Trends and disruptions in the coming decade

Like a blockbuster movie desperately grasping at a sequel, the "naughties" are dropping late hints about their imminently succeeding decade.

Like a blockbuster movie desperately grasping at a sequel, the “naughties” are dropping late hints about their imminently succeeding decade.

The past few weeks especially have spawned a series of issues that set the tone for a new era that will begin with the dawn of 2010.

The most important one, from a Canadian perspective, is Globalive.

This is an Egyptian majority-owned mobile carrier that will be passing Wind in the Canadian marketplace.

No seriously. Wind is the name of their service. I guess was taken.

Wind is unlikely to represent much difference in and of itself.

What’s actually remarkable is that, to enable Wind’s Canadian launch, our Conservative federal government routed a CRTC decision that prevented Globalive access to the marketplace based on foreign ownership rules.

In doing so, Harper’s Tories established a dangerous precedent that effectively neuters the CRTC.

So that means that over the next decade we’ll see a general erosion in the CRTC’s relevance and effectiveness in protecting Canadian industry and culture.

How does this bode for the incumbents?

While Bell, Rogers, and Telus will moan and groan about it for a while in the interests of faux-patriotism.

But Globalive’s anti-Canada wedgie is all the bullying the big three needed for an excuse to weep their way to foreign ownership.

So in the short run, it’ll mean that Canadians may save a few bucks in mobile phone charges (especially if you let Wind syphon your loonies off to North Africa).

But looking forward, the Tories just sold off a critical Canadian industry for a few paltry political points and that will prove to be an incredibly expensive mistake for Canadians to bear.

Better that Industry Minister Tony Clement had talked to Google about Nexus One.

Sci Fi fans might think I’m suggesting the introduction of replicants into the population.

But, no, it’s just a name Google ripped off from the legendary Blade Runner film for its upcoming self-branded mobile phone.

To be released in early 2010, like Wind, the Google Nexus One mobile device is unlikely to itself be remarkable. In fact, it’s largely a further ripoff of Apple’s iPhone.

What will raise eyebrows, however, is the fact that Google will release the Nexus One without any ties to a mobile carrier.

In other words, you’ll be able to buy the Nexus One unlocked and sans contract. So you’ll be able to move it between mobile carriers’ networks at will for whatever reason pleases you.

If Apple rocked the boat when they forced American carrier AT&T to accept unprecedented concessions just to gain iPhone exclusivity, then Google is about the turn the boat right over.

I mean, really, imagine a world without contracts. The carriers might actually start to act like they want your business all the time, instead of just every 24 or 36 months.

Yeah, with just a bit of creativity, Clement might have grasped this as a more effective road to competition than hawking the industry to the Egyptians.

But if the Nexus One is a flip of the bird at mobile carriers around the world, it’s also a battle cry aimed squarely at Microsoft.

Take the device’s launch video: it’s a swirling vortex of red, yellow, green, and blue, sort of like what you’d see if you flushed the Windows logo down the toilet.

Google is making it clear that the future is in the mobile cloud, and that Microsoft is flying blind there.

Google is lining itself up to inherit the evolution of the industry as it moves from the desktop to the palm of your hand. The company plans to replace Microsoft.

But therein lies Google’s weakness: it’s too much like Microsoft, a company of engineers.

For Google and Microsoft, it’s technology first, people second. So while their products are functionally advanced, they’re cumbersome and difficult to use.

And that will slow adoption.

Which leaves the market open to Apple. A recent report figures that Apple already has a two to three-year lead over everybody else in the mobile industry with the iPhone.

And they’re ramping up some major advancements in the mobile cloud space in the next couple of years.

For one, they recently purchased a music streaming service called Lala right out from under the nose of Google.

This probably means you’ll soon be able to move your iTunes library off your desktop and into the cloud for full any time, anywhere access.

But to date, in terms of actual online services, Apple has lagged badly and made several critical mistakes. The future of the industry may be Apple’s to lose, but I wouldn’t necessarily bet against that happening.

The company is going to have to start demonstrating that they get the cloud as a comprehensive service environment if they want to counter Google’s growing strength.

And, of course, as the appeal and utility of the cloud grows, privacy is a primary concern.

Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, has made it clear that the US Patriot Act casts a very long shadow that even his company can’t escape.

And, right now, if you’re in the cloud (yes, Gmail counts), no matter what country you live in, you’re data is probably governed by that act.

As a result, I estimate a major privacy crisis within the next two years that forces businesses and governments out of their complacency. It will be an event that forces an international issue.

Then mass privacy paranoia will erupt.

As a result a cottage industry of privacy-oriented cloud-nodes will emerge and the geographical where of data storage will matter more than the brand.

Well that’s a trailer, if you will, advertising one aspect of the upcoming decade. Unfortunately, though, you won’t be able to avoid buying a ticket for this show, as you perhaps wish you had for the latest episode in the Twilight saga.

Andrew Robulack is a Whitehorse-based freelance writer and technology solutions consultant specializing in Macs, the internet, and mobile devices. Read his blog online at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Yukon RCMP are making an appeal for information in the case of Mary Ann Ollie, who was murdered in Ross River last year and whose case remains unsolved. (Black Press file)
Yukon youth being extorted online

Yukon RCMP say they’ve received three reports of youth being extorted on… Continue reading

Fines for contravening the fire ban start at $1,150 and could go as high as $100,000. File photo
Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. (Black Press file)
Yukon campgrounds to open early

Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. The early opening… Continue reading

Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce executive director Susan Guatto and program manager Andrei Samson outside the chamber office in downtown Whitehorse Feb. 23. (Stephanie Waddell, Yukon News)
When business models shift

Whitehorse chamber offers digital marketing workshop

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The aesthetics and economics of highway strips

One of the many cultural experiences you enjoy while driving from Whitehorse… Continue reading

Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone.
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone. (Submitted)
Yukon kids express gratitude for nature, pets and friends in art campaign

More than 50 children submitted artwork featuring things they are grateful for

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

Most Read