The always interesting Steven Johnson has a good column in Discover Magazine on why my personal computing infrastructure should have two modes. One mode is when I’d gladly take 10 points lower IQ to multitask – emails, calls, and other small tasks, all at the same time. But I want to be able to press "focus" on my computer and have all the interfaces instantly become smarter. All windows and distractions fade to the background and only the document I want is at the fore in full screen. Only urgent emails notify me to switch to Entourage. Johnson says "data smog" is really a result of poor interfaces, and therefore software should be able to solve the very damn problem it invented.
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