When low tech is better than high tech
And because it's low tech, it's both simple and cheap.
While the rest of us are getting constantly raked over the coals by predatory banks that charge credit card fees for everything, M-Pesa is a banking system that barely uses banks. There's a very small fee charged for each transaction, and that's about it.
And while we're all waiting for some utopian future with mobile payments, Kenya has had mobile payments for years -- the low-tech way.
In the past four years, thousands of education-, news- and information-related mobile apps have emerged. And they're getting increasingly sophisticated. For example, a new iOS app I told you about recently called Grokr practically reverse-engineers your brain to deliver news and information it thinks will be relevant to you.
The newest learning technology is the best technology, but it doesn't give you the best learning.
The best technology for learning and staying informed since the creation of the book is the humble podcast.
A good podcasting app will let you subscribe to your favorite podcasts and automatically download them. When you're ready to listen, they're already on your phone.
Podcasting, and by extension Apple's iTunes U and audio books, is best because it's reliable, it offers high-quality content, it's flexible and -- best of all -- it lets you learn while you do other things.
The biggest barrier to your ongoing education is time.
You want to stay on top of all the news. You want to learn a new language. You want to become more educated about your line of work. You want your mind expanded by the ideas of brilliant public intellectuals.
Nobody has time for that.
But with podcasting, you do have time. You can listen while driving, exercising and while doing errands and chores.
Yet most people who want to learn more don't listen to podcasts. I believe the reason for that is paralysis of choice -- there are too many podcasts out there, and most of them are terrible.
The secret to falling in love with podcasting is listening to the good ones, not the bad ones.
So here's my starter kit -- the 10 indispensable podcasts that every educated geek should listen to (in alphabetical order). Just search via your podcasting source for:
- BBC Food Programme
- In Our Time
- MacBreak Weekly
- No Agenda
- Slate's Culture Gabfest
- Start the Week
- StarTalk Radio Show
- This Week in Google
- This Week in Tech
I would also continually explore new podcasts, and experiment. Great podcasts are priceless resources for staying informed.
By embracing the humble and low-tech podcast, you can use those hours you're wasting to educate yourself in a way that no other technology can match.
These are just three older technologies that everyone should embrace if they can. Others include RSS, SMS, Google Alerts and even simple text editors like Notepad.
Advanced technology is great. But even greater is an advanced user, someone who chooses technology that improves his life the most, no matter how low-tech it may be.
Why? Because the best technology is the one you actually use.
Read more about Mobile Payments in Computerworld's Mobile Payments Topic Center.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Three Best Practices to Help Government Agencies Overcome BYOD Challenges This paper highlightschallenges facing government IT in a BYOD environment and discusses strategies for network preparation, ongoing support, and securing information to enable...
- Review: Box beats Dropbox - and all the rest - for business Box trumps Dropbox, Engyte, Citrix ShareFile, EMC Syncplicity, and OwnCloud with rich mix of file sync, file sharing, user management, deep reporting and...
- Analyst Report-Mixed All Flash Arrays Delivers Safer Higher Performance What is the impact of an all-flash array with enterprise features and reliability on the mainstream data center? In the mainstream environment, storage...
- Embracing Flash Storage Exec Brief Flash storage can deliver impressive performance, especially for random I/O, by eliminating rotational and seek latencies that are common in all hard disk...
- Four Myths of High-Productivity App Dev Debunked Debunk the main myths surrounding high-productivity application development and how both platforms have overcome them.
On-Demand Webcast: 7 Reasons to Choose VoIP
Thinking about a new phone system for your business?
Be sure to watch this informative webcast. Steve Strauss, small business columnist for USA...
All Mobile Payments White Papers |