Author Topic: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?  (Read 10853 times)

Case

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what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« on: July 01, 2015, 07:50:03 PM »
I am anti-smart phone.  I think that by and large they are not used in productive ways, and most people just dick around and waste time on them.  Very anti-mustachian.  I acknowledge they have some uses, especially the GPS.  Also, I imagine they are more useful if you live in a city (I do not).  There are some apps that people use to keep track of stuff, etc... yea yea.  But for the most part, I think most people just dick around on them.  My friends at work who defend them talk about how it puts so much information at our finger tips; they then proceed to look up the answers to questions that pop up during our conversation.  Big. Fucking. Deal.  I still thing the edge this gives them is small at best.  I don't think smart phones are game changers like the advent of the PC was, or the internet, or wikipedia.  Those things REALLY brought people more access to information.  I do not think smart phones are significantly contributing to quality of life, and more to the point, they are generally much less effect as a phone as the flip-phone (which is an excellent phone design).

That said, I'm a big of a dichotomy because I'm also a futurist.  I strongly support technology that has great purpose for the greater good, the advancement of technology, or making the magic of the future hear sooner.  I spend very little time or money thinking about or acquiring gadgets.  Thus, I ask:  what gadget's do you find extremely useful/practical in your life, or do something so truly amazing that it is worth noting.  So, please suggest away.  Since I pay little attention to tech and gadgets, I am interested in learning from the people here that generally seem very tech-savy but in theory are practical (since they aspire to FIRE).
« Last Edit: July 01, 2015, 07:51:42 PM by Case »

deborah

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2015, 08:40:34 PM »
I'll never forget the evening SO brought home his GPS. They possibly were not available in Australia at the time, and he had just flown in from America, so he was rather zonked. He stood in the back yard and said "It tells me when the sun set tonight." The sun had just set, and I said so. "It tells me the moon will be full". The full moon was immediately behind him.

However, MMM does have a post on the  wonderful gadgets that are useful to mustachians and of course his  recommendation list

vagon

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2015, 09:11:18 PM »
I like Kindles and the fancy-pants 3G ones at that.

A Kindle:
  • Has a massive selection of books and recommendation
  • Has essentially every classic for free or exceedingly cheap
  • Has a battery that lasts for ages, up to 8 weeks without recharge
  • Offers no distractions like games on a smart phone
  • Can be read exactly the same way as a paper book without eye-strain
  • Saves on both space and weight when travelling
  • Lets you get books on loan from the library
  • Lets you search a book in seconds for relevant information
  • The 3G version lets you get a book essentially anywhere. I download a reference book on a train in the Sri Lankan countryside and it took 5 mins.
  • I dont read non-fiction but I've heard the in book character lookup on 3G is quite good too for complex narratives.

Through experience the only things I dont like reading on Kindle are PDFs and Reference books not specifically written for Kindle, they can have formatting issues.

Daley

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2015, 09:23:32 PM »
E-ink tablets can be a useful tool, if only for the fact that it's a fair bit more portable than a pile of books and you don't have to deal with the backlight which makes reading less stressful on the eyes. That said, dead tree pulp doesn't need to be plugged in to display information.

I'm also fond of halfway smart phones, but I'm a communications minimalist. Give me something that can do email, SMS, basic web browsing, and potentially VoIP with a physical QWERTY keyboard, and I'm happy as it can serve as a communications tool. I recently retired my old Nokia C3 for a Blackberry 9900 (hacked service book) so I could do mVoIP for some of my side projects. It's just there and mostly stays out of the way unless I actually need it. Some smartphones are designed to be distractions, others simply tools... and then there are smart users and then there are users who are tools. Mixed bag, and really depends on how you approach the tech. A cheap portable communicator under the right circumstances can be both a blessing and a curse in my life.

arebelspy

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2015, 10:13:48 PM »
But for the most part, I think most people just dick around on them.

And?  Just because most people do things a certain way doesn't mean you have to, or can't find other useful things.

Most people use computers for dicking around on social networks and watching porn, yet they can also do great things.

Most people use TVs to watch trashy shows, yet you can also watch educational documentaries.

Dismissing something because most people dick with it seems woefully shortsighted to me.  :)

With that in mind: I use a laptop, iPhone, and eBook reader as my primary gadgets, and feel like I get quite a bit of purposeful use out of all three.
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Ricky

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2015, 10:48:25 PM »
I think one could deduce life itself to dicking around. I could just lay here until I die, yet I'm dicking around looking for money trying to buy food and shelter. Our whole lives involve dicking around.

There are tools for every job. A smartphone isn't necessary by any means (unless your job requires it), but it's the perfect travel companion as well as quick access to everyday tasks. I can't imagine not having one. It stores all my music, podcasts, banking apps, notes, business info, and syncs it all for when I have a big screen. Yes, an iPod touch or small tablet could do these things as well, but I prefer the one stop shop.

For better or for worse, you're wrong about smartphones NOT being game changers. Mobile has absolutely changed everything.

EricL

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2015, 12:00:11 AM »
Smart phones are incredibly useful gadgets.  In a way their frivolous applications actually highlight their flexibility.  I used the hell out of mine before I retired.  I've even pondered contracting a Chinese company to build a "tricorder" with measuring equipment that scientists could plug in their iPhones into and amass data.  It would include a laser range finder, berometer, thermometer, IR camera, 3D imaging, etc.  As time goes on it seems such an invention is or would soon be moot.  Did you know there's even an app to check your pulse with the camera and flash?  I love living in the future. 

In the end it's all how you use it.  Now that I'm retired I use mine mostly for fun. But I often consider replacing it with a flip phone when it dies of old age.  But I don't know if I can get over not being able to check the spelling of "Ipanema" in bed.

Case

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2015, 05:12:54 AM »
I like Kindles and the fancy-pants 3G ones at that.

A Kindle:
  • Has a massive selection of books and recommendation
  • Has essentially every classic for free or exceedingly cheap
  • Has a battery that lasts for ages, up to 8 weeks without recharge
  • Offers no distractions like games on a smart phone
  • Can be read exactly the same way as a paper book without eye-strain
  • Saves on both space and weight when travelling
  • Lets you get books on loan from the library
  • Lets you search a book in seconds for relevant information
  • The 3G version lets you get a book essentially anywhere. I download a reference book on a train in the Sri Lankan countryside and it took 5 mins.
  • I dont read non-fiction but I've heard the in book character lookup on 3G is quite good too for complex narratives.

Through experience the only things I dont like reading on Kindle are PDFs and Reference books not specifically written for Kindle, they can have formatting issues.

I do agree that the e-readers can be handy.  I don't have one, but if I did I'd get whichever one is not backlit; the backlighting messes up my sleep (if I try to read before bed, which I frequently do).

I do like the feel of reading an old fashioned book,but if hte book is very heavy then the e-readers definitely win here.

Shamantha

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2015, 06:30:03 AM »
For me a smartphone combines a lot of other devices. I therefore do not see how you would see a smartphone as being useless, unless you also think the devices it combines are useless. If you never check your bank or investment details, never listen to music, never take a photo, never read an e-book, never look up something on the internet (or post on a forum :-)), never make calls, never send an email or text message, then yes, a smartphone is useless. But if you do either of these things, having them all combined in a smartphone is one hell of a gamechanger. On holiday I used to carry a walkman/radio, photo camera, 10 books, guidebooks, printed out itinerary details and tickets, puzzle book, address book etc. Now this is all replaced with one small device. It costs less money, less effort, and adds an unprecedented level of convenience.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2015, 07:25:46 AM »
For me a smartphone combines a lot of other devices. I therefore do not see how you would see a smartphone as being useless, unless you also think the devices it combines are useless. If you never check your bank or investment details, never listen to music, never take a photo, never read an e-book, never look up something on the internet (or post on a forum :-)), never make calls, never send an email or text message, then yes, a smartphone is useless. But if you do either of these things, having them all combined in a smartphone is one hell of a gamechanger. On holiday I used to carry a walkman/radio, photo camera, 10 books, guidebooks, printed out itinerary details and tickets, puzzle book, address book etc. Now this is all replaced with one small device. It costs less money, less effort, and adds an unprecedented level of convenience.

