Category: Technology

Good

Drivers who cause a wreck while yakking on a cellphone will face a fine of up to $500 under a law that took effect Tuesday, the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION reports.

The law, likely the first of its kind in Georgia, sanctions drivers whose “improper” usage of a mobile phone was a “contributing factor” in a collision causing death, injury or damage.

Drudge. … Read the rest

Technocrats Coming

A growing body of evidence suggests that passing a small electric current through your head can have a profound effect on the way your brain works. Called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), the technique has already been shown to boost verbal and motor skills and to improve learning and memory in healthy people – making fully-functioning brains work even better.

Link.

This type of thing makes me nervous, and it brings out a truth that folks like Neil Postman have recognized: The battles in the [very near] future won’t be waged between conservatives and liberals, it’ll be waged between technocrats (those who unreservedly believe all new technology is good) and traditionalists (those who distrust technology). Most people will (sanely) sympathize with both camps, but will lean one way or the other.

Between those who think that civilization is a victory of man in the struggle against the determinism of things and those who want to make of man a thing among things, there is no possible scheme of reconciliation. Georges Bernanos.

It is easy for me to imagine that the next great division of the world will be between people who wish to live as creatures and people who wish to live as machines. Wendell Berry.

Read the rest

Hovering Parents

Last week, Sprint Nextel Corp. introduced a new service called Family Locator that lets parents track their kids’ whereabouts, using the GPS capabilities in each child’s cellphone. For $9.99 a month, you can get a fix on your little ones’ locations as long as they are on your Sprint account and carry one of the 30 Sprint or Nextel phones that allow this monitoring.

WaPo Link.

This is a great idea . . . if your kid is a delinquent. If you can’t trust your kid enough to let them leave the house without GPS tracking, you’re nuts or you have a bad kid. It’s not, after all, a safety thing. Every child abductor will know that he needs to get rid of the cell phone ASAP. I could see limited uses for such technology–the child is driving to an unknown area and wants you to be able to help with directions, the child is hiking in the mountains, you need more beer and you want to make sure the child doesn’t dawdle on his way back from the 7-11 at 1:30 in the morning–but barring such things, this new technology is for the obsessive.

It’s also for today’s parents who, I’ve pointed out before, don’t have enough children, so they stuff all their child-rearing energy (which is naturally spread over at least three, maybe ten or more, children) into one or two kids. … Read the rest

Wi-Fi the World

I like Wi-Fi, but I can’t say I’m enamored with the idea of turning every public place in America into a hot spot. The act of turning every public place in America into a cell phone zone has been annoying enough.

Anyway, this article sets forth a new set of fears about the coming Wi-Fi onslaught. I don’t worry much about the on-line privacy stuff (though it’s a small concern), but I do wonder about the commercialization angle. … Read the rest

Virtual Lent

The heck if I know what to make of this:

Brighton, UK. Britain will witness its first crucifixion for almost two millennia later this week, when Cynewulf is nailed to a cross as punishment for ganking other players as they first appear. Cynewulf, (in real life a 27 year-old electrical engineer from Flint, Michigan, USA) has no need to worry about suffering any permanent pain to his hands or feet, however, as this barbaric sentence is due to be carried out in cyberspace; in the virtual world of Roma Victor®.

Link.… Read the rest