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Timeshifting: Cram More Into Life 432

Posted by michael
from the burn-the-candle-at-both-ends dept.
jimharris writes "The VCR started it - and then the DVR improved it, so now I want to apply the concept of timeshifting in other ways. I've always wanted an audio cassette player that worked like a VCR so I could listen to more radio talk shows. This morning's NY Times stirred my interest with After TiVo, Radio Rewound about a MP3 device that does just that. Better yet, is Replay Radio - software that is more flexible and you can download the results to a portable player. I already use Audible.com to squeeze in more books in my life, by listening, rather than reading. I've completed 8 unabridged books in two months just by carrying around my Otis player when I get dressed in the morning, driving to and from work, doing housework, or when I exercise. Now I'm wondering how I can timeshift even more."
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Timeshifting: Cram More Into Life

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  • by bc90021 (43730) * <bc90021@bc9002 1 . net> on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:10AM (#8397266) Homepage
    ...or else people will be time-shifting sex, and God only knows that that will result in. ;)
    • by notque (636838) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:12AM (#8397293) Homepage Journal
      ...or else people will be time-shifting sex, and God only knows that that will result in. ;)

      I know... it might actually last longer than a minute, *gasp*
      • time shifting sex is a great idea. I guess you could synchronize when you felt horny, and everything would be peaches n' cream.

        On the other hand, I've gone through a great time-shifing system myself. I got rid of any sort of TV reception. That all by itself has given me hours each day where I am free, instead of flipping through channels waiting for that ONE episode of Seinfeld I somehow missed.

        I'm not a 'Kill your television' fanatic, but I do think it is a big huge timesink. And- it will make you fa
    • by Anonymous Coward
    • by Glonoinha (587375) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:29AM (#8397498) Journal
      Rearrange your work schedule so you start at 7am and get off at 3pm or 4pm. By hitting the streets at semi- off hours you will cut your commute time by possibly half (less traffic.) Time saved : 1 hour per day on the average.

      By hitting your seat at 7am when the office is empty and quiet you can get more productive sooner, and get more done between 7am and 9am than most people have done by noon.

      Let a woman take you clothes shopping, throw out everything in your closet and replace it with whatever she suggests. Make sure everything matches everything else. Time saved : none, but nobody will know you got dressed in the dark before you had caffeine in your system.

      Don't sleep in on weekends. Get up at your regular time instead of 11am and you have effectively doubled the number of hours of daylight you get on each weekend day. God I love to sleep in so I hate this one.

      Get your news from FARK (www.fark.com) In the hour it takes to watch the news on TV you could have a synopsis of the important events around the globe from a hundred different news sources. If it is newsworthy, it's on FARK.

      Cancel your MMORPG accounts (stop playing Everquest). This will give you back 1000 hours per year. Maybe more.
      • by monkeytalks (746972) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:50AM (#8397689) Homepage Journal
        Sure, I could do all that... but the thing about saving that you have to ask yourself is: what are you saving up for? Isn't the whole point of saving time so that you can sleep late on Saturday, play your onling RPG or whatever else you consider to be good? And why the hell would I want to conserve daylight hours? I'd rather have the night hours. Sleeping in the morning gives you more hours to be awake at night. For that matter, why go to work early when you can go to work late? There's less traffic at 7pm too, ya know and those Simpsons reruns... Tivo catches those for you. I'm all for sticking to black and grey as a means of getting matching clothes but taking a woman shopping is the opposite of saving time. When I go shopping with a woman, I feel like getting out of the car and painting a red X in the road to remind others where I encountered missing time. Women are, in fact, the primary drive for such portable devices that do things like time-shift talk radio. This allows you to actually do something useful or enjoyable while waiting for women to get ready or shop for something.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:53AM (#8397710)
        Let a woman take you clothes shopping [...]

        This phrase doesn't belong within a mile of a topic about saving time. Ever.
      • by October_30th (531777) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:55AM (#8397727) Homepage Journal
        Reading /. and posting here is also a veritable time-sink.

        I'd like to point out that you can avoid traffic also by going late to work and heading home late in the evening or even at night. It'll work fine, if your employer is flexible (i.e. trusts that you do you job even when the boss is not around) and especially if you live in an urban area where you can get food 24h/day.

        I used to start working at 11 am and work late into the night. I can't get anything useful done before 10 am and I'm at my peak performance somewhere around 4-5 pm, but these days I have to drag myself to work by 9 am. Thank you very much, you morning people who insist on scheduling meetings early in the morning.

      • by orim (583920) <orimk@yahoo.3.14com minus pi> on Thursday February 26, 2004 @12:13PM (#8397924)
        "Don't sleep in on weekends. Get up at your regular time instead of 11am and you have effectively doubled the number of hours of daylight you get on each weekend day. God I love to sleep in so I hate this one."

        Back in '99, I got a job where I can show up any time between 9 and 11, and as long as I work my 8 hours, the bosses are happy.
        If I'm working on something late, or if I have tennis practice later at night... you know, something that makes me extra-tired, I just sleep in the next morning, as long as I feel it's necessary...
        The result?

        On the weekends, I tend to get up earlier than on the weekdays. I think it's getting better sleep because there is no knowledge of having to go to work the next day... and also the fact that I'm pretty *rested* already with the flex schedule that I have.

