Steve, you say "being more productive" and I must say, I don't agree at all. I don't call that being productive when you are constantly in "another place" than the place you are physically in. Worse, I also agree (with other posters) that too many people are totally enslaved to these devices. They think they are being more productive simply because they work ALL the time. That is NOT being "more productive", that is just working way too much and sadly, missing a good deal of life, large and small, going right by you.
I think the problem with us as a technology society overall is that we invent all this so called "cool" stuff, and then we become addicted to it, and yet we never ask "Do I really need this?" - and shockingly the answer is no, we don't. Whats worse, is we don't pay much attention to the downsides...
The huge increase in car accidents caused by cell phones and texting. People working 20 hour days simply because they "can", and then burning out wondering "how'd that happen?". I see a family out and around, maybe shopping, eating out somewhere, and the parent(s) are on cell phones and blackberries either telling the kids to shutup or just ignoring them totally while they are mesmerized on their PDAs. Of course these are the people who say they spend 'quality' time with their families - uh, yeah, physically maybe - but they are miles away while they are right there.
Even Cable TV drives me crazy!!! I pay over 100 dollars every month to have over 100 channels of crap, and a dumptruck load of stupid commercials!!! So I am paying a company to bring salespeople into my home interrupting the few shows worth watching to sell me stuff I don't want... Would ANYONE call that a leap 'forward' in technology??? (That is also why I am canceling my cable TV as soon as the last child leaves the nest shortly...)
No - I think if people really look hard at things, we are rarely gaining anything with technology, and in many cases we are enslaved to it without even thinking about it and losing a good deal of what is important in life.
I would suggest to you Steve, and others, that you think about your kids (if you have them). If you are "spending time with the kids" shut off the damn gadgets. Thats what made me do so years ago, because I realized I don't want my kids to someday say "yeah, our Dad was always around, but we never actually talked to him because he was always on the cell phone, laptop or PDA..."
There's no such thing as dumb questions, only poorly thought-out answers...