This.

The smartphone combines so many devices into one.

In the right hands, they are an excellent tool. If people want to use these devices for entertainment as well, then that's fine. It is what you make of it.

They're a game changer in that they bring the Internet to so many people. There are so many people in so many countries in the world for whom the smartphone is their first and only Internet capable device.

Case

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2015, 08:14:24 AM »
For me a smartphone combines a lot of other devices. I therefore do not see how you would see a smartphone as being useless, unless you also think the devices it combines are useless. If you never check your bank or investment details, never listen to music, never take a photo, never read an e-book, never look up something on the internet (or post on a forum :-)), never make calls, never send an email or text message, then yes, a smartphone is useless. But if you do either of these things, having them all combined in a smartphone is one hell of a gamechanger. On holiday I used to carry a walkman/radio, photo camera, 10 books, guidebooks, printed out itinerary details and tickets, puzzle book, address book etc. Now this is all replaced with one small device. It costs less money, less effort, and adds an unprecedented level of convenience.

This.

The smartphone combines so many devices into one.

In the right hands, they are an excellent tool. If people want to use these devices for entertainment as well, then that's fine. It is what you make of it.

They're a game changer in that they bring the Internet to so many people. There are so many people in so many countries in the world for whom the smartphone is their first and only Internet capable device.

I rarely take photos, thought I admit combining a phone with camera/video is efficient.
I rarely listen to music on the go; I've always preferred radio in the car.  Listening to music while I'm walking around, etc... mostly I find it distracting
I read books all the time, e-books less frequently.  Smart phone is a crappy version of an e-book.  The screen is too small, and I hate back-lighting.  If you get one of those huge smart phones (big enough to be an effective ebook), then you are carrying aroudn something that makes a ridiculous phone.
Checking my bank/investments.... do this all the time on a stationary laptop, and have never had the need to do this on the go.
Phonecalls... smart phones generally perform less effectively than flip phones as phones.  Earpieces help with this, but then you're carrying around an earpiece too.
Texting... yes, smart phones are better for texting.
Posting on an internet form... dicking around!!!! A good deal of the posting on the MMM forum, including my post, is dicking around (but mostly I'm hoping to learn about new technology that I hadn't known about, or find better ways to make smart phones actually useful).  Why would I want to do it on the go??!?!
Emails.... I don't think being able to check emails on the go services much more of a functional purposes (in most cases, always some exceptions) than texting.

A lot of this supposed smartphone-usefulness you are referring to seems to be the unfortunate need of my generation to always be entertained.  Don't let your need to be constantly listening to music, texting, checking your emails, reading books, whatever... fool you into think you are getting more out of life than past generations that didn't have this stuff.

Some people here have said "I can't imagine life without a smartphone!".
This is totally laughable. 

Also, I question whether you are really saving money compared to all of those past activities.

Case

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2015, 08:21:04 AM »
But for the most part, I think most people just dick around on them.

And?  Just because most people do things a certain way doesn't mean you have to, or can't find other useful things.

Most people use computers for dicking around on social networks and watching porn, yet they can also do great things.

Most people use TVs to watch trashy shows, yet you can also watch educational documentaries.

Dismissing something because most people dick with it seems woefully shortsighted to me.  :)

With that in mind: I use a laptop, iPhone, and eBook reader as my primary gadgets, and feel like I get quite a bit of purposeful use out of all three.

I guess I should clarify my intentions.  I am not precisely anti-smart phone.  I mostly just heavily roll my eyes in response to how most people use them, and how people are attached to them.  It is very annoying.  It is pathetic in many ways.  See my response to the other guy I just responded to.  I am also concerned about the negative social and safety impacts that smartphones have on society, though admittedly this is the fault of people and not the smartphones.  More precisely, I hate with extreme prejudice upon the dumb asses that use smart phones in this way.

I am open though to finding the ways to take advantage of all of the capabilities a smart phone can offer... and more along the line of this thread, am interested in learning about other technologies out there.

Ricky

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2015, 08:26:16 AM »
It's not always about saving money. The convenience factor, and having a Swiss Army knife of Internet and communication tasks always at your disposable is worth it to people that own one. I could name hundreds, if not thousands of negative implementations and implications of the internet if you'd like and have the time. Nothing always goes to plan. The smartphone has good intentions for the well-meaning person. There's always going to be people who misuse any piece of technology or any item in general. There's no reason to be anti anything if that's your only argument, because you're already in the overwhelmingly small minority.

For every negative social and safety implication you could come up with, there's at least an equally, if not more, positive implication of owning a smartphone.

As an aside, I think tablets are the ultimate in unnecessary machines. WAY MORE SO than any smartphone. Yet, they do certain things far better than any computer. They are great for reading articles, magazine type layouts, news, forums, watching videos, email, focusing on a single task, etc. Despite recognizing how dispensable they are, I own one. It's usually the first device I pick up in the morning and the last one I hold before going to sleep. I don't use it during the day because I'm sitting up on a computer. To each their own.

Again, it's not about "could I live without a smartphone?" The conveniences of having one are worth the relatively small costs of ownership to a LOT of people, therefore they own one. Could I call a cab instead of Uber? Yeah, but way less convenient. And I may be in a bind and not even have the cabbies number, and couldn't look it up with a regular phone.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2015, 08:44:35 AM by Ricky »

James

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2015, 08:30:09 AM »
I think you derailed your own thread with your stated bias against "smartphones", as if the gadget itself was responsible for the "dinking around" of it's owner. Glad you walked that back a bit.

I find the lack of many different devices refreshing and freeing, I hated when I had many various devices and love the fact that my one smart phone does whatever I need rather than buying more gadgets to get what I want in electronics. I also love dinking around from time to time, and my smartphone works well for that also. To each their own.

When talking about "great purpose for the greater good, the advancement of technology, or making the magic of the future here sooner" I think the real future is in smartphone apps, not individual devices, but who knows...

forummm

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2015, 08:34:07 AM »
I have a cheap smart phone. I rarely use it. That works for me. It's there if I get stuck somewhere and I need directions. Or need to make a call--or be called by someone.

I have a computer and I use it all the time. Almost exclusively for work and education. Even my entertainment (like this forum) is educational.

I have a TV. I rarely use it. I'll probably watch the World Cup final on Sunday. I haven't watched anything else on it for months. Perhaps the Super Bowl was the last time.

It's about what *you* choose to do with it.

justajane

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2015, 08:38:06 AM »
I tend towards being anti-smartphone, mainly because they have become damned annoying in public and in social situations. No, just because your computer fits in the palm of your hand doesn't mean it's polite to respond to an e-mail or FB post when I am talking to you.

I like my Kindle very much, and I have to put a plug in for the Amazon Echo. No, it is not Mustachian, but it is a one time cost (vs. a smartphone) and damned useful. When my hands are wet while washing dishes and I want to turn on NPR, "Alexa" does it for me. When my kid is in time out, I set the timer just by yelling at her from the next room. My kids get a kick out of asking her random questions: "Alexa, what is the gravitational pull of a black hole?" That one stumped her but she is full of useful information drawn from Wikipedia.

Sidebar: I just realized that I never thanked IP Daley for giving me some very useful information a while back. So here's a delayed thank you. You're always so helpful. 

Edited to add that the Echo is a godsend for the elderly and the disabled.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2015, 08:45:10 AM by justajane »

Case

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2015, 08:40:18 AM »
It's not always about saving money. The convenience factor, and having a Swiss Army knife of Internet and communication tasks always at your disposable is worth it to people that own one. I could name hundreds, if not thousands of negative implementations and implications of the internet if you'd like and have the time. Nothing always goes to plan. The smartphone has good intentions for the well-meaning person. There's always going to be people who misuse any piece of technology or any item in general. There's no reason to be anti anything if that's your only argument, because you're already in the overwhelmingly small minority.

I see your points, but would like to point out that you didn't even address the question of the post.

I also whole-heartedly support my right to bitch about smartphone users that dick around on their phones.

