Last Friday the Time magazine named iPhone the invention of the year. Well, I don’t care at all because this is an “invention” not for us after all. When a device cannot be used or purchased outside the US, it’s really irrelevant to most of us in the world. In fact this statement is not quite right because the British, French and German fans will be able to lay a hand on the phone this month but of course only subscribers, even in the US, of certain wireless service carriers are able to “enjoy” the gadget. So the “invention” is still irrelevant to most people.
On a related note, Google announced the Android software this Monday. In my opinion this is something more relevant to most people in the world. These “g-Phones”, which have the Android operating software platform, will run any third-party software applications as long as they comply with the same protocol. The heart of the Android is an open source architecture; that is to say everybody has access to the source code of the operating system (not specific applications). The concept of using my mobile phone to access my personal files has no business to me because I cannot turn my phone on at my work place. On top of that, I usually stay at home to build my models; thus a connected computer at home or at work is all I need. Anyhow, although the iPhone is crowned as the best invention in 2007, I really think those g-Phones are much more important than the Apple’s rip-off. Having said that, I do not welcome the Android with my arms wide opened because of data security concern. When I can obtain an application software for free, how much guarantee do I have on the legitimacy of it? It is the same reason for me not downloading any sharewares from little-known vendors. We saw the boundary of the Internet expanded from some universities to households. It keeps expanding from our computers to game consoles, and then to our mobile phones. When we reach more people through this network, we are also exposing ourselves to more criminals. Just like sex, we are always excited when we come to the first contact but sometimes the consequence could be hard to swallow.