Confined by screens no longer!

I always found a huge problem with my television, laptop and iPad—a screen confines them. What if we could turn an entire room into a monitor, where you can have the news on your kitchen table while you place a video call on your fridge? And when you’re done, you can swipe everything away, like Tony Stark in “Iron Man” or Tom Cruise in “Minority Report”.



Imagine looking up at your kitchen ceiling for a moment. See those lights? Well, they aren’t light bulbs; they’re projectors that can display your email inbox or a website anywhere in the room. There are also cameras inside them that translate your simple gestures into computer commands, like going back a page in your browser. No need for a television in this household. It’s on your cabinet. Or your counter. Or the back of you hand for that matter. The combination of microphones and cameras built into your outlet allows you to talk to your computer more naturally. Instead of saying, “Computer, turn off the kitchen light,” you can just point and say, “Shut that off, please.” Because your computer screen is no longer a square, if you are making pancakes, the measurements and instructions could appear next to each ingredient instead of being grouped into a list.

Anyone reading this post enjoy video games? I thought so. Well, imagine playing Halo or Call of Duty, and being able to see an enemy approaching from your peripheral vision. How about being able to look over your shoulder to see how close your competitors are racing in a game? Imagine—instead of seeing a chair painted with light, the projected image would just automatically adjust in order to help your furniture blend in. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Kinect is a motion sensing input device by Microsoft for the Xbox 360 that might be able to accomplish just that in the near future.

The possibilities with this are endless. Let’s change the world.



Wake Up and Smell the Daisy

When I first heard Mike Daisy’s story I did have some concern about its validity. However, I brushed it off and continued to listen because if it’s on public radio and my professor told me to listen to it. By the end, Mike’s monologue further convinced me that Apple allowed Foxconn to treat their employees horrendously.  I actually called my mom to inform her about the “facts” I learned about how a thirteen year old, over worked Foxconn employees manufactured her new IPad. I soon informed everyone who pulled out an IPhone about the blood, sweat and tears that created their technology. To me, Mike Daisy’s monologue presented the cold hard truth.

Before I even heard Mike’s monologue, I read multiple article’s about Foxconn’s working condition.  I read stories about nets to prevent suicide, unbelievable working hours, standing for hours, dangerous chemicals and the horrific dorm conditions. So when I heard Mike’s first-hand accounts, I felt like his experience just solidified all of my previous knowledge.  But when I found out Mike Daisy lied, I immediately started questioning everything I read and heard about Foxconn and Apple.

Listening to his confession I felt torn between feeling sorry for him and angry at him. I felt sorry because his intentions were somewhat good, yet he still lied to people who depended on him to provide the truth. He lied about the guards, under aged employees, blacklist, dorm cameras, the man with the mangled hand, working conditions, and much more. The “facts” to his story were lies. I understand he wanted to make people care through telling a story that captured the totality of his visit, but he cannot lie about facts. Once you lie about facts, you can ruin the credibility for the whole topic. People now will question the validity of any Foxconn and Apple news they hear. In reality, his lie’s only give power to the very people he is trying to stop.

When Daisy performed on This American Life, he committed to telling the truth. He made people think his stories were true. The truth is not elusive, objective truths do exist. However, constantly people are forced to look at everything skeptically because our media has a reputation for fabricating or exaggerating facts.  The common image of media depicts desperate, wired reporters that will do anything for a story. This image causes people to mistrust articles and stories that present facts about different topics, not just apple.

To a certain extent, I believe the image is accurate. By no means I believe every reporter acts unethically, but I believe that it is extremely important to think critically about stories we hear. This is why Sociological Imagination is important. The Sociological Imagination calls for people to look at the whole story before you make judgments and decisions. Look at the ENTIRE picture, not just what you want to see. The Sociological Imagination forces you to look at both sides and make an education decision. If I would have done more research about Daisy and Apple, I would have discovered the different opinions and probably discovered that he lied a lot sooner than I did.

