General discussion


Consumed with IT

By house ·
Hardware devices, that provide a more narrow functionality, are quickly being replaced by home computer solutions. Telephony service is rapidly being transformed into the highly configurable VoIP technology. I bought a DVD player last year, and now I am reading about the new blue-ray technology. People are ripping off satellite television service at an alarming rate. Say goodbye to the media monopolies that have been taxing us over the past century, and say hello to the more controllable, yet still unreliable, alternative options that have been introduced through the advent of the "information super-highway". There is no love lost regarding these media giants, but my main concern, is that there are many people who will not be able to keep up with the coming trends. These poor uninformed folks aside, we all stand to make a killing off of their lament and ignorance. Is it ethical? If so, what does it mean for the future of IT? If not... well who cares... it is happening, and it is happening now.

VoIP has been taking the industry by storm for a few years, but it is now cropping up in "home" solutions for the common user. Aside from the home telephone systems, there has been much talk and action regarding the integration of VoIP into common chat clients. I fear it won't be long until we see more people abandonning their more traditional forms of communication, for that of an internet and IP solution. What standards can be developed regarding privacy, legal rights, and quality of service, when the technology that is in question moves so much faster than any courtroom or political organization could possibly imagine? Right now, I could change my phone number with the click of the mouse. I can add forwarding services, answering services... I can actually disconnect my main feed into my home, and provide VoIP service through all of my phone jacks in my house. Are we going in the right direction here? Is the internet itself ready to handle the forecasted influx of communications media?

What does your home theater consist of? Despite the subpar sales results of the Windows Media Center, it is a known fact that many people are now using PC solutions for their home entertainment. Many of us have actually owned a DVD-Rom before we've invested in a DVD player. Some of us link our video and sound directly to our stereo. I've even seen wireless AVI links from a PC to a home theater. What does this mean to home entertainment? What does it mean for those of us who have an investment in Information Technology as a career? I know for a fact, that not everyone is interested in tackling the myriad of issues that we face in configuring and maintaining our equipment. There are so many codecs available to us in regards to audio and AV, and so many different pieces of software to manage, convert, and mount these formats. I have always been a subscriber to the fact that hardware solutions are generally better than software solutions. We are heading in the direction of the software solution in all forms of media. Quality and control are being replaced by quantity and personalization, and I'm sure that I am not the only one who choses the latter, in full hypocrisy of my 'hardware' statement.

As the years roll by, and as technology grows thicker, the specialization of our class grows weaker. When I don't understand "the way things work", I will invest my time and effort in deciphering the technology, so that I can acheive a higher level of knowledge, and provide support to my clients. I am now entering a new dimension, where I am faced with an overwhelming crossroad. An ultimate understanding of information systems and communication media will soon be unattainable by even the most dedicated of geeks within our industry. Ten years from now, my calendar will be built into my refrigerator. I will retreive my grocery list via palm PC. I will walk into the room, and my thermostat will adjust the temperature according to my own body heat. I will shake my buddy's hand, in order to pass on a personal message, or to simply swap files. I will send my girlfriend a message when she is sitting four feet away from me. Despite the complexities, it sounds like a barren wasteland to me. I will definitely need to invest in an amphetamine chip for my nervous system, or perhaps a brain buffer so that I may retain this knowledge after a good night's sleep.

I've gone a little off topic here, but I was not interested in composing a proper essay anyways. Is this too much? Are you consumed with IT?

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

180 total posts (Page 5 of 18)   Prev   03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07   Next
Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

Gore's role?

by GratefulBlue In reply to MY UNDERSTANDING...

I found it interesting that last summer I was at a conference where Vint Cerf was giving a discussion relating to regulation of the IP world and pointed to the key role that Gore played in the growth of the Internet. He flagged Gore as an integral player in understanding what the Net could be and why Federal support of the various initiatives was critical. He also stated that Gore was instrumental in forcing various Federal organizations to share their research and findings with each other via Interconnected links and processing. Seems common sense now, but Mr. Cerf said that had Gore not driven this across the Washington bureaucracy, that the rapid growth we saw in the early nineties would have been stifled and slowed greatly. While certainly not "the father of the Internet", it appears he can claim a place in Internet history. It made me stop laughing at the apparant lunacy of Mr. Gore's statements of nonsensical credit-taking, and recognize them as simple political rhetoric. For whatever it is worth, Mr. Cerf gave credit to Mr. Gore's role in Internet history.

Collapse -

The beginnings of the smart home are here now.

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to THE UNFINISHED REVOLUTION

I have a friend who has just got an apprenticeship to install computer connections and outlets in new homes. By this I do not mean the traditional Network sockets but computer controlled light switches, air conditioning and the like. Right now it is hideously expensive but as I'm told as the technology is used more it will become far more affordable.

