There is a trend and a lot talk about Digital Distraction Disorder (on the web of course), and a lot of people saying things like:

  • “I don’t want technology…”
  • “I don’t like technology… “
  • “Sometimes I just want to be disconnected and have no technology”

I am all for disconnecting from our always on, always connected lifestyle, and be filled with other senses than what get’s streamed over an Internet connection. And I do think this lifestyle creates unhealthy situations for some people. I do think there are real problems in our inability to manage the opportunities presented in a meaningful and healthy way.

However, I am quite  tired of the discussion that our “technology” is the root of these problems. This is really about culture and lifestyle, and not about technology. The technology is what you make of it.

And almost everything around us is technology, it’s technology that puts a roof over our head, food on the table, the paper books that we read (yes Gutenberg’s printing press was technology as well), the piano, the violin and even our cloths on our bodies are technology. With-out any tech we would be living in caves (and no we wouldn’t have fire or anything to hunt with…

What have happened in the past 10 to 20 years is that we now a technology so vastly more powerful, with so much potential that we don’t really (yet) know how to deal with it.

I think the discussion should be about how we harness and use the opportunities presented by all this new technology better (and better means healthy, life quality improving ways), not how we cut down on using technology. That is a western’s romantic dreams of a simpler lifestyle, that unfortunately in reality either means you need to be really rich or decent to poverty and a lower quality of life. Many don’t realize that the biggest gain in quality of life and health comes from technology and the resulting increase in efficiency in our society. Look at how technology in 100 years radically transformed agriculture (in the western world) from requiring 50% or more of the population to be producers to less than 3% to produce the food needed for the whole population.

So I think you should think about this:

  • Having time to do all the things we enjoy, and not work 7 days a week, 12+ hours a day to survive, thank technology.
  • If you are healthy and you are growing old or our parents are, thank technology.
  • If you are sitting in a nice comfy chair reading a great book, with a fire place burning, thank technology.
  • If you have time to read my rambling blog, thank technology 😉

I think the solution to our “problems with technology” or rather our lifestyle of today, is more technology, and with that I mean technology that makes using all this technology easier and more efficient.

And as an entrepreneur, I encourage anyone seeing the problems, to flip the coin to see the opportunity, be an entrepreneur and create something that makes our use of technology more efficient and improve our quality of life!

Share your thoughts!

And please share how you organize your life/lifestyle to make efficient use of technology to improve quality of life, do you have method to not become stressed by an always on World? How do you manage that constant flow of e-mails? Or other things to react to?

This is just so fun, check it out!

Thanks Erik for sending the link!

Can you spot the PC?These numbers are old; but they indicate that Apple was growing more rapidly in the begining of the year, and if looking at this picture it’s no wonder.

The question is can you spot the PC in the picture?

Still happy with my switch to Mac OS X, it’s working really well for me. The only hazzle has been moving my e-mails from Outlook, which I in the end decided not to do (in theory you can import into Thunderbird on Windows, and then import the Thunderbird files on the Mac Mail, but it will never import all of your e-mails, due some differences in how Thunderbird stores the files).

I think that Leopard will be a nice step forward as well, so will be interesting when that comes out, with some updated features.

Been quite busy working on the latest startup projects, most notably GlocalReach that is doing a funding round right now, and have not had too much time for blogging. Will do better to keep blogging a bit more!

So finally after many years with Windows, and lately with Windows Vista, I decided to switch my main work machine to a Mac. I already have a Mac Mini, but that’s just for fun, and I use it more as a PVR than anything else and I still do most of my actual work my Thinkpad Notebook.

I am not getting a Mac because they make better laptops than Lenovo, they don’t. They make good laptops, but Lenovo Thinkpads still are better laptops in terms of performance, durability, battery time etc and more suited for my needs. Windows Vista however is not suited for my needs, so that is my primary reason for switching to Mac.

