AuthorTopic: THE RISE OF FACEBOOK AND ‘THE OPERATING SYSTEM OF OUR LIVES’  (Read 2233 times)

Offline Surly1

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Posted by Rebecca Solnit on Facebook:

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First, be in awe of Siva Vaidhyanathan's brain. Then be very afraid: "I would make an argument that if you look at five companies that don’t even seem to do the same thing – Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple and Amazon – they’re actually competing in a long game, and it has nothing to do with social media. It has nothing to do with your phone, nothing to do with your computer and nothing to do with the Internet as we know it.

"They’re all competing to earn our trust and manage the data flows that they think will soon run through every aspect of our lives – through our watches, through our eyeglasses, through our cars, through our refrigerators, our toasters and our thermostats. So you see companies – all five of these companies from Amazon to Google to Microsoft to Facebook to Apple – are all putting out products and services meant to establish ubiquitous data connections, whether it’s the Apple Watch or the Google self-driving car or whether it’s that weird obelisk that Amazon’s selling us [the Echo] that you can talk to or use to play music and things. These are all part of what I call the “operating system of our lives.”

"Facebook is interesting because it’s part of that race. Facebook, like those other companies, is trying to be the company that ultimately manages our lives, in every possible way.

" We’re accepting short-term convenience, a rather trivial reward, and deferring long-term harms. Those harms include a loss of autonomy, a loss of privacy and perhaps even a loss of dignity at some point. ... Right now, what I am concerned about is the notion that we’re all plugging into these data streams and deciding to allow other companies to manage our decisions."

Hell of an interesting article. Note the reference to the "filter bubble." "Facebook is in the business of giving you reasons to feel good about being on Facebook. Facebook’s incentives are designed to keep you engaged." We swim around in this while very few (Palloy, certainly, for one) consider the implications of this constant of being switched on and plugged in.

THE RISE OF FACEBOOK AND ‘THE OPERATING SYSTEM OF OUR LIVES’

-Katie McNally

Siva Vaidhyanathan, UVA’s Robertson Professor of Media Studies, is the director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Media and Citizenship.

Siva Vaidhyanathan, UVA’s Robertson Professor of Media Studies, is the director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Media and Citizenship. (Photo by Dan Addison)

 

Recent changes announced by social media giant Facebook have roiled the media community and raised questions about privacy. The company’s updates include a higher level of news feed priority for posts made by friends and family and testing for new end-to-end encryption software inside its messenger service.

As Facebook now boasts more than a billion users worldwide, both of these updates are likely to impact the way the world communicates. Prior to the company’s news-feed algorithm change, a 2016 study from the Pew Research Center found that approximately 44 percent of American adults regularly read news content through Facebook.

UVA Today sat down with Siva Vaidhyanathan, the director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Media and Citizenship and Robertson Professor of Media Studies, to discuss the impact of these changes and the evolving role of Facebook in the world. Naturally, the conversation first aired on Facebook Live.

Excerpts from the conversation and the full video are available below.

 

 

Q. What is the change to Facebook’s News Feed?

A. Facebook has announced a different emphasis within its news feed. Now of course, your news feed is much more than news. It’s all of those links and photos and videos that your friends are posting and all of the sites that you’re following. So that could be an interesting combination of your cousin, your coworker, the New York Times and Fox News all streaming through.

A couple of years ago, the folks that run Facebook recognized that Facebook was quickly becoming the leading news source for many millions of Americans, and considering that they have 1.6 billion users around the world, and it’s growing fast, there was a real concern that Facebook should take that responsibility seriously. So one of the things that Facebook did was cut a deal with a number of publishers to be able to load up their content directly from Facebook servers, rather than just link to an original content server. That provided more dependable loading, especially of video, but also faster loading, especially through mobile.

