Category: Technology

Technology

Why Twitter is my favourite platform

Twitter usage is dwindling. With so many social media options around these days, it was always going to be difficult to maintain traction on any single one. Instagram continues to gain in popularity – despite being (or perhaps because it is) a largely one-sided platform. Facebook, obviously, doesn’t seem likely to die soon. I’ve still no idea what Pinterest is for, but they made the news recently with some new feature, so I guess they’re doing ok.

For me though, Twitter will always be my default platform. My go to place to interact with the world. I really do think it’s a shame that the site is losing favour. So, in solidarity with the little blue bird, here are a few of the reasons why I’ll continue to stick with it.

Twitter lists & Tweetdeck

A perfectly valid criticism of Twitter is that, as an ‘all things to all people’ space, if you follow different people for different reasons your feed can get incredibly messy. It’s actually the same reason why I dislike Tumblr – in theory it should be awesome, and it is by far and away the easiest platform to share any content. Yet for some reason it doesn’t work unless you a) use it to host your own blog and point people directly to it (rather than, say, Medium, where people can ‘stumble’ onto your content much more easily) or b) you’re looking to fangirl/boy over a specific TV show.

I digress. Twitter lists cut through all of that. I can follow any mix of people, sort them into lists (I used the visually challenging, but nevertheless robust Twitlistmanager) and then use Tweetdeck to follow those lists all from one screen. Tweetdeck also allows me to create columns for specific topics (eg. general themes such as #socent or topical threads such as #juniordoctorsstrike) and keep up to date with the latest information, regardless of who I follow.

Tweetdeck
Some of the channels I follow using the Tweetdeck platform.

Integrations with other services

Of all the social media platforms, none seem to be as accommodating with their APIs as Twitter (I’m looking at you, LinkedIn…). As a result, there are countless services you can use to get the most out of the platform – whether you’re someone who wants to consume content, share it, or create it.

My personal favourite mix of platforms at the moment is a Feedly -> Pocket -> IFTTT -> Buffer -> Twitter coalition. It sounds horrifically complex, but is actually very simple.

  1. I use Feedly to catch up on the latest headlines
  2. I save anything that catches my eye to Pocket
  3. I’ll read the articles on Pocket, and add any relevant tags to it as I go (#tech, #mentalhealth, #innovation, etc)
  4. If I want to share something, I’ll favourite the Pocket
  5. A preset IFTTT script will periodically pull favourited articles from my Pocket, and add them to a Buffer queue.
  6. Buffer (again, already preset) will periodically tweet those links on my behalf, adding the Pocket tags at the same time. If I want, I can log into my Buffer at any point, and edit the tweet before it’s posted – for example to add a comment of my own.

The good thing about that system is that I can cut in at any point – either Pocket something from another website (maybe a Medium blog post that I like), or even send something straight to Buffer. I’ve linked Buffer with my Bit.ly account, so I can track what people engage with, and adjust my tweeting style based on what my audience interacts with the most. (In theory. I don’t actually do that last bit – but the point is, I could…)

Beyond existing services, if you’re a coder, or know someone who is, you can have all sorts of fun playing around with APIs.

You can converse with anyone

Absolutely no other platform allows you to engage with anyone about any conversation the way Twitter does. Yes, in theory Tumblr should; in reality though I’ve always found you have to really try to get the content that you’re looking for. By my super-scientific method of plucking a number out of thin air, about a third of the funny images you see on the web originated on Tumblr – yet you only ever see them shared on other social platforms. Does that not seem weird to anyone else?

I digress again. Hashtags – since used by other platforms, but pioneered on Twitter – let you dive head first into any conversation. Not only that – you can talk to anyone; whether it’s a fellow Heroes Reborn fan from the other side of the world (despite Tim Kring’s seemingly best efforts, there are some of those still knocking about – I, lamentably, am not one of them. That ship sailed, Tim. That ship sailed…), the CEO of a multinational organisation, or the celebrity host of your current favourite podcast. Because, unlike platforms like Facebook for example, you don’t need to be followed to have your voice heard, Twitter is one of the best ways to interact with people about really specific issues.

Also on this point: because Twitter is such an open and transparent platform, it’s also the best way to get in front of brands and public figures for whatever means you see fit. Few things make big companies more nervous than bad social media, so if you have an issue with your broadband, your train service, or even your local MP, ping them a tweet and watch as they fall over themselves (sometimes) to make sure you’re happy.

