Posts Tagged

Death

In the last few years, perhaps without realising it, our lives have gotten almost completely digitized. There’s an inbox full of amazing conversations, a cloud storage filled with photos and videos that bring back memories, and social networks that tell you just how important those personal connections in your life are.

And it begs the question: what happens to all of this data if you were to die? It’s a morbid topic and no one likes to face their own mortality, but at some point, we are all going to be moving on. However, our digital data — all those photos and videos and emails and chats — are going to stay right where they are, almost like a ghostly reminder of our life.

You may feel a need to manage what happens to this data. Perhaps keep it somewhere safely so that it doesn’t get deleted because your account is dormant, or to ensure that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. That’s what Perpetu is all about.

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Given the recent rise in popularity of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, with quick, short messages between users like those popularized by SMS messages, some believe that e-mail may be dying out. After all, it’s so much easier to type in a person’s name, write out whatever it is off your chest and hit “Send”. You don’t have to worry if the email address is correct or up-to-date, and you can be pretty much guaranteed that they will have seen it, even if you don’t get a reply straight away.

It’s pretty surprising to say, but even today, 12% of the American and 39% of the European population still don’t have access to the Internet, according to the latest penetration figures for 2011. As those users, and the kids growing up today, come online, it would seem that they’ll adopt to using social networks by default, skipping email entirely and hastening its demise. But I believe that e-mail certainly isn’t dying out – in fact it’s more popular than ever.

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Today Google announced they’re pulling the plug on Google Wave, a real-time communication app some viewed as the next generation “email” service. Google won’t be shutting it down completely but will cease further development “as a standalone product”.

Announced May 27, 2009, Google Wave built quite a wave of hype (excuse the pun) through its public launch nearly a year later, May 19, 2010. The technology clearly had incredible potential and techies were steaming with excitement over its possibilities, yet here we are, witnessing its death.

Could Google Wave have been saved? Better yet, could it still be saved?

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