The story of copyright in this country has primarily been one of expansion. Given the value of content, it is no surprise that copyright has expanded not just substantively, but also temporally. Currently, works do not enter the public domain until 70 years after the death of the author. If you're 20 today and write a screenplay, and you survive global warming and the subprime crisis and the religious right and live to be 80, the rights in your work continue into the year 2138.
When I was a girl, I counted everything. I knew how old I was, I was proud of my grades and later my SAT scores, and I tried to keep careful track of my meager amount of money. As I got older, I grew out of those habits and lived free. But now I see it all coming back, from people who measure their blood sugar several times a day (often for good reason) or count their steps, to people who count their money and count their friends. How much is enough? While money is fungible, friends are …
Inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil once said, "Our computers aren't going to be these distinct rectangular devices we carry around. We are going to merge with them." Computers and cell phones will be made from human cells instead of silicon. Researchers are trying to make electronics resemble biological systems more closely so they can adapt, self-design, self-assemble and self-repair.
If you're going to talk to anyone about the future - and what, exactly, robots will be doing - then who better to ask than Bender, the hard-drinking, womanizing, gambling-addicted robot on Comedy Central's Futurama? Luckily, Joe Mandese was able to sit down with the abusive android to get the lowdown on media circa 2999.
The key changes: Books will be defined not by format (paper vs. electronic), but by content; publishers will focus more on building and targeting specific audiences; and the notion of how books are written will expand to include collaborations between authors and readers. As Bob Stein, founder and codirector of the Institute for the Future of the Book, puts it, "Publishers need to stop thinking they are in the business of manufacturing books and start thinking that they are fundamentally in the business of creating communities of inquiry and interest."
Imagine you're on the road and you have this sudden urge to read On The Road, but there's no bookstore near you, nor an Internet café to order a copy delivered to your destination. Well, thanks to Amazon's $359, 10.3-ounce e-reader, Kindle, you can download any book - there are currently over 150,000 e-books available on amazon.com - in under 60 seconds, and its wireless capability allows you to do so anywhere.
Less may be more, but more is always more. And when it comes to out of home marketing more could very well mean too much. Starting this year and proceeding well into the next decade, there will be an exponential increase in the number of ways and places we access the Web untethered. Brandable, rich media opportunities will flourish literally on every bus, banner or surface, really, a person faces every day.
If the first digital decade was about personalization and individual control, then prepare for a decade of mobile innovations that bring technology to new levels of involvement. Geo-location through GPS, near field communication (NFC) and the next generation of embedded sensors on handheld devices will add a new layer of passive user feedback to the media and marketing loop. This time it's not just personal: It's getting intimate. Prepare to cuddle your media.
On an average day, the newsroom of the New York Post is scored with a low hum of murmurings and phone chimes. While the creative offices bear a tidy sophistication, the newsroom is one corner of this expanding enterprise to have escaped maturity. Despite a recent renovation, its inhabitants have revamped their space into a tattered playground, with newly painted walls now covered in scuffs and scratches, the chairs seemingly hand-me-downs, and handwritten signs distinguishing property and workspace. Stereotype reeks from the desks as strongly as the remains of lunch left to spoil, with stacks of research screaming of neglect, …
Eric Haseltine is a neuroscientist, a writer for several leading science magazines, former executive vice president of Disney and most recently the U.S. associate director of national intelligence, in charge of all science and technology efforts for intelligence and counterterrorism. He now runs his own high-tech consultancy. The man knows brains.