Tag Archives: Technology

Jon Taplin On The Brave New Technology Revolution

If you have 45 minutes and you’d like to know what’s happening in the worldwide technological revolution, I recommend “Sleeping Through A Revolution,” a lecture by Jon Taplin of the Annenberg Innovation Lab. Watch and listen to the lecture here.

The Internet economy is destroying jobs. Taplin cites the ruins of the music, newspaper, book, film, and television industries. The Internet economy has transferred a wealth of income  from the “creative class” (the makers of content) to monopolistic Internet platforms, such as Google and Facebook, Taplin says. And Amazon.

But wait! Musicians, editors, printers, authors and workers in the TV and film industries are not the only losers in this Brave New World of technology monopoly. Taplin predicts:

“The technological revolution is about to come for everybody else’s job too.”

Do you doubt it? The number of robots in the world is doubling every 30 months, Taplin reports. The lecture covers a lot of ground. Past, present, future. I’m not going to report the whole lecture. I urge you to watch it for yourself. I plan to listen to the lecture at least one more time.

— John Hayden

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Blogging From My iPhone

Notice how brief the previous post about the Fitbit was? I was out-of-town and experimenting with remote posting using the WordPress IOS application for my new iPhone. I’m not what you call an “early adaptor.”

It’s clear the IOS app doesn’t  give you nearly all the functionality of WordPress on a desktop. Continue reading

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Om Malek and Matt Mullenweg

Philosophy of the Web 101. I think everyone who’s interested in where the Web is and where it’s going, or in the evolution of social media, and the rise of mobile media, will want to hear this 20-minute conversation between Om Malek and Matt Mullenweg. Is the age of the laptop coming to an end? Here comes the touch-screen future. What comes after that? We’ll think about it next year. — John

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The Secret to Highlighting on the Kindle Fire

Setting the record straight, maybe it’s my own fault my highlighting was lost. (See the immediate previous Kindle post.) Digging through the online “User Guide,” I discovered the following:

Using Highlights, Bookmarks, and Notes

“Annotations (bookmarks, highlights, and notes) that you make in Kindle books are stored in your Kindle Library on Amazon.com. Your Kindle must be connected wirelessly for your annotations to be saved.”

The above is from the Kindle Fire “User Guide,” under the section “Books: Reading On Kindle Fire.”

I believe it explains why I lost the highlighting I did as I was reading last night. Thinking that I was clever, I turned off the Wi-Fi last night to save battery life. The book is on my Kindle device, so I can read it without being connected to Wi-Fi. (Morale of this story: “Don’t think! It can only get you in trouble.”)

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Kindle Fire Highlighting Failure

I was planning to write an updated report on how much I’m enjoying my Kindle Fire. There was a learning curve when I first opened the box, but once I figured out a few basic functions, the Kindle became a breeze and a pleasure to use.

I’ve enjoyed browsing the Kindle store, and found a number of books I’ve been wanting to read. One is “Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy,” by MSNBC’s Christopher Hayes. (This “Twilight” isn’t about vampires.)

“Twilight of the Elites” is a great book, examining our collective loss of trust in virtually all the major institutions — the pillars — of society. In particular, Hayes analyzes how and why the “elites” who rule by virtue of “meritocracy” have failed us.

I’ve been reading the book for the past few evenings, highlighting many informative sentences using the Kindle highlighting function. This morning, I opened the book on the Kindle and found that all my painstaking highlighting is gone. The highlighting has disappeared!

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Kindle Fire — Power Failure In A Fancy Box

UPDATE, NOV. 16, 2012:  Happy to report that I’ve received two emails from Amazon in response to my phone calls. Bottom line:

“In order to resolve this issue please de register and re register your Kindle Fire HD to the same Amazon.com account. In order to De register and Re register please follow the steps:

Swipe your finger down from the top of the Home screen and tap More . . .”

