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.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

[AoyW] The WebOS Bandwagon

Paul Boutin ought to jump off the WebOS bandwagon and have a look at the road! Like so many others for so many years now, he trumpets the vision of the WebOS, whereby PC apps and data move online... into the clutches of a posse of middlemen: the app service, the network service, and the billing service.

I've written at some length on this blog about why that model hasn't caught on (and won't), and about an alternative model, the "always-on-you web", that brings web benefits to personal and team software without forcing your apps and data online. Have a look at the "Key Posts" sidebar group on my main page.

But the bandwagoneers play on, content to speculate on the road ahead, rather than contemplate the road underfoot, which is wholly impassable.