Upgrading, or eliminating?

So I went to the Apple store two weeks ago to purchase a new macbook pro, after losing mine in an unfortunate pool accident, when I noticed that the newest model no longer features a cd drive. I know that a lot of things are now available through instant download, and to many this may be easier, because it makes the laptop thinner and lighter, but personally, I feel that is taking away key features, rather than adding them. I don’t want to have to go out and purchase an $80 external drive and carry it around with me. I like watching movies on my computer, and using programs that still have cd-roms, and to me, eliminating the drive is more of an inconvenience than a selling feature.

Today, the competition in technology is as fierce as ever, and I personally believe that this was a bad choice on Apple’s part, because in a world where they need to keep improving, taking away a key component of their computer only downgrades it to me.

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It’s That Time Again

I am sure I am not the only person to notice that the Samsung Galaxy s5 has been released. Yes, another piece of technology. It is a game to see who can be at the top between these companies, Apple, Samsung, Google, Android, etc. Every year, they release a new phone with the “most updated technology” and then all of their competitors rush to release their product that just slightly one-ups the last. The competition is as fierce as ever, now the S5 has been released with a similar fingerprint scanner and similar interface compared to the iPhone 5s. Technology is growing every day, and these cell phone companies especially will stop at nothing to become the top-company. This is because cell phones are the one piece of technology that becomes obsolete quicker than anything else. Yes, laptops and televisions go out of date as well, but we do not have the option to upgrade these every 1-2 years like a cell phone. With that kind of opportunity, these companies need to be on their feet thinking of what they can do next, to make the consumer want to purchase their phone over all of the other competitor products. Samsung and Apple have become increasingly close over the last few years, and personally I attribute Apple’s falling popularity to the death of Steve Jobs, and the lack of significant improvements along with the major firmware/technical glitches that they have experienced. Only time will tell, but this race for number one keeps getting closer, and Samsung just took a huge step upward.

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Take the Road of the Unexpected

It’s simple. You never know where life will take you. This is something I didn’t believe in, for a long time. I was always the type of person to have a plan. Know what I am going to do, when I am going to do it, I figured that would make life easier. Well life does not stop for your plan. Just this morning, I was heading back to Rutgers and I busted two stitched in my finger, landed me in the hospital for 3 hours, when i had just had my finger stitched up this morning to begin with. It doesn’t matter if it is something stupid like that, or a plan like what you want your profession to be, and how long you want it to take to get there. None of that matters when you cant control your future. 

Thats the concept, that no matter how hard we try, we have no control over our own fate, our own future, or even our lives. It is something that it took me a long time to truly grasp and accept. When you are young you are taught that we make our own fate, but that simply is not the case. One person can only do so much, and the rest is left up to chance. And when things do not go our way as they so often do not, we can wallow in self-pity every time that something does not go our way, or we can embrace each day, live each moment to the fullest, and take the road of the unexpected.

Are We Really What We Eat?

Metaphorically speaking, a very common adage is we are what we eat. Now literally speaking, of course that is not the case. If I eat a cheeseburger, I will not overnight miraculously transform into a Burger King sized burger with a side of french fries. But after seeing something on television, it got me thinking, how is that relevant to real life. 

Then I realized that it is more than just physically turning into whatever food item we choose to consume, but the adage is more personal, and our bodies do certainly react to what we choose to eat. Typically, the people that consume healthier food options, and a variety of natural foods such as fruits or vegetables, also live healthier lifestyles and overall, have a better quality of life. That is not to say that people who do not eat healthy are all unhealthy , not physically-fit human beings. That would be an overgeneralization. But in order to be healthy and feel good, you have to put good, nutritionally beneficial foods into your body. People who spend more time at McDonalds than their kitchen table, generally will not be the healthiest of people. That is why it truly is important to consider what you are eating and really think twice about what you are going to put into your body before you do. The better the food, the better you will feel.

Do we control technology, or does it control us?

So up until this passed week, I never realized how my life is truly centered around the technology I own. I mean, I go crazy with anxiety whenever my phone is not at my side, and this week, when I lost my computer because it was thrown into a pool (yeah, I know, stupidest way to lose a $1,500 computer) I have honestly never felt more helpless. I watched my entire life, all of my pictures and documents, any schoolwork from the past two years, and any other information stored on it, literally washed away by pool water. And you can be sure I jumped in, clothes and all, to attempt to save it.

Now heres the crazy part. It is just an object, an inanimate piece of technology. It shouldn’t have been so important to me, and yet, I felt completely lost. I didn’t think I relied so much on my computer, but then I realized, it contained my entire life. Photos from since I was a baby, documents, drafts of stories I’ve written, my passwords to every account in my name, my music library of more that 10,000 songs, gone in an instant. Unfortunately in todays society, these are the things that our lives revolve around. My computer was more important to me than it should have been, and contained so many things that were truly essential to my life, and yet they weren’t even in existence when previous generations were our age. It is amazing how things change. 

