Whether it's watching a $4,000 laptop fall off the conveyor belt at airport security, contending with a software conflict that corrupted your file management system, or begging your family to stop opening those virus-carrying 'greeting cards' attached to emails, all computer owners are highly leveraged and highly vulnerable technology investors.
In spite of my own reservations about Bing's ability to convert Google users, I have to admit that the search engine does offer a genuine alternative to Google-style browsing, a more coherently organized selection of links, and a more advertiser-friendly environment through which to sell space and links.
Grunge was so self-consciously lowbrow and nonaspirational that it seemed, at first, impervious to the hype and glamour normally applied swiftly to any emerging trend. But sure enough, grunge anthems found their way onto the soundtracks of television commercials, and Dodge Neons were hawked by kids in flannel shirts saying, 'Whatever.'
The first step toward maintaining autonomy in any programmed environment is to be aware that there's programming going on. It's as simple as understanding the commercials are there to help sell things. And that TV shows are there to sell commercials, and so on.
As popular culture becomes more presentist, we move away from entertainment as the vicarious experience of a narrative - as watching someone else's story - and much more toward enacting one's own story. Moving away from myths and toward fantasy role-playing games, away from movies and toward videogames.
We Facebook users have been building a treasure lode of big data that government and corporate researchers have been mining to predict and influence what we buy and for whom we vote. We have been handing over to them vast quantities of information about ourselves and our friends, loved ones and acquaintances.
Like most early enthusiasts, I always thought the way the Internet encouraged multitasking made users less vulnerable to manipulation, while simultaneously exploiting even more of our brain's capacity than before. Apparently not.
The horrible truth is we are linear beings; we can't multitask, and we shouldn't keep interrupting important connections to each other with the latest message coming in.
When Steve Jobs toured Xerox PARC and saw computers running the first operating system that used Windows and a mouse, he assumed he was looking at a new way to work a personal computer. He brought the concept back to Cupertino and created the Mac, then Bill Gates followed suit, and the rest is history.
Part of an icon's power comes from its indivisibility. The swoosh cannot be further deconstructed into its component parts. Just as golden arches mean McDonald's, and the little red tab means Levi's, the swoosh is Nike. The product is its icon, inseparably and without exception. To buy a pair of Nike shoes is to buy the Nike swoosh.
I find myself unable to let go of the sense that human beings are somehow special, and that moment-to-moment human experience contains a certain unquantifiable essence. I still suspect there is something too quirky, too paradoxical, or too interpersonal to be imitated or re-created by machine life.
Remember when those CD-ROMs from AOL came in the mail almost every day? The company was considered ubiquitous, invincible. Former AOL CEO Steve Case was no less a genius than Mark Zuckerberg.
I don't think tablets are where we should be focused. But I do think they could end up being an efficient way of delivering textbooks. They're just not really that, yet. There's all sorts of poisons and mined minerals and carnage that goes on to make a tablet. Way more than to print a book. Or a bunch of books.
Once a teen has been identified as part of the 'target market,' he knows he's done for. The object of the game is to confound the marketers, and keep one's own, authentic culture from showing up at the shopping mall as a prepackaged corporate product.
The reason why Apple computers have worked so well over time is that, unlike Microsoft, they don't bend over backward to be compatible with every piece of hardware or software in the digital universe. To code or create for Apple, you follow Apple's rules. If you're even allowed to.
Many billboards and magazine ads have resorted to showing isolated body parts rather than full-body portraits of models using or wearing products. This style of photography, known in the industry as abstract representation, allows the viewer to see himself in the advertisement, rather than the model.
We all know the feeling of surrendering to the embedded biases of our devices. We let our cell phones ping us every time there's an incoming message and check our e-mail even when we'd best pay attention to what's going on around us in the real world. We text while driving.
Walkman was the precursor to the cell phone, in terms of your strategy for getting through the urban landscape and the modern experience. Insulate yourself from it with your own soundscape.
Every new computer program is basically doing some task that a person used to do. But the computer usually does it faster, more accurately, for less money, and without any health insurance costs.
Since the 1960s, mainstream media has searched out and co-opted the most authentic things it could find in youth culture, whether that was psychedelic culture, anti-war culture, blue jeans culture. Eventually heavy metal culture, rap culture, electronica - they'll look for it and then market it back to kids at the mall.