Overall, you can see how easy it is to spread news about something as big as Apple. Hell, after thirty minutes of listening I called my mother and told her about what I just heard. This exemplifies the importance of telling the truth. If you don’t, rumors and lies will inevitably spread.  Even worse, when you lie like Daisy, you aren’t the only one who loses credibility, your cause does as well.

iCult or the Very First Corporate Religion

Technology…this word gives me a creep, in a good sense, when I actually think about what it means for us as a whole. Every person in the world has been exposed to Technology somehow. It actually fascinates me how people can use this term so freely, without deep understanding what it actually is; and, as matter of fact, so do I. However it is a different topic, so broad that cannot be covered in one single blog of a small person such as me, and therefore I have only slightly touched the tip of the iceberg in order to avoid misunderstanding, the reason to which might be my very own ignorance.

I love technology, if I may say so, and I almost feel it is a special human being to me. This is how close it has gotten in my life and, I am sure, in almost every other person’s life. All the developments and inventions have brought both good and bad, and in order to analyze, we would have to look at technology from the side. But is it possible, when we view our devices as something so intimate? Have you, personally, tried to think of technology as something not so integrated in our lives, not as something given to us by right of birth? With this thought in mind we move on to Apple, the best, most innovative company in the world.

Even though I am not an Apple fan today, I used to be. My Apple experience started long time ago, when I got iPod Mini for my birthday. I found it beautiful, so very well designed, and easy to use. I can still remember myself taking care of my first Apple product as if it was a child of mine. The iTunes player was so comfortable and easy to use, it was receiving constant updates – I felt that Apple really cared about me.  I was worshiping it, I was in deep love with it. A year later I bought another iPod. I was blindly in love with it again, even forgetting the old one. I did not care that there was almost no difference other than memory increase and rounded edges. I was blinded for some reason unknown to me.

Unlike Apple-haters, I do understand Apple-fans, the warm feeling a new iPhone gives. MacBook is a great device, and I do not dare to challenge that. IPhone, IPad are awesome, there is no doubt…or is there?  Have you ever thought why there is a differentiation between Mac and PC? PC stands for Personal Computer. Is Mac not a personal computer? Why do people not call computers with Linux OS just Linux instead of PC? I even heard someone saying that iPad is a huge innovation being a tablet PC.

gatestabletIt appears that tablet first appeared in 2002 and was introduced by this guy. Steve Jobs has changed quite a bit since then, hasn’t he?

I do not own any Apple products anymore. All thanks to undeveloped customer service back in old mother-Russia. Feeling of deep connection vanished over time and I started to see the impaired functionality of Apple devices. It was and still is easy to use, however it felt the company treats me like an old child, not capable of doing anything myself and not knowing boundaries, and therefore provides software itself and limits access to certain things. There is no freedom in using Apple devices.

It is possible, however, that users do not need all the functionality and freedom – they would rather just use an easy product instead of bothering themselves with the fascinating complexity behind the scenes. Perhaps my perverted views on this matter are completely weird, but how could all the missteps by Apple remain unnoticed? The answer is simple enough: “Apple cannot do wrong”. Being an Apple fan has become “a religion”, as Michael Daisey said, and I totally agree with him. As for any religion, there are problems when people to start think and ask questions. Is it really ok to exploit people, even if they are Chinese? This was not an attempt to be racist, but instead to point out that those working conditions would never be accepted in United States. Is it fine to use poisonous chemicals in not-automatized production without equipping workers with the least protection such as masks, gloves, goggles? Many other issues, including those raised by Mr. Daisey, remain not solved.

Aren’t We Awesome?

I am a college student at an ivory towered, northeast, prestigious, and somewhat cloistered university. What really matters to me? Do I care that my expensive gadgets come from below standard, non-living wage factories? Does it matter to me what the national or international general economic standing is so long as I can learn about Aristotle and Socrates or other works which talk about and discuss the human condition and how I can eventually control it? Does it matter to me that while I stuff my face in the cafeteria there are plenty who go without for weeks at a time? While these scenarios seem so grim and are also so real the real answer to all of those questions is somewhat scary. You would think that all of these would truly bother me but in reality they don’t. Continue reading