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Product Lust

I am getting older and the 19” inch LED monitors just aren’t cutting it.
I already have a 42 inch Visio I bought for 1400.00 bucks about 7 years ago. It has been my main monitor for 2 years since I cut the cable.

This is the new model.
e420i-b0-2_1

I really need one of these. And at 450.00 bucks it is a steal.

Maybe I will get lucky and one will show up at my door.

Notables Nov 2013

Noteworthy Web sites
Data is Data until it is transformed. Most data is in the form of spreadsheets which to a large percentage of the population are equivalent to Insomnia Relief. Infographics are visual displays of data that transform it from numbers into visual presentations that make it understandable.

Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards is a site that scours the web for them and has created awards for excellence.
Here are the 2013 winners [NOTE: Image heavy! be advised that it will take a bit to load completely]

Chromeography is a photo site devoted to Emblems on Cars and other things. I spend a lot of time photographing cars, mostly wrecks, I found this interesting. Hat Tip Joe Jennet

YAGTTYEOTR Yet Another Gadget To Take Your Eyes Off The Road Sweepstakes

Lets Recap.
‘Smart’ Phones do NOT Make YOU Smarter. Quite the Contrary if the volume of apps(which used to be called programs, and ran on a PC)that are offered to ‘enhance’ your mobile phone experience, which if you are old enough to have pubic hair, the original point of a mobile phone was to be able to make phone calls when you were not at home or work. Moving on…

YAGTTYEOTR Which stands for:
Yet Another Gadget To Take Your Eyes Off The Road.
Pronounced; yag tee oh ter

The latest app to catch my eye is Type n Walk. Yes indeed! This gem will help you type while you are walking. I stole this image from their site.

Seriously?

Seriously?


holy crap! 20 years ago folks saw you mumbling with your hand near your ear, the guys in the white coats would be bringing you a canvas coat with extra long sleeves and buckles in the back.

The good News is that it is only available for the IPhone. The bad news is that they are serious.
Distracted Walking a new Category for insurance companies.
“Really I was just walking when the street sign jumped out at me”

But they do understand that this may require some explanation. The First FAQ Question on their sites is:

Q: Why don’t I see anything in the ‘viewport’ but a black screen?

A: Make sure your fingers (or protective case) aren’t blocking the front camera.

Lets Recap.
‘Smart’ Phones do NOT Make YOU Smarter.

Bonus Link Mobile Phone Accidents

FUSE The dumbest App EVER! *YAGTTYEOTR* UPDATED!!


UPDATE! Just received a comment from Phil clarifying that it is the OBD2 Connector and not your phone that gets a new SIM card and DOES NOT BRICK YOUR PHONE! My profound apologies on that point.

I was reading Doc Searls weblog and ran across this nugget talking about Fuse, allegedly an app that will connect you to your car(1996 or Newer Only) and run on your smart phone. This is the brainchild of Phil Windley who has done some incredible work with his Kyntex company.

I deal with the car mad on a daily basis with my work with wrecking yards, car lots, and folks who build, drive, and buy and sell cars. I also deal with phone mad, who are folks whose smart phones are loaded with apps, and basically run their lives. A lot of these folks are both which does make for interesting conversations.

Mobile phones were originally created to allow you to make and receive calls when you were not in the location where your primary phone was plugged into the wall. Technology marches on….. There is nothing scarier than riding in a car in traffic with a phone mad person at the wheel.

This thing is wrong on so many levels that it needs to have a stake driven into its heart, the corpse dragged into the sunlight, and the ashes scattered to the four corners of the globe.

This is such a bad idea that I created a new acronym for it.
YAGTTYEOTR Which stands for:
Yet Another Gadget To Take Your Eyes Off The Road.
Pronounced; yag tee oh ter

The sales pitch hits all the right notes.

