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posted by janrinok on Sunday April 13 2014, @03:51AM   Printer-friendly
from the a-better-world? dept.

The Pew Research Center asked a set of professors, businessmen, and readers of "technology-oriented listservs" to imagine the Internet of 2025. (Source in PDF and HTML.)

Some respondents speculated that there would be amplification of known trends: "ambient" networks (sensors, cameras, phones/tracking devices) that are increasingly integrated into work and social life, ongoing disruption of traditional "content" industries, and the continued growth of analytics/surveillance ("tagging, databasing, and intelligent analytical mapping of the physical and social realms.") Of course, networks "accurately predict[ing] our interests and weaknesses" implies the loss of personal privacy, first to governments and corporations, but eventually to any interested party or social engineer.

Others predicted decentralization and fragmentation self-forming mesh networks, darknets, and proliferating incompatible national/corporate algorithms. Your freedom would be circumscribed by the ideology of your network's owner.

I put the question to you, O People of Soylent. What futures do you foresee? What trends or pathologies does the Pew report minimize or neglect? How can or should *we* influence the Internet's direction in the next decade?

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  • (Score: 2) by everdred on Tuesday April 15 2014, @05:44PM

    by everdred (110) on Tuesday April 15 2014, @05:44PM (#31893) Journal

    4 - More and more applications will use the web-browser as a common or primary interface. Webgl will have taken off properly, javascript may actually be viable for processor intenstive applications (through a combination of hardware and software improvements. Mostly hardware.)

    Nope. Can't see this happening.

    You and I know that native apps perform better, are generally more responsive, etc. than webpages. But I don't think it's performance that's holding back the mobile web in favor of apps. It's UI. When someone installs an app, it appears in the designated app spot on their phone. If someone needs to manually add a bookmark in order to make it easy to get back to something, adding that is optional, and then they need to go seek it out later in their bookmarks list, it probably won't happen. Out of sight, out of mind. That's the difference between, for instance, people who can use a command line interface and those who find it too frustrating to learn: sometimes you need to hold something in your brain that doesn't immediately appear before you. Not a lot of people seem to be able, or willing, to do that, at least on a computer... either on their desk or in their pocket.

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  • (Score: 2) by prospectacle on Tuesday April 15 2014, @11:35PM

    by prospectacle (3422) on Tuesday April 15 2014, @11:35PM (#32067) Journal

    This strikes me as a very small obstacle. On my homescreen I have several bookmarks, right next to app-shortcuts. Some even have the icon of the website instead of the icon of the web-browser (it depends on which browser I used to make the shortcut).

    This process of sending a bookmark to the homescreen (on android at least), is relatively easy (easier than installing an app) but not particularly obvious, at the moment. It would be fairly easy to make it more obvious, though.

    I think both performance and the UI are holding back the mobile web to some extent, for now. But there are software and hardware improvements which continue to occur, and which will almost certainly persist for the foreseeable future. For example hardware getting faster for the same price, js engines getting more efficient, webgl and the canvas element in general becoming more popular and well-supported.

    Ten years is plenty of time for these things to combine to make the mobile web fast and smooth and pretty enough for almost any application.

    If a plan isn't flexible it isn't realistic