Former New York Times technology columnist David Pogue, now with Yahoo, doesn’t think much of Google Glass and hates the phrase, “the Internet of Things,” he told a ballroom packed with attendees at the Internet Summit.

Pogue had to overcome a few technology problems himself – he forgot to turn off an app that interfered with his slide and video presentations – before talking about a number of disruptive technologies from the “quantification of self” movement, augmented reality, wearables, autonomous cars, drones, the Internet of things and what he called “World 2.0.”.

In a talk infused with humor throughout, Pogue noted that “We’re actually just at the dawn of this stuff..”

Discussing the Internet of things, he asked, “Who talks like that? Yodad? You don’t say jeans of blue.” But he went on to survey and in some cases demonstrate a host of apps that allow people to check their home thermostats automatically, check and operate a PC remotely on a mobile phone, or control a coffee maker.

“World 2.0”

The problem right now, he said, is one of fragmentation. “These are all in separate silos.” So, Google, Microsoft and others are creating hubs to manage them all, he noted.

He said Web 2.0, in which users become the creators, with Facebook, which now has 1.6 billion active users, a sixth of the world’s population, as the prime example, is morphing into “World 2.0.”

Web 2.0 had its own disruptive effects: Craigslist classifieds “is killing newspapers,” he said. “Both the New York Times and Washington Post Sunday papers were an inch thinner last year.” Wikipedia – which studies found at least as accurate as the Encyclopedia Britannica, finally put it out of business and it ceased publishing last year.

He told the story of the young man who went into a library and commented on the set of books that all looked alike. “That’s an encyclopedia,” the librarian told him. “What? Someone printed out the whole thing?” he said.

Self Movement a “Wild Fire” But Glass Won’t Be

One disruptive tech “Catching on like wild fire” is the quantification of self movement (self knowledge through numbers), he said.

Wearables – from simple ones that are glorified pedometers to one that measures male sex performance (and will upload it to Facebook, he noted with a laugh), are very popular. “Any where they can put a sensor against skin, they’re doing it,” he said.

The problem is that many of the quantification of self devices “Are not accurate. They haven’t perfected the algorithms yet.”

He’s not impressed with Google Glass, either, saying it “It’s a technical marvel, but I think it’s going to be a consumer flop. It makes you look like a cyborg and you can’t tell when someone is recording you. It’s also expensive.” They even have an unflattering name for people who wear the device:”Glassholes.”

He predicts it will fail as a consumer device.

He’s bullish on “World 2.0,” though. By that he means all the new businesses that let people use the family car as a taxi or rent out a room at home all via Uber or AirBNB and similar online services. AirBNB “Rented out 13 million nights last year and in five years expects to do 100 million nights – and that’s bigger than the hotel industry.”

Similar services such as Parking Panda let you park in some guys driveway for $8 a night instead of $35 a night at a commercial lot.

All those services evolved during the recession when everyone wanted to make money and save money, he said. He discussed his own experience using Uber and said he’s never calling a taxi again.

He does like the idea of the car that drives itself. Google’s has gone 800,000 miles without an accident, he noted. “I can’t wait.”

Proverbs and Songs 

He pointed out that drones are now doing everything from remote bridge inspections to cinematography, but he doesn’t think Amazon’s idea of delivering packages via drones is going to work. “This is America,” he said, pantomiming shooting down a drone with a rifle.

In one of the funniest segments of his talk he gave the audience examples of some of his Twitter experiments collected in his “World of Twitter,” book, which he said is one of the few failures among his 3 million books in print.

For instance, he asked his Twitter followers to invent a Chinese proverb that sounds authentic. Some responses:

  • A pig with a cold still makes good bacon.
  • The pit is always smaller than the plum.
  • And: It is dangerous to leap a chasm in two bounds.

They’re hard to argue with, he said.

Pogue, who was a musician and conductor prior to becoming a technology guru, ended his presentation by playing the piano and singing two hilarious songs in which he wrote new tech oriented lyrics to old tunes.