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Showing posts from August, 2003

Telirati Newsletter #7

Of my old newsletters, this one is still almost fully relevant today. Telephone user interfaces are as awful today as the first horrid attempts at GUIs for placing phone calls. Even the extra features on mobile phones don't integrate well with the fundamentals of dialing a call. Progress? It can be summed up in one phrase: on-hook dialing.

Address books, calendars, call logs, and messaging are as un-integrated as ever, in both the widely used mobile user interfaces and in the finally-becoming-mainstream desktop IP telephony interfaces. Smartphone UI, with a completely flexible touchscreen interface never delivered progess, either.

What does this tell us? For now, it means that, even with 400 million handsets delivered each year, nobody is putting a serious effort into fundamentally improving the way existing mobile phone features integrate with one another. It means that SMS and MMS are no closer to integrating with voicemail than they were in 1997. It means that there isn't e…

Telirati Newsletter #6

In this sixth newsletter, I can claim a reasonably prescient view of COM as being insufficient for competing against Internet standards. Surprisingly, .NET is not really pulling people into a Microsoft/Internet world, either. .NET really does deliver a suite of technologies for making the Internet an active network of connected software, rather than a very large hypertext web.

But .NET has not set the world afire. Perhaps it took too long. Perhaps it has too few widely used applications with high value. Whatever the case, nobody is saying "Wow, .NET changed the Internet."

Perhaps there really is nothing Microsoft can do to retain a position as utterly vital in the software ecology.

Newsletter #6: Diversity vs. compatibility

Some people think I'm a Young Turk. But compared with the engineers I hired at my last start-up, I'm a geezer. A running gag we had was that "When I was young I walked three miles through the snow to toggle in the boot load code on the front …

Telirati Newsletter #5

In this, my fifth newsletter, I take aim at a fat target: The New PC. In this case it was the "Simply Interactive PC." Remember the "Simply Interactive PC?" Nah, didn't think so. But it did suck a lot of mind-share and ink in it's day. Many lessons for today, as well...

Telirati Newsletter #5: Playing chess

I can swing a golf club. I don't know how to play golf. Just because you know the rules of chess, does not mean you can play chess. Newsletter #4 was about visualizing, and how you can use visualization to understand the distance between the present and the desired future. This newsletter is about playing chess, and a different kind of vision - chess vision.

Chess vision means you can see what will happen. You can see moves ahead. You can imagine not only a sequence of moves, but also how the board looks when those moves are made, so you know the outcome and can play for the best outcome. To be an adequate chess player, you need to see four moves ahe…