Last year we saw many major issues emerge in the technology sector. In 2012 we saw Facebook launch its IPO and surpass one billion users for the first time; Apple became the most valuable public company of all time and launched its iPad mini and iPhone 5.
Microsoft launched Windows 8 and its tablet Surface; the internet went black in protest controversial proposed US online anti-privacy laws, known as Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa); and Google’s operating system for phone, Android, continued its dominance helped with the launch of the Galaxy S3 by Samsung.
All these technological advances have also played a pivotal role in how we transact and engage in commerce. As we come to close to another year, it’s worth pondering some of the big issues in the technology/commerce space for 2013. Here are some of my predictions:
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Every day people all over the globe use computers and their networks to help run their lives - to do business, develop new skills or gain an education, and increasingly to socialise. It’s hard to imagine life without these modern marvels.
Computers are involved in every aspect of modern human endeavour. They ensure our lives are more organised, informed and more efficient. They have made humans and their economies more productive.
The best evidence of this is the fact that we continue to invest in them. We regularly upgrade our smartphone, download new apps, and businesses are constantly using computer based software to deliver a better product or service, faster and at a cheaper cost.
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Here’s what I’m willing to be believe: a person can actually spend far too much time on the internet. That almost without knowing it we can grow accustomed to the sound of our smartphone going “ping” and scrolling through our Facebook and Twitter feeds before we even get out of bed in the morning.
That being on the Internet can makes us feel intelligent, in the loop and connected to our friends, family, colleagues and peers because we know instantly what everyone is talking about. And yet, by contrast, the Internet can make others feel so anxious that they must commit to periods of being completely offline for their own wellbeing.
Here’s what I’m not willing to believe: that the Internet creates mental illness or is responsible for a whole heap of people going mad.
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American comedian Jerry Seinfeld once joked that he wanted to be his own answering machine so as to avoid the inconvenience of being interrupted. If he ran into an acquaintance when he wasn’t in a mood to chat, he wished he could respond: “Excuse me, I’m not in right now. If you would just leave a message, I could walk away.”
Many of us have probably felt like that at one time or another, for it’s a problem to which our busy lives and multiple modes of communication give rise. How much easier would it be if we could sometimes just simply disconnect?
Facebook provides a perfect opportunity to do just that. While it’s an easy, all-access platform that allows us to post photos and status updates, keep in touch with people, and dip in and out of the stream of human consciousness at will, it also allows us to keep people at a digital arm’s distance.
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KRudd gives marriage equality folk hope, but odds still against it passing on June 6. http://t.co/QmQffMkSvH
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