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.
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.
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).