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I just went to ScreenR to try out this download-less screencasting site. It requires me to log in using my Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. account. Creating a separate account on isn’t possible.

Am I the only one who is vaguely disturbed by this? This puts Google, Yahoo, etc. in the position of having an accumulated list of all the sites I use and the login credentials I use to access them. I simply don’t know if I want every site I use, every email I receive, and every person I contact conveniently located in a single database. While I’m not particularly worried about Google or Yahoo, history is full of cases of databases being hacked, stolen, or subpoena’d by people and groups that have political or social agendas.

For those who think such things just don’t happen in America, as recently as 2004 administration, congressional aides hacked into the opposing party’s computer files and leaked them to the press. Never mind the “outing” of CIA agent Valerie Plame as a political maneuver designed to put pressure on her husband.

So I’m cautious. We’re putting more and more of our personal, private information into the hands of fewer and fewer companies. Do I want to log in using my Google account? No. I want to log in using credentials that connect only to that web site. Sadly, that’s becoming a rarer option.

My prediction for the 2010s

In 1999, I put forth the theory that we all had enough basic computing power and the competitive shift in the 2000s would be towards usability and user interface. I think that was about half right. The other half was the rise of social media, powered in large part by smartphones (whose success may be partially due to usability and user interface).

My prediction for the 2010s is that we’ll shift from “be connected” to “be less connected, but in just the right ways.” I suspect that by about 2013, we’ll begin to see a real backlash against the total information saturation we’re currently experiencing.