Off The Hype Meter

from the take-your-pick... dept is running a column that lists a number of technology topics that the writer feels are receiving too much hype. It isn’t necessarily that the technologies in question are no good (and, in fact, many of them are quite good), but that there is too much hype (negative, positive, or both) and buzzwordiness around that topic. Included in the list are wireless technologies, tablet PCs, Linux, voice over IP, and grid computing (among others). I agree that all of these have received their fair share of “these are going to change the world” hype predictions. Of course, all of them might (and, in some ways, already have) changed the world – but the more important issue is letting people figure that out for themselves, and not necessarily telling them what the technology can do. As the writer says about wireless technologies: “Wireless networking vendors should abandon their hype…. Let us judge what the technology can do.” I’d agree up to a certain point. While I do think that many technology vendors are hyping up the wrong aspects of their technology, I think the bigger problem is that they’re constraining what people can do with it. For example, giving people broadband connections, and then telling them they have limited bandwidth or that they’re not allowed to hook up a WiFi network. Companies hype up one aspect of a technology and then don’t let people use the technology as it could best be used.

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