They say that the news is the first draft of history. If that’s the case, when historians take a look back at April of April 8th – 14th, 2013, they will see a week of major events linking technology to how we operate as a society. To give you a sense of some of this week’s major news stories, here is rdigitaLIFE’s first weekly news roundup.
Are we nearing the end of the personal computer?
After Goldman Sachs recently downgraded its Microsoft share recommendations and global shipments of PCs show a steady decline since the beginning of the year, are we headed towards a world without personal computers? Our take on it is that this debate is that it’s not so much about technology but rather the way that we are learning to interact with information, and the expectations we have of our devices.
According to rdigitaLIFE host, Ramona Pringle, “We want constant access to each other and to information, and that is changing the tools we choose to engage with,” she says.
For more on this ongoing debate, check out the following links:
- “Yes, the PC is dead. What’s Next?” – Salon Magazine
- rdigitaLIFE’s Ramona Pringle on CTV News: “Is this the end for the personal computer?”
- “How tablets can save the PC” – Reuters Blog
- rdigitaLIFE preview, interrogating our relationship with our devices
Anonymous gets involved with the Rehtaeh Parsons case
After news of the tragic suicide of alleged rape victim Rehtaeh Parsons made headlines and caused viral outrage on social media, Anonymous stepped in. News organizations reported that the hacktivist group tracked down the boys allegedly responsible for the rape of 17-year-old Parsons by tracking the photos that were shared online. Is this turning into a case of trial by social media? Is our ability to easily share information and public opinion affecting the justice system? As this story continues to develop, these are just a few of the many pressing questions being raised.
- rdigitaLIFE’s Ramona Pringle on CTV News: “RCMP open to working with Anonymous?”
- “Rehtaeh Parsons, Amanda Todd, Steubenville: Anonymous is here to stay” – Toronto Star
- “Will Anonymous’ involvement in the Rehtaeh Parsons case do more harm than good?” – Global News
- How is tech changing online privacy? – Jeff Jarvis on Buzzmachine
Will your online identity Rest In Peace after you pass? Google recently reported a new feature that allows decide what will happen with all of their YouTube, Gmail, Picasa and all other Google driven accounts after they die. “Inactive Account Manager” adds a new piece to the complicated puzzle of online world versus real world. “We live in two worlds, and leave behind lives in both places,” says rdigitaLIFE host Ramona Pringle. Are online identities becoming more human?
- “Plan your digital afterlife with Inactive Account Manager” – Google blog
- “Google: Tell us what to do with your account after you die” – Mashable
- Identity on rdigitaLIFE
- Related: “App Tweets for you after you’re dead” – Toronto Star (featuring rdigitaLIFE’s Ramona Pringle)
The rise (and fall) of Bitcoin
With rise of digital currency is our concept of money headed for change? Bitcoin, the world’s first online currency, made headlines early this week when it’s value reached more than $200 for the first time. However, by Thursday, the digital currency’s value plummeted to $100. The rise and fall of Bitcoin prompted a debate over social currency. Is it a classic Ponzi scheme or is it the evolution of money? Can people trust a form of currency that is not connected to the state? “With the rise of the digital world comes a transparency that increases the value of trust and reputation,” says Pringle. Was this Bitcoin’s downfall. rdigitaLIFE’s Andrew Evans took on the Bitcoin issue on our blog, with comments from expert Jesse Hirsh. For more on the Bitcoin, check out these links:
- “The real significance of Bitcoin’s boom (and bust)” – Time Magazine
- “Beyond the Bitcoin Bubble” – Tech Crunch
- Social Currency on rdigitaLIFE
By: Ishani Nath (@ishaninath)