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April 29, 2019

This Is Deeply Stupid: Samsung Unveils 43 Inch TV That Swivels Into Vertical Orientation To Become One Giant Smartphone Screen

Um, why?

You're paying $1,623 for a smallish tv. Just so you can orient it to look like a smart phone and mimic the smart phone GUI.

As for why the Sero can transform into a smartphone-style vertical screen, Samsung says it's designed to display content from a smartphone for the millennial generation.

That's to say that millennials (or anyone else, really) can mirror their smartphone screens onto the Sero's vertical screen to display their mobile apps. Samsung says the "'Sero' supports vertical screen optimized for mobile contents, so it can be used to view content on a full screen."

It's quite clever, actually.

No, it's not. It's really not. It's stupid.

Here's what this incredibly dumb object looks like in horizontal mode and then here's what this stupid silly thing looks like in vertical mode.

They really are banking that some people are so addicted to their smart phones the idea of a literal Giant SmartPhone is sixteen hundred dollars worth of appealing to them.

And some people think that people are addicted to their smartphones.

A couple of recent articles discuss smartphoneinternet addiction. First, Molly Morris in the WSJ:

Tristan Harris emerged as the conscience of Silicon Valley two years ago, when his presentations about tech addiction prompted the industry’s giants to change the way they design products and grapple more seriously with the dark side of social media and smartphones.

Now he is issuing a new warning: None of the changes are even close to being enough.

Starting with a multimedia presentation in San Francisco on Tuesday, Mr. Harris is launching a roadshow in which he will present his central argument that technology is having a broader, more corrosive effect on society than most realize. None of the reform efforts being discussed around Silicon Valley and in Washington are enough to reverse the trends, he believes--not design tweaks or proposals to make companies pay for data or even breaking up the tech giants.

Technology has'’t just hacked the attention of users, but it is having negative effects on their self-esteem through the obsession with likes and followers, and their self-will through features like autoplay on YouTube and Netflix that feeds videos continuously unless users make them stop. Not only is technology already at the root of polarization and fake news, he predicts the misuse of facial-recognition technology will soon further undermine trust in the biggest tech platforms--and likely the 2020 elections.


"As we've been upgrading machines, we’ve been downgrading humanity," he says.


[T]he former product designer and ethicist at Google has credibility. He started the "Time Well Spent" movement more than four years ago; it took off two years ago after a TED Talk in which he outlined how a small number of tech companies were controlling billions of minds every day through features designed to attract and keep users' attention.

The American Conservative looks at other former tech evangelists turned tech Cassandras.

Yet even if the counter-tech trend is minuscule, it’'s still notable, because it seems to be led by the people who know tech best--the denizens of Silicon Valley. Sample headline in Business Insider from February of last year: "Silicon Valley parents are raising their kids tech-free--and it should be a red flag." Here's another from The Good Men Project a couple of months later: "Silicon Valley Parents Choose Low & No Tech Schools. What About Your Kid's School?"

Then in October, the mighty New York Times weighed in with "A Dark Consensus About Screens and Kids Begins to Emerge in Silicon Valley." The Times quoted one woman, formerly at Facebook, now at the related Chan Zuckerberg Initiative==the first family of Facebook's personal philanthropy--as saying: "I am convinced the devil lives in our phones and is wreaking havoc on our children."

Diabolical allusions might strike some as a bit much. Yet the same article also quoted Chris Anderson, the former editor of Wired, now head of a tech startup, using language almost as strong to explain why he shields his own kids from digital temptation: "On the scale between candy and crack cocaine, it's closer to crack cocaine."

There are many apps sold or given away freely that help a user reduce his smartphone/internet usage -- apps, for example, that block your internet usage during work-hours, for example.

Coincidentally enough, developers say the Apple app store is attempting to block you from buying apps that help you reduce your usage of Apple phones.

They all tell a similar story: They ran apps that helped people limit the time they and their children spent on iPhones. Then Apple created its own screen-time tracker. And then Apple made staying in business very, very difficult.

Over the past year, Apple has removed or restricted at least 11 of the 17 most downloaded screen-time and parental-control apps, according to an analysis by The New York Times and Sensor Tower, an app-data firm. Apple has also clamped down on a number of lesser-known apps.

In some cases, Apple forced companies to remove features that allowed parents to control their children's devices or that blocked children's access to certain apps and adult content. In other cases, it simply pulled the apps from its App Store.

Some app makers with thousands of paying customers have shut down. Most others say their futures are in jeopardy.

"They yanked us out of the blue with no warning," said Amir Moussavian, chief executive of OurPact, the top parental-control iPhone app, with more than three million downloads. In February, Apple pulled the app, which accounted for 80 percent of OurPact's revenue, from its App Store.

"They are systematically killing the industry," Mr. Moussavian said.

The makers of such apps complain that Apple's own offerings in this area don't seem to be particularly aggressive about helping people limit their screen-time. Almost as if Apple knows that addicts are among its most lucrative clients, and they want to keep the addicts addicted.

But muh private business decisions.

digg this
posted by Ace of Spades at 04:40 PM

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