Coming Changes in Our Lives - agree or disagree?

Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 06:35 am
1. The Post Office.
Get ready to imagine a world without the Post office. They are so deep in financial trouble that there is probably no way to sustain it long term. Email, Fed Ex, and UPS have just about wiped out the minimum revenue needed to keep the post office alive. Most of your mail every day is junk mail and bills.

I think that the demise of the post office is coming. Already today I read an article in the newspaper about the raising of postal rates in the near future. I am on the "No junk mail" list, but I still get more crap than I want. That stuff usually goes right into the vertical file, w/o my even looking at it.

2. The Check.
Britain is already laying the groundwork to do away with checks by 2018. It costs the financial system billions of dollars a year to process checks. Plastic cards and online transactions will lead to the eventual demise of the check. This plays right into the death of the post office. If you never paid your bills by mail and never received them by mail, the post office would absolutely go out of business.

I find that automatic electronic funds transfer is a far more efficient, and time saving method of paying bills than checks. It also saves a lot of trees.

3. The Newspaper.
The younger generation simply doesn't read the newspaper. They certainly don't subscribe to a daily delivered print edition. That may go the way of the milkman and the laundry man. As for reading the paper online, get ready to pay for it. The rise in mobile Internet devices and e-readers has caused all the newspaper and magazine publishers to form an alliance. They have met with Apple, Amazon, and the major cell phone companies to develop a model for paid subscription services.

I still read multiple newspapers. When I eat my breakfast, I like to relax and peruse what's happening in the world. Problem is, the papers are becoming more and more crappy. Eventually, I will probably read all my news on the net.

. The Book.
You say you will never give up the physical book that you hold in your hand and turn the literal pages. I said the same thing about downloading music from iTunes. I wanted my hard copy CD. But I quickly changed my mind when I discovered that I could get albums for half the price without ever leaving home to get the latest music. The same thing will happen with books. You can browse a bookstore online and even read a
preview chapter before you buy. And the price is less than half that of a real book. and think of the convenience once you start flicking your fingers on the screen instead of the book, you find that you are lost in the story, can't wait to see what happens next, and you forget that you're holding a gadget instead of a book.

I love my recently bought kindle. It is enveloped in a leather case. When I cross my legs, I can lay the thing on my leg, freeing up one hand, and not worrying that it will fall on the floor. I have a few worries though about it.


Then there goes my library.

Come to think of it, I could probably give away 3/4 of the books that I have now, and not miss them. There are only a few that I would want to keep.

5. The Land Line Telephone.
Unless you have a large family and make a lot of local calls, you don't need it anymore. Most people keep it simply because they've always had it. But you are paying double charges for that extra service. All the cell phone companies will let you call customers using the same cell provider for no charge against your minutes.

Here I will have to disagree, in terms of my usage. In the past, I used my cellphone to make long distance calls. My land line now offers long distance for free. So I find that I use my cell phone for safety. I won't go out of the house without it. I am not using anywhere near my alloted minutes. Since I am recently off contract, I am considering making my phone into one of those pay by card thingies. I also have my land line connected to my fax machine. I know thet there is a way to fax w/o landlines, but if someone would explain it to me.............

7. Television.
Revenues to the networks are down dramatically. Not just because of the economy. People are watching TV and movies streamed from their computers. And they're playing games and doing lots of other things that take up the time that used to be spent watching TV. Prime time shows have degenerated down

to lower than the lowest common denominator. Cable rates are skyrocketing and commercials run about every 4 minutes and 30 seconds. I say good riddance to most of it . It's time for the cable companies to be put out of our misery. Let the people choose what they want to watch online and through Netflix.

Besides reruns of "Law & Order, I watch very little TV. I do have a subscription to Blockbuster, and watch movies a lot on TV.

