When it comes to following IT trends, do you usually go for a conservative, cautious approach towards novelty, or for a full-speed-ahead, bold one? Do you rush headlong to get and use the latest app, the newest device, bragging that you are among the first to have it, or do you wait till half the planet has tested it before going for it?
I for one tend to adopt a balanced attitude, somewhere in-between extra cautious and overly bold. Recently however the news about the bitcoin virtual currency has sent me wondering whether at this stage reasonably cautious would not be the wise way.
The concept of bitcoin was already covered in this very column last May and therefore this is not "another" article about the currency that was introduced on the Internet in 2009. It is just that the news this week has brought it more into the media light, with some governments reluctantly saying that it is acceptable while others are rejecting it or saying it is an open door to illegal transactions, tax evasion and so forth.
Whatever the approach, the structure and the foundations of a real (i.e. not virtual) currency are so complex that I fail to see how bitcoin is going to make it big one day and be widely acknowledged, accepted and traded with. For now, and as far as I am concerned, I'm going to put this thing on hold.
This being said, a person's not going for this or that IT innovation or product does not mean it is not good, not useful or not valid. It simply means that that person has no actual use or need for it. So in most cases it is a matter of subjective point of view.
It took me a while to make up my mind and finally get a Facebook account and that was just a few months ago. I was probably one of last earthlings to do so. I have nothing against the celebrated social network but after the obvious surge of interest I went through the first few days, now I view my FB page less than 30 minutes in an entire month. Now I wonder why I opened an FB account in the first place! Still, it does not harm to have one I guess.
My Instagram experience was even shorter. Again, this is in no way a negative criticism of the network which is really great and up to a certain point non-invasive. If I had the time I would visit my Instagram account even more frequently than into FB; only if The last time I posted a photo to Instagram was nine months ago. I shouldn't have rushed in.
Not rushing in is not just about not wasting time but about avoiding applications that install add-ons without asking your permission or who ask it in microscopic font and in an mischievous, deceptive manner. Even the otherwise excellent, fast Chrome browser by
Rushing in is fun but sometimes comes at a price. There are devices and accessories you buy because you find them attractive and think they can be useful, only to find afterwards that they won't work with your equipment or operating system.
A friend of mine was enticed to download Guitar Tabs for Android. It's a small app that provides lyrics and chords of songs, with instant and easy transpose of the key the song is written in, a feature that is extremely useful for singers and guitarists alike. It saves musicians precious time and effort rewriting the chords when changing keys for one reason or another.
The programme works as described there is no fraud, lie or deception of any kind there, and besides it only costs
The number of solutions, of devices, of applications and products in the domain of high technology has grown tremendously. The choice is overwhelming but what you really need and what you can actually benefit of usually is a limited number of the above. Perhaps thinking twice makes sense now, but if you are the daring type, have a lot of time and a lot of money there's no law against experimenting, as long as you know what you're doing.
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