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 Post subject: The Future Of Computing
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:51 am 
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Nomarch
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Having been around during the times when Apple's Lisa was unveilded and marveling at the Commodore 64's seemingly unlimited potential it's been fun to watch the evolution of computing for the masses. Today we have The Clound, Facebook, Twitter as well as nearly instant access to billions of pages of documents.

Does that make us any smarter? No.

But it does allow us to interact, do business and communicate at a higher rate of speed. So what will we do with this increasing rate of information exchanging? As many articles have suggested it's a double edged sword. On one hand we can use this information for "good" things, such as finding a good deal on a product through CraigsList. But we also sacrifice personal liberties when our government monitors every email sent by every person in the country.

As you read these words right now bill are sitting in Congress that would greatly expand the government's control over the Internet. In short, we're at a fork in the road and which direction we choose to travel will affect our future in ways we can't even imagine today.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203833104577072162782422558.html?mod=WSJ_us_mostpop_read_ArticleRR_MVT

http://www.businessweek.com/technology/the-rise-of-the-new-information-gatekeepers-12012011.html

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/palantir-the-vanguard-of-cyberterror-security-11222011.html?chan=rss_topStories_ssi_5

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2002/09/homeland-insecurity/2575/

Dan has touched on some of these ideas in the past and even put some in perspective as they relate to history. But where will we be 5 or 10 years from now? Will the world view of our children be greater or less than what we experience today? And will the Grand Bargain be that we must trade in our liberties in order to obtain the lastest offering from Apple? Or will technology be the tonic that will save us all?

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 Post subject: Re: The Future Of Computing
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:29 am 
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This is my first year in any computer related studies and my teachers have all brought up interesting questions regarding ethics and computers.

I am of the opinion that computers are nice but we need some checks and balances. Because of the speed we get from computers and our reliance on them we start to expect people to operate at those same speeds and that is wrong. Also I feel we are starting to loose the social interaction that is necessary to create a healthy human being.

As far as government involvement in regulating bandwidth, I think that was only a matter of time. I don't agree with corporate interests getting involved such as Comcast and AT&T. The problem is that we have allowed these private companies to be in control of the networks. If we had made them public utilities than we wouldn't have Comcast, AT&T and the like in congress deciding what we can and cannot do on their transmission lines.

There is a small town not far from where I live called Monmouth. I think what they have done is a better idea. They have a co-op for TV and Internet access. You have the option to not pay but they bring fiber optics straight to your house and you pay a small flat fee every month. No one can regulate your usage because you own it.

Now government censorship is an altogether different issue. It's just wrong wrong wrong but you give em' an inch (The Patriot Act) and they will take a mile.


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 Post subject: Re: The Future Of Computing
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:56 pm 
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Nomarch
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We may just see more and more co-op arrangements in the future. As we continue to customize computers, browsers, filters and data the next logical step is a menu approach to the internet. Instead of a shotgun approach, all or nothing, we'll most likely be able to order an Amazon Kindle with the Dan Carlin package, for example.

All the internal hardware, browsers, display, etc. will be pre-set to a customized package. And that package might have links to good history sites, books, and other places "Carlinites" might enjoy, plus old podcasts preloaded. So it's quite possible those wishing to order such a package could do so by joining a co-op that would also have a say in future editions.

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 Post subject: Re: The Future Of Computing
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:47 pm 
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hondo69 wrote:
We may just see more and more co-op arrangements in the future. As we continue to customize computers, browsers, filters and data the next logical step is a menu approach to the internet. Instead of a shotgun approach, all or nothing, we'll most likely be able to order an Amazon Kindle with the Dan Carlin package, for example.

All the internal hardware, browsers, display, etc. will be pre-set to a customized package. And that package might have links to good history sites, books, and other places "Carlinites" might enjoy, plus old podcasts preloaded. So it's quite possible those wishing to order such a package could do so by joining a co-op that would also have a say in future editions.



urmmm... Good history sites, books and other places by who's definition? The internet is probably the only bastion of freedom we have left. If we just start packaging it into an ala carte deal who gets to decide what's best for us? I don't like that approach. That lends itself to companies paying providers huge sums of money so that suddenly Amazon is the only place you can shop because ebay just won't load... it seems to time out.


My idea for a co-op would be so that people don't get charged erroneous fee's for access to what is becoming as much a daily staple as water and electricity. I don't know what it would look like when it was all said and done but letting big corporations be in charge is not fairing well in my opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: The Future Of Computing
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:02 am 
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Nomarch
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I didn't explain it very well.

When you buy a laptop today, you have a handful of customizable choices. RAM, screen size, battery type, etc. But you also get tons of crap you don't want, won't use but end up paying for in the end. Typically, these extras are software packages.

Like minded groups such as astronomers, librarians or residents of Austin will be able to purchase a customized system more suitable to their needs. Companies like Dell, Apple or Amazon would offer these specialized products to any group that can gather, say 100 members. So if 100 astronomers got together as a group and ordered a specialized laptop custom designed to their specifications it would offer them great advantages.

For one, they would begin with a common configuration of hardware and software that would allow them to communicate and share information more easily and faster. They could also cut a group deal with their choice of wireless providers, software makers, security applications, etc. that would provide an even greater user experience. In short, the group dictates exactly what they want to the larger companies instead of the other way around. You'd all start with a common platform from which to build.

Secondly, no one would be placed in a box. They could add, delete or reconfigure their systems to maximize it's usage individually. But at the same time they could also choose to work on projects together without sharing them with the rest of the world. So they would retain the freedom to use their computers however they choose individually while having the advatanges and leverage that comes with group buying power.

Maybe you and I belong to a group that want to develop products intended for the underdeveloped regions of the world. If we're working on a cheap water purifier we can exchange design ideas back and forth without worrying if each other's computer system can open the files, manipulate the design, and send it on. We'd share common tools that allow the design to be finalized more quickly and accurately. And because we share a common internet provider, security software and other applications we don't have to fight the things that slow us down.

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 Post subject: Re: The Future Of Computing
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:37 am 
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I believe a lot of manufacturers will already do what you describe. As to the preloaded bloatware, well that's a condition of buying from a box store. I know best buy will remove it for you but if your halfway tech savvy you can remove it yourself and save $99.

Also having the same network provider doesn't guarantee faster delivery of information. If I'm in Sierra Leone fighting diamond warlords and your in New York but we use the same aircard provided by AT&T it won't make information sent back and forth go any faster.

... I'm not sure we are on the same page. :unsure:


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