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Monday, December 20, 2021

So, fingerless gloves — the winter accessory that, in our handheld-device age, has finally met its functional purpose:

Fingerless gloves are nothing new (hello, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper and David Bowie). They were a style staple of rebellious ’80s pop stars and have come back on the hands of Taylor Momsen, Rihanna and tons of teens and twentysomethings for whom texting, tweeting and typing is a full-time job no matter what the climate.

And yet, I have a couple of problems with this handwear:

- It evokes a homeless-junkie look to me. That’s the group I most closely associate with these half-gloves, basically as improvised tear-wear.

- The fingers are the part of the hand that get the coldest when exposed to freezing temperatures. So what’s the point in covering up your palms? You’re still going to feel the chilly numbness.

Because of those two strikes against, I don’t see donning a pair of these, even with my constant keyboard-typing and touchscreen-tapping. Not that I’m not tempted, with some of the drafty locales I’ve had to endure lately.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 12/20/2010 09:16pm
Category: Fashion, Society, Tech, Weather
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Saturday, December 18, 2021

The backend of this blog regularly alerts me that I have three updates available for installation: Two for plugins, along with the latest version-point-nth bug fix for WordPress.

On my iPhone, the App Store icon sports a “4″ in its upper-right corner, indicating the presence of updates for four apps.

Screw email bankruptcy. I’ve got a case of update-alert bankruptcy brewing, similar to others who’ve applied this nuclear option outside of the inbox.

Why don’t I download all these upgrades, and rid myself of those pestering reminders? In general, the credo “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” overrides any potential performance improvement. That’s especially the case with the WP code; the lack of quality-control encourages update submissions on a whim, regardless of actual usefulness (think added Bulgarian language support, etc.). Frankly, if something’s not working properly, I’d be more likely to uninstall it long before any fix came down the pike from the developer. But in cases where something’s working well enough to not risk any snafus with an “improvement”, those reminders are annoying fixtures.

I’m sometimes tempted to click on the “update all” button (or equivalent) just to get the subtle nagging to stop. Is it worth it to screw up my finely-humming website and device, just to erase those number-bugs? No. So I’ll just have to develop a blind spot and plod along with my outdated versioning. There are worse fates.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 12/18/2010 03:22pm
Category: Bloggin', Tech, iPhone
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Wednesday, December 08, 2021

infected connected
I’ve mentioned how enamored I am by Dirty Laundry‘s dance track “Disco Infected”, along with its cover art.

So much so that, when it came time this week to refresh my wireless router’s SSID, I picked that track title for the name: “DiscoInfected”. As good as any other tag, I figured.

Until I noticed how closely that mashed-together name resembles “Disconnected”.

Not really a problem, but as I glanced that label on my iPhone’s list of available wi-fi networks, it did make me do a double-take. Maybe it’s close enough to a failed-connection notification that it’ll dissuade unwelcomed leeches from trying to hack in. They’d need the password anyway, but every little bit of deterrence helps.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 12/08/2021 10:51pm
Category: Pop Culture, Wi-Fi, Wordsmithing
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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

I’m sure it’s been noted by others, but I find it interesting that, in the DVR era, a semantic shift has taken place when referring to “live television”. Here’s a handy example:

[Online advertising provider Say Media] found that almost 56 million Americans belong to a group that the study categorized as “Off the Grid” — they spend more time watching non-live videos (say a YouTube video, or a TV show recorded on DVR) than they spend watching live TV.

Essentially, “live TV” now refers to the broadcasted (or cable-casted) stream of programming. It doesn’t factor in whether that consists of a pre-recorded show or a true live-time telecast. Basically, if it’s coming at you in synchronous state, and you can’t control the playback — saving, pausing, rewinding, or otherwise time-shifting the experience — then it’s “live”.

Traditionally, only certain events like awards shows, sports, or news are considered truly “live” television. The spread of digital video recorders, DVDs, and Web video has redefined that designator. This has more to do with the level of viewer customization, than the actual state of the medium. Obviously, most of what’s on the air is pre-recorded fare; but in the context of active viewer experience, it’s all untamed content. That’s the mass perception that’s taking hold.

