Tag Archives: iPad

Apple Tech & Puzzle Pieces #AmWriting

helping hands 2 29 2016

I was thinking, as much as technology is improving life, there are ethical questions of “Who actually benefits?”

Recently an Apple iPad advertisement on television did an awesome pitch showing kids using their devices to complete homework assignments.  It was brilliant!  Its potential was amazing, but then there was the small print regarding an iPad pencil and that made me realize that there were high costs associated with this technology, even so the ad showed a nice diverse group of children.

One could easily conclude that this was perfect pitch.  But when the TV commercial ended the local news came on, about teachers in our community, the cityscapes and economically depressed neighborhoods.   Here too were a diverse group of children, all smiling.  Maybe because there were television cameras in the schoolyard or perhaps, because they were going to get another Snow Day in late March.  But whatever the reason that they were smiling, rest assured it wasn’t because Apple had distributed iPads with pencils into their classrooms.  And it’s reasonable to assume that these third graders had yet to be exposed to real world economics and the inequality that poverty creates.

“A Wealth of Nations” was written by Scottish economist Adam Smith, in his “Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations”.  He wrote about the division of labor to productivity to free markets.  In those scenarios there was a presumed self-regulating economic system that proved efficient at the distribution of goodies, like an Invisible Hand during that century’s industrial revolution..

But the truth is, particularly in today’s digital world, privileged is as privileged does and entities that control the wealth, also keep the wealth.  There is no trickle down effect, but instead a hoarding of wealth, through the use of systemic apathy, in which lobbyists, taxes and monopolies have existential preferences.

And all of this seems very poignant, as we’re entering another industrial revolution, this one referred to as Industry 4.0, in the new Digital Age.  It is a name for automation and data exchange that includes cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things, cloud computing and cognitive computing.  Also referred to as the fourth industrial revolution.

I was thinking, even though we have the capacity to create technology that improves life, how can we ensure that the technology gets into each little round hand, regardless of race, nationality, health or poverty level?

Hello Apple!  How about you make that difference, start with iPads with pencils for ALL school children for  $Free.99

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Filed under Apple, ipad, Politics, social media, technology

Recalibrating Finger Swipes

$3 MC Escher

MC Escher’s lithograph , Drawing Hands depicts the possibility of an impossible reality; perfectly! And we’re able to appreciate it, in the most thoughtful way.

Technology is like that, we ask “Why?” and then we think, “Why not?”

There’s the absurdity of it; our imaginations gone wild and then the calming effects of reasonable ideas that we can begin to resolve.  And just like that, we’re onto something!  And we’re often quite successful, especially when we get approval, that proverbial pat on the back.

It’s exactly what makes us human, this thinking and imagining, as if it were our job.   Maybe it is!  That is, we’re here to think of ways to improve our lot in life: to think outside the box, while we are seated inside it, much like a hand drawing a hand.

iPad, iPod and  iTouch technology began and perfected the use of a finger.  Not a hand, not the collective use of the hand, but a single finger swipe across a touch screen.  That’s it, it reduced the whole world to a screen and made it accessible by using one’s fingertips.   From music, to data to games, all done in solitude and contrary to our social selves.

I miss traditional board games that we played on the floor, or on wooden tables.  We use to play chess, and Monopoly, and have a strategy that we could admire in one another.  Even if we didn’t always have enough time to finish it, we started it together.  And truth is, I enjoyed setting up the game, unfolding the board and pressing the center crease, so it would lay flat.  I especially enjoyed the confusion of who would get the use of which token, I was partial to the car.  We all were.

And I miss buying property, lining up my cards in a color coded arrangement and collecting rent on the next toss of the dice.  Trading, purchasing and monopolizing imaginary property, where business as usual meant selling and buying at stable prices.  And the mixture of beverages and snacks included a promissory note, that we would still be friends tomorrow.

