Author Archives: neg45

Podcast Idea

Sooooooo I’m not exactly sure of what I want to do for my podcast project but as I have been thinking about it, I have come to realize that the idea of “Things You Want to do Before You Die” might be an interesting concept to work on. Maybe have guests on to tell us what they have for ideas and why they might have them. I would need to elaborate on this in a few ways but I think it’s an over all interesting concept to talk about.

Are We Next?

I never really understood what PIPA and SOPA were for exactly, I just knew that they were created to limit the sharing of information over the internet.  Clay Shirky’s video helped me understand that they are more than just that, they are about not letting us the people produce information to share with others and constricting us to what Congress wants and allows us to consume.  Now another thing Shirky stated is that it isn’t necessarily just Congress that is pushing these acts, it’s large media corporations who are paying these Congressmen and women to pass these laws. To me this is almost monopolistic. These big corporations want the most out of “their” products and demand revenue anyway possible with out competition (in this case it would be sharing of information for free through file sharing and websites) which to me is falling into the category of being a monopoly.

Next, isn’t the whole purpose of the internet to be able to connect at anytime anywhere in the world and be able to communicate and work at the same time and use these abilities with freedom to share and use each others works if you have put it out there for the public’s use? To me that wants the internet is. Some people abuse this of course, which you should expect, and will steal ideas and say that they are their own, but this happens in every aspect of life. Hell there are penguins who go out and search for pebbles to make a nest to impress females to mate with them, and while there are hard workers who actually take the time and search for these best pebbles, there are those who will wait for those hard workers to go out and proceed to steal from their nests. Humans aren’t the only ones who steal. To put bans on everyone for the reason to stop a few from stealing ideas,  and limiting the public’s freedom of sharing and collaborating via the internet should be some kind of violation human rights. Not everyone should suffer for the mistakes of the few.

What Shirky points out at the end and that I believe is very true is that no matter if we say no to PIPA and SOPA, there will be new acts put forth within a few years to try and attack this issue in other ways. It seems until we can find a way to stop the greediness of big corporations and the thievery of original ideas, we will be fighting for our freedom to use the internet for what it was meant for for a long time. Some countries in Europe and Asia have lost this battle already, are we next?

Chris Bosh Codes?!

Last year I took a coding class. It didn’t go so well.  After the first few weeks I got, just like the video stated, intimidated.

To start, I have never been computer-savvy and can only do pretty basic things.  I don’t understand how to save things into certain files, I have never used Google Docs (something that will be tested when we have to post our projects), and code looks like hieroglyphics to me.  In high school I took the two computer applications classes but those were more focused for the Microsoft Office programs in which I was certified and can use efficiently, but when it comes to creating a program or website you’ll lose me like a 70 year old on a QWERTY keyboard.

While I don’t understand code and do not know if I will ever have to patience to sit down and fully learn it’s mystery, I completely respect those who do/have. Some of the things you are able to do as a coder are simply amazing. Turning numbers and symbols into an animation or series of texts and question boxes with crazy designs. By the way, I wonder how much coding Chris Bosh actually does…

Any way, it only makes sense that these next wave of coders and programmers really are the superstars of this generation especially with the mass movement to technology. Without them we would still be sitting with black screens and green print typing out commands into a “terminal”.

I don’t see why more schools shouldn’t have a coding class whether it be mandatory to take or just an elective. If the technology path is the path we are taking, might as well start kids learning as early as possible if they want the option of a career in that field.

“Somehow, I told you so, doesn’t quite say it!”

Ever since I saw the movie Artificial Intelligence back in 2001 I have actually be frightened at the thought of robots becoming more and more human. I was reassured this fear in I,Robot. Both of these movies are really good by the way.  In A.I., a highly intelligent young robot longs to become a “real boy” to gain back the love of his human mother.  In I,Robot, Will smith is a cop in a future where robots are companions at our sides to help us with everyday tasks, when a new upgraded robot is brought in to replace older versions, 1 has been developed with more human characteristics like feelings and free thought.  Will Smith is skeptical of these robots however, as the main computer that controls them is able to learn and eventually control itself and the robots that it is connected with except for the one who was given his special abilities to aide Will Smith in taking out the increasingly smarter mother computer.  In A.I. the robots are very human-like in appearance and actions and in I,Robot the robots are typical mechanical beings, but they have one thing in common, they are able to learn from their experiences and mistakes.  This is what scares me.

In Kurzweil’s article on his plan to create a mind, all I could think of was, what is the limit in creating sub-human like creations? The idea of a “mind” that could solve problems before we know them may seem like a good one and like the next step, but when does it get to be too much? Why do we have this need for technology to mirror our image? (literally and figuratively)

I just don’t want this to turn into Terminator and have to fight near invincible human-like robots.

