EPIC 2014/5 Revisited

Well I was going around on the web and I stumbled across this article that brought back a lot of memories when I first laid my eyes on it. I posted a piece a long time ago on Blogger for a video called EPIC 2014 and its sequel. Both videos are speculative fiction of things to come about what’s about to happen to us in the world of social media. To get you up to speed, here’s the video.

We are already a year into 2014 and it has been nearly a decade since the video came out. and its a good idea to see (or look back) what has gone on since then to see if some parts of the video are true, false or even close to the real thing.

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For starters, at the start of the video he narrator talks about the rise of Google and Amazon though actually their real histories stem from the fact that during Amazon’s early days, it was only wanting to sell books until the “Get. Big. Fast.” Ideology of its CEO coupled with the survival it went though during the dot-com bubble days, made it the powerhouse that it is today. For Google  it’s going to be a long road for itself. The 1999 segment with the creation of TiVo was iffy since after MSNtv failed and the commercial groups cry foul that TiVo robs of them of their revenue from those commercials TiVo blocks. Today with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon’s own video services and set-top boxes like Apple TV, Roku and Boxee we can still get the same limited or commercial free-experience without TiVo’s high subscription fee.

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Blogger did run strong for the first half of the last decade before Google started off its buy-up rampage and takes Pyro Labs, the makers of the blogging software up. Hell, their official blog is hosted on blogger. Friendster was the big thing back then but so did MySpace and Facebook afterwards leaving it in decline. Today, Friendster isn’t bought by MSN but by MOL Global. Turning a once American social networking site into an Asian social gaming site. They stopped the social stuff back in 2011. Thank goodness I got out of there quick!

Reason magazine is still around but that part about getting covers with an aerial view of their house, no. Google bought Keyhole which then creates Google earth and now we have the power not to see our own houses, but everyone else’s too.

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Mass produced electronic paper? No that didn’t happen. Despite all the demos from other companies there hasn’t been yet even a peep about the use of so-called “e-paper” being used anywhere. But you’ll find out later in this post. Gmail once launched in April as a sort of April-fool’s joke. Since that a free gigabyte of storage was unheard of back then. Today Gmail is now the “go-to” email service, now giving 10.1 gigabytes of storage per user… and growing by the second as of this posting. Amazons A9 search evolved as well to become its own service delivering the same recommendations to other outlets. MSN never bought Friendster as mentioned before and Google never bought TiVo despite all speculation.

In fact, there are claims that TiVo was under fire from lawsuits and claims that money is owed to them by Google over patents.

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Heh, here’s the funny thing about the arrival of the “Google Grid”, it exists. Not as the grid but as “Google Accounts’. Apparently they thought it was a good idea to merge every single service Google has *cough*bought*cough* under its roof and put it in one place. As for “limitless” storage space, well in the age of cloud computing, Google develops Google Drive with only 5 gigs per user with money involved if you want more space. So limitless, no but with ranges going from 25gb for $2.49/month to 16TB for $799.99/month, it’s as good as limitless. But really who needs all that space for a single user?

Not to mention that the part of storing/publishing media hasn’t happened at least in a secure sense with its wave of controversial privacy policy changes. So while you may be safe from other users looking at your stuff, it isn’t from almighty Google. Speaking of which, it finally brings me now to…

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An amalgamation of the two giants to rival Microsoft’s actions (see MSN Newsbotster) often displaying an ID card of the user of this new system. In the narrator’s statement:

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Together, they use their detailed knowledge of every user’s social network, demographics, consumption habits and interests to provide total customization of content – and advertising.

That’s true, for Google at least and it’s what got them into so much shit when personalized adverts started to show up next to private emails which in turn its competitors provided services to get away from that, including Microsoft with Outlook.com. Also the part I forgot to mention about the privacy concerns with Google that records your entire search history, personalize that too which is bad news leading to people opting out.

