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  #1  
Old November 8th, 2007, 12:04 PM
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Default OT: Even More Proof That PC\'s Are Dying

Follow the link and read for yourself.

Jap PC Use Drops

Where the Japs lead, the world follows.
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Old November 8th, 2007, 01:21 PM

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Default Re: OT: Even More Proof That PC\'s Are Dying

I'm trying to figure out why someone would willingly use a cell phone as their primary internet device.

I'm, uh, not getting very far. Either the Japanese have really nice cell phones or really tiny hands and good eyes..
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Old November 8th, 2007, 02:36 PM
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Default Re: OT: Even More Proof That PC\'s Are Dying

meh. The PC isn't dying, it's just changing shape. Evolving.

A lot of the PC's current applications (browsing, email)will move to the mobile, especially once those fancy roll up screens they've been promising come out. You may even have two portable screens in one phone-sized device, a little one like on your mobile now, and a bigger roll-up screen that feels more like a PSP or laptop or newspaper. The mobile device will probably start to take on some additional functions, like replacing the wedges of plastic that occupy most peoples' wallets (as it has in Japan- note that cash will never completely die though), and it may well start to see more use around the home: for example it will probably double as an input device (ie remote control) for your home system.

The landline will be dead by 2020.

A load more of the functions currently served by the PC (gaming, music, video, more browsing) will be integrated into your TV. Or rather, your TV will be replaced by a big monitor hooked up to what amounts to a media centre server. As I mentioned before, this will all be controlled by your mobile, which has all of the necessary interface functions built in anyway, and which will be so much a part of your life that you wouldn't dream of putting it down except when you're asleep.

It's worth noting that the boundaries between watching TV and browsing the web can be expected to blur significantly, as broadcasters finally give up on the idea of chaining all those discrete programs into one long continuous string that forces people to be sitting in front of their screen at a particular time (or at least get a machine to record it at the appropriate time), and start distributing them individually, on-demand, instead. I guess I'm saying the web will, eventually, eat TV.

Radio, strangely, will resist all this change and continue to be broadcast in pretty much the same format and occupy the same niche in peoples' lives as it always has, although the method of distribution will probably move mostly- if not completely- from raw radio signals to internet.

Your office will change too, with cool new screen/ interface technologies. Your desk will probably be a giant super-multi-touch input device/ haptic& optic output combo, which not only performs as a screen, but can scan papers put on it, simultaneously charge up and read data from portable devices placed on it and so on.

Microsoft, stupidly, will invent some new name for this, in the belief that the term "desktop" is outdated when it will actually be more appropriate than ever. The first few years of these things will be plagued by idiot users trying to write on them in biro, until someone invents a stylus/ pen hybrid that knows what's underneath it and only emits ink when its supposed to.

Your physical keyboard will be replaced by a virtual keyboard on the horizontal touch surface in front of you: It's cheaper, tidier, easier to reconfigure and doesn't get sandwich crumbs and hair stuck under the keys. The mouse will be obselete. Haptics will recreate the tactile qualities of a physical desk and keyboard: The desk will be able to reproduce textures under your fingers so you will still be able to fumble around and feel things and find things and shuffle them about and touch-type without actually having to look at your hands. You will still want a nice big vertical screen though, firstly to increase the screen real estate, but also because it's more comfortable to look straight ahead than down at your fingers all day. Think iphone meets minority report and you're probably about there. All this will probably be driven by the same machine that's running your media centre or, if you tele-commute (something else that will become more common) by the machine at the office, or by some clever collaboration between the two.

Office chairs will still only be fairly comfortable, until the discovery of the anti-gravity field in 2114.

Of course, there will be overlaps, and any one of these devices will be able to push/ pull data to any of the others and, to a certain extent, duplicate their functions, but they will be specialised. This will simply be because of their setting, their screen size, the interface and the user's habit rather than any other kind of hardware restriction. Until we get full-blown Borg brain implants that render screens and input devices completely obselete (first commercial models available late 2057, but I'd wait until Service pack 2 comes out if I were you), that's the way it will have to be.