Fuse is three things in one:

A smartphone app that gives you a second dashboard,

An off-the-shelf gizmo that plugs into your car’s diagnostics outlet, and

A personal cloud to connect your car with the rest of your life
Source Kickstarter

Personal, Private, Cloud Based. For the minutiae inclined it will track your position, speed, mileage, and read your diagnostic information.
This is how Doc writes about it:

Your Fuse is three things in one:

A sensor gizmo that plugs into your car’s diagnostics outlet
A smartphone app that gives you a second dashboard
A personal cloud to connect your car with the rest of your life

Fuse’s gizmo routes all your car’s data from a plug under your dashboard to your smartphone app, and adds GPS data as well, so you can see exactly where your car has been — and combine that information with anything else it would be good to know.

For example, Fuse can learn your driving patterns and automatically classify repeat trips, such as a carpool. It can associate your contacts with a carpool pickup, and automatically shoot over a message as you leave home and again as you approach the stop. You can even share your location with your pickup, so they can see where you are on their own map.

Fuse can associate trips with business, charity or other tax-deductible purposes.
Source Doc Searls

Holy Shit Batman!! Makes you want to go out and hug your 1996 or Newer car, and beg for forgiveness for your shameful neglect of it. The reason for the 1996 or newer requirement is that it uses the OBD2 Port(On Board Diagnostics) which is standard on all cars manufactured from 1996.

NOT SO FAST!!!

Fuse is not just an app like so many others you can add to your smart phone. It is more like a complete OS changeover. In order to use Fuse, you need a OBD2 device that plugs into the port on your car. It is basically a reader with a radio transceiver to transmit information to “Your Personal Cloud”.

This is off the shelf tech as most repair shops and dealerships have tools and software on laptops and pc’s that do this when you bring your car in for service or repair.

To use Fuse, you need a subscription to their service/cloud. This is not the bad news as lots of folks have Netflicks and similar services on their smart phones.

UPDATE! Just received a comment from Phil clarifying that it is the OBD2 Connector and not your phone that gets a new SIM card and DOES NOT BRICK YOUR PHONE! My profound apologies on that point.

Hence the following deletion.

No, the bad news is that you have to change the SIM card in your ‘device’ (aka your phone) as they so euphemistically put it. The sim card in your phone is what connects to your carrier that allows you do make and receive calls, text, and the other lunacy available on your phone.

Changing the SIM card basically ‘bricks’ your phone from doing anything else but mind melding with your car. You are on another network entirely and your car is the only thing in your phones universe. So while you are “Fusing” the rest of the smartphone universe like your friends and family will get some sort of out of service message.

My confusion comes from this on the kickstarter page:

“You can use any CalAmp LMU-3000 (GSM) or Xirgo XT-2000 (GSM) with the Fuse network and mobile app. To do so, your device will need to be reflashed to load a new script. Your device will also need a new SIM card to put it onto the network we use for device connectivity. Note: your device can only work with one network at a time, so making your device compatible with Fuse will mean that it no longer works with the system it is currently on.”

This should say the OBD2 ‘device’.

It may clear up the confusion by calling it the OBD2 Device.
However past the delete, I stand by the rest of my comments especially concerning leaving a wireless tranciever hooked up to your car. It is no different than having a wireless connection open in your house for folks to stumble upon and take advantage.

And because I know just enough about OBD2 tech, the hole it leaves open for war driving and car jacking mischief is just too large to ignore. Imagine somebody being able to clear all the error codes stored in your car. Imagine somebody being able to reset your car’s computer to factory default. While you are driving.

As for you having control of your data, wake the fuck up! If it is in the cloud, it will be belong to somebody else soon enough.

No this thing needs to have a stake driven into its heart, the corpse dragged into the sunlight, and the ashes scattered to the four corners of the globe.

Here is a tip to make this thing useful. Rip out everything but reading only the Diagnostic information, storing on your current phone with its SIM card intact, allowing you to read and transmit it to your mechanic. Disallow reading information unless the car is stationary with the car in park. Which is how repair shops read it now.