(This doesn’t always work… One time I was a little too sarcastic to a certain Railway company that services my area – the Western region of this Great country – and had my sarcasm well and truly put in its place. I maintain it’s always worth a go though.)

You only have 140 characters to make your point

This, probably more than anything else, is the sticking point for many users. I myself fall in and out of love with this aspect of Twitter at least 8 times a day. Overall though, I think the pros of the character limit by far outweigh the cons.

Firstly, it means that I can consume a lot of content in a short amount of time. I’m super lazy, and the character limit puts the onus on the other party to make sure that, if they want me to engage with them, they are doing all the work. Yes, it has meant that ‘clickbait’ has made its way into our lives – both as a hideous piece of terminology, and as an actual thing we have to deal with. But I think that is a small price to pay to be able to scroll through dozens of tweets a minute and only engage with the things that I want to.

The other reason I like it (and hate it, but this is a positive piece), is I genuinely think it makes me more creative as a sharer of content. Yes I fall into the trap of creating poor clickbait now and again, but other times I enjoy trying to condense my thoughts into such a restrictive format. If you’ve read any of my other blog posts, you’ll know I can be a little superfluous in the illustrative language I use to instantiate my points; tweeting forces that out of me and makes sure I get to the heart of my message.

Bonus point: Tweeting during events

I’ve experimented with Liveblogging once or twice – and I like it as a method of keeping things for posterity. In the event though, I haven’t found a platform (or at least a free one…) that is as easy, accessable, and – crucially – as social, as tweeting (see also: hashtagging above).


As a platform, its definitely not for everyone. For me though, Twitter ticks a lot of boxes. Interestingly, they have just recategorised themselves out of the ‘social networking’ bracket in the iOS App Store, in favour of being a news app. It makes sense – having a list set up with your favourite news sources would give it a very Feedly-like appeal. We shall see whether that is enough to boost their numbers.

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Battle of the netbooks: Lenovo MIIX vs Toshiba Chromebook

Something terrible has happened. My trusty Chromebook is dead.

Well, not entirely – the battery has died, or its connection has come loose from the motherboard, or something. I didn’t really want to dismantle it to find out. I figured the guys at Currys could do that for me. Turns out they couldn’t. They have to send it back to Toshiba. They reckon it’ll take 28 days. The rant about how anything can take 28 days in 2016 is for another time.

For the present, as my Chromebook is the only laptop I had and 28 days is an absolute age, I needed a substitute. Ever on a budget, my options were limited. However, one (potentially rash) purchase later, I was £130 poorer, but one Lenovo MIIX 300 better off. Given this is my first foray into the world of Windows Netbooks, I thought it would be a good opportunity to compare the Lenovo to my (temporarily) departed Toshiba CB30.

For reference, the Toshiba costs £199 from most retailers, and the Lenovo £129. The Toshiba is the more powerful machine, but the Lenovo has the benefit of a full Windows OS and a touch screen.

First impressions

The Lenovo MIIX 300 is an 11 inch 2 in 1 netbook. What that means is that it has a touchscreen and a keyboard, and the two can separate, turning the small laptop into a medium sized tablet. Despite its diminutive size, the device runs the full version of Windows 10 – in other words, there shouldn’t be any difference between my experience on this device compared to a full-sized Windows laptop (hardware differences notwithstanding).

On the face of it, the Lenovo seems like a fairly robust choice. The device itself feels study enough – though, as I’ve never had a 2 in 1 before, the hinging does feel a little disconcerting. Because all of the hardware is in the screen (meaning you still get the benefits of a full OS even in tablet mode), it does mean that the screen is heavier than the base – which is basically just a keyboard. As a result, the balance of the device takes a lot of getting used to; I have already set the machine down on the table awkwardly and had it topple back a number of times.

Chromebook comparison: I specifically bought the Toshiba CB30, instead of a different model Chromebook, because I liked the build quality. That said, after considerable use the Toshiba did start to show its mileage. Difficult to call it this early on for the Lenovo, but I’ll say it’s a tie for now.

Ports, buttons, cameras, and hard drive

Hardware wise, its pretty standard for the price tag. In the keyboard section it has 2 full-sized USB ports (though not USB3, which is irritating), and on the screen/tablet section a microUSB port, a mini-HDMI port, a microSD card slot, and a headphone jack, as well as the power socket. All of the above are sensibly placed (its a shame you can’t use a USB pen while in tablet mode, but that’s hardly anything to cry about). The same cannot be said for the power button and volume rocker, which are on the back of the screen. This makes sense when you remember is basically a glorified tablet, but in laptop mode it does make changing the volume irritating – especially when you hit the power button by mistake, which is very easy to do and instantly locks the device.

