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.
I’m interested to see “what the future holds for publishing”, as tech commentators would say. I’m horribly afraid Mosspuppet will be right.
@victorchamp According to publishers, the iPad will revolutionize magazines by turning them into websites, or CD-ROMs from the 90’s.
Since the Apple iPad has come out and been somewhat disappointing eyes have turned to the Microsoft Courier for hope. It’s hard to guess about what a currently non-existent device is going to be like; although in comparison to the iPad hype at least we have some concept videos to work with.
Amazingly people seem to be really interested in the Courier, especially since the iPad turned out to be a big iPhone touch without flash. The big question is why?
First off is that the interface is much more different than existing interface on laptops and smartphones; I think this is what people were expecting from the iPad. There is naturally going to be some interesting things you can do with two screens that you can’t do with one. Although at home I’ve found the only thing I use a second screen for is to watch TV and get distracted while I’m trying to do real work on the other screen.
Matt Buchanan at Gizmodo seems a bit negative on the “devolution” of the device now that the iPad is out; maybe hoping against all hope that a device created by crazy Ballmer won’t turn out to be the Mac fan’s dream. But he makes a good point that the graphical interface that Courier seems to have a ton of complex hand gestures to operate. This is actually one of my gripes about the iPad is that it’s rumored to have a ton of new but needlessly complex touch gestures to do simple tasks that can be better served with simpler inputs. But when it’s on an iPad its revolutionary, when it’s on a MS device its needlessly complex (reality is it will suck on both).
As far as inputs are concerned I also like that it is going to have a stylus input. So much of the tech community seems to be anti-stylus now ever since the iPhone dropped it for big giant buttons that take up 1/4 of the screen. It’s actually a great interface and perfect for a tablet sized device. You don’t see lawyers and doctors walking around with notepad jabbing big giant crayons or markers onto the page. When you have a small interface you need some to do fine work.
I think the main draw for the courier and the reason why people seem so optimistic about it is that from the concepts it looks like it’s built to actually be used as a tool to make you more productive. Seriously, it’s cool that Microsoft sees this as a something that can do something other than watch youtube videos in bed. I think that either consciously or subconsciously the current zeitgeist in the handheld tech world is that we want something that that can make us better at doing actual work and not a recreational product. We’ve had enough fun with the fart apps and the smartphone lightsaber duels that with a larger device we want something that can be use to make work easier or at least less chaotic.
The very design of the courier makes it more work related than recreation; it’s hard to imagine using it in a traditional tablet use like watching videos or surfing the web with that split down the screen. However I’ve noticed that the interface is really only good for graphics artists or people who are making ads for Nike. 99% of my work involves punching things in with a keyboard, either writing, programming, or configuring via command line. Still coming from the PDA side of handhelds vs. feature rich dumbphones I really want a device that is suited towards productivity, kind of like how I’m really tempted to trade my phones for a Dell Mini 5.
However on the recreational side the courier would make a great e-reader being about the same size and form of a medium book. Engadget is even guessing that Microsoft is positioning this as their e-reader solution. And contrary to what some misguided people say I believe that the page by page form factor is the perfect way to read (but not with changing pages with stupid finger swipes on a screen). Reading really needs a break every few paragraphs for the mind to take a breath. I’m sure you’re seen a page online that was just a huge long scroll of text that went on far longer than you could bother to read. If you haven’t seen anything like that check out some of my older posts and some upcoming posts (or this post come to think of it).
Anyway the Courier really looks to be all that we had hoped that Steve might have made the iPad into. At the very least its’ another innovative and new product that Microsoft seems to be toying with. After a decade of being fat and lazy while the upstarts stole market share it looks like they could hit a few home runs out of the park this year and make 2010 the year of Microsoft. Or Windows Phone 7 could fizzle and this concept never become reality. We won’t know for sure until we actually some them hit the streets.
As I’ve already mentioned in a few past posts, There isn’t currently a gap in my computing options that needs to be filled. During the reveal of the Apple iPad Steve Jobs touted it as filling a gap between the Macbook laptop and iPhone. Personally I already have an awesome home desktop, Netbook for portable computing, and HTC Tough Pro smartphone for specific computing jobs that work best when mobile (dayplanner applications, basic calculation, timer, and data lookups, etc).
So what I’ve been hoping for is a way to make my netbook into a convertible tablet. Then it can be both my mobile computer and a tablet computer. I don’t have much of a “gap” in my life but at the same time I want to do more than my smartphone can but not have to worry about whipping out the netbook.
Tablet computers are generally great but always just a hair too big to truly be portable. I’ve moved away from full laptops and onto netbooks because of this. For a laptop you need a good protective carrying case, and due to power constraints you usually have to haul a tangle of power cables as well. Pretty soon you’re carrying a backpack full of equipment to the coffee shop an pretending it’s mobile; because while it’s more mobile than a desktop, it’s certainly not as convenient as pulling a phone out of your pocket.
The apple tablet is almost the same size as my netbook and a good midrange size but at times even that netbook is a bit big. You can’t put it in your pocket on the way out the door, I keep mine in a neoprene case that is about the size of a dayplanner a “go-getter” from the late 90’s would carry around. But it’s still got to be carried by hand, plus a coffee in the other hand and I’m suddenly helpless to do simple things like open doors.
That’s why the Dell Mini 5 (aka streak, M01M) caught my eye. It pushes the limit of fitting in a pocket and is basically a smartphone, but it’s optimized to all the non-phone functions of a smartphone.
