Off To Oggcamp We Go!

A couple of weeks ago while I was standing in a field somewhat bored I got to wonder if Oggcamp would be on this year and where. Just by chance a post on Google+ appeared that very day (spooky or what) so I got over to their website and checked the location first to see what travel was involved…Oxford, great. Its just over an hour away and I know exactly where The Oxford Hotel is (not far from my office actually). So I got my ticket, I will of course be buying event goodies to help towards their costs as I had to just get a ticket at the time with no donation as I was somewhat skint at the time.

Oggcamp14 is an unconference which means that there is no defined schedule before but people can turn up and add their own but there are also one or two key note talks as well. There are also displays and demonstrations and other things going on to help give you ideas or information that can help in your own projects.

Why am I going?

I need some ideas and information to advance my current projects and other stuff to motivate me.



The Lockedin System Craze is Bad

In recent months two keynote speeches made by Apple and Google have shown how their systems will be interconnected with all your stuff across all devices and seemingly locked in to the system of that one company as you are restricted to their services to enable this and no one elses. You will not be able to own devices by both companies and easily use the services of both. For example. if you use an apple phone and other stuff from the company with a big steel wall you cannot use anything google for example unless you use third party apps and then you have no chance of using iTunes (not that any sane person would want to). Its the same with google, they appear to be getting more like apple with the way they try and lock you into their system. Their API’s are being replaced with their propriety ones thus shutting people out. Beside, google services and apps don’t seem to have a safe life, they seem to die at some point but I have written about this before. The only company that seems to be seeing what is happening and is likely to benefit from all this is Microsoft. Since the new boss as arrived they seem to be more user friendly than the other two who are becoming not so. Microsoft have released apps to enable the use of their services on all systems thus giving users more or less equal chance of benefiting. In the end the company that is able to allow access to services across all platforms/systems will benefit the most.

While I can see the benefit of having all your stuff available on all your devices, its nothing new. With a little thought and research you can but third party apps are often needed (often better than those dedicated for purpose from the big companies)  but there is the added benefit that you have more control. I am also suspecting that if you don’t use google apps for example then you cannot have your use monitored by that company. Which is another reason why I think companies are trying to lock you in, to monitor or a better word for it, spy on you. In googles case, make more money from you using your data for adversing purposes. Has far as I am concerned I can see this all as a huge disadvantage to the user.

First, you are restricted to just one company, if their servers go, then your stuff is gone unless you have it backed up on your own hard drives. Second, their devices may not fit you, by that I am suggesting that the device will not be right for you and what you intend to use it for. The locked in attitude may also mean that you will not be able to customize it to be fit for your personal use and your situation.

Secondly, and this will become increasingly problematic especially if each company insists on you using their file formats. People will not be able to share photos, documents and other things. For example, it will mean companies will have to waste money on ensuring that they can send files to other companies which they can open. Either they will have to have all systems in their offices or all companies the world over will be reliant on just one company. As seen with microsoft office, one version cannot open another versions files. I firmly believe that it shouldn’t matter what system you use, what software you use but the actual file format. Files be they photos or documents or whatever should be able to be opened on ALL systems using whatever is the personal preference of the user or company.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a user rebellion against these locked in, walled systems by those who know how computers work and can build cross platform systems of their own, possibly using older devices if new ones become to locked. But there again, if they have the knowledge then they will just unlock them and make them their own. The general public on the other hand will just keep their eyes shut, let the Apples and Googles get away with it and live in an an extremely restricted world where they don’t benefit from having a system that is best suited to them. However, some of the ideas/products being produced by Apple, Google and Microsoft actually seem really good, the xbox one for example, I really like the idea behind it but is flawed. The idea of being able to plug your phone into your car is fantastic idea, in this case there shouldn’t be a system in the car but what appears on the screen of your phone should be what is shown on the bigger car screen. This would mean that no car manufacture restricts you has what system is used (back to the locked in crap again). It also means that the user can use their favourite apps.