I also haven't yet heard people list many examples of smart phones really revolutionizing the world.  They've changed it, but I would argue not done anything really spectacular.  The internet has brought good and bad things, but I would argue has brought so much good ... I'm not going to get into, it seems obvious.
Wikipedia brought information of all sorts to the masses... this is an unbelievable advance for the world (the internet did this too; wikipedia stepped up the quality/reliability a notch... yea, it's not perfect but it's definitely good).

Smart phones.... the biggest response here so far is the swiss-army knife factor.  This is cool, and I like it from the efficiency standpoint, but it is by no means on par with the above examples.  It has enabled people to carry a few less things on them.  Things that they often don't really need.  Checking bank accounts/email/etc... on the go; rarely necessary unless for your job.  Not much of an advantage over just waiting until you're back home at your computer.
Having a camera built into your phone is convenient, but not a revolution.
E-books... reading a book on your tiny smart phone screen is just not as good as reading from a regular e-reader (or physical book), unless you have a huge smart phone in which case you're carrying something ridiculously big around in your pocket.

So, tell me some more specifics examples; that's the point of the thread.

Also, me being int the overwhelmingly small minority doesn't prove anything.

Case

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2015, 08:41:06 AM »
I have a cheap smart phone. I rarely use it. That works for me. It's there if I get stuck somewhere and I need directions. Or need to make a call--or be called by someone.

I have a computer and I use it all the time. Almost exclusively for work and education. Even my entertainment (like this forum) is educational.

I have a TV. I rarely use it. I'll probably watch the World Cup final on Sunday. I haven't watched anything else on it for months. Perhaps the Super Bowl was the last time.

It's about what *you* choose to do with it.

This is exactly what I have too.  On rare occasion I turn on the data when i need it.

Jack

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2015, 08:45:35 AM »
Gadgets that aren't primarily used for dicking around? Let's see:
  • Xeon or Opteron-based computers
  • Wacom-type graphics tablets
  • LIDAR scanners
  • Computer display calibration devices
  • smartphone credit card readers
  • Large-format printers
  • Fax machines
  • Anything else expensive and/or boring enough to only be used for business

magicalfeyfenny

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #19 on: July 02, 2015, 08:47:27 AM »
I feel that having a smartphone is, ultimately, convenience. It's a portable computer with constant (if you live near a good tower group) access to the internet and a wide variety of things it can do. It's not necessary by any means.

If I didn't have a smartphone, I'd still have a phone of some kind (either a cell or a landline), but I'd be carrying a separate mp3 player with me at the very least, if not adding in a separate camera and something to distract me on the bus. And an atlas and bus guide, since I get lost really easily.

Just note that essentially any application that's actually useful can be run on 99.9% of smartphone hardware running the same OS (usually Android). The more high-tech phones are far more 'dicking around' than low-tech phones. You don't need a Galaxy S6 to check your email, read Twitter, check the bank, play music, or take adequate pictures. It'll of course look better, run faster, and feel smoother, but the biggest difference would really only be seen with camera precision or with gaming.

Gadgets that aren't primarily used for dicking around? Let's see:
  • Wacom-type graphics tablets

As the owner of a Wacom tablet, I can guarantee someone would find my random doodles to be 'dicking around'.

AlanStache

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #20 on: July 02, 2015, 08:58:03 AM »
Dont under sell the smartphone camera.  Two weeks ago I was working on a cabinet door that would not stay closed.  From the outside I could not see what the problem was so I set my phone to record video with the light on and propped it up inside the cabinet and closed it.  boom, instant knowledge of what was wrong. 

EDIT:
re gadgets: GPS running watches are very useful.  No guessing about my distance ran or what I have left to go.  Combine with heart rate monitoring are incredible. 
« Last Edit: July 02, 2015, 09:01:01 AM by AlanStache »

JLee

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #21 on: July 02, 2015, 08:58:59 AM »
For me a smartphone combines a lot of other devices. I therefore do not see how you would see a smartphone as being useless, unless you also think the devices it combines are useless. If you never check your bank or investment details, never listen to music, never take a photo, never read an e-book, never look up something on the internet (or post on a forum :-)), never make calls, never send an email or text message, then yes, a smartphone is useless. But if you do either of these things, having them all combined in a smartphone is one hell of a gamechanger. On holiday I used to carry a walkman/radio, photo camera, 10 books, guidebooks, printed out itinerary details and tickets, puzzle book, address book etc. Now this is all replaced with one small device. It costs less money, less effort, and adds an unprecedented level of convenience.

This.

The smartphone combines so many devices into one.

In the right hands, they are an excellent tool. If people want to use these devices for entertainment as well, then that's fine. It is what you make of it.

They're a game changer in that they bring the Internet to so many people. There are so many people in so many countries in the world for whom the smartphone is their first and only Internet capable device.

I rarely take photos, thought I admit combining a phone with camera/video is efficient.
I rarely listen to music on the go; I've always preferred radio in the car.  Listening to music while I'm walking around, etc... mostly I find it distracting
I read books all the time, e-books less frequently.  Smart phone is a crappy version of an e-book.  The screen is too small, and I hate back-lighting.  If you get one of those huge smart phones (big enough to be an effective ebook), then you are carrying aroudn something that makes a ridiculous phone.
Checking my bank/investments.... do this all the time on a stationary laptop, and have never had the need to do this on the go.
Phonecalls... smart phones generally perform less effectively than flip phones as phones.  Earpieces help with this, but then you're carrying around an earpiece too.
Texting... yes, smart phones are better for texting.
Posting on an internet form... dicking around!!!! A good deal of the posting on the MMM forum, including my post, is dicking around (but mostly I'm hoping to learn about new technology that I hadn't known about, or find better ways to make smart phones actually useful).  Why would I want to do it on the go??!?!
Emails.... I don't think being able to check emails on the go services much more of a functional purposes (in most cases, always some exceptions) than texting.

A lot of this supposed smartphone-usefulness you are referring to seems to be the unfortunate need of my generation to always be entertained.  Don't let your need to be constantly listening to music, texting, checking your emails, reading books, whatever... fool you into think you are getting more out of life than past generations that didn't have this stuff.

Some people here have said "I can't imagine life without a smartphone!".
This is totally laughable. 

Also, I question whether you are really saving money compared to all of those past activities.

I take photos very frequently. I listen to music a LOT.  I also listen to music in the car, but I have never preferred radio because I find commercials intrusive and immensely annoying. Last I checked, flip phones don't have the ability to use Google Voice/etc for free international calls (my girlfriend lives in Canada and I'm in the US). Being in a long distance relationship, I also text more in a month or two than you probably have in your entire life.  I've also never heard of dumb phones being "more effective" at being a phone, but I don't claim to know everything. I fly fairly frequently as well, and I can read, listen to music, play games, etc. using my phone without needing to unpack a cumbersome laptop on a flight.  I also have no natural sense of direction, so having maps/GPS is a HUGE benefit.  For me, it consolidates phone, camera, flashlight, MP3 player, GPS, occasionally laptop, and occasionally book(s) into one device with a battery that will last 24+ hours.

I certainly don't think I'm "getting more out of life" because I have a smartphone. However, don't let your personal preferences fool you into thinking you're getting more out of life either. ;)

expectopatronum

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #22 on: July 02, 2015, 09:01:40 AM »
I think one could deduce life itself to dicking around. I could just lay here until I die, yet I'm dicking around looking for money trying to buy food and shelter. Our whole lives involve dicking around.

...My perspective on life has changed today.

Re: the actual topic, I would agree that people probably overestimate their need for a smartphone or whatever gadget. It really depends on who you are. I didn't need a smartphone in college since I had my laptop, but I did need a cell phone to at least contact teammates, take job interviews, and more. I could have gotten by on a flip phone and laptop, though because so many of my peers used texting and email on the go, being inaccessible to them would have been a (not insurmountable) problem. As a working professional, I did actually need to be able to call/text/email on the go. My company doesn't pay for personal phones, my office phone is constantly broken (so my calls roll over to my cell), I occasionally travel and needed to be able to call/text/email and an iTouch wouldn't have cut it since Wifi access was required for use. Basically: as a college kid I didn't truly NEED one, as a professional, I did. My DH doesn't travel, though, and I can attest most of his smartphone use is playing. In his particular job....no, I don't think he needs a smartphone, because he has a computer and a working office phone.

