Tag Archives: invention

Do Our Devices Spoil Us?

The problem with using an iPad so much is that everything becomes a touch screen. Boy oh boy am I having trouble with this lately. I keep swiping my finger across the television and poking at my MacBook screen. When nothing happens, I am momentarily confused. Then, of course, sadness sets in as I realize those particular devices don’t react to my touch the way my beloved iPad and iPhone do. Le sigh…

I believe my devices are beginning to spoil me a little too much, and I’m willing to bet you suffer from this as well. We have come to expect certain things from our gadgets. When we use one which doesn’t adhere to our new standards, we become frustrated. Often, we even decide in a geek rage that whatever it is we’re trying to use should now be considered obsolete. We then rush out to buy whatever the hottest new product offering is, even if we truly don’t need it. Is any of this sounding familiar to you?

The fact of the matter is that those slightly-older gizmos aren’t obsolete. They don’t even work THAT much differently (most of the time) than the newest “replacements” you’ll find on store shelves. Sadly, we have become so snobbish thanks to the few truly revolutionary devices that we expect nothing less of each and every piece of technology we buy. This isn’t to say that’s a completely BAD thing… we want companies to build on existing “hot” items to make things which are even better. But for us to simply expect and demand true genius to come out of each and every new item – well, that’s a bit spoiled in my mind.

Look. Your devices are fine just as they are. Your television doesn’t need touch capabilities. Your radio doesn’t have to have antennas which will tune in Tokyo. Not everything in our world has to be new and different.

If it ain’t broke…

Life Without Computers

I had to chuckle when I read Decimic’s question on Lockergnome earlier. Up for discussion is what our lives would be like if computers had never been invented. A few of the answers are funny, with people gasping over the fact that they would have to go back to reading books or drawing pictures. Heck, they might even have to go outside!

One answer in particular caught my attention, though. EoinMuurphy stated simply that “No one can answer this, because we have become so engulfed into the computer world that it’s almost impossible to think what life would be like without it.” Boy, ain’t that the truth? Can you even begin to imagine what your life would be like right now if there were no computers? Sure, we’d all like to think we’d have more time on our hands if we weren’t attached to our machines. Is that really true, though? Wouldn’t your work take up even more of your time without the aid of your various devices and gadgets?

Personally, I don’t even want to think about what my life would be like without a computer nearby. I’m not quite sure how this whole live-streaming thing would work. What do you think? Do you want to imagine a life without computers long enough to ponder what you might be doing differently in life?

Since we DO happen to have computers and devices in our lives, we gathered together all of the best software and apps you could possibly need to make your life easier.

Do You Appreciate Your Technology?

Gordon asked on Geeks recently: “What do you consider to be this most ignored item of technology?” He talks about how we often take for granted the items we have around us… our gaming consoles, our computers and even our navigation systems. He’s right, you know. Most of us use these items without really thinking about them or appreciating them.

We want the newest technologies. We want things that are better, faster and newer than what we have. But do we stop and think about what we have? Do you appreciate the fact that science has evolved enough to even allow the design and implementation of that smartphone you cannot live without? Do you ever think about those people whose brains are so much more advanced than mine (and perhaps yours) that they can come up with things like this to make our lives easier and more fun?

What piece of technology do you think is the most ignored? What one item do you believe we all tend to overlook – despite the fact that we likely use it every day?

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What Would You Invent?

Take a look around your home or office at all of the things sitting around. Each and every one of those objects were invented by someone – somewhere – at some point in time. All of them started with just an idea, which may have seemed crazy or even impossible at the time. It’s astounding when you stop to think of all of the advances in products that we use every day and take for granted. Think back (or research it) to fifty short years ago. People back then would have died laughing had you told them that one day they would use a wireless device to make calls anywhere. Had you said the word “Internet” to them, they’d have though you had sprouted horns.

What would you invent if it were possible? Imagine if you will the ability to create anything your mind can come up with. Would you want to create a way to travel through time? Would you be the first person to “drive” a flying car similar to what George Jetson drove? Let’s hear what you can dream up. Have a great weekend, everyone!

It doesn’t take an inventor or a rocket scientist to know what the best software and apps there are available.

What is the Best Invention?

I’ve been toying around with something new on my Facebook Fan Page today. Every hour or so, I add an open-ended question in the hopes of getting some conversation rolling. It’s been a lot of fun (and even a learning experience) to see the varied answers come floating in. The latest question I asked was “The most amazing invention I have seen come to be in MY lifetime would have to be the…”

I was disappointed to see that most of the answers center around things such as the iPhone, mobile phones in general and even the iPad. While all of these are great inventions and products, are they really the best ones of our generation? With the introduction of medical devices in the past twenty years which enhance (or even save) people’s lives, it almost seems selfish to think that my iPhone is the greatest thing brought to the world since I was born a couple of years ago.

Open your mind. What do you feel is the best invention that has been created in YOUR lifetime? Why do you think it stands out above everything else and should therefore be deemed “the best” or “most important?”

While software may not be the best invention ever in the history of mankind, it certainly does make our lives easier. Why not stop by the software center to see what’s new today?

Where is Technology Headed?

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I love answering the questions you send in – especially when they are broad ones that have no right answer. This way, all of you can chime in with your thoughts, as well! Frank recently sent me a set of three excellent questions, so I thought I would answer those today.

Do you think there will ever come a time when we hit a wall with tech – and nothing more can be made? In a nutshell – no! It’ll never happen, I guarantee you. Anyone who says otherwise, doesn’t really understand the nature of technology. Faster and more pervasive things are always going to be on the horizon. Imagine walking into somewhere, and having no access to the Internet! It’s everywhere. If you had told me when I was a kid that I’d be able to access this type of information instantaneously, I’d have laughed at you. Every year, there is something new and cutting edge. Technology is always going to evolve.

Do you feel people really appreciate technology, and the effort that goes into creating something innovative? I do… but I also realize that everyone is a critic. The Internet has given rise to any number of people who think they know what they’re talking about. You know the ones – the people who believe they know everything, and illustrate their ignorance when they try to prove it! As individuals, we are very egocentric. We want things on our terms. We take technologies for granted these days. I appreciate technology – but I do know that I take it for granted as much as the next person. It’s just *there*. Not enough praise is given to the people who make something. If you’re going to rant about something, take the time to be constructive.

What about technology is important to you, and what is it that makes you want it more? It’s changed over time. As I’ve grown older, I have different needs. I think the bottom line is discovering what a piece of software can do for me, or a service, or even hardware. I want to find something I couldn’t do before! I go through epiphanies. I try to excite myself with excitement over the power of change, and of communication.

This is something I’ve made a large part of my conference Gnomedex, which is coming into its ninth year this August! I’ve given it the title “Human Circuitry”. It’s the meeting of technology and humanity into a nexus of sorts. That’s what defines us, or is beginning to define us, and change our world. Technology is not always bad, but can be used for nefarious things as we all know. You have to take the bad with the good, in the hope that the good will far outweigh the bad.

It’s the good in technology that keeps me happy and excited for more! Feel free to post a comment or video response to any or all of these questions!

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