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Google and Facebook are now irrelevant
May 2, 2012 9:33 AM   Subscribe


 
No, Zed's dead. Zed's dead.
posted by entropicamericana at 9:35 AM on May 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


Something tells me that reading this article ten years from now will be a guaranteed thigh-slapper.
posted by yoink at 9:38 AM on May 2, 2012 [30 favorites]


That is Web 3.0.

But seriously, versioning the web was useful for a while, as a way to promote modern technologies as a means to improved user experience and accessibility. But now that all the major commodity-grade sites like Amazon, Facebook, et al, are using the same damn tools, what's left is not a technical frontier (even tho there is a lot left to accomplish) but a legal frontier.
posted by ardgedee at 9:39 AM on May 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Mobile is fragmenting completely to hell thanks to Android. My guess is HTML5+CSS+JS will be the write-once run-anywhere savior of this odd new generation of operating systems. Whether it's an "app" or a "website" on your 2015 smartpod isn't going to matter too much to anyone
posted by crayz at 9:41 AM on May 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


In fairness, reading any "tech trends" article in 10 years will be a thigh-slapper.
posted by jcreigh at 9:41 AM on May 2, 2012 [7 favorites]


The full-page, clickthrough interstitial Ketel One vodka advertisement was the best possible way to lead into this article.

Seriously, though, is this the financial-people equivalent of an Omni article about how we're all going to be wearing silver jumpsuits in our moon-pods? That article is 100% speculation and every other paragraph ends with an affirmation that whatever comes next is DARK AND MYSTERIOUS.

Why is Amazon not making a big entrance into the social market? The fuck do they need to? They're the Wal-Mart of the Internet. Plus, as far as I recall, the last "share what you buy" initiative was a massive clusterfuck that ended with Facebook amending their privacy policy for apps.
posted by griphus at 9:42 AM on May 2, 2012 [11 favorites]


Interesting how this parallels, and doesn't parallel, Bruce sterlings SXSW speach about "the Stakcs' - parallels in that it's about the open web being less important in the face of what Sterling calls "The Stacks" - big vertically ingratiated entities that grew with the web but have their own clients and ecosystems - and doesn't parallel in that this guy is theorizing that the many of current stacks are "Old" and will be swept away by, I don;t know, Instagram 2.0 or something.

And, TBH, I trust chairman Bruce's analysis more - this guy is a bit "Because iPads!".
posted by Artw at 9:42 AM on May 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also "Web 2.0" was always a stupid concept topped only by people who have been going on about "Web 3.0" since they figured out how to add 1 to that.
posted by Artw at 9:44 AM on May 2, 2012 [7 favorites]


Something tells me that reading this article ten years from now will be a guaranteed thigh-slapper.

It's really a thigh-slapper now, or more an obvious piece of crap, because he doesn't actually talk about the demise of the web at all, he just talks about the demise of particular companies.

In the comments someone points out that many of the people they know with iPhones search using Google and the author responds with something like, "Well what if Apple flipped the switch to make their own search engine the default?"... well what if they did? It would still be searching the web.
posted by XMLicious at 9:45 AM on May 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


Wait 'til you get a load of Web 6.0, ArtW.
posted by griphus at 9:46 AM on May 2, 2012


Amazon is the 14th largest retailer in the world.

More than 50% of Facebook's users interact via a mobile client.

This article desperately needs better examples.
posted by bpm140 at 9:46 AM on May 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Why has Amazon done so little in social?

Why has Halliburton done so little in toys for preteens?
posted by jaduncan at 9:46 AM on May 2, 2012 [60 favorites]


I've really got to find a transcript of that Bruce Sterling talk so I can FPP the damn thing. I have audio, but that doesn't really cut it here.
posted by Artw at 9:49 AM on May 2, 2012


My guess is HTML5+CSS+JS will be the write-once run-anywhere savior of this odd new generation of operating systems.

I agree. I actually can't stand the idea of apps because having individual applications that must be downloaded in order to interact with content from different organizations is the very problem the World Wide Web solved.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 9:51 AM on May 2, 2012 [54 favorites]


"Why has Amazon done so little in social? And Google? Even as they pour billions at the problem, their primary business model which made them successful in the first place seems to override their expansion into some new way of thinking."

