It’ll be alright really

Douglas-AdamsA couple of years before he died, Douglas Adams wrote

 “I’ve come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:


1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is just normal

2. Anything that gets invented between then and when you turn thirty-five is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career out of it.

3. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilisation as we know it until it’s been around for about ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright really.”

This comes from an article Adams wrote for the Sunday Times in 1999. It’s not really about technology – it’s about how set in our ways and resistant to learning new tricks we all become. It’s worth a read: http://bit.ly/1h70MFz

Here’s some of the things that we’ll take for granted in 10 years time:

Cloud computing – all your photos, files and music stored in your own personal place on the Internet;

Constant wifi – constant connectivity to ultra-fast data; (for some it’s the most basic need: http://bit.ly/19NXYo5)

Streaming music and TV – we’ll have screens rather than “television sets” and those huge collections of CDs and DVDs that we spent decades of pocket money on will all be in a box.

These technologies are becoming mainstream now – time to learn some new tricks.

(Thanks to Chris Lewis for the quote.)

Girl stuff

Stuff & T3 magsI’m a big fan of Stuff magazine and its rival T3. When Fingertips is recommending WiFi speakers or showing our customers how to get their DVD collection onto their iPad, chances are we got our facts from one of them.

Both cover the world of home technology: testing equipment, interviewing industry leaders and keeping us up to date with what’s new and what’s coming. They’re authoritative and informative and they even manage not to be geeky.

But what’s with the girls on the cover?

Stuff Dec

Is tech the exclusive preserve of heterosexual boys? Surely not in 2013.

At Fingertips we are an even mix of men and women and so are our customers. Gender is a total irrelevance. But to Stuff and, to a lesser extent, T3, tech and totty seem to go together like beer and curry.

On a personal level, I don’t have a problem with pictures of pretty girls in any state of undress. I used to work for the UK’s leading pornography seller, WHSmith and I share a house with 2 teenage boys, so I’ve seen worse.

Stuff Pages s4But I do have a problem with Stuff and T3 claiming technology for the lads. It’s so out-of-touch and it’s definitely not harmless fun.

There are countless women who look after every aspect of running a home, apart from the computers and the HiFi. They have a notion that they’re no good with technology – that their husbands will be better. The “it’s not for girls” message has been around a long time, and in some cases it’s worked.

At the Fingertips office, we also find it a little bit demeaning to be caught holding what looks like a lads mag.

Stuff twitter page Interestingly there’s not a girl to be seen on either website (although Stuff’s Twitter page is a different matter- see left). So it would appear that girls are not part of either publication’s proposition, but I suspect the editors are too scared of losing 10% sales to their rival if they drop the cover girl.

So here’s a girly solution for you fellas. Why don’t you talk to each other? You could agree a date and drop the very soft and slightly lame porn at the same moment. You’d even save a bit of money on models fees. Here’s each other’s Twitter details:  @Simon_OW and @lukepeters .