Monthly Archives: June 2011
In a world where one-third of pet-owning married women say their pets are better listeners than their husbands, it’s no big surprise that we also may form strong attachments to handheld electronic devices.
No, I’m not talking about the Rabbit Pearl vibrator. Well, not intentionally.
I am talking about mobile devices like the Apple iPhone, an object so loved that talk-show star Ellen DeGeneres was forced to publicly apologize for making a spoof commercial of the product. Like mothers on Mother’s Day, the Apple iPhone seems to be an untouchable object of affection.
Why do we love iPhones so much? And, while we’re asking questions, is it possible we love them more than our mothers?
No, we’re not here to crack naughty jokes about the potential for lusty iPhone porn apps to trump our love for our beloved mothers, you dirty birds. There really may be more to this.
Fifty years ago, Harry Harlow unveiled his landmark “wire mother, cloth mother” research with rhesus monkeys. In the infamous study, cute little rhesus infants were “raised” by artificial mothers—sculptures of metal, some of which were covered in cloth. While the study was certainly unethical by today’s standards, the results were nonetheless conclusive: we primates prefer soft, squishy things over hard, mechanical things. And we love and need our mothers, or at worst, surrogates that offer us the same benefits as mothers.
Jump ahead half a century, and you’ll see that some engineers and product designers who took an Intro to Psychology class in college have attempted to exploit these instinctual drives:
Sorry I had to go Furby on you to prove a point. I spared you the MP3-playing pillows for infants; you can thank me later.
There’s also a solid argument that a human infant would have a tough time getting a date in college if his only source of affection as a child were from an interactive slate of plastic and glass. But, in general, it seems that Harlow’s theory is out the window—we humans are quite capable of loving machines and other inanimate objects.
Don’t believe me? Hop on Google or Twitter (if you have visited either more than once today, you needn’t bother—you’ve already proved my point) and search the term “iPhone love.” After you’ve watched a few YouTube videos of grown men cuddling iPhones and bought yourself an “I Heart My iPhone” thong, come back and we’ll keep going.
Go on, I’ll wait for you.
Back? Oh good. That was creepy, wasn’t it?
So, why-oh-why do we do this? The Apple iPhone is not the first machine to be loved—printing presses, CARS, gaming systems, TELEVISIONS, Tickle-Me Elmos—none of them are capable of giving us love in return, at least not in the way some theorists define love. But, whether it be a blessing or a curse, our love for them is undeniable.
Just ask my wife, who once, just before bedtime, wondered aloud if I was cheating on her with my HTC Droid Eris.
Not to worry dear. Artoo and I are just good friends.
Does our adoration of iPhones and other machines even count as love? Is it emotional, physical, an evolutionary necessity, a psychosexual substitute? And can this material love really compare to maternal love?
Lee Gomes would say no. In a story for Forbes Magazine, Gomes hypothesizes that our attraction to machines like the iPhone may not contradict Harlow’s theories, but they certainly support the behavioral theories of B.F. Skinner.
Skinner believed that we were all creatures of habit, returning again and again to that which rewards us. As Gomes (via Skinner) puts it, we are like pigeons trained to peck at buttons and paddles to get our food. Gomes claims that mobile devices are essentially neurotransmitter delivery devices that feed our need for stimulation, gratification, distraction, and entertainment.
So, perhaps our iPhones are not, in fact, altruistically agape lovers that give and give and never ask for anything in return (much like mothers) aside from requests for frequent recharging and multi-year contracts (also like mothers?). If we believe Gomes, iPhones are simply pocket-sized Skinner boxes that reward us when we peck at them.
What do you think? Is your iPhone a surrogate mother, fulfilling real emotional and social needs, or is it nothing more than your own personal pigeon-pecking paddle?
And, while I’m asking questions, have you told your mother you love her recently? Did you show your love by buying her one of these top iPhone apps for Mother’s Day?
Please leave a comment and let me know!
This article from Macworld US. by David Johnson, May 27, 2011 11:30 pm
The camera in your mobile phone is not yet the equal of a digital SLR, but it’s amazing how good the results can be. And you can do things with a smartphone that are difficult or impossible to do with a traditional camera. This week, we have five awesome apps designed for iPhone photographers.
Back in the stone-knives-and-bearskin days of 2005, I wrote about the rise of camera phones: “Will we soon take all of our pictures with a camera phone? Probably not.” Shows what I know. In just six years, camera phones have evolved from taking pictures that looked sort of like Gauguin paintings to snapping sharp, high-quality photos—and in the process, have become practically ubiquitous lifestyle companions. Everyone, it seems, snaps photos for Facebook, Flickr, and e-mail with their mobile phone. The camera in your mobile phone is not yet the equal of a digital SLR, so you still need to take special care to take great pictures this way, but it’s amazing how good your results can be. And you can do things with a mobile phone that are difficult or impossible to do with a traditional camera. Case in point: this week, here are five awesome iPhone apps designed for photographers.