But in recent weeks, Facebook has sort of rolled back on that. They haven’t removed the partnership program that serves up all that content in a quick form, but they’ve made it very clear that their algorithms that generate your news feed will be weighted much more heavily to what your friends are linking to, liking and commenting on, and what you’ve told Facebook over the years you’re interested in.

This has a couple of ramifications. One, it sort of downgrades the project of bringing legitimate news into the forefront by default, but it also makes sure that we are more likely to be rewarded with materials that we’ve already expressed an interest in. We’re much more likely to see material from publications and our friends we reward with links and likes. We’re much more likely to see material linked by friends with whom we have had comment conversations.

This can generate something that we call a “filter bubble.” A gentlemen named Eli Pariser wrote a book called “The Filter Bubble.” It came out in 2011, and the problem he identified has only gotten worse since it came out. Facebook is a prime example of that because Facebook is in the business of giving you reasons to feel good about being on Facebook. Facebook’s incentives are designed to keep you engaged.

Q. How will this change the experience for publishers?

A. The change or the announcement of the change came about because a number of former Facebook employees told stories about how Facebook had guided their decisions to privilege certain things in news feeds that seemed to diminish the content and arguments of conservative media.

Well, Facebook didn’t want that reputation, obviously. Facebook would rather not be mixed up or labeled as a champion of liberal causes over conservative causes in the U.S. That means that Facebook is still going to privilege certain producers of media – those producers of media that have signed contracts with Facebook. The Guardian is one, the New York Times is another. There are dozens of others. Those are still going to be privileged in Facebook’s algorithm, and among the news sources you encounter, you’re more likely to see those news sources than those that have not engaged in a explicit contract with Facebook. So Facebook is making editorial decisions based on their self-interest more than anything, and not necessarily on any sort of political ideology.

Q. You wrote “The Googlization of Everything” in 2011. Since then, have we progressed to the “Facebookization” of everything?

A. I wouldn’t say that it’s the Facebookization of everything – and that’s pretty clumsy anyway. I would make an argument that if you look at five companies that don’t even seem to do the same thing – Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple and Amazon – they’re actually competing in a long game, and it has nothing to do with social media. It has nothing to do with your phone, nothing to do with your computer and nothing to do with the Internet as we know it.

They’re all competing to earn our trust and manage the data flows that they think will soon run through every aspect of our lives – through our watches, through our eyeglasses, through our cars, through our refrigerators, our toasters and our thermostats. So you see companies – all five of these companies from Amazon to Google to Microsoft to Facebook to Apple – are all putting out products and services meant to establish ubiquitous data connections, whether it’s the Apple Watch or the Google self-driving car or whether it’s that weird obelisk that Amazon’s selling us [the Echo] that you can talk to or use to play music and things. These are all part of what I call the “operating system of our lives.”

Facebook is interesting because it’s part of that race. Facebook, like those other companies, is trying to be the company that ultimately manages our lives, in every possible way.

We often hear a phrase called the “Internet of things.” I think that’s a misnomer because what we’re talking about, first of all, is not like the Internet at all. It’s going to be a closed system, not an open system. Secondly, it’s not about things. It’s actually about our bodies. The reason that watches and glasses and cars are important is that they lie on and carry human bodies. What we’re really seeing is the full embeddedness of human bodies and human motion in these data streams and the full connectivity of these data streams to the human body.

So the fact that Facebook is constantly tracking your location, is constantly encouraging you to be in conversation with your friends through it – at every bus stop and subway stop, at every traffic light, even though you’re not supposed to – is a sign that they are doing their best to plug you in constantly. That phenomenon, and it’s not just about Facebook alone, is something that’s really interesting.

Q. What are the implications of that for society?

A. The implications of the emergence of an operating system of our lives are pretty severe. First of all, consider that we will consistently be outsourcing decision-making like “Turn left or turn right?,” “What kind of orange juice to buy?” and “What kind of washing detergent to buy?” All of these decisions will be guided by, if not determined by, contracts that these data companies will be signing with consumer companies.