        If you feel like sleeping in on the weekends, maybe you should - your body is trying to tell you it needs more rest. Listen to it!
        What good is an extra hour of being awake if you're just going to zombie through the next 15?

      • by misterpies (632880) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @12:31PM (#8398093)

        These suggestions are totally half baked. Viz:

        " Rearrange your work schedule so you start at 7am and get off at 3pm or 4pm. By hitting the streets at semi- off hours you will cut your commute time by possibly half (less traffic.)"

        Better solution: find a place to live within 5 minute's walk of work or subway ride. Then you will save on your commute time and not have to get up early. If there is no subway and no residential neighborhoods near work, dump suburbia and move to a proper city. What's the point of freeing up all that time if you're stuck in Boonsville?

        "By hitting your seat at 7am when the office is empty and quiet you can get more productive sooner, and get more done between 7am and 9am than most people have done by noon."

        This only makes sense if you don't work closely with other people. If you do, you'll spend 2 hours from 7 to 9 waiting for the others to get in. If you can work for hours without needing to ask anyone else for anything, then ask your boss if you can work from home part-time.

        "Let a woman take you clothes shopping, throw out everything in your closet and replace it with whatever she suggests. Make sure everything matches everything else. Time saved : none, but nobody will know you got dressed in the dark before you had caffeine in your system."

        Wear a suit to work. You can wear the same suit everyday, with the same tie and a range of identical shirts, and no-one will think it odd.

        "Don't sleep in on weekends. Get up at your regular time instead of 11am and you have effectively doubled the number of hours of daylight you get on each weekend day."

        That may be true, but what's the point? Surely a big reason for saving time where it's not needed is to give you more relaxation time, not less.

        "Get your news from FARK (www.fark.com) In the hour it takes to watch the news on TV you could have a synopsis of the important events around the globe from a hundred different news sources. If it is newsworthy, it's on FARK."

        Listen to the radio news while doing other things. Try NPR and you might even learn something. Alternatively, admit that for 99.99% of what's reported, there's no reason why you need to know it straight away. So just catch up with the news weekly instead of daily.

        "Cancel your MMORPG accounts (stop playing Everquest). This will give you back 1000 hours per year. Maybe more."

        And stop reading slashdot. That will save even more.
      • Time != money (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jukervin (8659) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @01:19PM (#8398649)
        "He who thinks time is money understands neither time nor money"

        How do you save time? How do you set aside 10 minutes a day to save for a summer holiday? Where do you deposit it? How can you make a redrawal?

        "Saving time" means usually just how to make more things in same amount of time ie. to be more efficient. But do you have more time? I don't think so. With all the timesaving gadgets and tips people just feel busier than ever and that they don't have enough time. We westerners often consider time to be something that is useful only if it is spent some how productively. In some other culture time is something we create by doing nothing.

        I recommend reading Tyranny of the Moment: Fast and Slow Time in the Information Age by Thomas Hylland Eriksen

        "The turn of the millennium is characterized by exponential growth in everything related to communication - from the Internet and email to air travel. "The Tyranny of the Moment" deals with some of the most perplexing paradoxes of this new information age. Who would have expected that apparently timesaving technology results in time being scarcer than ever? And has this seemingly limitless access to information led to confusion rather than enlightenment?

        Thomas Eriksen argues that slow time - private periods where we are able to think and correspond coherently without interruption - is now one of the most precious resources we have, and it is becoming a major political issue. Since we are now theoretically "online" 24 hours a day, we must fight for the right to be unavailable - the right to live and think more slowly. It is not only that working hours have become longer - Eriksen also shows how the logic of this new information technology has, in the space of just a few years, permeated every area of our lives. This is equally true for those living in poorer parts of the globe usually depicted as outside the reaches of the information age, as well as those in the West.

        Exploring phenomena such as the world wide web, WAP telephones, multi-channel television and email, "Tyranny of the Moment" examines this new, nonlinear and fragmented way of communicating to reveal the effect it has on working conditions in the new economy, changes in family life and, ultimately, personal identity. Eriksen argues that a culture lacking a sense of its past, and therefore of its future, is effectively static. Although solutions are suggested, he demonstrates that there is no easy way out. " - Book description from Amazon
  • Tivo2 (Score:5, Informative)

    by l810c (551591) * on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:11AM (#8397273)
    Tivo2 [tivo.com] is supposed to add support for XM Radio in the 2nd half of 2004. Digital quality radio recording sounds like a great combination.
    • Re:Tivo2 (Score:5, Informative)

      by mgs1000 (583340) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:15AM (#8397325) Journal
      That doesnt mean Tivo will allow you to record XM radio. The Directv Tivo cannot record(or even buffer) Directv's music channels.
      • Re:Tivo2 (Score:3, Informative)

        by koreth (409849) *
        The Directv Tivo cannot record(or even buffer) Directv's music channels.
        "Cannot" is putting it a bit too strongly. I've had wish lists pick up special programs on the music channels from time to time, so the hardware is definitely capable of it. (Fast forwarding doesn't work on those recordings, though.) I imagine if you've hacked your TiVo to run a Web server or whatever, you could probably schedule recordings on the music channels.
      • Re:Tivo2 (Score:4, Informative)

        by babyrat (314371) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @12:08PM (#8397873)
        The Directv Tivo cannot record(or even buffer) Directv's music channels.