It taught us how to live life, moments of encouragement, prosperity and despair.  In my world, where no one had real property anyway it was nice to collect the rent.  I learnt how to count play money for real.  And just as importantly, the value of the game itself, the work ethic to not quit and to play fair and to wait patiently for your turn.  Games are like that, when they’re played in a group setting and teaching you that you can win.  Not so much when you’re finger swiping in the bathroom.

And then there’s the music.  I love music, but it’s awfully hard to be engaged in a conversation with you when I’m listening to music, while playing a game, with ear buds plugged in my ears.  Not to worry, later on we’ll both post our updated status on Facebook and like it with a finger swipe.

We’ll get our world news there as well– wrongs against human rights, global warming and culture wars.  We’ll watch videos, read memes and send instant messages, the new chit-chat.

Ah, social reform because come to think of it, social media has given us a great place to check out what’s going on and made it easy to turn off.  Apathy that tricky by-product of capitalism, often experienced when technology is earmarked to consumers who no longer use their hands to clap… I suppose we’re all too busy with finger swipes.

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Filed under ipad, iPhone, Selfie, technology, Uncategorized

BigData’s Invisible Hand

binoculars bird eyes2

Technology is wonderful, especially for us, the nation of consumers.

We have a flair for commercialism, created by businesses that once mailed catalogs to our homes, for free.  Thoroughly enticed by their colorful pages of merchandise, we became browsers and took turns flipping through the pages, earmarking the most viewed pages with sugarplum wishes.

It comes as no surprise, that as the holidays approach, technology’s Internet of Things is offering a smorgasbord of possibilities to further delight us, and to make our lives better!   Some finger swipes across a touchscreen, from social media to products purchased to services rendered, will organically link us together, without a common purpose.

Because in a digital world, engaging impressions like Selfies, Tweets and Likes, will be collected and gathered.

Bigdata, the invisible hand of real time analytics, will store, sell and re-distribute free consumer swipes of  creature habits once unattainable due to privacy rights.  Now freely associated with intimate interests, it will link us into smaller demographic groups and create marketing tools in “Consumer Nation”.

Disruption is good when it separates the mediocre, that which isn’t sustainable from the bad, that which might’ve been overlooked.   Sometimes, being lulled into a false sense of security isn’t the worse of it; things like changing your password each month, might be the least effective thing to be done.  Not because of peeking eyes, but because we keep forgetting the new password.   Use your big eyes to see a bird’s eye view.

We are, after all a nation growing older and that’s another issue…  pitfall.

But at some point, when new technology has replaced all of our passwords with retina and fingerprint identification, the old patterns that made us feel secure, will also come back.   Cataracts and wrinkles might undo what’s achieved, but by then we might be backwards compatible.  Bringing back the need for stronger passwords.

Disruption can be like that…

It’s like being asleep in your warm bed, having a lovely little dream.  When suddenly, you’re violently shaken and forced awake by screams, “the house is on fire!”    You’re not mad, you’re grateful.  It’s that scenario that makes you realize that disruption can be a good thing. That the dream, as lovely as it was, was simply in your head… the same place where technology began.

Today’s petri dish for successful startups with new products and new ways to do old things is a joy.   So internet sales rejoice, there’ll be less cars on the roads; less pollution in the air and gas prices will go down.  Less travel on the road equates to more time that we can stay home and watch television, mindlessly swiping our touchscreens and learning the words to catchy jingles.

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Filed under Big Data, Consumers, Eyegalsses, facebook, gadget, Internet, Internet of Things, Marketability, small business, social media, tech, technology, Telephone, Television, Twitter

Thinking Outside The Bubble

1 Internet of everything

 

What’s in a name?

I was thinking that we humans have a tendency to forget things. That is, we walk into a room and fully forget what we came in to get; we drive our car home and forget where we put the car keys.   Well, we should all be able to remember this name.

“The Internet of Things”

Lazy and rather unimaginative, this name does what most names don’t actually do, it defines, describes and categorizes, then answers the question: “What is it?”