… We’re accepting short-term convenience, a rather trivial reward, and deferring long-term harms. Those harms include a loss of autonomy, a loss of privacy and perhaps even a loss of dignity at some point. ... Right now, what I am concerned about is the notion that we’re all plugging into these data streams and deciding to allow other companies to manage our decisions. We’re letting Facebook manage what we get to see and which friends we get to interact with.

 

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline K-Dog

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Re: THE RISE OF FACEBOOK AND ‘THE OPERATING SYSTEM OF OUR LIVES’
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2016, 07:52:15 PM »
With news filtered by algorithms that serve up and manipulate content based only on what your friends would find of interest the world is certainly dummied down.  Is Facebook a harbinger of the future?  After Facebook finishes destroying news in their quest to manage (own) your life perhaps they will then tackle how history is presented.  With predictable results.


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/GOg5WZrGTAg" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/GOg5WZrGTAg</a>

Behold the Future

I finally embedded a video link!   :wav:

Quote
In the year 3535
 Ain't gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lie
 Everything you think, do and say
 Is in the pill you took today
- Zager and Evans

Zager and Evans were late by about 1515 years.  But if the true rate of our decline and fall were to be accurately chronicled in music a resulting tune would only be a few notes long.  Hardly worth writing or listening to.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/izQB2-Kmiic" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/izQB2-Kmiic</a>

Nobody on Facebook believes we are on the eve of destruction.  It is not a popular notion there or anywhere else.  The Facebook algorithmic data massage of content will filter out any such negativity and human nature will do the rest.  Be happy till you can't for that is the only choice technology has left us.  We are all dogs who have been neutered now.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2016, 08:03:32 PM by K-Dog »
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Re: THE RISE OF FACEBOOK AND ‘THE OPERATING SYSTEM OF OUR LIVES’
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2016, 08:07:05 PM »
Quote
Note the reference to the "filter bubble." ... We swim around in this while very few (Palloy, certainly, for one) consider the implications of this constant of being switched on and plugged in.

You may be interested to know that this very DD page has 9 active trackers on it:
m.addthis.com
s7.addthis.com
apis.google.com
www.google.com
rc.revolvermaps.com
platform.twitter.com
www.youtube.com
googleads.g.doubleclick.net
static.doubleclick.net

and 4 possible trackers:
m.addthisedge.com
code.jquery.com
s.ytimg.com
www.doomsteaddiner.org

and 4 buttons that could track you whether you click on them or not:
twitter.com
plus.google.com (twice)
facebook.com

So unless you install a browser plugin, like Privacy Badger from Electronic Frontiers Foundation, to block those trackers, your activities on the web are going out in all directions, being synthesised into profiles of you, and sold off to anyone who thinks it is valuable.  This is the "payment" DD makes to Facebook/Google/others for the privilege of providing cool stuff like embedded videos and Like buttons.  You have to tell Privacy Badger if you want to continue those "free" services, otherwise they won't work.

Meanwhile visiting DoomsteadDiner.net means visiting ASO's hosting service, which in turn means visiting the cloud owned by amazon.computingaws.com and network monitoring by akamai.technologies.com , who are all building up their own big data on your IP address.

And if you don't access DD by https://, then every internet node between you, your ISP and California, (17 nodes for me), can see what you are doing in clear text.

Sleep well - we trust them, don't we?
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Offline bin xeko

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Re: THE RISE OF FACEBOOK AND ‘THE OPERATING SYSTEM OF OUR LIVES’
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2016, 01:13:49 AM »
So you see companies – all five of these companies from Amazon to Google to Microsoft to Facebook to Apple – are all putting out products and services meant to establish ubiquitous data connections

Offline Surly1

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Re: THE RISE OF FACEBOOK AND ‘THE OPERATING SYSTEM OF OUR LIVES’
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2016, 02:39:34 AM »
So you see companies – all five of these companies from Amazon to Google to Microsoft to Facebook to Apple – are all putting out products and services meant to establish ubiquitous data connections

All competing for the "high ground" of whose data ecosystem will you buy into? Much like now with smart phones, only more inescapable.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline JRM

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Re: THE RISE OF FACEBOOK AND ‘THE OPERATING SYSTEM OF OUR LIVES’
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2016, 09:11:38 AM »
And if you don't access DD by https://, then every internet node between you, your ISP and California, (17 nodes for me), can see what you are doing in clear text.