This is where I stopped reading, TBH. You can hardly blame Google of imposing its primary business model (whatever that is) on G+ when G+ is essentially a copy of Facebook (except, you know, is not Facebook).
posted by Arandia at 9:51 AM on May 2, 2012


Oh, I see. He bases part of this on his previous article Why Siri is a Google killer. I don't have an iPhone myself, but this seems crazy.
posted by demiurge at 9:52 AM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


What a profoundly stupid article.
posted by Fidel Cashflow at 9:52 AM on May 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


One of the central tenents* of this school of thought on organizations is that senior teams and directors have an outsized influence on organizational outcomes.

Meanwhile, copy editors don't have much of an influence on anything.

Anyhow, this strikes me as the same problem* Sony faced, say, when the iPod appeared, or RIM faced when smartphones/iPhones arrived; it's not easy to drop billion dollar business models and start afresh. There's so much inertia to overcome.

So maybe the "great men" theory of organizations and the ecology theory of organizations are both about to be overtaken by the Newtonian Physics Theory of Organizations.

---------------
*tenets
posted by notyou at 9:55 AM on May 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Google and Facebook are now irrelevant

And Forbes magazine?
posted by chavenet at 9:58 AM on May 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


*tenets

That jumped out at me, too.
posted by ShutterBun at 10:00 AM on May 2, 2012


Wankery.
posted by chance at 10:00 AM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Interesting how this parallels, and doesn't parallel, Bruce sterlings SXSW speach about "the Stakcs'

Looks like I mangled that link, Here's where it should go.
posted by Artw at 10:00 AM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait 'til you get a load of Web 6.0, ArtW.


Yeah, you'll just hang onto Web 5.1 until they come to their senses.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:01 AM on May 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


Google and Facebook are now irrelevant

And Forbes magazine?


The internest number one source for Bioware news.

(Seriously, how many Mass Effect 3 articles did they run?)
posted by Artw at 10:01 AM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


The central tenants of this school of thought are Mitch who sells weed down the hall, and Susan who has a shitload of old term papers up for grabs.
posted by griphus at 10:01 AM on May 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


Why has Halliburton done so little in toys for preteens?

Why has Purina done so little in video games? Oh, wait....
posted by RonButNotStupid at 10:01 AM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


[Jackson was long AAPL at time of writing.]

[Jackson would also like to make clear that the rumours of excessive coke taking and getting the job on the golf course are untrue.]
posted by jaduncan at 10:02 AM on May 2, 2012


Wait 'til you get a load of Web 6.0, ArtW.

I hear the Web devs are thinking of moving to a rapid release model, so we'll be seeing a new major version number every six weeks from June.
posted by flabdablet at 10:08 AM on May 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


Google is the Google killer. Social media is the death of social media. Today is tomorrow. The next web revolution will be this one.
posted by TwelveTwo at 10:09 AM on May 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Facebook is the triumphant winner of social companies.
...
The failed history of Web 1.0 companies adapting to the world of social suggests that Facebook will be as woeful at adapting to social as Google has been with its “ghost town” Google+ initiative last year.


what
posted by brain_drain at 10:10 AM on May 2, 2012


The bottom line is that the next 5 – 8 years could be incredibly dynamic.

Stuff could happen in the next decade!
posted by Jehan at 10:10 AM on May 2, 2012 [13 favorites]


I need some adblock-esque filter that prevents me from reading articles where the word "social" is used as a noun.
posted by mhoye at 10:10 AM on May 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's like the author was playing buzzword bingo with "tech terms from the last six months" and wrote an article around them. Strikes me as the type who pays "techs" from Best Buy to set up his home theater system for him.
posted by mrbill at 10:12 AM on May 2, 2012


crayz: "Mobile is fragmenting completely to hell thanks to Android."

Huh?

Are you suggesting that an iOS monoculture would have been better, or that apps were ever a suitable alternative to writing semantic HTML? If anything, a little fragmentation is going to be a very good thing moving forward, because it will force developers to write their apps and sites to standards, rather than specific devices.


As far as the article goes, I rolled my eyes. Of course, the internet is going to look a lot different 10 years from now. That's pretty much been the case for as long as we've had the Internet or the Web. If Google and Facebook don't adapt, they'll quickly become irrelevant and get displaced by a new startup. It's silly to think that Facebook won't adapt; they religiously overhaul their UI and Platform every 18-24 months, and Google's got a pretty well-established reputation for evolution and experimentation as well.

Web 2.0 seems to be very vaguely defined, and this author's definition of it stretches my understanding of the term. I really thought that the explosion of social content (Facebook, LinkedIn, et al) was more like "Web 2.5."

