We speak of 'software eating the world,' 'the Internet of Things,' and we massify 'data' by declaring it 'Big.' But these concepts remain for the most part abstract. It's hard for many of us to grasp the impact of digital technology on the 'real world' of things like rocks, homes, cars, and trees. We lack a metaphor that hits home.
The open web is full of spam, shady operators, and blatant falsehoods. Outside of a relatively small percentage of high quality sites, most of the web is chock full of popup ads and other interruptive come-ons. It's nearly impossible to find signal in that noise, and the web is in danger of being overrun by all that crap.
There will soon be streams of data coming from all manner of products - appliances, clothing, sporting goods, you name it. Wouldn't you rather live in a world where you can export the data from your son's football helmet to a new app that monitors force and impact against a cohort of high school players around the country?
I have done a pretty good job of partitioning my life digitally, posting utterances and stories that I'm happy to share with anyone on Twitter, leaving a few sparse comments and 'Likes' on Facebook (I'm not a huge user of the service, I'll be honest), and sending any number of photos to thousands of 'followers' on Instagram and Tumblr.
I found the iPad to be too large and heavy to use comfortably in casual situations (like reading in bed, for example), and too limited to use as a replacement for my laptop. By comparison, the Nexus 7 is just the right size for use anywhere - it's very similar in size to my daughter's Kindle Fire, but lighter.
In the past, Google has used teams of humans to 'read' its street address images - in essence, to render images into actionable data. But using neural network technology, the company has trained computers to extract that data automatically - and with a level of accuracy that meets or beats human operators.
The 'old' Internet is shrinking and being replaced by walled gardens over which Google's crawlers can't climb. Sure, Google can crawl Facebook's 'public pages,' but those represent a tiny fraction of the 'pages' on Faceboo, and are not informed by the crucial signals of identity and relationship which give those pages meaning.