Thursday, 17 February 2011

This year's tech news, in brief

This perhaps goes against the grain of this blog somewhat, but... Good grief, I'm getting bored with tech / web stories lately!

It's not that there aren't new ones to read - quite the reverse. The sheer quantity never changes much. But somehow the content doesn't change much either, at base. Almost every new story I read could be one of any number of other stories I've read before - with nothing changed except the website / company / app involved, the conclusion to the new scientific study, or the version number of the product it's going on about. To paraphrase Yogi Berra: it's just déjà vu, all over again.

So to save everyone the bother of reading the 90%+ of it that's seemingly stuck on a loop, here, in no particular order, is the coming year's tech news:
  • 2009 2010 2011 will be the year of hyper-local / the semantic web / Web 3.0
  • Apple / Microsoft to release new product / new version of old product
  • New Apple / Microsoft product has minor / major fault
  • Feverish, mainly groundless speculation about next new Apple product starts up again [see also: Microsoft, but much less feverish]
  • Google wants to buy Company X
  • Company X resists Google's overtures
  • Google buys Company X
  • New Google product, based on code from Company X, not the Facebook-killer / Apple-competitor analysts insist Google is definitely working on; Google shrugs, says that was never the intention
  • X is the new y
  • X isn't the new y
  • X is brilliant, but what will happen when its venture capital runs out?
  • X is overvalued
  • Is the 'tech bubble' back?
  • Video games / the internet / social networking bad for us, according to latest study / book
  • Video games / the internet / social networking good for us, according to latest study / book
  • Correlation is the new causation [the Daily Mail position on tech*, and anything else]
  • Human behaviour / human nature never really changes, just the technology we invent to enact it [the Clay Shirky position on tech scares]
  • Thing that wasn't in the cloud is now in the cloud
  • Is our data safe in the cloud?
  • Established website / company is losing popularity
  • Established website / company does x in attempt to revive popularity
  • Established website / company is still losing popularity, but even more so
  • Facebook tweaks yet another thing / adds new service, causes outcry about compromised privacy [see also: Google, but less often]
  • Google is evil
  • Google isn't evil
  • Suggestion is made that tech debate shouldn't be so reductively binary, no-one listens
  • Social media makes political protest easier, more effective
  • Social media's influence on politics and protests is overstated / counter-productive
  • Important person at Apple / Google / Microsoft retires, leaves, or moves to Apple / Google / Microsoft
  • Traditional media / music industry / publishing is dying
  • Traditional media / music industry / publishing still isn't dead yet
  • Satirical zombie movie to be made about traditional media / music industry / publishing
  • Remark on Twitter / Facebook is mistaken for news
  • Remark on Twitter / Facebook is mistaken for news
  • Remark on Twitter / Facebook is mistaken for news
Lather, rinse, repeat - ad nauseam, ad absurdum, ad redcutio, etc. and so on. Or until 2012, at the very least. Probably.

And in other news:
The Weekly Links Post will return soon. Because I'm a hypocrite.

*Not that real newspapers aren't sometimes guilty, too. Especially in pretty much any story that begins: "A new scientific study..."