Sorry about the cloud nonsense, the monthly fees, and the accounting bullshit, but this is just not an application as it is currently envisioned, I would recommend to anyone. Not if you want to drive your car in traffic.

If Only

Pavlov Poke
Hopelessly addicted to email, social networking, or other online distractions?
Robert R. Morris and Dan McDuff created Pavlov Poke to wean themselves off Facebook and finish their dissertations.

Got to Facebook get Electric shock……if only

Stop DRM in HTML 5


The web works because the underlying code HTML has up until now been open. Some folks want to close it down.

“Encrypted Media Extensions” is a proposal to allow DRM style proprietary types of content into the web. Dumb Move.

Read More:

Don’t let the myths fool you: the W3C’s plan for DRM in HTML5 is a betrayal to all Web users.

Take Action:
More than 22,000 people have signed.
Help us reach 50,000!
Tell W3C: We don’t want the Hollyweb

We already have too many bad media extensions like Flash, Java, and Silverlight, which constantly put users at risk with constant security updates. It is time to get off this treadmill.

why-you-should-never-search-for-free-wordpress-themes-in-google-or-anywhere-else

WordPress is a great tool for creating blogs, especially for housebloggers who have a desire for show and tell like me.  There is a vibrant community that supports WordPress and there are also assholes. Free is not necessarily without cost.

A great but technical article on the hidden dangers of using “free” WordPress themes.

Link

iPhone 4 Solution- Condoms!!

Covers? Covers?

That’s the problem with a DESIGN Solution.

Cheaper than a recall, dumber than a box of rocks.

Better Yet… Send Condoms!! Un-lubricated with a reservoir tip. Unrolling them from the top will help you to remember which end is up.

Since condoms are made thin, you will be able to use your phone like normal without suffering premature disconnection.

Hell ya can even get them in colors to accent your wardrobe, although how you can accent yourself with your hand stuck to your ear is a question for fashionistas.

Skynet is Coming!!

Software That Fixes Itself

Martin Rinard, a professor of computer science at MIT, is unabashed about the ultimate goal of his group’s research: “delivering an immortal, invulnerable program.” In work presented this month at the ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles in Big Sky, MT, a group of MIT researchers, led by Rinard and Michael Ernst, who is now an associate professor at the University of Washington, developed software that can find and fix certain types of software bugs within a matter of minutes.

via Technology Review: Software That Fixes Itself.

Firefox Bitchslaps Microsoft

The other day I noted that Microsoft had done an ‘invisible’ alteration to Firefox, the open source alternative, and to most folks a much more secure browser. This alteration ‘increased the attack surface’ as Microsoft coined that phrase in regards to Google’s Chrome Browser. It’s confusing I know, but stick around. The attack surface can be looked at like a balloon. When it is flaccid, a pin will just push it around. The more you fill it, increases its surface area making the pin much more dangerous with catastrophic results. Microsoft’s .NET increased the attack surface of Firefox to an alarming degree by injecting itself into the browser like a virus.

Firefox fired Back.
This is the notification you will probably see.
firefoxblock
This is a good thing. Restart your browser.

Checking Tools>Add-ons>Extensions you will see this:
firefoxblock2
This lets you know that it has been disabled. This too is a good thing.

The More Information link takes you to the Bugzilla page where it is discussed. Following this discussion is illuminating for the level of civility and attention to detail. Another reason to use Firefox, knowing that a lot of thought is going into it.

You have to wonder what is so scary to Microsoft that they devote so much time and energy to examining the Firefox code which is Open Source, and then building and deploying code in a manner that is identical to malware infections. Especially since this code ‘phones home’ in the background, as one if its ‘Features’.

Adds ClickOnce support and the ability to report installed.NET versions to the web server.

The Browser Wars are getting much more esoteric, just when you thought it was starting to be safe to surf the web.