Sleep well - we trust them, don't we?

I looked at DD in its https version. It looked really weird. To say the least -- and a pale version of its former glory.

My biggest concern with computers connected to the internet is malware (especially destructive viruses and gadgets which could allow malicious attackers to ruin my non-profit organization's websites..., a topic I don't know nearly enough about (nor can I hire somebody to help with this on our limited budget. Nor do I have time to learn it)!  I can type, but my computer skills barely extend beyond that. And I don't want to spend the hundreds of hours to learn the techno language and concepts which will allow me to avoid the malicious folks.

I don't do financial transactions through any computer which has ever been out on the web, generally.  Soon we will have a special computer just for such transactions, not (never) for web brousing generally. 
« Last Edit: August 05, 2016, 09:15:19 AM by JRM »
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

Offline Palloy

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Re: THE RISE OF FACEBOOK AND ‘THE OPERATING SYSTEM OF OUR LIVES’
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2016, 02:34:57 PM »
Quote
I looked at DD in its https version. It looked really weird.

It shouldn't look any different - the encryption happens at the Transport Layer.  The Application Layer is exactly the same.

Could you describe "really weird", or send screenshots of http:// and https:// ?
The State is a body of armed men

Offline JRM

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Re: THE RISE OF FACEBOOK AND ‘THE OPERATING SYSTEM OF OUR LIVES’
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2016, 03:13:06 PM »
Could you describe "really weird", or send screenshots of http:// and https:// ?

I've never captured a "screen shot".  Maybe I'll learn how. But first would you check it out for yourself at https://doomsteaddiner.net/forum/

It's the Forum, in particular, I was referring to. It looks wildly different in numerous ways when I open it in my browser (Chrome).
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

Offline jdwheeler42

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Re: THE RISE OF FACEBOOK AND ‘THE OPERATING SYSTEM OF OUR LIVES’
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2016, 03:49:55 PM »
Could you describe "really weird", or send screenshots of http:// and https:// ?

I've never captured a "screen shot".  Maybe I'll learn how. But first would you check it out for yourself at https://doomsteaddiner.net/forum/

It's the Forum, in particular, I was referring to. It looks wildly different in numerous ways when I open it in my browser (Chrome).
I followed the link, and saw something similar.  Then I noticed I wasn't logged in under https: -- after I logged in, it looked identical to the http: version.
Making pigs fly is easy... that is, of course, after you have built the catapult....

Offline JRM

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Re: THE RISE OF FACEBOOK AND ‘THE OPERATING SYSTEM OF OUR LIVES’
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2016, 05:06:38 PM »
I followed the link, and saw something similar.  Then I noticed I wasn't logged in under https: -- after I logged in, it looked identical to the http: version.

Ah, that must be it. Chrome memorized my password and login, so I was always automatically logged in upon arrival. But that may not be happening with the https address.  I'll know if and when I ever try to long in with https.

I only have so much "play time".  Sigh.
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

Offline Palloy

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Re: THE RISE OF FACEBOOK AND ‘THE OPERATING SYSTEM OF OUR LIVES’
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2016, 06:07:15 PM »
It shouldn't make any difference, as logging in and displaying pages happens at the Application Layer (what your browser is told to display by the web server).  https:// and http:// differ in the Transport Layer, which is a wrapper around the Application Layer, and affects whether the Application data gets encrypted at DD's web server end, and decrypted by the browser at your end.  It doesn't affect what the Application data is (or it shouldn't, so I want to investigate further).

