Posts Tagged ‘smartphones’

mm@C4logo2by @anarchyroll
9/23/2014

Every year that passes, it seems a larger and larger percentage of the population is looking to avoid talking on the phone as much as possible. The explosive popularity of text messages a decade ago was apparently just the beginning. Services like Grub Hub and Uber have become darlings of the sharing economy based on the ability of their service to purchase goods and services via a smart phone without having to speak or even type to any direct person.

Enter Tinder, which takes the zero direct communication paradigm of securing goods and services to the dating/romance aspect of the human experience for those affluent enough to afford a smart phone and data package. You know you’re talking to an old person if they don’t know what Tinder is and/or don’t understand how to use it. Is it real? Is it a game? Yes and kinda are the answers to those questions.

Some excellent pieces on Tinder have been written recently covering Tinder’s effects on marriages and on how the service reveals the hidden nature of mate selection in the modern world.

What is Tinder? It is truly the first online dating service made for the smart phone app era of technology users/consumers. Tinder technically has a website which is just an ad/reminder to download the application. If you have a smart phone and are single, there is no reason to not utilize Tinder, unless you don’t have a Facebook account. A Facebook account is necessary to set up a Tinder profile. This is where the service carved its niche. Tinder farms the aspects of matching out to Facebook. People are matched based on Facebook likes (music, movies, tv shows, fan pages, etc) and/or mutual friends. People can be matched without these commonalities, Facebook is used as a defacto identity verification service.

What is Tinder’s value?

The shallow joke is easy, instant access to a one night stand. Tinder has made its name on facilitating hook ups. The New York Times has written multiple articles on Tinder writing under the assumption the app is strictly or at least predominately THE hook up dating app. Naturally the college kids love them some Tinder.

But in all seriousness, Tinder provides great value to single people. How? It provides instant evidence you are not alone. Whether young or old, in a city or suburb, Tinder will pull up dozens of single people near you. Tinder is empirical proof that there are indeed plenty of fish in the sea.

Tinder is not just for young people who are considering classically or stereotypically attractive. The hook up only aspect of the app has already been faded for almost a full year. Asking if people hook up using Tinder is like asking if the one night stand still exists. Consenting adults will do whatever consenting adults want to do when they are single and attracted to someone they have recently met and have begun spending time with.

Tinder’s purpose is to show you have options. That even in far off suburbs there are lots of single people around you and in cities there are even more. People who don’t like the bar/club scene have a free option of meeting people at their fingertips. People who don’t use gyms, grocery stores, yoga studios, and college campuses at meet markets have a free option to meet people they know are single and have been independently verified to be interested in them. Tinder’s value is in removing the question in one’s head “I wonder if he/she is interested in me or not”. If they’re not, nothing happens, if they are, you’re matched up and you both receive notifications on your phones.

It seems more and more people are becoming increasingly afraid of direct communication and rejection. Tinder kills both of those birds with one app. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to try to pay off a zoo employee to let me take a selfie with a tiger.

 

 

 

 

mm@C4logo2ajclogo2

by @anarchyroll
7/31/2014

Change is the only constant. It’s true in life, in business, and especially in the world of video games. Isn’t that why a new gaming console comes out every other year? Nintendo has taken turns being ahead of the curve adapting to change (the original NES and Wii) and being in danger of getting left behind ( Virtual Boy, Wii U).

Nintendo posted a $100 million loss for just the first financial quarter of 2014. The Wii U has been a flop which means that Nintendo is looking to the 3Ds and 2Ds to pick up the slack for the company. However, expecting mobile gaming consoles to save the company means that Nintendo is dead already and doesn’t know it.

Why? Because mobile gaming is done on smartphones and tablets now. 2014 is the era of Flappy Bird and Candy Crush not Game Boy and Game Gear. Nintendo may not want to release Mario, Zelda, and Kirby games for IOS and Android, but doing things we don’t want to do in order to survive is part of life. Maybe five years ago it wasn’t necessary for Nintendo to put games on the iPod Touch, iPad, iPhone, Android, and Windows phones/tablets but it is time for the company to shift course and adapt…or die.

