategic implications.

Wednesday, 9 August 2006

Another year, another Mac OS - well, partly

This (Macworld) is a nice article that sums up my thoughts on the latest Steve Jobs show. It covered a few of the new OS' features,, but with an emphatic, not to say cryptic, caveat (see linked article).

I also liked his final comment:-
"And besides, it’s a testament to Apple that they routinely produce products that are worth speculating about. When I get a new Microsoft product in the mail it’s often like that moment when you’ve got both feet on the brakes but you know that the car can’t possibly stop in time. You don’t know what’s going to happen. You just hope it won’t hurt too much."

Monday, 7 August 2006

Leopard: purring, rather than roaring

The notable aspect of today's sneak preview of Apple's next OS was what was hidden. They were at pains to point out that there were bigger features that they wished to keep secret, to prevent Microsoft photocopiers whirring.
The more I think about this (see last post), the more I think Apple have the right angle: they're putting the 'personal' back into personal computing. They're driving home the idea of their boxes being specialist media manipulators. As media becomes ever more digital, especially at the personal level, these tools increasingly become as indispensable as the gadgets they supplement - the glue between your camera, your music collection, your video and whatever network you want to communicate over.

What's especially poignant is that these feature all require rock solid hardware at the client end, unlike office applications that can be (and are increasingly) run over a network from a central server (eg. webmail).

Sunday, 6 August 2006

The future of the OS

I've just been looking at YouOS and Goowy, two of the latest, free, online personal OS offerings. YouOS, in particular, has come a long way in the year since I last looked at it.

Which leads me to conclude that the next mainstream OS will not be desktop-based. It will be hosted by central servers. Consumers' security concerns can be alleviated by tight integration with keyfobs, and possibly a light, encrypted local instance of the OS running on linux (maybe even on the keyfob).

The enterprise OS is a different story: the winner there will not necessarily be the most technologically advanced, but just the one who wins the skillset wars.

Where are the tech dev skills? Somebody give me a Google Earth overlay of tech dev skills: geography and skill type. That will lead to the next paradigm.

Finally, a convincing Human-Computer interface

I've seen loads of HCI ideas over the years, from 5 finger typepads, to voice commands. All are, in my view, flawed because they require different types of intuition - there is still something that has to be learned. It's like asking two different people to sort a pile of random papers. Without further instructions, they are likely to sort it in different ways: one might choose colour-coding, the other alphabetic. The amazing thing about this video is that this technology is not sci-fi, yet it is incredibly intuitive. It's tactile, and while the sample applications are good, the possibilities in research, design, gaming - everything beyond typing, basically - are mind-boggling.

Thursday, 3 August 2006

The music industry - Southpark satire

It always disgusts me when record companies and the RIAA talk about downloading music depriving artists, whereas contracts that effectively steal an artist's work from them are 'part of the business'. Sock it to 'em, Matt & Trey.

Wednesday, 2 August 2006

E-rope: saving the planet one socket at a time - Engadget

This is genius, as in one of those ideas that, once you see it you wonder how you didn't think of it. Actually, I'm sure I had atoy like this as a kid...