Linked by Howard Fosdick on Mon 27th Aug 2012 13:53 UTC
Editorial The dream of inexpensive computing for everyone has been with us since the first computers. Along the way it has taken some unexpected turns. This article summarizes key trends and a few of the surprises.
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RE[3]: Invisibility is the goal
by MOS6510 on Wed 29th Aug 2012 06:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Invisibility is the goal"
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

The world is becoming more and more dependent on computers and Internet. When something doesn't work, like a government website, Amazon or 4G, more and more people will get annoyed.

The more people that are annoyed the easier it will become for governments to "protect" these people from annoyance. They will attack the causes of system interruption. Hackers, unpatched PCs that are part of a bot net, overly creative IT students, computer users that pressed the wrong button.

What if they forbid the use of computers that can be "tempered" with?

This may sound a bit Big Brother and sci-fi, but I don't think it's that far fetched considering the movement towards IT dependence. Any government would love to be able to control the entire network, from the servers to the computers at home.

People kill millions of sharks each year, a shark grabs a surfer and there is talk of killing them all off so people can safely surf. It doesn't take much for a crowd to support extreme ideas.

99% of the people would be fine with it, but 1% still account for the entire Linux community and they have over 5.000 Linux distributions. So 1% is still a market.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

99% of the people would be fine with it, but 1% still account for the entire Linux community and they have over 5.000 Linux distributions. So 1% is still a market.


Albeit a very small one. And being very small means less clout in terms of setting design agendas for OEMs seeking to maximise the scale and profits of their business.

I cannot see how the trend to the sealed box type of computing, both physically sealed and sealed in the sense of hiding most of the file system and OS from view or user manipulation, can be reversed. If anything that trend is likely to accelerate, and it will do so because for 99% or so of users it will improve device functionality and the quality of their user experience. This may be a negative trend for the small number who like to tinker but it will be a positive thing for the majority who definitely do not want to tinker.

Reply Parent Score: 2

ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

I cannot see how the trend to the sealed box type of computing, both physically sealed and sealed in the sense of hiding most of the file system and OS from view or user manipulation, can be reversed. If anything that trend is likely to accelerate, and it will do so because for 99% or so of users it will improve device functionality and the quality of their user experience. This may be a negative trend for the small number who like to tinker but it will be a positive thing for the majority who definitely do not want to tinker.

I agree with this but at the same time there's no reason to worry that pc components are going to disappear from stores any time soon. Every big vendor & developer I've talked to about it has basically laughed it off saying the theory that they want to shoehorn everyone into these completely closed & pre-made systems is nothing but paranoia. Hardware makers aren't exactly jumping at the chance to eliminate their own revenue streams.

When it comes to computers, the sky is _always_ falling. We are always on the brink of Armageddon. If there's 99% of anything, it's FUD with 1% being real & credible things to be concerned about.

Reply Parent Score: 2