Once a theory and quickly realized, anything equipped with a sensor could be in constant communication with a computer processor.  I can almost imagine the first MIT scientists throwing their hands up in technological glee, fully inspired by the sheer volume of their discovery!

Now a coffee pot in their office could “talk” to the refrigerator down the hall.  And both could be programmed to “talk” to humans, as well as machines and more, these enchanted objects would be able to add cream and milk to your grocery list, as well as perform “yet to be thought of” applications.  Big Data (with it’s equally unimaginative name) would gather and collect executable data, which could be analyzed in real time.

Mind boggling and still evolving into what just might be “the internet of nearly EVERYTHING”.

The Digital Age has jettisoned technology closer to a television cartoon with a similar name (The Jetsons).  We don’t have flying cars, but who knows?  Everything seems possible with sensors and a computer’s magical little black box, that processes code.  That leads to technology getting smarter and smarter.

Change is coming, both progressive and disruptive.   It can decimate confidence, shake up the bottom line and place a strain on long standing traditions.  And we’re all prone to its “Goosies”,  that skin tingling sensation induced by excitement or fear or disbelief.

Mature businesses, like older people will feel it acutely, maybe more so than start-up companies and younger, tech savvy people, who never used letterhead on bond paper and couldn’t tell the difference.  But having different efficiency levels shouldn’t be a license to feast, one on the other.

It’s wiser to work together; bartering and collaborating like our ancestors did when they first discovered fire.  And again, when they put fire to a best use practice, smelting iron and forging steel.   Factoid, teamwork will always lessen a load.

We’ll have to use technology smartly, because finger swipes across a screen is not a measure of intelligence.   We’ll also need to put on our thinking caps, which will act as a protective helmet in the event of a crash.

The mind is a powerful bubble making machine, full of ideas.  So, what happens when a thought bubble pops?

I say we harness the gases for propulsion, fasten your seatbelt.   It’s gonna be a helluva ride!

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Filed under AARP, Baby boomers, Big Data, cellphone, Code, Coding, gadget, Internet, ipad, iPhone, tech, technology, Twitter

Humble Tech Beginnings- Tweet

Tech stairs
Hello world! I’m excited. Or at least I think I should be, I am after all still Tweeting on Twitter. In fact, as of this post I’ve Tweeted 555 times!

It’s not that I’ve reached a milestone or done anything spectacular, like winning the Publisher’s Clearing House Contest (which I’ve never heard of anyone winning, not even remotely via the six degrees of separation). But, from technology’s viewpoint, I’ve come a long way.

And I bet you wasn’t looking for me! But in the time that it took for me to firmly establish my feet into the webbing of the internet; those threads of ideas and beads of knowledge shared by design, I had gained ground. That’s how swiftly the words were sent. Since then, I’ve been interviewed, invited to conventions, solicited to write reviews and tested out mock-ups.

I’ve stood in line at buffets, peering at a smorgasbord of deliciousness that I could never eat, even if I were granted ample time to eat it all in. And I’ve had cocktails. Those refreshing little drinks without the umbrellas that make me appreciate the sun more and the sand between my toes, a little less.

The truth is, last year at this time, if someone had told me that I’d be here I would’ve guffawed at their ridiculousness. Me, a little city girl who literally “considered suicide when the rainbow was enough”; like most of the kids in my poor neighborhood.

I’m a Baby Boomer by definition, that is I was born between 1946 and 1964. I was raised by a single mom, who struggled to make ends meet. There were five of us living in a one bedroom apartment, in a rickety old house, on a newly paved road, named Dacia Street.

We had no shower, no bathroom door, little heat, less food, no phone, and a pen-pal who liked to write eviction notices.

Memories like these give me a reason to pause; to appreciate where I am now, sitting on a country deck. Time to eat cherries and spit pits into a napkin, all nice and dainty; while I read The New Yorker on my iPad. And that’s how I know technology has been good to me.