TIME magazine recently broke down three ways to save the company before it becomes the gaming equivalent of the Titanic. Staying the course definitely is not an option. I remember when SEGA started making games for Nintendo and thinking it was sacrilege. Ironically, Nintendo moving from a hardware company to a software provider might be the only way to survive. Other proposed ideas that Nintendo hasn’t formally commented on would be a Nintendo version of Netflix, a Nintendo theme park, and reissuing classic games on smartphones and tablets.

Nintendo and video games is like peanut butter and jelly. It would be a shame if they went under, even more of a shame if they went under because they were too stubborn or stupid to transition to a smartphone/tablet game provider. Mario Kart may be an awesome game, but if it’s on a game system people aren’t buying, well insert the tree falling in the woods with no one to hear it analogy. It doesn’t take much creative vision to see groups of pre-teens huddled in masses playing network games of Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros, etc on their iPhones and/or Androids. Not to mention all of the adults who would ditch Farmville and the like in half a second if it meant they could play Zelda at their cubicles.

Nintendo needs to make this paradigm shift before it’s too late. Paradigms die-hard, let’s just hope Nintendo doesn’t as well.

 

MM@C4Logo1ajclogo2

by @anarchyroll
5/15/2014

$19 billion is a lot of money to pay for a country let a lone an app. An app that is not mainstream. An app that has as much competition as any. Google searching “WhatsApp’s purpose” will yield some funny results. Certainly not what I was expecting. Not exactly a murderer’s row of technology literature heavyweights weighing in. There are as many obscure blog posts as weighing in from the likes of CNET and The Verge. What is WhatsApp’s purpose?

  1. A way to communicate internationally without the traditional international communication charges
  2. Emojis! Emojis! Emojis!
  3. The result of electronic cross breeding between instant messanger services and social media
  4. The pinnacle means of mediated by communication for generations of children raised on either mediated communication or awkwardness

WhatsApp offers everything offered by Facebook, Instagram, Vine, KIK, and Snapchat offer in one package. You can rehearse and revise audio, video, text, emoji, and all of the above within one interaction. Because, why put yourself on the line in the face of the limit of your comfort zone and knowing of what to do, when you can simple trade audio clips and modified smiley faces instead of having an eye contact to eye contact conversation.

I have talked to men and women, boys and girls, young and old about WhatsApp. The only people who have used it have used it to avoid international charges while on vacation. People in the US on work visas told me they used it to communicate to family back home, also to avoid international charges.

But then I talked to a couple of high schoolers who basically only used WhatsApp to communicate with everyone they weren’t related to. I asked them the following questions;

  • why don’t you just text?
  • doesn’t data cost more than calls and texts?
  • why don’t you use the litany of other messenger services?

I learned several things by asking these questions.

  1. It is important to talk to young people
  2. Parents could control their children by the mere threat of taking away internet use
  3. People really are social creatures
  4. There’s a lot of free WIFI in white America
  5. An increasing number of people don’t know how to communicate without it being mediated by technology or mind altering substances.

The value is in that data used is just data used. It isn’t text messages that their parents could look up. The vast supply of emojis could replace words, sentences, and entire sentiments. Emojis could equal code, for, anything. That is very valuable to younger generations who only know mediated communication. They’re brave only while drunk, stoned, rolling, or tripping or all of the above all before the age of 21. Unable to be to make eye contact without threat of punishment. Unable to focus without pills.

The entire social network experience condensed into an instant messaging chat window. The ability to practice and edit every piece of communication that goes out. Why have a conversation when you can instantly exchange audio clips? Why talk about hooking up or drinking while under age when you can send one of a thousand smiley face variations that only you and the other person know the meaning of for this interaction? Why ever use Facebook again when your parents, grandparents, employers, and exes are looking on? With WhatsApp all the stuff that made social networks fun five years ago are born again, the only people invited to the party are the people you personally send invites to turn the one on one exchange into a group chat.

