Happy New Year!
A prosperous, peaceful, joyous, and learned new year to all!
And what a year it will be. We learn this week that the holiday season brought internet sales up 30% from a year ago. (Actually, I knew this before it was announced; you could tell from the streets, parking lots, and lines at the local mall).
Such news reminds us: the Net is not done changing the way we live. Not by a long shot. Web 2.0/the semantic web has hardly been deployed yet, and it will change much. And learning has hardly been touched.
Last year saw the opening of a school with no textbooks. While they may be premature, there is no reason that should not be the way of the future. We just need to work the software and content.
In hardware, this month will see a 10GB hard drive the size of a small pack of matches. High speed Telco wireless continues to roll out across America. Video MP3 players, GPS, and cameras all merged into cell phones. As this is completed, market space will open for new devices halfway between a phone and a laptop. Schools should be huge users.
Software last year brought AJAX. Previously, a chasm of sorts separated regular web pages and Flash applications. A full Flash interactive lived apart from the Web, and a normal web page was not that interactive. AJAX bridges that, and emerging AJAX toolkits will let mere mortal developers take advantage.
Meanwhile, it looks like the tremendous economy will continue to let the experimenting and development (i.e. play!) continue. What a great time to live and work!
Happy New Year.