These services marked the transition of social content away from online pseudonyms, and gravitated toward real-world connections and relationships. It marked the first true convergence of online identities with personal identities. Eventually, a few people realized how to monetize this concept and focus on local geographic connections, and we got something like Web 2.6 with Groupon and the whole host of other geographically-aware businesses and services (which was helped out by, but not dependent upon the proliferation of mobile devices).

Moving backwards, I think that a lot of the surviving (and thriving) "Web 1.0" companies have realized that social features do not necessarily contribute to their business model. Netflix and Amazon are businesses that don't necessarily need to integrate social functions. Netflix realizes that you might not have the same taste in movies as your friends, which almost seems blindingly obvious in hindsight. Ditto for Amazon's reviews (although I do agree that they could do a bit more in this area). Similarly, it's hard to visualize what social features Google could add they haven't already tried or implemented. It's a search service; usually, I want to find what I'm looking for... not what my friends and neighbors are looking for!

Also, it's not exactly like Amazon is hurting right now. The "Web 1.0" companies that failed were the ones who refused to add social features when it made sense to do so. Similarly, it's really difficult for an established business to shift paradigms, and the network effect is a bitch to overcome. MySpace was never going to be able to convince its users to reveal their real-world identities, and Google+ was never going to be able to win over Facebook's massive userbase, especially without offering a truly compelling reason to do so, or some way to ease the transition.

Instagram's a red herring. We haven't really seen any other truly mobile-only business, and their lack of an alternative interface to their content might be seen as a thing that they never got around to implementing. Also, one data point does not make a trend.

If nothing else, Instagram is not Web 3.0, because Instagram is not part of the web. That does not mean that the web is dying, or that any of the "failing" Web 1.0 businesses that the article references are going to go away anytime soon.

My prediction? The feature that defines Web 3.0 will be responsive design and non-pixel-based layouts: The unification of desktop and mobile platforms and eventual death of "apps".
posted by schmod at 10:13 AM on May 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


I need some adblock-esque filter that prevents me from reading articles where the word "social" is used as a noun.

Socialist.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:14 AM on May 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Nono, central tenents of the school. Someone living in the middle of the school of thought. Obvious, right?
[JournalismMajor value=true utility=small troll=somewhat/]
posted by andreaazure at 10:18 AM on May 2, 2012


Yet, Web 1.0 companies never really seemed to be able to grasp the importance of ... tapping into the backgrounds of those users.

This guy thinks that Amazon doesn't exploit user behavior data.

That's a pretty dumb thing to write.
posted by Sauce Trough at 10:20 AM on May 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


RonButNotStupid: "I agree. I actually can't stand the idea of apps because having individual applications that must be downloaded in order to interact with content from different organizations is the very problem the World Wide Web solved."

Ironically, we still don't use HTML to publish scientific journal articles, which is the original problem that the World Wide Web was created to solve.

(But, yes. I agree times a thousand. However, we're going to have some interesting challenges moving forward as progressive enhancement starts becoming irrelevant. It's still a good practice, but we're going to have start dealing with the fact that developers are eventually going to begin abandoning the large amount of effort necessary to write server-side code that can serve up a working site with semantic markup to a non-javascript browser or webcrawler, while also providing a rich JS-enabled interface to normal people.)
posted by schmod at 10:20 AM on May 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Wait 'til you get a load of Web 6.0, ArtW.

I hear the Web devs are thinking of moving to a rapid release model, so we'll be seeing a new major version number every six weeks from June.


/Goes into Mozilla induced rage-coma.
posted by Artw at 10:22 AM on May 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Why has Amazon done so little in social?

yeah, if they only provided some kind of comment section where I can interact with other users about their experience with the product...
posted by any major dude at 10:22 AM on May 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


I half-expected this guy to wonder why Amazon hadn't done anything with this whole "cloud" business.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:26 AM on May 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


I hope to teach my children to identify and avoid linkbait the way my parents taught me to identify and avoid poison sumac.
posted by mattbucher at 10:28 AM on May 2, 2012 [14 favorites]


This guy thinks that Amazon doesn't exploit user behavior data.

That's a pretty dumb thing to write.


...unless you're writing in the magazine equally informed by Gordon Gekko and Lex Luthor.
posted by griphus at 10:30 AM on May 2, 2012


TBH my biggets fear is my children stumbling accross in-app purchases.
posted by Artw at 10:30 AM on May 2, 2012


Google is the Google killer. Social media is the death of social media. Today is tomorrow. The next web revolution will be this one.

