Is it a bird .. a plane .. a phone or a tablet ?

Feb 03

Looking at the tracking site of the Belgian post office for the umpteenth time today, i’m still anxiously waiting for the arrival of my new toy. Yep ! 🙂 It’s official, i’m about to purchase my SECOND Android device. After having played around with the Samsung Galaxy S for some months, I thought it was time to sell the device while it still had some value .. and “move on” along the path of Andoid-Device Ownership. Thanx to the charming @rrradiogirrrl I managed to get hold of an HTC Desire HD. Confess I must that, when I saw this device for the first time, I thought .. Whow .. thats big ! A co-worker of mine ( A lovely but very petite girl ) hauled what looked like a giant slab of aluminum out of her bag. In her hands it looked a little bit more like a small size Tablet device .. then a phone.

But the question is, where do we draw the line. Many of the tablets on the market these days (for example the dell streak)  vary from 5 to 7.5 to 10 inches. Where exactly do we draw the thin line that says “this is a tablet, this is a phone ?” If we take the ability to make voice calls into account then the galaxy tab (at 7.5 inches) must be the biggest cellphone made in the 21st Century. Or do we draw the line a a certain screen size diameter ? If so ? Is the Desire HD with its 4.3 inch screen still a phone, where the Dell Streak is considered a Tablet device ?

For me the limits between a “phone” and a “tablet” have been fading away for quite some time now. When connected via Wifi I use my Ipod touch ( which used to be a media player remember ?) as a video camera, a digital snap cam, and a way to make voip calls using Skype or Facetime. Same goes for my Ipad which gives me the same functionality (without the camera though) on a bigger screen. Both devices could be considered “tablets” and, judging by their “communication capacities” both COULD be seen as “phones”. Activate your 3G Mifi or enable the 3G-Hotspot functionality on your smartphone to have these Ipods and Ipads hook up to your data plan .. and they become usefull both inside and outside the range of your wifi router .. as phones.

Having sold of my Galaxy S at the beginning of the week, I had to insert my sim card into an old “feature phone” we still had lying around at home. Without data connectivity or anything, the device just sat there in case somebody decided to “call me”. Guess what ? Nobody (except mum in law, who couldn’t reach me on skype) did. To me the Ipad became my main “communicator”. Twitter, Facebook, Email, Skype etc .. It was all there. So .. in why not call a tablet a phone .. and vice versa ?

As “voice” communication is slowly fading out to be replaced by “voip” communication the concept of a “phone” will slowly die out. Internet-enabled devices will allow us to take care of all our communication needs not only the concept .. even the memory of “phones” will start to fade away. Wether your “portable communicator” is viewed as a “phone” a “tablet” or a computer are differences that might still matter today .. but will be obsolete in the near future..

So i’m off to the post office to pick up my new … phone / tablet / communicator …whatever 🙂

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Digital Overload.

Feb 03

For those of you who have been waiting for the next episode of the Knightcast podcast, I am indeed overdue. Where I had put out a steady stream of episodes over the last few months, the holidays, and the aftermath of the festive season have been less than inspiring for my “frequent production schedule”.

The main reason for such a “drop” in creative output can mostly be found by using the excuse that “life got in the way”. Juggling a busy job, a new puppy, a social life and a time consuming online lifestyle does make for a challenging calendar schedule, but nothing I can’t handle.

So why the slew ? Well, to be quite frank : I think i’ve come to the point where i’m slightly  ” overloading ” in my online lifestyle. Where the stream of information and communications I need (or want) to keep up with not only is starting to make steam come of of my ears, it is also completely destroying my creative urges (and the patience I need to turn that creative itch into something real and satisfying.

At first, I thought I was the only person with this problem. I talked
to some friends (as a matter a fact to my Chiropractor who does wonders
with my locked up back) and he did suggest to me that clocking up 24
000 km’s in 4 months + consuming a busload of content (podcasts –
websites – information etc) everyday is quite a heavy load for any

So when I (during one of my many long drives) had a chance
to think about it, I was pretty surprised to find that I do in fact am
nearly drowning in the information stream and it IS having its effect on

Tired, (physically and mentally), agitated restless and
distracted, are just some of the terms my immediate environment
mentioned when they described me. And I can only agree with them. For
some reason this “Connected lifestyle” that lets me communicate,
interact, consume and create content and information .. is getting a
little out of hand.

Aside from the terms mentioned above, the
thing that is most noticeable is the  complete erosion of my
concentration span. Whenever I try to sit down and (try) to write up an
article, (or even an email or something) my attention span is becoming 
shorter and shorter. This to the point where its nearly impossible for
me to create a blogpost from my browser without clicking around in a few
tabs and completely losing my trail of thought. Without noticing I end
up in the ” triangle of no-life ” where I tab around my twitter feed
(and random links posted by people i follow), my Facebook feed, the
website of the local newspaper and back again. ( And repeating the
process at least twice before I even start to notice it).

: Where I used to enjoy reading books on my Sony E-reader it now lies
(discharged and abandoned) in a corner in favor of my Ipad on which I
can read the same content. However, no books have been completed on the
ipad as i’m constantly distracted by its multitasking abilities,
disruptions of my attention span by incoming tweets or email .. or the
seductive urge to open up a browser and browse around without going
anywhere in particular.

The paradox of it all is that in our
constant quest to let “technology work for us” we have somehow ended up
at the opposite side of that very quest. Where our lifestyle is affected
by our constant connection to information, where our interactions are
affected by our constant ability to communicate,   where the the goal to
“let technology work for us” has US working for that technology

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