There is of course, nothing wrong with wanting a completely personalized social network experience fused with instant messaging. There is nothing wrong with teens using emojis to get high and get laid since teens have been getting high and getting laid in secret using code since the roaring twenties. I worry about the need for mediated communication. The need to rehearse and edit a simple exchange of thoughts and desires. Not a preference to have communication done that way, but not knowing how to communicate competently any other way.

The inequality gap is being matched by a social competence gap. A widening gap of shyness in contact with people outside of one’s childhood collective, and experiences outside of one’s comfort zone aren’t even being seen, because more and more people are spending their lives looking down at their smart phone(s). The beautiful people of course do fine for themselves since they are constantly reminded how genetically superior they are. The rich folk are reminded they have been bred for success and can not just communicate but dictate to anyone and everyone by proxy to their parents’ bank accounts. But those in the middle or lower are looking at screens and not interacting with the physical, unless they’re riding the Molly go round. The rest use thin veils of sarcasm, impatience, and boredom to mask the fear beaming out of their eyes and creating stink lines around their entire being. A fear of not know who they are, how to act, or what they want without regurgitation of media.

Everything they know comes from a screen. Their ideas of style and substance. Photoshop and Pro Tools. Everything they experience is slickly produced at corporate level, so why wouldn’t their communications be the same way? There’s purpose and value in WhatsApp, it’s just that neither  have matured or gone mainstream yet, much like the audience they are coveting. For demographics raised on the paradigm of always being able to hit backspace or restart, WhatsApp may just be the future of communication.

by @anarchyroll
3/31/2014

Data mining and data brokers are two concepts that everyone who has a smart phone and/or uses the internet need to at least be aware of. One need not be an activist on the subject, but these are issues that effect you whether you care or not, know about them or not, are pro or con. If you are the type who is upset about the NSA bulk collection revelations by Edward Snowden, data mining and data brokers definitely need to be on your radar.

  • Who is mining our data? Traction, Acxiom, Datalogix, Epsilon and Experian are the big time data brokers. But there are literally thousands of these broker firms.
  • What is data mining? Data mining and data brokering is why email and social media are free. They are why you get a discount with a membership card at a grocery store, coffee shop, department store, etc. Our email addresses, likes, retweets, pins, reblogs, and purchases are monitored, collected, grouped, and sold in bulk to the highest bidder.
  • When is our data being mined? Any time we visit a website. Any time we log in to any online account with a registered email address. Any time we pay for something with a credit, debit, or gift card.
  • Where are these data mines? The headquarters/ server farms at the HQ of Google, Facebook, and the data brokerage firms listed above. Google and Facebook keep the information whereas the data brokers exchange and sell the information just as stocks, options, treasuries, etc are on Wall Street.
  • How is this done? Digitally/electronically through cookies in your web/ios browser(s), the networked computer the card swiper in the store is attached to…you get the idea.
  • Why is this worth knowing about and/or caring about? Because it is unregulated and most people don’t know that simply visiting a website is giving permission for your information to be raided, collected, and sold. Because our privacy is not just being violated, for those who use web browsers and smartphones, our privacy actually no longer exists.

The data mining industry is self-regulated. How did self-regulation work out for the meat-packing industry? Tobacco industry? Investment banking industry? Real estate industry?

60 minutes recently did a piece on data mining that is a must see for every internet user. The videos are short, easy to digest, informative, and unbiased. Including the journey to opt out of data collection and the easier, smaller steps we can all take to protect our privacy.

The billboards one sees when driving on a highway, have now replaced the road. There is no such thing as a free lunch. We were/are all naïve to think that email, social media, and discounts at retailers came at no cost. The costs are our identities, habits, desires, physical location, history, age, sex, preferences, strengths, weaknesses, accomplishments, and failures. All the things we used to only tell our friends and family that we now post electronically for the entire world to see. The thing about that is, advertisers are part of the world too.

We have a right to privacy. A basic human right. Many people will be and are happy to give it away in exchange for what they get online and offline. But data mining is done in secret. Big data are obstructing congressional investigations into them. If what they are doing isn’t wrong, why the secrecy? Why the obstruction? Why decline interviews? Why not let people opt out?

And before you point the finger at the firms listed above, remember the biggest, baddest and OG of the data mining industry has been and always will be, Google.