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February 05, 2011: "The Time Waster" 
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Post Re: February 05, 2011: "The Time Waster"
Quote:
At one point, the United States was one of the world's great producers. Gradually, we are transforming into the world's #1 consumer.


Arguably, since the U.S. have an ever-growing negative trade balance since the mid 1970ies, the U.S. have been the world's number one consumer for a long time already


Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:24 am
Post Re: February 05, 2011: "The Time Waster"
James-

Please don't be so hard on yourself. There's no reason to "feel like shit" because you "wasted" a little time on the iPad. You're already one of the most productive people in the world. Don't sweat it if you're now less productive by a half percent or so. We should all be as "unproductive" as you are.

QG


Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:40 pm
Post Re: February 05, 2011: "The Time Waster"
Dragonbeard wrote:
James Berardinelli wrote:
I agree to an extent, I just don't really know if everyone can agree where the line is after which you are a drag on society.

I'm currently unemployed, receiving unemployment benefits. I chose a bad time (late 2008) to chuck my 9-5 in order to start a foundation degree; I've not found work since. Not from lack of trying mind you, even my former employers are simply not able to take me on due to the company's budgeting.

My day consists of helping out my parents (a paid off mortgage means no rent so I help keep the house instead), job hunting, reading and playing games and also watching my daughter grow up through videos and photos sent by her mum (a depressing thing to do I must admit).

How close to the line do I fit in?


Your reply was food for thought. I think being productive involves doing something that (as mercenary as this sounds) someone could reasonably be expected to pay for. The value of intellectual property is subjective but then people can vote with their dollar. The idea to me is that we're not just brains in vats, but physical beings that need food, shelter, and most people like some material things. Building and maintaining stuff for humans can be unpleasant, so we try to share it equitably to an extent and pay each other for stuff. Loafing is fine, but people should contribute some to the extent they can, and I think it's wrong to loaf at outrageous expense if someone has chosen not to contribute much. Not that I'm an arbiter of anything but you sound productive to me, helping out around the house and looking for a job. It's not about making as much money as possible but I think people should try to assume a reasonable burden of unpleasant tasks, basically.

Anyway, interesting thoughts on the iPad. I think you make a good point about it being a poor device for content authoring (despite them trying to make it look otherwise, haha). One thing I think it has promise for is as a good gadget for comfortably communicating visual concepts, etc. I can imagine sketching graphs and figures on it to tutor someone or have something explained to me.

Admittedly, a Wacom tablet can do that too but having a slate of some sort is the difference between having to do it at a desk versus sitting on the couch. I'm a fan of a number of Apple products and I don't feel too driven to buy it in its current form. I might get one as an e-book reader if they bump up the display a little.


Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:17 am
Gaffer

Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:45 am
Posts: 15
Post Re: February 05, 2011: "The Time Waster"
Great article and review. I've thought about getting an ipad too, and I agree with you about the productivity problem. When I get home from work, it is so easy to while away an hour or so on the internet. And as a teacher, more than half of high school kids in my classes seem to have iphones, and a lot of them just can't help but to text and play games under the shield of their books and papers and behind the desk. I hate being the bad guy confiscating and it feels so old-fashioned that sometimes I just want to give up, but these devices are very distracting, and while they could be useful, more often than not, they're not used for productive purposes at times when a person should be focusing on something else. I can only imagine the same thing happens at the workplace too when people at at their desks.


Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:52 am
Profile
Cinematographer

Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 6:19 pm
Posts: 623
Post Re: February 05, 2011: "The Time Waster"
I agree. For me it would be a great time waster. I still want one :)

I imagine they could be very useful tools for Sales and Marketing folks to gather field notes and show images to customers. Or for professional buyers to keep track of purchases at locations like farmer's markets or auctions.

I'm curious, for those that have one or something like it. Is there any capability of taking notes that coincide with text (a modern day version of writing in the margins of printed material)?


Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:41 pm
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Post Re: February 05, 2011: "The Time Waster"
Thanks for an interesting view on time wasting and the iPad. I've been in computing since 1966. Innovations in computers appear to consist of vendors concocting something, providing a hook that attracts and incrementally improves on the current computer device, and then we spend the next years creating add-on (software) to drag the hardware into an unforeseen productive state.

Mainframes (1960s) --> Minicomputers (1970s) --> PCs (1980s) --> Networking (1980s) --> Email and Internet (1990s) --> Smart phones and text messages (2000s) --> Social Networking (mid-2000s) --> iPad (late 2000s).

I believe the iPad is a new kind of computer, with "untapped" potential. It finally throws away the mouse that has been the mainstay of PCs and required by Graphical User Interfaces. To do keyboarding, there is both a virtual keyboard as well as an external keyboard device for a price. Skype-like apps turn it into a voice communication device like the iPhone. There are UNIX based applications that permit secure terminal emulation (iSSH and VPN) and hence remote programming on UNIX Systems. The initial sweep of productivity Apps appear to focus on duplicating what is available on PCs and laptops. (This is the hook to get you to buy one).
But this is not the ultimate purpose of the iPad.