It's true some people get distracted from the actual uses of a smartphone. I was in traveling with a coworker who lost her phone one night and skipped out on the sales meeting the next morning to go to the Apple store, which was absurd. Not only did she skip the primary purpose of the trip to go replace her iPhone, but we were going to be in the meeting all day and she may have needed to contact was in the room.

I think as a society we're a little overly reliant on technology for the wrong reasons sometimes (do you need to be able to contact people every second of the day? do you need Google maps if you don't travel much and are just driving around town 99% of the time?) but that this fault lies with us, not with the technology. Used properly, it can definitely be an example of optimization.

Ricky

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #23 on: July 02, 2015, 09:03:11 AM »
It's not always about saving money. The convenience factor, and having a Swiss Army knife of Internet and communication tasks always at your disposable is worth it to people that own one. I could name hundreds, if not thousands of negative implementations and implications of the internet if you'd like and have the time. Nothing always goes to plan. The smartphone has good intentions for the well-meaning person. There's always going to be people who misuse any piece of technology or any item in general. There's no reason to be anti anything if that's your only argument, because you're already in the overwhelmingly small minority.

I see your points, but would like to point out that you didn't even address the question of the post.

I also whole-heartedly support my right to bitch about smartphone users that dick around on their phones.

I also haven't yet heard people list many examples of smart phones really revolutionizing the world.  They've changed it, but I would argue not done anything really spectacular.  The internet has brought good and bad things, but I would argue has brought so much good ... I'm not going to get into, it seems obvious.
Wikipedia brought information of all sorts to the masses... this is an unbelievable advance for the world (the internet did this too; wikipedia stepped up the quality/reliability a notch... yea, it's not perfect but it's definitely good).

Smart phones.... the biggest response here so far is the swiss-army knife factor.  This is cool, and I like it from the efficiency standpoint, but it is by no means on par with the above examples.  It has enabled people to carry a few less things on them.  Things that they often don't really need.  Checking bank accounts/email/etc... on the go; rarely necessary unless for your job.  Not much of an advantage over just waiting until you're back home at your computer.
Having a camera built into your phone is convenient, but not a revolution.
E-books... reading a book on your tiny smart phone screen is just not as good as reading from a regular e-reader (or physical book), unless you have a huge smart phone in which case you're carrying something ridiculously big around in your pocket.

So, tell me some more specifics examples; that's the point of the thread.

Also, me being int the overwhelmingly small minority doesn't prove anything.

I disagree. I did answer your question. "Dicking around" is hard to define, therefore anything can be considered "dicking around" since it's very subjective. Therefore, your question isn't a great question.

I was more addressing your point on a smartphone being a "game changer". No, a smartphone didn't change the world the way the Internet did, but it still changed it nonetheless. "Game changer" is also relative. We can define the impact by which something has changed something with certain variables and definitions, but there isn't really a universally accepted definite minimum level of change required for what constitutes a "game changer". But I would argue a smartphone is WAY up there in "game changer" status. It didn't really add any new features, and that's your point. That's fine. But, it changed how many people use the internet. In fact, there's millions in the US that were otherwise non-internet users that came to use the internet by way of smartphone. I'm sure this number is MUCH higher internationally. No, I don't have numbers or stats to back up either claim, but I worked in a cell phone shop and could pretty well tell how illiterate most people were.

Again, for better or for worse, we are always connected wherever we go through Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, etc. Don't use those services? That's fine, but the majority of people do. Call it wasteful, "dicking around", whatever you want, but it's no less a "game changer".

Also, think about all of the uses there are for various businesses that are taking advantage of these efficiencies of being always connected. Not only that, but the average joe can witness a criminal act and catch it on camera and that footage later helps the police take an otherwise unsolved crime get solved. Journalists can instantly report on things happening through Twitter or other social media. My point is that there are new ways of using the internet by being always connected that aren't immediately obvious. The sum of all of these advantages begins to accumulate into something that is more than just a fad or a device for strictly "dicking around". I will say this: my favorite use of a smartphone is definitely when traveling. If I didn't travel often, I don't think a smartphone would be worth it for me since I don't necessarily care about any social network or having access to certain things when I'm on the go.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2015, 09:14:40 AM by Ricky »

Daley

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #24 on: July 02, 2015, 09:03:41 AM »
Sidebar: I just realized that I never thanked IP Daley for giving me some very useful information a while back. So here's a delayed thank you. You're always so helpful. 

No worries, glad to have helped! Hope it's not a great betrayal finding out that I picked up a three year old Blackberry and retired the Nokia. ;)

(Though, I will readily admit that I desperately miss that Nokia, but function has needed priority.)

AlanStache

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #25 on: July 02, 2015, 09:42:28 AM »
I would argue that mobile phones have fundamentally changed the world, remember back in the day having to make arrangements to meet at a set place/time, and these plans could not be dynamically updated?  Or if someone were not at home/work it could be very hard to get any information to or from them?  Go read some older fiction and you will see much of the story is strongly affected by the communication limitations of the day. 


TheOldestYoungMan

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #26 on: July 02, 2015, 10:13:40 AM »
I am anti-smart phone.  I think that by and large they are not used in productive ways, and most people just dick around and waste time on them.  Very anti-mustachian.  I acknowledge they have some uses, especially the GPS.  Also, I imagine they are more useful if you live in a city (I do not).  There are some apps that people use to keep track of stuff, etc... yea yea.  But for the most part, I think most people just dick around on them.  My friends at work who defend them talk about how it puts so much information at our finger tips; they then proceed to look up the answers to questions that pop up during our conversation.  Big. Fucking. Deal.  I still thing the edge this gives them is small at best.  I don't think smart phones are game changers like the advent of the PC was, or the internet, or wikipedia.  Those things REALLY brought people more access to information.  I do not think smart phones are significantly contributing to quality of life, and more to the point, they are generally much less effect as a phone as the flip-phone (which is an excellent phone design).

That said, I'm a big of a dichotomy because I'm also a futurist.  I strongly support technology that has great purpose for the greater good, the advancement of technology, or making the magic of the future hear sooner.  I spend very little time or money thinking about or acquiring gadgets.  Thus, I ask:  what gadget's do you find extremely useful/practical in your life, or do something so truly amazing that it is worth noting.  So, please suggest away.  Since I pay little attention to tech and gadgets, I am interested in learning from the people here that generally seem very tech-savy but in theory are practical (since they aspire to FIRE).

I've got all kinds of smartphone/cellphone hate.

Smartphone:  Time was, there was a benefit to knowing stuff!  You were at the bar, having an argument, and your Socratic skills and superior memory gave you all kinds of bragging rights over people who were looking you in the eye!  Now everytime a decent debate starts up some jackass mumbles the wikipedia answer from his phone without ever taking his eyes off of candy crush.

Cellphone:  It's gone from "being nice to adjust plans" to "lets not plan at all and just expect everyone to be able to drop everything for what I need right now."  Everything after being able to summon an ambulance from the middle of nowhere was not progress.

Email on the phone:  Without this, I probably wouldn't have ever found FIRE.  I haven't had a true day off since I got my first blackberry.  I was one of the last people at my firm to get one, I resisted it until it was have it or find a new job.

This technology has enabled people who lack the discipline to accomplish their tasks in a timely fashion to annoy those of us without this handicap.

95% of the true need for this technology was met with a pager.  You are urgently needed at work/home, report in.  The casualness with which people expect you to be available for work all day every day is mind-blowing.

It's a very high price to pay, but everyone was willing to pay it, so here we are.

From a mustachian standpoint, the absolute cheapest phone service available today is a low cost prepaid cell phone, and having a smartphone instead of a cell phone is a minimal cost difference so yea, digital camera for pictures of the family.  I don't play games on my phone, because I really like to play games and it's the worst possible way to play a game.  I don't do email on the phone, but it lets me know I have email so I can get to a terminal and check it. 

I don't text on the phone, so my dating life has come to an abrupt end.  My stubborness on that point probably isn't doing me any favors.  I need an app that will auto-respond to a text from a SO.

There's a couple of apps for first responders that are just really neat.  Lets them coordinate responses way better, particularly volunteer organizations who have no idea who is available at a given time.  The state of the art now with technology is probably saving a couple hundred extra lives a day, just in faster first response.

