Did you know kids don’t use email? They say they prefer social media and txt messages. The other day I opened up Pidgin for the first time in a while and realized that I haven’t added any “new” contacts in years. I barely write to my own blog and have failed to visit my RSS feed reader in a very long time.
Meanwhile, I use Facebook on a daily basis. Sometimes I keep tabs on my mobile. My problem with Facebook has recently become what my problem on MySpace used to be. I don’t like the software. I want something very different. I stay for two reasons. First, I know a lot of people who are active on Facebook. Second, I haven’t found an alternative I would want to encourage my friends to join.
The recent closure of Internet connectivity in Egypt during the revolution sends a strong message about ownership of the Internet. Ownership should be distributed. The tool that replaces Facebook should be distributed. Diaspora perhaps?
It’s really pretty simple. If we the people can hang on to the Internet – even if it means building our own – then we stand a chance. Otherwise, nothing changes from the way things have been for thousands of years. This is about to become very important.
So I see this trending topic going around called, “I need to talk to you about computers.” It didn’t take me long to facepalm. See, Stephenf does a fine job of painting a perspective of technology evolution with a wide scope. He also has a fine point about consumers desiring more specialized and easier to use devices.
Unfortunately, Stephenf missed obvious points. First, the trend isn’t strictly with computers becoming more specialized. There’s also a trend of specialized devices becoming more computerized. Actually, we’ve had specialized devices for a long time. Take a car radio for example. A car radio was once electro-mechanical with no logic circuits. Somewhere along the way car radios became digital devices with lcd displays. Now, folks have full blow media centers inside their automobiles. There exists a giant webbing of technological points and the tendency is for those points to converge – for gaps to be filled in. Netbooks are an example of a gap being filled in. The devices are more powerful than smartphones yet more portable than laptops. Netbooks are popular because they filled a need.
It suddenly occurred to me last night, CSS should include a state machine.
In a subtle way, it already does with “:hover”.
The hover state is triggered based on the mouse cursor’s position. This very basic state allows designers to produce some interesting results.
One application for this system is multi-paged documents. By hiding pages inside divs with both hidden and display states defined, a designer could build a menu that flips through any number of pages without requiring a new page load (a server request). Just think, a complete website could be stored in a single .html document.
State change interpolation is a potential subsequent addition to CSS. Pretend you used states to create a menu that window shades on double click. If you toggled between hidden and display states to change the menu, the animation is going to jump instantly from one state to the other. However, if you could interpolate the menu height from 100% to 0% between two states, you could create a smooth animation.