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I get the impression that there really arent a whole lot of new gadgets or
worthwhile inventions coming out lately that really make a difference in our
lives.

Instead we seem to be getting more expencive regurgitations/combinations of
the same old stuff. I guess it would be different if all of this wasn't about
rearranging things that we already have or making them different eneough to
sell them to you twice.

I feel like I am being slowly dribbled technology at an infantecimally slower
rate every day and being marketed and pitched to more and more. I am tired
of being expected to buy worthless crap that is just a reinvention of last
year's almost cool gadgets and gizmos that werent that great to begin with
and made obsolete before they were marketed and sold to the consumer.

It all seems to be slight of hand, a miserable preoccupation with things that
just dont matter to take our minds off of bigger issues that do. I really could
give a crap if I have "OnStar" in my vehicle or gps in my phone. (although
these may be quite handy) Are we really that lame?

Am I alone on this or do you folks really enjoy paying 700$ for a blackberry
and 300$ for gps or 3000$ for your latest gaming rig or 500$ for your latest
version of Tivo?

Why do we have to be entertained all of the time? What the hell were we
doing before cell phones & IM? Where has the time gone?

When are we going to develop a new propulsion system or run an agressive
space program? Who is going to invent an artificial heart that isnt a peice of
crap?

I get the feeling we really arent going anywhere at all.

Lost in an electronic junkyard,
Cain

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Last Post by jwenting
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You forget some simple facts of economics:
1) people want to be entertained and are prepared to pay big money for that.
2) the only thing more profitable than boorish entertainment is sex
3) no government program that takes longer to turn a profit for the politicians voting for it than the time to the next election will ever receive funding in a democracy.

Technology is changing all the time.
It's just that you've been living in an era in which it suddenly exploded, and we're now entering an era of consolidation.
That's a good thing as it will mean less useless crap being hyped as the best thing since sliced bread.
That explosion of technology was in fact brought about by an unprecedented period of extreme military tension and competition between NATO and the USSR, directly following WW2 in which innovation was rampant. Never before had technological progress been so rapid as during the period roughly 1940-1980.
That period is now past and we're slowing down slowly to a more leasurely pace, until the next big surge, likely also brought about by a large scale war (which I suspect will involve China in a big way, as China is fast replacing Europe and the US as the major economic and military power on the planet).
That conflict may well see forcefield technology, hypersonic propulsion systems, electrooptical computers, cheap spaceflight, etc. etc. all take off in ways we cannot yet imagine, driven by the need to create weapons and countermeasures to space based (and) nuclear weapons.

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I agree with you to some extent, but most of the usefull technology probably isn't going to wind up in just anyones hands. The reason so much useless crap is coming out, is because people are never happy. If someone asks you how much money you want and you say 100$, as soon as you get it you'll be wishing you ask for more. That's because humans are never satisfied and are always wanting something new. My uncle is a great example for buying useless junk all the time. He had a 4-5 hundred dollar pda but hardly ever used it, even though he's a network engineer. That's only one example, but he's got so much crap. Even though he's around 30, he has about EVERY gaming system on the market. But guess how much he plays them: almost never. It comes down to some technology being more useful to one person than another. We'll, I'm tired and going to bed.

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Agreed, war & confilict does help develop a large part of the technology at hand.
But what is being developed definately feels like its being developed for the sake
of commerce in general. more like the Fight Club Ikea Syndrome than anything else.
Modular furniture & cheap gadgetized crap are the standard. I'm tired of paying for,
drowning in, and choking on it. The cool factor is gone, maybe I've become
desencitized to it all. But even the remotely cool things seem closer to trash than
perfection...

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Cheap sells in bulk, low quality means high repeat sales as people need to replace the stuff more often.
If you want to you can still get quality but expect to pay for it.
Take photo cameras. The best SLRs go for several thousand Euro, but despite the fact that those will last 10-20 years many people opt for cheap 100-200 Euro cameras that will last maybe a year at most at which time they'll want to replace it anyway because there's a new model and you can't be seen with last year's model now can you?
Fashion is the ultimate marketing tool, it convinces customers that they have to replace their perfectly fine things (whether clothes, PDAs, cameras, or even their furniture) regularly.
You seem to not be receptive for such marketing (neither am I), and probably see right through a lot of other marketing crap as well (such as advertising trying to pursuade you that something you bought last year is now suddenly completely useless just because there's a "new and improved" version available).

But you do seem stuck in the idea of wanting to pay next to nothing.
Look in the next higher market segment and you'll find the quality you want, quality that will last you a long time, saving you money in the long run.
It may not be in stock from your retailer, who has an incentive in higher percentages of sales income to sell you the lowend crap (they may get 10% on the sale of an entry level item but only 5% on the highend competitor), but they will be able to order it.
As to Ikea, they have good stuff too if you know where to look. I wouldn't buy a couch there anymore (did at one point because I needed one fast and couldn't afford something better) but they have some pretty sturdy tables and bookcases for example.
As always, be selective.

For the ultimate difference in crap versus quality in product placement, go no further than comparing Canon and Nikon cameras.
Canon markets theirs as being flashy, fashionable, and having all the latest features.
They also replace their entire product line about once a year with new models (and most of their customers fall into the trap and buy a new camera every year).
Nikon on the other hand relies on their image of quality and respectability. Their products are not as flashy, they're often a bit larger and heavier and are matte black polycarbonate covered metal instead of glossy silvery plastic.
They also replace most of their products maybe every 3-5 years at most.
In the lowend market this hurts them a bit, as people there are more susceptible to marketing pressure. In the highend market this is extremely valued as it provides continuity.
To compare: over 2003 Nikon sold 30% less cameras than did Canon but beat them in income from those sales.
Of course the press immediately reported only the sales numbers and concluded that Nikon was dead...

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Oh, don't get me wrong. I am a firm believer in "You get what you pay for."
..within reason. I am not trying to coupon-shop technology but if I can find a better
deal you can count on me waiting for a price drop or a better suited piece altogether.

Fashion is a huge driver in sales but somehow I often forget that most people don't
shop function first. Alas, even I am suceptable to a good advertizing scheeme
when it is mixed with quality and have no problems dropping 300$ US (@250EUR)
on a pair of sunglasses from Oakley. :cool:

But remember that my initial grievance with the market at
large was wtih the lack of quality new technology and the
simple regurgitation of last years crap in place of it.

I guess unless I'm willing to change the world I live in I can't
complain about the crap thats in it.

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I'd rather tech moved at a slower pace but was more thoroughly matured before hitting the market.
As it is many products are launched before they're ready just to beat the competition, and the consumer is left with equipment that doesn't deliver on promises.

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