Friday, July 21, 2006

[AoyW] Coming Attractions

I've been unable to blog much in the past month and topics for blog posts are piling up. Here's a preview of the posts coming in the next couple weeks...

David Beers, in an essay on his blog, proposes a mobile phone approach to the need addressed by the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project. He favors the "always-on-you web" model with a phone as the personal server device, rather than a flash drive. Wi-Fi smartphones would enable this, although Bluetooth or UWB (aka Wireless USB) are preferable for their point-to-point networking, i.e. no access point. (Wi-Fi can do that, but it has to be reconfigured by the user, who then loses Internet connectivity.) Unfortunately, Bluetooth has had little success outside of the wireless headset, and UWB continues to be next year's big thing.

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Just to point out a flash-drive-based app system that is NOT the always-on-you web... Lexar is promoting the Power to Go software, which enables a variety of Windows apps to run directly from a flash drive. You could call this the "always-on-you office". This is cool, but if it's a web-oriented future we're rushing into, this is a backward-going time machine.

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A reader wrote in to point out the Bouillon Project, which enables a peer-to-peer, worldwide wiki, wherein pages are accessible only when they've been recommended by your "friends" in the network. This sounds pretty neat, but it's not obvious to me what the mass-market application is, outside of the social networking game. I'll try to keep track of this to see what application ideas they propose.

2 Comments:

At Thursday, August 24, 2006 4:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liam-

Even though this post is older, I hope you see this and can reply. I am trying go grasp some of the subtle nuances of the always on you web:

The Lexar example is not always-on-you-web because the apps are not browser based, if they were, then it would qualify as always-on-you-web. Is this correct?

 
At Thursday, August 24, 2006 8:12:00 PM, Anonymous Liam said...

You are correct; the Lexar system allows for PC apps like MS Word (which couldn't otherwise run directly from a flash drive because it needs to be "installed" on the PC), and it has no sharing or sync'ing capability with other units/users.

Web apps are inherently multi-user; an always-on-you web app provides that with peer-to-peer links. Web apps are also inherently mixed-media, i.e. arbitrary content can appear on a page (via a plugin or applet if necessary), whereas PC apps tend to isolate data in documents of a fixed type which can only be accessed with a single app.

 

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