Revealed as just another MP3 player in eye-catching outfit at the time of its debut, iPod has become the workhorse for Apple since the day it was introduced. However, in recent years, the iPod phenomenon has taken quite a turn giving rise to fanatic following of the device that once was a mere MP3 Player.
So, in exact truthfulness, what is an iPod?
Is it just a portable MP3 player device? Or just an eye-candy in an MP3 player outfit? Maybe a fashion statement or accessory. Well, iPod is all that and on top of that has become more than just another MP3 player. It has acquired a glimmer of an icon.
iPod is one device which is a common denominator of gadget passions of the British Royalty, Hollywood and pop culture celebrities, tech-savvy as well as the regulars. Even with the longstanding feud between Apple and Microsoft, the latter''s campus is seemingly teeming with iPod culture under the hood.
Under the illusion?The COOL factor of iPod has certainly shadowed our mind so as to make us overlook some of the problems the iPods have. The newly unveiled iPod nano seems to have gone into some trouble. But people are still ready to buy it and later fix it. Also, showing off the iPod headphones can probably get you in trouble in New York City. Some people would even advise you about the bad quality of iPod headphones and suggest buying new ones. Whatever the cost, we have become ready to pay for the faults in our beloved iconic device. We just love the iPod so much! However, people have begun to realize the illusion and are trying to go the alternate route of shopping non-iPod.\r\n\r\nIt''s not just the consumers who are disappearing in this iPod cult cloud, the manufacturers themselves seem to have overcome with its white magic. Apple is doing everything it can to ensure the bright future of iPod phenomenon and eating a beating once in a while. The rumored "Sabotaging of ROKR iTunes MP3 phone", clearing the way for new iPods by "ditching products full of features" and taking the patent beating from Microsoft are some of the occurrences.\r\n
Follow the Cult
Leander Kahney has been actively following all the ups and downs with the iPod cult and has recently published the book The Cult of iPOD. It''s a good read for tech-savvy and regular enthusiasts alike to get a glimpse of the iPod Cult.
Whether touting iPod really sets one apart from the others carrying non-apple MP3 Players is no more a matter of argument. However, does the overuse of iPod phenomenon carry the risk of being called a cliche, still remains to be seen. Meanwhile, the flight of iPod fancy will remain alive and kicking.
Arthur C Clarke aptly wrote in one of his books, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic". In essence, any magic could be a very sophisticated technology that we would call technology if our contemporary technological understanding really grasped what underlies the magic. Even when we have fully understood the miracle workings under the magic and termed them as advanced technology, wouldn''t that technology itself still have magical influence on us earthlings? Yes, wouldn''t it have its own effect on us even if it remains magic no more? Are we aware of the Technology Effect that has mixed itself with all the aspects of our daily life?
We were never devoid of technologies even in the days when humanity was just the cavemen. Considering the far-reaching impact of primitive inventions such as control of fire, creation of wheel, these are still the best technological breakthroughs in the lifetime of human species. We have been in the habit of being influenced by every new technology from early days of human life. We may not explicitly know it, but the kind of lifestyle we live talks a lot about the effect of the contemporary technologies.
Today we see Miracle technologies all around us starting with electricity, electronics, advanced and ubiquitous computing, nanotechnology, biotechnology and so much more. Maybe this is the best time for the human race where technological advances are becoming realities at an alarmingly higher rate than ever-before. As Alvin Toffler put forth in his book "Future Shock", "The rate of change in sociological, technological and economical aspects of the human life is itself accelerating. The effect that it has on human life may well surpass the normal human being''s ability to cope with the changes in his life and that could lead to a Future Shock!". We can only begin to see this acceleration around us. Imagine our great-great-grandfathers, who never saw anything like computing and led their lives in same mundane lifestyle from their rise to their end with only significant change in their lifetime being the advent of Railway Transportation.
The generation after that saw many things such as the invention of airplanes, motor vehicles etc. The generation of our grandfathers saw many more changes in their lifetime such as radio, television, spy-gadgets of cold war era, spacecrafts landing man on the moon and early computing. And in today''s world, we see the flood of technologies springing up within months and getting obsolete in years and in some cases, mere months. Some technologies such as the Internet change our lives entirely.\r\n\r\nWith the dawn of these fast cultivating technology generations came the increasingly felt impacts on social and personal aspects of daily human life.
The Technology Effect has never been felt so strongly as it is being felt right now. We may never know at what pace the technological advances will appear in future, but it shall surely not be at any modest pace. While we can continue debating on the past and future of the technological advances and their impacts, or fear the possibilities of the "Future Shock", the influence on our lives due to the Technologies that are all around us today is the most interesting aspect of our present lifestyle. This is the very PRESENT-DAY TECHNOLOGY, which has had the tremendous impact on our daily life leading to many quirks, funny experiences, expectations and disappointments that would otherwise be absent were these countless technologies and their applications to be non-existent in our lifelines.\r\n\r\nMy honest efforts are going to be around capturing tidbits of this very Technology Effect. That''s what this blog is going to be about.
The present day changes in our social and cultural lifestyles are so much influenced by today''s technological advances that it makes up for a language much different than was spoken a 100 years ago. The technology effect has brought upon us a jargonified language within common speaks of life, which would be much difficult to be understood by our ancestors. New technologies are introducing new verbs into our colloquial and written languages, sometimes the name of a product or service implementing the new technology itself is verbified to be synonymous with the technology. Here's a journey of a small subset of service and product names becoming tech jargons that we use in our everyday life.
When Xerox invented photocopying, it was a big deal and its machines were used just about everywhere. Xerox machines were used so much as we started calling the photocopies as Xerox copies. So what do you do when you need a copy of a document? You do a Xerox copy rather than a photocopy! In fact, a "Xerox copy" was a phrase used in all the major spoken languages. People needed to get a document Xeroxed even they did not know what Xerox really was. Today in many countries including developing countries like India, we have standalone "Xerox copy" centers even though they might carry HP Photocopy printers. The name still is advertised as a "Xerox" or you won't get customers as they simply won't believe that you perform photocopying services if the name does not suggest "Xerox" copying. It's not just the name of a company; Xerox copy means photocopy in India and elsewhere I am sure.