Microsoft codename 'Schnauzer Spittle' revealed
Call it life imitating art. One of my favorite pastimes is watching technology trends catch up with popular science fiction. Whether it's smartphones and tablets presaging Star Trek's ubiquitous communicators and PADDs or iRobots and Roombas hinting at our Star Wars maintenance droid-enabled future, I enjoy connecting the dots between various technology developments to see how they point the way towards a sci-fi inspired future.
Take this week, for example. Three seemingly unrelated stories -- Microsoft patenting "life streaming", Facebook tweaking the performance of its iOS app and the announcement of a Nokia-led alliance to promote more accurate indoor location services -- may together lay the foundation for myriad fantastical future applications.
For starters, there is the "Caprica" scenario, in which a combination of social media, location tracking and real-time records logging allow for the creation of a computer-generated Avatar that stores an up-to-the-minute copy of your entire life experience. Talk about virtual immortality! We may be on the verge of a singularity-level transformation from fleshbots to cyber-beings, all thanks to some nosy wireless signal sniffing and faster status updates to our Facebook timelines.
Then there is "The 6th Day" scenario where real-time streaming of our every waking thought and experience is backed-up in case of disaster -- for example, Arnold Schwarzenegger snapping our necks because we accidentally cloned the wrong victim of a corporate assassination attempt. Here, all of that "life streaming" tech that Microsoft is cooking up would come in handy when trying to program the umpteenth genetic copy of ourselves. And to hell with the ethical ramifications. When "Fluffy" bites the dust, I'm taking her precious DNA cargo to "Re-Pet" -- so I never have to say goodbye again.
Of course, not all possible outcomes are so positive or uplifting. As Sandra Bullock found out the hard way in the now hilariously dated looking "The Net", having your whole life history online can be a real drag. And while our feisty heroine only had to contend with the injection of a bogus criminal record into her previously wholesome background (Aww! She really loves her Mommy!), thanks to the aforementioned technology threads, our future selves will be fighting to hide a nearly limitless stream of embarrassing company party photos, videos and status updates -- like the ones with the embedded indoor location data that prove, once and for all, who left that delightful "gift" on the boss' desk.
Note to Dennis Miller: Stick with stand-up routines. And the occasional O'Reilly Factor team-up.
And there you have it. The convergence of three seemingly unrelated story lines that, together, will either save our souls, get us cloned or leave us on the run from corporate goons and federal agents amidst the booths of a once iconic industry trade show. Isn't technology wonderful?
Now it's off to swab Fluffy and then read-up on the latest techniques for storing Schnauzer spittle in my kitchen freezer.