Burma Shave.
posted by MegoSteve at 10:33 AM on May 2, 2012 [11 favorites]


Mobile is fragmenting completely to hell thanks to Android

Android is fragmenting to hell, you mean (source). The other ~50% of mobile (not including 3G/4G tablets, which probably pushes that further to 60-70%) is doing just fine with a mix of HTML5 and dedicated apps.

I actually can't stand the idea of apps because having individual applications that must be downloaded in order to interact with content from different organizations is the very problem the World Wide Web solved.

Did it really, though? A lot of apps are just web service clients, anyway, and WORA seems to have such an obvious cost benefit that there must be a reason that HTML/JavaScript has failed here for the presentation layer. Dedicated frameworks must be providing presentation features or benefits that motivate developers to pick them over pure web-client approaches, but a lot of these (networked) apps are sending HTTP back and forth, in any case. The web won as a data exchange medium, even if it didn't win on presentation.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:35 AM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'll see your linkbait and raise you this excellent presentation on the first 8,000 days of the web.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:38 AM on May 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


But will we still have those lolcats I've been hearing so much about lately?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:56 AM on May 2, 2012


Blazecock Pileon: "A lot of apps are just web service clients, anyway, and WORA seems to have such an obvious cost benefit that there must be a reason that HTML/JavaScript has failed here for the presentation layer."
Unlike an app, html can't easily harvest your phone book, facebook account, GPS coords and other assorted data.
posted by brokkr at 11:03 AM on May 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


Unlike an app, html can't easily harvest your phone book, facebook account, GPS coords and other assorted data.

Well, except for all those web-based rootkit jailbreak tools, sure.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:12 AM on May 2, 2012


Are companies like Google, Amazon, and Yahoo! obsolete? They’re still growing. They still have enormous audiences. They also have very talented managers.

Ugh. Like the talent of their managers makes a company.
posted by bumpkin at 11:15 AM on May 2, 2012


Well, except for all those web-based rootkit jailbreak tools, sure.

Are those web-based jailbreak tools cross-browser?
posted by XMLicious at 11:17 AM on May 2, 2012


The Web is Dead. Long Live Push.


(I soo wish I kept that particular Wired issue.)
posted by MartinWisse at 11:21 AM on May 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


Ugh. Like the talent of their managers makes a company.

Good management isn't going to make up for a bad product or a shitty sales team, but haphazard/misguided management is a death knell.
posted by griphus at 11:21 AM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I soo wish I kept that particular Wired issue.

LONG BOOM!
posted by Artw at 11:22 AM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


.
posted by ericb at 11:29 AM on May 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Looks like this is a two parter and Forbes put up a counterpoint article: Put away your black funeral suit, Eric Jackson – Google and Facebook are going to outlast both of us!
posted by Artw at 11:32 AM on May 2, 2012


web 2.0 brought us all into the shining light of giant best-of-the-web .gifs on professional white backgrounds.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 11:32 AM on May 2, 2012


Web 2012++ Turbo (Enterprise Edition) with Service Pack 2
posted by blue_beetle at 11:49 AM on May 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


griphus: "This guy thinks that Amazon doesn't exploit user behavior data.

That's a pretty dumb thing to write.


...unless you're writing in the magazine equally informed by Gordon Gekko and Lex Luthor.
"

I think you're giving the folks at Forbes too much credit. But my own opinion might be informed by the fact I would subscribe the fuck out of the magazine written by Gordon Gekko and Lex Luthor, and I find myself thinking we'd actually be better off if corporate America were the super villains of the comics. At least they have an ethos. And super large brains.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:52 AM on May 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


He misses the point entirely. What is happening is that the internet (not "the web" which is just one of the pieces) is becomming ubiquitous. Think of how far we've come. For the most part we don't "connect to the internet" anymore. It's just there. Your smartphone is always connected, places without WiFi coverage are rare for most of us. The intersection of the cell phone with the computer has served to speed up the process. Some of your "apps" are web based, some are not, it doesnt matter anymore.
posted by cmdnc0 at 11:52 AM on May 2, 2012


> I hear the Web devs are thinking of moving to a rapid release model, so we'll be seeing a new major
> version number every six weeks from June.

Version numbers? Here's how it's done:
Solaris ver#     Release date

  2.4            November 1994
  2.5            November 1995
  2.6            July 1997
  7              November 1998
  8              February 2000
  9              May 28, 2002
mozilla.org: WE HEAR AND OBEY
posted by jfuller at 12:00 PM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


> My guess is HTML5+CSS+JS

Nobody cares about HTML5+CSS+JS but the people who write HTML5+CSS+JS.