That said, I’m not sure I’ll be using the volume buttons much, as the sound quality is terrible. The speakers are very tinny, and the volume itself doesn’t go particularly loud. Its a bit of a shame, but at that price something has to go. If working from home I tend to use external speakers anyway, and otherwise I’d use headphones, so for me it isn’t the end of the world.

The mini-HDMI port is a life saver – I’d have preferred a full-sized port, but at the price I’m just glad it has the ability to connect an external screen. While the ‘built-in’ screen is pretty good (more on that below), it is only 10 inches and so gets cramped pretty quickly.

One thing I found irritating was that while there is a 32Gb SSD, it seems to be half full with Windows crap. That, I haven’t missed. By the time I’d installed everything I needed, and synced up my essential Google Drive and Dropbox folders, I’ve barely got any space left on the device. I do have a 64Gb microSD card in the post though, so I’m hoping that will solve that problem. (I didn’t want to use the tiny 32Gb USB as I’ve done with the Chromebook, because I want to be able to access it regardless of whether the keyboard is attached or not.)

There is both a rear and front facing camera on the screen – neither of them will make a David Bellamy of you, but they are good enough for Skyping people who don’t really want to look too closely at you.

The keyboard itself is very nice to use – though being such a small device (10 inch screen, 11 inch device) it did take a bit of getting used to. Once I did, its actually one of the nicest keyboards I’ve used. The laptop also opens up at a good angle, so if you’re using it on a flat surface it doesn’t feel as cramped as it actually is.

The touchpad, sadly, does not match the keyboard. Its fine – in the same way that Tesco’s finest pizza is fine; they’re perfectly edible – nice, even; but once you remember that Dominos is a thing… The most irritating part about the touchpad is that it seems to confuse the actions for scrolling with the action for zooming quite a lot. If there is a setting to stop it from doing that, I haven’t found it yet.

Chromebook comparison: Even with the keyboard aside (which is inherently better on the Toshiba by virtue of being bigger), its almost a clean slate victory for the Toshiba: USB3, a full sized HDMI port, and one of the best non-Mac touchpads I’ve used push the Toshiba streets ahead. Where the Toshiba does lose out is in a smaller hard drive – half the size, in fact. This isn’t a dealbreaker for me though. It is also worth noting that the ChromeOS footprint is a lot smaller than that of Windows, so you do get more usable space as a percentage of total space with the Chromebook.

Screen

The screen is very nice for the price range. Being a glorified tablet, in this case, seems to work in the Lenovo’s favour. The resolution is crisp, and the brightness is good. The only downside, as I’ve mentioned already, is the size of the thing. Without the capability to plug in an external monitor I’d have really struggled with this as my only laptop.

One obvious plus for the Lenovo is the touchscreen. Initially I really didn’t care, but I’ve actually found this very useful (especially considering the lacklustre touchpad). Windows 10, to its credit, does a pretty good job of being both a ‘normal’ OS and a touchscreen OS.

I do quite a lot of reading on my laptop, which is surprisingly pleasant on the Lenovo – particularly as I can remove the keyboard and tilt the device into portrait mode. (Sidebar: I’ve got back into Flipboard as a direct result of this, and that alone is almost worth the new laptop. Almost.)

Chromebook comparison: The screen quality is better than the Toshiba 2 that I own (though there is a model up with a better screen), and crucially works a lot better in direct sunlight. Size wise though it comes up short. The touchscreen is a nice addition, though – if I had the choice – I would rather have a better touchpad. All told, this round goes to the Lenovo.

Battery

I’ll admit, with 10 hours of battery life in a standard working day on my Chromebook I was a little bit spoilt. By comparison the Lenovo out of the box is promising me 5 hours on a full charge. I’ve been pretty taxing on it in the first few days, and it seems to be true to its word. This is disappointing for something that claims to be a tablet, though it seems par for the course with budget 2 in 1s. Also, it lacks a quick charge feature – which is one of those things I didn’t know I’d miss until I didn’t have it.

The upside of the Lenovo basically being a glorified tablet is that the charger is much more discreet. It basically looks like a phone charger (though not, sadly, USB), and the lack of a bulky transformer pack means it adds little weight to your bag. A small consolation for a poor battery.