I followed the directions and re-registered my Kindle, which wasn’t hard. Presto, my material was again visible on the carousel. Using the information I’ve learned in the last two days, I made sure everything was downloaded from the “cloud” to the “device.”

I also browsed through the apps store and downloaded several interesting apps. Most of them were free, and I paid 99 cents for one. The Kindle can do a lot of stuff, and I’m slowly learning how.  — John

END UPDATE

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WHAT COMES IN THE BOX?

I titled my first product review (of a digital camera) “Power In A Box.” The first and most important information I want to know when purchasing a new high-tech device is: WHAT COMES IN THE BOX?

Regarding the camera,the answer was: “Everything you need, and it’s a powerful product.”

Regarding the Kindle Fire, the answer is: “Not so much.”

In the photo above, you can see the fancy box for the Kindle Fire HD 7″ and EVERYTHING THAT COMES IN THE BOX. It’s exactly as stated in the small print on the back of the box:

“USB charging cable included. Ask for the Kindle PowerFast accelerated charging accessory for even faster charging times.”

This latest consumer technology is pretty much ready to go, right out of the box. Or so I thought.

I followed the directions on the black card you see in the photo above, which constitutes the entire written documentation and instructions included in the box.

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Dark Age Ruminations (Hurricane Sandy Inspired)

Let’s think seriously about “apocalypse.” Stay with me. This will be brief. The dictionary definition is:

“noun, the complete final destruction of the world, esp. as described in the biblical book of Revelation; an event involving destruction or damage on an awesome or catastrophic scale: a stock market apocalypse / an era of ecological apocalypse.”

However, I’m not thinking of “apocalypse” in the biblical sense; or in the nuclear-annihilation sense.

Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Sandy this past week provided us with a  vivid picture of how the apocalypse of modern civilization might go. The suffering of the people of New Orleans, New Jersey, and New York could be widespread in the not-too-distant future. (Any city or state with “New” in its name has reason to be frightened.)

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Power In A Box: Cannon Power Shot SX160

CANNON POWER SHOT SX 160 — WHENEVER I’M BUYING NEW TECHNOLOGY, I ALWAYS WONDER: “DOES EVERYTHING I NEED COME IN THE BOX?” IN THIS CASE ‘YES,’ ALTHOUGH A PROTECTIVE CARRYING CASE WOULD BE A NICE ADDITION.

You want to know what an obsolete bachelor’s degree  feels like? Long time ago, as part of my journalism major at University of Maryland, I took a class on news photography. Although 135 mm film and Single Lens Reflex (SLR) cameras were state of the art in the 1960s, the journalism class provided us with older Yashika Mat cameras.

Today, I unboxed the very latest Canon digital camera. It can make an amateur photographer like me feel like a pro! Photography has come a long, long, way since I took that class.

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eBooks and Indie Books Might Be the Greatest Revolution Since Printing

Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of moveable type and the printing press, in the 15th Century, was the most revolutionary development (my opinion) in the history of technology, the history of communication, the history of everything.

Using moveable type, a printer created lines of words and sentences. Wikimedia Commons photo

Mr. Gutenberg could never have imagined offset printing, the printing revolution of the 20th Century, so he definitely would not understand or believe the advent of the eBook, which could be a defining revolution of the 21st Century.

After all the technological revolutions of my lifetime (** See “A Personal Perspective,” below), I do not understand — and can hardly believe — the sudden rise of the eBook. Nonetheless, this week I purchased my first eBook.

Just another stack of books. Wikimedia Commons photo

I had associated eBooks with the development of digital book readers, starting with Amazon’s Kindle. (The price of the Kindle has dropped like a rock as competitors emerged, putting the technology within reach of even frugal folks like me.) With a Kindle or one of its imitators, you can download books, newspapers, magazines, etc., and carry them around in a small, handheld device, to be read at will. Amazon boasts that the Kindle could hold a small library of books.     Continue reading

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