Archive for June, 2011
Today Smashing Magazine (one of our favs here) has published an article that provides a nice overview of copyright and licensing issues related to websites and other online venues. It’s well worth the time to read if you’re not familiar with such issues, especially the newer Creative Commons licensing options that are more and more used ’round the Web.
An interesting article in today’s Guardian (London, England) muses of the rise of the smartphone and the implications of that fact for the future:
The change that smartphones bring is computing power in the palm of our hands or in our pockets. It is internet connectivity almost anywhere on earth. That’s going to have profound effects. Horace Dediu, another former Nokia executive who now runs the consultancy Asymco, says: “Besides being powerful, they’re going to be ubiquitous. Not only in the hands of nearly every person on the planet, but also with them, or by them, all day long. They will be more popular than TVs and more intimate than wallets.”
They’re going to do far more than wallets (although they can already serve that function: a system called NFC, for Near Field Communications, is being built into smartphones and will let you pay for small items with the press of a button). All the things you can now do with a smartphone would have seemed like science-fiction only a decade ago: translate signs, translate words, take voice input and search the web, recognise a face, add another layer to reality showing you the quickest way to a tube or restaurant or the history of your immediate surroundings, show you where your friends are in real time, tell you what your friends think of a restaurant you’re standing outside, show you where you are on a map, navigate you while you drive, contact the Starship Enterprise. Well, perhaps not the last one. Even so, “A smartphone today would have been the most powerful computer in the world in 1985,” observes Dediu. In fact, today’s phones have about the same raw processing power as a laptop from 10 years ago. And every year they close the gap.
The element of personalisation and intimacy takes smartphones beyond what we’ve had before. Our mobile phone used just to be a repository of our phone contacts, some photos and texts. Now it’s our emails as well, our photos, our Twitter and Facebook accounts (and, by proxy, friends), plus all those apps and games that we’ve downloaded to give it our own personal experience.
One of the reasons they will be more popular than TVs is that they’s have at least as broad access to motion picture content and will be, as in the case of the iPhone 4, generating video content, probably of pretty high quality.