Also I hope that Steve Jobs statements about “nobody is using Java anymore” was a mistake; with a few billion devices (many of them are mobile phones) that support Java, a lot more people use Java than Macs… Besides personally it’s a must, even though I don’t normally do any development work; I need to test things that comes from the development (which a lot of it is Java based server applications) in the various startups I work with and some of the most common productivity applications that I use everyday are written in Java, so when choosing Mac; Java support is a must for me.

So now that I got my new MacBook Pro yesterday, and started installing all the stuff I work with (including VMWare Fusion, to use my Windows artifacts during the transition), all in all I am happy with the 15.4″ 2.4GHz MacBook Pro that I bought, it is really fast, and even Windows XP inside VMWare Fusion boots in a matter of seconds (Windows Vista on my old Thinkpad, although the fastest available when I got it, 2GB RAM, High-speed disk, 2.0GHz Laptop takes almost a minute).

My first impression and thoughts about the machine (and ideas for improvement):

  • Higher resolution display for the 15.4″, my 4.5 year old Thinkpad, has 1400×1050 on 14″ display, which is actually a quite good resolution, 1440×900 is a bit low, a higher DPI gives much crisper graphics and text (even new mobiles like the new Nokia Communicator has a higher DPI than 15.4″ MacBook Pro).
  • Optional Trackpoint, I think I will get used to the Mac Trackpad, it’s quite good for Trackpad, but it do not have the precision and ergonomics of a Trackpoint (the latter, quite a good aspect of, you do not need to move your hand going between typing and moving the mousepointer).
  • Disk encryption like the Thinkpads have.
  • Built-in WWAN (but don’t do it like Lenovo, thery were the first in the world to launch this in 2005, but the models were only sold with SIM-locked subscriptions, which means these models where not sold i most parts of Europe, due to hard do agreements with all different small Telco’s). There are many
  • Longer Battery life, although it is quite acceptable, the Thinkpad X series is quite unbeatable (7 – 9 hours of actual usage, not fictive hours).

Overall I am happy with my Switch to Mac, and I think that both the hardware and the new environment will serve me well for my work needs. But I am hoping that now that Apple have a momentum (Apple grows faster than PC) they will keep it up and get some of the features needed to make Mac a fully-featured Business laptop as well.

Read this today. The Semantic Web is finally starting to arrive, or at least finally a lot of people are working on tapping into the potential of the semantic web. I initiated a project in this area about 3 years ago, which has an interesting twist of how to use the Semantic Web. But I think there is still a long way to go, before the Semantic Web will mean anything useful for most people.

After my summer vacation I will try to elaborate a bit more on my ideas of the Semantic Web, and some ideas for new projects that that will accelerate the use of the Semantic Web.

Has been rumors about this since last week, but now it’s confirmed that Google bought GrandCentral, interesting with the fact that I am on the board of directors of GlocalReach. The ideas behind GlocalReach started 1,5 years ago, when I started thinking that what IP has done to others applications must mean that Voice over IP is about a lot more than just cheap calls. As with everything else when it’s carried over IP the rules start to change because the technology allows for completely new ways to build and offer services.
GlocalReach Ltd was founded at the beginning of this year when the right team was assembled and is now busy building a communication platform that will help you manage how people can reach you (using some advanced technology and concepts, but packaged as an easy-to-use service), during this fall I think we will see some interesting things coming out of GlocalReach, stay tuned!

Google speaks out about the the proposed wiretap legislation:

“Search engine giant Google has slammed Sweden’s proposed wiretapping legislation as illiberal and incompatible with Western democracy.”

More information here.

Fortunately the legislation was postponed, even though the former Swedish government’s major party (Social Democrates) are pro the wiretap proposal, the smaller parties in the parliament managed to post-pone the legislation of it for at least a year. Hopefully the opposition will gain some momentum by then. I wonder what RFA (Swedish NSA eq.) will use their new super computer for if the proposal is not passed to legislation.

I have been looking into getting a new laptop with a UMTS/HSDPA card built-in, and spoke with the Lenovo sales support today. Firstly they don’t know much about which cards go into which machines (so I won’t know which will work both in the US and Europe), secondly they do not give out unlock to make them work with-out Cingular or Verizon.
With the pricing of the machines (that is fine for the quality though), the provider do not even subsidize the machines, but still manage to create a lock-in, where Lenovo refuses to give out lock-codes.