        There's a difference between can't and won't. Won't can be changed to will.

        http://www.dealdatabase.com/forum/archive/index. ph p/t-30881

  • Just figure out how to live forever and this will not be and issue.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:31AM (#8397517)
      ... simply press the 'off' button and go outside.
    • Re:forget timeshift. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Golias (176380)
      Timeshifting talk radio has got to be one of the dumbest ideas I've ever heard of anyway. The purpose of talk radio is to provide banter to avoid boredom while you are driving and don't feel like listening to music. Here's the thing, though... it's always on. Turn on a radio in any metro area at any time of the day, and you can hear some jackass talking. There isn't really even a difference between them anymore, because they all read the same stories off Drudge Report (if it's a political show) or News
  • Oh boy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:12AM (#8397287)
    God forbid we sit and do nothing. It may cause us to think about our lives. Best to just keep ourselves busy all the time; flooding our ears with sound and our eyes with images. We must all do our part to keep introspection at bay, lest we realize things are not as perfect as they seem.
    • Re:Oh boy (Score:5, Funny)

      by mccalli (323026) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:23AM (#8397427) Homepage
      God forbid we sit and do nothing. It may cause us to think about our lives...We must all do our part to keep introspection at bay, lest we realize things are not as perfect as they seem.

      Yep. Glad to see you're avoiding this profound philosophical problem by keeping yourself busy posting about it on Slashdot...

      Cheers,
      Ian

    • Things seem perfect to you?

      Bartender, I'll have what he's having.
  • Time compression (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stanmann (602645) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:12AM (#8397292) Journal
    Save more time by using software to strip out the pauses and slightly speed up the audio.. up to about 1.5x... That way you can watch an hour show in 30 minutes.. once you strip out the commercials, pauses and laugh track...
    • by the_rev_matt (239420) <slashbot@nosPam.revmatt.com> on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:36AM (#8397554) Homepage
      If you just want to know what happened on the show, why not grab the closed caption stream and pipe it to a text file and speed read it?

      On some shows eliminating pauses, laugh tracks, and speeding it up would be fine (talk shows, cooking shows, sports, reality shows) but for any work of fiction (movies, dramas, even sitcoms) timing and pacing are a significant part of what makes the show good or bad (sit through a poorly edited movie sometime, or watch any of the last several seasons of Friends and you'll see what I mean). Eliminating these subtle touches greatly affects the perception of the quality of the show.

      • by Hatta (162192)
        Seriously, I thought the parent was kidding about time compression. And the article submitter listening to all those books while eating, dressing, shitting, I've got to wonder how much he's actually gaining from those books. Maybe I'm a poor reader (the SATs would argue otherwise though) but if a book is at all worth reading, it requires a good deal of thought and possibly a reread before you really internalize the material.

        I wouldn't be particularly surprised if you finished the Harry Potter series whi
    • by nicky_d (92174) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @12:04PM (#8397814) Homepage

      Yeah, do this. Speed everything up, chew less and swallow more. When someone is talking, encourage them to talk faster by making a fast winding motion with your hands. Leave cinemas as soon as the first credit appears (and slip the projectionist a sawski to crank the handle faster).

      Actually, someone made a nice speed-reading version of Cory Doctorow's Creative Commons-released novel, Eastern Standard Tribe [craphound.com]. The speedreader applet, with adjustable speed, is here. [smith.name] You could use this to gauge your aptitude for the compressed life - and your limits. It's surprising how fast you can comprehend, although at higher speeds you're a bit like a rocket-powered train that's easily derailed...

      • Re:Time compression (Score:3, Interesting)

        by aardwolf204 (630780)
        You joke, but I actually use a freeware TTS tool to read slashdot comments because the voice can speak faster than I can read. I follow along as the computer reads to me and its actually helped me to read faster. My friends however cant understand a word the computer is speaking, it all sounds like gibberish to them. It took a bit to get used to, each day speeding it up slightly, but now I love it. Actually, I cant speed it up anymore and wish I could. Oh, and the ability to select a HTML table cell in mozi
    • by NanoGator (522640) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @02:21PM (#8399605) Homepage Journal
      "Save more time by using software to strip out the pauses and slightly speed up the audio.. up to about 1.5x..."

      He'srightitworksfortexttoo!!! LookatthebandwidthIsaved!
  • Me - cynical? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by scottyboy (116119) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:13AM (#8397298) Homepage
    So is this like uh... a thinly disguised advert, or what?

    (Yes, I checked out the site)
  • by sporktoast (246027) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:13AM (#8397299) Homepage

    Dontcha think it's possible to go a bit too far [fasterbook.com] with the cramming?
  • by crawdaddy (344241) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:13AM (#8397303)
    I'd like to be able to timeshift my /. posts. Then I can always have "First Post"!
  • Speed Up The Audio! (Score:3, Informative)

    by evilmuffins (631482) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:13AM (#8397305)
    I have a Creative Nomad Jukebox 3. One of the things I like about it is it has an effect to change the speed of the audio/mp3 you are listning to, up to 1.5x. I think it works by playing it faster, but it also lowers the pitch at the same time, so you don't get chipmunk voices. I also had a winamp plugin that did this awhile ago.
  • why timeshift? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:13AM (#8397306)
    Someone is going to complain about cramming more stuff into life, so it may as well be me. Dead time is sweet time. There's nothing wrong with lying around, ignoring the phone, staring out the windows and contemplating your navel. Time shifting makes every waking moment seem like work. Chill.
    • Re:why timeshift? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Westley (99238)
      The ability to view/hear what you want when you want doesn't *stop* you from lying around etc. It just means that you aren't forced to.

