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Nerval's Lobster writes "Facebook has announced "Home" for Android smartphones (and, eventually, tablets). It's something less than a full Facebook mobile operating system, as some expected before the company's presentation, and more like an app update. Facebook also announced the Facebook Home Program, which will work with several carriers and device makers to pre-load Home onto select devices, including ones built by Samsung, Sony, ZTE, and Lenovo. The first "Home" phone will be the HTC First, a $99.99 phone that will ship April 12 from AT&T. Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg told analysts and journalists assembled for his presentation that Home was designed to reorient the phone and the Facebook mobile experience around people, not apps: "On one level, Home is the next mobile version of Facebook. On the other, it's a change in the relationship with the next generation of computing devices." Home essentially is a custom start screen for your Android phone, replacing the home screen with one centered on Facebook. While users can access other Android apps on the phone, the focus is on those apps that run on the Facebook platform. Home can also be enabled as a lock screen." Reader RougeFemme points out that France Telecom/Orange will be the first carrier in Europe.

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As technology invades our lives and covers every facet of working, playing, learning and more, we as a culture will need to adjust and find balance so as to not get so lost in the digital world that we lose ourselves. We hear frequently about parents desiring to get their kids to shut off the video-game systems and go outside and play. Go out in public to restaurants, coffee shops and malls, and you see people fixated on their screens. There is nothing wrong with that, however, I think we need to be aware of something important as a digital society. I fear that we may slowly lose the ability to be fully present in a moment or situation. I noticed this about myself a few years ago while I was on my computer checking e-mail and responding to “important” work stuff. As I was sitting there fully immersed in my screen, one of my daughters was trying to get my attention. I’m not sure how long it took, but I think she had to say, “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” about four or five times. I recognized that it should not take me that long to respond, and, more importantly, my eyes were open to the reality that often I was not fully present in many important situations. We are allowing digital distractions to interfere with important moments. (MORE: Supertaskers: Why Some Can Do Two Things At Once) Since then, I have worked to retrain myself to be more fully present when engaging in conversations with my family, friends and colleagues. And I’m resisting the urge to constantly look at my phone to see if I have new e-mail, check Twitter or Facebook or do something that would send a signal to the person across from me that they don’t matter as much as something on my digital device. Perhaps this is not a problem everyone struggles with, but I am noticing it more and more with young people. I grew up with technology and have little or no recollection of life

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jfruh writes "In the mid-00s, more and more people started learning about Android, a Linux-based smartphone OS. Open source advocates in particular thought they could be seeing the mobile equivalent of Linux — something you could download, tinker with, and sell. Today, though, the Android market is dominated by Google and the usual suspects in the handset business. The reason nobody's been able to launch an Android empire from the garage is fairly straightforward: the average smartphone is covered by over 250,000 patents."


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What do you need to do today? Other than read this blog entry, I mean.

Have you ever noticed that a huge percentage of Lifehacker-like productivity porn site content is a breathless description of the details of Yet Another To-Do Application? There are dozens upon dozens of the things to choose from, on any platform you can name. At this point it's getting a little ridiculous; per Lifehacker's Law, you'd need a to-do app just to keep track of all the freaking to-do apps.

The to-do appgasm

I've tried to maintain to-do lists at various points in my life. And I've always failed. Utterly and completely. Even turning it into a game, like the cleverly constructed Epic Win app, didn't work for me.

Eventually I realized that the problem wasn't me. All my to-do lists started out as innocuous tools to assist me in my life, but slowly transformed, each and every time, into thankless, soul-draining exercises in reductionism. My to-do list was killing me. Adam Wozniak nails it:

  1. Lists give the illusion of progress.
  2. Lists give the illusion of accomplishment.
  3. Lists make you feel guilty for not achieving these things.
  4. Lists make you feel guilty for continually delaying certain items.
  5. Lists make you feel guilty for not doing things you don't want to be doing anyway.
  6. Lists make you prioritize the wrong things.
  7. Lists are inefficient. (Think of what you could be doing with all the time you spend maintaining your lists!)
  8. Lists suck the enjoyment out of activities, making most things feel like an obligation.
  9. Lists don't actually make you more organized long term.
  10. Lists can close you off to spontaneity and exploration of things you didn't plan for. (Let's face it, it's impossible to really plan some things in life.)