It might be more accurate to refer to the programming pumping out of the networks as “raw television” — raw-material media before it’s corralled via digital storage and manipulation. But DVR marketing has touted the ability to “pause live TV” and such, which undoubtedly is a relatable way to convey the functionality. So for better or worse, “live TV” has been redefined.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 12/07/2021 02:18pm
Category: Society, TV, Tech
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Sunday, December 05, 2021

The attempt to give a name to the freelancer phenomenon of hours-long wi-fi workspacing in coffeeshops — “Laptopistan” — is exceedingly lame. But at least the article imparted the business strategy behind hosting such seemingly freeloading behavior:

While the people behind the screens spent a paltry $6 to $10 per day, their true value is as a draw for more profitable takeout customers, [Brooklyn-based Atlas Cafe co-owner Enrico] Lorenzetti said. From the moment the door opens at 7 a.m. until it closes at 9 p.m., the place is buzzing, a productive society, visible from the street through wraparound windows. “People come in to buy food and coffee to go, because they see a full crowd,” he said. “They think ‘Hey, this place must be good if I can’t even get a table.’”

I’ve logged my fair share of time on Starbucks‘ wireless network, notebook computer propped open the whole time. And I definitely didn’t break the bank during these work sessions: A cup of tea plus a bagel would last me for my requisite couple of hours (with a refill for which they might or might not charge a few cents). When you’re shuttling between clients all day, there’s no better mobile office setting.

However, I’ve never frequented a coffeeshop that was utterly dominated by this co-working presence. That is, it’s still unmistakenly a public place of business, and you have to “put up” with regular coffee-drinking patrons coming in, making noise, and otherwise not engaging in any sort of work-like quietude. I’m able to achieve some task-centric focus in this non-home-office, but I can’t rely on it as a fully-functioning workspace.

But again, it does the job for what it is. And if my occupying a space helps the store draw in crowd-seeking customers, it’s a win-win.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 12/05/2021 01:44pm
Category: Business, New Yorkin', Society, Wi-Fi
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Saturday, November 20, 2021

It’s been a while since a user-submission gimmicky website caught my interest. Damn You Auto Correct! has managed it, with its seemingly endless supply of unintentional mobile-device typographical humor.

Although, while the above “lobe-live-libe-love-fyck” example above surely rings true, I wonder about some of the other submissions. For instance, this alleged flub where “going to divorce” subbed in for “going to Disney”. I’d be willing to bet that that one was staged.

The underlying joke, of course, is that by this point, the auto-correction technology still can’t work out context to avoid these errors. Or that the keyboards on most phones, including the iPhone, aren’t better suited to human communication. But I guess we could still have a good laugh over the results. Either that, or else we can all go to “ducking he’ll”

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 11/20/2010 06:16pm
Category: Comedy, Internet, Tech, iPhone
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Saturday, October 16, 2021

suck on it kid
As someone who was practically raised by television, I’ve known the hypnotic soothing of the videoscreen all my life. Nowadays, toddlers are getting the same palliative satisfaction via their parents’ iPhones:

Kelsey would ask for it. Then she’d cry for it. “It was like she’d always want the phone,” [mother Natasha] Sykes said. After a six-hour search one day, she and her husband found the iPhone tucked away under Kelsey’s bed. They laughed. But they also felt vague concern. Kelsey, and her 2-year-old brother, Chase, have blocks, Legos, bouncing balls, toy cars and books galore. (“They love books,” Ms. Sykes said.) But nothing compares to the iPhone.

“If they know they have the option of the phone or toys, it will be the phone,” Ms. Sykes said.

I’ve run into this phenomenon, and I don’t even have kids. Friends and relatives have conditioned their little tykes to regard a smartphone as more of a toy than a tech tool. That’s fine for them, as I’m sure the little ones need constant distraction, and handing over the iPhone falls under parental duties.

Where it bites me: Whenever I whip out my iPhone while around these youngsters, it’s like a feeding frenzy. They often start demanding my phone so that they can play a game on it — and often, a game I don’t even have, but that their parents do on their devices (an interesting perception by the kiddies, in that they expect iPhones to be uniform media platforms). Regardless, I have a problem with some grubby little monkey making that grab. It’s my iPhone, and while I play with it often enough, that doesn’t mean I want little fingers smudging up the screen. Especially little fingers attached to uncoordinated little hands, that are apt to drop the iPhone (probably while fighting over it) and end up costing me a few hundred bucks to replace it.

So, I come off like Uncle Selfish Dickhead for refusing to share my 3GS. And half the time, the parents give me the evil eye for not going along with this cellular enabling.

