Category Archives: Technology

Your Addiction to Your iPhone May Not Be Your Fault?

Source: AGBeat

Image Source: AG Beat

If you’re like me, you check your phone every time it buzzes: under the supper table, at the movies, when you’re almost asleep and the list goes on and on. Well, did you know that it could be as a result of training from your smartphone?

In 2010, a study in the journal of Personal and Ubiquitious Computing titled “Habits Make Smartphone Use More Pervasive” stated that smartphone users, on average, check their phones over 30 times per a day. They argue that cues that trigger this type of “checking habit”.

The NY Times Magazine reported that its a cue-routine-reward loop. The buzzing is the trigger that cues you to slide your finger across the unlock bar and the dopamine release causes you to do this over and over again, despite having just checked 10 minutes ago. Known as the pleasure chemical in our brains, dopamine causes us to seek things.

If you want to break yourself of this cycle, you have to turn off that buzz and reward yourself around another routine. Or, if you’re really like me, you just admit that you’re an informed addict.


3 Marketing Trends for Super Bowl Ads 2012

This year, a lot of companies released their ads early and some even went so far as to have its customers vote for their favorite ad to be shown on the big day. With an average of 3.5 millions of dollars behind these ads, it is understandable that companies want to make sure that their ads will actually please the masses, but it may be one reason why I was underwhelmed by the ads this year. Admittedly, I have no one else to blame other than myself for viewing the ads early.

Another thing that advertisers did this year was to include a Shazam logo in many of their creatives. London-based company, Shazam is a smartphone-based, service-provider that takes sound clips, sends it to a centralized database and identifies the source of the clip for the customer, all of which is done through an app interface. This is yet another way for marketers to track ROI, but how many people care enough about an ad that they will Shazam it?

Both Anheuser Bush InBev and Coca-cola featured creatives that progressed in a storyline as the game went on. Coca-cola took it one step further by having the ads reflect the situation of the game with their Giants and Patriot Polar Bears. Though many would argue it was creative, because viewers were used to seeing action packed commercials, many were bored by the dragged out storylines.

Dell XPS M1330 Laptop Obituary

Dell XPS M1330

My laptop was pronounced dead three weeks ago. It collapsed at our home after the motherboard crashed and stopped taking a charge. For three years, it dutifully kept all my music, writing and returned search results without judgment.

A little dramatic you might say, but this is the second time I’ve had a laptop die a catastrophic death. Though I protected each laptop with up-to-date anti-virus software, made sure it got defragged every 3-6months and kept it lean as possible with constant disk cleanups, each one died suddenly. Well, now it’s shame on me. Here’s what I learned:

• Back up (often): externals are great, but cloud storage such as Dropbox allows you to access your important files anywhere you have internet access.
(I have a Transcend external. It works on both PCs & Macs.)

• Let go: do I really care about those papers I wrote in freshman English? No. With Netflix, Hulu+, Grooveshark, Spotify etc., you don’t need to buy media.
• Get real: when I bought my last machine I upgraded everything, which is why my laptop gave the impression that I was a gamer. But did I need it? No.

Now I’m searching for a new laptop. The ultra-slim Lenovo U300S looks amazing, but I’m holding out for its chunkier cousin, the Lenovo U300.

Augmented Reality Really Augmenting Your Reality?

What is it? Augmented reality is a term used to describe computer generated sounds, videos, graphics or GPS data used to enhance the real world environment.

The one I am talking about here is sound and graphical images that generate when your camera recognizes a “barcode” and uses your background as the setting.

Now this concept isn’t new, GE was using this type of technology to generate interest for its Smart Grid product in 2009, but it’s back again because Starbucks has recently introduced an app that recognizes pictures on your paper cup or bag and creates a holiday scene out of it. We all know that Starbucks coffee sells because they have a culture that people buy into, but is this app really adding to the coffee experience?

The most brilliant application I’ve seen of augmented reality is Tissot’s, when they gave customers barcoded bracelets so that their customers were able to try on watches without having to enter to the store.

However, in its current use, I can’t help but feel that augmented reality is like 3D television*; it never fails to make an appearance every few years, but there’s no real demand for it.

* First patent for 3D television came up in 1890 (motion picture film made its debut in the early 1860’s).