Archive for the ‘WTF’ Category

Creepy

Anyone else think Google Glass is just plain creepy?

Virgin Atlantic just announced that some flight personnel are going to be equipped with the things to assist at check in.

Huh?

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You mean it was too difficult to take your boarding pass, scan it across the barcode reader, hand it back to you and say thanks?

How does that process need further automation? How is Google Glass going to help?

I’m surprised the TSA would allow them. After all, don’t they frown on recording stuff in an airport?

The whole wearable technology thing is getting far too much attention for me. After all, it’s really nothing “new”. It’s just putting a smartphone/camcorder/gadget onto a pair of eye glasses frames.

Why do you need to WEAR that? You have it in your pocket already? Are you that lazy that you need your device plastered to your face all the time?

Now if it really did something cool, like allow you to see in a different spectrum of light, or even sense biofeedback from people so you could tell if they were lying to you, THEN that would be different.

You know what I’m talking about.

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Yeah…that.

That would be cool!

Instead we have Google Glass. The new tool for perverts, voyeurs and voyeurs wanting to document every possible fucking minute of their lives.

I think we as a race (meaning humans) need to have a serious, “Whoa there nelly” moment and rethink what tech is doing to us.

I read a lot, and consider myself open to a lot of things tech-wise in life. And yes, I know Google Glass is just a “stepping stone” to something different that we don’t know about, or maybe cant’ even envision yet.

I know I rail on this product a lot. But come one folks….how can you NOT find it silly.

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Wait, is that a Cylon?

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It was bound to happen…

Sooner or later it had to happen.

I’m not going to spoil the surprise. Just click on the link below. Then come back.

http://www.glassandsex.com/

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Done yet?

Yeah…that was my reaction also. W…T…F???

You knew it was a matter of time. From the inception of Google Glass I think everyone in the tech industry was waiting for this to happen. We all knew someone would build something like this.

What freaks me out is the whole concept of the voice commands.

“Turn off the lights.”

“It’s time.”

Freaky.

But what is worse is that it will give you suggestions for new positions.

/creepy_factor = 8/10

The only thing that would be worse is if the dang thing starts to give you feedback on your technique. You know, sort of a moment-by-moment critique.

“Get your butt higher.”

“Slow down.”

“Put your leg there.”

Yeah…NOT good!

I’m reminded of a movie from the early 80s called Brainstorm. Did anyone see it?

If you do, you know what I’m talking about.

If not, the whole concept of the movie is that scientists build a device capable of recoding and playing back the actual experiences (complete sensory spectrum) of people. It’s sort of the ultimate virtual reality.

Well, one enterprising guy records himself having sex and then passes around the “tape”. Another guys splices the ends together and nearly dies form a prolonged orgasm. Yeah…nearly dies.

……

Personally, I think Google Glass is creepy enough without the whole sex factor thrown in.

Do I ever…

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I think that of late, I’m starting to appreciate this more and more.

Being a kid is a hell of a lot more fun than being an adult.

Not saying that being an adult doesn’t have it’s perks (Driving, voting, sex, drinking, buying cool shit), but being a kid has a level of freedom that can only come from one thing. A lack of responsibility.

Yup that’s it. The key difference between being a kid and an adult. Lack of responsibility.

Mrs. Technocrat and I have been talking a lot of late about this sort of thing. It really hit home last night that we are getting “older”. With that comes increased responsibility.

Some of our friends are starting to transition into this. They have kids going to college.

/scared_face = on

Yes, friends of ours (that are our age) have kids going to college.

What. The. Holy. HELL!!??!!

How did that happen?

Several of them (the parents, not the kids) have remarked that they wish for a simpler time.

Now don’t get me wrong. We (the parents) wouldn’t trade our lives. It’s just that we don’t consider ourselves “old”.

Hell…many of us have trouble considering ourselves “adults”, much less “responsible adults”.

/shudder

My two kids are a ways a way from college, but it’s not THAT far away.

Driving is the next big thing and that frightens me.

Teaching them how to drive, and drive safely, in today’s world.

Heaven help me.

So, I return to the above image.

Peter Pan had it right.

I particularly like that whole “flying” thing.

Plus, Tinker Bell was HOT.

A little bit easier..

Mrs. Technocrat is a writer. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this. But she is.

And a damn good one at that.

To date, she’s had 12 books published by a major New York publisher. So she’s legit.

And, I’m damn proud of her.

Recently she has decided that going the route of “traditional” publishing is for the birds and has decided to go independent or “indie” as the industry calls it.