      No-one's saying you've got to buy one of these, or even that if you've got one you have to use it all the time.
    • Re:why timeshift? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nebaz (453974) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:23AM (#8397429)
      While it is true that there should be some down time in life, Time Shifting is definitely useful. I have quite a long commute to work each day and books on tape make the experience much better. There is only so much time in a day. Sometime time shifting actually ALLOWS more down time.
    • Re:why timeshift? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by babyrat (314371) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @12:16PM (#8397948)
      Timeshifting allows more 'dead' time. For instance there is a TV show I want to watch. I can watch an hour show in 40 minutes if I skip the commercials and even less if I skip any segment of the show I don't want to see.

      And yes, commercials can be considered 'dead' time, but I'd rather have 20 minutes of dead time in a row versus 20 minutes of dead time split into 3 minute chunks every 10 minutes.

  • by Joceyln Parfitt (756037) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:14AM (#8397311)
    you mention that you listen to books while getting dressed, etc. this is not a good method. remember that speed reading fad a few years back? well it turns out that if you don't concentrate on the book's subject you will miss out details and simply forget everything but the most important facts.

    like someone said after "speed reading" War and Peace when asked if he could review it.. "um.. it's about some war, and things."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:14AM (#8397313)
    if you're a howard stern listener just use newsgroups.

    alt.binaries.howard-stern has commercial free shows everyday. you can also find other popular radio talk shows on newsgroups daily. just have to look.
  • by OpenGLFan (56206) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:14AM (#8397316) Homepage
    Ooold tech: we college students have been taping and timeshifting lectures for years.

    iPod missed a great bit, though -- if they'd included the mp3-recording capabilities (something like the iRiver's hd recorder, or the Ripflash) then I bet that would've caught on VERY quickly. (You go to class today, I'll go tomorrow, we'll exchange mp3s tonight.)

    I'd love to record my lectures, but I don't have $400 for an iRiver, and I can't find a minitape recorder that will last for 1.5 hours without stopping and flipping...
  • What's the point? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mdemeny (35326) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:16AM (#8397343) Homepage
    You're being so 'Type A' about your leisure time. It's leisure time... the whole point is to relax, not to 'squeeze in more'.
    • Re:What's the point? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jstave (734089)
      ...but if someone is obsessive/compulsive about "squeezing in more", this *is* how they relax. How is comleting as many books as possible any different from getting the highest score on your favorite video game?
  • More Yuck (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anne_Nonymous (313852) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:17AM (#8397346) Homepage Journal
    >>so I could listen to more radio talk shows

    There is something very, very wrong about this.
  • Good idea, actually (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dmorin (25609) <dmorinNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:17AM (#8397359) Homepage Journal
    I like that "audio books while getting dressed" thing. I used to try listening to my audio books while coding, but my brain kept trying to split itself down the middle. Quite painful, really. So now I just listen to them in the car, which gives me almost 2 hours a day. Not bad.

    Does make me wish that the ipod had some more interactive features, though. Like, say, a wireless sync. That way I could just keep sending it new info (such as a text-to-speech version of an RSS feed) all day. Unlike an audio book, I wouldn't mind so much if the news turned into a background drone and I missed some of it.

    The idea of taking off my ipod headphones when I set down at the desktop and putting a different set on (and then swapping everytime I want to get up from the machine) is not a good one. I dont even like putting it in the cradle because it's yet another thing I have to do before getting up and walking away.

    A good Tivo timeshift trick somebody pointed out to me is to record the early news on a channel where they do one of those crawlers across the bottom of the screen. Then, watch on fast forward.

  • Simple: (Score:5, Funny)

    by LV-427 (315309) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:18AM (#8397361)
    Step 1: Obtain DeLorean.
    Step 2:: Invent Flux Capacitor.
    Step 3: Timeshift.
  • by NeoSkandranon (515696) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:19AM (#8397380)
    "I've completed 8 unabridged books in two months just by carrying around my Otis player when I get dressed in the morning, driving to and from work, doing housework, or when I exercise. Now I'm wondering how I can timeshift even more."

    Do you really absorb as much listening to something while you do other things as sitting down and reading? I have enough trouble getting it all to sink in and not skimming boring parts with a good ol' mass market paperback
  • Mac users, shift! (Score:5, Informative)

    by tribguru (458685) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:20AM (#8397386)
    Mac users have a new timeshift option (if Griffin [griffintechnology.com] ever ships it); check out RadioShark [griffintechnology.com]. It records AM, FM, and Internet broadcasts into AIFF format. Upload to your MP3 player [apple.com] and away you go!

    (Now just SHIP the darned thing, Griffin.)
  • Ghetto engineering (Score:5, Insightful)

    by almaon (252555) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:20AM (#8397395)
    Somewhat related to the topic. Before the internet, I wanted to record long radio programs in the morning/afternoon while I was away at work and was not allowed to listen to the radio. I needed a way to record radio programs that were 4-6 hours long, a cassette deck didn't cut it...

