-Context 1.4 Computer Connections: The Internet Revolution 1.6 History of the Future 8.2 Wireless Network Technology

From Desktop PC to Mobile Connectivity

Not long ago “computer literacy” meant being able to use office applications on PCs. For a growing number of people around the world, smart phones and tablets are far more important than desktop—or even laptop—PCs. This article from The Economist illustrates the growing importance of mobile gadgets using clear prose and several illuminating graphs.

-Context 1.0 Creating Communities on the Living Web 13.0 Jeff Bezos Takes Amazon into the Cloud 2.0 Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, and the the Garage that Grew Apples 7.0 The Google Guys Search for Tomorrow

The Battle of the Digital Giants

Our digital planet is being transformed every day by new ideas and inventions. In this fascinating Fast Company article, Farhad Manjoo describes how Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon are battling for the future of the innovation economy. If you want to better understand how the “Fab Four” will change your life over the next few years, this feature-length essay is well worth reading.
In this NPR Fresh Air interview, Terry Gross talks to the article’s author, Farhad Manjoo.

-Inventing the Future 11.3 Automation, Globalization, and Outsourcing 15.5 Question-Answering Machines 15.6 The Robot Revolution

Skilled labor joins the Race Against the Machine

Here’s a quote from the first edition of Digital Planet (then called Computer Currents), written almost two decades ago:

“It seems likely that, at some time in the future, machines will be able to do most of the jobs people do today. We may face a future of jobless growth–a time when productivity increases, not because of the work people do but because of the work of machines. If productivity isn’t tied to employment, we’ll have to ask some hard questions about our political, economic, and social system…”

Back then, this prediction seemed farfetched to most people. This NPR story about the Race Against the Machine conference suggests it’s not farfetched anymore.