Screenshots in Windows are done with an application called Snipping Tool, which is one of the Windows Accessories.
So Start > All Apps > Windows Accessories > Snipping Tool >   brings up the app.
While you've got it on your Taskbar, right click the Taskbar Button and select Pin To Taskbar, so it is always available with one click.
Then choose New, drag the crosshairs across the area you want to keep, click the Save icon, fill in a descriptive name like "with-http.png".
Do it again for "with-https.png".

To send the files to DD, on the Post Reply page, click on "Attachments and other options" below the Reply box, click on Browse, select the 2 files, click Post.
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Offline JRM

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Re: THE RISE OF FACEBOOK AND ‘THE OPERATING SYSTEM OF OUR LIVES’
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2016, 06:20:38 PM »
It shouldn't make any difference, as logging in and displaying pages happens at the Application Layer (what your browser is told to display by the web server).  https:// and http:// differ in the Transport Layer, which is a wrapper around the Application Layer, and affects whether the Application data gets encrypted at DD's web server end, and decrypted by the browser at your end.  It doesn't affect what the Application data is (or it shouldn't, so I want to investigate further).

Screenshots in Windows are done with an application called Snipping Tool, which is one of the Windows Accessories.
So Start > All Apps > Windows Accessories > Snipping Tool >   brings up the app.
While you've got it on your Taskbar, right click the Taskbar Button and select Pin To Taskbar, so it is always available with one click.
Then choose New, drag the crosshairs across the area you want to keep, click the Save icon, fill in a descriptive name like "with-http.png".
Do it again for "with-https.png".

To send the files to DD, on the Post Reply page, click on "Attachments and other options" below the Reply box, click on Browse, select the 2 files, click Post.

This is, no doubt, a simple procedure. But for me it's a little less simple than it would be for most anyone else posting here regularly.  So I'll let someone else stand up and do it.  If no one else is having the display problem I was having in https, then my little problem is all my own... and I can look into other things instead.   -- like "What's going on with Russia TV and America's left-leaning political voices?"  Hmmm? :icon_scratch:
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

Offline JRM

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Re: THE RISE OF FACEBOOK AND ‘THE OPERATING SYSTEM OF OUR LIVES’
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2016, 06:25:22 PM »
" ... at the Application Layer (what your browser is told to display by the web server).  https:// and http:// differ in the Transport Layer, which is a wrapper around the Application Layer, and affects whether the Application data gets encrypted ..."

The first "layer" mentioned seems easy enough to comprehend, I suppose. For me, in my gargantuan ignorance of computer and internet technology, the addition of an "Application Layer" (more mysterious) begins to boggle my mind.

I'm good at complex systems in which I know the lingo and concepts.  If I ain't got that (and I don't with computers) it simply makes my head hurt.
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

Offline Surly1

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Android vs. iOS: It’s all about the ecosystem now
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2016, 06:13:33 AM »
Android vs. iOS: It’s all about the ecosystem now

  August 3, 2016

8 PICTURES

Android vs iOS – is it a choice any more?

Android vs iOS – is it a choice any more?. View gallery (8 images)

Since the very first Android phone showed up in 2008, a year after the iPhone made its grand entrance, Google and Apple have been locked in a battle for mobile market share. In 2016 though, the choice is less about Android vs. iOS and more about everything that goes along with it, from emails and cloud services to desktop OSes and even VR.

In the nine years since Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone, iOS and Android have become more and more alike, both borrowing features from each other so most of the essential elements – notifications, app permissions, sharing, web browsing – all work in a similar way.

That's not to say there aren't differences between them, particularly visually, and Android remains a lot more customizable with launchers, widgets and default app settings. It's just that your choice of phone isn't quite as clearly defined along these Android vs. iOS lines as it would've been five years ago.

Now it's a question about what's beyond these mobile operating systems, and how heavily invested you are in the respective ecosystems. The era of Android vs. iOS is drawing to a close, so what comes next?

