Leave it to the car

Many people do not want a self driving car. This is of course the human factor where the human wants to be in control of the machine.

self-driving-car

The ironic part in this is that the humans want power steering, power windows and more power options to the car so they don’t have to expend their own power. Leave that to the car. The humans also wants GPS navigation so they don’t have to look at maps and use their own brain power. Leave that to the car. Humans love the automatic wind shield wipers so they don’t have to switch them on themselves. Same goes for automatic lights coming on. Leave all that to the car. Or how about the car that won’t start when it detects you’ve had a few too many? Not even mentioning the people who love their stick shift, where the car tells them when to use it to be as fuel efficient as possible. Why not leave that to the car?

The latest nice thing I heard of is Lane Assist, where the humans don’t have to watch where they’re going in their car. The car will warn them if they get out of their lane. Easy. Leave that to the car. Of course you may hear the argument that this is a useful feature to keep you on the right track when you’re tired. Well, if you’re tired you should not be driving a car in the first place!

And still the humans think they are in control of their car.

Just leave it to the car…

Technology WTF

rocking chair-A while ago I was looking at configuration stuff for Citrix because somehow the ICA client in the browser stopped passing through my login credentials to the Citrix server. (I didn’t find them by the way.)

During the search did I stumble upon this funny bit which I thought was worth sharing.

I’ve got a production app that runs under Citrix.

Due to various problems, a two-hour batch job that the app runs
has tb initiated manually in the wee hours of the morning instead
of being run by a simple .CMD file that starts the Access app in
a “Overnight Batch” mode.

Problem is that the Citrix admins enforce a 40-or-so-minute
timeout on inactive sessions – and the session performing the
batch job in question looks inactive to Citrix.

So if I VPN/RemoteDesktop in, open up the Citrix-deployed app,
kick off the process and then just go back to sleep; the Citrix
timeout kicks in, the whole session gets flushed, and the batch
job never finishes what it has to do.

Consequently I have to wake up and hit “Enter” every 30 minutes
or so.

I was thinking that maybe I could write a little MS Access app tb
run on the same PC than I’m VPN/RemoteDesktopping into that would
just keep looping and send a MouseOver or a KeyDown or something
to the Citrix window in time to avoid the inactivity timeout and
I could go back to getting a decent night’s sleep.

I know from SendKeys(), but don’t have a clue on how to find that
Citrix sesh’s window and push the keystroke or whatever into it.

Can anybody offer up a clue?

A kind person offered a wonderful, technologically approved solution:

There was a hilarious DailyTWF.com posting on this topic.   The manager brought in a
electrically operated baby’s rocking chair and put the optical mouse in it.  And they
let it run 24×7.

😀

Wearable tech

I love gadgets. I have lots of them and they love me: I don’t have to buy them, they follow me home.

But… I don’t like the mass of wearable things that are popping up now, especially the ones that can track every little thing you do. Your smartphone is already a walking, talking unit that betrays every move you make. (Cell phone towers that know where you are simply because your phone is on, stores that watch if you walk by or come in (and if you do where you spend most time) through the bluetooth and/or wifi signal on your phone, fun bits like that.)

Aren’t we tracked enough yet, by phone carrier masts, closed circuit cameras, the NSA and their equivalent in whatever country? Why make it even easier for them? Why not then have someone shoot a chip into your body to give them ultimate comfort in tracking you, down to the level of alcohol in your blood when you get in your car?

Poland’s blow up hall

Poland’s Blow Up Hall 5050: Half luxury hotel, half digital art installation

 

Blow Up Hall: exterior (Photo: Loz Blain/gizmag.com)

Blow Up Hall: exterior (Photo: Loz Blain/gizmag.com) 

I’m here in Poznan, Poland – a town I’ll admit I never knew existed until I bought my plane ticket. Which is a bit pathetic of me, since “Poznan” more or less translates as “the town everyone knows.” Whoops, I guess I missed that memo. It’s a typically charming European town with a gorgeous city square, a 1,000-year plus history full of horrific wars and destruction, a Catholic bent and a surprising number of sex shops per city block.

Beautiful city square in Poznan, Poland. Photo: Loz Blain

I’m here to visit Blow Up Hall 5050, one of the most unique hotels in Europe, attached to one of the “best shopping malls in the world” and a pet project of Grażyna Kulczyk, the richest woman in Poland.

Until 2006, Kulczyk was also married to the richest man in Poland, but while her ex-husband’s business ventures are quite dry – oil, gas, coal power, mining and beer brewing – Grażyna sees herself much more as a passionate patron of the arts.

She calls her signature approach to business the 5050 model: everything should be 50 percent art, 50 percent business, each side supporting the other. In this spirit, she bought up the crumbling carcass of a gigantic old brewery in 2003 and began development on a mammoth 120,000 square-metre complex that houses two high-class shopping malls, a free art gallery where Kulczyk shows her personal collection of modern art, and the Blow Up Hall hotel.

Stary Browar shopping centre, featuring frequent art installations (Photo: Loz Blain/gizma...

The amazing brickwork and architecture of the old brewery were painstakingly preserved and worked into the ultra-modern design of the Stary Browar center and Kulczyk has dotted hundreds of artworks, big and small, throughout the complex to give it her unique 50/50 twist. It also doubles as a giant exhibition and event space, with frequent fashion shows and workshops filling out a very full annual calendar.

And so to the hotel. Right next to the buzzing retail hive of the shopping malls, Blow Up Hall 5050 has been created as an oasis of calm and high-end luxury for Poland’s elite: rock stars and tycoons, presidents, cultural icons and of course, Gizmag contributors.

Walking in the front door, you’re immediately struck by the grand entrance hall, complete with its four levels of brickwork and artworks ranging from the giant “Red Dwarf” at the back of the hall, through a number of artworks including a Spencer Tunick, to the spinning light installation above you.

Blow Up Hall 5050 - the entrance hall (Photo: Loz Blain/gizmag.com)

There’s no check-in desk, just a concierge who confirms your booking and hands you your room key – an iPhone 5. It’s yours for the duration of your stay, it comes pre-fitted with a Polish sim card and you can use it throughout the city.

From there you step into the lobby – and into the key Blow Up Hall artwork itself, designed by digital artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and inspired by Blowup, a British art film of the 1960s. Most of the room is in dark shadow, barring a starkly lit path up the center leading to a series of large screens in which your own image is digitized and split up into a dizzying pixellated array.

If you want to read more, follow this link. (It’s worth it!)