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Posts tagged Technology

When texting in Japan, do as the Japanese do
January 17, 2014 | 4:38 pm

textingTexting slang is not just the homegrown "argot" of English-speaking nations, of course, and as social media platforms expand worldwide, new slang expressions are coming to the fore in Asian nations as well, as Japanese, Taiwanese and Vietnamese netizens claim their own cool words for communicating in short bursts of camaraderie. And for Japanese geeks and social media fans, where sending text messages in various Japanese character systems  is the norm, more and more English words are creeping in, and fitting in. Although they are written using Japanese either kanji or hiragana or katakana. Case in point is the use of a...

Kobo Glo: A Port After the Storm
December 24, 2013 | 10:15 am

Kobo GloI'm sitting in a coffee shop right now, typing this on my phone (which is sharing a power bar with six other phones) and enjoying my first hot drink since Saturday. We have had no power since then and this toasted s'mores hot chocolate is the first thing I have eaten that's not a peanut butter sandwich. I don't know why the coffee shop has power and we, a few blocks away, don't. But this little store has been a lifeline today for people in the area---hot food and drink, the sharing of news and gossip about the storm we had...

Do You Have Gadget Regret?
November 19, 2013 | 5:18 pm

gadget regretThe iPad Air has me regretting my Mini a little. When I got the Mini, I was in search of the lightest and smallest Apple tablet I could get. Now that the Air is out though, I am reconsidering. A full-size tablet, but with the Mini's weight? That is compelling to me. I am not in such a hurry to jump ship though, because experience has taught me that something better will come along someday, and I have made the mistake too often of adopting early and then being sorry later. The iPad is the perfect example. When the Mini came out,...

In tech-savvy Philippines, ‘digital humanitarians’ playing big role in disaster response and recovery
November 15, 2013 | 10:42 am

disaster recoveryThe Philippines is a tech-savvy country and is one of the top global providers of Information Techology (IT)-BPO services in Asia. In Manila, everyone has a cellphone and text messaging is part of daily life. And yet when Super Typhoon Haiyian (Yolanda) hit the island nation this month, technology was at first unable to stem to force of destruction or lend a hand at first in the initial stages of recovery. For a while, the communications systems and wired world of everydayFilipinos failed. As the days passed, and systems were back online, Google Person Finder was able to assist in helping local people find loved ones...

Something To Remember As We Read This Blog
November 13, 2013 | 12:46 pm

technologyI had a bit of a technology shock the other day. I was telling the Beloved about Kindle Match, the latest customer-grabber from Amazon, where you can get ebook copies of some of your past purchases on the cheap, and instead of debating with interest as he usually does, he shrugged and went back to his baseball podcast. 'I don't have an Amazon account,' he told me. I was stunned. Okay, so he was late to the ebook game---he didn't get an ebook reader until he started dating me (indeed the purchase of this reader was our first date!) But surely,...

Living off the wired grid and still enjoying a connected life
November 8, 2013 | 2:21 pm

living off the gridI have never owned a computer, or a laptop or a notebook or an iPad or an iPhone or smartphone, and the only technology I have in my apartment is a TV set. Yes, I am a news junkie and I like my CNN and I like my MTV and I like all my local TV channels in Taiwan, too, even though I cannot  understand a word of what the newscasters are saying in Mandarin. But back to those things that connect us. I have never owned any kind of computer and never will. For the past two years, ever since...

The constant din is other people at breakfast checking their messages
November 7, 2013 | 4:28 pm

living with technologyIn an interview a few years ago, the British writer George Steiner spoke about "the constant din" that surrounds us 24/7 now in this postmodern high-tech world we have created. He was speaking of the need to find silence from time to time, to get away from the constant din of life and find a sane way of living with technology. And Time magazine essayist Pico Iyer later dipped into the subject and wrote a splendid op-ed in the New York Times titled "The Joy of Quiet." Steiner was asked by a young woman in the interview: "You have argued that...

Disconnecting Completely For the First Time In Years
August 26, 2013 | 3:33 pm

Everyone loves to write about disconnecting while on vacation, and about whether it's a good idea or a bad one. (Uh, yes, I do put myself in the category of loving to write about it.) Anyway, my husband and I just got back from a week-long camping trip where we disconnected completely. I'd like to say it was for some profound moral or spiritual reason, but it was actually because we were camping in a park that had no cell signal and no Wi-Fi. Can you believe it? In 2013? And we didn't leave the country. Heck, we didn't even leave...

How to Roll Out Laptops in Schools
July 29, 2013 | 4:45 pm

laptopsMediaShift has an interesting write-up about a school district in Massachusetts that's grappling with how to best roll out laptops in its schools. The article talks about the program in Natick, Mass., which involved issuing Macbooks to all students in grades eight through 12. The results have been great for students—they've spent their time "doing everything from conversing with peers in Costa Rica through Twitter in a history class, to designing and producing their own online magazines." But it hasn't been so great for the IT department employees, who've spent their time trying to reinstall content filters after students worked very...

Technology: No Big Deal Anymore?
July 16, 2013 | 3:30 pm

technologyI posted earlier about the computer shopping that's been going on in my family lately. Well, gadget lusts strikes again—the Beloved's mother showed me a 900-page doorstopper of a historical fiction novel she plans to take on an airplane with her, and I commented that it would be so much easier to just take an -ebook reader with her. There proceeded a 20-minute debate about whether she reads enough to 'justify' the purchase, and if so, what sort of purchase she should make. Privately, the Beloved and I concluded that, just as my own parents do with tech purchases, she is vastly...

Toronto Stormwatch 2013: When New and Old Technology Collide
July 9, 2013 | 11:14 am

Toronto We got walloped last night with the storm of storms—more rain in one night than we typically get in a whole month, with consequences that at one point involved police boat rescue units paddling in with dinghys to rescue 400 people who were trapped for seven hours on a flooded commuter train. Google the pictures—they are incredible! The Beloved got home, in torrential downpour, about 20 minutes before our power went, so we spent the night cuddled up together, safe but dark, keeping up with events in that strange confluence of new and old technology that characterizes this modern life of ours. Below,...

Rapid Technology Change (or, “Really? I didn’t always have an iPad?”)
July 4, 2013 | 2:52 pm

technology Occasionally, something happens to make me realize how quickly technology changes. That device we "can't live without" today probably didn't exist as little as five years ago. I still remember a question my son asked me when he was about nine: "Mom, what Gameboy games did you play when you were a kid?" He was pretty horrified when I told him my first handheld game was the Merlin (pictured to the right). My first computer was an Apple 128. (The 128 stood for kilobytes, by the way.) Everyone told my mom to buy a Commodore 64 because "we'd never need more than 64...