Whether it’s Facebook tracking you through cookies on their “Like” button, or Carrier IQ logging your android usage through a difficult-to-disable phone feature. It seems like the Internet community is ever-busy with new invasion of privacy complaints over the products that they are using.
Although the part that I’m most shocked by:
The tech world is STILL surprised every time a story like this comes out! It may just be me, but these stories have begun to have the same affect on me as when someone tells me the email they clicked on saying they won a free iPad turned out to be a virus.
That’s not to say that this isn’t a valid concern. I understand fully where people are coming from when they say they don’t want their activities to be tracked, or at least want to be notified by the tracker before they do it (Because we all read our terms and conditions before agreeing, right?).
With that said, I do feel there should be some differentiation and regulations for the types of tracking being done, as some cases are more severe than others.
We are moments away from ushering in a brand new year. The twelfth year of the 21st century.
Profound discoveries and amazing accomplishments have happened in 2011.
And as for The Tech Fire, it would behoove us not to talk about some of the best technologies this past year had to offer.
The iPhone 4s and Siri
iPhone’s are old news. New updates and versions of the phone come out often, and people have become desensitized to its amazing capabilities. But this year, the iPhone 4s was released, with Siri. Siri is a voice controlled “personal assistant” available with the new iPhone. You speak, and she listens. Then she performs. This voice-controlled app organizes, answers questions, and tells you what to do. The future is here.
Have you ever bought an iPod and found out a month later that they are releasing a new one with some fancy new features, a new color, or design? I’m sure this has happened to most of us, and man is it upsetting. The idea of “Planned Obsolescence” is when a company deliberately plans or designs a product to have a limited life, so it will become obsolete after a certain period of time. Guess what happens after that? You go out out and buy a new one. Not only does this relate to product design and features but, also hardware and functionality. Apple has consistently been one of the most successful at planned obsolescence but, is it a good business strategy or evil ploy to have consumers keep buying your products.
After suffering the devastating loss of my Crackberry to some unsurprising, and seemingly predestined, water damage… I stood in the AT&T store at a crossroad. Setting my feelings aside, I hesitantly converted the iPhone 4 (prior to the release of the iPhone 4S). My reservations about the iPhone quickly vanished.
To ensure this bad boy would be protected, I invested in the most durable phone cover and case on the market: the Otter Box.
The shock absorbing, polycarbonate exterior was created to be resilient enough for even outdoor professionals. Better yet, the Otter Box has proven its durability in the most threatening of college conditions.
Apple Everything and iOS 5
The switch to the iPhone wasn’t all that foreign since I am an avid user of Apple products and my MacBook Pro. In conjunction with the release of the iPhone 4S, the iOS 5 software-update was available for existing iPhone carriers. My favorite new feature, since applying the iOS 5 update, is the notification center.
Have you ever seen I-Robot? Do you ever think about what will happen with the world when we actually create technology that is smarter than human intelligence? The topic of technological singularity describes a point in the future where technologies such as artificial intelligence, will become so smart that it can actually redefine itself. The singularity institute describes it this way,
“Human intelligence is the foundation of human technology; all technology is ultimately the product of intelligence. If technology can turn around and enhance intelligence, this closes the loop, creating a positive feedback effect. Smarter minds will be more effective at building still smarter minds. This loop appears most clearly in the example of an Artificial Intelligence improving its own source code”