@bondsbw: sure, theta is a convenient thing, but as you say, probably a minor one as every service can memorize you credit card or PayPal credentials.
@bondsbw: I don't know about the common payment method. My credit card and PayPal are my common payment method :)
On the other hand, I do think the hardware barriers should disappear and are still higher than they need to be.
For content bought on a specific platform, things are a little better: you buy music on iTunes and it synches on all devices, same for xBox Music, etc. However, that does not work as well for otherwise purchased music (ripped CDs for example) and you need to rely on music matching services which don't always work and don't give you the bitrate you want when synching on other devices.
The other week, I bought a non-protected (no DRM) eBook and I wanted to send it to my Kindle Windows app. However, because you need a physical Kindle or an iOS Kindle app (not a Windows one) in order to have a Kindle email address, I could not share the eBook among devices (I ended up storing the file on OneDrive and I had to find an eBook reader app that worked on all my devices). Now this kind of experience can be very frustrating and it is common to eBooks, music and videos (with other file types and particularly with photos the situation is much better, though, for example photos tagged on Photo Gallery will not show the tags on OneDrvie, go figure...).
Ultraviolet is doing something very interesting with video and is a good example of how also DRM protected content could be shared among devices.
Personally I feel that more than full ecosystems (including video, music and eBooks), it would be interesting to improve on online storage, local management apps, and DRM management services...
Consumers today expect to have an ecosystem of services with their devices/PCs. While I completely understand that people want to choose their ecosystem independently from their OS, Microsoft, Apple, and Google cannot afford not to have a compelling and complete offer for consumers.
So what makes an ecosystem complete for you? Should all tech giants compete with Netflix, Spotify and the like? How about eBooks?
I think the following is the minimum a consumer has come to expect:
- email, contacts, and calendar
- cloud storage synched locally
- online document editing
What I don't know if they should be included are music, video, and eBooks stores. Does it really make sense to compete with other specialized services?
What should be included, but is currently not available in a satisfactory way is a decent management system (online and offline, with apps AND more full featured old-school desktop programs) for otherwise purchased media such as music, video, eBooks, etc. Sure Apple has iTunes Match, Xbox has something similar, but I want to store on the cloud my files and make these available to my devices, with the bitrate and format of my choosing.
@spivonious: There are plenty of potentially very interesting uses for virtual reality (some applications today are flight simulators for example), so I do believe there is a future for this technology.
Luckily it sounds like "real" reality will be superior for some times to come :)
I was at a tradeshow the past week and I finally got the opportunity to try Oculus Rift. The tradeshow was not tech related, but one of the brands thought to amuse the public with an app that allowed to explore a still 3D environment (you moved your head around and experienced a beautiful view from a mountain top...).
I was very unimpressed by the experience: the pixels are very distinguishable (probably because of the proximity of the screen and the lenses) and the lag and lack of precision of the motion sensors was very annoying. If you add to that the app itself was very boring, I would rate the experience as fairly catastrophic.
I am sure virtual reality will eventually catch up, but for now it is just a strange novelty like 3D TVs. There is definitely the need for better and more powerful hardware (not to mention lighter and more balanced on your head). My impression is that we are still very far from something remotely useful for anything else but games.
Has anyone else tried Oculus Rift or similar technologies?
Well, an add supported site could be a problem because the ads might not target the right audience. Still the website is doing nothing unlawful since it is streaming in the right country...
I don't know, but I think that this problem will be more and more present and that at some point we will have to deal with it. People travel...
By the way, is it legal to use a VPN to go around geo-restrictions?
I mean, it is not illegal for a visitor to watch TV or buy DVDs when traveling physically to the US. With a VPN the provider is streaming to the original country and the visitor is "virtually" traveling to the destination... Plus almost all the time the user must have a local credit card.
Not to mention that for a lot of content, VPNs are the only alternative to pirate streaming sites since only a few countries have a selection of shows that compares to the US (not to mention content in its original language abroad - I am talking about you XBox Video and Google Play...).
I am not against copyrights, but I think there is definitely a need for updating the rules:
@MasterPi: I also think that an 8 in device makes little sense until a version of Office fully optimized for touch is out. At that point if Microsoft pulls out something Courier like and with an interesting cover (for example with e-ink on the cover side) it could be an interesting device.
I think that in that case it could be an ARM device as battery life would be a very critical point and that desktop apps would probably be useless on such a small form factor.