Mere hours after I posted last week’s Internet of Things cartoon, news broke that Google had acquired Nest, maker of truly nifty smart thermostats (and now smoke alarms). I’m now wondering how I ever lived without either of them.
At least, the techno-optimist side of my brain is. The techno-grump side (which is a much smaller, wizened little stump that dangles beside my amygdala like some kind of cerebral hemorrhoid) worries that connected devices and the Internet of Things are the first step in our inexorable conversion from customers to hostages.
That techno-grump was also deeply concerned that keying “r-o-b-o-p” into Google yields the autocomplete suggestion Robopocalypse, until Ryan Merkley intervened:
@RobCottingham What else would you type starting with "Robop"?
— Ryan Merkley (@ryanmerkley) January 19, 2014
His point is well-taken, although maybe I might have been Googling “robopoop”. It’s only a matter of time before that’s a thing. (Actually, at nearly 4,000 Google hits, I’d argue it already is.)
One last mild FWIW to my inner techno-grump: Google may have taken a little time to implement Do Not Track, but it’s been supported in Chrome for quite a while now.
Meanwhile: my predictive algorithms suggest that:
- If you liked this cartoon, you’ll love Joy of Tech’s from last week. And Tom Fishburne’s latest, which suggests a more benign vision of marketing synergy.
- If you’re wondering how all of this might go horribly wrong, check out CBC’s Nora Young interviewing Ars Technica’s Peter Bright on Spark (the smartest show on radio).
- If you’re looking at a broader overview, listen to CBC’s The Current from this morning.