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10 broken technology ideas -- and how to fix them

10 broken technology ideas -- and how to fix them

Why they are broken and what could be done to fix them once and for all

9. Video blogs

My main issue with video blogs is that they don't seem well suited for the Web. I'd watch "Rocketboom", "Mahalo Daily" and "WebbAlert" every day if I had the time.

Often, with WebbAlert, I scan through the links -- it usually has a really good summary of the previous day and posts in my RSS reader before just about anyone else -- instead of watching the video blog. The Web is made for instant information (see Facebook, Wikipedia, etc.), and I have a hard time discerning how a video blog is really that different from a 2-minute update on G4 or CNN.

Yes, there's the idea that a video blog has a "long tail" -- many continuing views of a video after its initial post -- suited for any taste, but the farther you go out on the tail, the lower its quality seems to be.

Where is this all going? I'd like to see satellite television providers like Dish Network and DirecTV offer more-flexible plans. I'd watch a video blog station for 10 minutes if it could hold my attention over breakfast and The Wall Street Journal .

10. Flexible keyboards

Flexible, foldable keyboards like the Brando or the Eleksen ElekTex sound like a good replacement for a standard keyboard and could help mobile users type faster when traveling with smart phones.

In practice, it's almost impossible to type fast on these roll-away models. Is there a way to improve on a standard keyboard? Microsoft and Logitech International keep trying, adding extra buttons and features. (I have settled on the Microsoft Wireless Laser Keyboard 6000 V2 with its slight key curvature.)

I doubt we will be typing on multitouch screens any faster, judging by my speed on the iPhone. Speech recognition, even if it understood every word perfectly, still makes it hard to edit your mistakes. The Laser Keyboard is hinting at a true evolution: Eventually, all keyboards will become more tactile, with more responsive keys, a more ergonomic feel -- and someone may figure out how to make them fold up.


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