Comment with ideas.

Ever Feel the Need to Talk to Your Wrist?

As I was watching an amazing Bronco’s and Cowboys game this weekend while simultaneously doing homework, I noticed a commercial that quickly caught my attention.  It was of watches that weren’t like any other.  These were watches that seemed to be from imagination and mostly fiction (and the future, which could actually be considered today October 8, 2013).  These watches were from movies and TV shows from over the last 7 decades including Dick Tracy, Star Trek, Knight Rider, Power Rangers, Predator and almost another show or movie that had a main character with a high-tech watch in which he or she could communicate with others.  While back then it may have seemed science-fiction, today it is very real. Samsung has just released their Galaxy Gear watch (for a measly $300, buttttttttttt you need to have the Galaxy Note 3 to use it, aka another $300).

While I was watching this commercial, (and this had been the first time I had heard of this idea becoming a real thing) I couldn’t help but think to myself, damn I want that sh*t!  I want to be like James Bond and maybe eventually it could have a laser to cut through metal, or I could get a pen that shoots bullets.  Two things stood in my way, I have an iPhone, and was this going to be a fail like most first versions of technology are.

And that is exactly what happened.  Although this a really cool idea, the reviews for it have the Galaxy Gear falling short of what was expected out of it.  Reviews will tell you that it is very “laggy” and that trying to talk over it has you and the person you are trying to communicate with talking at the same time.  While these watches aren’t supposed to take over your phone, they are supposed to work with them, answering texts has to be through voice which was said to have a lot of transcription errors. A lot of the functions still required you to go to your phone to answer or read notifications.  The Gear has a built in camera, but you have to upload the photo to your phone to access it and the camera is only 2 megapixels so the images were very poor.  On a lighter side, a function that I thought was cool was that it has an app that can track your phone if you lose it.

Overall, a lot of the reviewers felt that Samsung was trying to push the Galaxy Gear out for the holiday season and that it may be premature in itself and could use some fine tuning, but as with any other pieces of technology, it has to start somewhere and build upon itself to pave the way for “the next big thing”. I believe that this could, in a few months maybe even years, become the new technology fad and I hope developers work on fixing the Gear’s features. Hell I’m sure there is someone at Apple designing their version right now.  I expect sometime in the near future to have my need of talking to my wrist fulfilled.

Google making me Stoopid?!

So I felt i should do an “Is Google Making Us Stupid” post.  This is my opinion and my take on the whole situation since this is the first time reading the actual article and not just bits.

While I don’t think that Google per se is making us stupid, I also feel that it isn’t helping us learn anymore than we used to.  I feel like Google has allowed us to no longer need to retain any information we learn through reading a physical book or just hearing someone say it.  This is prominent even more now that we have smartphones with easy accessibility to the Internet and more specifically Google.  Google’s Android phones are made specifically to use the Google search engines. Why remember anything when within seconds you have all the information you could ever want at your fingertips?

In the article it says that through reading on the Internet, we have become “mere decoders of information”, as I read this I couldn’t help but think that maybe that is exactly what I was doing in that moment.  Being able to quickly search a topic has lead us to believe we can multitask when in fact while we multitask, we are actual doing each of those activities less proficiently than if you did each one at a single time.  Not to mention that there is the added possibility of going off in a Google tangent or getting distracted and doing other things than what you had originally planned.

Google’s easy accessibility could also be a good thing though. Having the ability to go to a site, type in a few words and have multiple pages upload with your answer is an amazing thing. And it literally happens in seconds.  I feel like when we know this, we don’t need to store as much in our brains because there is instant access to that information.

Google is probably one of, if not, the most used sites on the Internet. To end my post I’m just going to say, “with great power comes great responsibility”.

iPhone! Oh iPhone! Where for art thou iPhone!

I forgot my phone again today. I’m starting to get that itch that I can’t scratch. I’m going through withdrawal!!

This need for my phone and technology at the ready is getting to be an unhealthy habit. Knowing that I can’t communicate with the outside world has caused me frustration that really isn’t necessary.  Once I got out of my car in the parking lot this morning and noticed I didn’t have it, I freaked and cursed myself off. WHY?!?!?!?

Luckily I have my computer with me today unlike last time. I have some means of getting in touch with people, but that is only when I am connected to Wi-Fi.

To make matters worse I have work right after class at 6 o’clock. I might just say F it and go home to get it (which is sad) and be late for work.

Why do we need to be connected? Why do we get SO upset when we can’t be connected at all times? Is this a problem or is it normal because we grew up in this digital age?

Maybe one of you guys can answer these questions.