Chromebook comparison: No contest; the trusty Toshiba blows the Lenovo out of the water. Apart from the battery being the thing that failed…

Usability

In terms of the usability, the Lenovo runs full Windows 10. It’s been a while since I’ve used Windows – before my Chromebook I was on a Mac (and before that I mostly used a Chromebook anyway). I joked with the guy in the shop that I’d have to wait 2 hours to use it while it loaded all the updates. It was less funny when it actually happened…

Despite that, I had forgotten how nice it is to have actual applications on a laptop. Standalone applications seem to warrant more care in their development than their web versions, so even services like Flipboard and Evernote – which you would expect to be fairly similar regardless of platform – are nicer to use on Windows than ChromeOS. The flipside is that I’d forgotten how long it takes to set everything up as you want it. Between the Windows updates, setting up the security, and downloading and installing Dropbox, Evernote, Skype, et al, it took the better part of 3 hours to get everything as I wanted it. Of course, for a lot of those things I could have just used the web version, but I figure if I’ve got a ‘full’ OS, I may as well make use of it.

Once I did have everything set up, things seemed to work pretty well. It does struggle under the weight of too many things open at once, sometimes noticeably, and is particularly tetchy if I’m using Spotify and I have a lot of tabs open in Chrome. Considering that’s basically all I do with my laptop (hence the original switch to a Chromebook) it’s a little frustrating at times. On the whole though, it usually behaves itself.

Chromebook comparison: There are two angles to this: Windows vs ChromeOS, and the actual hardware specs. I’ll leave the OS battle for another time. In terms of day to day use though, the Chromebook takes the edge – due in part to the lighter OS, and the much more powerful processor. While having a ‘full OS’ again is nice, I haven’t missed the constant updating and installing, nor how heavy Windows feels by comparison. For me, its the Chromebook.

So, what’s the verdict?

What do I get on my Chromebook for the extra £70? The sound quality is much higher on the Toshiba 2 (courtesy of its SkullCandy speakers), the screen and the keyboard are considerably larger, and the machine in general runs noticeably quicker (I don’t know if that’s ChromeOS vs Windows, slightly better hardware, or a little of both – though I guess that’s by-the-by). Its also worth reiterating that neither laptop will blow a Macbook, or a high powered Windows laptop, out of the water (though I maintain that, for the average user, the performance difference is close to negligible – particularly on the Toshiba). The Toshiba has over double the battery life, which for someone who likes to work on the move is a huge bonus. Also, despite being larger, the Chromebook is not much heavier, and – being a ‘proper’ laptop – doesn’t have the weight distribution issue. While the touchscreen on the Lenovo is a nice feature, I’d take the touchpad on the Toshiba any day of the week.

All that said, for £130 I am quite happy with the Lenovo, and if I’m being really honest, while I do think the Toshiba Chromebook is better, I’m not sure its £70 better. That’s especially true if you aren’t already embedded into the Google ecosystem. On paper the processor in the Toshiba alone should knock this out the park, but my day to day usage isn’t particularly CPU-heavy, so while it’s noticeable I wouldn’t necessarily call it a dealbreaker.

All-in-all I will switch back to the Chromebook as my main device once it’s fixed, but it’s nice to know that I’ll have a usable Windows machine to fall back on if I need it. It’s also worth mentioning that while it took me 3 hours to get my Windows machine to a usable state, through the glory of the cloud it’ll take me roughly 3 mins to get my Chromebook back to normal. (Seriously. If it takes me 4 minutes, I’ll be disappointed.)

If you are reading this because you’re thinking of buying a laptop, I do have two other things to say. Firstly: what are you doing here? Go and read a proper review! Secondly: If I had the option of buying a ‘proper’ laptop in the £300-£450 range, I still think this was a better choice – at least for my needs. I’ve used plenty of Windows laptops in that price bracket, and have hated every single one of them. They aren’t as powerful as the price tag suggests, and they all age horrifically. For me, if I was to go back to a ‘proper’ Windows machine, I’d have to be looking at something in the £650+ range. And then I’d save up a little more and and buy a Macbook.

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On starting a business with a Chromebook

So, its probably not a surprise to many of you that I own a Chromebook. Whether you know me in real life, or just through my social media, it turns out I happen to talk about it quite a lot. I try not to be too evangelical about it, but in the last couple of months I’ve gone through the process of starting a company, and given that the Chromebook is currently my only laptop, I did think this was worthy of a post.

