Three articles appeared over the past couple days indicate some important trends in online use and activity. First, after many years of promise broadband access if finally taking off with 42 percent growth last year.
Second, as more people spend more of their time online with their broadband connections, they tend to offer more of themselves such as photos, videos and other data intensive content. People are no longer just downloading content, but uploading content for others to download.
But people are also using their broadband in yet more interesting ways. Online gaming continues to change in unexpected ways.. People creating virtual worlds in which to live virtual lives. There is no Abu Grhraib prison in these virtual worlds.
At the same time all this heavy living is being moved to the Internet, the network is also expanding in other directions. Between wireless connections via laptops, mobile phones and PDAs and hooking up all kinds of devices and sources, the move to the network is relentless. We will soon be living in an Always On data mesh. As writer Dana Blankenhorn says, “In an Always-On network data can come from anywhere – from your heart, from your soil, from your refrigerator, from the very air. (Wouldn’t you like to measure the level of pollution in your house and then buy just-enough scrubbing to control it?) It can be processed anywhere it’s convenient. You can interface with it where and how it’s best for you – from a touchscreen or using your voice.”
We will eventtually be living in an all encompassing, always on data mesh. The questions are, how soon will this eventuality arrive and will we be able to maintain any sense of privacy in such a world?