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Has Technology Made us Lazy and Dependent?

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Has Technology Made us Lazy and Dependent?

How many of us could go a week without our cell phone? Do you even bother to memorize phone numbers anymore? I can’t even recall the last time I went a day without looking at the internet at all. Technology has made life so convenient for us that it’s almost scary to think of what would happen if we had to go without our favorite gadget for an extended period of time. We have to face facts: Technology has made us lazy.

No need to leave the house for entertainment

What’s the point of getting up, taking a shower, getting dressed, and driving to the movies when you can just sit on the couch and fire up Netflix? We’ve all been there before. You’re on the fence about whether or not you want to get out and do something, but then something comes over you. You start looking around at your PS3 and laptop, then realize you can have just as much fun staying in the house.

To make things worse, Nintendo and Microsoft had to go ahead and release the Wii and Kinect (respectively). Thanks to these two addictive gadgets, you can go bowling, play tennis, or participate in the Olympic Games in your living room.

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Is it even possible to get lost anymore?

I get the feeling that we’re getting closer and closer to the day when people won’t even be able to read paper maps anymore. There are already a good deal of young adults that have no idea how to navigate through their own cities without using a GPS.

The beginning of the demise of paper maps was MapQuest. Being able to print out complete turn by turn directions for where you need to go pretty much killed the need for a map. But even with MapQuest, some people still kept a map in their cars just in case of emergencies.

Once TomTom and Garmin hit the scene, paper maps became obsolete. Even MapQuest is getting used a lot less frequently thanks to GPS apps. You can use Google Maps on your smart phone and get voice guided turn by turn directions for free. Even people with no sense of direction can get to where they need to be with today’s technology.

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Oh yea, and now Apple is getting involved in the GPS industry so the future of paper maps isn’t looking too bright. Soon, Boys Scouts will be teaching kids how to use a GPS instead of how to navigate with a compass.

Find the answer to anything with Google

We have all Googled something that we were completely embarrassed we didn’t know the answer to. According to Google, “How to tie a tie” gets over 500,000 searches a month. For some reason, over 1,000 people are searching “how to boil water” and “how to boil eggs” gets over 40,000 searches per month.

Google has made the process of learning how to do things extremely easy. There was once a time when if you didn’t know how to do something, you had to either:

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  • Know someone that knew how to do it
  • Try to figure it out and mess up until you got it right

Not anymore. A quick search on Google will bring up instructional YouTube videos, blog posts, and PDF’s that show you how to do anything. So much for being self sufficient.

So long errands!

Running errands use to take up entire Saturday mornings. By the time you got home, you were drained and just wanted to relax. Well thanks to online shopping and services like Peapod, running your own errands is a thing of the past. Giant’s Peapod service lets you get groceries delivered right to your home. TaskRabit lets you find people that will literally do any type of errand you need from returning merchandise to putting together Ikea furniture.

These services are great for people that are physically unable to do certain tasks themselves, but there are plenty of able-bodied people using them too just for the convenience. Buying clothes, electronics, and other goodies once required leaving the house. Not anymore. The E-Commerce industry is doing extremely well and is expected to increase 62% by 2016. I’m definitely part of the problem here because I love online shopping. But I can admit that it has made me somewhat lazy.

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It seems as though with every new piece of technology that gets released, we get lazier and lazier. Hopefully we don’t get to the point that we become like the people in the movie Wall-E. If you’re the type of person that won’t change the channel because you can’t find the remote, or would rather Skype then drive to visit friends/family, technology could be making you lazy.

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Last Updated on November 25, 2021

How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

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How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

There comes a time when we may be searching online and don’t want the browser to remember our footsteps. The reasons don’t always have to be what we obviously think of as the main reason; for example, sometimes, you may not want Safari to remember your passwords or prompt you to enter your password when surfing the web.

Whatever the reason, we may think that we are totally in the clear with Private Browsing on Safari and the other browsers on a Mac. However, a quick Terminal command can bring up every website you’ve visited. How do you do this? Also, how do you clear your tracks for good? We will provide both answers and more today.

    What Does Private Browsing Do?

    When activated, Private Browsing on Safari prevents your browsing history from being kept in the history tab of the application. Along with this, it doesn’t autofill information that you have saved in the browser. In this mode, you essentially become incognito and any references of previous use is essentially hidden when you are in private mode.

    For example: if you are on Facebook or filling out a form and some information or your login is already filled in in the spaces provided, this is called autofill. It’s activated by simply clicking Safari next to the Apple symbol in the menubar and selecting Private Browsing, then clicking “OK” to the prompt.

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    The reasons behind private mode differ for each individual. While we won’t go into all of those reasons, one thing that is  important to remember is that private browsing doesn’t forget the websites you visit. As we will see later on, Macs keep a second copy of the websites you visit in either mode. If you are in frantic mode looking for a solution to this, look no further.

    The Terminal Archive

    While Safari does a good job of keeping your search history out of prying eyes in the history tab, there is a less-than-obvious way to view a full list of visited websites on Mac. This is done in Terminal; the command-line emulator that allows you to make changes to your Mac.

    Terminal is located in the Utilities folder on your Mac. Once activated, simply add the command:

    dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host

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    Once you hit “enter”, a list of the visited sites appear. Showing only the domains, the sites appear in a format of:

    Key: h_name :(website domain)ipv4 :1

    However, there’s no need to fear—there is a way you can clear this information from Terminal with a command that’s just as simple.

    Clearing Your Tracks

    Just as simply as you were able to enter the command to view the websites, you can clear the cache that Terminal showed you with the comamnd:

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    dscacheutil -flushcache

    As the command denotes, this literally “flushes” the domains from Terminal. This does not prevent the record from continuing to be recorded for future sites, however, so if that’s an issue for you, repeat this process regularly.

    Other Browsers and Private Browsing

    Other browsers have this form of privacy mode for their service. They promise many of the same things as Safari, but they do not have the same Terminal issue due to how this command only presents websites visited on Safari (the browser Macs come shipped with).

    If you use Firefox, you’ll notice that its private mode is also known as Private Browsing. Chrome calls private mode Incognito, while Internet Explorer refers to it as InPrivate Browsing. Opera is the newest to the scene, denoting it as Private Tab. Safari is the oldest well-known browser with this feature.

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    As you can see, despite Private Browsing not being 100% private, Terminal allows for your browser to be. In what ways has Terminal helped your life or allowed you to become more productive? Let us know in the comments below.

    Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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