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The future is velvet ropes


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The last quarter century of computing has been like an open, pulsating and slightly uncontrolled nightclub. It was mostly good for all of us.

Tell me why the last week of Android smart watches went half-dead Reigns over my concerns That the velvet ropes are going up outside this party and new ideas can stop at the door. (Yes, I am going to misuse this metaphor.)

My fear is Major technologies of the future will be more closed and controlled Compared to personal computers, web browsers and smartphones by tech giants who dominate our digital lives today.

Here’s how computing was working: Microsoft (and Apple) formed the dominant brains of personal computers, and Google and Apple did the same for smartphones. But those brain-makers admit – sometimes reluctantly – that they cannot succeed alone.

They and us, were better because their technologies were a gateway to playing games, scrolling Instagram, keeping an eye on business payroll, and doing a billion other things that Microsoft, Google, and Apple themselves couldn’t create. So we have smartphone app stores, worldwide web browsers and PC software that Microsoft has nothing to do with.

Those major forms of computing are like nightclubs with lightly polished velvet ropes. Everyone knows that the best party brings together an inspiring and slightly unpredictable group of people.

But now bouncers are becoming tighter. Technologies that could be the next big thing – including Glasses that overlay artificial reality On the real world, voice-activated digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and the like Self driving car – Most are pulling people into digital facilities that make and lock device manufacturers.

Many companies developing self-driving cars are designing everything from computer chips to steering wheels. The devices that connect our TV sets to streaming video services are almost controlled by their manufacturers As of old cable TV systems. External companies make apps for Apple Watch devices and Echo voice-activated speakers, but mostly we use those gadgets to live in the world that Apple or Amazon makes. If it is a party, it decides almost everything with the overbearing host.

These relatively closed systems may be temporary. And complex technologies can be better, safer and easier to use if manufacturers control everything about them. But I worry that if digital-world nightclubs make it difficult to reach, we might miss new ideas.

To see what I’m worried about, let’s explore Android for smartphones and smart watches. (If you don’t know then i don’t blame you Android watches Existed.)

Like its Android smartphone, Google set out to manipulate almost anyone using open technology for watches and remodel it. But the approach of the open party did not work at all. Google essentially accepted the addition a few days ago Its smart watch system with Samsung.

I can’t diagnose why Android Smart Watches have failed. Smartphones can simply be a unique opportunity for technology like Android that cannot be replicated. Whatever the reason, I’m afraid this is the beginning of the end of open ramps for technologies.

It may be wrong to predict more velvet ropes in our technological future. I hope i am Because one lesson of recent history is that dirty parties are great for all of us.



  • A public health experiment that was not a hit: Apple and Google collaborated on smartphone technology to inform people about their proximity, which later tested positive for coronavirus. My colleague Natasha digs into Singer Why the exposure alert system did not work for most And what it says about the limitations of tech giants to set global standards for public health.

  • Digital comics and Tiktok videos that are not trivial: Social media creators are helping to spread awareness about it Symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or adhd, For women and people of color, Nicole Clarke writes for The New York Times. Please do not rely on the TickTalk video for medical advice, but Nicole makes accurate and related content about a disorder that profiles people who are often diagnosed in blond boys.

  • That The video call should probably be just a phone call: Yes thank you Repeated video calls baffle our mind. And you can instead make high-quality audio calls through apps such as Zoom, FaceTime, WhatsApp or Google Meat, writes The Wall Street Journal. (Membership required.)

There is a public library guard Performing a safety temperature check on a baby dragon And her nutcracker is named Natty. (Thanks to my colleague Erin McCann for tweeting this.)


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