Wednesday 24 June 2015

Old News dressed up as New News

As someone who tries to keep their eyes on technology, innovation and the actions of the big online companies to see what's happening next, it is rather shocking to occasionally see old news polished up as new.

An example of this is from today's BBC News showing an article about Google's wonderful email service, Gmail, providing an 'Undo Send' function for up to 30 seconds after an email has been sent.

Shocking because the feature in question has been a 'Labs' feature, available to all Gmail users, for many many years.

For me this is as heinous a crime as believing that a song on X Factor (or it's many equivalents) is original without realising that it had been written and recorded 30 years previously.

As I've mentioned previously, a fine example is those who think Steve Jobs invented digital music, the digital music player (iPod) and mp3s.  I, like many, had an mp3 player long before Apple's guru realised the potential of music and the company I worked for sold legitimate, legal, digital audio downloads long before iTunes thought people would pay for stuff online.

This is not to denigrate the wonderful job Jobs did in marketing something that the pioneers couldn't get out of the 'Innovators' stage of the Diffusion of Innovations curve... they didn't even reach Early Adopters in some cases - but they were, clearly, the future.

So Google having an 'Undo' button on Gmail is not an innovation. It's not a revelation.  it's not fascinating.  It's clearly a slow news day... and thank Christ for that. If we got through a day without a massacre somewhere in the world being reported by the news, then hooray for out-of-date tech news!

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