Are Smartphones The Ultimate Cure For Boredom?

Are Smartphones The Ultimate Cure For BoredomLook around you — at the people in the long fastfood queues, at the bus stop, or even inside your own home. Most probably, you will see a lot of people fiddling with a mobile device — letting time pass by scrolling down every Facebook status, editing pictures on Instagram, replying to text messages or emails, or just playing a video game. Have smartphones become the ultimate cure for boredom?

‘Killing time’

Because of the ever-changing technology, people nowadays have developed a different approach to killing time. When we once relied on old magazines near the doorway or small talks with strangers, we have now evolved into a society that relies on our mobile devices to kill even a short amount of time. Almost half of mobile phone users could probably attest that they use their phones for entertainment most of the time.

‘Comparable to smoking’

According to researchers, humans have a basic need to cure boredom by any way possible. So fiddling with our smartphones, tablets, and e-readers to kill boredom actually address this need. Christopher Lynn, an anthropology professor at the University of Alabama, says tapping away at smartphones is comparable to smoking. These activities can pivot us from a monotonous moment to “unscheduled play.” But is this a positive or a negative thing?

Researchers at England’s Social Issues Research Centre say this is not a good thing. They say that this activity make us miss out on other creative ways to deal with boredom. Yes, tapping away on our touchpads or smartphones can leave us very little time for personal reflection.

How about you — do you think constantly using smartphones to kill boredom is a good thing? When was the last time you consciously put down your mobile phone and just allowed yourself to zone out?

Image: CY Talk

Canonical Announces Ubuntu OS For Smartphones

Canonical Announces Ubuntu OS For SmartphonesThe Ubuntu operating system has been adapted to run on smartphones. The Linux-based software will allow users to run desktop apps on their handsets, allowing them to double for PCs when docked to monitors. The code will initially be released as a file which can be installed on Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus phone, replacing Android.

‘First time in history’

Some analysts question whether consumers really want the power of a fully fledged computer on their phone. Even so, Ubuntu’s founder, Mark Shuttleworth, said he was in talks with manufacturers for devices to be sold with the system pre-installed within the year. While he acknowledged the innovation would likely be limited to “enthusiasts and hobbyists” at first, he said it signalled a wider shift on the horizon.

“It’s quite incredible that we’re at this point when the power of the phone is crossing over that with baseline processing power of basic laptops,” Mr Shuttleworth told the BBC. “We’re taking advantage of that so for the first time in history you have the full consumer PC platform available on a phone.”

Phones running the software will be showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas next week.

Ubuntu is the most popular operating system to be based on the Linux kernel – the code that lets software and hardware work together. The London-based firm behind it, Canonical, offers it for download free of charge and has been helped by thousands of volunteers who contribute to the open source project. The firm makes money back by offering support and training and also plans to take a share of sales from online marketplaces offered by handset makers who adopt its software. It estimates that more than 20 million PCs already use it.

Are you thrilled about the Ubuntu platform for smartphones? Will this be the next big thing in mobile technology?

Source: Leo Kelion, BBC News

Image: Engadget