cid Viscous 0wns the world
lenovo has announced the finalization of their purchase of ibm's personal computer business. it's hard to keep up with warehouse direct manufacturers like dell. even gateway seems to be doing all right, these days.
it's interesting to watch the previous classifications we've mentally (and verbally) put on our devices rearranging and collapsing. my cell phone has several times the computing power of my first home computer. now, your phone can be a web browser, irc and im client, camera, speakerphone, voice recorder, organizer, walkie-talkie, mass storage device, business card dispenser (electronic, of course), video camera, mp3 player (not to mention .ogg, .aac, .wav, .wma, .flac, etc.), mobile movie player, notepad, alarm clock, email client, radio, portable cable tv, portable video game unit, gps receiver (sort of), even a credit card if you live in japan or south korea. it's just amazing how far it's come.
so, what are we to call this magical new all-in-one communications-organization-storage-media-entertainment-navigation device, since it's clearly much, much more than a simple cell phone? it allows us to extend our consciousness and connect it to other places, and enhance what we can retain in memory. most of us who carry one probably wouldn't be lost and hopeless without their phone, but we'd definately be hurting.
we need to start thinking about these multifunction devices _as_ multifunction devices. there are inherent pros and cons in having a single device that will do everything. most of benefits are self evident, but think about what all you lose, should you be relieved of your device--lost, stolen, cloned, left at home, broken, forced to check it or leave it in the car (many high security corporate facilities, as well as many government facilities do not allow camera's or wireless networking devices (i.e. bluetooth and 802.11) past the security check.
you lose one, you just lost it all.
but on, the other hand, tell me it's not friggin' cool that you can bring thousands of songs with you, stay in almost constant contact with just about anybody by several multimedia methods, keep track of your day, play games if you're board, _and_ peruse google from just about anywhere in your city, all on one little pocket sized computer.
i'm a big fan of modular, universal devices. that way, you can mix and match 'til you get exactly what you need or want. and it also can solve the 'all your eggs in a basket' problem. it also makes it that much easier to use your mobile devices in synch with your home pc. slowly, but surely, the difference between cable, dvd, video games, telephones, and the internet are going away.
mostly, the differences have already collapsed. it's just a question of how you wanna cobble it all together. dsl and video on demand over copper, or cable modem, digital cable, and voip phone service. 'triple plays' and whatnot all over the place. i even heard verizon's offering direct fiber to your home connections in select markets. fios, or something like that. ricochet's back up and running, this time only in denver and aurora, co, and sandiego, ca. s'posed to give reliable low-end broadband wirelessly, all over the city of your choice.
satellite and cell phone connections are still pricey and on the slow side for the most part, but making leaps and bounds. and new hotspots seem to be popping up all over the place. the stratellite bimps, er airships, show some promise, too, but my point is, you can have one or more traditional services routed through various other services or methods. (internet through the phone, phone through the internet, tv through the internet and the phone?)
paradigms are getting ready for another big shift, and we (meaning consumers) need to make sure that we come out on top of the new information world. right now, we've got a lot of options, and prices seem to be dropping steadily, but there's pressure building. anyway, i'm gonna stop now, before i get on yet another tangent. in the mean time, have fun and be creative with your toys, kids. so, once more, goodbye and good luck to the ibm pc...
cid Viscous 0wns the world