Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

The wackiest, weirdest gadgets of CES 2017

Folks, in case you don’t know, The Consumer Electronics Show is where companies bring out new technology products.. it’s a chance to look into the future. And also a chance to see what the big brains think we (the ‘average consumer’) want.. or will want someday.

Not only do I NOT want any of this.. I really wish they weren’t developing it. Half of it has kinda scary implications.. But, here you go –> Your glimpse into the future is here:

* The wackiest, weirdest gadgets of CES 2017

I really hope zero people buy any of that. Ever.

But you know people will.

Because they’re.. well.. humans.

Today’s quote:How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” ~ Anne Frank

Copyright 2007-2017 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

January 9, 2017 Posted by | computers, consumer electronics, gadgets, hardware, News, tech | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Considering A Tablet?

Folks, two very good reads for you today. The first puts into print my “spiel” when I am asked about tablets (such as the iPad), and also explains why I do not own one (yet). The second explains not only the “state of IT”, but also, indirectly, perhaps, the state of our nation..?
(If you are an ‘IT type’, or are thinking about working in IT, then the article is [IMHO] a ‘must read’. Perhaps a reader or two has been effected by this change..?)

Tablets are for people who hate computers

Tablets may be stealing some of the thunder from traditional PC sales, but that doesn’t mean they’re for everyone. If you’re already proficient with a PC, you may be disappointed by a tablet.Read more..

The future of IT will be reduced to three kinds of jobs The IT profession and the IT job market are in the midst of seismic changes that are going to shift the focus to three types of jobs.

There’s a general anxiety that has settled over much of the IT profession in recent years. It’s a stark contrast to the situation just over a decade ago. At the end of the 1990s, IT pros were the belles of the ball..Read more..

Since it has been a while..:

Today’s quote:Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.  Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.  Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.  Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.  Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.  But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”  ~ Buddha

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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July 28, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, mobile, tech | , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Linux in your car*

The auto manufactures are competing to put the most computer into your car. The merging of digital devices and personal transportation is progressing with alacrity. We know this. The fact that there has been “chips” in our cars for a decade or so is also well known. OnStar™ GPS tracking of our

Knight Rider dashboard ("Kitt")

Knight Rider dashboard ("Kitt")

movements has been successfully marketed as a benefit to us, and we pay extra for the privilege. And our car has a microphone, to listen for ‘our calls for help’ (but, only when we push the button… Right??).

I read that the Vehicle Infrastructure Integration Consortium, a government “safety and efficiency” program, (there is a detailed description on Wikipedia, I suggest you scroll down to the paragraph titled “public concerns”) has developed a prototype for an on-board vehicle computer designed to interact with the Internet that will use Linux.
(These are the folks who want to put radars in cars, “to detect proximity to the vehicle ahead and automatically apply the brakes to avoid rear-end collisions”)
And they want to use the Web so the cars can, “provide a direct link between a vehicle on the road and all vehicles within a defined vicinity. The vehicles would be able to communicate with each other (and the cops), exchanging data on speed, orientation, perhaps even on driver awareness and intent.” This, to “improve traffic flow.”
Hmmm…. Driver intent?!?

Of course, this is being touted as a boon to us dumb citizens. We are told, “this will improve the driving experience” (not to mention, make us safer). How could our car accessing the Web be a benefit? The VII-C says, “by alerting cars about approaching emergency vehicles, collecting data to map weather patterns with high precision, and allowing for ‘over the air’ upgrades of vehicle firmware.”

Hmmm… Let me think about that…
1) Don’t approaching emergency vehicles have flashing lights and loud sirens?
2) Weather??? Like, I’m not going to go where I need to go because there’s a cold front developing..?
3) Automatic updates (aka “patches”)? What does this imply? That there’s concern about viruses and hackers, maybe? (You bet there’s concern!)

Of course the key words here are ‘traffic flow’, and ‘transmit its location’. By publishing its onboard data via the Web, some person in some government office will be able to see where every car is, its speed and direction of travel, and by activating the microphone, will be able to listen to the conversations taking place inside.
Think about that. Frankly, it scares the pants off of me.

I want you readers to know that the government already has this ability to some extent. We are rapidly approaching the point where every car being produced has some type of GPS built into it. They track us through the cellular phone signals (but these are “unreliable”). To “get better gas mileage”, we have all kinds of mini-computers on board that record our speed and braking, and store that info for later perusal — this aids in “accident reconstruction”. But these are not enough. They want more and better tracking technology installed. They don’t want “recorded”, they want “reported”.

Do NOT violate the speed limit in a rental car. The onboard computers will snitch, and when you go to return it, you will be hit with a stiff fine. I kid you not. Joyriding is out, too: excessive acceleration, hard braking, and high lateral G’s are recorded and reported too, even if you never top out above 65. Yes, your car is a snitch. Divorce attorneys and Law Enforcement love the GPS recorder.

Let’s tout the boon to mankind: parents can benefit from these automatic recorders too. Want to know how your kid treated the family car? Where they went? If they braked too hard or accelerated too hard? If they parked at Lover’s Lookout? Just buy an adapter and plug in your laptop. You can play Big Brother and see everything the car did. (I’m still working on how you can send the signal that activates the car’s microphone, and listen in on your kid… That will be a money-maker!)

The miracle of technology is in our cars. We are being told it’s for our benefit and we believe it. OnStar is something we all think is great, and we’re convinced it’s a status symbol (remember when only top-end cars offered it?).

I, for one, don’t want a single recorder, chip, microphone, GPS locator, or transmitter on my person or on my car. It’s nobody’s business where I am, where I’ve been, or… my speed and direction of travel. (Did you miss my article, “It’s time to write your Representative”? Click here.)
They are going to do this, folks, and they’re not giving us citizens much say (”not much” = none).

Today’s free download: Today I’m putting out the call for your input in this section. Is there a free program or tool that you think is fantastic, but you haven’t seen me post it here? Send me your recommendation — the name, not the link — and I’ll run it through my testing. Those that pass will appear here, with accreditation.

Today’s free link(s): For those of you who aren’t at all bothered by this, and have quite the opposite view; in that you want access to your car’s info (perhaps you are the parents of a beginning driver), devices are available now. If your vehicle is newer and GPS equipped, all you need is a special plug (adapter), if your vehicle [or, the one you’re letting the kid drive] is older, you may want to take a look at this Wall Street Journal article: A Back-Seat Driver For Your Teen’s Car

And from the day’s headlines, Online Porn – Conservative States Biggest Users…

* Original posting– 8/17/07

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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February 28, 2009 Posted by | computers, Internet, privacy, tech | , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments