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(New Scientist)   Scary or Incredibly Cool Technology...You Be the Judge   ( newscientist.com) divider line
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14673 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Jan 2002 at 8:19 AM (16 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2002-01-20 08:26:23 AM  
Incredibly cool...
2002-01-20 08:27:09 AM  
Who would be the first person to snap and start screaming, "Ahhhh! The voices! Stop the voices!!"
2002-01-20 08:28:04 AM  
Very sucky. Walk into walls of spam!
2002-01-20 08:28:58 AM  
Very sucky. Walk into walls of spam!

2002-01-20 08:34:24 AM  
Erg...wall of spam...Didn't think of that. I retract my previous comment.
2002-01-20 08:37:07 AM  
a nice quiet walk in the woods... except for the phone beeping every 1 nanoseconds because some morons decided to digitally "carve in" some pointless love message on every farking rock, tree and bush

I love technology and gadgets, but this feature is one I'd rather be without. that goes for this "we know where you are at all times"-GPS crap as well.

I just want to call my friends occasionally, goddamnit!
2002-01-20 08:37:55 AM  
I can see it now, I walk into the kitchen and my girlfriends voice booms, "do the dishes", the living room "take out the trash", bedroom "do the washing", study "pay the bills, oh and pick up some lightbulbs, feed the dog, fix the door, put dinner on.. ad infinitum.
2002-01-20 08:39:26 AM  
Perhaps they can attach an "amazing X-10" camera to it and they can spy on you or your porch.
2002-01-20 08:44:18 AM  
TurdFarkuson:that goes for this "we know where you are at all times"-GPS crap as well.
I just want to call my friends occasionally, goddamnit!

If we all eventually carry around a gps enabled equivalent of icq, you'd probably find you would talk less, but more often, as there wouldn't be as much news to exchange at once, the nagging would however remain. :)
2002-01-20 08:56:37 AM  
I refuse to ever have anything like that. It's bad enough already with just cell phones and other crap. I will not assimilate with the farking Borg.
2002-01-20 09:01:41 AM  
Things we want in Mobile Phones:
1: Fast, cheep data connection
2: Better coverage

Things we DON'T want in Mobile Phones
1: To have unsolicited messages pop up everywhere we go
2: To be able to be seen by the person we're calling

Which items look better in marketing BS sent to stock holders?
2002-01-20 09:04:57 AM  
Disregarding Big Brother/Govt. paranoia, it's bad enough that you can already be bothered no matter where you go because you have a cell phone (unless you "accidentally" turn it off). Imagine now your spouse/boss/parent/bookie following your every move with a GPS unless you "accidentally" lose your phone in the bottom of a damned lake. Sure you can turn it off, but then your spouse, etc. ask "what are you hiding?" Result? You are being watched everywhere you go.
2002-01-20 09:09:38 AM  
So this is basically just a device that keeps track of your coordinates and keeps checking some central DB on the internet if there is a message stored for you with those coordinates as a key.

int xposition, yposition, zposition, userid;
char *message;
for (;;) {
  /* code to log in and check to see if there is a message with a key composed of those four ints */

They patent this brilliance yet?
2002-01-20 09:09:45 AM  
You forgot very stupid.
2002-01-20 09:13:27 AM  
I imagine you could just turn it off.
2002-01-20 09:14:17 AM  
No thanks, I dont want to be spammed with messages telling me how I can "eliminate debt now" or "enlarge my penis - no medication!" every time I step through a doorway :/
2002-01-20 09:15:58 AM  
Hmm.. not really new. Last time I saw this was the "real-life Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy"-project (whatever it's called). Same problems as ever: a) Spam, and b) Trust. And no real way around them - full disclosure negates privacy, and both are necessary. Perhaps a filter? Standing in front of the Taj Mahal, you might not want to know that Betty and Frank Lee-Jones of Styxville, TN thought is was "Very nice" (together with, oh, a million similar messages), but you might be enchanted that [insert witticism here (you get the picture)] e.g. Kilroy had been there (ahem). Bit like PGP? Personally, I'd filter on Kevin Bacon, just for the insider-joke value :)
2002-01-20 09:19:07 AM  
The technology for this is cheap and it has many applications for advertising. It seems inevitable it will be packaged with phones as a matter of course over the next few years. I can't imagine it will make a great deal of difference to my life really, i'm getting quite good at ignoring stuff I am not interested in.

