Nineteen Eighty-Four may be three decades late, but it appears to be around the corner. The only question is whether the U.S. government or Google will be Big Brother -- and which would be worse. The NSA wants all our data, but it doesn't seem capable of crunching it. Google is more competent, but that could make it scarier, as it appears to be taking us toward a Terminator future.
As we approach the end of the year, it is time to look back on 2013 and consider what we've learned about technology and human nature. Both Apple and Dell were massively changed; HP, Yahoo and other companies were in various stages of being turned around; and Google went from a company that wanted our private information to one that wanted our jobs.
The U.S. government decided, through the NSA, that laws don't apply to it. Those who brought this to our attention (Manning and Snowden) got bigger punishments than the folks in government breaking the law. In 2013, the U.S. government became the least productive in history, with its biggest accomplishment shutting itself down.
Rather than ranting about all the screwups, I'll focus instead on lessons learned.
I'll close with my product of the week: a new blended office smartphone headset from Plantronics that could be ideal for folks working from home.