relaxen und watschen der blinkenlights


I’ve been researching a fair amount of new technology lately, so today’s question – should you choose to answer it – is this: what recent (last 3-4 years) technology do you love, and what do you deplore?

The tech in question can be a device, a piece of software, a way of communicating, a website, or even a school of thinking. Enlighten or imdarken us, please!

0 thoughts on “relaxen und watschen der blinkenlights

  1. LFMD

    I absolutely LOVE my iPhone. From the moment I wake to the moment I go to sleep, I am connected to it. It’s a phone! A mini-computer! A camera! I love being able to check email, read the news, listen to podcasts at work. . . it is completely wonderful. And, I am still amazed by the technology. Funny thing is that I don’t really enjoy talking on a phone, but I still love the iPhone because of all of its functions.
    I HATE the IM program at my work. There is nothing I hate more while I am working in my cubicle than getting an IM from someone in the company asking for an answer to a question NOW. NOW. CAN I ANSWER NOW?? No, I can’t. My preferred method of communication at work is via email. Much of what I do involves regulatory research, and I like the email system because you have documentation to refer to in the future (when no one can remember what was discussed). I think the IM is so intrusive and annoying. Our IM system allows you to chose a “status”, and mine is now “DO NOT DISTURB.”
    Generally, I think that all of our modes of communication have led to the demise of good manners. Thank you notes and hand-written letters are a rarity these days, and that is a shame.
    . . . but Man, I love my iPhone!

  2. Kevin_In_Philadelphia

    I picked up an iPhone in December. It is easily (to my mind) the most important piece of technological innovation since the printing press.
    The tech that I deplore…maybe cable TV. There is just so much total horse shit on television now that I fail to see the need for hundreds of channels. How many varieties of home improvement or professional eating does one need? And I mean no offense Ian, as you are “in the business”, but most people’s idea of entertainment is garbage.

  3. Anon

    Not to be contrary to Kevin, but about 2 years ago we took the plunge and got a high definition TV and surround sound. I absolutely love it.
    The first thing we watched was the opening ceremony of the Bejing Summer Olympics. You’d think there would be nowhere to go but down from there, or that by now I’d be used to it. But it still amazes me, every time I watch. Discovery Channel and HBO have the best programming, in my opinion.

  4. chm

    Like: The whole constellation of technologies that seem to be enfranchising the previously tech illiterate like my parents and grandparents: Wii, the iPod Touch, super flexible blogging software, etc. For myself, I like all the open-source freeware out there and the SousVide Supreme.
    Dislike: The assumption, prevalent among techies, that more sophisticated technology is always better technology; overweening Applephilia.

  5. Anne

    Big (50″) high-def TV: I used to scoff at them as ostentatious and extravagant. Now, I could never go back.
    Facebook. Had a fallow account for years. Started using it last year and reconnected/connected with so many amazing, interesting, supportive, fun people — including some from Xtcian comments!
    I still haven’t learned how to use my now-ancient iPod. And me, a rabid music freak! tsk

  6. CM

    iPod: So much easier to run on the treadmill with it rather than a Sony Discman. But I guess that’s probably older than 4 years. Time flies.
    Don’t love: electronic book reading devices. I like curling up with a book, not a machine. Plus, I want people to buy the paperback version of my book when it’s re-released this summer and carry it around so other people will see it and decide they just have to read it too. But hey, anything that gets people to read, even electronically, can’t be bad, so I guess I have mixed feelings.

  7. Bud

    I like the convergence of phone/musicplayer/camera/camcorder/computer.
    My current phone, a Samsung Reclaim does a pretty good job at all of the above, uses ordinary connector cables (mini usb, standard headphone) and since it’s Earth Day, I should mention it’s 100% (I swear I’m not making this up) biodegradable. Oh, and the battery goes 3-4 days between charges – and – it was “free” (with 2 yr contract).
    If someone had traveled back to the 80s and shown me one of these things, I’d have DEMANDED to be taken to the glorious future immediately.
    I look forward to a device with hi-def camera (5 megapixel res and 3x optical zoom would do), hi-def video and sound recording, still light and small enough to fit in my palm, with enough storage to hold all my music/photos/videos/files. I want even better battery performance. And “free” would be good….
    I hate the “crackberry” syndrome and its pseudo-multitasking illusions of efficiency and connectedness. I switch my phone off a lot. It’s vital to have time to think/reflect and to focus fully on the people you’re with. I just told the kids to get off my lawn, didn’t I? :-)

  8. xuxE

    soundhound for iphone. i think my iphone is really just a soundhound app with a phone attached.
    gmail and all the search, storage and doc sharing capabilities.
    istopmotion – ridiculously easy, kids can use it.
    the ubiquitous facebook of course, and gmail with all the storage and document.
    traktor, which i’ve only started to appreciate this past year.
    my hp elitebook which literally fits in my purse. tether to my blackberry and i feel 100% mobile.
    but my favorite has to be wireless bluetooth audio headphones covered with swavorsky crystals…

  9. Kjf

    iPhone is just the most amazing and useful device. I want to get an ipad but I’m not really sure why!
    It’s a bit older but the dvr is the type of technlogy that also changed the equation.
    What I hate in the tech world is voice recognition anything. It never understands my NY accent and I wind up yelling to help which it doesn’t. Grrrrrr on voice recognition.