Basically this means that she will continue to write books and such, but now, she will self publish them digitally. Her self. No Publisher (with a capital P).

This means a lot of things. More control of her books. More say is what she writes. More say in how and where things are published.

And, more of the royalties. Lots more. But that’s another blog and a WHOLE other discussion. I’m not here to bash on the publishing industry. As much as I like to do that.

She has completed two short stories to “test the waters” recently and we’ve gone through the process of publishing them to the four big outlets. Amazon, Nook, Kobo and Apple.

As her official Techno-geek in residence, I was voluntold that I would be handling the technical end of converting her prose into digital formats for these sites.

Cool! I like a challenge and she and I tend to view all things as a partnership in our lives. So I jumped on the task.

Getting to the point where I’m now at, that being comfortable formatting and publishing a work to these sites took a bit of learning. Here’s what I’ve learned to date…summarized.

Amazon = easy, simple and painless. They have it down cold. This I’d expect from them.

Kobo = not as easy, but still pretty painless. I was surprised here. I’d expected problems.

Nook = picky as HELL about the formatting, but once you have that figured out, pretty easy. Only mildly surprised. The only problem is that they’ve recently reworked their whole “process” and there are still some bugs.

Apple = Pain in the Fucking ASS!!!! Yup. Just as I expected.

/sad_face = on

Apple is picky as hell about the formatting, makes you jump through about a billion hoops and makes you use about three different tools just to get your book submitted to them. THEN you have to deal with iTunes Connect and the PITA that is that site.

So I have the books up on Apple’s site. Finally.

Now…we wait. And wait. And wait.

You see Apple is notorious for taking FOREVER to approve anything. More likely than not they’ll kick it back with come cryptic error and leave the user to try and figure it out.

Want support or help? Sure. Just email them and pray they actually get back to you. If they do, it will be most likely 3-5 business days. And you hope it’s not just another cryptic message that really doesn’t tell you anything.

So here’s my deal.

I’ve been critical of Apple in the past for losing it’s innovative edge. I stand by those comments.

However, they are also so overly protective of their precious “ecosystem” that they are hurting themselves.

When it becomes so f’ing difficult to sell your product on their marketplace that people don’t want to deal with it, you have a problem. And right now, Apple has a problem baby!

However, Apple has enough market intertia built up that people will continue to work with them.

But I wonder for how long?

Apple, a company that seems to pride itself on customer service (I love the people at the Apple stores) needs to seriously take a page or two out of Amazon’s playbook.

There is a reason Amazon is the 800-pound gorilla in the publishing world. They make it easy and simple to get your books up on their site. It’s painless.

Apple on the other hand is nothing but pain.

Authors are realizing that they are entering a time of unprecedented freedom and control for their careers. They are anxious to take advantage of that freedom.

However, if Apple continues to throw up roadblocks to authors, they are going to find themselves marginalized rather quickly.

When spouses of authors, who are very technically savvy, have issues getting Apple’s process to “work”, it stands to reason that authors who are not overly technically savvy are going to find the process madding and defeating.

Eventually, they will walk away.

So, please Apple. Get your shit together! Fix the process to get a book published on iBooks.

Otherwise, your whole “book” market is going to go the way of Borders. Another company that missed the boat. We all know what happened to them.

I don’t think the same thing will happen to Apple. Again, that whole inertia thing. But Apple is not opposed to shuttering business ventures that don’t work.

I’d hate to see this one shut down because there are too wrapped up in themselves to see the fundamental problem. And that problem is…

They are just a Pain in the Ass to deal with.

Ouch!!

I was struggling for a blog topic today. It’s been an “interesting” day and the creative juices just weren’t flowing.

Enter Mrs. Technocrat with fodder for a topic today.

Thanks sweetie. I love you. However, I’m not going to allow you to touch another piece of technology.

Ever.

In fact, I may require you to turn in your laptop.

/explanation_mode = on

I love my wife dearly, but of late, she’s been a bit hard on her techno gadgets.

Let’s start with a few months ago.

Mrs. Technocrat reads…a LOT. So I got her an iPad. Figured it’s better than constantly trying to read books and such on her tiny little iPhone screen. After all, she’s got bad eyes. She had to break down and get glasses a while back. So I was being helpful.

And it worked great. She was actually using it. You see, you have to coax her into trying a new piece of technologic gadgetry. She just don’t jump into things.

So when she announced she liked the iPad and was using it. I was thrilled.

One of the places she was using it was on the treadmill during her workouts.

Perfect! A great use.

That is until she managed to introduce the iPad to the concrete floor of our basement.

Yeah, you know that iPads have glass on the front…right?

