Technophobia

December 12, 2013 at 11:43 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

In the last two weeks, I have acquired a brand new iPhone and a brand new Nook.  Now, I had a smartphone before and I also even possessed a Nook but both were leagues behind what I currently own.  My smartphone was smart but this iPhone could probably cook a meal for itself and then find the best way to clean up and dispose of the leftovers, while booking a flight across the country and answering questions regarding corn consumption in farm animals.  As for the Nook, the first one I had was the first generation and didn’t come equipped with a touch screen or backlight.  Both Nooks have been hand-me-downs from a particularly generous aunt of mine but this new one takes e-reading to a whole new level.  Between these new acquisitions and the laptop I already had, I’m beginning to feel a little overwhelmed.  What if it all decides to come together to ruin run my life?

One day the machines will rule us all!

Seriously, it wouldn’t be hard.  My iPhone knows my schedule, the names and contact information to all those most important to me, all inquiries I’ve made relating to things I may or may not be too embarrassed to admit to here and even my exact GPS coordinates.  The Nook knows what I’m reading and exactly how slow I’m reading it while my Macbook knows just about everything else, as well as having access to every family and vacation photo I’ve ever taken.  These three devices basically rule my world and I’m not exactly sure how I feel about that.  Sure, they’re all extremely convenient and handy and I’ll be the first to admit that carrying my Nook is a lot simpler than carrying my current book, which is The Count of Monte Cristo and clocks in at just under 1300 pages.  It’s also been really nice to watch Netflix on my phone while at the gym instead of trying not to stare at the jiggling ass of the person in front of me.  So yes, I’m getting spoiled but I still don’t know what to make of it.  I actually have a paperback copy of the book at home because I genuinely like reading from an actual book, so I’m still not sure I’m doing the whole Nook thing right.  Where’s the fine line between being far too reliant on technology and being a Luddite?  The world may never know.

Now if I could just get one of these contraptions to take care of mundane tasks like waiting on hold to talk to the insurance company, I’d be all set.  I’m currently at one hour and thirteen minutes – Blue Cross Blue Shield, my technology and I are coming for you!

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Goodbye Encyclopedia Brittannica

March 14, 2012 at 12:04 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

The below news story covers the end of an era.  While I understand the necessity of this move, it makes me sad that future generations won’t be sneaking certain volumes in order to learn definitions of sex-related words like I did.

Encyclopedia Britannica is closing the book on its print edition. The move may be the single most powerful symbol to date of our rapidly changing media world, a world in which hard copies of books could become a quaint thing of the past.  

Thanks for all the non-digital knowledge!

Today, we clutch iPads and Kindles and Nooks, bragging about how they lighten our load and encourage us to read more. When we want to “look something up,” we’re far more likely to reach for our laptops than walk across the room to thumb through a reference book.

And that unquenchable desire for convenience makes for a world in which a set of the Encyclopedia Britannica — the oldest English-language encyclopedia in existence — no longer has a home.

“Change: It’s Okay. Really.” That’s the headline Encyclopedia Britannica’s blog, Facts Matter, uses in discussing the encyclopedia’s transition to a digital-only product.

Yes, it’s sad that we’re bidding farewell to 244 years of history, the blog says. That’s how long the thick reference volumes have lined shelves around the globe, providing a “source of enlightenment” to all that rifled through them. But fear not, the blog says reassuringly: “…in a larger sense this is just another historical data point in the evolution of human knowledge.”

The encyclopedia will live on, “in bigger, more numerous, and more vibrant digital forms,” the company promises.

And for starters, it will be cheaper.

The flagship 32-volume printed edition costs $1,400, according to Reuters, and will be available only until current inventory is sold out. An online subscription will set you back about $70 a year. One superior digital advantage: The online edition is updated constantly with new data, in keeping with the rapidly changing world around us.

Reaction at the encyclopedia website ran the gamut.

“Printed books have been around for more than 600 years; e-books have been around for only a tiny fraction of that time. Isn’t it too soon to put all your eggs in the digital basket?” asked one commenter at the blog.

“Thank god,” said another, “tired of searching for 3+ minutes for my answer in an encyclopedia when I can google it in 3 seconds. Best change ever.”

And then there was this comment:

“We have the set of Britannica that my mother-in-law bought for my husband and his sister. I told the kids that they are a love letter from Grandma to Daddy. It says ‘I want you to grow-up, learn everything you can, succeed, and be happy.’ You just need to sell the idea that the subscription is the same kind of love letter. I hope you’ll make it available on Nook Color!”

Source

The times, they are a changing.

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Plugged In

October 21, 2011 at 9:18 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

This week, my apartment became infinitely more technological.  For the first time in…5 years…I have a secured (and legal) internet connection and

I now have one of these

cable in the comfort of my own home.  Also (for the first time in 5 years), I have a television with a remote that allows me to stay sitting on my ass while I change the volume and turn the TV on and off.  Even with just the most basic of basic cable, this is luxury.  The last time I had cable and internet (besides that brief period I lived with my ex and his parents that I now consider to be my black hole of existence) was in college, where I could share the costs with others who were also living off their student loans.  Since my graduation and immersion in the real world, paying for this was not something I’ve been able to do.  It hasn’t been too bad using an antennae for TV (that one year living with nothing but the WB Network taught me some true survival skills) and I was able to pick up an internet connection for a little while at my last place, but since then I’ve been living without.  So you can imagine how different this is for me.

In case you’re wondering, I didn’t off a neighbor and steal their connections.  Actually, the bf is in the process of moving in and getting his cable and internet transferred, as well as bringing over his large and flat screen TV, has been the most exciting aspect of this entire situation.  In fact, I’m considering dumping him now and keeping his stuff.  Just kidding!  It might be a little while before everything is official but since he was paying for all that fanciness and not spending enough time at his place to ever use it, we figured the switch made a bit more sense.  I suppose we could’ve started hanging out at his apartment more but to be honest it’s a pretty barren bachelor pad and my place is just so darn comfy.  And my couch is bigger.  Actually, everything about my apartment is bigger which is one of the main reasons he’s moving in with me and not the other way around.  Plus my rent is cheaper and I have way more stuff. So that’s happening.

Anyway, when I came home Tuesday night after a long day of work and class I was able to channel surf to my heart’s content.  And before I knew it, it was 12:30am and I had to be awake in just about 6 hours.  Apparently, I had completely forgotten how easy it is to be sucked into reruns of sitcoms that I’ve seen a million times but not lately.  After realizing just how dangerous my new set-up could be, I forced myself to go to bed with visions of Conan O’Brien running through my head.  This weekend I have a stockpile of scary movies to work my way through (The Amityville Horror, Poltergeist and Hellraiser, to be specific) so perhaps I’ll be able to stay away from the cable for a little while.

Until those sitcoms come back on.

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