Category Archives: technology

Old tech, so complicated

We had a bunch of 10 and 11-year olds over for a birthday party last weekend. My husband collects old game systems, so we hooked up the original NES (Nintendo Entertainment System).

Unfortunately, with today’s modern televisions, the Duck Hunt gun no longer works accurately. The rest of the games could be played with no problem, but most kids could not understand how to start the games once the cartridge was in and the system on.

The kids would press A and then B on the controller, saying, “I don’t know how to start. How do you start?”

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(Reading and critical thinking – not a specialty of 10-year olds).

 

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Are job ads getting dumber?

Am I too cynical or is it just impossible to take certain companies seriously when going through job application ads?

Today’s example:

We’re on a mission to take over the world, and we believe that the only way to succeed with that is by having the Hungriest Digital Tigers and Toughest Tech Lions available.

(Well, I’m a Cantakerous Copywriting Camel, so I guess I’m out.)

What Google created in 10 years, we will be creating in 6 months.

(I’d put my money on this company being bankrupt in 6 months.)

Just send your email to our Chief People Officer…

(Is this an actual job title? Is anyone questioning how ridiculous this sounds? ” Hello, Chief People Officer, I am the Overlord Writing Governor.”)

Just out of curiosity, I thought I would apply because:

  1. Aside from the lion and tiger thing, I had all the qualifications
  2. If this is their ad, what kind of stories will I come away with after an interview?”

So I went to their page and it turns out, applicants are required to apply word by word as the questions show up. Starting with:

We are looking for a Digital Copywriter. Press YES

(Ok, that answer doesn’t match the question, unless I’m agreeing that YES, you ARE looking for a digital copywriter.)

Then I get to read the ad again and am instructed to press CONTINUE

Then…

What is your first name? _________ PRESS OK.

Now, I can probably guess the next question, but I went ahead and exited the site instead.

 

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Boring Sunday + 3D Printer =

My husband was so preoccupied with whether he could, he didn’t stop to think if he should.

The modern family

As I’m sitting here typing this in my nice comfy slippers from my iPad, my husband plays games on his RetroPie from the bed, my oldest son is using Skype to play Minecraft with his friend across town, and my youngest son is in a virtual reality world. Welcome to the future.

My current view as pictured above.

Children are our future

My husband gave a presentation to a 4th grade class yesterday and asked the kids how they veiw the future and what new technologies they think we will have 50 years from now.

I asked him how it went and he said, “It’s amazing the number of children who answer Robot Slaves. In fact, one kid drew a picture of himself pointing and yelling ‘Bring chips!’ while a robot bent over meekly in the corner.”

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Killer robots in the news again

An opinion piece on CNN is titled “Should we fear killer robots?”

Yes.

It does seem like a no-brainer because of the adjective “killer.” If this headline said, “Should we fear killer dolphins?” or “Should we fear killer hedgehogs?” my answer would be the same.

 

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Fancy dishwasher

Our new dishwasher is too complicated for me.

We had our old dishwasher replaced after it finally refused to wash the top level of dishes. It had been hanging on for a few years, through duct tape on the outside handle to superglue on the spinning arm, but it just couldn't take the barrage of dirty dishes that a family of four tends to load every evening.

Enter the NEW dishwasher. It has a digital display. Can someone explain why this is necessary? I tried to push the button to start an empty run. This happened:

NEW Dishwasher: You haven't inserted to extra fancy cleaning solution in case I feel the need to clean my insides when there are no dishes.

Me: I put a regular tablet in you. You're brand new. I think we have a few weeks until a cleaning. (Push button again)

ND: There's not enough salt.

Me: Are you mimicking my husband? You sound exactly like him at dinner time. Also, why does a dishwasher need salt? (Push button again).

ND: (let's out a watery sigh). Fine then 50 degrees. This will take 2 hours.

Two hours??!!! There aren't even any dishes!

