PC Industry Fights to Adapt as Tablets Muscle In

Like the mainframe, which was said to be dead decades ago but has remained a meaningful business, the PC will almost certainly cheat death. True, mobile devices like the iPad will continue to gore PC sales. Those mobile devices, though, will most likely never satisfy spreadsheet masters, film editors and other workers who depend on multiple screens and the precision of a keyboard and mouse.

The PC as we know it will continue to hang around mostly for workers that need to customize docs and edit professional video and images.

But it’s also clear that tablets predominantly for consumption will adopt PC work capabilities. The hybrid tablet with PC-like usability is the future. Only then do PCs “become something like trucks.”


Screen Hopping, The Endless Itch For Attention

The remote control and mobile phone have turned us into bored content hunters. We flip channels and websites hoping to find something that excites us.

Such rapid hopping makes another person crazy. Indecision creates frustration.

There’s simply too much choice on TV and the Web. Without a plan we scan content until we stumble upon something that grabs our attention. The final destination may be sports, music, movies, or the news.

The TV and second screen can compete for attention or be complimentary. Just last night I watched US play Brazil while keeping an eye on game sentiment on Twitter. Other times I’ll use the TV simply as background noise and the mobile or desktop screen as my primary focus.

Whether it’s one screen or two, browsing the TV or the Internet from our coach is an inescapable process. There’s too much content clutter that to our advantage/disadvantage can be viewed quickly.

Sometimes turning everything off to be happy is the only choice.


Getting School Children On Twitter

This is a wise effort to educate school children on participating in the public sphere with new tools of communication.

Did she just say Ampersand?


Weekend Reader

These are the most interesting articles I read through this week.

Social Media

Is the airport a social network?

The airport may be the world’s biggest/smallest physical social network. The hubs in Atlanta, Heathrow, and Munich bring people from all across the world, speaking the same language in design.

Airport signs and rules are the same everywhere. You can figure out where you need to go just by following the terminal numbers. You can also ghost the herd of passengers and not talk to anyone.

Airports are symbolic of our online social lives: massive, interconnected and universal places where we’re surrounded by potentially thousands of similar interests. Yet we stick to our tribe, keep an eye on our feeds of people we’ve never met.

That’s what makes me so excited about ambient networking apps like Highlight. We can meet new people simply by being near them in reality, uniting physical and digital worlds.

Today, we connect through screens. Tomorrow we could connect through real audible conversations and shake hands. Face to face relationships is more valuable than ever because the Internet is making them scarce.

Silent networking is ok too. We can connect to a global audience on Instagram through an image which says a thousand words. But it’d be nice on occasion to ask someone like @juunn or @finn how they take excellent photos. Connecting in a lengthy conversation through Instagram is hard.

Google+, maybe?


Eugene Polley, Wireless Remote Inventor

Eugene Polley enabled us to watch TV from the couch and bed, flipping channels, muting sound and turning the TV off with a push of a button.

What’s most interesting about his invention is that It was promoted as an ad canceling device.

You can even shut off annoying commercials while the picture remains on the screen. (link)

Today, we set the DVR using the remote control to skip through ads.

The remote is powerful because it gives people the ability to customize their TV viewing experience without interruption. As I wrote yesterday, right now we’re still seeing a manually operated social world.

While the iPhone remote is naturally in our hands it makes it even more difficult to silence the noise. Status posts can be just as annoying to the experience as irrelevant commercials.

Instead of editing, how about one button that turns all social channels off so we don’t get bombarded by push notifications, nor will we have tendency to check our feeds.

We need a wireless social remote like we did the TV remote where all broadcasts can silenced with a touch of a button.