See used to, if your house was on fire in a volunteer area, the service sent out a page.  Then the firefighters available booked it to the station.  Once enough were at the station to roll a truck, they would radio in that they were en route.

But they didn't know if enough were coming.

And dispatch had no idea if any were coming.

And so you'd wait.

And wait.

And then at some point dispatch would make the call, and tone it out to a mutual aid department next town over.

And wait.

And wait.

And people did die because of this, and property was lost.

It's better now.  Within about 30 seconds of toning it out you know if enough people are available at the closest station, or if you need to involve other stations.  Each person going just taps their phone "on the way" and then hits an ETA, so the IC knows what resources and when.

Likewise the responders with lots of availability can see that others are taking care of it, so there's less burn-out.  Instead of going to every single call, they just go when nobody else is available.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #27 on: July 02, 2015, 10:18:29 AM »
Here's one: I have medical problems. I am able to put a display on my phone with my name, emergency contact, medical problems, and solutions that can be done for the medical problems. I also throw in my blood type for good measure, even though that'd be cross checked before administration anyway lol.

This allows me to put much more detail than fits on a little medical alert bracelet.

jeromedawg

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #28 on: July 02, 2015, 10:20:14 AM »
I'm anti-paying-more-than-$50-for-a-smartphone...that's for sure. IMHO it's frivolous to drop a significant amount of money on one device over another just because it has a few more bells and whistles. I got Moto Gs for no more than $30 for my wife, my mother-in-law, and myself. It's only 3G and has a cap of 500mb of data, which sucks because it's so easy to burn through that while traveling. Besides Google Maps/GPS, I find it incredibly useful for sharing stuff between my wife and I such as [Google] calendar events, to-do lists on Evernote and Wunderlist, photos via Google Photos, etc. We also use apps like Target Cartwheel, CVS, so we can get additional discounts when we need to shop there. Chase quick deposit is a game-changer for depositing checks as well - no need to waste gas and time driving to the ATM to deposit a check - just take a picture and upload it. I use Runtastic and Strava for tracking my bike commute and have Noom Walk/Google Fit running as well to track activity in general. Amazon Kindle is great for ebooks. And Dropbox, Google Drive, etc are excellent for accessing any documentation I might need to reference if calling insurance, doctor, etc, or needing to present/reference something while at the office or whatever. We also greatly leveraged Google Hangouts over wifi/mifi while traveling abroad in Korea and Taiwan and were able to make and receive calls in most areas at a lower cost and less trouble than renting or buying a sim card.

So while I think smartphones are indeed useful devices for mankind, I also agree that people who pay exorbitant amounts for them are usually the ones who are giving "exorbitant" justification.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2015, 10:22:50 AM by jplee3 »

Case

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #29 on: July 02, 2015, 10:26:02 AM »
I would argue that mobile phones have fundamentally changed the world, remember back in the day having to make arrangements to meet at a set place/time, and these plans could not be dynamically updated?  Or if someone were not at home/work it could be very hard to get any information to or from them?  Go read some older fiction and you will see much of the story is strongly affected by the communication limitations of the day.

To this end I think the phone maybe ability to text are the major players hear, not the smart phone.

Case

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #30 on: July 02, 2015, 10:26:26 AM »
I would argue that mobile phones have fundamentally changed the world, remember back in the day having to make arrangements to meet at a set place/time, and these plans could not be dynamically updated?  Or if someone were not at home/work it could be very hard to get any information to or from them?  Go read some older fiction and you will see much of the story is strongly affected by the communication limitations of the day.

To this end I think the cell phone maybe ability to text are the major players hear, not the smart phone.

James

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #31 on: July 02, 2015, 10:34:12 AM »
Anyone who doesn't see the revolutionary changes from smart phones, just isn't looking. There is almost no aspect of life that smart phones don't effect. True, not for those who don't use them, but that was the same for flight, cars, computers, internet and all other revolutionary advances.


http://www.mobileindustryreview.com/2015/01/smartphones-and-social-media-revolution.html


https://www.integratedchange.net/smartphones-revolutionising-digital-healthcare


http://www.bustle.com/articles/65445-4-revolutionary-smartphone-apps-that-are-changing-the-way-we-live-for-the-better


We are just beginning the revolution brought on by smart phones. It won't all be good, it won't all be bad, it just is. Think of how long the internet revolution took to gain the status of a "revolutionary advancement". Smart phones are just getting started, what they do is growing daily, and most importantly much of what they can do can't be done by anything else.

Killerbrandt

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #32 on: July 02, 2015, 10:39:49 AM »
I love my smart phone. I use it for 80 percent of my financial stuff, like Mint, Acorns, USAA, and other financial services. I can quickly pay for items without my card at the register. The GPS is also such a great feature! I use it every weekend to find estate sales. The biggest thing I am thankful for was when I called 911 with my phone and it instantly turned on my GPS and locked it up until the police showed up to my location! The smart phone allowed them to pin point my location and stop the situation instantly.

waffle

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #33 on: July 02, 2015, 12:48:52 PM »
Yes 90%+ of what is done on electronics isn't going to change the world, but its easy to see the potential for improving our lives. Just look at a couple of apples own commercials and see what people are doing with their phones/ipads.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdoUvMKBsbA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mYCIKTX0ug


galliver

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #34 on: July 02, 2015, 02:12:48 PM »
I also haven't yet heard people list many examples of smart phones really revolutionizing the world.  They've changed it, but I would argue not done anything really spectacular.  The internet has brought good and bad things, but I would argue has brought so much good ... I'm not going to get into, it seems obvious.
Wikipedia brought information of all sorts to the masses... this is an unbelievable advance for the world (the internet did this too; wikipedia stepped up the quality/reliability a notch... yea, it's not perfect but it's definitely good).

Smart phones.... the biggest response here so far is the swiss-army knife factor.  This is cool, and I like it from the efficiency standpoint, but it is by no means on par with the above examples.  It has enabled people to carry a few less things on them.  Things that they often don't really need.  Checking bank accounts/email/etc... on the go; rarely necessary unless for your job.  Not much of an advantage over just waiting until you're back home at your computer.
Having a camera built into your phone is convenient, but not a revolution.
E-books... reading a book on your tiny smart phone screen is just not as good as reading from a regular e-reader (or physical book), unless you have a huge smart phone in which case you're carrying something ridiculously big around in your pocket.

So, tell me some more specifics examples; that's the point of the thread.

Looks to me like most of the examples so far are very Western-/me-centric. You're probably right; the smartphone has not revolutionized life in  the developed world (mostly added convenience). Elsewhere, however, they have made that very same internet accessible to the masses at a much lower price-point than computer+internet service. And that's *huge*. http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/13/world/africa/mobile-phones-change-africa/

Personally, I do have a smartphone. The key things it adds to my life over my old slider phone: instant access to transit information in basically any major city; ability to walk away from my computer and do other tasks (work or personal) when I'm waiting on a time-sensitive email, and ability to look up traffic/detours on Google when driving somewhere with BF (not a negligible benefit in LA! We do have a car GPS but Google is much better when traffic is involved...). But I'll admit I have fun with it, too. I catch up with friends on FB or play Candy Crush while waiting for a bus or standing in line. And then there are the in-between things. Is reading MMM over breakfast dicking around or utility? How about listening to podcasts while doing chores or walking somewhere? Incidentally, aren't there more/better podcast-management utilities on mobile platforms than laptop ones? I'm under the impression there are.

Basically, I don't deny that smartphones may be unnecessary for some people; but likewise they can be fantastic for others. It's just a matter of where you are in life and how you live it.

I agree with an above poster that tablets are far more useless(redundant) than smartphones. I never got one because I didn't think I would really use it for anything worthwhile that I couldn't do just as happily on another device I already owned. My bf got an Echo and frankly I find it a bit disappointing. Maybe they'll improve the software, but...my hopes are not high.

