A decade ago, I designed and built large-scale web applications for companies all over the world. Using the cloud and mobile technologies available today, I would've built it faster, better, and less expensively -- and quite, quite differently. Here's how the world has changed in the last decade.
Walter Cronkite shows the home office of the future -- in 1967
Here's a funny video making the rounds: back in 1967, CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite gave viewers a predictive tour of the home office of 2001.
The hardware looks ridiculous -- four monitors and no smartphones? -- but he got a few things right. A lot of us start our day by looking at news headlines from all around the world -- isn't that what Twitter is for? -- although there probably aren't many folks who still print stories out to keep as permanent copies. He also predicted online weather reports, stock quotes, and videoconferencing.
He was a little off on the closed-circuit TV connection to other rooms in the house, though. Nowadays, you're much more likely to send your family a text from your smartphone to ask them what's for dinner.
The summary, however, is absolutely spot-on: "With equipment like this, in the home of the future, we may not have to go to work. The work would come to us."
We are entering unchartered territory when it comes to surveillance because of information broadcast from our smartphones even when they're off. Right now, it's the NSA collecting this data, but as computing power gets ever cheaper, it could be your local police or even the store you just entered.
It turns out that most IT departments no longer want to buy, install, and run software on their own servers, and the ancillary benefits of the cloud -- like easier mobile access for workforces that combine full-time employees and contractors -- seal the deal.
Adding to a string of announcements aimed at making its service more appealing to businesses, Dropbox this morning said that Dell will start selling the service to its customers.
The battle over which platform delivers the best location and context services to mobile users is already underway with Google in the lead, but Apple's purchase of mapping startups and social analytics firm Topsy, combined with its Bluetooth-based iBeacons could give Apple a strong chance.
Box is experiencing some good times these days with new features, new funding and a high profile CEO, but Box has to be careful as it grows to say true to its root and not fall into the trap becoming just another enterprise software company.