Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Context matters

I would like the history of what I do on my computer recorded with at least when and where it happened. I want a literal GPS location and UTC timestamp attached to every file change I make, and I would like them persisted across all my machines. This is really just another way of adding context to my actions, and context is a very important thing when making sense of data. Where did it come from, what was happening at the time, that sort of thing. Beyond context in logging, I also define different contexts depending on what's on my calendar (I might be in a meeting or not working today) or who I am with (if I'm with friends, that's different to being in the same place with coworkers). I might even be in a different context depending on what web browser windows I have open at the time, or what documents are open in Word. Defining, recognising and responding to contexts is very tricky, but it is also one of the effects that would make computers appear much smarter.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - And we always want computers to appear just a bit smarter than they are.
PPS - That's why we keep building better ones.

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