This is one of the reasons I quit subscribing to Wired. Idiotic, sensationalizing, articles.
Now I fully appreciated the irony that I complain about Wired sensationalizing articles to draw viewers; and that by posting this I’m part of the problem, taking the bait hook line and sinker. But this article is going to be splayed across the internet and the news simply because of the source, and it needs to be killed now.
It’s the same tired argument that has been out since the iPhone and has sped up since the iPad. “Apps” and online video streaming are going to take over the internet and surfing web pages as we know it will cease to exist. Basically Chris is channeling a Steve Jobs presentation (or even plagiarizing one).
As much as we love the open, unfettered Web, we’re abandoning it for simpler, sleeker services that just work. -Chris Anderson
At least he didn’t call the services “magical”.
The graphic showing a shrinking web is hard to ignore, and I heard that 95% of online stats aren’t made up or distorted.
The reasons to scoff at head editor Chris Anderson as a moron?
1. The diagram is from 1995 (i.e. 7 years before most people used the internet), to 2005 (i.e. half a decade ago, 2 years before Job’s iPhone app revolution).
In Chris’s defense, 2005 was before the magical apps and services Chris describes even existed so they wouldn’t show yet.
2. “Web” is used here for a general catch-all that fits alot of very different and dynamic services.
3. Anybody with an office job knows that email rules the word. Even including spam it shows up non-existent on this graph. Pointing to how this graph doesn’t reflect reality of the web.
4. Apps and services are just a frontend to parse web data. The web is still there, you’re just using a very specialized browser to access it. The Facebook app is nothing without the Facebook itself.
5. The MAIN problem with the graph is that it is a measurement of bits of traffic and not representative of the web experience.
Text on the internet is the smallest part of it. This entire article takes up the same space as a 1”x1” image. On a boring static webpage the images take up 90% of the space. To put this in perspective in 2006 Wikipedia (the entire thing) was 1.2 Terabytes in size; the whole thing could fit on one large hard drive (can you say real life HHG2G?).
Videos on the internet take up MUCH more space than anything else, especially if you’re watching a HQ youtube or hulu stream. 10 minutes of HQ youtube will pass as much traffic as all the surfing you’ll do on Wikipedia for the next few months.
Suddenly the above graph makes much more sense. Even if online video made up 90% of web traffic it would still mean that more time online is spent just surfing the web. And this is why it’s shocking the editor of Wired Magazine wrote this article, it horrible mis-represents the data provided by Cisco about web traffic. Much more useful would be how much time people spend on different web sites. However that’s much harder to measure.
Why on earth would Apple think that it’s a good idea to pull WiFi detecting apps?
I think pulling all Porn and high Flesh to Clothing ratio apps is a little draconian but fair from a company point of view. However apps that help you find WiFi access points is a useful tool when mobile. Especially for a device that can be seriously limited if 3G reception is poor or you have an older phone with no 3G.
Porn apps are useless, and if Apple really wanted to make a statement and fix their image they’d pull all the fart apps. But legitimate apps that make a mobile phone a useful tool should be the apps to reward not remove.
It’s funny because everybody is always saying that the App Ecosystem that Apple has made with the iPhone is its greatest strength. But in reality the ecosystem is poisoned, and it’s only getting worse.
I make a lot of jokes that the iPhone has nothing but apps for making various fart noises so this may seem like a weird place to heap praise. I know a lot of people reading about the new Dunkin Doughnut app for the iPhone are immediately thinking of Police jokes or how funny it is that the iPhone has an app to help you add on the pounds with sugary baked goods (There’s an app for that!). But this is actually one of the first applications to use technology and social networking for a useful, efficient, marketable purpose.
Anybody who has done a food or drink run for their coworkers or friends knows how quickly it becomes a hassle. After deciding you could use a doughnut and will grab some for everybody else you shout over the cubicle walls trying to find others who also wants doughnuts. Then you have to write down orders, deal with people changing their minds, people who don’t know what is available, and people don’t know how much it will cost. Run to the store, makes sure they have what people want, order a long list in front of a line of angry customers who don’t want you taking up their time to order 20 doughnuts, and check prices so you can charge people when you get back. Then you drive back, try to figure out what’s what, decipher your chicken scratch note to figure out who ordered what and try to collect enough money you don’t end up getting shafted.
In the end people just say “fuck it” and grab a dozen doughnuts for everybody else and watch them fight it out for who gets the sprinkles, and who is stuck with glazed.
Dunkin’ Run helps to simplify the process. Not just being a digital notepad, it pings your listed co-workers so they can opt-in for an order. It also gives them a menu to choose items from, lists the output on the runner’s phone for an accurate order when they arrive at the store, and finally has the list of who got what when you get back to work.
Theoretically you could even tie this app into the corporate database so the staff know ahead of time that a large order is coming up and have it ready when the runner arrives, tie the service into the GPS and map features to direct a runner to the nearest store where the order is waiting, even list what items are out of stock and not available. All the while people who remain constantly undecided can update their orders while the runner is enroute.
It seems kind of complex just to go buy some doughnuts but the idea can be adapted for so many uses that it can make a huge difference it speeding up the efficiency of ordering and purchasing products and services. Adding web and email to a phone isn’t really a big deal, by itself at best it’s just a small mobile computer. But applications like this that make use of those services and tie them into larger online databases are where the true convergence happens.
Lets hope we see a trend of more intelligent apps like this for the iPhone and all smartphones.