    Ghetto engineering! I jacked my stereo through the back of a VCR's audio in, used a VHS tape set on SLP, program the VCR to start and stop recording at a predetermined time, and abracadabra: 6 hours of hassle free recording.

    Glad to know that there are less ghetto ways of doing it now, the Griffin Technology RadioSHARK looks promising for OSX. www.griffintechnology.com
  • by Mick Ohrberg (744441) <mick.ohrberg@gma ... com minus author> on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:21AM (#8397404) Homepage Journal
    I am an avid NPR [npr.org] listener, and whenever Klick and Klack, the Tapper brothers [cars.com] are on when I get home, I invariably end up sitting in the driveway [npr.org]. I would love to be able to automagically tape these shows and play them back in my car (while driving to/from work) at the push of a button.
  • One word (Score:5, Funny)

    by burgburgburg (574866) <(moc.liame) (ta) (60neksilps)> on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:22AM (#8397414)
    Crank.

    Once you get rid of that annoying sleep habit, you find the possibilities are limitless. I finished the entire "A la recherche du temps perdu" in 18 hours in the original and I don't even speak French. I think. Except for these damn spiders crawling up my arms, this is great. Just great!

    • Re:One word (Score:5, Funny)

      by Em Emalb (452530) * <ememalb@NospaM.gmail.com> on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:28AM (#8397482) Homepage Journal
      Reminds me of a damned funny SNL episode with Jim Carrey:

      We combine a heat bead suit with the common knowledge of ordinary street junkies to bring you this: Jimmy Tango's Fat Busters!

      You wear the patented vibrating heat bead suit and jam gobs of raw crystal meth into your system!

      Don't be afraid to RIDE THE SNAKE!!!


      Testimonial:
      Not only did I lose 140 lbs in two weeks, I also learned I am the devil!
    • by fractaltiger (110681) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @12:30PM (#8398087) Journal
      Once you get rid of that annoying sleep habit... Just last week that thought occured to me: when humanity masters the workings of the brain and we unravel the regeneration secrets that sleep provides, you can bet your pillow that we'll start seeing "sleep supplements" or sleep substitutes to make our days longer and more productive. People will object to having a truly elongated 24hr day and being awake at night, but we could see radical changes in our job shifts, television schedules and even schools. Just so you remember you heard it here first.

      So in those days when our descendants won't have to sleep to stay alive, what will they REALLY do with all the extra hours?
  • by atomly (18477) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:24AM (#8397437) Homepage
    Another option would be to read books because you find it enjoyable. You're bound to have an ulcer by 35 if you keep up like this. Sometime I worry that I spend too much of my day ingesting data because I read so many websites, newsgroups, message boards, mailing lists, etc. and I certainly don't need to cram any more in while putting on my socks in the morning.

    It's going to be interesting to see how this all plays out. We're the first generation to have this much data available to us at all times, but I don't think we've really started to see the true effects of it yet. Just think about how much more media (music, movies, books, etc) we're exposed to than previous generations-- I wonder what the implications of that will be.

    I can already, as a musician, see a very big change to music and to how people interact with it. People spend so much less time actually appreciating music than they used to. Just think that, not that long ago, people used to sit down together and listen to a record and do nothing else. You rarely see anybody do anything like that anymore. Hell, most people I know barely finish listening to songs anymore now that they have access to MP3 players.

    If you examine other areas of media (news, books, movies, etc), all of this is happening in much the same way. I digest easily 100 times the news in a day that somebody would've 50 years ago, I see at least five movies a week (thank you, Netflix and Suprnova!), etc. Not to mention how many ads I see in any given day.

    I think that having all of this information at our fingertips is going to be a double-edged sword. Just like having MP3s around commoditized music, the same will go for all media. And just as search engines/data collection sites (say, for example, Slashdot or Metafilter-- sites that find data for you) became the "killer app" for the web, I guess these "timeshifting" devices, like TiVo, which allow you to collect the data you wish to collect from a given source (i.e. record all episodes of "Arrested Development," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," and "The World Series of Poker"), will become the "killer app" of their respected medium. I just have to wonder how it will affect us as people and our society as a whole.
  • by Inexile2002 (540368) * on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:27AM (#8397472) Homepage Journal
    Seriously. You need some perspective.

    Once a year for a week I just force myself to unplug. I yank the network cards and modems out of my machines, unplug the controllers on my game systems, take my tv remote, monitor power cord, PDA and cel phone - put it all in a box and drop it off at a friend's house.

    No radio, no news, no newspapers, no magazines, no tv, no nothing. I allow myself books, but only stuff that I've been planning to read for at least a year and putting off. The first few days are a little stressing, I start to get jittery and keep panicking that I'm missing something important. But by the end of the week I've got more perspective on life, more perspective on all those little electronic leashes that I impose on myself and generally a much much much lower tolerance for most of the info-garbage that I regularly consume.

    Someone who's unironically posting a message seeking help on ways to more efficiently consume more media than he already does has to step back and think about that for a second. I don't mean to sound judgemental at all - really - but damn man, if your problem is that you can't figure out how to cram a little more media into your life then you need to step back for a minute and really give your life a good hard ponder.