The one item that I did like was the Toilet Pan with a sensor in it which sends data to your doctor when ever you go it screens for specific programmable things and then sends a report of its findings straight to your chosen doctor. Now there are some interesting things that could come about if you wanted to screw with the system.

However house is quite correct there are major privacy issues that will not be addressed in the short term and by the time that the Powers in Charge get around to addressing one set of issues they will be old hat and several generations old in technology terms. This is defiantly one area where technology is fast outstripping the Legislative process.

But as that Ancient Chinese Curse Goes "May you Live in Interesting Times!" We all are right now.


Collapse -

Computerize the lawyers

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to The beginnings of the sma ...

Fun thought.
Privacy is a big issue now. Unfortunately, governments seems to hamstring the legislation every time they get near it. The data protection act in the UK seems to have more exceptions than rules.
Vice Versa as well.
News story the other day was how a lot of our goverment agencies were shredding documents by the tonne ready for when our Freedom Of Information act comes into force.

Collapse -

Actually here in Queers-land

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Computerize the lawyers

We already have what is called a "Freedom of Information Act" in place but in fact it really boils down to a Freedom from Information in the real world.

You can get pages where everything but the page number is blacked out the whole thing is really lubricious and what makes it even better is that if a Government wants to bury something that just have to put it on the agenda for Cabinet that way it is privileged information and is locked away for 30 years no matter or not if it was even actually looked at.


Collapse -

Don't worry

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Actually here in Queers-l ...

We're not all barking mad in the UK, there are equivalent proviso's in our FIA in order to protect the government I mean nation from the non patriotic muck raking, anti-current philosphy types. The documents are being shredded on the watergate principal I think, no one suggested they shouldn't be.

Collapse -



You know its funny but technology, IT, whatever is something I do , it is my career but the only part that really does anything for me is wehen it REALLY helps people. I'm afraid wired refrigerators, etc. just make me laugh and think that the world has lost its humanity. Many of these things mentioned are just trinkets, toys, babbles for small children.
When I first "discovered" computers back in the early 80's I was totally entranced by it all. Twenty years on I want to know "What use does it really have?" Useful -use it. Useless put it in the toy bin.


Collapse -


by FluxIt In reply to hello?

you are the one in business making the money on it. The you appear to be having is that you are unable to visualize new products that are not yet available. You may be thinking in terms of a refrigerator as it is today. When everything has a radio frequency bar code on it and refrigerators are integrated with other appliances you may find that the new services and conveniences are helpful. Lets say you are handicapped or elderly and these devices are able to assist you with groceries and cooking. Or lets look it from the standpoint that you are alone and unable to cook.

Collapse -

Last I saw

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to UNLESS...

an internet freezer was a browser bolted to a freezer, the only thing it did was save you a power socket.
Now if it monitored the contents, and ordered some more frozen meals for one that would be potentially useful. Of course they would have defrosted by the time you got home. Fridge would be whole different matter

If NoOfBeers <=16 Then
Call Order(Beer,MaxBeers - NoOfBeers,Supermarket)
End If

Damn I'm coding in BASIC automatically now, where's my pascal manual.

Seriously the potential is there, but most of it at the moment is gimmicks.
After all anyone can superglue a pc to a kitchen appliance, I just can't figure out why I would want to buy one.

Collapse -

Wait until Blue-tooth matures

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Last I saw

Then you will not need the super glue they will just talk to each other regardless of if you want them to or not.


Collapse -

Technology marches on...


Face it, technology advancement is never going to just stop. We are now working in a field that was unheard of 20 years ago. The 'clock race' may be stalled for now, but IBM? just announced a breakthrough in chip technology that allows chip miniaturization in the order of hundreds and related speeds just as bold. Miniaturization equals convenience for the user (imagine lugging around a 20Kg 'walkman'), and lower costs of production automation will soon equal 'throw away' devices.

So where is the future for IT pros? In the software/application end, not in the hardware. Redundant remote controllers are a burden to the consumer, and standards development must create an environment where a person can buy one remote to control everything is his home. Towards this end, unification of firmware is a must.

This will require agreement among competing manufacturers which is never easy (Beta vs VHS, Firewire vs USB 2.0) unless someone higher up (the government?) sets the rules. And the government reflects the general population (technologically clueless). Hopefully, government institutions will recognize the need for experts to help iron this mess out for the good of both consumers and ease of manufacturing costs, giving a much needed boost to the current host of out-of-work IT pros looking to employ their skills.

One thing I agree several postings completely about is that if some guidance is not provided, the present confusion can only get worse as technical discoveries open up new applications. They WILL be applied, sensibly and economically or not.

IT specializaton will continue to exist, but perhaps not as we now perceive it. But as always, if we don't grow with it, we will certainly be left behind. IT is one profession in which you NEVER stop studying and learning to stay up to date.

Back to Community Forum
180 total posts (Page 5 of 18)   Prev   03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07   Next

Related Discussions

Related Forums