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关于科技产品的五大误解,你中招了吗?

更新时间:2017-10-28 10:49:51 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Five Tech Myths People Still Believe
关于科技产品的五大误解,你中招了吗?

Most of us just want our technology to work when we need it, and when we have problems with it, we don’t dive into the details of how it runs — we just want it fixed. So it’s natural that we fall for the most convenient suggestions for resolving issues or getting the most life out of our gear. Unfortunately, some of those premises are false, and they can do more harm than good — and may even cost us money.

我们大多数人只是希望技术在我们需要时发挥作用,当我们遇到问题时,我们不会深究它的运行细节——只是希望它被修好。因此,我们自然想要采用最便捷的建议来解决问题,或者最充分地利用我们的设备。不幸的是,有些观念是错误的,它们弊大于利,甚至可能让我们白花钱。

Here are a few tech misconceptions to watch out for:

以下是一些需要留意的技术方面的错误观念:

Myth 1: Better specs mean better devices

误解一:配置越好,设备越好

Whether you’re looking for a new laptop or a new smartphone, you’ve probably been tempted to just throw money at the top model and save the mental gymnastics over specs and features. It’s natural: We often hope that spending a little more to get the fastest phone will make it last longer , or that the computer with the most memory and storage will run faster. It’s not just you — manufacturers depend on customers thinking that way, and they price models accordingly.

无论你是购买新笔记本电脑还是新智能手机,你都很可能被诱惑着想把钱花在顶级机型上,不想花脑筋研究配置和功能。这是很自然的:我们往往希望,多花一点钱买到的最快的手机能用的更久一点,或者认为内存和存储空间最大的电脑会运行得更快一些。不是只有你这样想——制造商也是根据客户的这种想法,相应地给机型定价。

In reality, top-of-the-line specs don’t guarantee that your phone or computer will work any better for you than one with more modest features. For example, spending more on a laptop with the absolute fastest processor won’t matter much unless you’re doing processor-heavy tasks like editing video or encoding music. Similarly, worrying about whether your smartphone has the latest processor versus the one in last year’s model probably won’t matter as much as more practical details, like whether the storage space or the camera quality fits your needs. For most people, obsessing over specs is a waste of time.

事实上,与功能更普通的设备相比,顶级配置并不能保证你的手机或电脑更适合你。例如,除非你经常需要完成编辑视频或音乐等对处理器要求很高的任务,那么你其实没必要花更多的钱购买处理器速度绝对最快的笔记本电脑。同样地,与去年的机型相比,是否拥有最新的处理器其实没有其他一些更实际的细节重要,比如存储空间或相机质量是否符合你的需要。对大多数人来说,死盯着配置是浪费时间。

The real message here is that while it’s easy to get caught up in the game of latest-and-greatest, you should really pay attention to the features that matter to how you’ll be using your new computer, phone or other device. If you’re looking for a phone that’ll last all day, focus on the battery. If you want a computer you can travel with, battery life and weight may matter more than a powerful processor. But never just buy the biggest and best and assume it’ll fit all of your needs.

我真正要说的是,虽然我们很容易被最新最好的设备吸引,但你真正应该关注的是那些与你将来使用新电脑或手机等设备相关的功能。如果你想要一款能待机一整天的手机,那么你就应该把注意力放在电池上。如果你想要一台旅行时可以携带的电脑,那么电池寿命和重量可能比强大的处理器更重要。不过,永远别以为,买最大最好的,就能满足你的所有需求。

Myth 2: A battery should be at zero before you recharge it

误解二:应该在电量耗尽后再充电

The idea that you should always completely discharge a battery before charging it up again has legitimate origins, but it doesn’t apply to current technology. Years ago, when nickel–metal hydride (NiMH) and nickel-cadmium (NiCad) batteries were common, they suffered from an issue called “battery memory”: Unless the battery was completely spent before being recharged, it would “remember” how much power it had used and only charge back up that amount. If done repeatedly over time, the battery would never charge totally again.

电量耗尽后再充电的观念是有合理根源的,但它不适用于当前的技术。多年前,镍氢和镍镉电池很常见,它们有一个被称为“电池记忆”的问题:除非在充电前将电量完全耗尽,否则它会“记住”自己用了多少电量,只会再充那么多电。如果在一段时间内多次重复,那么电池将永远不能再完全充满电。

Fortunately, the lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery that’s probably in your phone or laptop right now doesn’t suffer from this issue, at least not in any significant way. In fact, with Li-ion batteries, you can actually do more harm than good by letting them die before charging them again, because they have a limited number of charge “cycles” (meaning times you can completely discharge and recharge them) before batteries start to hold less overall power.

