Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Just Say No - Technology You Don't Need

Technology is a double-edged sword.  Most is good, but a lot is bad or
just plain unnecessary.  Tech companies are always hyping the latest
gizmos for consumers to waste their money on.  I have a long list of
examples of Microsoft Snake Oil that I will write about on my rants
blog when I get time.  In the meantime, here are some examples of
cases to "Just Say No", plus an antidote.

1. "Top 5ive Gadgets You Shouldn't Buy"

2. "ABC to get Second Life"
"The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Telstra and Tourism
 Australia are building islands in the virtual online world of Second
 Life. Companies are recognising the huge marketing potential of the
 three-dimensional world, where people escape their own existences to
 live a different virtual life, and are racing to set up shop there and
 in other virtual worlds."

Last week Four Corners took a look at Second Life in a program called
"You Only Live Twice":
You can read the transcripts and watch the "vodcast".  But be warned -
it doesn't take long to find out where the real money will be made with
this "virtual reality".
My favourite quote: Clay Shirky, on the suggestion that Second Life
"citizens" are excited about buying a book through Amazon when they
are "in-world":
"No. No-one is excited about that. People are excited about other
 people being excited about it."

3. "Pizzaky: The Open-Air Electric Pizza Oven"
"This open-air, ovenless pizza cooker will cook up to a 12-inch pizza
 using its upper and lower electric heaters. The flavor might not be
 as good as the conventional brick oven, but who has the money--never
 mind the space--to install one these days? This one's just a little
 under $70."

4. "Introducing the Hipster PDA"
"Recently, I got sick of lugging my Palm V around, so I developed a
 vastly superior, greatly simplified device for capturing and sharing
 information. I call it 'The Hipster PDA.'"

Like the author, I too bought a Palm V a few years ago.  It was an
interesting toy, but I didn't find it at useful as I had hoped.  I've
had a look at newer PDAs since stashing away my Palm, but nothing
excites me.  It can be a hassle carrying a pen and scraps of paper
in my shirt pocket, but the old tech is much more flexible.

An add-on - the Hipster Shuffle