Category Archives: Technology

Scientists: Texting while walking can be dangerous in short and long terms

Scientists used to come up with better stuff than this.  Another one from the “who paid for this ingenious study?” files. Even ABC News was on this story two years ago, and they didn’t tout any scientific evidence:

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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 18 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Drone Program Expanded to Include Recess Duty at Elementary Schools

WASHINGTON – Last week’s release of the Justice Department’s white paper containing the Obama administration’s legal justifications for carrying out assassinations by armed drones has been found to contain a vaguely worded sub-section that suggests drone program expansion into civilian areas. The paper says that the program could include surveillance of “elementary school-level students, whether citizens or not, when outside the confines of the primary school structure; deployment of such drones could supplement or replace personnel responsible for child safety and welfare. Program details could include reading personal data from student microchip implants (program separately implemented and justified by Justice Department white paper #JDW32-888-46HY7)”. With schools facing staffing and financial pressures, the drones could be a blessing, compliments of the Federal Government. For years, teacher’s unions have been trying to eliminate what they consider extracurricular duties such as recess and lunch duty. Drones could potentially eliminate such duties so that teachers could focus on what they claim to do best: teach! Parent volunteers are also relieved – though most parent volunteers anonymously confess that they sign up for recess duty to keep an eye on their own children, they really just gab with the other parents while chaos rules the playground. Drones might not be able to break up an argument over the swings, but surveillance technology has advanced such that certain types of physical activities could be identified as appropriate/not appropriate, and images of offenders could be sent to a single playground monitor, or recorded for future disciplinary use. Audio technology can also keep track of conversation on the playground, flagging specific words and phrases for further scrutiny as is done when monitoring terrorist “chatter” over telephones and the internet. No public school has yet gone on record as having requested participation in the expanded program.

BREAKING: Magic Bean Firm Closes its Doors Despite $2Billion Govt Loan

WASHINGTON: While the Obama administration is facing intensifying scrutiny on the prudence of a number of “green company” guaranteed government loans, yet another company has shut it doors after receiving a $2 billion loan from the government only six months ago. Magic Beans, a privately held firm, received $2 billion in loans to finance their “mystical, magical, beanstalk windmill” project. The firm was supposedly devising a new genetically modified beanstalk that would eventually grow into a windmill-like structure, that could eventually be harnessed to produce wind power. The firm is based in downtown Washington, DC, and employed a dozen or so former lobbyists that worked to gain the loans as part of the President’s Green Power Works program. None of the firm’s board or any employee could be reached for comment. A White House spokesman claimed that “the business plan seemed solid, and it made us feel really warm inside to give them the seed money. Get it?  Seed money?”
The Obama administration is under fire for this and several other seemingly stupid investments that include the now bankrupt firms Solyndra, Evergreen Solar,  and SpectraWatt.

Duh – any Mom will tell you use wipes to clean up spills!

Popular Science reports on technology from Texas Tech University that could be helpful in the fight to clean up all that pesky oil in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a cotton/charcoal product that can absorb and detox oil. The only trouble is, these guys are not Nobel Prize winners, not from Harvard, and don’t have a personal friend in the current administration, or at BP.  Chances are, the government won’t want them to make a buck on their cool product, either.  Here’s the summary:

The New Wii Squeeze – Available January 2010

Hot on the heels of the U.S. Preventive Task Force recommendations to dramatically scale back the frequency of mammography screening, Nintendo has announced a new product for its Wii game console.  The Wii Squeeze will debut in January 2010, and will allow women to perform mammography-like scans in their own home using the new Wii Squeeze Paddle Set.  Nintendo claims that the scanning technology is 70% accurate, and it has accumulated millions of data points with which to compare to the home user’s data. At minimum, it provides a way to capture a baseline result, so that even small changes can be monitored when women are able to actually get a professional mammogram at age 50.   Nintendo reminds users that this cannot completely take the place of radiologist-reviewed mammography, but can provide some baseline data for home users.  The Squeeze application can be used with the Fit and Fit Plus products, so each member of the household can have their own profile, and track their own results. Nintendo has achieved dramatic success following its ‘Fit’, and personalized ‘Fit Plus’ products, with which millions of Americans have lost weight and gained heart health.  The new Squeeze product will be marketed on the same line of “interactive, health-conscious home entertainment.”

Endeavour astronauts help build a deck; admit permit problems

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This week, the astronauts on the space shuttle Endeavor’s crew attached a 4.1-ton  porch (experiment platform) to the Japanese Kibo laboratory module of the International Space Station.  The operation was made difficult due to communication problems, as well as the fact that NASA did not apply for the appropriate permit to add such a deck to the module.  Decks over 4 tons must be granted special variances, and the crew did not have one.  The deck puts the space station too close to its property line, and must be moved, or reduced in size.  This comes as a big disappointment to the astronauts, who had a $235 million grill and refrigeration unit specially made for the new deck.  NASA assured the media that the space station will get a variance, and will not suffer any fines. The variance hearing will be held next month.

Are you ready?

After a delay earlier this year, broadcasters all over the country will eliminate their analog television broadcasts in favor of digital broadcasts.  If you don’t have cable or satellite service, you need a little black box to hook up to your TV to get any kind of reception after midnight Thursday.  The FCC estimates that as many as 2.8 million households are not ready for the conversion, and are at risk of losing television service.  Those at most risk are low-income urban households, and rural households in the Western United States.  I still say that they should have made the conversion date the day before the Super Bowl; you could be sure that everyone would have been prepared!

This means that unprepared viewers will miss their favorite Friday night network shows: Surviving Suburbia, The Goode Family, Samantha Who?, 20/20, The Stanley Cup Finals (game 7), The Ghost Whisperer, Flashpoint, Numb3rs, Don’t Forget the Lyrics, and Mental.  Oh dear, whatever will you do without this crappy Friday night lineup?  I venture to say that the hockey game will be the most-missed by any sane person, but the at-risk audience probably wasn’t planning to watch anyway. Does anyone even know a person first hand that is not ready for the conversion?    Does anyone think it’s funny that the analog broadcasts end on Iranian election day?  Hmmmmm….

BO’s Blackberry is blogging, too

There appears to be a bit of jealousy between BB1 and TOTUS.  Check it out.

Not so fast!!!

I’m still ticked off about the untimely deaths of Beta videotapes, eight track tapes, and typewriters.  Honestly, how can technology just sneak up on you like that, without warning? What are people supposed to do??

Now, thank goodness, Congress has voted to extend the deadline for when television stations must make all their broadcasts digital in nature. Who saw this big change coming? Where was the warning? And who cares that the government already sold the rights to certain bandwidths to a private company, Qualcomm, who now just has to suck it up because the people’s government unilaterally changed the terms of their agreement? The people who still don’t have cable or satellite providers or digital TVs are just those suckers in Kentucky who haven’t had power for the last 11 days; they should get their power back just in time for the new deadline: June 12.