Beyond Android and iOS

iTunes movies, currently unavailable on Android

Consider everything that plugs into the apps on your phone, and everything that's in the background: music and movies from iTunes, for instance, or messaging services like Hangouts. Google Drive works seamlessly on Android, with iCloud gaining ground on iOS.

You've got messages, contacts, emails and more on your smartphone, but also synced back to the web and to do the desktop. Nothing on your mobile device happens in isolation any more, except perhaps those games you waste a few minutes on every lunchtime.

The question of Android vs. iOS has to a large extent become the question of everything Apple against everything Google, and there's barely any ground where they aren't directly competing, from mapping services to smart home protocols.

Confusing the issue is the fact that Google and Apple take very different approaches to their rival mobile platform. Access to Google's ecosystem – Gmail, Drive, Maps, Hangouts, Play Music, YouTube – is almost as straightforward on iOS as it is on Android. Some of the iPhone's best apps are made by Google.

Gmail is available on both Android and iOS, like most of Google's apps

That's one of the few major differences remaining between Android and iOS: Apple's apps are tied to and updated at the same time as the mobile OS, whereas Google's aren't.

Apple may now officially be an Android developer (thanks to Apple Music) but don't hold your breath waiting for iTunes movies or an official Apple Mail app to arrive for your Android handset.

At every successive WWDC Apple makes it easier to work across laptops, desktops, tablets and phones, provided they're all made by Apple. At the same time it makes it harder and harder to get out of the Apple ecosystem once you're in it. Just how Apple likes it.

For another example of this shift from mobile devices (and the software they run) to platforms in a broader sense you need only look to Microsoft. Under CEO Satya Nadella's watch the company has ditched much of its Windows Phone masterplan and concentrated instead on making its core apps, from Office to Cortana, available anywhere.

Microsoft has now adopted the approach Google has taken all along, the approach which Apple up to this point has refused to follow. How that plays out in the years ahead will determine the fortunes of these three major players, but don't discount the smaller and nimbler companies working between the lines.

Google Now vs. Siri vs. Cortana

Siri is now one of Apple's main focuses

The only features with any real momentum on mobile OSes at the moment are the digital assistants: Google Now for Android, Siri for iOS, and Cortana as Microsoft's offering. It's no coincidence that as the line between Android and iOS blurs, Siri is making its way to the desktop and Apple TV – Apple knows how important it's likely to become.

Google too emphasized its progress in machine learning and artificial intelligence at its most recent developer conference. In a nod to the Amazon Echo it launched asmart home speaker of its own, complete with Google Now-esque capabilities.

Whatever comes after the smartphone (and the decreasingly useful Android vs. iOS divide), these digital, intelligent assistants are set to lead the way. As we've mentioned, Cortana is also cropping up on more and more devices, from iPhones to Xbox Ones.

Like Siri, Google Now's influence continues to grow

And while all of these apps can tell you what the weather's going to be like tomorrow, they also rely heavily on what they know about you: the hotel booking confirmations in your inbox, the places you visited yesterday, the documents and photos you have stored in the cloud.

That brings us back to the running theme of ecosystems, because Google Now can't alert you about an upcoming flight if the booking message is in your Apple email account. Nor can Siri tell you about travel times to work if that information is stored in Google Maps. It doesn't matter if you're on Android or iOS, it matters where you're information is.

And if you've still got a choice about that, you're probably in the minority.

All of which makes Google's approach look smarter than Apple's, despite the many millions of dollars Apple is making every year on hardware. In some ways both companies win: Google gets more users on its services, Apple continues to sell record-breaking numbers of iPhones.

The hub for next-gen toys

Adding to the customer lock-in factor are recent smartwatches like the Apple Watch(iPhone only), the Samsung Gear S2 (Android only) and various Android Wear watches (which work on both Android and iOS, but lose a few features on the iPhone). And while it's still just getting off the ground, VR is about the buzziest thing around right now, and Samsung's Oculus-powered Gear VR requires a Samsung Galaxy, while Google's upcoming Daydream VR headsets are Android only for now.