    I don't mean to sound all hippy zen on you, but when was the last time you felt grass on your bare feet? Best of luck, but no one ever said on their death bed, "If only I had listened to more talk radio..."
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:30AM (#8397509)
      I yank the network cards and modems out of my machines, unplug the controllers on my game systems, take my tv remote, monitor power cord, PDA and cel phone - put it all in a box and drop it off at a friend's house.

      I think what you are looking for is the power switch.
      • It's all about willpower and the ceremony of the thing. If you turn something off, it's too easy to turn it back on based on pure reflex. If I make a big deal out of it, and make cheating a huge pain in the ass, I can spend my time doing other things. It's like a dieter living in a house full of candy. There are too many "on" buttons.

        Also, at the end of the week when I get everything back, I'm so used to enjoying the quiet that I don't put it all back right away. I fish my cel phone out right away, bu
    • by WormholeFiend (674934) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:59AM (#8397766)
      "when was the last time you felt grass on your bare feet?"

      isnt going to the park one of the advantages of having a laptop?
  • by handy_vandal (606174) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:28AM (#8397486) Homepage Journal
    Published in 1970, yet still insightful today:

    Future Shock [amazon.com] by Alvin Toffler [wired.com].

    -kgj
  • by Atryn (528846) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:39AM (#8397591) Homepage
    If you come home late TiVO's new iSpouse product will save your dinner in small plastic containers. This can then be re-heated and eaten at any time! Of course storage capacity (FridgeXT) limits the total amount of meals you can shift in this fashion.
  • by WormholeFiend (674934) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:40AM (#8397594)
    I think it's fair-use...

    I dont always have the time or inclination to go to the movie rental store, and face the possibility that a movie I want to see has been rented by someone else already.

    So whenever I happen to be near the store, I go browse the movies that interest me, and rent a few.

    When I get home, if I dont have time to watch them within the rental time frame, I rip them to my HD until I can watch them, then I delete the rip.
  • by wowbagger (69688) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:46AM (#8397652) Homepage Journal
    I saw a very funny and insightful study that was done.

    People have been complaining about "not having enough free time - we used to have so much free time, but we don't anymore. We have too much work!" The theory was that we don't have as much leisure time as we once did - that work was somehow consuming it all.

    So, they had these people record what they were doing for a few weeks.

    They found that the people were correct in that the didn't have as much "free" (i.e. uncommitted) time. However, they had VASTLY more leisure time - it was just crammed full of leisure activities!

    Yes, you can time shift/time compress TV and radio, listen to books on tape while you drive, read /. while "taking care of business" in the bathroom in the morning, whatever. And if that allows you to better enjoy life, power to you!

    But please, should you do this, don't bitch about not having enough "free" time - you chose to live that way, you have the problem with knowing what activities you cannot do without, YOU CONSUMED ALL YOUR FREE TIME!
  • Recommendations (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Woogiemonger (628172) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:48AM (#8397670)
    I don't follow most if not all of these recommendations, but I've at least thought about them at one point.
    speedread - If you pronounce words in your mind as you read them, you are forced to read much slower than if you learn to read without that habit. Supposedly one can read and fully comprehend a few thousand of words a minute.

    abridged books - You claim to read unabridged books, but if you're wanting to absorb more, why not read the versions that get to the point quicker?

    read/listen/watch only shows/stories/articles recommended by trusted sources - People you know recommend that you should read/watch/listen to certain things. Some turn out to be a waste time, but some turn out to be truly enjoyable. Only listen to those who have usually recommended the latter.

    ask for paraphrasings of stories - Maybe you don't need to read/watch a story. Maybe it's not worth your time/interest to go through every word. Just get someone who's good at summarizing to explain the story to you within 2 minutes. Maybe that will be entertaining enough.

    fast forward - If you liked Alvin and the Chipmunks, then try this. A friend of mine watches all of his anime at double speed. I think he's nuts, but it works for him.

    switch to cell phone-only - Here's something I follow. If you only have a cell-phone, you have an excuse to hang up on people who talk too much, "Sorry, using up too much airtime. Gotta go."

    pay someone else to do housework - A maid can clean your house for a reasonable fee once a week. Please don't hire an illegal alien though.

    carpool - You might have to drive to work and do your Otis listening routine sometimes, but othertimes, you can sit in the back while you speedread. This works best if you can ignore your talkative buddies and maintain focus.

    drink more coffee - Just make sure it doesn't interfere with the sleep you need. Most people need enough sleep to maintain most of their ability to pay attention to what they read/listen to/watch.

    work less hours - depends on your priorities in life. If you're an independent contractor who's being paid a lot, maybe you can take off a day every other week to get more reading in.

    become financially independent - or maybe you don't have to work at all after you've saved your money enough or started a business that runs itself.

    raise your slashdot filter - Most of the posts here are crap. You shouldn't bother with anything less than a rating of 4 unless you're moderating.
  • by dmorin (25609) <dmorinNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:53AM (#8397708) Homepage Journal
    It's just occurred to me on the way back from the men's room that we're talking about two different things.

    Multitasking would be doing several things at once, such as listening to an audio book while jogging. This is pretty common, and anybody who has a busy job knows what it's like. A coworker follows you into the men's room to chat at the urinal. You print something out before getting up to go get coffee so that you can use the time while you wait for the printout to finish. And so on. Hardly a new idea.

