Among the odd ways that electronics are changing our lives, here are two: Blackberrys are causing parents to behave like children; and musically-challenged individuals are creating "songs" that are listened to by millions.
The Blackberry issue was publicly discussed in a free blog by Wall Street Journal writer Katherine Rosman earlier this week. Rosman wrote: "As hand-held email devices proliferate, they are having an unexpected impact on family dynamics: Parents and their children are swapping roles. Like a bunch of teenagers, some parents are routinely lying to their kids, sneaking around the house to covertly check their emails and disobeying house rules established to minimize compulsive typing. The refusal of parents to follow a few simple rules is pushing some children to the brink." Read the original blog at http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB116553463083344032.html?mod=technorati.
As for the musically-challenged who make popular music: Increasingly, creative individuals have been using video editing software to create "songs" that get listened to by millions on youtube.com. Norwegian Lasse Gjertsen, for example, has has been viewed 1.8 million times on youtube.com, playing his piano-and-drum music. What's amazing, though, is that Gjertsen admits he can play neither the piano nor drums. He simply records himself playing a note at a time, transfers the sounds to audio files, then edits it all to create music.The kicker is that Gjertsen's video is funny, and his music is catchy. See it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzqumbhfxRo
Could our view of distant galaxies be obstructed by a lawnmower? That unlikely question is at the heart of a growing debate between the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and a robot manufacturer that seeks to build self-guided lawnmowers.
Design News readers spoke loudly and clearly after our recent news story about a resurgence in manufacturing -- and manufacturing jobs. Commenters doubted the manufacturers, describing them as H-1B visa promoters, corporate crybabies, and clowns. They argued that US manufacturers aren’t willing to train workers, preferring instead to import cheap labor from abroad.
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
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