End of the PC
With the rise of the tablet comes the demise of the desktop according to a recent blog post by Dr Mark Dean, an IBM engineer who worked on one of the first PCs back in 1981.
It appears that so many of us now use a mobile device that PCs, while still having their place, have been replaced as the driving force behind technology they once were.
The claim comes as IBM are celebrating 30 years since it launched the 5150 which set the standards and benchmarks from which everything followed. But even Dr dean admits that his primary device is now a tablet rather than a PC.
I can quite believe this is true for many of us, having not used a desktop for work for at least the last 6 years and the PC at home only being used very begrudgingly when other devices are being monopolised.
Who wants to sit at a desk when you can work from the sofa, the garden or a coffee shop.
Microsoft of course had a different view and believes we are moving not into a post-PC era but into a PC-plus one. According to their predictions, over 400 million PCs are set to be sold next year and will continue to see demand in the future.
Editor: Realistically powerful machines still create too much heat and are too bulky to be laptops. My Mac Pro is great, but realistically for video I need something far meatier (I’m a vege so maybe that should be quornier).
Facebook chat to rival texting
Facebook has launched its new messenger service in the US this week which allows users to communicate with their Facebook contacts via SMS as well as via facebook chat.
While it may appear similar to Blackberry messenger and to the impending Apple messenger on iOS 5, the benefit of Facebook is that it crosses platforms. Blackberry and Apple will be limited to one device, whereas Facebook can go between Android and Apple devices.
It already seems to be proving popular and some have heralded it as the end of texting. It’s not yet released here in the UK and rumours are that the US released was rushed through ahead of Apple’s iOS 5 launch next month which comes with a similar tool built in.
However not everyone is terribly impressed by the new app, purporting it to be a useless additional tool and necessitated only by Facebook chat giving an awful user experience. Ouch.
Facebook have a short overview of the app on their site and it does appear to have some useful functionality on it, but I can see the argument for making it work inside of Facebook’s already integrated chat service. A no brainer really.
Facebook: Is it me, or whatever Facebook bring out I just yawn. Bothered? Not really.
Did Facebook publish all your contacts?
No? Mine either? Probably because this would be horribly illegal and completely wrong. But for many users who recently allowed Facebook to integrate their contact lists this is exactly what they were told had happened. Obviously not by Facebook you understand.
Following the recent mobile app update the message below started appearing in people’s inbox and news feeds.
“ALL THE PHONE NUMBERS IN YOUR PHONE are now PUBLISHED on Facebook! Go to the top right of the screen, click on Account, then click on Edit Friends, go left on the screen and click on Contacts. Then go to the right hand side and click on “visit page” to remove this display option. Please repost this on your Status, so your friends can remove their numbers and thus prevent abuse if they do not want them published.”
Sounds bad? You’ve got to feel for poor Facebook although much of it my be due to poor communication on their part given this isn’t the first time they’ve been hid by bad press over a fairly innocuous update.
The actual function released enabled you to sync your Facebook contacts with those on your device, allowing you to access all of the details you hold for your contacts in one place. So if someone calls and you have them listed in Facebook, their profile picture appears on your screen. And on the other hand, if you have Facebook friends who have allowed their phone number to be visible on their profile, this will be popped into your phone contacts.
It only works if individuals have allowed you access to their details via Facebook and doesn’t trawl either your phone or their private details to populate your list. It’s just bringing two sets of data together and putting it in one place.
The only time it checks for private information is to establish that your phone contact and Facebook contact of the same name are actually the same person, but again it doesn’t give you access to those details unless they are already available to you.
Facebook is clearly trying to encourage its users to use it’s products as a portal for all their communication needs, thus rendering it almost indispensible due to the complexities involved in removing yourself and keeping your contacts intact.
But given the rise of competitors on the social market, it’s hardly surprising and I for one welcome anything that makes my life easier and negates the need to manage different lists in different places. Although I will admit to still owning a pocket address book with all of my most important people written down in it. Just in case.
Editor: People that believe these things seemed to be convinced Facebook is out to get them. WHY ARE YOU ON FACEBOOK IF YOU HATE IT!!!
Social media blame in the riots
Is anyone else baffled by the number of reports linking the recent riots with the use of social media? This week I have read countless articles suggesting that the use of Facebook, Twitter and BBM by rioters somehow implies an element of blame.
Social media is just a tool to communicate, what we do with it is up to us. While the devastation and loss of life is appalling, I doubt we can lay any blame at the door of the channels used to facilitate it. Violent outbursts and mass destruction have been around long before social media and did not require technology to motivate people to participate.
All of these tools are just that, how we use them is a reflection on us and whether we choose to use our resources for good or bad. And while we saw incitement via Twitter and Facebook, we also saw the support and promotion of the volunteer clean up groups and individuals sending out messages of love and support to those affected.
Editor: I sat and watched the riots unfold live on TV about a mile away from where they were happening whilst following the Twitter stream. The stream had me in tears of laughter and despair at various points. Social Media also allowed the tidy up to happen. It also allowed riots with real cause throughout oppressed areas of the middle east take place.