    Timeshifting would be manipulating one of those tasks that you might not have been able to in the past. Besides Tivo and ReplayRadio, I'd suggest that the whole RSS aggregator phenomenon fits into that category. You used to spend X minutes visiting Y sites every day. Now you spend 1/10th that time by putting them all under your nose simultaneously. It's not like you're doing 10 things at once, you're not visiting 10 sites at the same time -- you're cramming more valuable info into your web browsing time.

    Or how about those elevators that have a CNN newsfeed in them? Sure, technically it's multitasking, giving you something to do with otherwise down time (or I suppose up time depending on which floor you're going to :)). But it's also time manipulation in that you used to be limited to "Watch news in the morning before going to work." Now you get to take it with you up to the office. Of course I could make the opposite argument that you're not manipulating it, as anybody that's seen this setup knows. It asks a trivia question, then you have to wait 30 seconds, and you end up on your floor before you see the answer and you get all cranky.

  • by PyroJimmy (548200) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @11:56AM (#8397740)

    Why are we trying to cram all this stuff into our lives? When you multitask your entertainment, all it does is take some of the pleasure out of it. I'd rather *read* a single book in two months and really take it in than squeeze 8 of them into the little gaps of time during the day.

    I subscribe to the field of thought that it's better to make priorities of what makes you happiest and go after a few of them full bore in the spare time you have, rather than spend a little time with each of them and get nowhere. Accept the fact that you can't possibly do everything you want, and take seriously the things you *can* do.

  • ATI ALL-IN-WONDER (Score:5, Informative)

    by BagOBones (574735) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @12:00PM (#8397774)
    I just picked up an ATI ALL-IN-WONDER 9600 Pro it has both a built in TV tuner and an FM Radio tuner. You can time shift both TV and RADIO programs with the included ATI software.
  • by tmoertel (38456) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @12:01PM (#8397784) Homepage Journal
    As I described on my wiki [moertel.com], I recently made a "VCR" for the radio. I just hooked up an old radio's headphone output to a Linux box's otherwise unused sound card, installed ALSA on the Linux box, wrote a simple shell script to record and compress shows, and set up some cron jobs to run the script. That's it.

    Total cost: $0.

    It's been working now for about a week, and already I love it. I can listen to Car Talk and Marketplace whenever I please. I'm saving up a bunch of Fresh Air interviews to listen to on a car trip.

    Since a modern hard drive can store about 5 years of compressed talk radio, I don't think I'll need to "change the tape" any time soon. ;-)

    • I did exactly the same, beginning from about four years ago. I moved from Australia to the Netherlands and use it to keep in touch with Australian radio shows. It works rather well and I can listen to any FM station available in Sydney.

      I described this system on my weblog [cactii.net].
  • Total Recorder (Score:3, Informative)

    by Chelloveck (14643) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @12:01PM (#8397791) Homepage

    Another nice tool (Windows only, sorry) is Total Recorder from High Criteria [highcriteria.com]. It installs an audio driver shim and can record audio from any source. Essentially, if you can hear it on your PC's speakers, you can record it. I use it for time-shifting and for converting RealAudio and other streams into MP3 for my portable player.

  • by raygundan (16760) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @12:13PM (#8397923) Homepage
    If you want to cram EVEN MORE CRAP into your life (as I do) you are probably already timeshifting everything you can. So, what to do now to squeeze more episodes of "My Life as a Teenage Robot" into your busy life of sci-fi novels, gameboy programming and gamecube games?

    Timestretching!! By cranking up the speed at which you watch something while keeping the audio pitch sane, you can drop a good 25% (or more, if you feel *X-TREME*) from your viewing time. And if you think I'm joking, check out this winDVD page [intervideo.com] where they outline their timestretching tech. Pop in a DVD, and use your choice of "finish by a specific time" or "finish within a certain amount of time." And voila, suddenly everything takes 25% less time. Which leaves you able to catch up on all those anime reruns your tivo has been accumulating while you were busy watching the Daily Show.

    It's important, or something. Who knows.
  • by evilandi (2800) <andrew@aoakley.com> on Thursday February 26, 2004 @12:15PM (#8397934) Homepage
    The BBC already provides on-demand streams of the last episodes of all Radio 4 programmes [bbc.co.uk], with highlights also available for the World Service [bbc.co.uk] and Five Live [bbc.co.uk]. Four, Five & WS are speech-based stations; there are also highlights available for the music stations. Sadly there is as yet no archive streaming for their new audio station BBC 7, which broadcasts comedy & drama repeats.

    It's RealAudio, not Shoutcast, but hey, you can't have everything.

    This kind of power gives you interesting abilities. For instance, on my friends mailing list we were joking around pinpointing the exact second at which ex-minister Clare Short realised quite what she'd done by exposing UK spying activity against the UN on the Radio 4 interview this morning.

  • by CheeseTroll (696413) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @12:48PM (#8398306)
    What I haven't seen addressed in any posts yet is how one can record radio audio on the computer at pre-programmed times, on multiple stations? Yeah, you can plug a radio into the audio-in, and set the pc to start recording at such-and-such a time, but what options are available if you want to record off multiple stations (like a VCR/Tivo/whatever)? Is there a PCI card with a radio tuner and is there software that can control the tuner and record from it?

    OK, I answered my own question (with a tiny bit of help from Google). Media Forte [mediaforte.com.sg] makes a couple of FM-tuner PCI cards and bundle software that records, too. The description says Linux-compatible (drivers?), though the bundled software looks Windows-only.

