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Category Archives: Smartphones

The Shackles of Digital Freedom – a review of Jack Lichuan Qui’s “Goodbye iSlave”

With bright pink hair and a rainbow horn, the disembodied head of a unicorn bobs back and forth to the opening beats of Big Boi’s “All Night.” Moments later, a … Continue reading

March 7, 2018 · 2 Comments

The future looks expensive

When times are grim, and menacing clouds literally gather on the horizon, it can be immensely reassuring to have some event that restores faith in the future. All that is … Continue reading

September 13, 2017 · Leave a comment

Is Internet access a choice?

Sometimes the most interesting questions about how technology impacts society are raised unintentionally. Case in point: on Tuesday, March 7, 2017, Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) went on CNN to explain … Continue reading

March 9, 2017 · 2 Comments

What could go wrong? Another question to ask of new technology

Those who spend a lot of time traveling by airplane steadily grow accustomed to the standard spiel issued by members of the TSA and airline personnel. Yet, recently, a new … Continue reading

October 20, 2016 · 7 Comments

Google unveils more of the same

Here is a question: have you heard about the new smartphone that’s being released? Here is a completely legitimate way to answer the above question: which smartphone do you mean? … Continue reading

October 5, 2016 · 1 Comment

Planned obsolescence comes for the headphone jack

Surprises are overrated. Well, probably not really, but such a shrugging sentiment seems warranted when it comes to the glitzy launch “events” held by tech companies. Lately, the things which … Continue reading

September 8, 2016 · 5 Comments

Apple Is Not the Messiah

There is a lot of money to be made in crafting carefully manicured public relations campaigns for major corporations. Numerous large firms exist solely for the purposes of selling their … Continue reading

February 18, 2016 · 4 Comments

The Social Construction of Acceleration – A review of Judy Wajcman’s book Pressed for Time

Patience seems anachronistic in an age of high speed downloads, same day deliveries, and on-demand assistants who can be summoned by tapping a button. Though some waiting may still occur … Continue reading

October 1, 2015 · 8 Comments

Talking Through Machines about Talking To Machines

We spend a fair amount of time conversing with computers. It is an activity that has become so common-place as to have become rather mundane. These discussions are generally one-sided: … Continue reading

June 13, 2014 · Leave a comment

And Now for Something Completely Similar…

It seems that hardly a week goes by that does not involve some smiling executive standing before the cameras proudly unveiling their company’s latest device, gizmo, doodad, operating system, or … Continue reading

April 3, 2014 · Leave a comment

Who Watches the Watch Wearers?

People have no lack of options when it comes to smartphones and tablets. Indeed, it may well be the case that a point has been reached at which there are … Continue reading

March 20, 2014 · 4 Comments

Does Your Phone Care About Privacy? Behold: The Blackphone

One way to know with relative certainty that contemporary society is taking a problem seriously is when a market solution, a personal consumptive choice, appears to assuage the mounting concerns. … Continue reading

February 24, 2014 · 4 Comments

No Longer in Google’s Tentacles…wait, what?

Generally speaking, companies committed to consolidating ever more power under their corporate identity do not blithely toss away provinces of their empires. True, this may happen as a result of … Continue reading

January 30, 2014 · 5 Comments

Your Phone is Not What’s Lazy…

What is a tech company to do when its recent product unveiling risks being forgotten thanks to a competitors even more recent product unveiling? Advertise, of course, and if possible … Continue reading

September 13, 2013 · 1 Comment

Rotten to the Core

The new Apple product never falls too far from the technical tree; and the digital fruit that is picked from the orchard this season is rarely significantly different from the … Continue reading

September 11, 2013 · 13 Comments

The Plan is Obsolescence – Defining Our Machine Wrought Maladies (3)

1. If there is to be a great anti-technology bogeyman, that dubious honor may belong to General Ned Ludd: the great marauding miscreant, armed with a sledgehammer and an army … Continue reading

September 3, 2013 · 27 Comments

A More Connected World (to mine for data)

For those with a speedy Internet signal and a multitude of sleek technological toys at their (non-metaphorical) fingertips it can be easy to forget that much of the world (billions … Continue reading

August 23, 2013 · 8 Comments

The Cell is the Phone – Defining Our Machine Wrought Maladies

It was in 1983, a year before the age immortalized in authoritarian auspiciousness by George Orwell, that a judge in New Mexico began the program of monitoring people’s movements with … Continue reading

August 5, 2013 · 18 Comments

Protecting Your Privacy – A Resource Guide [Updated 6/26/13]

The recent revelations that the NSA (with the quiet acquiescence of numerous telecoms) has been watching the mobile and online activities of millions of people has sent a chill through … Continue reading

June 11, 2013 · 16 Comments

Did You Remember to Take Your Password This Morning?

By the time that most people begin to ponder the implications stemming from soon to become available technologies, these devices have already become dated and staid to those whose job … Continue reading

June 10, 2013 · Leave a comment

Does Your Smartphone Sync with Your Values? Behold: The Fairphone!

The speed of innovation and the speed of ethics do not run parallel. Technological change races forward at such velocity that we rarely have time to wonder if these technical … Continue reading

June 5, 2013 · 12 Comments

Buycott all you like (as long as you keep buying)…

Our days are defined by thousands of compromises. Moments when we act in violation of our ethics for the sake of convenience: we drive alone instead of taking public transit, … Continue reading

May 31, 2013 · 9 Comments

Facebook Home is not Your Home Away from Home

The plot of a new horror movie is causing quite the tizzy. Here’s an overview (don’t worry, no spoilers): A group of friends are gathered inside a house. They are … Continue reading

April 7, 2013 · 5 Comments

The Specter of General Ludd at SXSW

The SXSW festival, held annually in Austin, Texas, is something of a bacchanal to the new. While many are familiar with the festival for its music and film components it … Continue reading

March 25, 2013 · 8 Comments

Ethics and Buying a Smartphone (with help from Simone and Simon)

Many people have at least a passing concern for where the things they use and consume come from. Was your shirt sewn in a sweatshop? Was your coffee purchased from … Continue reading

March 14, 2013 · 9 Comments

The Used Book Store in the Cloud (probably isn’t heaven)

Do you “own” any of the albums, books, or movies that you have downloaded? You hit the “buy” button, didn’t you? Your bank statement provides you with evidence that you … Continue reading

March 10, 2013 · 1 Comment

You Have Already Opted-In

Have you ever walked around in a store, or by a shop window, and had a momentary odd feeling upon recognizing that you were on camera? Or, have you become … Continue reading

March 8, 2013 · 4 Comments

Choosing a New “ism” to Dread

It’s always fun to have a new ism. You can ponder the issues raised by the ism, write a book warning an unaware public about this ism (that you may … Continue reading

March 4, 2013 · 33 Comments

Douglass Rushkoff Quits Facebook (surprising nobody)

Apropos of my post about the smart phone (here), it is incumbent upon me to mention that if the filing cabinet on you is your smart phone than most of … Continue reading

March 3, 2013 · 2 Comments

The Stasi Agent in Your Pocket

Begin overly simplistic plot summary: in the film The Lives of Others a playwright in East Berlin is monitored by Stasi agents (the Stasi were the secret police in the … Continue reading

March 1, 2013 · 4 Comments

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