Archive for category Tech Stuff
I was watching Top Gear recently, and they mentioned a proposed car called the “Autonomobile” which is proposed to be build by 2040. It’s an electric car made to go low speeds and… it drives itself.
Now you might think this is a great idea. You never have to worry about the strain of driving, you can just sit back and relax while the car takes you there. But it is a terrible idea. It has been said that half of all plane crashes are caused by pilot error. We all know that planes can fly by themselves and they can take off and land using instruments. So theoretically, planes should be able to take off, land, and fly, on their own. And this should theoretically lower plane crashes by 50%.
Would you want to get on a plane without a pilot?
Its the same thing with cars that drive themselves. No matter how smart the man or woman who designed this is, you still don’t have control of the car. I don’t know about you but I kind of like being in control of machines. There have been too many movies about machines trying to kill us for us to really trust machines that much. And as Jeremy Clarkson put it,
“its a brilliant idea, designed by very smart people, but one day you know that this will be bought by a man named Keith, and he is going to wake up one morning and think he can service it himself and you won’t be able to relax in your autonomobile because you know that Keith is in his, coming the other way”
And you won’t be able to steer out of the way of Keith because the car is driving itself.
There have been reports of many problems with GPS units recently. Some units have been leading people into situations that people usually avoid by using GPS. Quite a few people have been following the directions that are being given to them and then driving into , or ditches or off of bridges. Little things like that.
At what point did these people think that the GPS was right and that the big lake in front of them wasn’t that much of an issue. Did they think “maybe there is a road across the lake and we just can’t see it”. Didn’t they think to hit the brakes when the road ended or when they hit the barricade that usually blocks the end of the road that is there to stop you from driving in the lake.
I understand that some of these incidents happened in the dark but there are headlights on most cars these days. Maybe you’ve heard of them. These are the big lights on the front of the car that allow you to see what’s in front of you when its dark.
How on earth does this happen? I understand that when you don’t know where you are going it is good to have directions so you don’t get lost. But that doesn’t mean you don’t pay attention to whats around you. When you seeon or in the newspaper, the people always blame the GPS for them turning right in the middle of a bridge or crashing into a wall at the end of a dead end. These people should not only have their taken away and be banned from any form of transportation that exists, forcing them to walk everywhere, but they should also be banned from using any form of ever again. If you are so dependent on electronics that you will listen to them even if they are putting you in situations that could very well lead to your death then you shouldn’t be allowed to use any electronic device.
The reason I like maps is because they let you make your own directions. Directions that make sense to you. They allow you to find short cuts and avoid traffic.
Recently I have been walking a lot as a way to get exercise (i’ll explain how i feel about jogging in another post). One day I tried out the feature on google maps that gives you directions if you are walking somewhere. Not only did it have me winding through the small side streets in the not so nice area of the city but it conveniently forgot to tell me to go through the park instead of actually turning on to and continuing on the street i was on (“turn left on to….” means i’m following the street, “cut through…” or “walk into the park” should be fine). This left me quite a long way off the path it had set for me. Luckily I know my way around well enough to meet up with the route elsewhere and still beat the estimated 2 hours and 18 minute time that it was supposed to take me.
Here are a couple of incidents I observed today while I was downtown that I think are quite amusing. Most of them happened in HMV.
1. While in HMV there was a little boy with his dad. A Justin Bieber song started playing and I heard the kid say “Daddy, why is this song making my ears hurt?”. That kid is awesome. I felt like going up to the dad and saying how awesome his son is. (In a non creeper way)
2. There were three girls dressed like Taylor Swift (Nerdy glasses (same style and colour), blonde hair, that style of clothes) walking side by side through the Eaton Centre who walked up to a guy standing a few feet from me in HMV and said stuff (not sure, wasn’t really listening, I’m not that much of a creeper) words were exchanged and he ended up saying “I don’t like Taylor Swift” loudly enough for me to hear, to them and one (seemed to be his girlfriend) actually slapped him. It was hilarious. It was like a scene out of a movie. I tried so hard not to laugh out loud.
3. You know how when you were young your parents would come up with ways of not letting you have that toy you wanted without actually saying “No, you can’t have it”‘. There was a kid throwing a tantrum because his mom wouldn’t get him a game he “Really wanted”. She went through the usual things like “put it on your christmas list” which always worked on me. Then when he wouldn’t listen she used on I’ve never heard used and I think she was bluffing but it worked, she said “Fine, you can have it but we’re not going to the game if you get it and I know how much you want to go”. This made the kid go crazy because you could tell he wanted the video game but at the same time he wanted to go to the game equally as much. It was really funny seeing him trying to figure out if his mom was bluffing or if she really was going to not take him. She topped it off by saying “I’ll just phone dad and tell him to give away the tickets”. Sadly (in my opinion) he still considered getting the video game but it was funny to watch him thinking of the pros and cons. It was like his head was going to explode. You had to be there.
4. There was actually a huge line outside of the apple store today, of people waiting for the iPhone 4. No, they didn’t get a new shipment. These people were waiting in the hope that the truck would arrive so they might get one. I heard one of the store employees saying to one of the people asking about the iPhone 4 that if the truck didn’t arrive today that these people would be back tomorrow hoping the truck would show up. Nutters or what?
More of these will be posted when I see them. Try finding some yourself. Just listen to the people wherever you are. Don’t eavesdrop just don’t ignore whats going on around you. You might be surprised.
After reading this I think you will agree that some schools are taking over protective of their students. If you can call it protective.
A webcam scandal at a suburban Philadelphia school district expanded Tuesday to include a second student alleging his school-issued laptop secretly snapped images of him.
The brouhaha commenced in February, when a student of Lower Merion School District was called into an administrator’s office. Sophomore Blake Robbins was shown a picture of himself that officials suggested was him popping pills. The family claimed it was candy.
An invasion-of-privacy lawsuit followed, alleging the district had snapped thousands of pictures of its students using webcams affixed to the 2,300 Apple laptops the district issued. Some of the images included pictures of youths at home, in bed or even “partially dressed,” according to a filing in the case. Students’ online chats were also captured, as well as a record of the websites they visited.
The latest allegations Tuesday, brought by an 18-year-old former student who had just graduated from Lower Merion High, came to light in the discovery phase of Robbins’ suit.
Student Jalil Hasan reported his laptop lost December 18, and it was returned to him three days later, according to the suit.
But the LanRev Theft Track program, which the district activated when the computer was reported missing, was never turned off after the computer was given back to Hasan, according to the lawsuit.
The tracking software on Hasan’s computer wasn’t turned off until February 18, when Robbins filed suit, the suit alleges, claiming that at least 469 photographs and 543 screenshots were taken by Hasan’s computer without his knowledge.
Hasan’s suit said the images “were taken without Jalil’s knowledge, without his authorization and to his utter shock, dismay, panic, embarrassment and disgust.”
A federal judge presiding over the matter, who is weighing whether to allow a class-action lawsuit against the district, has blocked administrators from activating the LanRev program again. The district said the cameras were activated only when a laptop was reported stolen or missing — assertions lawyers suing the district dispute.
Two school district employees who controlled the LanRev activation process have been placed on paid, administrative leave.
The district declined comment. Federal prosecutors have also been given evidence generated from Robbins’ suit.
I think schools should just trust their students a little. After all most of them are almost adults. All these “protective measures” are there to keep students out of trouble but these just stop them from adapting to the real world so when they graduate and are “set free” they just get into more trouble because they don’t have the experience.