But yeah, the PC as we know it, a big beige box that sits under your desk, will diminish massively. Enthusiasts and prefessionals will still want them, but most average people will just buy a series of sleek-looking, easy-to-use PC-based appliances that look and feel more like VCRs or stereos or consoles than computers, but have all the power of a PC behind them. The computer will be something that slides into the background, becomes invisible. Just as someone today might be well aware that there is a little computer in their washing machine or car's engine, but would still answer "no" if asked whether they owned a computer because they don't have a PC, people of the future will still not consider themselves computer-owners, despite having Jetson-style smart-home-systems. Your grandkids will be amazed that non-geeks used to buy computers and install their own software and drivers and battle with viruses and spam and basically manage and maintain the whole damn thing themselves, just to read email and browse pr0n and type a few letters.

An interesting side-effect of this will be the great re-geeking of 2014: As computers become invisible, so too will the people who love them. Geek-chic is in at the moment, because we are currently living in a strange in-between period when everyone has to have a computer[1], and so everyone wants to know a geek. As we move out of this era, the geeks will be gradually driven back into their basements...

[1]OK, no-one *has* to have a computer, and obviously I'm excluding the entire third world from the term "everyone" (although we'll see what the OLPC does for that) but you get my meaning.
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Old November 8th, 2007, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: OT: Even More Proof That PC\'s Are Dying

Phoenix-D said:
I'm trying to figure out why someone would willingly use a cell phone as their primary internet device.


I recently went to a job fair I'd signed up for, took a train to Boston, got there and realized -- I don't have directions handy, in fact I wasn't even sure of the name of the hotel. A wi-fi capable internet phone would have come in handy in that case, a quick email check, a quick web search, whatever.

At the moment I have the cheapest most no frills phone ever, and its adequate for talking to people. But I could see replacing my email and information gathering with a very capable phone device. Beats the ubiquitous bulky laptops everyone else on the train was trying to get their email with.

'Cousre it would never completely replace the PC, at least until MM codes Space Empires for the cell phone.
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Old November 8th, 2007, 06:02 PM
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Default Re: OT: Even More Proof That PC\'s Are Dying

Quote:
"A new PC just isn't high on my priority list right now," said Igarashi, who was shopping at a Bic Camera electronics shop in central Tokyo and said his three-year-old desktop was "good for now."
Maybe they're just realizing that they don't have to upgrade their hardware every time the manufacturers change the color scheme of the motherboard.
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Old November 8th, 2007, 06:11 PM

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Default Re: OT: Even More Proof That PC\'s Are Dying

Quote:
Phoenix-D said:
I'm trying to figure out why someone would willingly use a cell phone as their primary internet device.
I Heartily agree!
Quote:
dogscoff said:
The landline will be dead by 2020.
This may (note: *may*) be true in the biggest of big cities, but other than that...I disagree. Eventually it'll be gone, but not that soon.
Quote:

...start distributing them individually, on-demand, instead. I guess I'm saying the web will, eventually, eat TV.
Unlikely to occur; if it was all on-demand, etc., it would be far too easy to avoid commercials...and as you no doubt know, they can't allow that to happen. Quite possibly it'll be on-demand, but AFTER it has already been broadcast in a (relatively) conventional fashion.
Quote:
...although the method of distribution will probably move mostly- if not completely- from raw radio signals to internet.
Again, I'll disagree. There are lots and lots of places in this world that do not have wireless internet access...even in 1st world countries. For that reason, radio will stay in it's current form, or perhaps migrate fully to the satellite radio form, but I doubt it'll be all or nearly all broadcast via the internet.