More unique apps, like music generation apps (ocarina for one) permit creativity/productivity by musicians for doing some music composition or sound snippets. Art apps going from doodling (with or without sound: doodlebuddy) to more sophisticated apps (Art Studio). Computational apps involving tutoring in Algebra, Calculus, Music are available from wolframalpha (There is also the wolframalpha.com computational knowledge engine on the web); Voice and Voice to Text applications are also arriving to handle auditory information. More specific apps that combine text and video (from vook.com) allow viewers to learn by both seeing and doing.

The games which are the mainstay of most new devices offer vast "time wasting" opportunities, when taken to excess. However, the idea of games and puzzles, especially for those of us that are growing older (any exceptions?), is to use them to prevent our minds from turning into oatmeal. Playing Sudoku, Chess, Shogi, Nonograms, jigsaw puzzles, riddles, and the like, all have as their intent: to keep our minds flexible and able to think consciously and effectively. This too, is productivity, although it's hard to get anyone else to pay you to do it.

Perhaps you'd consider another iPad review in 2-3 years to see what new and completely different uses this device transforms into. Undoubtedly, your son may learn about computing far sooner in life than if he is limited to a laptop running Windows.

I very much enjoy your movie reviews and hope you can begin to review more adult foreign films (that come to you via dvd or netflix) to compensate for the lowest common denominator of "time wasting" hollywood films.

arkaye
"I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure."


Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:54 pm
Post Re: February 05, 2011: "The Time Waster"
johnny larue wrote:
...my existing tech works just fine and is already paid for.

Yessir, that's the spirit.
I second that 100%.


Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:40 pm
Post Re: February 05, 2011: "The Time Waster"
arkaye wrote:
Thanks for an interesting view on time wasting and the iPad. I've been in computing since 1966. Innovations in computers appear to consist of vendors concocting something, providing a hook that attracts and incrementally improves on the current computer device, and then we spend the next years creating add-on (software) to drag the hardware into an unforeseen productive state.

Mainframes (1960s) --> Minicomputers (1970s) --> PCs (1980s) --> Networking (1980s) --> Email and Internet (1990s) --> Smart phones and text messages (2000s) --> Social Networking (mid-2000s) --> iPad (late 2000s).

I believe the iPad is a new kind of computer, with "untapped" potential. It finally throws away the mouse that has been the mainstay of PCs and required by Graphical User Interfaces. To do keyboarding, there is both a virtual keyboard as well as an external keyboard device for a price. Skype-like apps turn it into a voice communication device like the iPhone. There are UNIX based applications that permit secure terminal emulation (iSSH and VPN) and hence remote programming on UNIX Systems. The initial sweep of productivity Apps appear to focus on duplicating what is available on PCs and laptops. (This is the hook to get you to buy one).
But this is not the ultimate purpose of the iPad.

More unique apps, like music generation apps (ocarina for one) permit creativity/productivity by musicians for doing some music composition or sound snippets. Art apps going from doodling (with or without sound: doodlebuddy) to more sophisticated apps (Art Studio). Computational apps involving tutoring in Algebra, Calculus, Music are available from wolframalpha (There is also the wolframalpha.com computational knowledge engine on the web); Voice and Voice to Text applications are also arriving to handle auditory information. More specific apps that combine text and video (from vook.com) allow viewers to learn by both seeing and doing.

The games which are the mainstay of most new devices offer vast "time wasting" opportunities, when taken to excess. However, the idea of games and puzzles, especially for those of us that are growing older (any exceptions?), is to use them to prevent our minds from turning into oatmeal. Playing Sudoku, Chess, Shogi, Nonograms, jigsaw puzzles, riddles, and the like, all have as their intent: to keep our minds flexible and able to think consciously and effectively. This too, is productivity, although it's hard to get anyone else to pay you to do it.

Perhaps you'd consider another iPad review in 2-3 years to see what new and completely different uses this device transforms into. Undoubtedly, your son may learn about computing far sooner in life than if he is limited to a laptop running Windows.

I very much enjoy your movie reviews and hope you can begin to review more adult foreign films (that come to you via dvd or netflix) to compensate for the lowest common denominator of "time wasting" hollywood films.

arkaye
"I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure."


Welcome to the forum, arkaye. Interesting take on the iPad (and tablets in general) but I'm not totally convinced about their future. Who's to say that smartphones don't take over that market too?

At least we agree on James reviewing more "serious" films on DVD :)


Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:41 pm
Post Re: February 05, 2011: "The Time Waster"
Patrick wrote:
I expect Holloway to be here any time and start saying wonderful things about Apple and how he could let go his IT guy at his company with way too much glee and happiness.

As for me, my friend has an IPad and she likes it cause she's an Apple Fangirl. It looks cool and I don't have anything against it but I have no desire to get it myself.



Hi Patrick

I'm here and yes I do have an iPad, but it has not changed my life and it's not going to.

I'd love the product if it was from Sony because it combines awesome functionality with great design.

It can be improved. I'd like to see cameras front 9for chat) and back (like the iPhone4) and lighter weight.

It's best uses for me are on business trips, where it's replaced my MacBook Pro. For listening to podcasts round the house and of course browsing. Displaying photos is a joy.

There's a supposed new version being announced tomorrow.

My big hope is that Apple brings their new behemoth data center into play with free Mobile Me. this would have great benefits for the iPad.

Rob

PS - I'm more excited about the Verizon iPhone 5 that I hope we get in the summer.


Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:00 pm
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