Case

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #35 on: July 02, 2015, 02:35:37 PM »
I also haven't yet heard people list many examples of smart phones really revolutionizing the world.  They've changed it, but I would argue not done anything really spectacular.  The internet has brought good and bad things, but I would argue has brought so much good ... I'm not going to get into, it seems obvious.
Wikipedia brought information of all sorts to the masses... this is an unbelievable advance for the world (the internet did this too; wikipedia stepped up the quality/reliability a notch... yea, it's not perfect but it's definitely good).

Smart phones.... the biggest response here so far is the swiss-army knife factor.  This is cool, and I like it from the efficiency standpoint, but it is by no means on par with the above examples.  It has enabled people to carry a few less things on them.  Things that they often don't really need.  Checking bank accounts/email/etc... on the go; rarely necessary unless for your job.  Not much of an advantage over just waiting until you're back home at your computer.
Having a camera built into your phone is convenient, but not a revolution.
E-books... reading a book on your tiny smart phone screen is just not as good as reading from a regular e-reader (or physical book), unless you have a huge smart phone in which case you're carrying something ridiculously big around in your pocket.

So, tell me some more specifics examples; that's the point of the thread.

Looks to me like most of the examples so far are very Western-/me-centric. You're probably right; the smartphone has not revolutionized life in  the developed world (mostly added convenience). Elsewhere, however, they have made that very same internet accessible to the masses at a much lower price-point than computer+internet service. And that's *huge*. http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/13/world/africa/mobile-phones-change-africa/

Personally, I do have a smartphone. The key things it adds to my life over my old slider phone: instant access to transit information in basically any major city; ability to walk away from my computer and do other tasks (work or personal) when I'm waiting on a time-sensitive email, and ability to look up traffic/detours on Google when driving somewhere with BF (not a negligible benefit in LA! We do have a car GPS but Google is much better when traffic is involved...). But I'll admit I have fun with it, too. I catch up with friends on FB or play Candy Crush while waiting for a bus or standing in line. And then there are the in-between things. Is reading MMM over breakfast dicking around or utility? How about listening to podcasts while doing chores or walking somewhere? Incidentally, aren't there more/better podcast-management utilities on mobile platforms than laptop ones? I'm under the impression there are.

Basically, I don't deny that smartphones may be unnecessary for some people; but likewise they can be fantastic for others. It's just a matter of where you are in life and how you live it.

I agree with an above poster that tablets are far more useless(redundant) than smartphones. I never got one because I didn't think I would really use it for anything worthwhile that I couldn't do just as happily on another device I already owned. My bf got an Echo and frankly I find it a bit disappointing. Maybe they'll improve the software, but...my hopes are not high.

I very much agree on the developing world comment.

Interesting that you mention the Echo; that's what spurred me to post this.  I saw an ad for it and then looked to see what it is/does. 

Man, what a piece of crap.  I mean, I see how it can give you occasional conveniences in the form of just talking aloud rather than walking over to your laptop to enter a search/command/etc...
But I think in some ways its kind of sad that devices like that are some of the pinnacles of technology (as marked to the average person).  Is that really what we've come to?  Gadgets so that we can ask a computer via voice for a response, rather than typing it in.  Is it really that much of an advantage?

deborah

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #36 on: July 02, 2015, 02:47:06 PM »
I would argue that mobile phones have fundamentally changed the world, remember back in the day having to make arrangements to meet at a set place/time, and these plans could not be dynamically updated?  Or if someone were not at home/work it could be very hard to get any information to or from them?  Go read some older fiction and you will see much of the story is strongly affected by the communication limitations of the day. 


Some years ago, before many people had mobile phones, my parents had retired and lived in a holiday house. At that time (which really wasn't that long ago), people often didn't have phone lines into holiday houses, so every week my parents would go into the local town and use a phone box to make any phone calls they needed to make.

One night I was rung up by my Aunt - who was frantic. "Are your parents OK? There was a fire on the news that must have started very close to them. It's burnt through over 10,000 acres and five homes have been lost so far." I told her I was sure my parents were OK. I figured that if they weren't I would have been contacted. Over the ensuing weeks I fielded calls from numerous relatives.

Three weeks later, my mother called and said "We have had a bit of excitement here". It turned out that some kids were playing with their dirt bikes at my parents' gatepost (several yards from their house) and a faulty exhaust had sparked the dry grass and caused the fire.

Now, these days, my parents would be interviewed on National television that night, my parents would have been rung by all my relatives, who would have expected the worst if the phone hadn't been answered immediately. The kids (and their dubious excuse) would have been castigated nationally. The police would have investigated more thoroughly, and probably found the kids had been playing with matches... It would be a very different story.

And all because of mobile phones!

Edited to add that the gatepost was burnt down and needed to be replaced.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2015, 02:49:45 PM by deborah »

justajane

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #37 on: July 02, 2015, 02:47:52 PM »
Interesting that you mention the Echo; that's what spurred me to post this.  I saw an ad for it and then looked to see what it is/does. 

Man, what a piece of crap.  I mean, I see how it can give you occasional conveniences in the form of just talking aloud rather than walking over to your laptop to enter a search/command/etc...
But I think in some ways its kind of sad that devices like that are some of the pinnacles of technology (as marked to the average person).  Is that really what we've come to?  Gadgets so that we can ask a computer via voice for a response, rather than typing it in.  Is it really that much of an advantage?

If you are holding a kid, yes.

If you are disabled or couch bound, hell yes.

Like you, sometimes I need to step outside my own world and realize that devices might be extremely useful for other people. That doesn't make them foolish; that makes their lives different from mine.  I personally don't understand why most people need a smartphone, but I shouldn't overlook the ways in which it has made their lives better, even though I don't opt for one myself.

Ricky

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #38 on: July 02, 2015, 02:55:13 PM »
I very much agree on the developing world comment.

Interesting that you mention the Echo; that's what spurred me to post this.  I saw an ad for it and then looked to see what it is/does. 

Man, what a piece of crap.  I mean, I see how it can give you occasional conveniences in the form of just talking aloud rather than walking over to your laptop to enter a search/command/etc...
But I think in some ways its kind of sad that devices like that are some of the pinnacles of technology (as marked to the average person).  Is that really what we've come to?  Gadgets so that we can ask a computer via voice for a response, rather than typing it in.  Is it really that much of an advantage?

So far it looks like anyone with an Echo has primarily benefited when their hands are tied up doing other things. And it works very well for its intended uses. Of course the hardware has been around forever. It's the software coupled with the right hardware that makes the difference. Right now, Echo is pretty limited, but think of the possibilities: Echo, or similar device can turn on lights for you, open doors, turn on coffee maker, play any music, buy something for you, read you a book, etc. I think a few people will be quick to judge this device and say it just makes us more lazy and stupid. I disagree since ideally your hands would be tied up, or you'd be in a situation where you needed this kind of functionality to justify owning it. Or you simply wanted to focus on other tasks. The tech world has become pretty fragmented but it will eventually all come together. It's already starting to with Google/Amazon/Apple being the main players.

I do see the Echo a bit like a smartwatch: I'll never own either one until they add enough stuff that I'd actually use day to day, or until things become more integrated.

vhalros

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #39 on: July 02, 2015, 03:32:11 PM »
Well, a smartphone definately can be used for a lot of useless stuff, but as a tool it can be used for a lot of useful stuff. You might be right that it is more helpful in the city. Its been very useful for all kinds of stuff; they are basically the electronic version of a multi-tool. Here are a few of the things I've found helpful that would either require me to buy some other device, or cost me time/money in some other way if I did not have the smart phone:

  • Uber/Zip Car
  • HIIT timer (for exercise)
  • Telling me when the next bus will show up/showing bus routes
  • Camera that is connected to the Internet; this means photos are backed up automatically. I've used this to track/compare grocery prices, amongst other things. Sometimes I just take a picture of something to make a note.
  • Flashlight
  • Note pad
  • Text messages that I don't get charged for.
  • GPS is a big one, as you mentioned.

Just getting a generation below the latest one and they don't cost that much either.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #40 on: July 02, 2015, 03:47:34 PM »
I very much agree on the developing world comment.

Interesting that you mention the Echo; that's what spurred me to post this.  I saw an ad for it and then looked to see what it is/does. 

