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View Full Version : Apple Leaving Technically Challenged (US) Americans Behind?

Michael Knutson
02-08-2011, 07:00 AM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://gigaom.com/apple/the-future-of-mac-might-leave-many-americans-behind/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+TheAppleBlog+(GigaOM:+Apple)&utm_content=Google+Reader' target='_blank'>http://gigaom.com/apple/the-future-...t=Google+Reader</a><br /><br /></div><p><em>"Rumors of boxed software leaving Apple Stores and Apple's push of the Mac App Store shows the company doesn't think we need to install software via optical media anymore. There's even a rumor that Apple may be ditching optical drives in the next MacBook Pro refresh and moving to a disc-less model that allows for thinner casings and larger batteries."</em></p><p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/at/auto/1297144495.usr17748.jpg" style="border: 0;" /></p><p>Interesting article, but it makes it sound like (US) Americans are the biggest technophobes (or Luddites) on the planet. According to US FCC information, 31 percent of all users have no interest in broadband or technology (lack of need), or are scared of technology. But, conversely, of the current US population of 310 million, this means that roughly 214 million people -do- care about, and use, technology. Quite a bit of "doom and gloom," if you ask me. Apple is noted as leading the rush to leave the technically challenged behind, but many manufacturers are leaving old technology behind, and jettisoning optical drives, large numbers of ports, modems, and even wired ethernet. But, what are we getting in return? Arguably more reliable computers, that cost a fraction of what they did way back when. I'll take the extra battery life over a DVD drive, thank you! When I can get a 16GB or 32GB flash drive for a couple bucks, why would I want to go back to the stone age days of CDs and DVDs? Can we stay competitive in today's world staying with old technology? In my opinion, no, but definitely a topic for further discussion.&nbsp;</p>

02-08-2011, 12:30 PM
I totally agree. I'd rather have more battery life than a DVD drive. If I ever need a DVD drive (very rare) then I can always hook up an external one.

Brad Adrian
02-08-2011, 02:07 PM
I have PCs both with an internal DVD/BlueRay drive and without, and I have to admit that whenever I travel, it's the drive-less one that goes into my carry-on.

There are so many numbers that get quoted about the use of technology, but none of it makes any sense unless you look at various segments. Across the US, in-home high-speed connectivity is in about 80% of homes -- on average. But when you look at age groups or educational breakouts, the incidence is WAY higher. So, it sounds important for groups to cite numbers like the 31%, but it all depends upon context.

I do not think that we are a nation of luddites. Hell, we split the atom, went to the moon and gave the world the iPod! What DOES concern me, though, is the seeming trend amoung young people to shy away from fields of study like science and technology. In the future, 90% of all new jobs will require some understanding of science, math and/or technology.

Sven Johannsen
02-08-2011, 07:11 PM
Fine. I don't need an optical drive in the thing, but I darn sure need to be able to connect one. When you spend money on music or software, do you trust that it will not go poof at some point. I suppose you back it up somehow. Do you do that on little pocket hard drives? Solid State storage? Bet you still throw that $50-$100 program onto a DVD.

How about giving me a reasonable number of USB ports too. Not just targetting Apple here. Lots of folks dislike touch pads and take a mouse. Not that many good BT mice out there, so the little dongle that comes with it, or the cord needs a port. 64G is not all that much 'drive; space for these ultra light SSD based laptops, so a port you can throw a flash drive or portable hard drive in would be nice. Might want to charge my iPhone, so there's another. Got three, might as well have one more. There is a chance my little drive might like to get power off a second port, or I might want to use a WAN stick.