I must say I am rather surprised and gratified with the response I got from trying to encourage everyone to opt out of the word-verification 'security' thing that is set to 'on' as default. (Anyone stumbling across this post should see the previous one).
It got me thinking about the whole business of blogging (again), and this time it also got me thinking about the whole business from Google's point of view as well.
I mentioned in a comment that most bloggers seem to be between the ages of about 40 and 70 something, and everyone else online is on Facebook. The younger generation don't even bother with emails - any messages sent between them are posted up on Facebook (and public thoughts are on Twitter), and privacy is something that you have to opt into, rather than the other way round.
I don't know about you, but if I build a wall in my backyard, it is not specifically put there for anyone to come up to and stick whatever they want all over it - including compromising photos of me, worse the wear for drink, last saturday night in the pub or club. Many careers of would-be high-office politicians are being destroyed right now, 20 years before they have been created by a lot of hard work. As has been said before, 'Facebook' is like the Hotel California - you can check out, but you can never leave.
The trouble is that all these shiny and spectacular operating systems we all take for granted now, are designed by very clever young people of the Facebook generation - change is what they are best at. They are supreme innovators, and without them, we would have no gleaming Apple Macs with idiot-proof systems to operate them with. It would never occur to them to just leave something be if it works sort of OK - they would be sacked for even thinking along those lines, and quite right too.
A little detail like forcing old people to attempt to decipher some black and white, distorted and meaningless phrase and reproduce it in a separate box using trembling hands and failing eyesight, just would not be seen by them as being a particularly tall order.
I cannot imagine the pace and extent of the concept of change and innovation that must permeate the very atmosphere of the design offices in Apple's headquarters in California - all I know is that complacency is simply not allowed. From what I know, the same sort of atmosphere exists in the offices of Dyson at Malmesbury, and the two companies are similar in that they produce very glossy, desirable products at very high prices. Someone has to pay for all that research and development!
There are programs that exist on my iMac that I have no direct knowledge of, nor will I ever even find them - even by accident - let alone use them. If - for the cost of about £80 - I bought two extra little chips and screwed them into the back of my machine, I could professionally edit about three, full-length feature films at the same time. Somehow, I don't think I will ever be doing that, though.
So if you happen to find yourself in Google's design headquarters in the near future, try leaning over the shoulder of one of the young technicians as he types furiously away at his desktop, and - if you can get his attention - politely ask him (when he has a spare minute) if he wouldn't mind taking the 'word-verification' option out of the default mode, and allowing the average OAP to decide if they want to use it themselves!