Quote:
But yeah, the PC as we know it, a big beige box that sits under your desk, will diminish massively. Enthusiasts and prefessionals will still want them, but most average people will just buy a series of sleek-looking, easy-to-use PC-based appliances that look and feel more like VCRs or stereos or consoles than computers, but have all the power of a PC behind them.
I'll (predictably ) also disagree here. I think that the wholescale migration from something like your 'conventional' computer to mobile devices simply won't happen very quickly, if at all. No current or planned mobile device will ever be as comfortable to use; for example, screen size. Give me my 20" screen! Most people, I think, would rather have a larger, relatively immobile, and FAR more powerful computer for things like gaming, long-term internet browsing, work, etc.

As you can see, I personally disagree with the 'death' of the PC; it will have it's place for a long time yet I think. Then again, who really knows what the future will hold!
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Old November 9th, 2007, 03:11 AM

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Default Re: OT: Even More Proof That PC\'s Are Dying

"Unlikely to occur; if it was all on-demand, etc., it would be far too easy to avoid commercials...and as you no doubt know, they can't allow that to happen. Quite possibly it'll be on-demand, but AFTER it has already been broadcast in a (relatively) conventional fashion."

Sadly, the way I see this going is two ways, you pay a higher price for no commercials, where you will still get a few commercials, maybe 2 60 second spots for the sponsors, and a cheaper version that would be the same as watching tv now. This way, the networks will still get $$, the sponsors will still get some advertising time, and you as the consumer will not get anything "free". As far as the corps. and networks are concerned this would be the win-win scenario.
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Old November 9th, 2007, 03:49 AM
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Default Re: OT: Even More Proof That PC\'s Are Dying

One of the problems with PC sales is something that was actually predicted a few years ago by a few experts.

The problem is, you can only make a CPU so fast with current architecture before it just quits getting faster. That's why there's all the hype over dual- or quad-core processors. When you can't make one gadget faster, stuff a few extra in. The problem is, we're getting into diminishing returns. This is also partly because of the speed.

Remember when 1 Ghz was fast? I remember when 200 Mhz was fast. I had no idea that I'd be sitting here with my 2.5 Ghz processor. Of course, adding 2 Ghz right now wouldn't be as drastic as the first 2 Ghz being added. Plus, the only way to do that now is to add a different processor, which only makes things more complex. You need to have multiple threads running with multiple processors, which some programs aren't equipped to handle.

On top of that, the most high-end computers are used by gamers, the movie industry, and musicians. There's the point where you have "enough" processing power and memory for word processing, e-mail, and intarnets. Somebody that only wants to check their e-mail, arrange a digital photo album, and maybe reduce some redeye here and there doesn't need a $3,000 monster machine with a high-tech video card with 4 GB of VRAM. No, the bargain bin computer will do them just fine. Of course, with all of the competition, computers keep getting cheaper and cheaper.

Meanwhile, the person that has no need for super high-end gear is most likely going to stick with that bargain bin computer until it explodes ten years from now.

Companies that realize this and are focusing on making more gadgets are thriving. Those that are not are starting to feel the pressure to make gadgets.

But, whatever...so long as I can buy a GPS/navigation system for my car for $20 in three years it's cool.
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Old November 9th, 2007, 07:30 AM
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Default Re: OT: Even More Proof That PC\'s Are Dying

Quote:

TV will be split up into on-demand programmes
Unlikely to occur; if it was all on-demand, etc., it would be far too easy to avoid commercials...and as you no doubt know, they can't allow that to happen. Quite possibly it'll be on-demand, but AFTER it has already been broadcast in a (relatively) conventional fashion.

But how easy is it to cut out commercials? You are ignoring the possibilities offered by technology, which is what the music industry did when mp3s appeared on the scene. You can't blame them, I suppose, they are no more able to predict the future than anyone else, but by now they should have realised that new technology has made the old way of doing things obselete. TV faces the same choices.