幸运的是,现在你的手机或笔记本电脑很可能配的是锂离子电池,它并没有这个问题,至少没多大影响。事实上,对锂离子电池来说,把电量耗尽再充电弊大于利,因为在它不能完全充电之前,它的充电“周期”次数(指的是完全放电和充电的次数)是有限的。

Luckily, according to Battery University, the solution is pretty simple: Charge your devices from time to time before they fully die. These so-called shallow discharges mean you don’t use a full charge cycle every time you top off your phone after carrying it for a few hours or plug in your laptop after working on the couch for the afternoon. In reality, the biggest enemy of modern batteries is temperature. The cooler you can keep your battery, either while charging it or while it’s in use, the more you can prolong its life.

幸运的是,据电池大学公司(Battery University)称,解决方法很简单:在电池完全没电之前,经常给它们充电。这种所谓的“浅层放电”意味着,如果你使用手机几个小时后就给它充电,或者在沙发上工作几个小时后就给笔记本电脑充电,那么你就没有完成一个完整的充电周期。事实上,现代电池最大的敌人是温度。越是能让你的电池保持清凉——不管是充电时还是使用时——它的寿命越长。

Myth 3: More megapixels mean better cameras

误解三:像素越大,相机越好

When small, portable point-and-shoot cameras took off and larger, digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras became more affordable, there was a brief rush among manufacturers to push out models with greater numbers of “megapixels,” the unit of capacity used to define how much information a digital camera’s sensor can capture. Unfortunately, because those numbers dazzled spec-hungry consumers and could be used to market cameras, shoppers began to assume that more megapixels meant you were buying a better camera. And you can’t really blame them — marketers latched on to the idea, and even now, in modern smartphones, the first spec anyone mentions about the built-in camera is the megapixels.

随着便携式自动对焦相机的普及,以及体型较大的数码单反相机的价格下降,有段时间各大制造商都在匆忙推出有更多“百万像素”的机型,“像素”是用于定义数码相机传感器捕获信息容量的单位。不幸的是,这些数字可以让追求配置的消费者赞叹,可以用于相机营销,因此消费者开始认为“百万像素”前面的数字越大,相机也就越好。这不怪他们——这个概念是营销人员精心培育的。即使到了现在,提到现代智能手机中的内置摄像头,人们想起的第一个规格就是它有几百万像素。

All of this led to the “megapixel myth,” which has persisted for almost a decade. While most budding photographers understand that more isn’t always better in a camera, shoppers looking for a good smartphone camera, and the phone manufacturers themselves, haven’t seemed to learn the lesson.

所有这一切导致了持续近十年的“百万像素误区”。虽然大多数新手摄影师都明白,对于相机来说,“更多”并不总是意味着“更好”,然而购物者总想买到一款相机功能更好的智能手机,而手机制造商们似乎并没有学到这个教训。

Megapixels still count — they do tell you how powerful a camera’s sensor is, which is important for professionals or anyone who needs to print out physical photographs (when translated to paper more pixels per inch can mean more detailed prints), but it doesn’t necessarily tell you how good the photos taken by that camera will be.

百万像素仍然有其意义——它的确能告诉你相机的传感器有多强大,这对专业人士以及任何需要打印出实体照片的人来说都很重要(像素密度越大,印在相纸上的图片就越清晰),但它并不一定能告诉你,用那部相机可以把照片拍得有多好。

To find that out, look past the specs (again!) and to reviews. Even better, look for examples of photos taken with a certain phone or camera and compare them to those from other popular models — or even the one you already have. Look for reviews that mention a camera’s lowlight performance and, perhaps most important, get familiar with your camera’s options. The best photos come from someone who knows how to tweak the settings for the perfect shot.

要找出后一个问题的答案,请(再次!)忽略配置,并关注评测信息。最好是找出用某款手机或相机拍摄的照片,拿它们和人气高的型号——或者哪怕是你手头上的那款——拍出的照片相比较。请查阅提及相机低光表现的评测信息,或许最重要的是熟悉相机自带的选项。知道如何调整设置的人才能找到完美的方式,拍出最好的照片。

Myth 4: “Planned obsolescence” is why your phone slows down right before a new model comes out

误解四:你的手机运行速度恰好在新款上市前夕变慢,是“计划性报废”在作怪

It happens every year or so: Just before the latest and greatest phone comes out, your phone suddenly starts running slowly. Maybe it starts freezing, or the apps you use get sluggish. Either way, if you can relate, you can probably also understand the common feeling that this is all a plan by tech companies to force you into upgrading — a trick called “planned obsolescence.” While that’s a real problem in some specific cases, assuming it’s the reason everyone’s old phones get slow before new ones are announced is, well, a bit of an oversimplification.

