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Aggregation not Aggravation
Sam North

Right now on your wireless laptop and your phone you can find with one click and the all important password your whole financial life. Here you will find your current account, savings, credit cards, on-line investments, mortgage and your debts. It’s a service you’d like to have too, right? Fingertip control of your financial life. It’s called aggregation and over a million people already use this service and software in the USA.

Ericsson inteactive phone prototype too late, too dumb?

But what if you lose your password or Joe Websnatch grabs it out of the ether. Does that mean they can start living your life? How do you begin to repair the damage if this happens?
In the UK the Financial Services Authority thinks that this is the way of the future but right now they also say that services like these are not covered by the investment compensation scheme.
In other words, you could easily be screwed big time.

That is one of the key problems of the future. People sit up nights thinking of great things to do with your phone and Ibook and then a simple thing like Internet security can really mess things up. Encryption then is the key to the next level and safe agglomeration of all your finances. (It might work better too if we could also think of better words than aggregation or agglomeration).
One can pretty well assume that it is the phone, not your PC that will become the dominant force in your life. But don’t think of the phone remaining this clunky black object that your Nokia or Motorola is at the moment. The future is all about have that invisible friend your parents tried to tell you didn’t actually exist. You remember:
‘Eat your greens,’
‘No Fred wants to eat them.’
‘Who is Fred?’
‘My invisible friend. He likes greens, he wants them.’
‘Fred isn’t hungry, you eat them.’
‘Fred says he will eat them later...’
Cue exasperated parents.

We are developing other avenues of communication too. What was impossible only ten years ago is reality now. Remote communities can have the same advantages as city people.
In Brothers, Oregon, a small one roomed little red schoolhouse in a one horse cattle town, has installed Apple Ibooks and the Internet for all 18 of its students (connected to a fiber-optic cable that happens to going past the tiny town). Around structured classes, these kids are learning that there is a whole lot more to the world than exists in Oregon. How it begs the question, if more remote places and communities are connected would this negate the need for the young to see the world, rather letting it come to them? The sure bet is that these kids of cattle ranching parents will be completely different - maybe a whole lot less content to stay there. We have ways of creating discontent and this may be the unforeseen consequences of worldwide access to web information. Certainly in India, for example, exposure to the web and satellite TV has created a wave of demand for western cosmetics, food and clothes, a desire to live the western life that sits very uneasily alongside Indian culture and moral values. Globalisation is a potent and dangerous force and the reactions against in Seattle, London, and Washington are a manifestation of that unease.

Which naturally leads us to what is happening in Oxford, England.
Oxford University is to open the worlds first Internet Institute.
‘You can already shop, bank, vote, debate, argue, consult a doctor or lawyer or get your degree over the net,’ says Andrew Graham, leader of the Oii initiative, ‘now you need people such as political scientists, lawyers, medics, economists and computing scientists working together.’
This of course will bring to the Internet all the efficiency of Railtrack, the Post Office and Government bureaucracy. It you think the web is slow now...just wait..

Whilst Oxford seeks to theorise the web into non-existence, it will steam on, taking all of us prisoner. The way forward is therefore go anywhere, two way access. The phone , the encrypted phone that stays with you wherever you are, your guardian angel.

'As the pace of life has accelerated, using a mobile is a great way to manage your life while on the move. The time we have for ourselves is only going to dwindle and mobile devices are going to be called on to help us more and more. But they will have to change radically to do so. At the moment, simply combining the two devices creates a bulky box that may be unattractive to people who are more used to slinky dinky handsets. It is clear that phones will have to grow up; they simply don't have the memory on board to store address books, e-mail messages, the odd MP3 file and bank account details that you might soon want to carry around. ' March Ward BBC On-line

Not only will your phone be your best friend in the future, but it will be invisible too. It will seamlessly blend into your life. It will be embedded into the clothes you wear or the accessories. You will have the option of reading text or figures via a projected 3D image, or if you want privacy, a head up display on your sunglasses.
Ideally the phone will talk to us.
You just went into the red by £1200. Your 3i shares dropped 34 points, your girlfriend says either order the Viagra or she will... Your boss says call him now or quit. (my advice is to return this call - the probability is evens he’ll calm down with a good explanation. I have six alternate explanations on file to assist...

We will want the phone to tell us when that great job has just been advertised. It will tell parents not only when their kids are playing truant, but via GPS exactly where those kids are in the Mall. Your phone will look after your home, your car, scan your ATM and release cash when you need it, pay for small purchases via smart digital cash and using GPS, you will never get lost again.
Your phone is your life, it will become your soul, your conscience and once you have it, you will never let it go. The future is your invisible friend and he’s orange....
A phone, you’ll see isn’t just for Christmas, it’s for life.

© Sam North 2001

NOKIA Update

Want to know more about securing your phone try Nokia Perimiter fencing
Secure your business

. Nokia ethical debate

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