I wish I could separate the two big trends of the year in computing — the cool gadgets and the revelations of digital spying — but I cannot.
Back at the dawn of personal computing, the idealistic notion that drove most of us was that computers were tools for leveraging human intelligence to ever-greater achievement and fulfillment. This was the idea that burned in the hearts of pioneers like Alan Kay, who a half-century ago was already drawing illustrations of how children would someday use tablets.
But tablets do something unforeseen: They enforce a new power structure. Unlike a personal computer, a tablet runs only programs and applications approved by a central commercial authority. You control the data you enter into a PC, while data entered into a tablet is often managed by someone else.