Gridlock: GOP Healthcare Repeal; Foodstamps Reduction; Homelessness; Crippling Poverty, Poor Roads-Old Bridges and Falling Infrastructure: Whither USA?
Emerging Gadgets and Concepts: Undergirded Gridlock
There is an extensive array or variety of internet appliances that are being spawned and added to the host of other technologies that have come up in the last twenty or so years to date. It is very important and fascinating to see the profusion of all these gadgets, and their enhanced uses and technical feats and interconnectivity.
It is also important to know what it is they do and how they do it. Added to this, is the most important fact that they are altering, changing, pacifying determining and redirecting how we network, talk, behave, plan, asses, learn, think and perceive and receive the world through these gadgets, and how we are affected and effected.
Internet appliances, for example, are tasked to function on specific devices containing embedded computers and connectivity to the Internet. They trade the functional generality and computational power of desktop computers for low cost and ease of use. The term, Internet Appliances, Applies to a range of products-from low-cost general purpose network computers to cell phones and microwave. These include:
PDA: A hand held device that communicates via two-way wireless networks. This personal digital assistance promises to organize the information we use everyday: phone numbers, appointments, lists, addresses, etc.
Web Terminal & Virtual JAVA Machine: A desktop device optimized for browsing the Web and executing load-on-demand JAVA programs. Similar to diskless workstation.
ISDN Video Phone: A desktop device primarily intended for making video phone calls, but also allowing the recording and retrieval of video messages and clips. Voice mail will be replaced by video mail.
Internet-enabled Equipment & Appliance: Ovens, VCRs,Video Cameras. Automobiles(dashboard & internal monitoring), and HVAC are just a few examples.
Here are some of the advances that have taken effect thus far:
VCRs have now become remote webcams; Microwave Ovens are now somewhat remotely programmed to cook dinner; Smoke/Intruder Alarm check on your home while your out of town; Automobiles today are designed to allow your mechanic to check out the engine while you are using it; Cellular Communications Device allow one to browse the web using your cell phone; Network computer lowered total cost of computer ownership; Pacemaker/heart monitor will allow medical technicians to adjust your pacemaker/heart monitor whilst you have it on you.
These emerging technology are going coming out with 'desktop applications built with easy to use solutions', will be able to 'give access to your enterprise information from your desk and through the world', make easy to 'remote' data collection; enable dynamic communication across your organization and Wireless connectivity; and, increase your ROI by investing in the latest technology; RFID (real Time Supply Chain), Barcode capture/AIT and Wireless Technology.
These services - Workstations, Web Apps, Mobile Devices and Emerging Technologies are integrated to improve our Organizations Information Technology(IT)..In the process of our consuming and utilizing these new and emerging technology they alter and change our behavior, thinking, organization and knowledge in the way they afford us access, speed, efficiency and in the process we acquire new ways of seeing, learning behaving and thinking and talking…
From convergence to virtualization, form narrow casting to ultra high speed broadband connections, the information technology industry and the profusion of technological gadgets is in constant change. These emerging technologies scan the horizon to help its users adapt to changing technology and go through with ease in understanding the ambiguous regulatory environment.
These new technologies use Computer Vision technology which enable new Touch light applications in gesture UI, video conferencing. The incoming new generation of cell phones have a bigger screen and a portable pad for pone button. These phones are called 'Fastap'-enabled equipped with a new user interface, Bluetooth, a Megapixel camera, and a micro SD card slot. It has slick buttons and a variable voice quality; meanwhile it offers innovative Celltop application; Wireless Interface: conference capabilities; Internal Antenna; caller ID; Speakerphone; Short messaging Service; Internet Browser.
The description of the cell phone above is not a sales pitch, but a concise listing of what these gizmos are packaged like and with what features and their network offerings and connectivity. What they have is their ability to increase out dependence, thinking, behavior, communication, networking and learning.
It is important to appreciate what these emerging technologies are designed like and crafted to do. They miniaturize our lives into a gadget that covers all the areas we would have had to try to cover in a myriad activities into one gadget. This gadget is technological in nature and it extends us in all sorts of direction and immerses us into the Electrical Computerized Cyber world and lifestyles.
Then there are people like Steven Woods says that : "We want to reduce the Computer's stranglehold on cognitive processing by embedding it and making it work more and ore like the natural environment. It is too much of a technological device now, and we haven't had the technology to truly integrate a high resolution display in artifacts that have organic shapes: Carved, flexible and textile,like you coffee mug."
A Queens Computing Professor Roel Bertegaal, who is now developing prototypes of these "non-planar" devices, in an article titles "New Computers change shape, Respond to Touch" says: says:"Not only will they take on flexible forms we've never imagined — like pop cans with browsers displaying RSS feeds and movie trailers — computers of the future will respond to our direct touch and even change their own shape to better accommodate data, for example, folding lie a piece of paper to be tucked into our pockets."
Dr. Vertegaal further states: "What we are talking about here is nothing short of a revolution for human-computer interaction." He compares our current use of flat, rectangular to the 19 century satiric novel. Flatland. A romance of Many Dimensions, about people who live only two dimensions and are narrow minded. He say and suggests that: "I think that computers are very much like that today.