1. Photosynth (Free)
First up is the coolest app of them all. Microsoft recently released Photosynth for the iPhone, an app that lets you create “synths” using just your phone. In a nutshell, Photosynth takes a collection of photos taken around the same location and, sort of like a traditional panoramic program, stitches them into a coherent scene. A Photosynth image can be 360 degrees and interactive, though you can pivot around the scene from the point of view of the photographer, looking up and down and all around, and zoom in for a better view.
Microsoft’s Photosynth for the iPhone delivers all that in the palm of your hand. The app lets you take a slew of photos and then stitch them together. You can take just a few shots or diligently fill in every corner of your surroundings. Photosynth shows you what regions are captured and where the gaps in your scene are even as you shoot. When you’re done, it takes a few moments to process, and then you can interact with your synth on your iPhone or upload it Microsoft’s Photosynth site to share your handiwork. It’s all free—and it feels a little like science fiction.
2. Photoshop Express (Free)
When Adobe first released Photoshop Express for the iPhone, I thought it was a bit of a curiosity—a fun diversion, but not especially practical or useful. These days, Photoshop Express makes it possible to clean up your iPhone photos in a meaningful way. Of course, Photoshop Express doesn’t include any of the goodies you’ll find in CS5 or even Photoshop Elements. What you will find are all the essential basic photo editing tools, smartly implemented in a way that makes sense on a phone’s touchscreen. There are ways to crop, straighten, rotate, and flip a photo. You can change exposure, saturation, and tint by sliding your finger across the screen until you see what you like. There are some special effects like soft focus and sketch mode. Buy the Adobe Camera Pack for $2 to get extra features like a noise reduction filter and self-timer for taking photos.
3. Dropbox (Free)
I am a huge fan of the online storage tool Dropbox. The Dropbox iPhone app has a great feature tailored just for photographers. Start the app and go to the Uploads tab, where you can send multiple photos from your camera roll directly to any folder in your Dropbox account. Once you start the upload, it continues in the background while you go off and do other things. In the past, you could move photos to Dropbox (or other cloud storage solutions) only one photo at a time, so this is a great way to back up your iPhone photos or share them quickly with another computer that shares your Dropbox account.
4. Color Splash ($2)
Everyone, it seems, loves photos with selective color. You no longer need a program like Photoshop and a working knowledge of layers to create this effect, because apps like Color Splash can do it for you more or less automatically. Color Splash is a fun little app. For $2, you paint with your finger to erase the color from your photo or selectively bring the color back. After using Color Splash to remove the color from a few of your photos, you’ll probably wish your desktop photo editor worked just as easily.
5. Instagram (Free)
Finally, there’s Instagram. This app is crazy popular—no fewer than three of my friends mentioned it to me this week alone. Like peanut butter and chocolate, Instagram combines two things people like: photo effects and sharing. The app lets you apply a dozen vintage-looking photography and novelty visual effects to your images, then post them to Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and a handful of other online destinations. Best of all, it’s free.
How much do you love your iPhone?
If you want the very best protection for your iPhone then you cannot go past Otterbox. The Otterbox Defender’s quality build and impact resistance is one of the best around.
I highly recommend these cases if you work on building sites, for recreational sports or you are just plain clumsy. I have been using iPhone cases for over a year now and my iPhone still looks brand new. The Otterbox Defender is by far the best insurance you can have on your iPhone without paying a monthly premium. I had originally purchased the Otterbox Defender to protect my iPhone from my 2 young boys (if you have children please make sure they only use the iPhone in Airplane mode). I quickly realised that the iPhone needed protection from me. I have dropped my iPhone 3GS countless times on hard surfaces, roads, concrete etc.
My first Otterbox Defender case went flying out of my hand in a quiet back street while I was riding my bike at about 30kmph one morning. I watched my iPhone bounce along the road behind me! My initial concern was, ‘not my Otterbox Defender!’ The silicon cover protected the iPhone from impact as well as keeping the cover in good condition. The Otterbox Defender cover ended up with a very small dent in the poly carbonate shell (I had to look very hard to find it). So for $45 bucks I saved a $1000 iPhone from certain destruction. 6 months later and my iPhone is in a new Otterbox Defender case and everything is cool.
Pros: Outstanding protection.
Cons: Case is large and moisture can build up between glass and case. ( the way to minimize this is to put a matt finishing cover on your iPhone then put it in the case).
Many people laughed at my case thinking it was being over protective. I just say – ‘just think how funny it will be when you drop your iPhone 4 and crack the glass’.
In the link below this guys tortures his iPhone4 and his Otterbox Defender case.
warning: please do not watch if you do not like cruelty to iPhones
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be honest, let’s hear it.
iOS5 is about to hit us with over 200 new features. Great news for all the iPhone and iPad addicts but what do you like about this new iOS?
Let us know we want to hear it.
This fall Apple will offer iTunes users a paid add-on to its iCloud music syncing called iTunes Match. The service will let you mirror your iTunes library on iCloud, making it possible to access any track on any device you have registered with your Apple ID for a yearly $24.99 subscription fee.
Apple’s new cloud music service has been criticised by sections of the music industry for encouraging piracy by allowing people to essentially legitimise their pirated music collections.
If you can’t find the case what you want then create your own.
This article sums up the reason why we started this blog