If the worst comes to the worst I suppose I will have to go back to communicating by pigeon over long distances; although there is so much extraneous birdlife in the air carrying crappy messages for the new Tron film etc that I really don't want to do that.
2002-01-20 09:19:23 AM  
Big brother is coming. They might just put this into a digital Angle. Scary thought indeed.
2002-01-20 09:20:06 AM  
Oh, yeah. Another avenue for people to puke spam at me. How very farking wonderful!
2002-01-20 09:22:09 AM  
[image from cagle.slate.msn.com too old to be available]

oh yeah, I forgot, I HATE CEL PHONES!!
2002-01-20 09:28:45 AM  
I don't get why cell phone use while driving is illegal. I can still eat my burger king, change CD's, and get a blowjob...so what's it matter if I'm talking on the phone, too?
2002-01-20 09:33:22 AM  
Silence is golden! Mental health officials will have to start treating people for "Information Overload".
2002-01-20 09:34:35 AM  
No farking thanks!
2002-01-20 09:35:59 AM  
LordWatson: Remember in the not to distant past, when it was a status symbol to have a cellphone or pager? In the future, the status symbol will be NOT to have those electronic balls and chains.
2002-01-20 09:40:38 AM  
The future is here, Pick.

Cellphones are evil, evil I tell you!
2002-01-20 09:44:06 AM  
This is scary stuff. Getting IMs ALL the time? No thanks. Of course kids will like this because it's new and they'll grow up with it.

Doing anything other than driving is dangerous because you're not paying full attention to driving. Studies show that the rate of wrecks increase in proportion to cell phoen use. I saw a guy one morning with a newspaper across the steering wheel, a cup of whatever in one hand, a cell phone in the other and steering (I assume) with his knee. Think he thought he wasn't doing anything unsafe? I wanted to run his ass off the road. I finally figured out why people stick a cell phone in their ear while driving instead of using hands-free... they feel an overwhelming need to show how important they are and it's not obvious enough with a headset of hands-free setup.
2002-01-20 09:44:20 AM  
You think cell phone use is out of hand in America? I just got back from Sweden. EVERYONE has a phone over there. And they all walk around w/ ear phones in whether or not they are talking at the time.

The streets were filled with people that, until closer inspection, appeared to be talking madly to themselves.

However, not to sound like a hypocrite, but the only phone I currently own is a cell phone. And I love it. I turn it off when I don't want to talk, but it's always there if I do. It's great technology... but like all technology it has a time and a place. And like most technology of this nature, not all people seem to agree on the correct time and place.
2002-01-20 09:45:03 AM  
Welcome to 1982.

I figure only a couple of years before we hit 84, no?
2002-01-20 09:45:05 AM  
"Honey, don't forget to bring your GPS if you're going out with friends after work."

2002-01-20 09:50:38 AM  
Every time I fart, I'd leave a note telling the world that they've just walked through my cloud.
2002-01-20 09:56:27 AM  
Walkman, so you're telling me you constantly drive with hands at 10 and 2, eyes glued to the road in front of you? Come on, get with it. Yeah, driving with your knees is stupid. But shiat man, what's the difference between talking to a friend sitting next to you and one that's on the phone? Honestly, does holding a phone up to your ear suck your attention away from driving? I talk on the phone a lot when I'm driving, and none of my near accidents (never had an actual wreck while driving) have been while on the phone. True, the time while I'm on the phone and driving is pretty small when compared to time not on it, but still. It's not like I become the mental equivalent of a drooling down's syndromer when I put a phone to my head.
2002-01-20 10:16:51 AM  
Deus, I was wondering just about the same thing... so it's off to the net for an answer. Here's what I found:

"...experts tell us that there are basically three kinds of driving distractions. The first is visual. Looking away from the roadway would be an example of this. The second is mechanical. This would include manipulation a control -- such as dialing a cellular phone or adjusting a radio, and can often be associated with a visual distraction. The third is cognitive. By example, we have all had the experience of traveling from point A to point B and then realizing that we aren't sure how we got there or what happened in between. Being 'lost in thought' or being in focused conversation with someone causes us to withdraw from situational awareness.