Next up…
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The New York Times has finally had enough with putting up with Googlezon’s shit and takes them all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Claiming that their fact-stripping robots are a violation of copyright law. This is interesting since during that time of the story at 2011, the battle over copyrights, intellectual property and the right to remix has led to many “colorful” turns such as the rise of Creative Commons, the many lawsuits over remixes and so on. Spoiler Alert, Googelzon won! So what happened now that the fledgling megacorp won? Well they went off and made more stuff leading up to…

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This is what it has all been leading up to. The Evolving Personalized Information Construct or EPIC. This is a new platform where everyone contributes video, articles, personal media and even get paid for doing it. This too exists but not in the way you think. During Google’s reign, in 2005, a little website that started hosting videos that use flash making it universally available to everyone who wants to watch the content they want. You might have heard of it, it’s YouTube. It would be a matter of time before Google made its historic purchase for $1 billion and became the largest repository of videos in the world.

Google’s AdSense and YouTube Partnerships is EPIC’s version of users gaining a piece of the company’s vast revenue. For articles, other services concern themselves with that. For the videos’ version of the best and savviest, EPIC is what the people want to see, for its worst it is also true with the current state of affairs in Internet media. YouTube is the worst offender, for every wondrous artwork video or creative music video, captivating speech or even original films. But you get stuff like this…

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This…

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This…

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This…

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And fucking this!

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And they get more hits, cash and popularity than the real stuff that should be up there. Note that the Annoying Orange and Fred now have their own TV shows on both Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. And stuff like say Web Wide World get scant views. That really says much about our culture going downhill.

This is just a sample of what I reviewed in video. But then the team who made that video came back with the updated version titled EPIC 2015. Much more faster sounding than the last one but with new info that comes into play.

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In the updated version they added Google’s purchase of Keyhole as mentioned before and digitization of Print which is here as Google News and Books which that too comes under scrutiny from copyright holders. Apple’s arrival of the iPod and Podcasting comes to play. But Podcasting is mis-defined at this point as it was just recordings that people can put into their media players and take it with them, it isn’t like a radio. But here’s something awesome that predates things to come in real life.

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Apple releases the “wifipod”, a portable media player with integrated camera that can send and receive broadcasts on the go.

Sound familiar? That’s elements that became ZuneHD, The fifth generation iPod Nanos and soon the iPhone and iPad which made Apple a household name again since the creation of the first Macintosh computers, changed the digital landscape and made way for the upcoming age of tablet and ultrabook computers. The rest of the video is already described but the end with the New York Times, relegating itself to a print only newsletter for the elite and elderly. In the 2015 video a refugee from the Times becomes what many now call a  Citizen Journalist, geotagging places and putting her comments in with many others who delivering stuff across their *sigh* wifipods.

This was an interesting look of the future but here’s how it plays out while I play The Decemberists – This is Why We Fight in the feel of an 80’s style movie epilogue:

  • Google still dominates the web with an iron fist creating new services, buying new companies and even creating a trend of pissing off users when it pulls the plug on stuff people actually like such as Reader in July of this year. It’s most recent venture is the opening of new massive Data Center.
  • Microsoft never bought Friendster and the site is now an Asian controlled social gaming site. As for the Social Media scene, Facebook is the dominant player. How so? A majority of sites have the option of signing in with either Google or Facebook Connect
  • Amazon serves as the largest Internet commerce site. Now with services to host sites, sell items and capabilities to stream music, movies and eBooks.
  • The wifipod in the video became the iPhone and iPad and all the features such as geotagging, and recording now make up the current generation of smartphones making everyone a “Journalist”.
  • YouTube from the days of “Me at the Zoo” now hosts full-length movies, partnered with major movie studios, host live events and still generating billions of views along with the dollars to match.
  • The New York Times still exists online, still as a subscription-based news site and so as its newspapers, there was news that they were going to be bought up by News corp but that never happened. As for the part of being turned into a print-only newsletter. Nope but that doesn’t mean other news outlets have decided to go paperless.

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The EPIC Videos while stated by its creator of not an accurate picture of the real future but really a good guess of what has come to us that is the closest thing what the video says it does. People are creating and consuming media, the best and worst of the developing landscape has become. Nine years and so far speculation isn’t the word I would find for what happened so far. For EPIC, it would just be a matter of time.

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