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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

January 2, 2007 at 2:18 PM

Predictions freedback, all the way from Iraq

The best response so far to Monday’s 2007 predictions column came from Dennis Monahan, a lieutenant commander serving in Iraq.

He had a great suggestion for applying location technology to wikis:

As I was reading your article for the Seattle Times on 01 Jan it dawned on me that it would be neat to see if the blog market ties into the “location” services piece that you mentioned in your article in some way. For example, if a “wikipedia-like service” were suddenly “attached” to blog subject matter experts (SMEs) that were geographically and/or topic oriented. Instead of just finding the closest “pizza” joint in your local area, you could find your favorite critic’s choice (or a selected choice that shares links with your

favorite) and any past reviews (for a single example — I could come up with more fairly easily). Recommendations could also be received from “identified network friends”, etc. Wireless collaboration on a whole new level? I guess it could also embed some advertising . . . anyway, I would think that is probably what the technology needs to be capable of in the near future.

Find that guy a job in the tech industry after he’s done with the Navy.

Other readers took me to task for suggesting that Vista will do well and the iPod’s dominance will begin to fade.

But I was most surprised to hear from a few readers who thought I was encouraging music piracy, by saying that people could share music stored on flash memory cards.

Here’s how I responded to one who questioned whether the music industry will block the Flash-based music players I mentioned:

I didn’t mean to advocate stealing.

The technology I wrote about is already widely available; the only difference is that the capacities are increasing. You can put anything you want onto a flash card inserted in a PC then put the card into another device or PC. That’s how most people transfer photos from cameras to computers.

The recording industry can’t block this. That’s why it’s working with Microsoft and others on copy protection technologies that embed into digital music and limit how many times it can be copied.

Meanwhile, consumers have been letting friends sample their music collections for decades — first with cassettes, then with CDs and more recently with software, including a bunch of products available now that make iTunes more flexible.

Hopefully people will use the technology responsibly and people will continue buying music.

Comments | More in | Topics: Miscellaneous

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