"You are essentially looking at a tiny tunnel into a flat online world, and that causes people to think in a two dimensional way. 'Flatland' interfaces are incredibly limited compared to natural 3D ones." Some of the projects carried out by the Queens University's Human Media Lab have in June of this year "hacked together a controller for a Phillips 'lumative shirt'.
"The controller uses a solenoid acuator controlled by an Arduino board. Inputs are capacitive touch sensors connected to conductive fabric sewn into the shoulders of the shirt. By touching the left or right shoulder,friends can operate a back and forward image browser on your T-shirt. We believe that this to be the world's first truly interactive T-Shirt."
Steve Baker says that: "People put out personal data every time they click on a website, change the RV channel, shop, or talk on the pone. In his book, 'The Numerati,' Baker explores ways mathematicians and computer scientists are using information to predict- and possibly manipulate consumer behavior." He offered some 10 technological developments that will hit mainstream:
1. Magic carpet:
Researchers at Intel Corp. have come up with linoleum kitchen tiles wired with weigh sensors connected by radio signals to the Internet. They can measure not only the weight of people going about their business in the kitchen, but they can also determine the length of their strides and distribution of their weight. They are also designed to monitor elderly people, and send alerts if increased wavering signals the risk of a fall.
Is there a lot of action in your neighborhood at 3 a.m.? Sense Network's Citysense allows users to look at cellphone usage patterns to gauge the flow of foot traffic in a city. What's more, by studying urban movements, Sense can sort users into behavioral "tribes" — people who follow similar patterns, from neighborhoods to night clubs. So, if the dots congregating down the street are red or blue, it might be lively — but not for your tribe.
3. Face recognition
It's been a sci-fi standard for generations — show the photo of a face to a machine, and it comes up with a name. Digital spies, of course, would love to use such technology to identify every face in airpots. That's still far away, But for hobbyists, simple face recognition will help sort out who's who in the family photo. Google's Picasa is already offering a version of this technology. New beards must cause problems. And forget about twins.
4. Supermarket smart carts
A decade after failed attempts to computerize shopping, supermarket chains in the United States, Germany and South Korea are rolling out new smart carts. The idea: Shoppers swipe their loyalty cards and a suggested shopping list pops up on the screen, based on their historical patterns. If this works, markets could offer shoppers customized discounts. The challenge will be to convince shoppers that sharing this data is worth the benefits — and that this trove of information won't be sold to marketers elsewhere.
5. Nano-wired helmets
The Pentagon is experimenting with helmets wired with nano-sensors. The idea: if a soldier is wounded, first responders will be able to download details of the impact — and it's likely consequences — as soon as they arrive on the scene. How long before this technology moves into football helmets.
Newscred is a site that tracks and analyzes the credibility of news organizations and blogs — as ranked by readers. Fine, you might say. But what if readers on right and left trash the reputations of media they don't agree with? Newscred has to adjust its algorithms for such behavior.
7. Travel-time maps
Why measure miles? New cartographers at Google and elsewhere will be cooking up new generations of maps that combine a variety of data. A site called Information Aesthetics in London compares housing prices to travel time and driving to public transportation One glance at that kind of map, and you may see that you are farther from work than you thought.
8. Dragon Runner 'ThrowBot'
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are laboratories for a new generation of robots, including the "ThrowBot," a cheap 8-pound unit that rolls around dangerous territory, capturing information Look for these data-sweepers to show up in American cities, maybe in sports stadiums. They're the four-wheeled emissaries of the surveillance society.
9. Compulsion TV
Imagine a TV that allows you to click on an image — a woman's bracelet, her sweater, her shoes — to reach the item's e-commerce site. This is Internet marketing brought to Tv and DVDs. Many of us wouldn't click even once. But it could be a breakthrough for the home shopping set
Who said emerging technology couldn't be re-emerging? In the oil crisis of the '70s, Americans bought a half-million of these low-power motorbikes with pedals. With oil prices up, moped could make a comeback for all those potential cyclists who would appreciate a push up the hills. Gas mileage for mopeds routinely tops 70 miles per gallon.
These are some of the emerging technologies and their application and usage as envision by Baker. It is interesting to note that these technologies are intertwined with our central nervous system to the extent that we are not only wired, but are having a computer grid, through all sorts of gadgets,be gridded into our consciousness, awareness, thinking, behavior, work, houses,communication,learning and coping with life itself.
"It is important that we understand the promising emerging technologies through the lenses of their creativity and creative inquiry and learning. There is a proliferation of emerging technologies throughout the world and this article cannot cover them all.
"Maybe in the next deposition of technologies that are emerging and affecting and effecting our being, thinking, behavior, networking, learning, using, living-i.e., try to cover as many facets of life, living, thinking and improving our humanity and our perceptions, and at the same time understanding clearly how this new techniques and technologies are morphing into our existence and if whether this is good or bad for us.