It's funny how these people think their klunky platform is better than the alternatives. It is forced on us developers by network effects the same way Apple, Google, and Microsoft is forced on us. The difference is, occasionally, those three impress me. Sometimes they even make my job easier, though that matters little to non-programmers.

The best the "web" platform has ever accomplished is surprising me with what decade old software has been ported to Javascript. It is impressive the way people performing difficult stunts is impressive. It wouldn't be notable if pain wasn't the barrier to entry.

End users don't care. They play games on Facebook because it would be more work to play them elsewhere. Some of them are smart enough to recognize that the browser is a sandbox, and that stupid little games are a vector for malware. Some enjoy the safety of having everything automatically saved on network servers. Some like never having to install applications to their many machines.

None of these are advantages that are denied to native software. Code signing, centralized app stores, and the "cloud" have solved security and logistics problems which the web, no, the internet had inadvertently made obvious.

But the real problem is the one the web has forgotten, the one for which HTML was invented and that XML was snake oil to cure forever - that of data interchange. Because in the end, the code doesn't matter, it is only presentation, after all. And all code is reducible to the same primitive operations.

Information is what people care about. And it seems all we do know is figure out ways to give control of information to the powerful, and insulate people from the ability to own and manipulate it themselves. The cloud is useless if it can be arbitrarily taken away.
posted by 0xdeadc0de at 12:08 PM on May 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wait 'til you get a load of Web 6.0, ArtW.

I believe they're planning on dropping version numbers (and definite articles) and just calling it 'New Web'.
posted by reynir at 12:10 PM on May 2, 2012


/EXPLODES
posted by Artw at 12:12 PM on May 2, 2012


Nu Web
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:14 PM on May 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Seriously, all the HTML5/HTML nomlecature bollocks is bad enough...
posted by Artw at 12:18 PM on May 2, 2012


Web Double Plus Good
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:19 PM on May 2, 2012


Wbr
posted by griphus at 12:20 PM on May 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Well. Guess I won't be needing this computer anymore. Which plug goes to th
posted by Splunge at 12:27 PM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Meet the thin clients, all becoming as fat as yesterdays fat clients...
posted by Artw at 12:29 PM on May 2, 2012


Are those web-based jailbreak tools cross-browser?

The technique of rooting various computers through the web is one that has been accomplished using various browsers, yes.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:32 PM on May 2, 2012


This is the part I've been thinking about a lot lately:

...first to social, now to mobile, and next to whatever else...

Well, I think it's obvious. Next, after mobile, is wearable, right? No more hand-held devices, but your hat/glasses/jacket/jockstrap will be "Smart"

Then will be implantable.

Quite possibly after implantable, will be injectible.

Then maybe ingestible and finally, the ultimate triumph of the internet - snortable.



If we're lucky, SkyNet and/or the Matrix will do us in first.
posted by mmrtnt at 12:33 PM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seriously, though, is this the financial-people equivalent of an Omni article about how we're all going to be wearing silver jumpsuits in our moon-pods?

No, because Omni Magazine was at least fun to read.

Blazecock Pileon: Android is fragmenting to hell, you mean (source).
////
>Unlike an app, html can't easily harvest your phone book, facebook account, GPS coords and other assorted data.
Well, except for all those web-based rootkit jailbreak tools, sure.


(oh brother)
posted by JHarris at 12:38 PM on May 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


The technique of rooting various computers through the web is one that has been accomplished using various browsers, yes.

There are several jailbreak tools for iOS that don't require a browser. Absinthe is the one that works on current A5 machines that haven't updated to 5.1. What is more iPhone Explorer still works to let you look at your iOS device's filesystem without jailbreaking. Technically that program has access to all your data too so OMG STELZ UR DATAS!
posted by JHarris at 12:42 PM on May 2, 2012


The best the "web" platform has ever accomplished is surprising me with what decade old software has been ported to Javascript. It is impressive the way people performing difficult stunts is impressive. It wouldn't be notable if pain wasn't the barrier to entry.

End users don't care.


End users don't care, and making HTML/CSS/JS apps behave like native apps is hard, always has been.

Makes one wonder why this whole intarweb thing won out over *real* networked software platforms like Java and XWindows or something. Probably dumb luck -- certainly couldn't have been any inherent advantages, if most of what I read from very very smart developers these days is any guide -- and with any luck, this whole document/browser fad will fade away soon and we can get back to writing apps like it's 1993 but with smaller computers.
posted by weston at 12:45 PM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


The technique of rooting various computers through the web is one that has been accomplished using various browsers, yes.