So Lenovo basically sells Laptops to customer that pay for the hardware, get a locked WWAN card that they only can use with a certain provider.
The thing is there are lot’s of providers, outside of the US, and if you live there or just want to use your Thinkpad there you are out of luck, seems like either the Operators are going to put the laptop industry to a grinding halt for innovations (or their use) just as they have done for mobile phones.

Well, operators are just happy giving customers this experience, and Lenovo do not care to much about selling additional machines for European customers (or people roaming in Europe), they offer some options with Vodafone, but Vodafone is not even in all countries in Europe, and only offers the Thinkpad 3G locked-in solution in a few. So even though Lenovo was the first in the world to sell laptops with built-in 3G, in most countries in Europe it was first introduced from other manufacturers a year later. And still is not available in most European countries.

This is the pace of innovation in the world of GSM operators, so just as somebody said in their presentation on Von Spring Europe 2007 this week, “The biggest problem with GSM is the operators”.

From this years Von Europe 2007 in Stockholm it’s clear that the operators existing Business Models are dying, but they won’t go with-out a fight I think. The operators are so inclined to keep their revenue streams by moving into services areas, and charging for content or services, that they are more looking to reserve parts of the Internet for their own services, and thus creating “pockets of Internet”.

Part of the problem is regulation (either too much, or inappropriate), where existing Telecom operators are using the regulations to enforce their existing models, and the regulations are keeping new players at an noncompetitive position. For example some countries has legal requirements for a regulated operator to terminate International call in the country of origin (mostly due to requirements for military agencies to monitor traffic).
Another thing is IMS, that is based on being non-open for third-party services, is deployed to allow operators to apply traditional Telco business models to new services carried over IP, and keep control of services, end-to-end. The operators will close of any of competition’s services, if a cable/broad-band operator offers a pay-ed for Video service, they will block Joost, if they offer or own a paid for dating Community, they might block-out and so on, or why not steer their users to use their own Internet Search service (where they are generated ad-revenue) and block of Google.

Now you might think that, no one would be a customer of a Internet service that blocks of Google today, and they won’t be blocking Google, but they will be blocking any future Google’s, YouTube’s, MySpaces or other upcoming services just as the Mobile Operators has done.

IMS (IP Multimedia System), developed with-in 3GPP, is a service delivery platform supplied by companies such as Ericsson, Nokia etc (traditional Telco solution suppliers), to integrate Voice, Video between phones, mobiles and computers using IP. It has been created basically so that the operators can build n-Play services that they control and effectivly control which services you can use from your Internet connection, just as on your mobile, where an operator can close the built-in VoIP client of certain mobiles so that you can not use that over your WiFi connection at home or at a hotspot.

Some links:

Blogging live from Von Europe Spring 2007, just heard about Quad Play and I can’t help thinking that is just another way of for the operators to create a another grip and lock-in on their customers,
I think so, what is essential is

  1. Ubiquitous connectivity as Sheldon Renan (founder of Wibiki) spoke about with his concept of Netness.
  2. Open standards and less regulation.
  3. Lot’s of room for third party applications.

Simply put, we need less of the old telco-world of regulations, device lock-in, high-date rates, monstrous roaming charges, and is instead flat-rate IP-based connectivity at home, in mobiles and just about everywhere.

On that platform of a ubiquitous IP-infrastructure we can have triple-play, quad-play, penta-play or whatever, everything is just another service or application over IP, may it be Video, Voice etc. And we will see convergence between applications and new types of applications with Voice or Video applied.

This will create room for innovation, new types of services and application and true convergence. But also the lower barrier of entry works both ways, new services will have more competition and hard to create and maintain barriers of entry, so this create some new challenges to consider, most notably:

How to create business and make money in a world with-out scarcity?

Or perhaps with less scarcity, the ones that manage to-do this, will succeed in the long run. Or perhaps just find scarcity in other ways, such as having a better service, or a more innovative service etc.