Nappy Appy


Today, Pampers introduced Lumi, a “smart diaper” scheduled for release later this year. In collaboration with Logitech and Verify (formerly Google Life Sciences, a research company owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet ) smart diapers are designed to track babies’ personal information soon after birth.

Included with purchase of Lumi are two packs of diapers, two WIFI enabled reusable detachable sensors for monitoring sleep patterns and detecting urine or stool, a wide angle HD video monitor with night vision and two way audio to track room temperature and humidity. Translation – doting parents get an alert from Lumi when diapers need changing! Has the world gone mad?

Google subsidiary and Pampers launch creepy smart diaper which tracks soiled diapers, sleep patterns, and more

Anyone remember Tamagotchi? Handheld devices popular in the 90s, virtual pets whose “health meter” required constant attention? Meters compelling children to walk, feed or play with pixelated pets to maintain digital health? See where I’m going? The Tamagotchi generation is all grown up, older not wiser and ripe for diaper apps.

It’s bad enough people worship smart home technology, Alexa do this, Alexa do that. Now we need an app telling us when diapers are soiled? What’s next, text alerts warning time to feed, hug or play with your child? Analytics calculating optimum minutes of personal interaction with family? Smarten up people!

Pondering Artificial Meteor Showers


On January 18, 2019 JAXA ( Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency ) successfully launched a small Epsilon-4 rocket at the Uchinoura Space Center. JAXA proudly declared it one of 7 planned micro-satellite launches deployed to demonstrate innovative technology. Which innovative technology you ask? GPS, solar radiation, weather? Nope! Ponder entertainment technology, embellishing firework extravaganzas with artificial meteor showers.

It seems Lena Okajima, president of Astro Live Experiences was smitten by an encounter with the Leonid meteor shower 20 years ago. Her vision – pack a satellite with hundreds of pellets, launch into Earth orbit, program release of pellets to simulate a meteor shower. Today AstroLive is poised to facilitate Okajima’s dream of meteors at your service. Pardon my ignorance for asking why JAXA considers artificial meteor showers valid aerospace exploration. Despite questionable mingling of entertainment and science, ALE has a vision and JAXA is on board.

As I write, an ALE satellite orbits 500 kilometers above Earth. Engineers at ALE say 500 Km is too high for controlled release of artificial meteors. As such ALE’s satellite will gradually decrease orbit over the year to a distance of 400 kilometers. The first artificial meteor shower is slated for sometime in 2020 over Hiroshima, Japan. Pressure driven gas tanks will shoot out 20-30 pellets per entertainment event, each pellet glowing brightly as it burns up in the atmosphere. ALE’s goal is to dominate night skies with meteor showers on demand. “We want to use the sky as canvas and create very beautiful things” said Okajima.

https://earthsky.org/space/1st-artificial-meteor-shower-astrolive-experiences-japan

Few snippets of space news upset me as much as ALE’s determination to turn meteor showers into on demand entertainment. Twenty years ago Lena Okajima encountered Leonid and squealed look at the pretty lights. Rather than promote dark sky sanctuaries, cosmic education or productive research, she decides to cheapen cosmic wonder with artificial slight of hand.

Laptop Frustration


I didn’t want a new laptop for Christmas, asking for one stemmed from telltale signs my old one was close to death. Sickly laptop was my friend, we understood each other, communication was effortless. Despite my best efforts I knew she couldn’t hang on. Christmas morning arrived with a stranger I knew nothing about, 24 hours passed before opening a box that cemented my constant companion’s passing.

With palpable trepidation I find the power button on new laptop, a moment later Cortana introduces herself.

Stop talking Cortana, I’m trying to remember passwords! An hour later Cortana assures me I’m ready to go. Ready my ass! Everything I hold dear is gone. Would it kill Microsoft to include a Windows 10 users manual in this box of irrelevant dribble? What good is a diagram of ports in 37 languages if I can’t find a way to import my photographs? Argh!

 

 

Pondering Social Media


The average attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds. In 2000 social media analytics credited humanity with a 12 second attention span, in 2013 that average fell to 8 seconds. Scoff if you like, but I tend to believe statistics culled by social media marketers.

Image result for social media

Ponder this from https://www.disruptiveadvertising.com/social-media/be-in-the-know-2018-social-media-statistics-you-should-know/

