Digital Book World 2018. Walt Mossberg hits Keynote.

A few short posts will provide updates on NetRead’s visit to Digital Book World last week. Here’s the first:

Walt Mossberg (WSJ, ReCode) provided the opening keynote for Digital Book World 2018 (Nashville, Oct 2-4). He ruminated on “ambient computing,” or computing and technology that is all around you. He was referring to the Internet of Things, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Autonomous driving, etc.

Clearly, he is impressed by these technologies, but he also felt that we’re in an age of unrestricted control with much of the power consolidated within the major platform companies, including Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple. Mossberg noted that we’re the only country without guardrails for the Internet, and he believes that some regulation is necessary. We’ve already seen huge, unintended consequences, e.g. 2016 election interference, and personal data breaches in general. He believes there’s also a desire to move away from ad-based businesses, and he thinks we’ll see more of that in the future.

Mossberg retired last year, and now spends his time on the News Literacy Project, a national education nonprofit offering nonpartisan, independent programs that teach students how to know what to believe in the digital age. #DBW18