Understanding Technology

What is the true tipping point for wireless phone technology competing with the personal computer market? A certain and definitive aligning trajectory between wireless technology and personal computing exists. At some point a wireless phone will be fully capable of document editing. Some travelers have to bring technology from coast to coast. A fully capable wireless phone that doubles as a personal computer would decrease the amount of weight a frequent traveler has to deal with or pack. Maybe modern wireless phone technology is reaching the tipping point.

Panda Express Fortune
Panda Express Fortune

Notes from the San Jose Airport

Recently, I started to take a visual survey of what types of laptop, notebook, and netbook personal computing devices people are actually using. Today for example, after checking in with airport security the long walk down the terminal causeway provided the perfect opportunity for a visual inspection of computer usage. The results were very interesting. People were using a series of Acer, Asus, and Dell computers. Only one computer could not be identified. Somebody working near the coffee bar was using a very small nebook that did not have a manufacturer label. The system was obviously running Windows Vista, but however built the system did not provide any identifiable markings.

During the last few days at the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) 2010 conference in San Jose, California people were using Acer (Ferrari), Dell, and Macintosh. Academics run the gambit of computer usage. Some academics are true computer power users that demand absolute performance. However, some academics take an almost Luddite approach to accepting technology. Technology buyers tend to be a rather bimodal group of spenders. The first category of technology buyer avoids overspending at all costs; even performance considering are secondary to a perfect fit between price and basic functionality. The second category of technology buyers tends to spend based on the intersection of the bleeding edge of technological innovation and mass production.

Technology seems to be a topic that requires constant reevaluation. Without question understanding how people value computers requires empirical evidence based on observing what technology people transport with them across the country. If people value technology enough travel with it, then the way people use that technology needs to be functionally understood.

2009 Podcast Favorites

Not only does a good podcast need to be entertaining enough to keep the listener actively engaged, but also the podcast has to be informative. Over the last few years, podcasts have come and gone. Some podcasts are inherently better than other podcasts. Only the best make the top ten favorite podcast favorites list. This year only podcasts that are entertaining, informative, and updated regularly populate the list. Results for the 2009 podcast favorites list derive from personal preference. All personal preferences develop from exposure to various podcast.

  1. NPR: Science Friday
  2. The Heritage Foundation
  3. Science @ NASA
  4. C-SPAN – Podcast of the Week
  5. NASACast: Solar System
  6. The Dennis Miller Show DMZ
  7. NASACast: Universe
  8. NASACast: Shuttle & Station
  9. ESPN Radio: The Best of Mike and Mike
  10. C-SPAN – After Words

Honorable Mentions (Alphabetical)

  • BBC Global News
  • C-SPAN – The Communicators
  • ESPN PTI
  • ESPN: The Sports Reporters
  • Gate World Podcast
  • NASACast: Earth
  • NASACast: This week @NASA
  • Nova PBS Podcasts
  • Spitzer Space Telescope
  • The Economist