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Tag: Commentary (page 1 of 8)

National Day of Unplugging Starts Friday Night — You In or Out?

National Day of Unplugging Starts Friday Night -- You In or Out? | 40Tech

Is your life ruled by your tech? Do you have a Pavlovian reaction to the notification tones of other people’s smartphones? If so… it might be time to unplug. I know — it’ll be hard. Your cell phone calls, text messages, television shows, email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, and multitude of apps, web sites, and other technological wonders have become embedded in your daily routine. They’re a constant part of your life, now, right? Unplugging would just be… I don’t know… weird, or something.

Don’t worry, though, you won’t be alone. At the time of this writing there are already 1,382 people and climbing who have pledged to stand with you as you boldly step forward, out of the teeming masses, and turn your shit off.

Ok, so I admit that I’m not really taking “National Day of Unplugging” seriously. I like the idea — I even practice it on my own from time to time — but I’m not much of a joiner. What I find interesting is that there has become a need for something like this, at all. We’ve become so overwhelmed by the constant deluge of information that’s hammering into us on a daily basis that people actually feel the need to band together and say “no more!”

Well, no more until tomorrow, anyway.

This brings me to questions: Will turning off your gadgets from sunset on Friday March 23rd, 2012, until sunset on Saturday, the 24th, actually accomplish anything? Also… will the people who made the pledge actually be able to follow through? On the National Day of Unplugging page of Causes.com, they say that you can use the time to (among other things) “connect with loved ones” and “eat together.” But what if your loved ones and/or potential eating partners are best reached and coordinated with via social media, email, or cell phone? What if you have a flat tire on your way to meet them? What if, the universe help you, you are waiting for the bus and you are soooooooo Freaking Bored without your favourite iPhone or Android game that you feel compelled to throw yourself repeatedly into the flimsy plastic wall of the bus shelter? Huh? What then?

Still… if you are getting up close an personal with bus shelters because you can’t be alone with your thoughts for a few moments instead of playing Angry Birds, then I’m thinking that unplugging for a day probably isn’t going to do too much for you, anyway. You may be better off unplugging forever and hiding yourself away in a remote mountaintop monastery that can’t get cell phone service. Or, maybe… now I know this is a bit radical, and all, but hear me out! Maybe you could consider practising a bit of moderation in your life. A bit of balance, or something. I don’t want to come off sounding like some “dirty hippy” or something — but I think it’s worth a shot!

National Day of Unplugging is a fun idea, and I agree wholeheartedly with its message and the principles behind it. I think there are a lot of people who could benefit from a day off from the socio-tech-connected world and get back to a bit of tangible Zen. I think people should take it beyond just one day, though, and adopt aspects of it into their day to day lives. Without that… I’m not sure I see the point.

Note: The Sabbath Manifesto, which is the basis for the National Day of Unplugging, actually talks about unplugging once per week – so there is some provision for a longer term than one day. I submit that one day per week is nice, but it isn’t better than discovering a natural balance. It could well be the necessary first steps to discovering that balance, however.

The Sabbath Manifesto on Facebook 

What do you think?


The Counterargument: Laptops Are Better For Travel Than Tablets

Laptop vs tablet for travel

Today, 40Tech is pleased to present a guest post by Andris Piebalgs, a freelance writer from My Destination.

The answer to this question may seem like an obvious one. Many people feel that tablets are the clear superior gadgets for travelling since they are, after all, smaller and lighter than laptops and can service many of the basic needs that most traveling users desire. Who cares about the extra computing power that laptops provide since you rarely have use for them during your travels anyway? I, however, disagree with this viewpoint. With the electronic and technology industry booming in terms of innovation and creativity, laptops offer you the chance to truly realize the potential of travels by making use of the newest programs and technologies.  Let me explain with an example.

Read more


And We’re Back . . . Hopefully SOPA and PIPA Aren’t

PIPA and SOPA censorship

If you tried to visit 40Tech today, you saw that we went dark from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. We turned out the lights, shutting off the site, to join the online protest again SOPA and PIPA. For a look at SOPA and PIPA, check out this video. Read more


Happy New Year — and Some Sweet Star Wars Awesome!

Happy New Year -- and Some Sweet Star Wars Awesome! | 40Tech

Bye bye 2011. We hope everyone had a great and safe night last night, and we wish you all a fantastic and prosperous 2012 — filled with happiness, good times, and 366 (Leap Year) days of awesome geekery.

To start you off, look below for some sweet geekiness. They’re not tech… but they’re definitely tech-inspired and will get you close to your nerdy heart!

Star Wars Cookie Cutters, Sandwich Cutters, and Pancake Molds from Williams-Sonoma!

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They’ve got some Spider-man comic book and Marvel super hero cookie cutters, too!

Have a super-geeky 2012 everybody! 


Crazy Things That Happen Every 60 Seconds On The Web

Crazy Things That Happen Every 60 Seconds On The Web | 40Tech

Did you know that, every 60 seconds on the internet, there are over 695,000 Facebook updates, 168 million emails (which, frankly, shakes the whole “email is dead” theory), 219,000 PayPal payments, over 12,000 new Craigslist ads, and about 2 million people watching porn? That’s every single minute, according to the pretty infographics put together by Go-Globe.com. There are also 925 iPhone 4S sales, 11 million IM conversations, 232 computers that got infected with malware, and some 38 tons of e-waste generated.

These are only a few of the highlights of the 40 items listed across the two infographics. Many of the entries are eye-widening, especially when the timeframe is considered, but — maybe because I practically live online — not surprising when considered in the grand scheme of things. In fact, I thought some were a little low. Only 694,445 search queries per minute on Google? Only 416 website hacking attempts? Only 13,000 (plus) iPhone apps downloaded? I wouldn’t have been surprised if there were more.

Check out the infographics below — what stats stand out to you?

Incredible Things That Happen On The Internet Every 60 Seconds Part 1 | Go-Globe.comIncredible Things That Happen On The Internet Every 60 Seconds Part 1 | Go-Globe.com

Incredible Things That Happen Every 60 Seconds On The Internet | Business Insider