"I think as we get to know about what came before, what's coming and what will be in the future will help us better know them and use them better and to our advantages. The problem here is that they come ready to serve our need and deeds; they already have programmed in them as to what they can do, and we adapt to that technique and programming.
"This is where I have a problem with our current technologies. We buy and use them according to what they promise us they can do. We become transformed based on the offerings that come with our gadgets. We o not come to our new technologies with what we want them to do for us. We come to them in their own terms as to what they can do to transform some things we need transformed, communicated, adjusted, monitored, viewed and so on."
Some of these technologies are:
Robotics; Biometrics; Voice Recognition Devices; Disposable Technology; E-Books; New Audio Media; Nanotechnologies; Flexible Computing Devices; Biotech; Digital Health; Eco-friendly Products; Electronic Clothing and Accessories; Embedded Technologies; Emerging Technology/Engineering; Home appliances; Home Healthcare Products; Intellectual Property; Personal Electronics; Personal Safety and Security Products; Robotics; Social Networking; Sports Electronics; Wireless Communication Consumer Electronics; Audio; Computer Hardware and Software.
Lastly we have a Hoverpod, a new Skycar. Chris Jablonski says that, "It uses a proprietary centrifugal fan that allows for the creation of an extremely compact craft with VTOL capabilities and high lifting efficiencies. The Entecho Hoverpod's core IP is an odd enclosed-rotor flight technology that requires a disc-shaped aircraft with passengers or payload in the center...
"Totally VTOL and with a small footprint, perhaps the Entecho Hoverpod might deliver as a practical and affordable personal flight solution. The manned vehicle is about 5 feet in diameter and can travel up to 75 mph, seat 3 passengers, and is currently designed to fly at an altitude of only around 5 feet — still greater that a conventional hovercraft, allowing it to pass any terrain.
"Our technical world not only creates these feelings spontaneously, it develops them with malice aforethought for technical reasons and by technical means which, in their action on the human being, reinforce the structures of that technical world. The words might be taken to pertain to the integration of all men into a brutally technicized environment. Modern society has moved toward a mass society, but the human being is still not fully adapted to these new forms.
Material techniques usually result in a collective social form by means of a process which is largely involuntary. But sometimes it is voluntary; the technician, in agreement with the technical data, considers a collectivity a higher social form. For example, the purpose of advertising technique is the creation of a certain way of life.
In this case, it is much less important to convince the individual rationally than implant in him a certain conception of life. The object offered for sale by the advertiser is naturally indispensable to the realization of this way of life… Now, objects advertised are all the result of the same technical progress and are all identical type from a cultural point of view.
So that, advertising, which is founded on massive psychology research that must be effective, can "put across" the technical way of life. Anyone who buys a given object participates in this way of life and, by falling prey to the compulsive power of advertising, enters involuntarily and unconsciously into its psychological framework.
One of the great designs of advertising is to create needs; but this is possible only if these needs correspond to the ideal of life that man accepts. In the meantime, advertising goes about its task of creating a psychological collectivism by mobilizing certain human tendencies in order to introduce the individual into the world of technique.
Advertising affects all people and its goal is to persuade the masses to buy. The inevitable consequence is the creation of mass man, and in the end, for all the technological advancement and how it is advertised to the consuming masses, we end up becoming the grid and are the grid, in the broader sense of the meaning of the word.
Today, our cultural body is made of media. Mediating technologies are fibrous matter holding society together. We are the grid because the communication, unlike chemistry or biology, is behavioral process. The role and effect of media are not as predictable as the result when two chemicals are mixed at a certain temperature in a laboratory.
Communications involves human beings and society, not physical elements undergoing experimentation in a laboratory. Technique, to Ellul, is "a 'blind' force, but one which unfortunately seems to be more perspicacious than the best discernible human intelligences.
Ellul's insistence that the technical phenomenon is not a determinism is not weakened by the enumeration of five conditions which are said to be "necessary and sufficient" for its outburst in the recent past, since the sufficient conditions for conditions(for example, the causes of the population explosion) are not ascertainable."
Ellul states: "The inertia of the technical phenomenon guarantees not only the continued refinement and production of relatively beneficial articles such as flush toilets, and wonder drugs, but also the emergence of those unpredictable secondary effects which are always the result of ecological meddling and which today are of such magnitude and acceleration that they can scarcely be reconciled with even semistable equilibrium conditions of society.
"Nuclear explosions and population explosions capture the public's imagination; all indices of modern technological culture are exploding, too, and are potentially just as dangerous to the continued well-being of society, if by well-being we understand social equilibrium."
Some peoples cautious reasoning has prompted some people to see the output of the media not as a reflection of raw, unmediated reality but rather as a social index of attitudes and feelings. As Virginia Woolf elegantly put it, 'newspapers are tin sheets of gelatin pressed nightly on the brain and heart of the world'.(Woolf)
Many people actually see the media as responding to general impulses and prodding of the users and consumers of media and technological gadgets. With the new emerging social media, we become the media grid in our uses of the gadgets and we ultimately become the grid, and this has caused disequilibrium for the human being seeking to adapt to his new technological and social communication milieu.