Why the ‘Wave’ (Google Wave) is both beautiful and scary

I woke up early this morning but wasn’t quite ready to ‘get to work’ so I perused the tweets and came across mention of Google Wave. What Wave? Google? Hmm. Intrigued as I always am by shiny new technology I watched the hour and a half long demo.

It was mind boggling for someone who grew up during the age of vinyl records and 8 track tapes! Granted I work in technology now but when I do step back and look at how far we’ve come as a nation I’m just floored. If you are younger than 30, maybe this is no big deal but those of us who are at the tail end of the baby boomer set this is almost inconceivable. Although the downside to all this brand spanking new- technology-every-minute is that we have a lot less free time now. I heartily encourage turning off that tech before you crawl into bed at night. Everyone needs to interact with a human being (or two) face-to-face. Patting your child on the head while you watch tweets fly by on your iPhone just doesn’t count. Isn’t that one of the criteria that sets us a part from animals? We need to eat, drink, sleep and interact with others beyond the electronic eye that stares us in the face for hours a day.

I love the concept of Google Wave but I worry immensely about the potential for abuse. As a business owner that runs an email server for clients I know that there are some crafty hackers and spammers that will look at this and say, “Hey! How can I manipulate this for MY benefit”. I realize this is an early look at what Wave will be capable of I just hope we all remember trackback spam, and spending hours cleaning out spam comments riddled with links to porn (before Captcha). It’s beautiful and awe inspiring, just don’t forget what we dealt with when other new and shiny technology was introduced. Please make sure that this is a secure application that doesn’t expose us to any sort of risk. The more private information we put up on the web the higher the likelihood that we as consumers/technologists can lose everything to some bored 15 yo.

/me looking up to the heavens, hey dad, remember before you left this earth you said to me that the web was for the birds, hmm? You hated web technology and couldn’t understand my fascination with Open Source. Web 2.0 was a twinkle in somebodies eye and you felt the world was being lured into a false sense of security You were one of those traditional programmers who thought html was a cop out. I love you but I hope you are watching because Google is proving that the browser can be just as powerful as any non-browser application! I miss you