This is Your Brain. This is Your Brain on a Smartphone.

As a constant fan of CBS Sunday Morning, I’m always intrigued to see what stories they are cooking up for the weekly magazine–I know, call me “O-L-D.” This week’s cover story focused on the Connected World’s obsession with smartphones. Ultimately, this piece asks the question that some of the more reflective (and unplugged) among us might be asking: in the most technologically advanced and connected society in history, are we isolating ourselves into silos? This piece calls on experts like: MIT psychologist Sherry Turkle who just finished her book Alone Together. Nicholas Carr, the anti-tech apologist,  makes a cameo in this piece. He famously wrote The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains in 2010. At that time, Carr made the circuit touting the speculation was that our brains were no longer capable of deep thought because of the instant and shifting focus required to use the web. Researcher Sergey Golitsynskiy who just completed…

You Can’t Break the Internet

Have you ever seen a kid with an iPad? It’s amazing.  Kids ages 3 to 13 kids jump in without hesitation. I remember over a decade ago when I worked with new computer users there was a “fear” about using computers. After thousands of user surveys and focus groups, there is no question that “fear” plays a big role in how people interact with technology. Here’s the thing: You Can’t Break The Internet Give it a whirl. Create that account. Test out the new technology. In all reality, you will create the account and never visit the site again, but maybe just maybe, you will encounter something so revolutionary and amazing that it captivates your attention. That’s the great technology easter egg hunt that we are all playing. Go find some eggs, you won’t break anything. I promise. Occasionally, we all need a reminder: come on in the water’s just fine.

Welcome to a Technologically Integrated World

When I first saw this commercial, I thought it was for Siri, or perhaps Google Glass. I was mildly disappointed to see that it was for Charter. We’re not far away from a world that integrates passive and active information streams. A few years ago, I called it the devicification of the web. I know: “nerd.” We’ve seen the “soft” version of this idea with all of the smartphone “apps” created over the last 5 years. Very few “apps” are different than web applications, but now we walk around with hundreds of “apps” loaded up on our smartphones. Similarly, in 2005, desktop access to the internet towered over mobile, tablet, kindle, or any other access. Now, we have phones, thermostats, dvrs and refrigerators that are all connected and creating a cohesive yet disintegrated web experience. Maybe this commercial looks like a horror film to you, but it probably looks more…

Jing: Screen Captures Directly to Flickr or FTP

Occasionally, I have the good fortune of finding tools that truly simplify my life. I waste away the other twenty-some-odd hours of the day playing with the non-productive tools. It is a sick cycle, but there is a balance in there somewhere. When writing a blog post and taking a few screen captures the captures, file save, upload process can be cumbersome and time consuming. Enter Jing, which is available for Windows or Mac. 1. Enter a keyboard shortcut to start the screen clipping service. For the mac, I am using Command+Shift+1. The crosshairs appear, and you can select portions of the screen, whole windows, or the whole desktop – basic screen capture stuff. 2. After selecting the image, you can add some basic markup (lines or text) to the image through the tools panel. 3. This is where the magic happens. After naming the file, you can upload to…

Replace Original iPhone with Original iPhone

So, I am lame. I am writing about replacing an obsolete device with an obsolete device, but I did a pretty extensive search–no luck. Anyway, there seem to be plenty of 3G owners out there that did not recycle their originals. If you are like me and you don’t want to ‘spring for the goods’ until you are sure that a newer, shinier, cleaner iPhone is coming down the pike, substituting another Original may be a good short term solution. 1. Make sure to get a really good backup of your current iPhone by syncing with iTunes. 2. On the replacement phone follow these steps: Settings > General > Reset > Erase all Content and Settings on your original iPhone. FYI-this takes a stupid amount of time. When the iPhone says 1 hour to erase it means 1 hour. Watching the progress bar move is akin to watching a seed…

5 Macworld / Apple Predictions for 2009

On the eve of Macworld 2009, I wanted to put out my predictions for both Macworld and Apple for the year 2009. Now, I have to preface these predictions with the fact that I am in no way qualified to make any of these assertions, but this is just my observations. 1. Steve Jobs will resign this year. For months, I believe some of the best minds in the world have been planning the transition, which has had as much time and energy invested as the Obama administration transition. The successor is going to be tapped to be a luminary torchbearer with passion and insight, so that Apple will not suffer the same fate as the previous departure. 2. Macworld is going to be as sensational if not more than usual this year. Apple is going to strive harder than ever to prove that they are independent of Steve. This…

How to: Watch an iPhone Movie Handsfree in the Air (for Free)

Okay, I have to start this post by giving credit to an unnamed origami-ist that sat several rows in front of me on a flight from San Diego several weeks ago. Whoever you are, nice work. In the eternal quest of being lazy innovative, we Americans are always spending more energy to do less work seeking ways to improve our exerted effort. But, seriously, holding an iPhone for a feature length presentation is just ridiculous (pinkies cramping, carpal tunnel, you get the picture). This little hack is an easy way to create an iPhone holder on the airplane with products available in the seat in front of you. First, reach in the pocket of the seat in front of you and pick your favorite publication to deface (SkyMall, US Airways, etc., try not to use the emergency information card that might be equivalent to saying the b word on the…

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I consume a number of audiobooks, but how do you retain all of the content? Here are a few tips that I use to improve comprehension and use of audiobooks.

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