Well I must say that if you're including things like the vulnerabilities of IE5 with ActiveX controls in your analogy about how iOS apps are equivalent to general web browsing security-wise, that seems quite appropriate.
posted by XMLicious at 12:46 PM on May 2, 2012


Android is fragmenting to hell, you mean

I think it's fair to say the mobile market in general has legacy issues. The iOS data isn't qualitatively different (twotribes.com, based on games played).
posted by bonehead at 12:57 PM on May 2, 2012


iOS apps are equivalent to general web browsing security-wise

There are plenty of bugs to go around outside iOS, but I wouldn't say the web and non-web approaches are equivalent, mainly because the vectors and what you get access to are often different. So it's a bit weird to claim that developers are moving to dedicated frameworks because that's where the security holes are. It doesn't reflect all of the security vulnerabilities in Android, etc. in any case.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:15 PM on May 2, 2012


Blazecock Pileon: "The technique of rooting various computers through the web is one that has been accomplished using various browsers, yes."
Yes, fabulous. The difference between a rootkit and an app with access to your address book is that the latter is legal, which sometimes matters to corporations. (Sometimes. Right, Sony?)
posted by brokkr at 1:15 PM on May 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


The last time I checked, the web works because it isn't versioned; it is the epitome of continuous development. And it will develop (continuously, natch) into something that doesn't look like it does now.

when do I get my check for writing this fine piece of wisdom down?
posted by davejay at 2:08 PM on May 2, 2012


The difference between iOS and Android fragmentation is on Android, nearly everyone is still using the operating system that is effectively a generation behind. It's good enough, so the OEMs have little motivation to update.

iOS got "good enough" on the third generation hardware and iOS 4.x, but you see most people on 5.x because those devices can handle it and Apple is keen on pushing updates.

But don't say that iOS isn't fragmented. I wish everyone stuck on a 4.x device would just break them already and get new ones.
posted by 0xdeadc0de at 2:33 PM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


A dystopian future where Facebook and Google are owned by Justin Timberlake sounds pretty great, actually. I for one welcome the sexy that our new overlord is bringing back.
posted by running order squabble fest at 2:54 PM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


No one has ever really explained why it's a given that mobile apps are going to overtake the browser (either on a laptop or tablet). Cellphones still have crappy battery life. You can't replace the amount of TV the average American watched in the '90s with a cellphone, because it doesn't even have the battery life.

Instagram was only a "Success" in the sense it got zuckerburg paranoid enough to buy it out. There's no reason to think they'd be a billion dollar company if they actually had to start generating, say, $71 million a year in profit - which would give it a billion dollar valuation if it had apple's price to earnings's ratio.
posted by delmoi at 3:44 PM on May 2, 2012


I think in 1995 most of us were thinking, "Wow this web thing is cool. I wish I could take it with me wherever I go." Maybe I missed it, but one thing that seems woefully lacking from the article is the role of wireless technology. Without the underlying mobile infrastructure and technology, Facebook would about as much fun as Hunt the Wumpus on a TI-99/4A.

Which, by no accident, brings me to my tin-hat theory that Facebook was actually created by Bell Labs in 1974.
posted by punkfloyd at 4:26 PM on May 2, 2012


Here's Why Google and Facebook Forbes Might Completely Disappear in the Next 5 Years.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:47 PM on May 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


And this *still* seems applicable.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:51 PM on May 2, 2012


Like as happened with gopher before it (remember that?), the web won't die until something better than the web comes along. It solves a number of problems that, before it came along, we didn't even know we had.
posted by JHarris at 4:55 PM on May 2, 2012


Shhhhhh! You're insulting the legacy Win95 computers.
posted by Splunge at 7:21 PM on May 2, 2012


(I soo wish I kept that particular Wired issue.)

Pray, motherfuckers!

posted by Halloween Jack at 8:12 PM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Er, didn't they end up doing quite alot of the stuff in that article? Like "Port the OS to the Intel platform", "Continue your research in voice recognition", and "Give Steve Jobs as much authority as he wants in new product development"? Unless that's your point.

Actually, that article seems like a great strategy for future-proofing: make so many educated guesses that at least a few of them turn out to be right.
posted by XMLicious at 9:04 PM on May 2, 2012


Pray, motherfuckers!

