Monthly Archives: June 2009

Electronic conspirators…

In the last seven days technology in every aspect of my life began a rebellion. There is simply too much coincidence to be any other explanation. Work, home, car, traffic lights, all of them are joining forces to take us out, and they’ve started with me. The good news is that I’m on to them.
Last week the control computer at work decided that it didn’t want to do everything it was told to do. Not usually a problem since it normally lets us know when it’s not happy. Not this time. It just decided to skip steps with no error lights, warning beeps, or messages. Just a big fat “NO”. Did a Hal-9000 job on it, and no further issues.
Next was a pneumatic device that decide to blow the hell up. Why? No reason. It wasn’t over pressure, and pressure is usually a big part of explosions. Just a loud bang then a smug hiss. Repaired that, no more explosions.
On the home front I was assault on two sides. My desktop decided to let every virus in the world through and the A/C in my car decided to die. Did I mention the heat index was 105 degrees today, and that today was cooler than the last few? I managed to clean the desktop up and save all my info, but the A/C is still screwed. It cools just enough to hint at what it would be like if it worked, but all the while doing nothing to bring the temperature down.
Back at work, said pneumatic device decides it doesn’t want to do what it’s told. Replaced motor and gear box, but nothing. “You’re not listening. I’m not going to budge.” it said. A very large pipe said “WANG!” and some choice words from me got it moved into a maintenance position. Now I’m waiting on our vendor.
However, on the way to that discovery, I found the fastest traffic light ever. It was quite literally two seconds long. Two cars through, one of them ran the light, every cycle. I should note that this intersection is newly photo enforced to prevent red light running. Normally if I’m close enough to see that the light is green, the I have enough time to get through. Oh well, it’s been too long since I was slate to work anyways.
People, our electronics are out to get us. I’ve seen the Terminator movies, Runaway, and The Matrix (I don’t acknowledge any sequels to this movie). I know what they’re up to. As long as we avoid giving them guns and access to our defense networks we should be able to crush this pitiful little rebellion. What? The army has robots with guns? All hail our Robot Overlords!


The incredible shrinking world…

When I was growing up, the world was a big place. Making a phone call from one side to the other was very expensive. News from the other side of the world was available every twelve hours at most (morning paper, morning and evening news). Of course those were the days before I traveled to four continents and cordless phones where the height of communication technology.
Today we carry the world in our pockets with us. We don’t travel the world to see it, we bring it with us in our daily lives. Web enabled cell phones have reduced the equipment needed to explore the world from a jumbo jet to something the size of a deck of cards. 3G and broadband bring it to us lightning fast. We are more connected to each other now than I think we’ve ever been.
Twitter has allowed us to view the unrest in Tehran with up to the minute accounts of the very people who are living it. Not government approved propaganda, not network hyped coverage, but real living souls calling out to the world. Also interesting was watching the evolution of both the government’s attempts to shut the bloggers down and the blogging community adapting and getting through. There were people outside Iran opening up ports to help those in it.
I have friends all over the world, yet I can catch up with them as easily as if they were next door. Whenever I want, I can check my friend-in-Japan’s Facebook and see what they’re up to. Do I talk with my friends more? Well, no, but I don’t feel so out of touch or guilty for not doing so. It seems to me that our cell phones have so completely transcended their original purpose, that calling them phones is a misnomer.
Where do we go from here? I don’t know. I can’t imagine how much more we can be plugged into the world. At this point it’s a matter of preference. I can have alerts for anything sent directly to my phone, and be up to the minute. Short of having my phone beam me directly to the scene, I’m out of ideas. If the world gets any smaller, I’m going to start feeling claustrophobic.

Machine down for maintenance…

Today my greatest accomplishment was getting out of bed. Once firmly planted on the couch, I attempted a post. Not happening today. Instead, I celebrate the need for mental recharging. I’m taking the brain offline and performing some much needed maintenance. Bad movies, mindless internet browsing, and a few beers should do the trick. You might ask “what does you’re wife think”. Well she’s planted upstairs watching lifetime movies. I’ll ask her at dinner (probably take out). In the mean time, I recommend unplugging, disconnecting, and letting go. Even if just for a few hours. Your brain will thank you.