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March 20th, 2003

"We don't have the user-centricity. Until we understand context, which is way beyond presence -- presence is the most trivial notion of context." - Bill Gates quoted in the Business 2.0 piece in my previous entry.

Now, I know I work with mobile technologies and spend a lot of time thinking about the next generation of user-centred web applications (along with how we can use elements from the ubiquitous computing world in business and government), so I live steeped in the jargon of the field, but there's nothing actually wrong in that quote.

In fact, it's a clear, correct and concise encapsulation of one of the biggest problems facing interaction designers and application developers today. While knowing that someone is online, and where they're online is good (presence), knowing why they're online and what they're doing while they're online is better (context)...

Note to Business 2.0:

Before you pull a random quote that you don't understand, why not spend a little time checking to ensure that it's really garbage before running it. If you need to know more about ubi-comp and why context is a critical concept Go read my introduction to context computing (PDF). Call up my friends Tac, Kyle and Mike in San Francisco. Or better still, go hang out with ubi-comp folks at MIT and Stanford and think about Mark Wiser's original ubi-comp work at PARC.

Feh. Makes me ashamed to be a practicing technology journalist.