Friday, September 23, 2005

EPIC updated

Last year Robin Sloan and Matt Thompson made the Flash movie EPIC 2014, a movie full of predictions on the future of Internet. The personal Video Recorder TIVO plays a role as well as the Philips/Sony digital newspaper. By 2014 the New York Times would go offline after it lost a copyright case against Google and would be reduced to a high class newsletter. The new news product would be the Evolving Personalised Information Construct.

The movie was produced by the Museum of Media History(!); the screendump contains a photograph of the founder of New Media, Vannevar Bush

This year the producers bring an updated version, EPIC 2015. The outcome is the same: the NYT will go offline. But the updated version is mixed with development of the last year: Blogger, Friendster, Google News, GMail, Picassa, iPod etc. No word about TIVO anymore and the Philips/Sony digital paper is either so accepted that it does not warrant attention or so obsolete, that it is not mentioned. Time flies.

Although the NYT is chosen as an icon for newspapers (it could have also been the Washington Post), it is a kind of tragic to see the NYT being used as victim. This newspaper publisher was in the late sixties one of the first publishers to start a newspaper archive with an extensive thesaurus. Most of the archive is now part of the Lexis Nexis service of Reed Elsevier, while it also has an arrive service itself.

Both movies are nice pieces of linear storytelling as well as analysis. Both movies are projections into the future with the data of today. Of course, everyone knows by now that Google or MSN will not rule the world. I still believe that Google will get a successor which analyses the search request more precisely and does not overload the searcher with a quantity of links and often a repetition of the same links, but with relevant links.

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