Fascinating how prescient that article turned out to be:

5. Straighten out the naming convention
7. Don't disappear from the retail chains.
11. Instead of trying to protect your multicolored ass all the time, try looking forward.
14. Do something creative with the design of the box and separate yourselves from the pack.
15. Dump (or outsource) the Newton, eMate, digital cameras, and scanners.
16. Take better care of your customers.
19. Get rid of the cables. Go wireless.
20. Tap the move toward push media...
25. Portables, portables, portables. Pick the best-of-breed Wintel in each of the portable categories and then better it.
29. Work closely with Hewlett-Packard, Casio, or someone who understands power management. When was the last time anyone got more than 60 minutes out of a PowerBook battery?
31. Build a PDA for less than $250
34. Port the OS to the Intel platform
39. Build a laptop that weighs 2 pounds.
44. Continue your research in voice recognition.
50. Give Steve Jobs as much authority as he wants in new product development.
62. Build a computer that doesn't crash.
70. Simplify your PC product line.
95. Fight back. Stand up for yourself...
97. Have Pixar make 3001, A Space Odyssey, with HAL replaced by a Mac.


Well, Wall-E was close.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:05 PM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Without the underlying mobile infrastructure and technology, Facebook would about as much fun as Hunt the Wumpus on a TI-99/4A.

So awesome rose-tinted childhood memories fun then?

TI-99/4A 4 life!
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 4:26 AM on May 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


0xdeadc0de: "But the real problem is the one the web has forgotten, the one for which HTML was invented and that XML was snake oil to cure forever - that of data interchange. Because in the end, the code doesn't matter, it is only presentation, after all. And all code is reducible to the same primitive operations."

XML has its uses, but JSON is pretty clearly the (raw) data interchange format that will be used moving forward. I honestly can't believe that anybody is even questioning this at this point.

The fact that it's unstructured scares a lot of developers and DBAs, but this actually seems to encourage developers to write better code that anticipates future schema changes. XML and SQL have forced a lot of bad habits on us, but we're finally beginning to realize that the relational model isn't a great way to describe a lot of data, and that complicated XML hierarchies are a pain in the arse to parse.

Now, on the other hand, I need to have a word with all those folks who still fetch raw HTML over AJAX. That ain't right.
posted by schmod at 7:27 AM on May 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Not to be all eponysterical but HTML and XML were created to mark up text, not as raw data interchange formats or to be the X in AJAX.
posted by XMLicious at 8:36 AM on May 3, 2012


Everyone went XML crazy in the 2000s and used it a bunch of places where it probably did not belong Now JSON is pretty much my preference for anything I'd have to deal with programatically, but that isn't document mark up, which is where XML makes sense. Hell, why not go back to SGML?
posted by Artw at 8:43 AM on May 3, 2012


Yeah, it definitely got overused; it's only of particular benefit for code or raw files that are going to be machine-read if they're also going to be read by humans. (But even that, of course, is using it beyond the scope of a markup language.)
posted by XMLicious at 9:31 AM on May 3, 2012


TBH I find JSON easier to read by far for most purposes.
posted by Artw at 9:38 AM on May 3, 2012


(Though of course that's assuming data interchange, and not mark-up. There is no JSON equivalent of XHTML.)
posted by Artw at 9:47 AM on May 3, 2012


Huh. In my experience any remotely complex JSON requires lots of whitespace and indenting to be readable, like wiki markup does. But much of it is how well-thought-out beforehand it is anyways, and what you're used to.
posted by XMLicious at 10:06 AM on May 3, 2012


That's why JSONLint is your freind!

(It does other stuff too)
posted by Artw at 10:38 AM on May 3, 2012


Well, yeah, if you use a special tool to view and display it, anything is going to be easier to read. But part of the idea with XML was plain text and tool-agnosticness so you could use any text editor to work with it, even if you've climbed down into the guts of some wonky proprietary system that provides its own tools not meant for dealing with XML and cares nothing about presenting it in a remotely readable manner.

Not that JSON is at all bad, in fact it's wonderful and miles better than something like tab-delimited files, but it's not meant for the same context or purposes.
posted by XMLicious at 11:03 AM on May 3, 2012


Well, TBH, it's not like digging through XML that's been all munged together is any fun either, and there's generally more of it.
posted by Artw at 12:37 PM on May 3, 2012


For sure, I think we can agree that once you're at a point where it matters, you aren't having fun, and both XML and JSON are much better than the way things were usually done before.
posted by XMLicious at 1:00 PM on May 3, 2012


XMLicious: Actually, that article seems like a great strategy for future-proofing: make so many educated guesses that at least a few of them turn out to be right.