每隔一年左右就会发生这种事:在最新最棒的手机就要上市前,你的手机运行速度突然开始变慢。它或许开始死机,又或许出现应用程序跑得很慢的问题。不管怎样,如果你了解上述情形,那你或许也能理解一种普遍存在的感受:这全都是科技企业计划好的,只为迫使你升级手头的设备——这个小花招就叫“计划性报废”。某些特殊情况下的确存在这种问题,不过要是觉得它是所有人的旧手机在新款即将上市时变慢的原因,就把事情看得太简单了点儿。

In reality, it’s not a conspiracy, and it’s not some corporate trick to force you into the newest tech, or trap you on the consumerist treadmill. It’s just a side effect of an ever-evolving and ever-improving industry. As those new phones are released, they come with more memory, better screens, faster processors and other specs that, in general, you shouldn’t care about — unless developers start building their apps around them. When they do, they optimize their apps for the newer devices, leaving your older ones in the dust.

事实上,没有什么阴谋,也不是企业的花招在迫使你入手最新科技产品,或让你沿着消费主义道路一路狂奔。这只是一个日益进化、日益完善的行业的副产品。厂商推出的那些新手机,有着更大的内存、更好的屏幕、更快的处理器,以及其他一些总体而言你不应该在意的配置——除非开发人员开始围绕它们完善自己的应用程序。这样做的时候,他们会针对新设备优化自己的应用程序,你的旧设备则被抛诸脑后。

So as apps are updated to make use of all of the features on those new devices, they seem to slow down on older phones. And unless the developers care enough to make sure your older phones are properly supported, the problem only gets worse over time. The annoying end result may be the same, but you can at least rest comfortably knowing there’s no massive conspiracy (here, anyway) to make you keep spending money.

因此,当应用程序得到升级,以便更好地利用新设备的特性时,它们在旧手机上似乎就变慢了。除非开发人员足够贴心,让你的旧手机得到适当的支持,否则随着时间的推移,这个问题会越来越严重。最终结果或许同样令人恼火,但你至少可以宽慰地得知,没有什么让你不断花钱的惊天阴谋(这里反正没有)。

Myth 5: Extended warranty plans are worth your money

误解五:延保计划是值得的

It’s tough to buy anything at this point without being offered an extended warranty. Whether you’re shopping online or in a brick-and-mortar store, retailers often dangle third-party “protection programs” and “service plans” in front of you, promising that, for a few extra bucks, they’ll replace or repair your purchase if damaged over the next few years. The problem with these offers is that they’re almost always unnecessary — or worse than what you could get otherwise with a little savvy shopping.

眼下,无论你买什么东西,对方不提供延保计划的情况可太少见了。不论你在网上还是实体店里购物,零售商都常常向你推销第三方“保护计划”或“服务计划”,它们承诺,你只要再多花一点钱,你购买的设备在未来几年里发生损坏时,就会得到更换或修理。这些计划的问题在于:它们几乎总是不必要的——又或者你能从中得到的好处非常有限,还不如在购物时更精明一点来得管用。

In many cases, the pricey extended warranty runs right alongside the existing manufacturer’s warranty, which means you may be paying twice for coverage the phone’s maker already provides. So be sure to research the warranty that comes with your device. Similarly, if you use a credit card, you may even have extended warranty protection through the card’s issuer — check with that company before you add the pricey phone to your cart.

很多时候,昂贵的延保服务与生产商原本就提供的质保服务在时间段上存在重叠,这意味着你或许要为手机生产商已经提供的保障再花一份钱。因此一定要研究一下你的设备自带的质保服务。与此类似的是,如果你使用信用卡,你甚至可能已经通过发卡机构获得了延保——在把昂贵的手机加入购物车之前,请跟那家公司进行核实。

Finally, consider how much the extended warranty costs versus the actual total of the gadget you’re buying. You may be better off taking the money you would have used on the warranty plan and stashing it in a savings account as a “rainy day fund.” Then, if you do need to pay for a repair or replacement, you can use your own cash instead of having to jump through the hoops of getting service from the company managing the protection program.

最后,请考虑一下,延保费用是多少,购买设备的实际总花销又会是多少。你或许莫不如省下购买延保服务的钱,将其存入一个储蓄账户,作为“雨天基金”。这样一来,如果需要为修理或更换设备付款,你可以用自己的钱,不用被迫走一道又一道繁琐的程序,只为从经营保护计划的公司那里获得服务。

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