Man, what a piece of crap.  I mean, I see how it can give you occasional conveniences in the form of just talking aloud rather than walking over to your laptop to enter a search/command/etc...
But I think in some ways its kind of sad that devices like that are some of the pinnacles of technology (as marked to the average person).  Is that really what we've come to?  Gadgets so that we can ask a computer via voice for a response, rather than typing it in.  Is it really that much of an advantage?

So far it looks like anyone with an Echo has primarily benefited when their hands are tied up doing other things. And it works very well for its intended uses. Of course the hardware has been around forever. It's the software coupled with the right hardware that makes the difference. Right now, Echo is pretty limited, but think of the possibilities: Echo, or similar device can turn on lights for you, open doors, turn on coffee maker, play any music, buy something for you, read you a book, etc. I think a few people will be quick to judge this device and say it just makes us more lazy and stupid. I disagree since ideally your hands would be tied up, or you'd be in a situation where you needed this kind of functionality to justify owning it. Or you simply wanted to focus on other tasks. The tech world has become pretty fragmented but it will eventually all come together. It's already starting to with Google/Amazon/Apple being the main players.

I do see the Echo a bit like a smartwatch: I'll never own either one until they add enough stuff that I'd actually use day to day, or until things become more integrated.

Good god. I hope they do get there. I could have bought my mom an Echo during her chemo, saved me a few trips up and down the stairs. (Not that I minded helping, it just gets rough to do 24/7 care)

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #41 on: July 02, 2015, 04:10:10 PM »
See what happens when you dis the smartphone? ;-)

FWIW, I agree with you, I think 90% of the uses of a smartphone (ignoring the blatant time/brain cell wasters) are just an impatience/convenience thing and can just be handled on the computer when you get home.  That's not exactly game-changing.  I got my first smartphone 2 years ago, only because I need it for my job, and might get rid of it when I don't need it for work anymore.  I don't GPS, ever, I look up directions beforehand and either remember them or write them down, but then I like learning my way around places the hard way and getting lost.  If I'm following a GPS I don't learn much.  For those with poor senses of direction and ability to find your way around, I imagine relying on GPS is just making it worse.  And yea cameras on phones are getting better but they're still shit compared to even a mediocre p&S (mpix don't mean anything anymore).  That being said I recognize the best camera is the one you actually have on you, so I do tend to use my phone camera a lot.  Before I had a smartphone I carried my p&s more, so I wouldn't say I'm capturing more moments now, I'm just capturing them more shittily while saving some pocket space.

I do think the mobile phone in general was a game changer in good ways overall, for safety/response time reasons mentioned above.  It's just the smartphone aspect didn't do much but add 'a bunch of cool shit!' all of which you could do on your computer already.  That firefighting example above is an awesome exception, I'd never heard that before.

Although I will say probably my favorite smartphone app that I thought was awesome when I first saw it is Google Sky, where you can hold the phone up and it'll show you what constellations/planets you're looking at.  You probably learn more the hard way with reading sky charts, but I thought that was a really cool use of technology.

But to answer your original question, which wasn't about smartphones, for me one of my favorite game changers this century is portable music players (iPod etc).  I listen to music 24/7 and had a huge CD collection.  That's all gone now and has been replaced with something 1000x smaller and 1000x more enjoyable to use.  And now the same thing is happening with video.  I have zero DVDs now, just a itty bitty raspberry pi that holds something like 300 movies all with an awesome user interface that's also 1000x better than the old way.  I guess overall the declutterer in me is loving the digitizing of data.

Getting a smartphone did save me from carrying my mp3 player along w/ my mobile phone, and performs the function almost as well.  Close enough I'll give the smartphone a point there.  At some point I know the camera tech will catch up enough I'll be happy enough with that as well, too.

I can't think of any other disruptive technologies on the gadget front that have impressed me recently.  Most things are just over-complicated versions of something just for the sake of being cooler.

Case

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #42 on: July 02, 2015, 07:57:46 PM »
Interesting that you mention the Echo; that's what spurred me to post this.  I saw an ad for it and then looked to see what it is/does. 

Man, what a piece of crap.  I mean, I see how it can give you occasional conveniences in the form of just talking aloud rather than walking over to your laptop to enter a search/command/etc...
But I think in some ways its kind of sad that devices like that are some of the pinnacles of technology (as marked to the average person).  Is that really what we've come to?  Gadgets so that we can ask a computer via voice for a response, rather than typing it in.  Is it really that much of an advantage?

If you are holding a kid, yes.

If you are disabled or couch bound, hell yes.

Like you, sometimes I need to step outside my own world and realize that devices might be extremely useful for other people. That doesn't make them foolish; that makes their lives different from mine.  I personally don't understand why most people need a smartphone, but I shouldn't overlook the ways in which it has made their lives better, even though I don't opt for one myself.

Oh dear lord, the point of this thread is not to think about all the unfortunate people in the world that can benefit form this stuff.  No doubt smart phones, the Echo, and all that stuff can benefit from this stuff.  No duh.

I'm thinking about for the average childless person that has two functional hands, not one or two that is full of a screaming, crapping baby.

MOD NOTE: Sorry OP, you don't get to determine the value of other peoples feedback and contributions. Just because something doesn't apply to you or your situation, doesn't mean it isn't a valid consideration. Please keep in mind our #1 Forum rule, don't be a jerk. There are other, more intelligent ways to make your case.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2015, 09:02:26 PM by swick »

Case

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #43 on: July 02, 2015, 08:00:58 PM »
I very much agree on the developing world comment.

Interesting that you mention the Echo; that's what spurred me to post this.  I saw an ad for it and then looked to see what it is/does. 

Man, what a piece of crap.  I mean, I see how it can give you occasional conveniences in the form of just talking aloud rather than walking over to your laptop to enter a search/command/etc...
But I think in some ways its kind of sad that devices like that are some of the pinnacles of technology (as marked to the average person).  Is that really what we've come to?  Gadgets so that we can ask a computer via voice for a response, rather than typing it in.  Is it really that much of an advantage?

So far it looks like anyone with an Echo has primarily benefited when their hands are tied up doing other things. And it works very well for its intended uses. Of course the hardware has been around forever. It's the software coupled with the right hardware that makes the difference. Right now, Echo is pretty limited, but think of the possibilities: Echo, or similar device can turn on lights for you, open doors, turn on coffee maker, play any music, buy something for you, read you a book, etc. I think a few people will be quick to judge this device and say it just makes us more lazy and stupid. I disagree since ideally your hands would be tied up, or you'd be in a situation where you needed this kind of functionality to justify owning it. Or you simply wanted to focus on other tasks. The tech world has become pretty fragmented but it will eventually all come together. It's already starting to with Google/Amazon/Apple being the main players.

I do see the Echo a bit like a smartwatch: I'll never own either one until they add enough stuff that I'd actually use day to day, or until things become more integrated.

I guess i'm old fashioned in that I think that the average person does not really this stuff and the world will somehow be just as good without it.

That said, I acknowledge the disabled folks/etc... can get some useful benefits out of it.

Case

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #44 on: July 02, 2015, 08:01:56 PM »
Well, a smartphone definately can be used for a lot of useless stuff, but as a tool it can be used for a lot of useful stuff. You might be right that it is more helpful in the city. Its been very useful for all kinds of stuff; they are basically the electronic version of a multi-tool. Here are a few of the things I've found helpful that would either require me to buy some other device, or cost me time/money in some other way if I did not have the smart phone:

  • Uber/Zip Car
  • HIIT timer (for exercise)
  • Telling me when the next bus will show up/showing bus routes
  • Camera that is connected to the Internet; this means photos are backed up automatically. I've used this to track/compare grocery prices, amongst other things. Sometimes I just take a picture of something to make a note.
  • Flashlight
  • Note pad
  • Text messages that I don't get charged for.
  • GPS is a big one, as you mentioned.

Just getting a generation below the latest one and they don't cost that much either.

I appreciate this more useful response.

justajane

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #45 on: July 02, 2015, 08:09:16 PM »
Interesting that you mention the Echo; that's what spurred me to post this.  I saw an ad for it and then looked to see what it is/does. 