When I had to give back my work Macbook at the end of my last job, I dutifully returned to my old Windows machine. Having not had to use it much for nearly 2 years, you can imagine my despair at seeing how poorly it had aged. Not wanting to spend a fortune replacing it, I did a quick inventory of the things that I would actually use a laptop for (emailing, social media, writing) I decided to invest in a new Chromebook.

It wasn’t a scary decision for me – I had actually bought the original Asus Chromebook when it first came out, and loved it. But I also had the aforementioned Windows laptop, which at the time was a very powerful machine, so there wasn’t really much I had to think about. With this new purchase to be my only computer, I did wonder whether or not it (and more importantly, I) would cope.

6 months on I can honestly say that, for the most part, I don’t even notice. The vast majority of the stuff I do is either via email or other cloud-based services. If I have to edit a Word document and it isn’t appropriate to convert it into Google Docs, Office online is good enough for me.

There are a couple of caveats though. Anything that was made with an Apple program – I’m talking Pages, Keynote, etc – won’t work. It’s annoying, but then this would also be an issue if I was rocking Windows 10, so I don’t think this is a particularly strong mark against the Chromebook.

The other main caveat is in the more ‘creative’ range of applications – I’m talking photo and video editing. You aren’t going to be able to edit feature-length films on your Chromebook – partly because the hardware just isn’t up to it, and partly because there aren’t that many good Premier Pro alternatives.

Photo editing can be done, and there are some passable Photoshop alternatives, such as the web-based Pixlr (which I think is fantastic). There is also Canva, which is great for generating quick social media friendly images.

I’ll level with you though. While the Chromebook is fine for 90% of the things I do, I have gone a little bit rogue. Using a tool called Crouton, and the Developer Mode of your Chromebook, you can actually install a Linux operating system on a partition of your hard drive. This isn’t necessarily for everyone, and it almost certainly voids all manner of warranties, but it does give you access to the Linux ecosystem and the delights therein.

I’ve opted for XFCE as my distro of choice. Its basically Xubuntu, thus giving you the reliability and usability of Ubuntu, but with some of the bells and whistles stripped out to improve performance on the admittedly slightly underpowered hardware.

What this means is that I can install things like GIMP, Inkscape, and Filezilla – all tools that I think are vital to the discerning individual looking to get the look of their website just right. I won’t spend time reviewing them – a quick Google should sort you out in that regard. Sufficed to say that GIMP and Inkscape do for me everything I would need from Photoshop and Illustrator, and that when it comes to managing your own website Filezilla rules the roost as an FTP client. Also, great news, all three of those run on both Windows and OSX, so you can try them out before making the jump.

Running Linux also means I can install Skype – something I naively thought I wouldn’t miss, especially given that I have an iPad and Web Skype is now a thing. Neither option though gives you the same usability as the desktop client, and I noticed yesterday that Microsoft has actually disabled the video element for the Chrome browser.

A quick note about the hard drive. Most of the Chromebook’s superpowers – long battery life, lightweight, quick speeds, ability to be dropped from mediocre heights – it has by virtue of its SSD, which is only 16Gb. This is fine for 90% of users, as most of the things you’ll use a Chromebook for will be online. If you’re working on a lot of locally stored content though, or if you’ve decided to install a whole other operating system on the machine, you’re going to run out. I’ve opted to permanently leave a 32Gb Sandisk Cruzer plugged into the USB3 port to get around this.

So there you have it. There are a few things that an ‘out of the box’ Chromebook still can’t quite manage. But by and large, I am very happy with my choice of laptop. It weighs next to nothing, 6 months in of heavy usage and I’m still getting a little over 10 hours of battery life, and it cost me less than £200.

Nice work, Google.

My Chromebook is the Toshiba CB30; spec: 1.4Ghz, 16Gb SSD, 2Gb RAM

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Things I’ve learned this week (08/08)

Here it is then, the second of my ‘Things I’ve learned this week‘ series. I’ve had an interesting week this week, mainly focusing on getting some traction on the thoughts I had in London last week. I’ll follow that up with a post at some point early next week, but for now here are a few things that I’ve discovered…

Thing the first: Web masters deserve every penny they get!

I’ve always been good with computers. ‘Better than most’ is how I often describe myself, but to be honest I’m a little bit better than that. So it always amused me when people would say things like ‘I’m great with WordPress’ – I mean, who isn’t in this day and age? May as well tell me you can use Microsoft Office as well! I can code in 6 different programming languages – how hard can WordPress really be?

