Snack Culture

Wired writes:

Music, television, games, movies, fashion: We now devour our pop culture the same way we enjoy candy and chips – in conveniently packaged bite-size nuggets made to be munched easily with increased frequency and maximum speed. This is snack culture – and boy, is it tasty (not to mention addictive).

Today, media snacking is a way of life. In the morning, we check news and tap out emails on our laptops. At work, we graze all day on videos and blogs. Back home, the giant HDTV is for 10-course feasting – say, an entire season of 24. In between are the morsels that fill those whenever minutes, as your mobile phone carrier calls them: a 30-second game on your Nintendo DS, a 60-second webisode on your cell, a three-minute podcast on your MP3 player.

Mobile Platform

C. Enrique Ortiz writes:

* The Future of Mobile Applications is Multiplatform, Multimodal
* The Future of Mobile Applications is Multimodal, Context-aware and Social
* The Future of Mobile Applications is exposing and consuming Services on the Web – The Web as the Platform
* The Future of Mobile Applications is an Iceberg
* The Future of Mobile Applications is Open, Public, Connected and Useful

My view on the future of the Mobile applications is also about applications as platforms on the web exposing services to mobile clients to that are very good on the client side, while pushing (leveraging) services on the Web, but as we move forward, we are also talking about multiplatform/multimodal mobile applications (and services on the Web), where the mobile context as a whole is taken into account. Again, how these are exposed and consume will all depend on the target audience.

Ning 2.0

TechCrunch reviews the new release: “Ning can be used to create a fully functional and customized social network in minutes (click on image to right for larger view)…The first step after naming and describing the new application is drag and drop desired modules- such as text boxes, RSS feeds photos, forums, blogs and videos – into the application in the area you want them. Adding the members module, for example, shows a list of the networks most popular members within that module.”

iReader and Vector-based Searching

Robert Cringely writes:

Vector-based searching begins with making an index of words in a document. Using this column as an example, the software would examine all the words I have written here, throw away words that carry no real information — words like “the,” “and” and most verbs — then count the instances of each of the remaining words. Each word in the column becomes a vector in a multidimensional space. If I have used the word “Internet” 15 times in this column, then “internet” defines the direction of the vector and 15 is its length. Adding all the vectors in this column yields a single vector that represents the entire column in a multidimensional space defined by all the words in all the articles in the entire database.

Doing a search using this system is simply a matter of entering a natural-language query, which is parsed and indexed in exactly the same manner, yielding another vector. This search vector is plotted in the multidimensional space and the search results are those vectors (those articles) that are nearest in space to the query vector. The closer to the query vector an article vector lies, the more likely that article is to answer the question posed in the query.

EPrecis and now iReader use a similar approach, but where the actual words didn’t matter to Excite, they matter a LOT to these new products.

Ray Ozzie on Web Office

SeattlePI.com has excerpts of comments made by Microsoft’s Ray Ozzie: “As far back as pre-bubble there was a company called desktop.com, but ever since that era, technologists have been trying to test themselves and see how much of the Office experience we could take up into a browser and make it usable in some form. And in that realm, yes, there’s Google Docs & Spreadsheets, there’s ThinkFree, Zoho, there are a variety of different instances of people taking the tools and kind of replicating them up into a Web environment. … In the pure Web model, the trade-offs are fairly substantial. You have to be online in order to use them. Depending on whose version it is, there are different feature/function trade-offs. But the way I approach it and the way I view the services opportunity related to productivity is really about more than just taking what’s on the PC and putting it up on the Web. I think there are high-level scenarios that if you consider you’ve got software on PCs, services in the cloud and devices, mobile devices, as the power that you can work with, and you try to envision the value of productivity, and what you’re trying to offer, you end up with a different result.”

TECH TALK: Envisioning Tomorrows World: Teleputer, Ubinet and M-Web

The Teleputer is a term coined by George Gilder. Think of it as a device which marries a mobile phone and a computer, or more specifically, a network computer. As I see it, the teleputer is a device which is a mobile phone which can also double as a multimedia network computer. It can be connected to a docking station which connects to a full-size keyboard, monitor and mouse.

We will carry the teleputer with us when we are on the move. It has its own small keypad and display. It has good data connectivity and an in-built browser. Perhaps, future versions of the teleputers will also have excellent voice recognition and, like Nintendo’s Wii, even understand gestures. When we want a bigger display and keyboard, we will dock the teleputer to connect to servers on which the information and applications are stored.

The Ubinet is a ubiqutious network of connectivity. It will be an envelope that allows access from anywhere. It will be wireless and broadband. The early versions can be seen in technologies like 3G, WiMax and mesh wireless. Tomorrow’s networks will have far greater speeds. The Ubinet is what will make network computing on the teleputer a reality with performance that we are used to seeing on today’s desktop computers.

The M-Web is the Internet that is My, Mobile and Magical. It includes a computing grid that will take care of all the storage and processing. Personalisation will create a magical experience as the teleputer will know where we are and get from the M-Web contextual information. The M-Web will be mobile friendly because that is how the predominant access will happen.

The M-Web will have some key differences from today’s Web.

Tomorrow: The Present and Future Webs

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