8. The "Things."
That You Own. Many of the very possessions that we used to own are still in our lives, but we may not actually own them in the future. They may simply reside in "the cloud." Today your computer has a hard drive and you store your pictures, music, movies, and documents. Your software is on a CD or DVD,

and you can always re-install it if need be. But all of that is changing. Apple, Microsoft, and Google are all finishing up their latest "cloud services." That means that when you turn on a computer, the Internet will be built into the operating system. So, Windows, Google, and the Mac OS will be tied straight into the Internet. If you click an icon, it will open something in the Internet cloud. If you save something, it will be saved to the cloud. And you may pay a monthly subscription fee to the cloud provider. In this virtual world, you can access your music or your books, or your whatever from any laptop or handheld device. That's the good news. But, will you actually own any of this "stuff" or will it all be able to disappear at any moment in a big "Poof?" Will most of the things in our lives be disposable and whimsical? It makes you want to run to the closet and pull out that photo album, grab a book from the shelf, or open up a CD case and pull out the insert.

I am still a bit leery about "the cloud". There are things that I would not want "out there" for some hacker to access.

9. Privacy. If there ever was a concept that we can look back on nostalgically, it would be privacy. That's gone. It's been gone for a long time anyway. There are cameras on the street, in most of the buildings, and even built into your computer and cell phone. But you can be sure that 24/7 "They" know who you are and where you are, right down to the GPS coordinates, and the Google Street View. If you buy something, your habit is put into a zillion profiles, and your ads will change to reflect those habits. And "They" will try to get you to buy something else, again and again! All we will have that can't be changed are Memories.

Privacy?? I am resigned to the fact that there IS no privacy, and the faster that we accept that, the happier that we will be.
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Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 06:44 am
Set- It is a standing joke in my house that when we go to the doctor, you could read "War and Peace" while sitting in the waiting room. So......................., when I bought my Kindle, I downloaded "War and Peace" (Don't know if I will ever get to read it though) Wink
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Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 09:19 am
Happened to see this article:

Readers using electronic books are less likely to absorb what they have read because the information is presented in such simple form.

Devices such as the Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader display text in such a clear, legible format that this encourages the brain to be ‘lazy’, making it more difficult to take things on board, research suggests.

The findings go against the conventional wisdom that legibility makes it easier for people to learn and remember information.

A study by Princeton University found that a significant number of those tested could recall more information when it was presented in unusual typefaces.

The research suggests that introducing 'disfluency' - by making information superficially harder to understand - deepens the process of learning and encourages better retention.

The psychologists said information which has to be actively generated rather than 'passively acquired' from simple text is remembered longer and more accurately.

The study raises questions over how much fonts like Times New Roman and Arial, which are used in the majority of academic books, help readers revise for tests.

American author and psychologist Jonah Lehrer had written about the idea of disfluency in his Wired.com blog before the research was published.

Mr Lehrer revealed he found it less easy to remember information he had read using his Kindle e-reader.

Although Kindle users can alter the size of text, they cannot change the Caecilia font, which he described as relaxing to read.

It has been argued that e-readers and computers hinder us from absorbing information because their screens and fonts tell our subconscious that they words they convey are not important.

Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 09:41 am
I am sorry and please don't take this personally, but that seems to me to be the biggest bunch of crap I've read in awhile.

Tell our subconscious? Seriously?

You do make a case for not allowing the CAPS and BOLD font changes some here use to try to impress us.

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Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 09:47 am
I think landlines will be around for quite a long time.

After further reflection, you are probably right. I hadn't thought of the investment in fiber optics. At this point, cell phones can't compete with the speed.
Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 10:10 am
The folks over at MaximumPC agree with him, too. They recently put out an article on Twelve Teetering Technologies - Will They Survive or Die? and came up with the following:

The Doomed Half Dozen:

1) Pre-recorded Physical Media
2) Stereoscopic (with glasses) 3D TVs
3) eBook Readers
4) Consumer-Level Hard Drives
5) Keys
6) Handheld Gaming Consoles

The Half-Dozen Survivors:
1) Digital Music/Media Players
2) Landline telephone
3) Internal Combustion Automobile Engine
4, 5 & 6) The PC, The Computer Keyboard, & The Computer Mouse
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Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 10:48 am
My company just turned in all pagers.

What's a "pager"?
Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 12:41 pm
InfraBlue wrote:

My company just turned in all pagers.

What's a "pager"?

In our operations, an after hour page is usually sent us in response to a call for emergency repair service. The pager device receives a phone number to call for instructions.
Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 01:30 pm
Ohhh, yeah. I remember having one of those circa late 20th century.

I understand hospital doctors still use them.
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