I’m a long time PDA fan going all the way back to 2000 when I got a Handspring Visor upto the Dell Axim X51v I had right before I switched to smartphones, so carrying a dedicated computing device in my pocket isn’t really a stretch for me. The only change is the addition of a phone, and while I don’t want to hold a Dell Mini5 to my ear (I think the iPhone is too big) it’s really easy to have a Bluetooth headset you can pop into your ear when you get a call. I actually prefer this because I can talk hands free and take notes on the device in my hands, or continue doing any work while the conversation if beamed from my ear to the slate in my jeans and out to the phone network.
In fact 99% of my phone usage is non-phone related, it’s all the computing features that I usually use, from quick text messages, to music, to video, to web surfing and reading. So having a larger than smartphone screen would be really helpful.
This would be made even better if the Locus OS concept by Barton Smith.
Locus basically works like a device that customizes its interface and options based on the job at hand. I first noticed this idea and got excited about it when the Motorola Droid was coming out. The idea was a car kit where the smartphone automatically switched to in car GPS mode when connected to the kit.
As a concept it’s great and would pair perfectly with a device of the Dell Mini 5’s size, imagine a phone that worked like a secondary screen/controller when docked to your computer. Would switch to a universal remote when in front of your entertainment system and could minimize to a web browser to lookup imdb or wiki info while watching. Then when you went out to your car and plugged it into the car kit it would become a GPS and pump music to the stereo. Or if you ride the bus or trains it would become a PMP and play movies or podcasts for the ride.
I love the fact that all these is possible right now and is little more than a few lines of programmer code from reality. The only remaining question is if any company will have the forethought to make it real, and if I can stand holding a 5” phone to my head to make calls on days I forgot to carry a separate headset.
Ha Ha! Fooled you into reading!
With the big news just a week or so away I wanted to get all this down and time stamped so I could play “How right was I?” later on.
90% or more = Minority Report Precogs
75% or more = Nostradamus
50% or more = Miss Cleo
25% or more = Nicholas Cage in that stupid movie where he sees 2 minutes into the future.
My Apple iPad predictions:
2. 10” screen plus or minus a fraction of an inch.
3. No OLED
4. Thickness of .5 inch or less.
5. WiFi + Bluetooth. WiFi may required for certain web streaming features (to appease service providers)
6. iPhone to iPad Bluetooth tethering so that people don’t need to get a second data plan.
7. Optional 3G slot in case people want data only plan but don’t have iPhone.
8. MicroSD slot for storage expansion.
9. No USB ports. Dock/charger only. Headphone jack of course.
10. No video out. HDMI would have been awesome but “content must be controlled”
11. Front facing camera and mic for internet video calls. Well if a netbook can pull it off why not the iPad?
12. iPhone based OS, possibly identical to phone OS (think of version 4 being updated to handle resolutions larger than the iPhone but otherwise basically the same).
13. iPad will be able to handle HD video, but screen will likely be only capable of 720p (1280×768). 1080p will be shrunk to fit.
14. Main focus of the iPad will be multimedia. Video, music, TV (through appleTV or something, no integrated tuner), games, and e-reader stuff like magazines and newspapers. Major emphasis on video and games, secondary emphasis on e-reader functions.
15. iPad will also have full internet browsing functionality, not just iPhone optimized screens.
16. iPad will have Flash support. This will be a main focus of the device unveiling.
17. App store will allow apps that run on both, but existing apps would obviously need to be updated for larger interface. The store will list iPad compatible apps, so you will have iPhone only, iPad only, and both.
18. Non-iPad apps will run in a small interface, or 1/4 screen or something. With the Os so similar it’d be so easy to do that if Apple doesn’t it will be a missed opertunity.
Future Predictions in the week that follows announcement:
19. Jobs will hype phone to tablet tethering like he invented the idea. Although the reality is because people barely tolerate the plan prices on the iPhone alone and won’t spring for another data plan for a tablet.
20. High DPI (149 DPI by above HD resolution) will cause people to say “It’s the most beautiful screen on a portable device” even though many smartphones do better (mine has a DPI of 285, iPhone has 164).
21. In commercials and press images there will be many pictures of people in bed with their knees up and the iPad on their thighs. This is the only comfortable way to watch movies on a tablet for very long. Otherwise you may as well use a normal screen.
22. Everybody will ignore the elephant in the room that typing on the iPad soft keyboard screen is a bitch and a half. You not only have to set the tablet down on a flat surface, but the glare makes typing hard unless you hover directly over the tablet.
23. Similarly, people who badmouthed cramped keyboards on netbooks will be mum on the fact that two handed “ASDF JKL;” typing is hard as fuck on a touchscreen. But won’t stop touting that apple’s error correction algorithm makes up for it.
24. Apple’s typing error correction algorithm will be great and people will wish normal keyboards had it.
25. People will wail and moan how cool “augmented reality” would have been if the iPad had included a camera on the back.
26. Regardless of anything bad about it it will sell like hotcakes and become the bar upon which all tablets are measured.
27. I will continue to bad mouth the over-hyping of the iPad even though I post way too much on it. Hey, even I realize it will be a game changer, even if I don’t like it
And on that note I’m out (hopefully this is my last post on the damned thing till we actually see it).
Edited to add numbers. Predictions weren’t edited.