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Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy | [Robert Scoble, Shel Israel]

Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy

Social media is but one of five converging forces that promise to change virtually every aspect of our lives. You know these other forces already: mobile, data, sensors and location-based technology. Combined with social media they form a new generation of personalized technology that knows us better than our closest friends. Armed with that knowledge our personal devices can anticipate what we'll need next and serve us better than a butler or an executive assistant. The resulting convergent superforce is so powerful that it is ushering in an era the authors call the Age of Context.
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Publisher's Summary

In 2006, co-authors Robert Scoble and Shel Israel wrote Naked Conversations, a book that persuaded businesses to embrace what we now call social media. Six years later they have teamed up again to report that social media is but one of five converging forces that promise to change virtually every aspect of our lives. You know these other forces already: mobile, data, sensors and location-based technology. Combined with social media they form a new generation of personalized technology that knows us better than our closest friends. Armed with that knowledge our personal devices can anticipate what we'll need next and serve us better than a butler or an executive assistant. The resulting convergent superforce is so powerful that it is ushering in an era the authors call the Age of Context.

In this new era, our devices know when to wake us up early because it snowed last night; they contact the people we are supposed to meet with to warn them we're running late. They even find content worth watching on television. They also promise to cure cancer and make it harder for terrorists to do their damage. Astoundingly, in the coming age you may only receive ads you want to see. Scoble and Israel have spent more than a year researching this book. They report what they have learned from interviewing more than a hundred pioneers of the new technology and by examining hundreds of contextual products.

What does it all mean? How will it change society in the future? The authors are unabashed tech enthusiasts, but as they write, an elephant sits in the living room of our book and it is called privacy. We are entering a time when our technology serves us best because it watches us; collecting data on what we do, who we speak with, what we look at. There is no doubt about it: Big Data is watching you. The time to lament the loss of privacy is over. The authors argue that the time is right to demand options that enable people to reclaim some portions of that privacy.

©2013 Shel Israel (P)2013 Shel Israel

What Members Say

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  •  
    James Monroe, WA, United States 01-28-14
    James Monroe, WA, United States 01-28-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great content by a great narrator!"
    If you could sum up Age of Context in three words, what would they be?

    Technically relevant geekinfo.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Age of Context?

    I especially enjoyed the section on Google glass and how most people are initially opposed to it until they wear one and within 5 mins they want to own one.


    Which character – as performed by Jeffrey Kafer – was your favorite?

    Robert Scoble's persona really resonated with me via Jeffrey Kafer. I felt as though Robert was really speaking.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. I listened to this book while commuting to work and on two plane flights. I prefer to consume audio books in small snippets so I can contemplate what the content is about. Especially with technical content such as this. I even found myself going back and re-listening to some sections to clarify some questions I had.


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed the book content and narrator. Jeffrey Kafer has a clear and concise voice that is well suited for many book styles. Thank You Jeff!

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Philadelphia, PA, United States 12-20-13
    Amazon Customer Philadelphia, PA, United States 12-20-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Hopefully this technology is "3 Laws Safe""
    What did you love best about Age of Context?

    As a lover of technology and a fan of the Jetsons I enjoyed this book. This book is about the future as well as the present. The technology discussed in this book is both exciting as well as scary.


    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Tamburello London 02-21-14
    Brian Tamburello London 02-21-14
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    "An excellent, quick read"
    Any additional comments?

    I can strongly recommend this book with a significant caveat. You must read it within the next year or so. Since the focus is so bleeding-edge, it’s many specific company and product references are aging very quickly. In fact, in the ~6 months since publication, there are already a handful of dated references that remind you how rapidly this industry is evolving.
    Beyond that, it’s very competently written. There are plenty of stimulating examples and conjecture for the hardcore tech enthusiast, while still being accessible for the interested layman.

    From a vision perspective, I think Scoble and Israel largely get things right, although some of their timelines might be a little optimistic. Companies seem to be progressing a little more slowly in developing competent analytics than many would expect. But then, futurists seem to consistently overestimate software advancements – writing intelligent, context-aware software is proving challenging.

    In conclusion, this is a great listen, but make sure you can get to it before it’s stack of supporting examples gets too stale.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth L. Liberty, SC, United States 01-27-14
    Elizabeth L. Liberty, SC, United States 01-27-14
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    "An interesting look into the future of technology"
    Would you listen to Age of Context again? Why?

    Yes, I would listen to Age of Contest again. I'm not the biggest fan of non-fiction books but Jefferey Kafer was able to keep me interested.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Age of Context?

    I was very interested in the section about advances of Context as it relates to the medical field. As someone who has a family history of cancer, any kind of advance detection is a benefit to me.


    What about Jeffrey Kafer’s performance did you like?

