Saturday, 13 October 2012

Past and Future

In the technology business, memories are short and thanks to the internet, attention spans are now even shorter.

I've been blogging for a decade now and was one of the first columnists to use 'Blogger' when it was a new idea, WAP was the next big thing for mobile platforms, MP3 music players were a hot item and Apple was still struggling to sell products like my Powerbook 3400 laptop computer which they gave me for free.

In my attic, there are boxes of old magazines I used to edit and which I haven't seen for years, stored like nostalgic time capsules, so that one day, I could tell my grandchildren, 'I told you so!'

There's Microsoft BackOffice Magazine, Lotus Notes Magazine and Java Vision alongside old copies of Computer Weekly and a full set of 'AquaCorps', the magazine for technical divers. Very few people remember these or indeed, what the pace and change in technologies was like before the arrival of the internet and the beginning of the millennium, when its reach extended significantly into the home for the first time; enough for governments like our own to sit-up and take notice.

But with so much information now available, the sum of all human knowledge, a touch away on my iPhone, comes a loss of clarity, drowned-out by the sheer volume of competing sources, like an angry buzzing over the ether, clamouring for the attention of the readers and dictated by search engine interests or algorithms.

Everyone worries about the future but we all live in the present. So I want to start looking at some of the ideas, events and technologies which are shaping a tomorrow which is far closer than we may think.

While I can't possibly explore the changing face of the future in a single 'Tweet,' I will try and keep my impressions short, because if your'e like me, with a dwindling attention span, an Outlook preview pane is about as far as it goes when it comes to summarising ideas and arguments these days.