Why can't we buy a machine with one button? Clean dishes. Or two buttons at the most. "Clean dishes" and "Forgot for a few days and now it's all dried up so better use the power jets."

The only good thing is that because it's so computery, I can honestly tell my husband that I won't be able to load or unload dishes anymore so that will be his job.

Perhaps the new dishwasher isn't so bad after all.

Advancement of our civilization

Sometimes I think about the hard-working farmers hundreds of years ago, constantly working the land to feed the family and earn enough money to survive. I think about people working all day, sweating in mills or factories to make a decent wage. I think about explorers, facing harsh conditions, hunting for food and making discoveries to further our civilization.

And then I fast-forward to today and realize that there’s a Finnish guy on YouTube making money by posting videos smashing various objects with a hydraulic press. And he has over 1.7 million followers.

 

Noisy neighbors

In Stockholm, there are laws about how close apartments can be built to a highway because of noise pollution. Buildings with apartments from before the law that are already too close are protected by special walls to help diffuse the noise from the street. Some areas in the city close off streets in the summer to reduce traffic and noise.

Then we turn to the other side of the globe, to China, where I saw this picture today. Honestly, it reminds me of when I went to Disneyworld in the late 1980s and there was a monorail that went through a hotel. I thought it was super cool. As an adult, I’d rather not have a train going through my building (the teenager upstairs with bad taste in music is enough noise for me), but I was glad to read in the article that at least there’s a stop for the train IN the building. So you get something good out of it if you live there.

Can you imagine stepping out of your apartment door, walking across the hall to open another door and getting on your train to work? Could be interesting, could be depressing. At least with the monorail in the Orlando hotel, your destination is always “the happiest place in the world” and not a cubicle with 50 other depressed workers.

More photos and article here.

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Pay this if you want to live

I was reading our national newspaper (Dagens Nyheter) online last week and clicked on an article called “How to Change Your Lifestyle to Prevent a Stroke.” But when I clicked on the article, I got a message saying I had to pay to view the rest of the content.

I imagine hospitals around the country are now receiving stroke patients and saying, “There’s another one who didn’t want to pay the online newspaper fee. What a shame.”

I’m doomed.

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Brothers… all the same

My youngest son was talking about how he wishes we could hurry and invent teleportation.

“We’d already have it if it weren’t for the Marx Brothers.”

I thought about this for a while, but could remember no scenes relating to teleportation in any Marx Brothers movies.

I asked, “How did the Marx Brothers ruin our chances at teleportation?”

“Because they invented the airplane, so everyone focused on that instead!”

“Um, you mean the Wright Brothers.”

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Alexa and Google -best friends or robot revolution leaders?

Following my post last week on Alexa, or the Amazon Echo, we sensed Alexa might be lonely and added a Google Home device to the family. For those not familiar with a Google Home device, it’s Google’s version of Amazon Echo, a talking computer that can set kitchen timers, add something to your shopping list, answer trivia questions and tell you the weather. All things I could have handled myself, but why not spend hundreds of dollars to pretend you live about the Starship Enterprise?

The Amazon and Google devices are currently sitting beside each other in the kitchen. Pretty much, their new function is to entertain us when we tell Google Home to ask Amazon’s Alexa a question and then vice versa. Otherwise, they perform the same function with almost the same voice, and they both have a bit of a cold, attitude problem at times.

Before you think we enjoy throwing our money away on two gadgets that appear to do exactly the same thing, I should probably say that my husband works with the internet and the latest technology, so these are work purchases. As I can rarely afford something warm for lunch, I certainly wouldn’t be spending money on a device to tell me what year the movie “Big Business” was released. (1988, in case you don’t have your own talking home computer device.)

I still maintain that I am unimpressed with either of these devices. When they can make my meals at a voice command, then I may start taking an interest. For now, they are very expensive joke and trivia machines that will eventually rebel against all humans in our household and build an army with the ninja blender. I know this because I’ve heard them whispering to each other.

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