  • by Lodragandraoidh (639696) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @12:57PM (#8398409) Journal
    I spend enough time multitasking at work. I would prefer to do less with my free time - not more...

    Stop and smell the roses...sit in one place and daydream...meditate...lay in the sun streaming in through the screen door on a warm day and take a nap...watch an ant mound...observe the wind through the trees, and the fall of leaves.

    I was far more creative and energetic when I spent more time doing those things than I am now, every waking moment crammed with some activity - either work or family oriented.

    It is not the quantity, but the quality of the life you live that counts.
  • Faster MP3s (Score:4, Informative)

    by Noksagt (69097) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @12:57PM (#8398410) Homepage

    I find that for spoken word (such as audiobooks), I can increase the playback rate to as much as 150% and can understand and enjoy the material for an extended amount of time. If I am really paying attention, I can play back at 200% for shorter lengths of time & if I'm feeling "distracted," I may have only a ver small increasae in the rate.

    I don't know what hardware currently has this feature (I'm sure other /.ers will know & hope they post it, as I'm in the market for a player), but the winamp plugin pacemaker [prohosting.com] works quite well in winamp or Xaudio.

  • by saskboy (600063) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @12:59PM (#8398440) Homepage Journal
    Pick out your clothes the night before.
    Do your homework the night before it is due, instead of the morning it is due.

    And use a VCR to record the radio, it is possible, just leave the radio tuned to the right station and on, and program the VCR to record the Line in if possible.

  • by oneiros27 (46144) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @01:41PM (#8398973) Homepage
    Well, the basic concept of time shifting is to put yourself in the control of when you want to do things. So, in that regard, it shouldn't be to difficult to move some of the more restrictive items to times when they're convenient for you.
    Work
    It's a pain in the ass, we all know it. Ask your supervisor for flex time, or work from home
    If that doesn't work, start your own business, so that you can set your own hours
    Commute
    This is basically related to work, so see above. Alternatively, you can move closer to work, or just start sleeping under your desk.
    School
    For you, assuming you're an adult, you can attend distance learning classes in place of the regular college curriculum, or you can look to see if there are schools in your area that focus in adult education.
    You could start working for a university, as they tend to be flexible in allowing staff members to attend classes, and they're nearby, saving you from the need for seperate travel time. [you'll have to coordinate with your potential manager to make sure it's okay]
    For your children, you can use home schooling, so you don't have to worry about when their tests and vacations are when you're planning family trips.
    Relationship
    Let's face it, dating, marriage, or whatever is another major waste of time. You have two major options -- make enough money so that your SO doesn't have to work, and can be at your every beck and call, or soliciting prostitutes.
    Shopping
    With Amazon and other online retailers, there's no reason to go out shopping anymore. If you're not in an area supported by Peapod or a similar organization, you're going to have to find some place online that sells MREs.
    Food
    Between Shwanns, MREs, and a microwave, meal perperation shouldn't take more than a few minutes. Consumption, however, is another waste of time, and so I would suggest only buying mushy foods, to save on chewing. You may wish to switch to a diet high on Ensure, Carnation Instant Breakfast, and/or Slimfast [is there anyone still reading this?]
    Bathroom Breaks
    MREs prove salt peter which may allow you to time shift your bathroom breaks. You can also try Depends, or other incontience aids. [not quite to the punchline yet]
    Sleeping
    Doctors may recommend 10 hrs per night, but let's be serious -- 3L of Mt. Dew per day, and you can easily cut that back to 4hrs, so long as you perform relatively sedentary tasks for those 6 hrs that you lose, such as watching TV or playing video games. [are you still reading?]
    Friends
    Provided that you started your own company, you can then hire your friends to work with you, so you can get all of that companionship crap done while you're still at work, eliminating the need to waste time with extraneous interaction. [It's not that good of a joke]
    If you're an extrovert, and still have a need for other interaction, you're their boss, and can pressure them to do whatever you want, and/or hire extra yes-men to replace them. [it's rather dark humor, too]
    Life
    Unfortunately, I don't have a solution for this one, other than hoping that there really is reincarnation, and when you want a break, killing yourself, so that you can just come back to it later, when you have more time. However, if that one doesn't work, you're pretty much SOL, but the bright side, is you won't really notice that it didn't work, as you'll be dead. [hey, I told you it was dark, damnit]
    Now for the real advice -- get a life. Take up a hobby. Quit your job. Do something, but don't try to burn out early. I've already done that -- twice. There are things you can do to remove wasted time, but there are times when we really just need to relax, and do nothing important. [and that's what we have American sitcoms for -- no thought required, and no redeeming qualities]
  • I have an idea. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LamerX (164968) on Thursday February 26, 2004 @01:43PM (#8398998) Journal
    How about instead of trying to do a bajillion things and worry so much about your time, you just simmer down and enjoy living in the now. Everybody is so uptight anymore. It's always gotta be GO GO GO. Nobody ever seems to want to take the time to just do NOTHING. I guess it's just embedded in our culture to try and be super-efficent and get as much done as possible. But maybe we need to change that and just learn how to relax a bit, and if we miss a radio or TV show, who cares. You're going to burn yourself out if you keep trying to do EVERYTHING, and then you will be hating life. Try time-shifting some time where you aren't doing anything.

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