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The JAM Jar

15.09.12

It’s been quite a week in the tech-sphere, with Apple announcing the launch of the much anticipated iPhone 5 and Everything Everywhere creating a stir with the early introduction of the UK’s first 4G network.

Apart from the boob with Kate Middleton, these new technologies have dominated this week’s headlines.

According to reports, the techies are somewhat underwhelmed by the iPhone 5. But I’m not. I’m as excited about upgrading my iPhone 4 (not even the 4s, cringe), as my dad was about his first fax machine. And why wouldn’t I be excited? Look at all the new fandangled features:

• A larger Retina display (to help my ailing eyes)

• A new A6 chip (ok, I’m not entirely sure what this means but the boys at JAMcreative assure me I can load web pages and view e-mail attachments far quicker as a result. Bonus.)

• Uber fast wireless (expected in this day and age)

• Better battery life (about time, Apple!)

• iSight camera (so I can take even better pictures of my food :o))

• Interactive 3D maps (making the reading of maps far easier for we women)

And much more, all in a smaller, sleeker design.

Plus, it offers 4G connectivity, making the iPhone 5 the technological equivalent of Usain Bolt.

I’m hooked! We’re all hooked. Our dependency on technology is insurmountable. Current forecasts predict that by 2015 there will be 63.83 million smartphones in use in the UK alone; that’s the entire population.

Evolving technologies have fundamentally changed the way we now communicate with one another. Popping round to someone’s house unannounced is unheard of and it’s now only courteous to text or e-mail to check if it’s ok to actually phone someone! Furthermore, communications have been condensed to just 140 characters or less. The art of conversation is now firmly ensconced in the minimalist movement.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of the retro face-to-face conversation – gasp! But new technologies and our penchant for gadgets have simply enabled us to communicate more efficiently and have allowed us to share (read, force) our opinions on a global scale.

Back when my dad was king of the 80s, faxing his letters, who would ever have envisaged we’d have such affordable technologies at the tips of our fingers? Ah, yes, Steve Jobs. God bless you, sir.

05.09.12

After a summer saturated with sport – Euro 2012, Wimbledon and the Olympics to name but a few- the British public could be forgiven for adopting a lack-luster attitude to the Paralympic Games

However, as sporting events go, the Paralympics has refused to be ignored. The whole country has been swept away by feats of seemingly superhuman strength and physical prowess as well as the inspiring and sometimes heartbreaking stories behind the athletes competing. Far from being just an extension of the Olympics, the Paralympics has produced just as many, if not more, nail biting moments as well as new sporting heroes.

Ellie Simmonds has emerged as one of the Games’ biggest stars after winning two gold medals and picking up a bronze yesterday in what was said to be her weakest event- the 50 metres. The future looks bright for the swimmer, who at just 17 years old, has transcended the Paralympian label and become a household name.

Whilst individuals always shine, the Paralympic Games 2012 event, as a whole will be remembered as one that smashed records, challenging what we thought was possible. The GB team alone has set 15 records this games, a sizeable contribution to what promises to be the most record-breaking Paralympic Games ever staged. At the halfway point, 228 records have been broken, compared with 339 in total at the Beijing event in 2008.

Far from going unnoticed, the achievements of these athletes are being lapped up by the nation. Channel 4 coverage of the event has steadily risen, peaking at 4.4 million viewers on Sunday for Alan Oliviera’s shock defeat of favourite Oscar Pistorius the 200-metre track event. The Paralympics is claiming a considerable chunk of social media content too, with 12% of all social media messages currently mentioning the topic and 200,000 tweets a day including the tag “paralympics”.

While of course it’s fantastic that the event has been so entertaining, what really matters is what happens to the public’s attention and interest after the Games finish. Hopefully, the legacy left behind will be pure and simple: sport for everyone.