Web 9.0 – what the internet of tomorrow should offer.

26 Jul

Before I start this update properly, I ought to tell you now that whilst this is clearly a flight of fancy, and in no way a prediction of how future technology will unfold, you can bet your bottom Euro that I will do everything in my limited power to make this future a reality.

The internet, as those of you who’ve used it for longer than a week will know, is an ever evolving medium. Back when it first took off, not as a mainstream concern but as a curiosity for computing enthusiasts and Scandinavian funk-masters, the web consisted purely of text characters, consisting of A-Z, 0-9, the usual punctuation marks and some odd characters, for instance ┳╠▒◔♻♣♜♚➋➼to name but a few. Although the web did initially allow for different colours to be used, along with fancy ASCII blocks, it was basically just a tarted up version of teletext. Nope, teletext was probably quicker. And definitely cheaper – remember dial-up induced phone bills? Ouch.

Luckily, from a tiny acorn a mighty oak will grow, and in this metaphor, the acorn is the text-based stodge I mentioned then. Around about 1994-ish, this basic form of content sharing was given a boost when the first popular browsers hit the market – namely IE3 and Netscape 3. Not only did they offer a nicer visual experience to the home computer user by offering more colours than before, images that could be embedded in a text article (y’know, like in a newspaper), but they also allowed for background music to be embedded. Y’know, I once visited a website that had a MIDI file of Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds” playing in the background, it made me so angry that I punched a hamster in its kidney. With the introduction of universal content platforms such as Java, Flash et. al. it soon became possible to play games on the internet, and some multi-player. I once got grannied on Yahoo! Pool , as a result I got quite angry and lobbed a grenade at a cat. Indeed, as the internet was getting more and more advanced, I seemed to be getting both angrier and more complicated in my animal abuse methods. We’ve now reached the stage where it’s common practise to have video clips on websites, and flash adverts that take over the whole screen, and you really don’t want to know what I do to horses whenever I see a flash advert. But what of the future? What’s left to be done? As the title cleverly suggests, this blog post is about what the internet should offer in the medium to long term. I am of no doubt that a lot of what I suggest will not be feasible, let alone possible, but should that stop any self-respecting scientist from trying? Should it balls.

The web should be more seamlessly integrated with mother nature
Long Term

Now, as far as this pundit (hello) is concerned, recent developments in making the internet more accessible are to be welcomed. We can now get the internet on mobile phones, we can get laptops that can be hidden under a folded up copy of the Metro, and one can get free Wi-Fi internet at the pub, supermarket, even on the bus. However, it is just a start, and with devices getting smarter, wi-fi getting stronger and more devices getting some sort of online connection, I would speculate that in the very long term, possibly about 100 years from now, the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the fields in which our grandchildren will gaily dance will all be online. Somehow. I’m not really sure on the specifics but I’m fairly sure water conducts electricity, and I know that you can transmit internet wirelessly, and the fields could be an internet of sorts… obviously the specifics need working on a bit, but I’m convinced that the basic premise is a goer. Besides, I saw an episode of the New Adventures of Superman where they done this. That, and above all else I really want a future where any act of gross stupidity or misfortune is instantly rewarded by an 80ft floating ghostly cat in the sky, playing a tune on a keyboard.

Get Paid To Surf

Short Medium Term

You will have to forgive me a bit of reminiscing here, but I remember a by-gone era when companies would pay you money for surfing the web. It was easy money, all you needed to do was spend literally hours and hours glued to a screen attached to a bit of wire that cost 4p a minute, and after a couple of months doing this you’d get a cheque through the post for about a fiver. More, they say, if you encouraged friends and family to sign up. Oh yeah, and you had to have a window with adverts open, or occasionally click on a link, or fill out a survey, or sell your soul. Thems were the days. Sadly, in the case of the ad-sponsored programs (such as All-Advantage), their demise was swift, presumably because they were paying more money to people using their software than they were receiving from advertisers.

Moreover, I believe that these business models failed simply because they required people to go out of their way to do something they wouldn’t otherwise do – filling out a survey takes time, and watching adverts is… a bit weird, truth be told. What if there was a way of obtaining revenue from folk who were doing what they do anyway?

Naturally, ones first reaction to a proposition like that would be a confused one. Surely, if you’re doing anything that involves using the fruits of someone else’s labour, you should be paying them, right? True enough. But what about when the fruits of your labour are used without remuneration? Comments left on websites, photos uploaded to social networks, etc. often have a financial value to them – why cant the authors/creators benefit from this? Fucking hell, I’ve gone all serious. It’s probably worth mentioning that I haven’t the foggiest how this would happen, and who on earth would be silly enough to pump money into a venture like this, but you never know – will@xcos.eu if you have more money than sense, yet more business acumen than I do…

Make it a bit more like telly:

NOW!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I propose that the interwebs best and worst features are that anyone can use it – in fact an old adage about monkeys, typewriters and infinity springs to mind. Because the internet is ultimately created entirely by its users, it means that all manner of things, both wild, wonderful and completely inane, can be found. Go on, try it. I’ll wager that out there in the world wild web are such diverse things as Tom Hingley from the Inspiral Carpets being eaten by the French, and Captain Beefheart playing cricket with a shoe, and possibly some obscenities too. The reason such things (probably) exist on the internet is because there is no filter; no censor who has the power to force idiots off the internet for posting cats that look a bit like Dale Winton. In many ways, I should be grateful there is no internet censor, as I’d most likely be one of the first to be banned. Possibly shot, I don’t know how lucky I’ll get. Anyway, my point is that the internet should be made more like telly – in that we should have a choice of a few pages to visit, and that’s it. lMum gets to watch a webpage a bit like The One Show, and for Dad, GardenersWorld.com. The kids should be forced into only being able to go on CBBC’s website, or possibly Habbo Hotel. Oh yeah, and while I’m at it, only one computer per household please. Squabbling over which website to look at can only strengthen the modern family, man. As an aside, I don’t want to be Draconian over this. I still would encourage freedom of discussion and debate on message boards, newsgroups etc. However, for the safety of the internet as a whole, I really do think that people who disagree with my point of view should be beaten up. Not hospitalised, or anything serious, just roughed up a little. Maybe a little kneecapping, who can say.

Anyway, that’s just my 2ps worth. For legal reasons I am required to let you all know that I don’t routinely get angry and cause animals harm, not do I espouse fascist views, nor do I condone violence towards people with differing views. Often. Until next time!

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