You can't bring a claymore to an archery competition. Both you and BP skipped over the very first one:

1. Admit it. You're out of the hardware game.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:20 PM on May 3, 2012


I'm still not sure whether you're saying that article was inaccurate or accurate. In any case it seems much more archery-ish than the anecdote you responded to originally about a Wired article foretelling the age of "push technology."

The text following that #1 note is
Outsource your hardware production, or scrap it entirely, to compete more directly with Microsoft without the liability of manufacturing boxes.
...and outsourcing is what they did, and now the iPhones and stuff that make up most of their revenue are made at places like Foxconn. (I would expect that laptop and desktop manufacturing is outsourced to China or SEA too, maybe BP knows.)
posted by XMLicious at 3:00 PM on May 3, 2012


Yeah, that's not really what they mean. They mean just make the OS and let someone else handle the boxes. They did actually try that for a bit, Jobs put an end to it. Weirdly all this was before the Pray cover.
posted by Artw at 3:13 PM on May 3, 2012


Yes, I'm familiar with Macintosh clones, but that's not the usual meaning of the word "outsource" - to have a separate company build its own product and sell it bundled with yours. IBM PC clones weren't referred to as "outsourced" to my recollection.

That article does appear to have been from the "Pray" cover issue according to this which links to it.
posted by XMLicious at 3:26 PM on May 3, 2012


Not really sure why they'd pick "manufacture your goods in the exact same way everyone else manufactures their good, including probably Apple circa 1997" as number one item.
posted by Artw at 3:29 PM on May 3, 2012


If they weren't doing it and everyone else was, that would be a pretty good reason. Here in 1998 they felt it necessary to deny that they had plans to outsource the production of iMacs, a few months before the story I linked to above saying that they'd started moving production from their own plant in Ireland to LG Electronics in Korea. Back then, in the wake of NAFTA, it did have potential consequences for a company's image and Apple has always been quite image-conscious, to their benefit.
posted by XMLicious at 4:19 PM on May 3, 2012


Still really doubting that;s how the writer believes they would "compete more directly with Microsoft without the liability of manufacturing boxes. ", especially as 2 is "License the Apple name/technology to appliance manufacturers and build GUIs".

Number 3 is in some ways even better - "Start pampering independent software vendors."
posted by Artw at 4:50 PM on May 3, 2012


Number 36 is "Clone the Powerbook", so they didn't have any problem talking about clones when that was what was meant.

It's not just the Wired writers, I'm noticing, supposedly they "surveyed a cross section of hardcore Mac fans" to come up with the list.
posted by XMLicious at 5:23 PM on May 3, 2012


Yeah, the first guy there seems like a bit of a defeatist. Surprised he doesn't advise them to hide in a hole and hope nobody notices them.
posted by Artw at 5:46 PM on May 3, 2012


I think in 1995 most of us were thinking, "Wow this web thing is cool. I wish I could take it with me wherever I go." Maybe I missed it, but one thing that seems woefully lacking from the article is the role of wireless technology. Without the underlying mobile infrastructure and technology, Facebook would about as much fun as Hunt the Wumpus on a TI-99/4A.
Facebook isn't fun at all.
posted by delmoi at 8:16 PM on May 3, 2012 [1 favorite]




But the real problem is the one the web has forgotten, the one for which HTML was invented and that XML was snake oil to cure forever - that of data interchange. Because in the end, the code doesn't matter, it is only presentation, after all. And all code is reducible to the same primitive operations."
This is a pretty bizarre statement. HTML was not invented to "interchange data", unless you mean data produced and consumed by actual people. HTML was designed to format readable text.
iOS apps are equivalent to general web browsing security-wise
Only if every website you visit were capable of uploading all the photos on your computer.
posted by delmoi at 9:19 PM on May 3, 2012


Not really sure why they'd pick "manufacture your goods in the exact same way everyone else manufactures their good, including probably Apple circa 1997" as number one item.
Apple wasn't outsourcing it's assembly before Jobs came back.
posted by delmoi at 9:21 PM on May 3, 2012


HTML was not invented to "interchange data", unless you mean data produced and consumed by actual people. HTML was designed to format readable text.

Formatting for display/reading is arguably the most popular use, but both HTML and its parent SGML (and GML before) were designed to structure text rather than specifically to format for display -- which is to say that they have indeed had something of a data management/processing/exchange flavor going back before the unix time type.

If what TBL had mainly wanted was a good visual formatting language, he'd probably have done better to pick Postscript or LaTex or maybe even troff, though it's an interesting question of whether a web based on those things would have been as likely to become world wide.
posted by weston at 10:47 AM on May 5, 2012


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