Brian's Blog

…one man's contribution to the Weeeeerly Wild World

Keeping up with technology

I wrote recently about ‘Pointless Technology’, and this is similar to that. It’s hard not to be without some tech these days; we all seem to need internet access in one form or another. I was quite an early adopter; I remember my dial-up days fondly – it is remarkable that one could (just about) video chat over a connection that was barely 40kbps… yep kbps, not mbps.

One thing I have failed to adopt though is smart phones, or tablets, and now I’m feeling how those reluctant PC adopters felt. My phone looks reasonable, but like my last one, it wont quite allow me to check e-mails, let alone browse the internet swiftly, or use apps.

Then today I was in the bank. I needed a replacement gadget that gives me a code when I put in my pin, for signing into internet banking; the screen faulty; or the battery was running down (again – it hadn’t been long since they had replaced it). I said it was faulty and asked if I could have a replacement. While they looked around and evidently didn’t routinely keep spares in the branch two things were thrown at me: The banking app would allow me to put in my pin and get the code, to which I replied my phone wasn’t capable of that, and then they said they’re not actually giving out the gadgets now and encourage people to use the app, and that… there should be a fee for replacement gadgets.

I would have objected to the final point, but it seems the member of staff was somewhat mistaken; I have since searched online and the bank will issue free additional/replacement gadgets, but the thoughts that ran through my head were similar to when I heard our local council charge us if they need to provide us with a replacement black wheelie bin; they provide them for free, they technically belong to them, and if they break, it should be their problem.

In addition to this argument I have already experienced one bank close its doors in my localest village, and then when I started going to the next nearest they closed that branch too (I closed my accounts with them). Then just recently this other bank informed me of reduced opening times; this doesn’t affect me so much because I can work around them, but the point is they are encouraging people to do all their banking online, which then leads to the branches being little used… and in order to do internet banking we have to be able to sign in, for which there are options, and the one I use is by means of their gadget. But now it seems I will, sooner or later, be expected to have a smart phone… and I’m not sure I want to comply.

Just like Contactless, which I also wrote about recently and criticised the banks, and requested a normal payment card without the feature, I will object to a smartphone-only login requirement. The combination of keying my pin number into a gadget and that gadget being able to track my location, makes me somewhat concerned about where all this tech is leading.

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3 comments on “Keeping up with technology

  1. Jen
    24 September, 2016

    My biggest concern with technology is that kids today are growing up with no privacy. There’s a lot of other concerns but I think that’s a lot more significant than most people realize.

    • Brian
      24 September, 2016

      Yeah, privacy decreases at each stage/phase it seems, and we become more and more blind to it; some people are trying to raise awareness of such things but it doesn’t seem to reach the ears of the masses.

      • Jen
        24 September, 2016

        Yes, people laugh at me and then say that they don’t have anything to hide. Everyone does. I said that to a friend who got very angry with me because I was talking about the issue and she insisted that she didn’t have anything to hide. I said “I’m sure you do.” “Oh no, not me.” and then she looked at me like I was an awful person if I have things to hide. 45 minutes later, she tells me that she doesn’t feel funny telling me that she picks up stuff out of other people’s garbage if she thinks she can fix it up and sell it, stuff like furniture. But, she said that she has a very wealthy friend and she doesn’t tell her that. She would feel funny telling her that. I promptly said, “Oh, so you do have something to hide?” That really made her think.

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This entry was posted on 23 September, 2016 by in Computers, Internet, Services, Technology and tagged , , , , , , , .
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