Apple has yet to announce any VR plans of its own, but we'd be shocked if it weren't working on something that isn't ready for a public announcement. When Apple does reveal something in VR, it's a safe bet that it will require an iPhone, accentuating the existing lock-in from the Apple Watch and services.

What we see is the modern smartphone becoming less of a standalone device, and more of a hub for not just services, but also this futuristic hardware. Much like the PC and iTunes before it were the necessary hub for the early iPods and iPhones.

The ecosystem future and user choice

The Samsung Galaxy S7, one of the best Android phones around

Unless you're employed in a management role at Apple or Google, you don't have to worry about whether having Gmail available on iOS hurts Android phone sales or whether Apple Maps should launch on Android. For us humble users, the only real question is which ecosystem to pick.

This far down the road, though, it's highly likely you've already signed up for one team or the other.

The more flexible choice is undoubtedly Google. You can be a Gmail user and switch painlessly from an iPhone to a Samsung Galaxy to a Windows tablet to a web browser without even breaking sweat.

Try and do the same if you're a long-time Apple Mail user and it's not quite as straightforward, even if Apple's online offerings are improving. Think contacts, calendars, photos and files too, and it's pretty much the same story across the board.

Apps and ecosystems now mean more than mobile platforms 

Not everyone cares about cross-platform compatibility, though, and there are certainly reasons to pick Apple's ecosystem over Google's. Your data isn't mined and marketed to the same extent, and if you're already comfortable with Apple software on iOS and macOS then sticking to Apple's services as well is an obvious choice.

Google and Microsoft are happy to have you using their apps and services no matter what your device. Apple, meanwhile, wants you on both its hardware and its software at the same time.

For the majority, it's probably just a case of sticking to what they already know or what they've already signed up for for the past several years, whether that's iMessage or Google Now or Outlook.

It's going to be interesting to see how the balance among Apple, Google, Microsoft and others plays out in the years ahead now that the focus has shifted from mobile platforms to apps and ecosystems – but you can certainly expect to hear less and less about Android vs. iOS from hereon in.

Indeed for anyone under 20 the more relevant argument is WhatsApp vs. Facebook Messenger vs. Instagram vs. Snapchat – and Apple and Google would be wise to take note of the shift.

 

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Palloy

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Re: THE RISE OF FACEBOOK AND ‘THE OPERATING SYSTEM OF OUR LIVES’
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2016, 06:02:27 PM »
Hopefully the answer to the question of "Whose OS should I choose - Apple, Google or Microsoft?" will be "none of these".  Google's Android is most like Linux, but has its own code for some parts.  One of these prevents the user from gaining access to "root privileges" at all, which means you can't wipe Android off it and use something else.  Ha, gotcha.

The main problem with all of these OSes is the rate at which they change, and the shabby amount of testing the new versions get before they are issued.  One year after the introduction of Microsft's Windows 10, we get the Anniversary Update (think of it like Win-10.1).  OK fine, upgrade now - "you don't have enough spare disc space for the download".  How much do I need? - 3.2 GB !!  (That's the size of the complete OS).  Some more research shows that the upgrade only adds a few pathetic new features, that I can see I don't want, and that lots of people who have tried upgrading have found that it bricks the computer, either partially or totally.  Apple's iOS 9.3 came in in April 2016 and already they are on to 9.3.5 .  Google's Android is in an even worse state, with every Android phone probably seriously infected with rootkits, and you don't have "root privileges" to eliminate them (see above).  What's more Samsung's Android gets the updates from Google and only then can it test them for Samsung bugs and issue its own updates for those.

We need one OS maker who is NOT a commercial company after your data.  Linux is the only solution, but you can see why it won't happen.

The State is a body of armed men

 

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