Friday, December 31, 2004
I've seen the future of some computing applications - And I don't like it.
What is it with advertising, spam, Trojans and virii?
Advertising and SPAM are somewhat related, as someone is paying to send these emails to millions of people. Who is paying for such services?
I filter the SPAM email I get, however, once in a while I take a look at the content of some messages and the advertising companies are sometimes legitimate enterprises. I'm getting fed up - I have 13,000+ SPAM messages (Since I started filtering - Around 1 year ago) vs. 1,300+ legit messages spanning 4 years of emails.
I'm quite sure that if someone were able to invent something to stop SPAM altogether, this person would become famous. Perhaps, not rich (or richer than Bill Gates), as advertising has been a part of our modern civilization and whether we like it or not, we are consumers after all, and we must be targeted by someone selling something. I just wish they didn't use SPAM.
I remember a SPAM free internet (around 1992 and before) where there were only a few connected and the flow of information and ideas ran wild. Once the "internets" were popularized, even my dog got an identity and most importantly an email address. I'm realistic, though, and accept the popularization of the internet as a necessary evil. It was necessary in order to generate money from it and make it a mature business - Of what, we don't quite know yet - But, a business it is. I'm sure such popularization has paid my bills since the beginning of my professional career
Now, back to computing applications - Microsoft is willing to bet a big chunk of their cash reserves that the future of computing applications will be leased application. For example, you will be able to "rent" Microsoft Word to write a paper, over the Internet, from anywhere in the world and you'll probably pay on a per character basis. If you want to use the spell checker, you'll be charged an extra quarter of a dollar. I think it makes sense. Why own a computer (and thus, a licensed copy of Word) when every coffee shop and restaurant will have a cheap "internet" appliance at their patron's disposal. The architecture behind such system is going to be somewhat complex and they will have extremely interesting problems to solve - I'm glad I'll get to work on some of those systems.
But, what about the applications that are not made by Microsoft? I.e. No cash reserves to sustain the development and enhancement of such applications.
We'll be back to the go-go 90s once more and we'll have application that will be sustained by advertising - I'm cool with a web site offering advertising in the form of a banner ad, as my brain has learnt to ignore them quite well, thank you very much. But what about an application that flashes advertising while you are reading something? You probably wouldn't like it so much, however, this application is filling a gap and hence we must put up with their advertising.
I think it's cleaver to put the add where it is, however, I don't have to like it. And because I'm not willing to buy a reader, I will have to put up with it. After all, I am saying that this paradigm (I hate that word) will be the future of computing applications. Perhaps, they have seen the future as well: make money through advertising, or make the user buy a licensed copy of the software with no ads.
Have to say I've enjoyed the past few entries a bit more than all that rambling about the Mona Lisa hehe..
Hope all is going well in your CS courses. :)