I suppose I could start carrying around my old iPod Touch, to use as a decoy. I wouldn’t care as much if that iToy bit the dust. Still, who figured child development would create such a treacherous terrain for mobile phoning?

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 10/16/2010 06:42pm
Category: Society, Tech, iPhone
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Sunday, October 10, 2021

“Your car should drive itself. It just makes sense. It’s a bug that cars were invented before computers.”

Those are the words of Google CEO Eric Schmidt during a techie conference in late September. I doubt you’ll find a better encapsulation of the technocratic mindset, i.e. “getting computers to do the things we’re not good at”.

And Google is putting that automotive-specific philosophy into practice, with a fleet of largely self-driving cars used for Google Maps Street View mapping:

Robot drivers react faster than humans, have 360-degree perception and do not get distracted, sleepy or intoxicated, the engineers argue. They speak in terms of lives saved and injuries avoided — more than 37,000 people died in car accidents in the United States in 2008. The engineers say the technology could double the capacity of roads by allowing cars to drive more safely while closer together. Because the robot cars would eventually be less likely to crash, they could be built lighter, reducing fuel consumption. But of course, to be truly safer, the cars must be far more reliable than, say, today’s personal computers, which crash on occasion and are frequently infected.

As compelling — and likely inevitable — as all that is, it’s hard not to contemplate the dark side: When humans are deemed to be not particular good, efficient, etc. at most things, including governance and other messy pursuits…

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/10/2021 11:36am
Category: Society, Tech
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Wednesday, October 06, 2021

I’ve taken my distaste for text messaging to a new level: As of today, I’m no longer able to send or receive texts on my phone.

Yup. I called AT&T Wireless and had them put a “text-lock” on my account. It doesn’t affect my monthly bill, as I’d been going without a texting plan in the first place — meaning I was paying a per-message charge for each incoming and outgoing SMS. But from here on out, my iPhone will no longer see any new texts (outside of the occasional support message from AT&T, which is free anyway).

Why this drastic move? After all, texting is wildly popular. But it’s never been with me. Even before getting a Web-capable smartphone, I thought that texts were an annoyance, essentially a stop-gap time-waster on the way to eventual phonecalls. Now that I have email in my pocket — that’s free, insofar as the data plan I’m paying for anyway makes it free — I seriously don’t see the point of paying even a little bit extra for something I neither use nor want to get.

The only snag: Apparently, anyone who does send me a text from here on out won’t get any indication that it’s not going through. Basically, some of my acquaintances are going to think I’m blowing them off. But that’s the risk I’ll take. If they know me at all, they’ll already know that I don’t play the texting game anyway, and to either call or email instead.

There’s always an outside chance that I’ll find myself so inconvenienced by the lack of text-ability that I’ll beg AT&T to restore the function (which I can do at any time). Although if I were a betting man, I wouldn’t lay down a nickel on that happening.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 10/06/2021 10:19pm
Category: Society, Tech, iPhone
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Thursday, September 30, 2021

This is a good enough place as any to make a record of this: Today I bought a new pair of in-ear headphones with inline mic, for use with my iPhone. They are, in fact, this V-Moda’s Faze Nero model.

Let’s see how long these babies last. Anything will be an improvement over the set they’re replacing, the Scosche IDR400M. I’ve already trashed those on Amazon, seeing as how they lasted a mere two months before starting to fall apart.

A quick sound test of the Neros on the iPod shows promise — certainly not audiophile quality, but good enough for my purposes. I’m crossing my fingers on the phone mic performance when I try it tomorrow morning.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 09/30/2010 11:51pm
Category: Tech, iPhone, iPod
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Monday, September 27, 2021

I’m usually not one to make sport out of a man’s tragic death. But when it’s the owner of Segway Inc., and his death happened as a result of his personal Segway crashing off a cliff on his English property… Well, it’s hard to resist.

[James "Jimi" Heselden's] body was found late Sunday morning after a passer-by reported seeing a man plummet 30 feet into the River Wharfe, the police said, adding that a “Segway-style vehicle” had also been found…

The two-wheeled Segway personal transporter, which operates on electricity and changes direction according to the way its driver tilts, was invented by Dean Kamen in 2001. Matt Dailida, vice president for government affairs at Segway, said that Mr. Heselden was “a Segway p.t. owner long before he bought the company,” in December 2009.