    I liked the way Mr. Kafer kept me engaged in the story. As this was non fiction, the content could have been 'dry' but Mr. Kafer's narrating kept me entertained.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The future is closer then you think


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Stockholm, Sweden 07-04-14
    Amazon Customer Stockholm, Sweden 07-04-14 Member Since 2007

    BoHenry

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    "Interesting and entertaining"
    What made the experience of listening to Age of Context the most enjoyable?

    It gave a good overview of the trends in technology shaping future society.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Age of Context?

    The whole aspect of context - the trend towards the weaving together of data and information from different sources and contexts giving a whole new dimension to our lives.


    Any additional comments?

    It was a pleasure to listen to, and although many subjects dealt with in the book - like self-driving cars and Google glasses - are well known novelties by now, the book dealt in depth with the possible implications of these different new technologies.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 06-19-14
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 06-19-14 Member Since 2010

    Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting But Short Shelf Life"

    Scobel and Israel are a top IT reporting team. Maybe THE top team. They have an intriguing curiosity, wonderful access, and an ability to translate tech complexities into colloquial English. But, high tech becomes old tech at blinding speed. I finished this listen on 6/15/14. A lot of their material was… well think of a banana. You know how quick the yellow ones become brown? We'll this banana was flecked when I read it, on the way to brown.

    I'm guessing the expiration date for Age Of Context is probably 10/14 or 11/14 at the latest. Get it while it's fresh, huh?

    Jeffery Kafer's a good fit for the read he helped me enjoy the listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryan Harrisburg, PA, United States 01-26-14
    Bryan Harrisburg, PA, United States 01-26-14
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    "Fascinating. It's like I, Robot...only real!"
    What made the experience of listening to Age of Context the most enjoyable?

    By far, the content was the most enticing aspect of this. I actually had volunteered to listen to this, thinking it was fiction (my fault for not reading the description more carefully) and was initially surprised to find it non-fiction...but the content of this non-fiction feels so much like reality blending in with science fiction that it held my attention raptly the whole way through.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Completely fascinating material. Science-fiction becoming reality in ways that can only make your jaws drop.


    Have you listened to any of Jeffrey Kafer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have heard samples of Jeffrey Kafer's performances, but not a long-form as this one. Jeffrey does a great job of delivering the content in a way that draws you in and engrosses you in the material so smoothly that I sometimes found myself forgetting it wasn't him that wrote this!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    wanted to, but time didn't allow. It's one of those that you wish your drive was longer so you could keep listening.


    Any additional comments?

    I would recommend this book to just about anyone!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam Motes Tampa 07-21-14
    Sam Motes Tampa 07-21-14 Listener Since 2009

    Audible obsessed lifelong learner.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Context is everything"

    Takes the trends of social media, sensors, and other technologies and shows how the age of context is driving huge paradigm shifts in the way we interact with our gadgets and each other. Scobles and Israel bring great insight to the discussion due to their deep knowledge of technology and business.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Yoshida 05-31-14
    A. Yoshida 05-31-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Age of Personalized Technology"

    If you know something about Big Data, this is the next book to read. The authors are knowledgeable and engrossed in technology and convey well how we're entering an age of personalized technology (e.g., your phone knows when you're home and reminds you of your tasks). I would skip the last chapter, which is fanciful thinking from the authors of what they expect to see in the year 2038.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    analog kid 04-29-14
    analog kid 04-29-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A great challenge issued to us all"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Age of Context to be better than the print version?

    I did not read the print version, but felt the audio version was terrific.


    What about Jeffrey Kafer’s performance did you like?

    He seemed to really capture the voice of the authors.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This is an incredibly thought-provoking read. Exciting and terrifying at once.


    Any additional comments?

    While some of this book is futuristic, a good portion of what is illuminated is already here. The authors have provided great context for many of the current and coming innovations. There is something for everyone interested in grasping the changes headed our way.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 22 results PREVIOUS123NEXT
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  • Miles
    Wheathampstead, United Kingdom
    12/11/13
    Overall
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    "How technology will change our world"

    Robert Scoble spends his life visiting the most innovative technology companies and talking to the most visionary entrepreneurs. In the Age of Context he distills what he has learnt into predictions of how technology will impact the world and the way we live. The changes are revolutionary, the opportunities are vast and the threats to privacy, very worrying.

    It is a very interesting and stimulating read. I would recommend it to anyone whose job is dependent on understanding how the Internet and technology will evolve and what impact it will have on our lives. Not all the predictions will become reality, but if only half are correct the impact will still be huge.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. B. P. Thompson
    Berkshire, England
    12/15/13
    Overall
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    "Good book"
    Would you listen to Age of Context again? Why?

    I may listen to this book again but only to review some of the ideas and thoughts on automation


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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