  • Close to half the world’s population (3.03 billion people) are on some type of social media.
  • 64% of online shoppers say that a video on social media helped them decide on a product to buy.
  • Only 43% of online stores receive significant traffic from their social media pages.
  • Acknowledgment is key: 77% of Twitter users appreciate a brand more when their tweet is responded to. It takes about 10 hours on average for businesses to respond to a tweet, even though customers want a response within four hours.
  • Content marketing is a top priority of B2B businesses after brand building and social media engagement.
  • 59% of adults between 18 and 29 are using Instagram.
  • The average person spends about 20 minutes on Facebook or one in every six minutes a person will spend online.
  • 1.57 billion YouTube users watch about 5 billion videos on average every single day. Of the 2.1 billion total accounts on Facebook, 270 million profiles are fake.
  • 86% of women will look at social media before deciding to make a purchase.
  • People are accessing 69% of their media on their smartphones.
  • 89% of people on smartphones are using apps, while only 11% are using standard websites. Unsurprisingly, Facebook is the most popular app at 19% (measured by time spent).
  • Pinterest is number one for mobile social media, with 64% of referral traffic being driven by smartphones and tablets.
  • 57% of all mobile users will not recommend a business if their mobile website is poorly designed or unresponsive.
  • 40% of all mobile users are searching for a local business or interest.
  • Mobile websites that load in 5 seconds or less will end in a viewing session that’s 70% longer than their slower counterparts.
  • 92% of American teens accessed the internet on a daily basis, where 56% claim to connect several times a day, and 24% are connected almost constantly to the internet.

Lets talk selfies, next to tediously boring photos of mealtime “nobody cares what you had for dinner” fluff, selfies are a blight more annoying than hot sidewalk gum stuck to the bottom of your shoe. Stalwart aversion to catatonic postings of selfies on social media and subsequent refusal to validate self centered media content with likes, solidifies my place as a middle aged dinosaur. Every week over 20 million selfie posts are immortalized on social media, who am I to bemoan the erosion of civilization?

Social media is a business. It knows precisely how vain, inattentive, malleable, financially sound, politically inclined and impulsive every last one of us is. It knows who we are, where we are, what we eat, where we shop, how we vote, our views on abortion, gay rights and immigration. Prospective employers, financial institutions, property management companies and law enforcement routinely scrutinize social media footprints.

Valuable as it is intrusive, pondering social media asks only that we understand how it works, personal footprints we leave behind and magnitude of this marketing tool.

Google Lunar XPRIZE


September 13, 2017 marks ten years since Google announced the Lunar XPRIZE at a technology conference sponsored by Wired magazine. Up for grabs – a $30 million US prize pool, $20 million top prize going to the first privately funded team of innovators successfully landing a robotic craft on the Moon, moving it at least 500 meters across the lunar surface and transmitting two “Mooncasts” in high definition video, no less than 8 minutes each – one on arrival, the other at completion of mobility requirements. Subsidiary, bonus and incentive prizes are detailed below. Link to full contest rules –

http://lunar.xprize.org/about/guidelines

Registration closed December 31, 2010. If no registered team managed to secure launch arrangements by December 31, 2015, the contest would end. On October 9, 2015 team SpaceIL verified a launch contract with SpaceX. Conditions met, the contest continued. Teams had until December 31, 2016 to secure launch contracts, all Moon missions must be completed by December 31, 2017. Five verified teams remain – http://lunar.xprize.org/teams

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Lunar_X_Prize

Link below for other privately funded space endeavors –

http://www.space.com/20006-deep-space-missions-private-companies.html

Google Glue


Google readily accepts driverless vehicles pose credible concerns for pedestrian safety. The fact “no shit Sherlock” comes to mind shouldn’t detract from Google’s acceptance of initial perils. Undeterred by mistrust or skepticism, Google countered with a highly unusual safety measure.

Never let it be said that pragmatic logic spreads evenly across a population. Google decided to mitigate pedestrian injury rather than market unrealistic jibber-jabber. Unable to make sweeping assurances of safety, Google settled on an idea responsible for a patent issued on May 17, 2016.

What happens when pedestrians are struck by a car – they might be thrown, hit by a second vehicle, fall and find themselves dragged under a moving car, or bounced against hard surfaces. Accidents are inevitable, but what if victims “stuck” to the offending vehicle. Google patented adhesive strong enough to instantly hold a person at the moment of impact. A thin layer of protective “eggshell” cracks, releasing the life saving bond.

Allow me to raise a few concerns. How many pedestrians are hit head on? What happens to a pedestrian clipped on the leg? Are they glue snatched and pulled down the street? What happens when victims need immediate life saving medical intervention? Do paramedics pry them off? Is there an instant release solvent? If wide eyes glued an eyeball to the hood, would eyesight become a hood ornament? Would fender benders glue vehicles together?

A patent doesn’t necessarily mean Google intends to glue hapless pedestrians to robotic cars. That said, the effort suggests considerable time and resources spent on addressing pedestrian safety. Imagine being one of those tasked with finding a solution – brain storming sessions, ideas bandied from lip to trash can, fruitless days, weeks, months of stalemate. Perhaps it was late afternoon when one of them muttered “we could glue them to the hood”, prompted a unanimous chorus of ‘that’s it”.

I wouldn’t presume to know more than the great minds at Google. Common sense screams of a middle aged ponderer could be symptoms of age related technological ignorance. Yikes, what am I saying! Super-gluing accidental encounters (animate or otherwise) to the exterior of driverless vehicles elevates asinine to a whole new level.

Google Patents ‘Pedestrian Glue’ for Self-Driving Cars

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