Pride cometh, as they say, before the fall. I’ve been working this week mostly on one WordPress driven site and it has taken a lot more of my mental prowess than I thought. Setting aside issues with MySQL databases, domain redirects, and generic hosting issues, even getting some of the WordPress systems to do what the client wants has been tricky.

The problem is that – in the case of most WordPress themes – they want to appeal to the lowest common denominator to maximise downloads. So for 90% of people, the basic functionality of a good theme is fine. The problem comes when you want more than the basic. I’ve been developing the front landing page for my own site, and while I’m sure that there are a series of WordPress plugins that could do everything I want to, for me it is easier to write it all from scratch. I can do that though, because at the end of the day I’m only accountable to me. With a system as complex as WordPress – which long ago stopped being just a blogging platform – if you want to future-proof the site as much as possible its sometimes best not to play around too much with the inner workings.

Thing the second: personal details are scarily easy to come by.

I’m not particularly naive, and I know that when I sign up to basically anything my details are going to be sold on to other companies. That’s the cost of doing business, and the price you pay for all the lovely free social media platforms and email services and hosting that’s out there.

But this week over the course of setting up a few things I’ve had more cause to give my details – things like phone numbers and addresses. And I’ve had more spam come through this week than in the rest of this year – including some iMessages, which was novel. (If anyone wants some genuine Ray-Bans for only $19.99 just get in touch – the offer ends soon though!)

I’ve always been a bit blaze about things like this. But usually all I’ve given out is my email address and name – both of which are incredibly easy to get hold of anyway. But the iMessages interest me because they have come to my mobile number, which I don’t give to companies unless I have to.

Thing the third: 25 really isn’t that old.

Its a weird world we live in, and 25 is an odd age. This week my Young Persons Railcard ran out, and this is the last time I can renew it. Which means unless I go back into full-time education, I will only be able to get cheap rail travel (and here the term ‘cheap’ is definitely relative) for the next 365 days. So in terms of National Rail, I’m not a young person.

25 is the age that everything like that seems to stop; cheap train travel, entitlement to various grants, etc. Yet at the same time its not an age that is particularly favourable proffessionally. 25 year olds still struggle to be taken seriously in some sectors, you see very few 25 year old senior managers (outside of the startup world), and if you are out on a stag do and the stag is asked how old he is by passers-by the response is always met with some variation of ‘aww young love’.

So who is one to believe? National Rail, or your average big city firm? Is 25 old and wealthy, or young and inexperienced?

I guess that’s up to the individual in question. Age is, as they say, just a number.

If someone wants to let the ‘Young Persons Railcard’ department of National Rail know, I’d be very grateful.

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On mobile technology

So I thought I’d update this. Not for any real reason other than because I can. And that really is the point of this entry, that I can write it and post it. The reason this is worthy of note is because I’m currently on the train from Bristol to Southampton, and I’m doing this completely on my iPhone.

If you’re anything like me, then you actually won’t find this particularly impressive. We’ve become used this kind of technology – the idea of ‘cloud computing’, ‘web 2.0’ and other such, frankly ridiculous, buzzwords. It has become such an ingrained part of our life that, like all other technology before it, not only can we no longer live without it, we can’t actually imagine how we ever did.

That’s pretty much the way with technology, it is designed to make our lives easier. But after a while, it stops being an aid, and becomes a neccesity. Thus we need new technology to carry on making our lives easier.

Every now and then, the mobile operators have hiccups that mean phones lose signal. I won’t pretend that I do anything important with my phone – aside from texting, it’s mostly checking Facebook, Twitter, and the news. But these outages can affect those people who conduct business on the move – and not just because they can’t make phone calls. 4pm on a Tuesday is hardly peak commuter time, and yet from where I’m sat I can see 2 rather smartly dressed people on netbooks with mobile broadband dongles. While they may be doing nothing more than watching funny YouTube videos to pass the time, they could equally be doing business. There are various claims as to the amount of money saved by companies that increase productivity by conducting business on the move, but by the same argument these companies must also lose out when such hiccups occur. Thus this technology, while making their lifes easier, can also pose problems.

In case you hadn’t already guessed, the fact that the creation of this entry is in effect the point I’m trying to make, means the content of this entry will even more pointless than usual. As such, I’m rapidly running out of steam. At any rate, my phone battery is quickly running out. However advanced technology becomes, it seems it will always be the batteries that let us down.

Until next time.

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