Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Who needs a "digital lifestyle" anyway?

Other interpretations of the digital lifestyle have any and all devices and objects communicating with us and with each other. I'm not sure why all these things would need to talk, and frankly, the prospect of my refrigerator telling the supermarket I'm out of orange juice and snagging me a coupon fills me with a profound horror.

But the majority of thinking and engineering that underpins the digital lifestyle is focused on content - the ability to acquire and replay television, movies and music. Much of the meat of Microsoft's announcements at CES concerned deals it has done with DirectTV and MTV.

Let's be honest. As neato as it might be to juggle content, media and devices with wild abandon, who really cares? Do I need "Desperate Housewives" streamed to me in real time? No. Do I need "CSI Miami" available anywhere at any time? No. Will missing Fox News cause me mental anguish and make me dangerously uninformed? No.

The digital lifestyle is a marketing ploy. Nothing more, nothing less. It is defined by services that aren't needed, cost too much, and rely on technologies that are naïve, over-architected and underdeveloped.



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