It's all about convergence

Sometimes amusing things can happen with technology. Something which has infuriated many, has managed to cause a titter or two this week. In case you haven't seen it, there is a video doing the rounds of a lady presenting a weather forecast.

Sunday, 8th May 2016, 6:12 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 10:35 pm
JPCT 150713 Alan Stainer. Photo by Derek Martin

What makes this particular weather forecast unusual, is the Windows 10 upgrade popup that appears and obscures the weather map. You can watch the video here: while it is amusing, it does emphasise that some design decisions are not beneficial to the people using the systems that have been designed for them.

Coincidentally, at a time when Windows makes a very public gaff, a rival operating system is celebrating a new release. Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Long Term Service) was released a few days ago and boasts a heap of improvements. One such improvement is the ability to move the launcher (which is equivalent to the task bar in Windows) to the bottom of the screen. So if you are thinking of making the move away from Windows, Ubuntu suddenly looks a lot more familiar and less daunting.

An interesting development in the Linux world is Ubuntu Touch and the much sought after convergence. Convergence being the ability to take a tablet, connect it to a keyboard, mouse and (optionally) a monitor and use it as a fully fledged desktop PC. Unlike the Microsoft Surface which has a different set of touch enabled apps to those used on the old desktop, Ubuntu Touch uses the same apps and programs you are used to using whether in tablet or desktop mode. Sadly I haven’t got one of these new whizzy devices to play with, but the technology is certainly interesting and raises some interesting possibilities for the work environment. Tablets are after all much more portable than a lot of laptops.

The idea is that you only need to develop a program once and it will work on every device you use. Microsoft are attempting to do that with UWP (Universal Windows Platform), but they aren’t the only ones. Also this week it was rumoured that Google may be releasing the Google Play store for ChromeOS. That will mean over a million Android apps are suddenly available for Chromebooks, which will most certainly be on people’s minds when buying a new computer.

So convergence and gaffs has been on my mind this week. That isn’t all though, because I have also been thinking a lot about numbers. What? Not boring numbers?! Yes, specifically about social media habits. I have said before that numbers can be misleading or biased when it comes to figures released by the social networks themselves. The way to sort that out of course is to conduct my own survey to try and gauge what is really going on. That’s why I am asking you for help, by filling in a very short survey. You can find it here: will post the results when enough people have filled it in.