Ubiquitous Interfaces, Ubiquitous Functionality at Toolness
Ubiquity is a new plug-in for Firefox that integrates multiple tools as key commands right in your browser. When you are at a restaurant web page, for instance, you can bring up a map from Google, a review from Tripadvisor, and translate the page from the Spanish all by typing into your web-browser. When you are using the plug-in, you do not even see those other services, they all just get bundled into your browser in a way that you can send to other people.
This particular plug-in is not the future of web-browsers but it will be something very close to this. Most of the faculty I work with balk at all of the log-ins they must manage and this is not only a way to overcome that, but is a new way of using information on the internet.
Sidenote on Logophobia: So I do not believe that Web 2.0 is the future. I believe that seamless, user-generated mash-ups are. I need to teach Web 2.0 tools to help students and faculty learn to create content on their own and not wait for information and services to be delivered. In other words, someone who is taught how to use the net critically and knows how to use Web 2.0 tools will be ready for what's next. I am going to use the word "Web 2.0" because people know what I mean when I say that. They may not know what I mean when I say "social media tools" (media? really?), or "Meta-cognitive connectivist hyper-collaboratogy." The phrase "Web 2.0" is not a particularly elegant phrase: it does not concisely define anything, but we are talking about a broad collection of tools. When someone talks about Web 2.0, I know they are not talking about the old Yahoo!, web pages made with Netscape Communicator, or Compuserve. We can call the next stage Web 3.0 or what ever word falls into common usage. I have an education book from the 60s called "The Rasberry Experience." The name was an attempt to break out of the semantic games of educational research. They failed.