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Year of the iPad, Facebook and WikiLeaks

india Updated: Dec 26, 2010 21:59 IST
N Madhavan
N Madhavan
Hindustan Times
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I remember a lovely spring evening last April in Chicago, when I took a look at the iPad at an Apple store on the day of its launch in the United States. I did not buy one – being a sceptic when it comes to early purchases – but in hindsight, I should have bought one and sold it in the blackmarket in India.

The thing is yet to hit the Indian shores. So what if India is an IT superpower?

In fact, there could be a lesson there, as I look back at the year 2010 and what it brought forth in the technology industry. A flurry of tablet devices hit the market, including the Samsung Galaxy and Dell Streak that challenged iPad in India before its arrival, showing that American supremacy is not to be taken for granted anymore. If something is cool in US, it need not be so in Asia.

That brings me to the second point. Time magazine’s “Person of the year” was Mark Zuckerburg, the founder of social networking phenomenon Facebook. Notably, he could also figure in the Oscars next year as a movie based on his adventure.

Now, an interesting statistic: One in four Web pages in the US is now viewed behind the walls of Facebook — which means people discover and share stuff on Facebook, which is becoming something like a global forum.

I am now imagining a future in which iPad like tablets will be used to share things on Facebook like networks.

But don’t mistake that to be necessarily a US-dominated world.

For which, look at my Exhibit Number 3 of the year: WikiLeaks, the instant media site that leaks hushed information. The US government is losing its sleep over this phenomenon founded by Australian Julian Assange that leaked out confidential cables concerning international democracy.

Thus, it seems to me, though 2010 definitely figured as the Year of American Cool for most part, the WikiLeaks phenomenon, and the increasingly similar but cheaper iPad clones assert the equalizing power of the Internet and tech gadgets.