We live in a graphical world, where people judge us by the fonts we use and the colour combinations on our web pages. Post-industrial culture demands that design is everything, with careful sculptured looks encasing the mass-produced gubbins that fill our homes and workplaces.
500 words into the future
Unapologetically opinionated views on technology, in the office and out
Simon Bisson is a freelance technology journalist. He specialises in architecture and enterprise IT. He ran one of the UK's first national ISPs and moved to writing around the time of the collapse of the first dotcom boom. He still writes code.
Mary Branscombe is a freelance tech journalist. Mary has been a technology writer for nearly two decades, covering everything from early versions of Windows and Office to the first smartphones, the arrival of the web and most things inbetween.
It's been an interesting few days here in our office, as I took the opportunity of the end-of-August lull to do some major network reconfiguration and upgrades.
I've been trying out Hotmail's new Exchange ActiveSync on multiple smartphones today and it occurs to me that I hate all of them.Windows Mobile 6.
Why do we give Facebook less hassle for proxy sharing in Place than we gave Google for Buzz?I was furious about Buzz on a personal level; it did the initial turn-itself-on thing on a Gmail account I don't want to have share anything with anyone and I had the emotional response to having the system interfere in my personal life.
Earlier this week I suggested that the name "smartphone" seriously underestimated the capabilities of today's pocket computers. The latest ARM-based mobile processors (especially thise with GPU support, like Nvidia's Tegra and Qualcomm's Snapdragon) have plenty of horse power to handle what just a few years back were complex computational problems.
Phones are dumb things. You lift them up, you talk to someone.
Turn on a brand new PC - like I did for my mother-in-law last weekend - and the first thing I do is close a popup from a security app. Then I close another popup from the same app.
You can't criticise Microsoft for not having a sense of humour. The latest set of demo web applications that have arrived with the release of Internet Explorer 9 Platform Preview 4 stress your browser while letting you de-stress with a good laugh.
The way that Windows Live lets you control your privacy online is a model other social networks and aggregators would do well to follow. You can easily make things private, shared with just close friends, open to friends of friends or public to the world and you don't feel like you'll have to write your own social network to do it.