News


From the editor's desk: Where the funge is my token?

26 April 2022 News


Brett van den Bosch, Editor.

To set the scene, I first need to confess something. I do my best thinking in complete isolation, preferably with a window to see the world outside so I know it’s still there. I pace relentlessly, talk to myself, laugh at my own jokes and generally let my mind wander off to whatever places it wants to go – all to a heavy-metal soundtrack that tends toward the more extreme sub-genres. In short, I behave like a madman. Which is another compelling reason for the isolation: I don’t want anyone to ever see me doing that stuff, because straightjackets do not look comfy (although a padded room has a certain appeal).

And so it was that I found myself pacing past my CD rack, which stands beside my bookshelf and suddenly snapped back into the real world. They were covered in dust. Not just the CD rack and the bookshelf, but the CDs and books themselves. In a fit of nostalgia, I grabbed one of my old favourite CDs, put it in my hi-fi, hit play and… nothing. It seems the poor old machine has finally given up the ghost after many years of neglect. But holding that jewel case, looking at the cover artwork, seeing the glint off the disc’s still-pristine lasered surface and most of all, smelling that unmistakable scent of the liner-notes booklet, piqued my nostalgia and imagination enough to (eventually) get to the point; which is the extent to which technology has transformed the very nature of ownership and our understanding of it.

Spotify has replaced CDs as my default source of music, I watch Netflix and Amazon Prime instead of VHS or Blu-ray – and there’s just no going back. The convenience, variety and cost of what’s available now is leaps and bounds ahead of just 20 years ago, which is rather the point of digital technology. As a passionate consumer of electronics and enthusiast in modern technologies in general, I have embraced them fully and unreservedly. But I don’t love them. Not the way I used to love that new CD I had to save months’ worth of pocket money to buy and which still lives in my dusty CD rack (in its alphabetically correct place, naturally).

As an ‘electronics guy’, I know the only substantive change is the data medium – bits and bytes are just as real as solid objects, they’re just not tangible. You and I take that for granted, but it’s actually a profound paradigm shift for those who grew up in the analog era to wrap their heads around (as my grandmother would attest). No doubt 40 years from now I’ll look at what the kids are up to and wonder what the heck is going on and where on Earth did I leave my false teeth? There’s no telling where things like Facebook’s (now called ‘Meta’) metaverse, for example, will take us, but I for one am excited to find out.

There are caveats, though. Case in point: my colleague recently wanted to read an eBook he’d purchased years earlier, only to discover that he no longer had permission to access it as the publisher had changed, so he would have to buy it again if he wanted to read it. In a sense, he owned it (in that it was still linked to his profile) and didn’t own it at the same time – the Schrödinger’s cat of the book world, if you will. A similar scenario is conceivable if one were to irrevocably lose their password for an online platform. Assuming you had no other means of confirming your electronic identity, you would be disowned of all content purchased on that platform.

And don’t get me started on NFTs, I won’t even dignify their existence by spelling out their full name. When I read stories like someone splurging $650 000 on an NFT super-yacht for a video game that hadn’t even been released yet, I feel like puking in my recycle bin. I sure hope that person throws some parties to go down in legend on that thing and for his sake, hopefully not all by his lonesome. As for me, I’d rather have my cake and eat it, thank you.


Credit(s)



Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Quectel masterclass: IoT device application development
iCorp Technologies News
Quectel has announced the latest masterclass in a series of technical webinars titled “Accelerate wireless IoT device application development with Azure RTOS on STM32 MCUs”.

Read more...
ST announces status of common share repurchase programme
News
The repurchase programme took place over the period from 11 to 15 July 2022 and saw ST repurchasing 210 462 ordinary shares.

Read more...
Actum Group leads in the interconnect industry
Actum Electronics News
Actum Group is a specialist importer and distributor of industrial and electronic products in Southern Africa and a leader in the interconnect industry.

Read more...
From the editor’s desk: Do we have the power?
Technews Publishing News
On a recent trip to Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape I was reminded, quite rudely and abruptly to be honest, of the load shedding that has plagued South Africa for the last few years. Living in KZN, we ...

Read more...
Top five MPU suppliers strengthen market dominance
Editor's Choice News
The new ranking shows that long-time leader in microprocessor units, Intel, has moved downwards closer to half the total worldwide sales in microprocessors.

Read more...
New meta-lens revolutionises vacuum UV optics
News
A research team co-led by City University of Hong Kong have successfully developed a novel vacuum ultra-violet (VUV) meta-lens which can generate and focus the UV light.

Read more...
Electronics news digest
Technews Publishing Electronic News Digest News
The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) has announced global semiconductor industry sales were $51,8 billion in the month of May 2022, an increase of 18,0% over the May 2021 total of $43,9 billion ...

Read more...
EVENTS
Events News
IFA Berlin 2-6 September Berlin, Germany This event aims to present the latest products and innovations in the commercial electronics industry. It will offer a comprehensive overview of the international ...

Read more...
Going beyond with HONOR
MyKay Tronics Editor's Choice News
The tempo of business in China is lightning fast. But if you are responsive and go a step beyond, the rewards can be great. In just 15 days, Mycronic delivered 30 dispensing systems to HONOR.

Read more...
Global cellular IoT connections increase 22%
News
A new report says that the global number of cellular IoT subscribers increased by 22% during 2021 and that the number of cellular IoT devices will reach 4,3 billion by 2026.

Read more...