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Developer's View: Real Life Inspirations Or Abstract Ideas? 144

Posted by timothy
from the why-in-my-day-no-electrons-at-all dept.
StormDriver writes "According to writer Marc Prensky, most of us come from a generation of digital immigrants. It basically means the modern web developed during our lifetime, it is a place we migrated to, discovering its potential. But people aged 20 and younger are not like that at all. They are digital natives, they've spent their whole lives here. 'Hey, let's do a digital version of our college facebook' is a digital immigrant's idea, just like 'Hey, let's make something like a classifieds section of a newspaper, only this one will be online.' Or 'Hey, let's make an online auction housel.' 'Hey, let's make a place for online video rentals.' The thing is, recreating items, ideas and interactions from the physical realm on the Web already ran its course." To me, this sounds like the gripe that "Everything that can be invented, has been invented." There are a lot of real-life services and experiences that have yet to be replicated, matched, or improved upon in the online realm; I wouldn't want people to stop taking inspiration from "old fashioned" goods as starting points for digital products.
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Developer's View: Real Life Inspirations Or Abstract Ideas?

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  • by fyngyrz (762201) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @02:58PM (#39139311) Homepage Journal

    ...that the low-hanging fruit has been picked.

    Personally, I'm looking forward to the next real game changers. Some that might qualify would be real AI and robots, ultracaps capable of replacing batteries, political landscape shifts such as the adoption of the idea that the communications infrastructure is as important as, and for the same reasons, as the transport infrastructure with associated rights of passage and removal from commercial interests, just as private toll roads are almost unknown today, a space elevator or other means of inexpensive space travel, a confluence of insulation, local power generation, and storage to free the "average" home and vehicle from the power grid and oil interests, real 3d display technology... web innovations are rarely, at least recently, of a great deal of interest to me. Maybe it's just me, though.

  • by someWebGeek (2566673) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @03:08PM (#39139421) Journal
    From the article: "It’s time to embrace digital natives and give them something cool, that doesn’t try to imitate existing concepts." Maybe. There's still a huge, wealthy immigrant population that has lots more dough than the natives. Before I set about catering to either group, I need a business model. "Something cool" may be part of it - I won't ignore native sensibilities about "coolness." Something saleable will be a larger part, whether conceptually imitative or not.
  • by CastrTroy (595695) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @03:47PM (#39139859) Homepage

    HTTPS was never as good as SHTTP

    A real problem is that I have to send my credit card credentials to a website in order to buy something. The real fix would be for me to be able to buy something off a website without sending them my credentials. Instead, I'd only have to communicate to my credit card provider that I authorized the site to charge a certain amount to my credit card, and have the money transferred, without the site knowing the information on my card. The same could be done for recurring payments. Authorize the merchant to charge a certain amount against my card every month, without them actually having to know my credit card information. This is kind of like paypal, but without the middle man.

  • by Phoenix666 (184391) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @04:21PM (#39140197)

    I agree that "digital native" and other terms are contrived and fluid. Rather than argue the definition of terms invented by marketing droids, let's ask the better question of what the next step from the Information Age is.

    Ideas precede action, so in that sense there is no limit to the evolution of how we organize and present information. But no matter how ornate our ideas, the physical world is. Ideas influence the material world, to be sure, but put a bullet in your head and no idea in the world will save you.

    So it's worth asking if the skills we have gained organizing and processing information on the level of ideas will help us master the physical world better. Can we make our homes, goods, and surroundings reflect the order we have imposed on abstractions housed within 1's and 0's?

    I believe they can, and the blood/brain barrier, as it were, is being breached on at least two fronts: 3D printing/additive manufacturing, and bioengineering. If we can materialize CAD drawings and DNA sequences directly, our physical world may come to echo virtual reality more quickly than any of us can now possibly imagine.

    The digital natives [sic] will likely look at the physical world and wonder why it does not reflect the virtual one, rather than the digital immigrants [sic] who look at the virtual world and wonder why it does not reflect the physical one. They will probably expand upon the Internet of Things, 3D printing, bioengineering, and do it at the pace they've become used to on the Internet rather than in the pre-Internet material world. Their frustrations, and therefore their actions, will be driven by the physical world's inability to live up to the expectations acquired in their virtual worlds.

    For better or worse, I expect that we are sliding down the event horizon of permanent dis-equilibrium until we reach the singularity.

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]

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