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Study: BlackBerrys fail to balance work and life

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BerryholicA paper released from Ryerson University looking at the effects of BlackBerry and mobile usage personal lives concludes that technology isn’t doing us any favours. The study was done by looking at over 200 periodical pieces and yielded some pretty extreme scenarios:

Professor Middleton, who teaches at the Ted Rogers School of Information Technology Management, found reports of BlackBerry use in the shower, at funerals, at children’s soccer matches, school performances and on vacations. She came across one woman who caught her husband e-mailing under the table during their Valentine’s Day dinner and another whose companion checked e-mail during their first date.

Both sides of the argument tend to butt heads over the BlackBerry issue; one says the gizmos let us spend more time with friends and family, while the other says we really spend less because we’re totally zoned out. While we might be prone to scoff at the opposition and continue thumbing happily away, it’s hard to ignore 200 articles and an academic study of the issue. What do you guys think? Could you stand to use the BlackBerry a little less?

Analysts predict wireless debit to make it big

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NFCMaybe you’ve heard of near-field communication, or NFC? It’s a technology that’s been in development for awhile that, once the hardware’s been integrated into a mobile device, you just bring two within a few centimeters of one another and you’ve made a connection. This could make for quick Wi-Fi or Bluetooth pairings, but the biggest selling point for NFC has been for monetary transactions, and Juniper Research thinks that $22 billion will have passed through NFC-based transactions like European mPayments by 2009. It’s still a ways off from making a big splash on North American shores, but it’s a cool possibility. Who here would feel comfortable with their BlackBerry doubling as their credit card? I think if there was adequate support both by handheld manufacturers as well as commercial venues, NFC could become very popular very quickly.