Quotes: Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on the War in Afghanistan

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U.S. President Barack Obama speaks next to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates

REUTERS/Larry Downing

“If the Taliban really believe that America is heading for the exits next summer in large numbers, they’ll be deeply disappointed and surprised to find us very much in the fight,”

— ROBERT GATES, U.S. Secretary of Defense, on the country’s commitment to its war efforts in Afghanistan (via the New York Times)


Inasmuch as I'm a big proponent of tech, I'm not much of a proponent of tech for the sake of tech.  Tech has to fulfill a new function, or fulfill a need (and the best is to do both).  Smartwatches in their past iterations are an example of "un-needful" and "un-new" tech.  It doesn't replace anything.  The functions it provides are generally not new, but are instead extensions of an EXTRA device you have to have with you: A smartphone.

If I'm going to mess around with batteries, chargers, learning curve and other such things, it had better be for a reason that is purposeful, such as replacing one device with another.  Not adding yet another device one doesn't really need in the first place.

Toward that end, if a smartwatch replaces my smartphone, I'd be delighted with it.  It doesn't have to REPLACE it in full, either.  If it would take calls, shoot pictures, do limited text and maybe voice-activated GPS - all without having to carry a smartphone - great.  I'd buy it.  If it's just a ventriloquist's dummy for a smartphone.  No thanks.  I've got the Smartphone already.

Wearable tech is really missing the boat if it's trying to extend the capabilities of another device.  It should be self-contained in and of itself for full functionality.  Because each and every one of those things will require care and feeding and charging and monitoring and who has that kind of time?  Put a slightly limited smartphone on my wrist (take away the web streaming BS and the game BS that only eats up data and money) that focuses on communication FIRST, information second and archival imaging third and you'll have a winner.

Will Google do that?  Who knows?  So far, they're all trying to leech off of an existing Smartphone, trying to tie the watch to the brand (which is ALSO moronic IMHO, if you want to sell those things to the general public).  If Google gets it right, fine.  But they gave us the Glassholes and frankly, that kind of intrusive-appearing device will not sell very well less due to the functionality than to public backlash toward devices that look too much like cameras and privacy issues.  I'm not convinced anyone can do it right yet.