Researchers are beginning to obtain evidence that shifting from hand held to hands-free phone use while driving does not result in eliminating all cell phone distractions. It addresses the visual and mechancial distractions, but does not address the cognitive issues.

This raises the question, "How is conversing on a phone different from talking with a passenger in the vehicle?" There are two important differences. The first is that a passenger in a vehicle is aware of the driving situation and can even serve as an additional look-out for hazards. If there is a needed pause in conversation, the reasons are evident to all parties. The second is that phone use seems to carry a certain obligation of immediacy. When the phone rings, we feel compelled to answer it -- whether it is convenient, safe, or appropriate to do so or not. We become focused on the phone call and lose the situational awareness so necessary for safe driving. (Fran Bents) Of all the distractions mentioned, only the use of a cell phone incorporates all three of those demands.

So there you go, and it doesn't really sound like a load of bullshiat, either.
2002-01-20 10:29:07 AM  
It would be cool, except that GPS doesn't farking work indoors!
2002-01-20 10:30:37 AM  

Think Happy Thoughts, Watch More TV, Buy More Goods


Be a Good Citizen...The Government is Your Friend....

your designation is US49-HV596-20020213.....whisper... whisper
2002-01-20 10:35:18 AM  
Shemp Mo-Din - hear hear. I gave up using even a hands-free set when I realised that talking on the phone gave me exactly those "eposodes" of getting from A to B, but not being sure quite *how*. And Deus, yes, I do strive to drive "hands at 10 and 2, eyes glued to the road in front of me". 'Course, I don't always succeed, but you know the way that as far as cars go, four-year-olds have *zero brain*? I constantly remind myself that anything could hop in front of my car, just about at any time. Passing parked cars? Passing cars stopped on the shoulder of the freeway? Hedges? Anywhere...
2002-01-20 10:39:56 AM  
And to the '84-ers: the tech proposed in this link is *passive*. Retransmitting GPS-devices is a different can of worms. You don't want to post a message corresponding to your location? Don't. You don't want logs of which messages you retrieved, and when, thus making your location public? Switch the "query global DB"-function off. Big Brother is when you are forced to use a technology. Double-edged sword, sure, but both edges are keen.
2002-01-20 10:48:18 AM  
Could you do this remotely? Like, instead of putting one where you are, just stick some random "You suck" note in Thailand?
2002-01-20 10:48:38 AM  
just a thought: that onstar gps that's in a lot of cars gives them the power not only to know exactly where you are at all times, but to unlock your doors from a satellite. with this power, who's to say that they can't, oh, disable your car while driving because you're wanted for minor drug charges?

just another thought: we hate internet pop-ups, why have telephone pop-ups? my theory (and i just woke up so this is not refined) is that they're trying to make us look elsewhere.

take that big brother.
2002-01-20 10:49:34 AM  
No, what I was reffering to, Labberdash, was the fact that the article stated that GPS is now the size of a dime and can be hidden in anything we purchase/install. Hell, the babies poppin out there at the baby factory/ward might be getting dime-sized GPS up their arses.

And note that I said this was 1982. Just pointing out that 84 is nearby, as the article clearly demonstrates.
2002-01-20 10:51:37 AM  
Amen, Friar.
2002-01-20 11:01:33 AM  
Eurytion - yea, maybe I'm getting anal here, but what does a dime-sized GPS *do*? Tell an infent's intestine where it is (Maybe mount one on the elbow, too ... great real-life helper right there :)
I'd be getting nervous if the device retransmitted my location to agencies unknown, or even logged my location for later analysis, but as it is, i.e. passive, it being up anyones lower intestine renders it as useless as whatever else might be up there.
82: Yes, I was addressing the 84-ers, i.e. not you :)
2002-01-20 11:03:22 AM  
"a drooling down's syndromer"
Jesus, you were a waste of DNA.

- and if you don't know the differences between talking to a friend who is sitting next to you and one who is on the phone... let me clarify: if the person is there you don't have to find your phone so you can answer him, you don't have to dial his number when you want to talk to him, you don't have to take your eyes off the road to see if your friend is roaming or how well his battery is charged...
We both know I could go on - at least now there is a possibility that I kick-started something in your absofugginlutely-NOT-Downe's-SyndromER brain. Worm.
2002-01-20 11:09:19 AM  
1) find my phone to answer it.

