Will I ever get the internet I hope for?

Dan O’Neill | Sep 9, 2014

As I watched Apple announce yet another screen size increase and another decrease in phone thickness from my coach, I once again wondered if I’d ever get the internet I imagined ten years ago.

When I was first getting into technology about 12 years ago, the promise of the internet was that everything would be interoperable with everything else. Technology would be ubiquitous and seamlessly connect to everything around me. Every day since then though, I’ve been disappointed by the fact that we seem to be getting further away from that goal. (Don’t get me wrong - every day I’m also amazed at what people are doing in many fields of technology)

Let me set the scene: I opened my Mac as I wanted to watch the livestream of the Apple event. So I opened the apple site but discovered I had to use a browser that I only ever use for Apple livestreams. I also wanted to keep up to date on twitter, and maybe catch some of the live blogs so I planned to cast the livestream to my TV. But I couldn’t because I was using a browser that won’t let me do that.

In the end the Apple livestream didn’t work, so I watched Twit’s live event show (and I’m glad I did). I was able to watch that on either of my preferred browsers and cast it to my TV using Chromecast.

So although I was able to eventually to kind of watch the livestream on my TV, it was far from the seemlessly interoperable promise from my past.

That could be Apple’s fault in this case but it could be Googles fault in future. Or it could be Amazons fault, or Roku, or Netflix, or any number of other companies in your situation. I also know progress waits for no-one, and understand standards can take an awfully long time to get established.

On the standards side, there are some projects that can help. Like the Open Web Platform. Can The Open Web Platform save the day? Maybe. Hopefully. The open web has all of the promise of my youth, all I can hope is it gains enough momentum to finally achieve that promise.

I really should try to help in some way but Netflix has the first 8 seasons of Mythbusters so I’ll be busy for a few weeks…

Got something to add, or something to complain about? Contact me on Twitter: @dan_oneill or email me dan.oneill@live.ie

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