Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Phones and Radios

Dan Bricklin notices that, where you used to see lots of people walking around with radios and CD players, now you see people with cellphones. "The preoccupation of business models with broad-based one-to-many ignores the realities of our lives."

Notice how many of Apple's summer initiatives mesh with Bricklin's point. iTunes and Rendezvous, if I understand them, offer a way to keep playing sharing music with your friends while Hollywood bashes its head against Napster and its kin. The new iPod talks to them, and also remembers your contacts. The address book lets lots of programs know your friends. iCal lets you share calendars. iSync talks to your cell phone. And, if they're going to make a case for .mac, it's gotta be for sharing files. So it's all about sharing, many to many, routing around the obstacles.

One of those obstacles is going to be Ashcroft's "Operation Tips", a plan to recruit mail carriers, meter readers, and plumbers to snoop on "suspicious" behavior they happen to see while in your home. The Boston Globe calls this a vile idea.