Man, what a piece of crap.  I mean, I see how it can give you occasional conveniences in the form of just talking aloud rather than walking over to your laptop to enter a search/command/etc...
But I think in some ways its kind of sad that devices like that are some of the pinnacles of technology (as marked to the average person).  Is that really what we've come to?  Gadgets so that we can ask a computer via voice for a response, rather than typing it in.  Is it really that much of an advantage?

If you are holding a kid, yes.

If you are disabled or couch bound, hell yes.

Like you, sometimes I need to step outside my own world and realize that devices might be extremely useful for other people. That doesn't make them foolish; that makes their lives different from mine.  I personally don't understand why most people need a smartphone, but I shouldn't overlook the ways in which it has made their lives better, even though I don't opt for one myself.

Oh dear lord, the point of this thread is not to think about all the unfortunate people in the world that can benefit form this stuff.  No doubt smart phones, the Echo, and all that stuff can benefit from this stuff.  No duh.

I'm thinking about for the average childless person that has two functional hands, not one or two that is full of a screaming, crapping baby.

Your rudeness doesn't do your overall argument any favors. I have appreciated the nuances of other commenters' thoughts, but I'm not really sure what your point here is anymore, aside from being contrary and unnecessarily confrontational. 

Case

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #46 on: July 02, 2015, 08:13:47 PM »
See what happens when you dis the smartphone? ;-)

FWIW, I agree with you, I think 90% of the uses of a smartphone (ignoring the blatant time/brain cell wasters) are just an impatience/convenience thing and can just be handled on the computer when you get home.  That's not exactly game-changing.  I got my first smartphone 2 years ago, only because I need it for my job, and might get rid of it when I don't need it for work anymore.  I don't GPS, ever, I look up directions beforehand and either remember them or write them down, but then I like learning my way around places the hard way and getting lost.  If I'm following a GPS I don't learn much.  For those with poor senses of direction and ability to find your way around, I imagine relying on GPS is just making it worse.  And yea cameras on phones are getting better but they're still shit compared to even a mediocre p&S (mpix don't mean anything anymore).  That being said I recognize the best camera is the one you actually have on you, so I do tend to use my phone camera a lot.  Before I had a smartphone I carried my p&s more, so I wouldn't say I'm capturing more moments now, I'm just capturing them more shittily while saving some pocket space.

I do think the mobile phone in general was a game changer in good ways overall, for safety/response time reasons mentioned above.  It's just the smartphone aspect didn't do much but add 'a bunch of cool shit!' all of which you could do on your computer already.  That firefighting example above is an awesome exception, I'd never heard that before.

Although I will say probably my favorite smartphone app that I thought was awesome when I first saw it is Google Sky, where you can hold the phone up and it'll show you what constellations/planets you're looking at.  You probably learn more the hard way with reading sky charts, but I thought that was a really cool use of technology.

But to answer your original question, which wasn't about smartphones, for me one of my favorite game changers this century is portable music players (iPod etc).  I listen to music 24/7 and had a huge CD collection.  That's all gone now and has been replaced with something 1000x smaller and 1000x more enjoyable to use.  And now the same thing is happening with video.  I have zero DVDs now, just a itty bitty raspberry pi that holds something like 300 movies all with an awesome user interface that's also 1000x better than the old way.  I guess overall the declutterer in me is loving the digitizing of data.

Getting a smartphone did save me from carrying my mp3 player along w/ my mobile phone, and performs the function almost as well.  Close enough I'll give the smartphone a point there.  At some point I know the camera tech will catch up enough I'll be happy enough with that as well, too.

I can't think of any other disruptive technologies on the gadget front that have impressed me recently.  Most things are just over-complicated versions of something just for the sake of being cooler.

Admittedly, part of the purpose of this thread was to start an argument.  I can't relate very well to people who are so attached at the hip to a device.  The quality of the average persons life HAS NOT significantly improved as a result of smart phones.  Anyone who thinks otherwise is disillusioned with real gamechangers that have improved quality of life for large cross-sections of people.
Sure, there are occasional unusual things, such as what people have mentioned here.    I'm not talking about those.  That's not what the smart phones were designed for.  They were designed for dicking around.  That's what makes companies the money, because people are obsessed with dicking around.  Sure, there are exceptions to everything.  But without statistics to back it up, I'm going to vehemently argue that most people, include the majority of people on this thread that are iphone-o-philes, dick around A LOT.  It pisses me off, and this thread is a harmless, maybe humorous way to vent some stream.

Thanks for the sharing your thoguhts on the original question.  Enjoy dickin arond with the raspberry pi ;-)


Case

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #47 on: July 02, 2015, 08:16:21 PM »
Interesting that you mention the Echo; that's what spurred me to post this.  I saw an ad for it and then looked to see what it is/does. 

Man, what a piece of crap.  I mean, I see how it can give you occasional conveniences in the form of just talking aloud rather than walking over to your laptop to enter a search/command/etc...
But I think in some ways its kind of sad that devices like that are some of the pinnacles of technology (as marked to the average person).  Is that really what we've come to?  Gadgets so that we can ask a computer via voice for a response, rather than typing it in.  Is it really that much of an advantage?

If you are holding a kid, yes.

If you are disabled or couch bound, hell yes.

Like you, sometimes I need to step outside my own world and realize that devices might be extremely useful for other people. That doesn't make them foolish; that makes their lives different from mine.  I personally don't understand why most people need a smartphone, but I shouldn't overlook the ways in which it has made their lives better, even though I don't opt for one myself.

Oh dear lord, the point of this thread is not to think about all the unfortunate people in the world that can benefit form this stuff.  No doubt smart phones, the Echo, and all that stuff can benefit from this stuff.  No duh.

I'm thinking about for the average childless person that has two functional hands, not one or two that is full of a screaming, crapping baby.

Your rudeness doesn't do your overall argument any favors. I have appreciated the nuances of other commenters' thoughts, but I'm not really sure what your point here is anymore, aside from being contrary and unnecessarily confrontational.

I could say the same thing of your last post. 

The purpose of this thread has evolved, now seeking to obtain entertainment value.  I suggest clicking the 'X' in the upper right hand corner of the brower.

justajane

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #48 on: July 02, 2015, 08:21:50 PM »
Interesting that you mention the Echo; that's what spurred me to post this.  I saw an ad for it and then looked to see what it is/does. 

Man, what a piece of crap.  I mean, I see how it can give you occasional conveniences in the form of just talking aloud rather than walking over to your laptop to enter a search/command/etc...
But I think in some ways its kind of sad that devices like that are some of the pinnacles of technology (as marked to the average person).  Is that really what we've come to?  Gadgets so that we can ask a computer via voice for a response, rather than typing it in.  Is it really that much of an advantage?

If you are holding a kid, yes.

If you are disabled or couch bound, hell yes.

Like you, sometimes I need to step outside my own world and realize that devices might be extremely useful for other people. That doesn't make them foolish; that makes their lives different from mine.  I personally don't understand why most people need a smartphone, but I shouldn't overlook the ways in which it has made their lives better, even though I don't opt for one myself.

Oh dear lord, the point of this thread is not to think about all the unfortunate people in the world that can benefit form this stuff.  No doubt smart phones, the Echo, and all that stuff can benefit from this stuff.  No duh.

I'm thinking about for the average childless person that has two functional hands, not one or two that is full of a screaming, crapping baby.

Your rudeness doesn't do your overall argument any favors. I have appreciated the nuances of other commenters' thoughts, but I'm not really sure what your point here is anymore, aside from being contrary and unnecessarily confrontational.

I could say the same thing of your last post. 

The purpose of this thread has evolved, now seeking to obtain entertainment value.  I suggest clicking the 'X' in the upper right hand corner of the brower.

You asked a question. I answered it. I'm not sure how that was rude or confrontational, especially since I included myself in the group of people who needs to open her mind a bit about what technology can do for people.

Since you are not getting the reaction you wanted or expected, you move the goalpost and excoriate others for not playing by the rules you changed and also tell them to go away? Come on, now. 

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: what gadget are not primarily for dicking aroung?
« Reply #49 on: July 02, 2015, 08:34:59 PM »
The purpose of this thread has evolved, now seeking to obtain entertainment value.

That's called trolling.

Shame, could have been an interesting discussion on disruptive gadget technology.