Irony rides on two wheels, it seems. And a tilt.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 09/27/2010 08:12pm
Category: Business, Tech
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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

When CBS decided to turn Twitter feed @ShitMyDadSays into a TV show, it decided to go cutesy-ish by subbing “$#*!” for the offending scatological terminology in the original title.

A necessary move, but maybe not the most DVR-optimized one:

It seems DVR designers quite understandably never suspected that a network would launch a TV show that started with the word “$#*!.” There may be a way to find such symbols within the DVR interface, but a casual survey of customers subscribing to a few different video services found nobody who could manage to type the first word of the title.

Which isn’t to suggest DVR users cannot watch the show. Users can browse through the nightly grids until they get to Thursday evening, where the show is clearly listed in all its “$#*!” glory. Or, heck, you can even watch the show live.

It’s amusing that our technological interfaces still can’t accommodate commonplace (if unconventional) input like this. Just when will machine language catch up with freestyling human expression?

Will this scheduling impediment significantly impact the viewership for the William Shatner-helmed comedy? At the very least, it seems that hashtags are out of bounds when tweeting about the latest episode…

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 09/22/2010 10:33pm
Category: Social Media Online, TV, Tech
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Friday, September 03, 2021

You know all those perma-stick decals lurking under the lid of every new Windows PC laptop computer? Despite their garishness, they’re there for a reason:

A.M.D.’s research shows that consumers hate the stickers (duh). But they’re not going away, for one simple reason: There’s big money involved. Intel, Microsoft, Skype and whoever else is represented by the stickers actually pay the computer companies for the billboard space. That’s why H.P., for example, would tolerate gumming up its laptops’ good looks with crass ads. (Apple refuses to put Intel stickers on its computers, even though there’s Intel inside. In doing so, it leaves millions of dollars a year on the table.)

I actually remember one of these labels serving a useful purpose on one of my old Wintel notebooks. The details are fuzzy, but the bullet-point specs printed on this particular sticker were handy enough that I appreciated having the machine’s technical details constantly within sight. The alternative would have been to dive through a bunch of Windows menus and submenus to gather the same basic information. That’s why I never removed it for the 3-4 years I used the thing.

But that was just one single stickie. I’m surprised it took so long for third-party providers to exploit that front-and-center computer-user territory (is it really on anybody’s “laptop” anymore?) as advertising space. The next step is for computermakers to substitute that bare metal or plastic into LED or some other dynamic-display material, and rotate through a neverending parade of ads for the life of the machine…

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 09/03/2021 02:11pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Business, Tech
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Thursday, September 02, 2021

Despite myself, lately I’ve been kicking around the idea of upgrading the stereo in my Jeep Cherokee, strictly to enable the use of my iPod Touch via an in-dash USB port. For as little as I drive the vehicle, it doesn’t make much sense to put any time or money into the sound system — except, of course, that I can’t endure the void of a music-less 10-minute ride.

In the course of my research, I’ve come across a couple of curious concepts from the world of automobile accessories. At least, they’re curious to me, taking into account how far removed I’ve been from this realm:

- Manufacturers still produce after-market car stereo systems with detachable faceplates. This, despite their dubious effectiveness in deterring theft. I was somewhat amazed that this “innovation” seems to still be touted, almost 20 years after it was first introduced. It’s funny to me that there’s apparently no advancement in this field, when I was following this detach-and-carry method back in the early ’90s. They really haven’t come up with a better idea for securing those tricked-out systems, after all this time?

- Strictly as an incidental observation (since I’m not looking for this myself), I’ve seen several car owners employing The Club. Yes, yet another auto-add-on that had its heyday back toward the tail-end of the last century. Again, I was surprised that people still used this relic. I guess it’s somewhat effective, even though a determined car thief can either pop its lock or else saw through the steering wheel to get around it. Again, there’s been nothing better devised that supplants this low-budget deterrent?

I’m sure my surprise at these two personal discoveries mainly serves to highlight how out of touch I’ve been with basic car culture in America. Can’t say I’m feeling any embarrassment from this personal deficit.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 09/02/2021 10:59pm
Category: Tech
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Friday, August 27, 2021

If, like me, you’ve been skeptical of Amazon‘s steadfast refusal to disclose just how many Kindles it’s actually sold, you’re not alone:

It’s in Amazon’s best interest to keep Kindle sales details under wraps, said Michael Norris of Simba Information, a research firm that covers the media and publishing industries.

“They can keep this perception of being the market leader without releasing the details,” Norris said. “It’s interesting to sit through Amazon earnings calls and nobody pushes for Kindle details. It’s as if people are trained not to ask.”

