Today’s Technology: Necessary or too Over-the-Top?

BY VANESSA BURKA, FW Writer

With the recent release of the iPhone, I got to
thinking about the innovative new gadgets out on
the market today; and whether their boundless
capabilities are in fact useful to us in today’s
world.

This brought me back to thinking about
the cellular telephone and its first phone service
launch in 1978. When buying one, you had basic
choices. It could store phone numbers, contact
information and alerted us with the standard ring
tone. At a rapid pace, the device continued to
evolve.

Today our choices are varied beyond
preference. The never-ending choices of products
on the market today are unthinkable; and we
must ask ourselves whether our dependence for
these products is actually necessary.

Everything is moving in fast speed, with
the brightest colors and top notch functions.
Essentially, technology is now what makes us
human. It gets us around, keeps us entertained,
informed and connected, and has us doing less
work.

Listed below are some products that have
come out on the market within the past couple
of years. They’re fancy and for the most part,
fully-equipped – but I still can’t help but question
whether they’re worth their price tag.

iPhone
With a 480-by-320 pixel screen, Apple’s iPhone
puts the world at your fingertips, literally,
by combining three products in one: the
revolutionary phone, a widescreen iPod and
an internet device, all in one. While under the
Rogers HSPA 3G network, it delivers impressive
speed and doesn’t require you to find a wireless
signal, allowing you to surf the net and Facebook
with friends anytime and anywhere.

With its GPS technology and Google Maps
application (with satellite photo views), the user
is given the capability of finding any craved
destination.

The few flaws I detect include is its inability
to record video (something the Blackberry Curve
offers), it doesn’t offer voice-activated dialing,
and its cramped keyboard.

MacBook Air
The Mac Air Book definitely breaks ground for
small laptops. With the result of weight shavings,
including a slimmer hard drive to a lower profile
battery, the laptop is nearly as thin as your index
finger.

Though, many question if a more attractive
appearance is worth a lack of optical drive or
Ethernet Port I think choosing the MacBook Air over the
faster and perhaps more dependable MacBook
Pro is more along the lines for travelers who
prefer minimum weight.

The ESPN Ultimate Remote Control
The ESPN Ultimate Remote Control will put
other remotes to shame with its high capabilities
and fancy appearance. The device has integrated
Wi-Fi for web browsing, it allows you to access
your e-mail from the sofa, and even plays the TV
network’s theme song from its built-in speakers.
Major television show channels and summaries
can also be viewed on the remote as well.

There is also a direct link to ESPN’s mobile
Web site in the main menu, which serves up
scores and other sports info.

For $299.99 it seems a little extreme,
especially when you could check e-mail, view
television show channels and listen to network
theme songs using other individual features on
your own.

The Fretlight Guitar
The Fretlight Guitar is the world’s first computerpowered
electrical teaching guitar. By installing
software and hooking up the guitar to a laptop or
PC via a USB cable, the system teaches users how
to play guitar using a series of lights. Available
in red, black, white, tobacco and pink, this
interactive guitar system just made guitar lessons
a lot less interactive.

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