All posts by schuch

What’s So Great About ‘Good Enough’ Tech?


In September's Wired magazine, senior editor Robert Capps (rcapps [at] wired [dot] com) observes that the MP3 audio format prevails despite the advent of digital audio algorithms that offer greater sonic resolution with comparably small file sizes. Capps speculates that the incremental gain in fidelity, as delivered by newer digital formats, offers insufficient advantage to prize the lossy, old format from the clutches of mobile audio listeners. In short, MP3 may be mediocre (Bob used a harsher word that, coincidentally rhymes with his last name) but for the majority of listeners-to-go, it is mighty good enough.

In MP3s, Capps finds the perfect metaphor to shed light on an often-overlooked phenomenon at the intersection of Good-Better-Best Street and Better-Faster-Cheaper Boulevard. There is mounting evidence to predict that, when presented with an array of sparkly tech-choices, portable music listeners tend to favor, as Bob puts it, "flexibility over high fidelity, convenience over features, quick and dirty over slow and polished." In short, "having it here and now is more important than having it perfect."

A note to our Type-A readers: In future articles, AV-1 explores how this phenomenon relates to classrooms, but for now, feel free to share your comments and observations (below or on the AV-1 List).

Among the numerous examples offered, these three stand out as most relevant for our purposes: Flip Ultra, Skype, and Netbooks.

Continue reading What’s So Great About ‘Good Enough’ Tech?

Pre-InfoComm Jitters

Manhattan, Kansas. From 20,000 feet, it appears as a clot of suburbia surrounded by a pea-soup green patchwork of farms and foothills. Our captain announces that we are now half-way to our Las Vegas destination. Here, half-way between Mayberry and Sodom and Gomorrah, lies this sleepy, middle-American town  — an oasis amidst the Midwest flatiron landscape and a place I once called home.

Continue reading Pre-InfoComm Jitters

A DEL.ICIO.US Proposition for InfoComm 2008 Attendees

"You gotta help me… it’s an EMERGENCY!"

A panicked voice cracked through the din of activity at AV-1 HQ, high atop Puzzler Tower.

A friend in need learns the value of Web2.0 tools and flickr to streamline due diligence reporting from InfoComm, while prototype of holographic video conference unit is put through its paces…


Continue reading A DEL.ICIO.US Proposition for InfoComm 2008 Attendees

INF: Wireless Computer Video

By now, most of us have felt the giddy liberation afforded by 802.11abg (a.k.a. ‘WI-FI’) wireless Ethernet. Most college campuses now brag about their "ubiquitous computing" initiatives and many companies and hospitals are following suit. Girl

Wireless computer video is the next logical step toward true mobility. Just imagine: Walk into the classroom, walk up to the podium and open your laptop (*poof* you’re on the Internet), select the projector to display your computer image (much as you select a printer to which to print) and *poof* you’re presenting your materials no-strings-attached!

Continue reading INF: Wireless Computer Video