In general, e-books net Amazon more profit versus physical books, Norris said. He points to an “amusing” July press release that said the company sold 143 Kindle books for every 100 hardcover books.

“A lot of the Kindle bestsellers cost 25 cents — of course they’re going to sell better than hardcovers for $14,” Norris said.

“They’re comparing apples to Apple Jacks,” he added. “This kind of message management is beyond normal corporate public relations. And now I’ve gotten so used to it that I’m becoming suspicious of any stats they release.”

I’m sure Amazon has sold a good volume of Kindles by now. But I’m sure they’re not selling like hotcakes — it’s only after all the price cuts and heavy marketing that they started to move. If these truly were ever a hot item, Amazon would have been crowing long and loud about how fast they were flying off the digital shelves, just as any company with a similar best-selling tech device would. Their silence speaks volumes.

Anecdotally, I’ve seen evidence around me of how little penetration Kindles have had. It took a solid six months after the e-reader went on sale, before I saw one “in the wild” here in New York — and this is a prime territory for such a device. Meanwhile, I spied my first iPad being toted around within hours of its sales release. That’s a bit apples-to-oranges, in that there are several Apple Stores locally, and so there wouldn’t be the same lag in mail-order delivery. But still, I think it’s reflective enough of the reality that Amazon is trying to hide.

All told, the push for these dedicated e-readers feels like a race to the bottom. The now-standard notebook computers will morph into iPad-like designs, making other third-screen devices (other than phones) superfluous. Amazon and the other entrants in that space can cook the numbers all they like toward that end, but that won’t change the eventual outcome.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 08/27/2010 08:44am
Category: Business, Publishing, Tech
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Monday, August 23, 2021

Somehow, the genteel image of competitive horseback riding doesn’t jibe with a safety vest that expands upon impact:

The two-pound vest is attached by a cord to a rider’s saddle and is worn over a traditional protective vest made of high-density foam. When a rider is thrown from a horse, the cord is yanked, puncturing a cartridge of carbon dioxide and inflating the vest. The vest can be reused after the cartridge is replaced. [Vest manufacturer] Point Two said its vest inflates in one-tenth of a second; [rival manufacturer] Hit Air said its average rate is one-quarter of a second.

What’s next — similar vests for rodeo riders and bullfighting matadors? Air bags are fine for minivans, but seem out of place in the sporting arena. Even when you’re dealing with literal (versus mechanical) horsepower.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 08/23/2010 11:07pm
Category: Other Sports, Tech
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Sunday, August 08, 2021

The explosion of digital and online communication options has resulted in nobody under 40 ever returning your phone calls.

Young people say they avoid voice calls because the immediacy of a phone call strips them of the control that they have over the arguably less-intimate pleasures of texting, e-mailing, Facebooking or tweeting. They even complain that phone calls are by their nature impolite, more of an interruption than the blip of an arriving text.

Kevin Loker, 20, a rising junior at George Mason University, said he and his school friends rarely just call someone, for fear of being seen as rude or intrusive. First, they text to make an appointment to talk. “They’ll write, ‘Can I call you at such-and-such time?’ ” said Loker, executive editor of Connect2Mason.com, a student media site. “People want to be polite. I feel like, in general, people my age are not as quick on their feet to just talk on the phone.”

This does, of course, jibe with fewer and fewer voice minutes being chewed up on cellphones, in favor of text and data. We’re moving toward a standard where our mouths are shut, but our fingers are flying.

A couple of observations from this trending:

- The group that’s stubbornly sticking to phone-chatting — generally Baby Boomers now in their mid-40s and above — are the same ones who largely abandoned the old ritual of personal letter-writing. Their social connectivity revolved around the immediacy and ease of local and long-distance phone calls; the asynchronous written word was shunted to strictly business-related matters. So now, it must feel like something of a betrayal to have to resort back to writing (texting) versus speaking in personal relationships.

- Synchronous vs. asynchronous modes of communication are at the heart of all this. When speaking with someone — either face-to-face or on the phone — you don’t have the luxury of responding at your own pace. With email, text, and IM, you generally do, even if it’s only for a few seconds. There’s a comfort level in the latter that doesn’t exist with an open line. And I think this illustrates the feeling best:

Answering a phone call requires a certain amount of psychological energy, she said. “I put it off because there’s something confrontational about someone calling you,” she said. “You have to gear up for it.”