That glass makes a really pretty pattern when it shatters.

But I’ll give you this, the freaking iPad still worked. You just didn’t dare try or you’d end up with sliced fingers from the glass shards.

I shook my head (a lot) and jokingly threatened never to allow her hear another device again.

I wasn’t serous.

Until today.

Let’s talk about her iPhone.

Mrs. Technocrat is addicted to her iPhone. I mean seriously. She breaks into cold shivers when she forgets where she left it in the house.

If I need to do updates, I’d better find a time she is either sleeping or in the shower. She’ll panic that I’m taking “too long”.

She keeps chargers strewn around the house, and in her car, and in mine, just in case she needs to charge it.

Battery life, forget it. She drains the sucker at least once a day.

To say she uses it a lot is one of the understatements of the year.

Well, today, she made another introduction…of sorts.

iPhone…meet toilet.

/facepalm

Yup, Mrs. Technocrat dropped her beloved iPhone in the toilet. (it was clean thank you)

And the thing is, she admitted it. Willingly.

She called me, panic evident in her voice, and asked if there was any hope. It was making strange noises.

So off we go to try the “bag of rice” trick and hope for the best.

I hear the Apple Care doesn’t cover water damage. That’s why one of the first things the Geniuses at the Apple Stores do is shine that little flashlight into the base. There’s a moisture indicator in there.

I feel for her. I do.

I left my phone at home by mistake this week. It felt strange all day not to have it with me. It’s sort of like a security blanket.

So I can’t imaging the thought of my phone being ruined.

At this point, I’m starting to fear for the well belong of her MacBook Air.

We’ll keep our fingers crossed and see what happens. But it’s going to be a while before she has a working phone again.

And here I was beating her at Words with Friends.

I think she might have done it on purpose.

No, no and HELL no!!

I attended a regular meeting yesterday regarding a grant project and we had a guest speaker talk to use about games and simulations.

It was fascinating. Lots of cool examples, and a great discussion.

You see, we are looking at dealing with some very large amounts of community health data in the grant and we are looking into alternative ways to visualize the data.

It was fascinating to listen to this person and let the braincells run amuck with ideas and possibilities.

So, simulations…keep that in mind.

Later in the day, I was reading some of the industry threads I frequent. There was an article on simulations and healthcare.

“Cool”, I thought to myself and wandered to the article.

Great article with lots of cool links. So I was clicking through links to lots of different projects that involve simulations to improve healthcare, or improved healthcare care education. Even some educational games for kids to help make health choices.

“Even cooler”, I thought to myself as these are two specific areas I deal with. And in light of the previous meeting, I was happily reading away.

Then I clicked on one more link.

Wow, talk about a great example of the “one too many” syndrome. I should have just stopped before I started into the “other” category of links.

What should I find…well…just look at the photo below.

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/cringe_factor = MASSIVE

Yes, that’s right folks, an interactive simulator for…Prostate exams.

Ewwwww!!!!!!

This is real. It’s being marketed to med schools and healthcare organizations.

I’m not sure what is worse, but here are the possibilities.

#1. The fake butt complete with asshole and “textured, fleshy anal region” (these are from the article…NOT my words…you can see it in the photo) “to simulate a realistic exam experience for the learner.”

#2. The fact that this image is showing someone USING this thing. Let me just say again….EWWWW.

#3. The fact that there is a fake prostate inside this thing with sensors to “simulate a variety of prostate conditions”. Yet again…EWWWW!

or…and I think this is the worst

#4. The video image (not static photo) of a guy bending over the table presenting well…his vertical smile to the audience at large.

I’ve talked in the past about technology going “too far”, but folks, there are simply no words to describe how “wrong” this is.

I can’t tell you the mental whiplash I have right now having gone from the meeting early in the day talking about simulations to late in the day finding this and, well, the buzz kill that went with it.

There. Are. No. Words.

Can you imagine the poor programmers that worked on this project?

/set_scene = dinner party

“So what sort of project are you working on now Carl?”

“I’m working on a project to simulate prostate exams complete with video footage, and dynamic prostate gland and a fake ass complete with a ‘textured, fleshy anal region’.”

. . .

Talk about a conversation killer.

What’s that sound?

That sound you are hearing these days is Apple laughing all the way to the bank at all the people that said the iPad mini wouldn’t sell.

Have you tried to buy one of the little buggers lately!?!? Holy crap!

Sold out everywhere. Target. Best Buy. Apple Store. AT&T stores. You name it.

Because you know, they are just a copy of the iPad. And we all know no one ever bought any of those.

/rolling_eyes