It’s also been good to 74.6 million other Baby Boomers, who’ve gone from cold leftovers to microwave ovens. We’re living longer and healthier lives because of those technological advancements, from dark places to streaming movies and music. Overall, we’re a grateful bunch.

My first Twitter was on April 27, 2014, that’s when I tweeted:

Dreaming you can make a difference in the world is motivational. Waking up, crawling out of bed and making it happen is life. #Techtalks

Yes, the internet of things is humbling.

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Filed under AARP, music, social media, technology, Telephone, Twitter

Music Streaming- It’s Not That Complicated

Words
Pandora, the internet radio giant is being sued for streaming music that was made prior to 1972. And as far as lawsuits go, it’s quite a story.

But the real story ought to be the relationship between technology and music. Because unlike any other industry, music from the 1970’s owes a great deal of it’s current success to Rappers and the technology that’s literally played it forward, by taking it from analog to digital and revitalizing the music industry.

No one knows where music came from, but primal rhythms created with natural objects like gourds, bones, and shells; evolved to the more complex pitch and tone controlled instruments, like strings and windpipes.

In 1999, a seven-holed flute was discovered in China. It dates back to 7000 B.C. and it has one offset hole, perhaps a mistake that indicates earlier man’s sensitivity to pitch and tone. That sensitivity still exists today, except now we call it an ear or an appreciation of music.

The profitability in sharing music via CDs, apps, streaming and the web is a work in progress. But music, like life itself, is a constant. It’s the sharing of cultures and the distribution of a soul’s wealth.

Together, music and technology will continue their dance down Wall Street to Main Street, USA. Shimmering and repackaged, the music will float across oceans and be heard. Because as William Congreve wrote, “Music has charms to soothe a savage breast”.

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April 22, 2014 · 11:15 AM

The Cloud, A Digital Hoarding

Smartphones, androids, MACS, tablets, iPads and PCs, require a lot of updating.  Data, it seems has become the virtual “stuff”.  And it’s as important to me, as my real-life belongings, so it stands to reason that I would use data storage, except, I wouldn’t call it the Cloud.

Clouds after all, those billowy white masses of vapor, often used as euphuisms to “get your head out of the clouds”; are also associated with gloominess and storms.  But somehow technology has changed the connotation of the word “cloud”, named for a thing that can’t even hold its own water.  Flipping its meaning to add the herculean task of defining the space used to store, access and manage data.  It’s ingenious!

digicloud 3Ironically, it’s cutting edge technology that makes me have so much stuff in the first place.  For as quickly as I adjust to one gadget, there’s new technology being introduced.  It started years ago, when one day my perfectly good television became obsolete; it didn’t have an RF port in the back.  I purchased the new cable-ready television and couldn’t throw out the old television.

Like most Americans, I became a conscientious guardian of the planet.  And cathode ray tubes, that made up the older television set could no longer be thrown into landfills.  So I packed it into a self-storage unit.  It was all very noble, this “Going Green”. 

As rapidly as new technology came out, my older technology went into my self-storage unit. I fancied myself a collector, after all I owned two 1st generation Atari Systems, different colors!

This brings me back to the Cloud, where all of my data information, files, folders, contacts, and photo galleries, my virtual “stuff” is stored.  How much will I amass?  Gigabytes and gigabytes and gigabytes of storage, all to an Openstack environment; where it will remain quite invisible to me, just like my self-storage unit.

I’m wise enough to know that there will be data breaches; Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA ) controversies over content matching and issues of plagiarism, and there’ll be some piracy.  Most of these won’t affect me.  I’ll be impressed as new technologies are introduced, as I am now.  And I’ll look forward to new encryptions and authentication technologies, including double authentication with fingertip swipes.  Nice.

In time, I won’t even look toward the Cloud and my old data files.  But I’ll know that it’s there and in a culture of hoarders, we can all say it’s my “stuff” and walk away, with our heads in the Cloud.

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April 7, 2014 · 5:14 PM