I know exactly where my phone is, and exactly where the button is to answer a call. Answering it is as second nature as shifting. Do you look at the shifter? Well, I don't look at my phone.

2) Dial his number to talk to him

See above. I have speed dial. I know where the numbers are.

3) Take your eyes off the road to see if your friend is roaming or how well his battery is charged.

My phone doesn't roam. Well, it does, but I still get service, except in the sticks. Plus, I always plug my phone into the charger in the car.

Got anything else? Or did my non Down's Syndrome brain mop up enough stupid ass complaints?
2002-01-20 11:11:37 AM  

Walkman, so's u r tellin' me yo' ass constant-like roll wit' hands at 10 an' 2,
eyes glued t' da damn road in front o' yo' ass? Come on, git wit' it. Yaih,
croozin' wit' yo' knees be punk-ass. But shiat dude, whut's da difference
between rappin' t' some homie sittin' next t' yo' ass an' one dat's on da
phone? Word to yo' mama. Honest-like, duz holdin' some phone down t' yo' aih'
suck yo' attenshun away from croozin'? I rap on da phone some lot when I is
croozin', an' none o' mah naih' accidents (down low, neva' had some actual
wreck while croozin') have been while on da phone. Ah be baaad... True, da
time while I is on da phone an' croozin' be pretty little-ass when compared t'
time not on it, but still. It be not likes I become da damn mental equivalent
o' some droolin' waaay down's syndroma' when I put some phone t' mah thinka'.
Wank, wank.

is that what you were trying to say?
2002-01-20 11:16:12 AM  
Deus - not really. As Shemp Mo-Din's pasted article states, it's not really anything objective. But just try to observe yourself: can you keep your mind both on the road, and on the conversation, at the same time? Try the following: put a clock in the car that beeps at irregular intervals, around every five minutes. When it beeps, check if you know the colour of the car behind you, without looking in the rearview mirror. Compare the hit rates for "on the phone" and off the phone".
2002-01-20 11:16:26 AM  
Shemp Mo Din, good stuff. Thanks for replying in a mature and decidedly non-bullshiat manner.


The first is that a passenger in a vehicle is aware of the driving situation and can even serve as an additional look-out for hazards. If there is a needed pause in conversation, the reasons are evident to all parties.

Good point, but doesn't work too well. I'm focusing on driving while I'm talking. If some shiat happens, I stop talking. Example. Two months ago, I'm driving through Texas right after a bad freak blizzard. I'm talking to my mom on the phone, and I see a bad patch of snow on the road. My first thought is: "shiat, I'm probably gonna fishtail when I hit that." My action: "Mom, I gotta go. Call you back in a bit." I put down the phone, gripped the wheel, and made it through the snow without sliding off the road. Then I called her back. End of story.

The second is that phone use seems to carry a certain obligation of immediacy. When the phone rings, we feel compelled to answer it -- whether it is convenient, safe, or appropriate to do so or not.

Negative. My phone rings, I answer it when I'm damn good and ready. I guess the only way to prove it would be for you to take a ride with me, and since that's not gonna happen any time soon, you'll just have to take my word for it.

We become focused on the phone call and lose the situational awareness so necessary for safe driving. (Fran Bents) Of all the distractions mentioned, only the use of a cell phone incorporates all three of those demands.

Well, like I've said before, I don't lose any concentration while I'm driving and talking. Maybe I don't pay all too much attention to begin with. I guess that makes me a bad driver, eh? Well, I've been driving 5 years with no accidents, and the only near accidents I did have were avoided because of quick reflexes. Aren't we supposed to have at least one accident in 5 years? Either I'm gettin real hot for one, or, I dunno, maybe I'm a decent driver after all.

Like it or not, there are some responsible cell-phone-whilst-driving-users.
2002-01-20 11:20:16 AM  
mmm-k, color you the only idiot on the road who is, in absolutely no way, distracted by his phone.
[image from community.theunderdogs.org too old to be available]
2002-01-20 11:20:22 AM  
Lab, I can see what you're saying, but I just disagree. Besides, my mind is on other things while I'm driving anyway. It's just how I work. My mind is NEVER 100% on the task at hand. (Except during sex.) To me, a cellphone is no worse than the radio, a friend in the car with me, or a daydream I might be having.
2002-01-20 11:21:05 AM  
Suz, why the personal attacks? What did I ever do to piss in your cheerios?
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