The technology to give people what they want (TV on demand without commercials) is there. It's in use today, but it isn't yet the norm. TV companies have to decide what to do about it. If they continue as they are with their fingers in their ears, more and more people will adopt this technology, and eventually advertisers will realise that noone is actually watching their ads any more, they will withdraw their funding and TV will be in a crisis.

So what can they do? They may try to introduce some form of DRM to prevent people stripping out the ads but DRM is a doomed, broken, failed technology that cannot possibly work. Ever. It just is not possible to hide information from someone when the whole point of that information is to send it to that someone for them to view it! All DRM has to fall back on is more complex DRM (which will always get hacked, and leads to monstrous follies like Vista) and legal bullying, which is not only a PR nightmare, but also not particularly successful. Hopefully the TV industry will learn from the failures of the music/ film industries and look at new business models before entrenching themselves in DRM. I don't know what the altrernative is, but there has to be one, and some bright spark will invent it sooner or later, if they haven't already.

To summarise, TV will have to change. Advertising will have to change. People with tivo/mythboxen/PVRs/DVRs and so on already have all their TV broken down into discrete, on-demand, ad-free chunks. As more and more people adopt that technology, the TV and ad people will have no choice but to facilitate it, but in such a way that they actually still get paid.

Quote:
Quote:
...although the method of distribution will probably move mostly- if not completely- from raw radio signals to internet.
Again, I'll disagree. There are lots and lots of places in this world that do not have wireless internet access...even in 1st world countries. For that reason, radio will stay in it's current form, or perhaps migrate fully to the satellite radio form, but I doubt it'll be all or nearly all broadcast via the internet.
Eventually, there will be either a huge leap forward in wireless that will allow fast access absolutely everywhere, or the first world will have to pull its finger out of it collective arse and actually start digging holes and laying down some fricking fibre optics.

The only thing holding it back is state-owned and state-sanctioned monopolies on the various national telecoms networks. The UK and US are particularly badly pwned in this respect. As long as BT and AT&T don't have to face any actual competition, they will continue to charge more for crappier services on crumbling copper networks built by public money and handed over to them by corrupt politicians. Give it another decade and maybe we will wake up to the fact that people in Korea have 100meg broadband at home (yes, I said 100meg, right now, today) and that the global digital marketplace is all happening in Asia and the rapidly-developping "third world". Maybe then public and business and industry will demand that something be done. The public engineering projects to create the new digital infrastructure will be on a scale not seen since the late 1800s, when train networks and sewage networks and water networks and the like were being built on a scale and that proabably dwarfs any investment before or since. This boom will drive down the costs of laying fibre to such an extent that even remote farmouses in the arse end of Alaskan nowhere will get direct cable to their living room.

Quote:
I'll (predictably ) also disagree here. I think that the wholescale migration from something like your 'conventional' computer to mobile devices simply won't happen very quickly, if at all.
Umm... I never said it would. Read all that stuff I wrote about having a giant screen in your lounge and another one integrated into your desk. I'm not for one minute suggesting that everything will be packed into the mobile phone. That's either very very stupid, or very very clever but only if you happen to be Japanese.

Quote:
As you can see, I personally disagree with the 'death' of the PC; it will have it's place for a long time yet I think. Then again, who really knows what the future will hold!
The PC won't die, it will just fragment its functions into a range of pretty little PC-based boxes with "THIS IS NOT A PC" written on them and drool-proof menu-driven interfaces. The PCs and PC interfaces we see today will be relegated to the office, and to geeks.

Most people don't care about most of what a PC can do, they just want a handful of basic functions without the hassle of actually owning and maintaining a PC. This is what the industry will give them.
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Old November 9th, 2007, 07:38 AM
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Default Re: OT: Even More Proof That PC\'s Are Dying

On a marginally related tangent, I've never heard of someone not getting two days worth of voicemail messages because they misplaced their land line.

I can only think of three occasions in the last two years where having a cell phone would have been helpful to me.
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