  10. complain? me??

    I’m like Chip in that I LOVE my iphone AND my Prius.
    I also hate some things about them… like the Prius beeping in reverse drives me nuts. Try backing out of my skinny driveway and trying not to scrape my wheels, hit the car always parked across the street behind me, pedestrians bolting to get out of the way, my lovely kid singing the Wheels on the Bus go round and round, and then the beeping. I mean, really… sometimes I just have to park and regroup.
    And while I worship my iphone, i must say that the simple act of making a phone call takes too many steps. When you’re driving, you might as well be programming a VCR player as getting it to the phone function and dialing all the digits and then missing one and backing up and finally hitting send. Seriously, if you’re not already on the phone function and can just hit your buddy’s name, it’s complicated to make a call. and it’s foremost a phone.
    i had to say all this anonymously b/c i’m on cold medicine and know i sound crazy.
    Oh, and all copy machines suck no matter how new they are.

  11. jje

    Love my iPhone and my Macbook and pretty much all things Mac. Love DVR and email.
    Love/hate Facebook, and “mommy” websites – my guilty pleasures that sap way too much of my time.

  12. jje

    Thought of one more new love –, which is sorta like a FB for readers.
    Love being able to keep an ongoing list of what I want to read and also poach good books off my friend’s lists. The ratings and reviews ensure that I’ll never waste time on a bad book again.
    Highly recommend!

  13. janet...oh !

    “love or deplore” a bit too closed a statement for me…………think that the invention of the internet the best invention to date(some historians would argue ROME for the invention of irrigation……………. but all of this debate is a chop wood carry water issue). From the human mind at present the internet opens experiences……………whatever they may be……… get to make your own mind up……. we are all diverse but simply all the same really

  14. michelle

    Hey complainme,
    You can turn off the beeping in the Prius. Just google it. You have to step on the brakes and pat your head and sing a certain song, but it can be done.
    Love my iPhone, love my Prius, hate/like Facebook, depending on the day. Oh, and I love my toaster/egg poacher that makes perfect egg and muffin sandwiches.

  15. josie

    Texting for teen babysitters. It’s marvelous that I can snag a sitter for Saturday night while wordlessly sipping my morning coffee.
    Hulu. I have zero time to watch TV these days. I don’t even know what the network:channel match up is, and with Very Basic cable, that’s not really a lot to keep up with. Hulu and iTunes let me catch up on a little pop culture! Love it!
    Too late and exhausted for “hates”…I’m sure I have some.

  16. eric g.

    LOVE: iPod shuffle. Makes workouts much more tolerable.
    LIKED MORE THREE YEARS AGO THAN NOW: XM inno. Nice to have a portable radio that plays mp3s and gets XM channels, but reception is spotty at best and music service is Napster, which is the rookie league to iTunes’ major leagues.
    LOVE: OnStar. Never getting lost in the car is a wonderful thing.

  17. Joanna

    Along these lines . . .
    I had a funny exchange with my 15 y.o. neighbor boy the week of the daylight savings time switch.
    Me: So, have you had a hard time adjusting to the time change?
    He: No, my ipod adjusted automatically.

  18. xuxe

    oh i totally forgot two good ones:
    – getting instant netflix via wii!! and just the wii in general is sooo great.
    – ipod nano with video camera AND radio so i can listen to npr live instead of waiting for this american life podcasts. and now i hear that they have an app with the entire library which sounds awesome.

  19. Susan

    Love my iPhone of course like everyone else. LOVE my husband’s new iPad!!! Super easy to use. He got it to read iBooks mainly but has discovered many cool things about it. He thought it made more sense than getting a kindle at this point. He has really enjoyed reading books again…something that had fallen by the wayside with kids to chase and working all day. Now when he has downtime at work (or more rarely, home) he gets to enjoy reading.
    Fore it is like a mini computer on the kitchen counter. I look up recipes for example and I can read the screen better than iPhone. Only had it a week or so but love it!!

  20. wottop

    DVR. It is the thing that makes watching sporting events possible when you have children. “Daddy, I need to pee” can take place during the big play because you can pause it and come back. It is what makes a 7:00 UNC game watched in my house [some time around 9:30 or course].

  21. Jackie

    My Kindle. I love carrying several books at once. I love being able to download a book at a moment’a notice. I’m a librarian and I have a house full of books and I love my Kindle.
    I love my ipod and being able to download Netflix to my son’s x-box.
    I think Twitter has become little more than navel gazing.
    I love my Flip video and my Blackberry.


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