I’d like to think that this distillation of dialogue into written snippets results in less noise and more signal. But that presumes that the content of this communication is actually improving — and since we’re talking writing about human beings here, that’s a pretty silly notion to hold.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 08/08/2021 04:44pm
Category: Internet, Society, Tech
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Monday, August 02, 2021

Corning has gone through its R&D vaults to unveil something called Gorilla Glass — a super-strong yet flexible material ideal for televisions, touchscreens and other electronics.

Corning set out in the late 1950s to find a glass as strong as steel. Dubbed Project Muscle, the effort combined heating and layering experiments and produced a robust yet bendable material called Chemcor…

In 2006, when demand surfaced for a cell phone cover glass, Corning dug out Chemcor from its database, tweaked it for manufacturing in LCD tanks, and renamed it Gorilla. “Initially, we were telling ourselves a $10 million business,” said researcher Ron Stewart.

Interesting that Corning felt the need to re-brand an industrial component with a snappier name. Does “Gorilla” sound more appealing to manufacturers than the technical-sounding “Chemcor”? Should that matter, when it’s performance that counts? This hints that business-to-business marketing resorts to the same tactics used for consumer-facing selljobs.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 08/02/2021 11:35pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Science, Tech
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Thursday, July 22, 2021

Bad news if you live your life on the assumption that the old “Killer in the Backseat” fable is true: Automaker Volvo is scrapping its seldom-used “intruder heartbeat detector system” from 2011 models.

The system, part of a $550 option package, allows drivers to use their key fob to remotely check for anyone lurking in the rear seat. The intruder in hiding is detected by their heartbeat…

Reviewers scoffed about the likelihood of ax murderers hanging out in unsuspecting motorists’ back seats from the start. “Has someone at Volvo been renting slasher thrillers from Netflix?” Motor Trend asked in July 2006. Reviewer Mark Phelan, writing in the Detroit Free Press, called the feature “spooky” and suggested Volvo should have called it the “Urban Myth Detector.”

In related news, phone companies throughout the land have canceled plans to roll out a “Line Extension Security Check” feature. Therefore, when a stranger calls from upstairs, the babysitter is on her own…

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 07/22/2010 11:21pm
Category: Pop Culture, Society, Tech
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Tuesday, July 13, 2021

I’m irrationally skeptical of mobile banking, but a new breed of check-scanning iPhone apps definitely could sway me:

Earlier this month, JPMorgan Chase updated its iPhone app to let customers electronically deposit checks. To make a deposit, customers photograph the front and back of the check with the phone’s built-in camera, then transmit the image to their account.

I’ve managed to minimize the paper-based payments amongst my accounts receivable, but I still have to run out and deposit the occasional check. Not that that’s a hassle, as practically every street corner around here has a full-service ATM that accepts paper checks for deposit.

In short, I probably don’t really need to snap photos on my iPhone to drop funds into my account. But the concept is so neat that, well, I just wanna. So this is all it takes to throw e-fiscal overcautiousness to the wind…

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 07/13/2010 10:19pm
Category: Business, Tech, iPhone
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Friday, July 02, 2021

A recent spate of high-profile defective consumer product recalls is shining a light on the effectiveness of the public-safety procedure:

Government regulators, retailers, manufacturers and consumer experts are concerned that recall notices have become so frequent across a range of goods — foods, consumer products, cars — that the public is suffering from “recall fatigue.”

In many cases, people simply ignore urgent calls to destroy or return defective goods. One recent study found that 12 percent of Americans who knew they had recalled food at home ate it anyway…

The problem is twofold: Some people never learn that a product they own has been recalled, and others know they have a recalled product but don’t think anything bad will happen.

This seems to be setting up the institution of a data-drilled direct notification system for making sure people get the message on hazardous purchases. If you paid for groceries with a credit card, then your personal info is directly linked to those product details, and presumably you could be contacted directly, versus having to pay attention to government alerts. The next step is to embed safeguards directly into the product: Like a car that won’t run after the “recall” switch has been flipped on by the manufacturer, etc.

Naturally, this raises the usual privacy issues. Since this deals with public safety, it’d gain easier acceptance, even though the intrusiveness doesn’t really change. And ultimately, a percentage of people will still ignore or not get the message and get burned anyway; the point is to minimize that percentage.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 07/02/2021 12:55pm
Category: Business, Society, Tech
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