Where’s Gear Going?
Place-shifting power
By Alejandro Rosado with Ted Byrne
Date Published: 3/1/2016


Once upon a time when I went away, I was away, gone, outtahere! Y’know? Today I use 5 computers: One of my MacBook Pros is my company desktop which follows me everywhere. It’s like Iron Man’s suit in the sense that it gives me the super power of place-shifting—a sort of omnipresence. I can hit a couple of buttons and FaceTime with old friends in Chicago. I can text acquaintances I made in Kampala. In real-time I can assemble a group to discuss stuff with text, audio, and video. 

And because you can too, well none of this is even interesting. It’s as if I’m writing that I can drive a car, or boasting that I own a television. Of course I can do all of that stuff, can’t everyone? Can’t everyone GPS an exact spot anywhere on earth then open a hailing frequency? The mundane isn’t wonder-filled. I am reveling in the ordinary, right? 

Where wonder lies isn’t in the present or the past, but in this afternoon’s or tomorrow’s gear. Which is why meeting my friend Alejandro Rosado, CEO of 12:34 MicroTechnologies, is like visiting a toy factory before the latest stuff hits the streets. As always we found a largely empty pub on a cold Wednesday afternoon to imagine tomorrow over some beer and wine. 

Ted: So what’s the deal with Twitter, Alejandro? Why’s it so hard to use?

Alejandro: I don’t Tweet. Well, I do, but I’ve automated away the process. In Facebook you can say, “Repost to Twitter.” Facebook will condense postings down to the 140 characters and pull hashtag conversations back. Besides Twitter’s in the process of redesigning itself. It’s got to. For example, the strict reverse chronological posting they do creates a morass of mess. Unless you lack a life it’s impossible to really track the high points of a hashtag thread. Look for them to use AI to pull tweets that they sense you’re interested in. They do that now with ads, it won’t be long until the machine will edit out tweeters and tweets that are redundant, or from your point of view, banal or vapid.

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