November 30, 2005
Old Fashioned Store Vs. Online Shopping
With Christmas approching, and Black Friday just behind us, I've been wondering about the old fashioned store/mall versus online shopping. This Black Friday's statistics was close to the record-breaking previous one, but more and more people are going online to buy their Christmas gifts. Are online stores going to replace the old way of shopping? People want the ease of one-click buying that sites like amazon.com offer. These sites have movies and CDs that will never be found in stores, so it's much easier to buy rare items.
However, people are also impatient. We don't want to wait a week or two for the things to be delivered to our home. We like stores because we get what we want right away without any wait. We are also a tangible species. We like being able to hold and touch and interact with objects that we're going to buy. Online shopping doesn't offer that. But it's an "inconvience" to get ito the car, drive 20 minutes to the mall, fight other people for the merchandise, maybe not find whatwe want and have to go home empty handed. With online shopping, what we want will most likely be in stock.
There are good points and bad points to shopping online and shopping in stores. But until shopping online gives us instant gratification with what we want being delivered instantly to us and giving us the option of being able to interact with what we are going to buy, I'm not sure online shopping will replace the old way of buying.
October 23, 2005
Some Say the Internet is Doomed
Well Bruce Sterling of PC World Magazine wrote in his ARTICLE that "the Internet is doomed." He rants and raves about how there are more criminals out there committing new and old crimes and that it is making the Internet something to be feared. He is right that the amount of programs we need in order to feel secure when we browse through the Internet is getting to be a bit much, but I think he describes it in such a way that makes it seem worse than it really is. Of course you are in danger of being victim of some kind fo crime when you're on the Internet, but really that only happens when you are even slightly irresponsible...clicking on something you shouldn't, giving your credit card information to a sketchy website... so really you are doing it all at your own risk. If you are responsible and make sure you are aware of the dangers, you'll be fine. Don't be careless... what's your opinion?
September 27, 2005
No More Wallets
An article on PCWorld.com explains the dwindling future of our wallets. According this article, our cell phones will eventually contain everything you carry in your wallet including credit cards, membership cards, and down the road even your driver's license. Already phones are emerging that can act as your mp3 player, a camera, and phone at the same time.
If you're like me, for right now the only thing I need my phone to do is make and receive calls. It seems though that eventually I'll be needing it for a lot more than that. The future lies in your cell phone. Check out the full article here Michal Fitzgerald explains his experience with using the new cell phone/credit card.
September 13, 2005
A recent article in Wired reports that hearing loss can result from our regular use of earphones such as those we commonly use with mp3-players, like iPods, and cell phones. This goes back to the invention of Walkmans back in the mid-eighties. However, recent devices and prolonged battery life have seen a dramatic increase in the use of earphones.
Why mention this here? Because it points to the connections between technology, culture, and the body. What we see here is a set of cultural practices that arise around the development of particular technologies. Everywhere you go, especially on college campuses, people are wearing earphones. We use them in cars to make phone calls. Even at home or in dorm rooms, people use earphones, perhaps out of habit as much as anything else. As the article reports, people listen to these devices to block out other noises around them.
The physical result of this technocultural practice is hearing loss. But there are other implications as well. What's your opinion of the way these devices are shaping our technologies?