Doubting the benefits of growing technology

After a long period of anticipation, apple released their latest line of iPhones, the 5s and the new 5c model, in late October 2013. Just like everyone else, of course, I was curious of the new products and eagerly awaiting the date I would be eligible to upgrade my perfectly fine iPhone 5 to the next model. Since then though, I have continued to do some research on the phones, and with the new iPhone 5s, there has been a lot of speculation towards one issue. Who has access towards the data saved from the fingerprint scanner. 

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Of course this sounds like a revolutionary idea in the world of technology, not needing a password other than your biological information encoded into your fingerprint. But since the release of the phone, many people have begun to wonder, who exactly has access to this information. Apple states that the information from your fingerprint is not saved other than for unlocking your own phone or able to transferred to anyone, but there are many people that fear that anyone, even government agencies, will be able to have access to your fingerprint, and essentially, DNA information, just from the touch of a new cell phone.

There are a lot of people now that will think twice, is this scanner a revolutionary idea of technology, or a violation of your privacy. 

Technology Taking Over

In researching for project ideas, I came across this article from Forbes: Phew, The Robots Are Only Going To Take 45 Percent Of All The Jobs

http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2013/09/18/phew-the-robots-are-only-going-to-take-45-percent-of-all-the-jobs/

Along with technological advancement we have found ourselves moving forward with more economical ways to get things done. That is where these robots come into play. Though they may be more economical, and more efficient, the fact that the unemployment rate in the United State is on a continuous rise, having machines and robots doing human jobs is a huge contributing factor to the issue. 

The fact that they predict that robots will be able to take over 45% of human jobs is astonishing. It’s almost half of the worlds population is replaceable by a piece of machinery, that keep in mind, a human must build. That’s some irony. We are creating computer-operated machines to take the place of ourselves.

Either way, though this does seem like a huge technological advancement and a huge step forward in the digital age, in our troubled economy, losing more and more jobs to robots each year is not something that will help us fix the problem of unemployment, rather than set us further from that goal. 

 

Who We Are, Not What We Like

While coming up with ideas for the self portraits in class, I realized something. Our self portrait is not comprised of what we like, what we don’t like, and what we do in our free time. Thats more of a biography. The purpose rather is to look at ourselves, and try to put into a document how the rest of the world sees us. 

Now of course, easier said than done. To describe ourselves is to go and tell people our hobbies, interests, and favorite things, but when other people look at you, they do not see that, so that cannot be a self-portrait. To actually create that is to look much deeper inside yourself and figure out what makes you as a person, and yes, I can assure you that it is a much more difficult task to find yourself from within rather than just list a description. 

More of a Producer Than I Thought

* note- this is in response to the original post, I was a late addition to the class, and when I thought i posted this, somehow there was a glitch and my in-class post posted itself twice. 

Naturally, when I initially read the post, my response was that I am strictly a consumer when it comes to technology, heck, I don’t know what it means to be a producer. But when I actually took a moment to ponder the idea, I realized, we produce a lot using technology, every day. Whether it be my twitter that I am constantly posting on, or adding new pictures on Instagram, and Facebook statuses, even this blog right now, there are a plethora of ways that we all produce, even while we are being consumers.

The idea that technology has literally taken over my life is not to shy of the truth. Not only myself, but most of the people I know have come to rely on the technology that we use everyday, making us avid consumers of these products. I certainly will attest to the fact that I am one of those people that have to (or would like to) have each new product that is released, whether it is a new laptop or the updated iPhone with the minuscule advancements. 

Each and everyday I am both a producer and a consumer of technology, even as we speak, I’m using technology to produce this blogpost, needless to say, I produce much more than I thought.

Beauty Blog

http://www.missnattysbeautydiary.com

Truth be told, I do not look at blogs outside of this class, but when presented with this assignment, I instantaneously knew what type of blog I would be looking for. Make up is my passion, I like wearing it, I like putting it on, both others and myself. I like shopping for makeup, testing the new items and playing with the different pigments, and when I searched the Internet, I came across this particular site, and as I began to navigate through the pages, I found that this is exactly what I would be looking for in a blogging site. The author offers not only information about a different beauty product in each post, but engages the readers with her own personal opinions and pictures, as well as suggestions as to what to pair it with, when it could be used, and even ideal places to purchase the product. Not only did I find this blog engaging, but for me specifically it was informative and gave me suggestions and ideas that I myself never would have thought off, and showed me new products that I would love to try, that normally I would pass without a glance each time I visit the store.