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Tech Talk Tuesday: Smartphones and the evilness behind them

Updated: Friday, August 9 2013, 06:09 PM MDT

By: Lonnie Valencia

That new shiny cell phone you have your eye on could lead you into an evil technological pitfall.  What is really lurking behind every smartphone on the market?  I'll show you how to choose your tech wisely and empower you with information that will keep you from becoming part of the Borg.

“Resistance is Futile,” that’s what the Borg said on Star Trek.  They were known to strip a individual of their uniqueness and assimilate them into their massive group.  The creators of smartphones are following in the Borg’s footsteps.  That smartphone you have in your hand gives you the a false sense of uniqueness with options to change this or that but your smartphone has a Borg like entity and we call it an “ecosystem.”

That’s right, an ecosystem is your smartphone’s evil, yet seductive, tether that keeps you coming back to buy the same brand over and over again.  This system is so evil that you don’t even know you are a part of it.  Those of you that love your iPhones or your Androids, have you really sat down and looked at the other side? I would estimate that 80% of either side has never picked up any other phone for longer then 10 minutes before retreating back to what felt more familiar in your hands.  If this has happened to you, then I’m sorry! It’s too late to save you.  It’s OK!  I’ve assimilated as well.  It’s one of the reasons I’m writing this.  I wanted to save at least one of you, my readers, before your fate becomes like mine.

Here’s what you need to know about ecosystems and smartphones.  I’m going to use my cautionary tail with iPhone as an example.  When you get into iPhone you don’t just commit to the phone.  You are now also committed to iTunes, iCloud, Game Center, and Apple’s App Store.  Theses programs are at the heart of Apple’s ecosystem. The ecosystems main crack dealer is iTunes, as it acts like a gateway drug.  You start with downloading a song, then you move on to one TV episode.  You know that one episode that you missed but you needed to see it to continue the series?   Then things start to spiral out of control.  Your common sense starts turning on you.  It tells you, “Hey you got one episode, why not download the rest of the season?” Now you’ve moved on to movies and whole music albums.  Before you know it, your AT&T contract is up.  It’s time you get a new phone!

Now this is where the ecosystem does its evilness. I can move on to a different phone altogether or I can stay inside the iPhone family.  If I move on to something new, I basically wasted all that money on music, apps, and movies. If I stay, I can get the cooler newer iPhone and keep everything I’ve bought and continue to amass a bigger collection.  Totally I’m sticking with iPhone! That, my friends, is the ecosystem at work.  Now, I’m in my fourth contract, I’ve not touched a PC in years, and my house is outfitted with AppleTVs.  I’ve fallen for it, hook, line, and sinker!

OK, before you start running out thinking Apple is the evil empire... STOP!  They are not the only ones that do this.  Android, Windows, and Blackberry all have their own ecosystems.  So choose wisely! Most people buy a phone because of the advertising or that it was on sale.   You my friend, can now get  a phone for the right reasons.  That way, the ecosystem you choose doesn’t feel like a prison but a paradise. 

As for me, I like being in the Apple’s ecosystem.  I have everything I want. I do, however, see cool commercial for the Samsung S4 active and think twice about it. You know the commercial, where the mom is baking and the phone somehow got inside the dough, or the kid is watching video but it’s underwater in a fishbowl?  That phone is sooooo cool!  I want it so bad!  I just have to wait and wish for the next iPhone to have those features.

That does it for this episode of Tech Talk Tuesday.  As always we would love your feedback/suggestions for this or our next edition, so feel free to send your comments to our resident Tech Guy Lonnie Valencia..

Tech Talk Tuesday: Smartphones and the evilness behind them


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