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Showing posts from August, 2007

My Toilet Ratted Me Out

I found a story on bbc.com that struck my funny bone. Tongue and cheek aside, though, this article is very poignant about our future in the developed world. It's not entirely unlikely that your entire life will be recorded by a camera. You can't go anywhere today without being seen by a camera.

Dumb cameras don't scare me. Sure you can make them auto-track and interface with a computer that knows where you are. Okay, big deal. Maybe Tom Hanks cares about that more than me. What does concern me is the growing interest in supposed smart home devices.

The BBC article made a cheeky comment about a toilet that knows when a woman is pregnant before she knows. Harumpf you say, that's a good thing. Well, how about if you're a cocaine user and your lovely smart commode decides to check on your drug use and then rat you out to the cops.

Worst yet, let's say you do get the fancy John, and you love that it tells you that your blood sugar is too high, or that you're eatin…

Communication Addiction

As of this writing, I have a daughter who is in her early teen years. At her junior high school, most of her friends and schoolmates have cellular phones with SMS ability. Like good parents should, we held off getting her a phone because it was not necessary. There's no situation in her life where a cell phone would be mission critical. It would be fashion-critical for elevating her "cool factor," but nothing more.

Recently, now that she is starting high school, we've relinquished her starvation diet and granted her a pay as you go cellular phone with an affordable SMS plan. At first, we made her pay for every little use of the phone, such as voice calls and SMS messages. I felt this would be a good lesson in resource usage for her. Being a kid, she has no external income, so her allowance was the only source of money for the phone.

When she got the phone, she immediately started to text her friends, and vice versa. She knew that her plan required her to pay for every …

Someone Is Finally Listening

This is going to be a short posting. Check out this BBC report:

Focus on carbon 'missing the point'

Finally a policy maker has articulated a voice for reason on the topic of global warming. CO2 is not the only game. Despite what Al Gore thinks, changing our production of CO2 will not produce the "golden ticket" solution to global climate change.

If Al had said that in the first place, then he would not have produced his award winning documentary. Then he wouldn't have been able to consume lots of jet fuel and produce lots of CO2 flying around the world on his anti-CO2 tirade. Then he wouldn't have been able to raise millions selling his DVDs, which are made using oil while producing CO2, and end up filling our land fills with more non-recyclable junk that lasts thousands of years.

If I Only Had A Human Eyeball ...

A news story on BBC News struck me as peculiar today. Witchcraft arrest in Mozambique is the title of this noteworthy story. It's really about the trade of human remains for religious ritual. How odd that in the year 2007 we have a country where human remains are trafficked to the point of requiring legislation.

Isn't it just an obvious wrong to kill people and sell their remains in the name of some religious craft? When there is no other money to be made, why not turn to your neighbor as a source of income, right? Heck, he's not using that other leg anyway!

All humor aside, this is a very serious situation. Not only is it yet another stain on Africa's diverse and rich cultures, but it's another shining example of bad human behavior against other humans in Africa. Maybe more free laptops will help stop this tragedy of human violence. Nicholas Negroponte, hear their cries! Send them free laptops so they can google non-human magical potion recipes.

If you do read the wh…