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Posts Tagged ‘Apple’

What side are you on?

It is crazy to think how far technology grows in the world of cell phones. I can’t seem to finish out my 2-year contracts before another revolutionary smartphone hits markets and I regret my decision to upgrade so soon. Although we have already discussed the demanding market for the next best thing. It came to my attention that we have hit a sudden slump in the world of smartphones. This year when my contract went up in February I decided to hold out and snatch the newest smartphone as soon as it hit the market, the problem? There hasn’t been a new one.

I currently am a blackberry user and was looking forward to their newest creation but after such a long lag in new product releases, I decided I would switch over to the new iPhone 5 because it had been so long since the iPhone 4 was released.  Here I am in April and still stuck with my old blackberry.  There have been a lot of speculations why there is a sudden stalemate in the smartphone war. Some blame it on the issues iPhone had with the iPhone 4 release and the antennae problem while others claim it is the new competitor in the Android causing Apple to step up there game. Instead of the usual Blackberry vs. iPhone war a new player as been added to the shuffle. Google Inc. has entered the world of smartphones with the Android.  Google’s phone has had so much attention some claim it is even better than the iPhone and will knock blackberry off the market for good.  Now, with the added player to the smartphone fight my decision to get a switch just became twice as hard. With Android being compared to Windows PC and the iPhone obviously representing Apple systems, where does the blackberry stand.  Not many people remember the Palm Treo in early 2000 that has faded from the smartphone market because blackberry stole their thunder with a better operating system that provided more user friendly capabilities and more reliable technology. Now that there is a new phone to compete with the iPhone, is the blackberry a thing of the past?

I feel a consumer obligation to the blackberry after two years of satisfied use, but what can I do if the Android and iPhone provide a new generation of smartphones and Blackberry fails to rise to the challenge.  For now I am team Blackberry with a strong inclination to switch to iPhone if they are able to release the new iPhone 5 any time soon. But the increasingly positive reviews of the Android with its very consumer friendly advertising campaign makes a strong argument to forever abandon the Blackberry. With smartphones that already start cars, turn on security alarms, scan credit cards and display HD movies, it is hard to imagine what our phones will be doing in 10 years.

The blur between Man and Machine

With technology moving forward at an alarmingly fast rate, it would only be in human nature to want to use technology to advance our hardware. The outcome: body enhancements. Molly in Neuromancer had many enhancements with her body, as did Palmer Eldritch in The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch.  Along with Palmer’s modifications, Leo Bulero in the same novel received cosmetic surgery to implement a tongue weapon.  Although I have not heard of any surgical procedures to implant weapons to the body, there have been major advancements with prosthetics and optical surgery.   Dustin in his post “One Step Closer to Palmer ” goes into detail about the positive side to the body enhancements that help those in need of prosthetics.  The prosthetic limb shown in the video exemplifies the glories of technological advancements and the ability to help the lives of others while combining medicine and technology. On the other side of this is Alexie’s post,”Body Enhancements…Possible?“, about pointless enhancements such as the “Netherlands Institute for Innovative Ocular Surgery [that] inserts shapes such as ‘hearts, stars, euro signs, four-leaf clovers, and music notes’ into a patient’s eye (Scott, 8)”.

The optical surgery to insert shapes has no medical significance and provides a way for doctors to use their skills to enlarge their bank accounts.  The E-therapy seen in The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch has a somewhat similar cosmetic appeal, as there is no real medical significance to the procedure and simply is seen as a status symbol.  We had talked about the importance of always having the newest and coolest piece of technology when is comes to cell phones and laptops, but who would have thought the same could be said for cosmetic surgery that blurs the line between technology and the body.  Cyborgs have been in books for years, but the concept of a cyborg made of mainly machine has yet to make an appearance.  In Christopher’s post, “The Opposite of a Cyborg?” he reveals the concept of a machine that has human cells growing in it.  The concept is still in prototype stages but as Christopher said, “It seems that as time and research move forward, the hybrid fusion of man and machine will only evolve to even greater levels.”  It is hard to admit how much we are dependent on technology and the continual blur between our technology and us continues to grow with each new product release.  It is very daunting to think that the new iPhone 5 rumored to release later this year may turn out to simply be an implant where the screen is a projection through out eyeball and we control it with our body as we saw in the episode of Futurama.

I guess it is safe to say that no matter where society takes us there will always be a demand for engineers to create new technology, and doctors to implant it into our bodies.  As we discussed one class period, it is impossible to think of a day where we would be forced to live without any technology. From the contacts in my eyes to the computer I am currently typing this post on, I would be nothing without technology.

Happy 30th Birthday!

This weekend marks the 30-year anniversary of the portable computer unveiling. Adam Osborne released the Osborne 1 April 3, 1981. The revolutionary portable computer was announced at the West Coast Computer Faire at San Francisco’s Brooks Hall. Although today he is not as famous as the legendary CEO of apple Steve Jobs, or Microsoft founder Bill Gates, his portable computer changed the world of technology, as we know it.

Before his Osborne 1 no one could even fathom a computer that could move from desk to desk, now portable computer laptops are so standard most students could not imagine life without them. Even now as I type this blog I cannot think of college without the convenience of my laptop to take notes, stalk on Facebook, or and write the endless research papers.Unfortunately for Osborne, his company went bankrupt after trying to introduce his computers before they were consumer ready. Now if any product has any manufacturing issue at all, take the iPhone 2, corporations immediately work to fix the apparent problem. After the iPhone 2 showed issues with the antennae, Apple sent customers free cases to help with the reception and prevent dropped calls. Osborne’s early exposure of his products led to the demise of Osborne Computer Company. Now, the premature release of products causing consumers to reject them is known as the “Osborne effect”. Companies spend millions to keep their products a secret until they are ready to announce the finalized product. Despite his lack of failure now, back in the day Adam Osborne was seen as a god in tech communities. David Bunnell, a managing editor of Osborne’s publishing company who later founded PC Magazine, PC World, Macworld, and other publications. “I tell people that in those days there were three major people in the industry: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Adam Osborne, and not necessarily in that order. He had a huge following.”

Thanks to Adam Osborne’s creation of the Osborne 1, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates followed in his footsteps to create, and continue to perfect the portable computer. After 30 years and millions and millions of models, it is only fitting we put our hands together for the father of the portable computer. Happy Birthday PC!

FaceTime: Bringing Us Together, or Apart?

February 22, 2011 Leave a comment

After class the other day, Professor Rejack mentioned that there was a new version of the MacBook coming out in the near future. Terribly embarrassed that I had absolutely no idea about this new computer, I immediately jumped online to do some research. Instead of learning about all the newest features, storage, or processing for the new MacBook – I found something much more interesting, Face Time for MacBook beta. This application, available since Octoberof 2010, allows apple customers to videoconference using either a MacBook or an iPhone.

One of the biggest public complaints about the iPhone 4’s Face time feature was the fact that it only worked between iPhone users on a Wi-Fi network. So technically you could not face time ANYWHERE. Yet, this problem was fixed with the Skype app. Skype allows you to face time with users on both Wi-Fi and the 3G network. iPhone users everywhere can face time, and now with the development of face time with MacBook, apple users can video conference just about anywhere.

What kind of opportunities does this open up for the average person? There have been many arguments that technology is a force of depersonalization; that people are beginning to have “cyber personalities”, completely different from whom they are in person. Our youngest generation feels more comfortable texting each other than picking up the phone to make a call. People no longer know how to write thank you notes or birthday cards. They are no longer taught social etiquette, how to interact face-to-face with others, or overall social skills.

Is Apple encouraging this fast-forward into the future, and throwing away old social conventions? Or is Apple is helping us reverse this trend by bringing us face to face with others again? Are we going to gain back everything that this generation has lost? Only time will tell as to whether or not face time actually catches on or becomes a faded novelty with texting and email still more convenient. As we progress into the 21st century, we can only hope that society will continue to be aware of the social dangers of technology.