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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

More Technology Madness

More proof that Facebook is bad news. Be vigilant against social networking sites run by corporations!

A Microsoft bungle. Nuff said.

*WARNING: Lengthy Rant about Internet and Gadgets Ahead... Yuppies and Snobs be Warned!!!*

This article got me thinking. For a lot of people, the only reason why people download files illegally is because they are not available for legal download. This is mostly due to traditionalist media clinging onto old forms of distribution. Because the Internet offers things in a matter of seconds or hours depending on how big the file is, it's a lot faster to download something than to wait for it to come out in Australia, which has often been a victim of the tyranny of distance, our isolation means that neither imports or exports can be released quickly. Also, postal schedules are horrific if you order a book off, meaning you have to wait weeks to obtain your order. And with the development of E-Book readers, I predict that in the future, printed books will become like CDs or Records, people will still buy them, however the portability of new E-Book readers will make E-Books take off like MP3s, especially if colour display E-Book readers are developed at an affordable price with high compatibility with most file formats. I prefer the Cybook to the Kindle because Cybook supports PDF, the leading format of E-Books, and Kindle does not, as it has DRM and Amazon forces Kindle users to buy E-Books from their service, oppressing the consumer in the name of corporate greed. In the future, we may well be technologically enslaved by corporate brand names into buying things from inconvenient services, but I say we should fight such enslavement before it begins. Even the Ipod lets you upload your own CDs onto it. Kindle should support PDF in the same way, as it is a very nice file format that has almost become a universal standard in online bookshops. We should demand a better technology at a cheaper price, instead of being conned by gadget companies into buying expensive paperweights that will become obsolete because of a new release from the same company months later. Non-ecologically sustained economics will be the downfall of humanity if we do not act now. Consumers that suckle on the teat of instant gratification from new release technology that cashed up yuppies buy and brag about and generally stick up their noses at those less wealthy as them, must be weaned.

I am not a cashed up yuppie who can just go out and buy the latest gadget. Often I must wait years until I can afford one new gadget for Christmas. I had to wait years until I was permitted to have an iPod Nano for Christmas last year, and you know what happened? Now Apple have released an even better version than my Ipod Nano that I can't afford, but I am content with my humble 2 Gig iPod Nano. It is the fact that I own it at all that is a privilege. It was either a 2 Gig one or no iPod Nano at all, for that was all my family could afford. My brother bought one with a higher Gig limit, but then again, he always tends to con my parents into giving him the snazzier gadgets. Not that I mind. He shares, at least.

So I might not have the latest gadget, or the latest phone... So what! I barely use my mobile phone except for emergencies, and my iPod Nano is well loved, because I earned it. I take care of it instead of casting it aside and demanding an upgrade. I do this because I do not buy gadgets I know I will not use. I simply can't afford to make a mistake with a gadget purchase. Books, DVDs and CDs are products I consume more, and thus I buy them more often, as I know I will use them. My brother sometimes shakes his head at the number of books I buy and read, however I do not feel guilty about my purchases, at least most of the time. This is because I save up money of my own, and I have a right to spend it. And I spend it widely, as well as wisely.

The problem with gadgets sometimes is that a corporation like Apple rises up and becomes so popular that you are looked down on for not having their latest product. And sometimes you almost agree with them, that is the sad truth of brand propaganda. Even the most popular brand may not be the best product. I have had friends who wanted their iPods repaired, and the Apple stores refused. This is because of the Huxleyan "Ending is better than mending" consumerist mantra of our Brave New Digital World. It serves a company's interest to create a product that will break down, even if it costs a lot, it will not necessarily last long. The point of this is so that you are forced to buy a new product.

I believe in quality products, and the iPod Nanos I have found to be better design and far more long lasting than the larger iPods, mine has survived a lot, whereas brand new 60 Gig iPods have broken in days. I am certain that this problem is not unique to Apple, the X-Box 360 had flaws and the Playstation 3 no longer sells consoles that play both PS3 and PS2 games. Always remember that brand loyalty is not wisdom, it is blindness. A consumer who considers their purchases and opts for the best products, not buying them as soon as they come out, but waiting until they become better designed / cheaper, is one who enjoys the most use and life out of their gadgets.

I honestly do not care if people say that I am a supporter of inferior products for my support of products I think are superior, at least for my personal use and simplicity in operation. I also use my gadgets until the day they die, keeping my Nintendo 64 that still works and playing my Game Boy and Game Boy Advanced games when I can get the time.

Technology was meant to make our lives easier. Instead brand gadgets have made life harder, as social stigma for thinking outside branding has created a society of drones who only listen to Our Ford who tells them that they need the latest phone that's also an internet viewer which you have to pay to use. I remember when Phones were simple things used for communication purposes only. If I wanted to play games I had a Game Boy Advanced to do that, and I took care of the gaming consoles of my youth, enabling my children to enjoy them if they last into my middle age.

It doesn't have to be this way. My support for the iPod Nano comes from its usability, rather than its brand focus. I shall not be buying another iPod, because of Apple's constant rereleasing of a new version of it. Instead I will look into other options if the unthinkable happens and my gadget shakes off its mortal coil.

My brother once gave a Viking funeral to his broken record player. I think gadgets must be used to the end, they may not be trendy in the future, but use your old gadgets until their circuits fry. Better a gadget dies with honour, fulfilling its duty, than to be tossed aside like a rake discard lovers when he has found them boring, which is an insult to the product that once brought joy and ease to a formerly complicated Luddite life. Not that the Digital age is any simpler. We have merely exchanged physical exhaustion for mental exhaustion in our embrace of the computer generation.

I will be posting more about technology later on, but for now, I bid you goodbye, for I need to study. I have a HSC to do.

- Jacob Martin,
AKA TeenAuthor

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