Why is there a trend toward "convergence" for consumer goods that work just fine the way they are? Some company (I forget who, ok!) recently announced a java-enabled web-browser/refrigerator! Who needs the aggravation of rebooting the icemaker? Is there some overwhelming need to run HTML on everything? It seems these visionaries probably use Linux or Solaris, and so can’t fathom the problems they’ll encounter on their Windows CE-based information appliances. BTW, does it seem just too perfect that Microsoft’s latest OS can be abbreviated as Wince?
Another example of convergence gone awry, that I found in my news today…
SNAP TO OFFER NEAR-TV-QUALITY AUDIO AND VIDEO OVER NET
Snap, the Internet service of NBC and C/Net, will make use of new phone and cable technologies to offer subscribers high-speed delivery of near-TV-quality audio and video over the Internet. The company’s chief executive says, "One reason the Web took off is because people made it easier to find print-based information. We’ll make it easier to find audio and video." Code-named "Cyclone," the new service will also be offered in customized versions by Bell Atlantic, SBC and GTE. (USA Today 19 Jan 99)
Now, can’t we already get ACTUAL-TV-Quality without any kind of download delays, on something I like to call the multimedia appliance of the last generation? I think we all have at least one. And, to archive this high-quality audio and video, we have several media, including a cheap tape-streaming device I’ll refer to as the VCR… I really don’t get it. Does somebody want to get crappy audio and video on a 17-inch or smaller screen, when they can watch on a couch their 30-inch screen with better quality etc.? If I haven’t made my point, check this out: http://www.theonion.com/onion3308/realtimetv.html