For the things in my life that actually mattered, I've never needed any to-do list to tell me to do them. If I did, then that'd be awfully strong evidence that I have some serious life problems to face before considering the rather trivial matter of which to-do lifehack fits my personality best. As for the things that didn't matter in my life, well, those just tended to pile up endlessly in the old to-do list. And the collective psychic weight of all these minor undone tasks were caught up in my ever-growing to-do katamari ball, where they continually weighed on me, day after day.

Yes, there's that everpresent giant to-do list, hanging right there over your head like a guillotine, growing sharper and heavier every day.

Like a crazy hoarder I mistake the root cause of my growing mountain of incomplete work. The hoarder thinks he has a storage problem when he really has a 'throwing things away problem'. I say I am 'time poor' as if the problem is that poor me is given only 24 hours in a day. It's more accurate to say… what exactly? It seems crazy for a crazy person to use his own crazy reasoning to diagnose his own crazy condition. Maybe I too easily add new projects to my list, or I am too reluctant to exit from unsuccessful projects. Perhaps I am too reluctant to let a task go, to ship what I've done. They're never perfect, never good enough.

And I know I'm not alone in making the easy claim that I am 'time poor'. So many people claim to be time poor, when really we are poor at prioritizing, or poor at decisiveness, or don't know how to say 'no' (…to other people, to our own ideas).

If only I had a hidden store of time, or if only I had magical organisation tools, or if only I could improve my productive throughput, then, only then would I be able to get things done, to consolidate the growing backlogs and todo lists into one clear line of work, and plough through it like an arctic ice breaker carving its way through a sheet of ice.

But are you using the right guillotine? Maybe it'd work better if you tried this newer, shinier guillotine? I'd like to offer you some advice:

  1. There's only one, and exactly one, item anyone should ever need on their to-do list. Everything else is superfluous.
  2. You shouldn't have a to-do list in the first place.
  3. Declare to-do bankruptcy right now. Throw out your to-do list. It's hurting you.
  4. Yes, seriously.
  5. Maybe it is a little scary, but the right choices are always a little scary, so do it anyway.
  6. No, I wasn't kidding.
  7. Isn't Hall and Oates awesome? I know, rhetorical question. But still.
  8. Look, this is becoming counterproductive.
  9. Wait a second, did I just make a list?

Here's my challenge. If you can't wake up every day and, using your 100% original equipment God-given organic brain, come up with the three most important things you need to do that day – then you should seriously work on fixing that. I don't mean install another app, or read more productivity blogs and books. You have to figure out what's important to you and what motivates you; ask yourself why that stuff isn't gnawing at you enough to make you get it done. Fix that.

Tools will come and go, but your brain and your gut will be here with you for the rest of your life. Learn to trust them. And if you can't, do whatever it takes to train them until you can trust them. If it matters, if it really matters, you'll remember to do it. And if you don't, well, maybe you'll get to it one of these days. Or not. And that's cool too.

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The teaser trailer for Warballoon Games’ Star Command has landed, giving us a glimpse into the fantastic pixel art of their upcoming spaceship-management game.

Star Command allows players to take control of a starship in humanities distant future. Players build their ship, staff and manage their crew, explore the galaxy, battle other species, discover far off worlds and attempt to control the universe.

The game is scheduled to launch this summer on iOS and Android devices, but the developers have plans for a future, “Ultimate” PC version as well, which would include “all the campaigns, all the expansions, [and] possible multiplayer.” I can not wait!

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Eponymous Hero writes "The Geordi La Forge in all of us rejoices as Google announces Google Glasses, the augmented reality glasses that will no doubt spy on everything you look at and target you with ads at that crucial moment. The only question left begging is how soon can we merge them with bionic eye implants?"


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TEDxTokyoTeachers - Christian Thompson - The Guitar and the Smart Phone

Christian Thompson thinks all students should learn programming. Using his guitar as a metaphor (Analogy? Simile?) he makes a compelling and entertaining argument. Learn more about Christian at www.christianthompson.com In thespirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
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