Well said about freedom of choice. I still think the Mac OS--at least pre-X--was highly innovative and easy to work with as a user. That's when I could still fix it myself. I'm sorry to see Apple get so successful only because it went to their heads somewhat and, like great big MS, they also began releasing bloatware. But at least it's much more elegant bloatware!
I offer no criticism of those who choose the "MAC" mode of operation, but I also champion the freedom that allows us a number of choices, at least sort of choices. I dispise the monopoly that keeps taking away our non-bloateware choices, although it is obvious that the freedoms we embrace allow that monopoly to exist. Freedom supports both the good, the bad, and the really ugly.
Ann, you are absolutely correct. At one job a major portion was writing test machine control programs in a language called TBOSS, in a dialect called UVOSS. The compiler/linker was very user hostile, and so each day of that was often a fight. Of course now we have windows and all of the other programs designed to alter the way that we think. So it is still a fight, but the enemy is both more devious and more polite. The old days were better.
William, I also work with technology daily, usually the technology that either gets in the way of, or helps facilitate, getting my job done. Having recently suffered through (sometimes concurrent) internet and phone outages or access problems, I know what you mean about fighting with it. I agree that there should be tech-free zones here and there, but what and where they are is open to a lot of debate.
Yes, Elizabeth, progress has its drawbacks. The Pony Express (dear to us in Missouri) was replaced by the railroad. But this was replaced by the telegraph, which put them out of work. And this was replaced by wireless, well done actually, which cost a lot of jobs. And this was replaced by the telephone, which eventually killed totally telegraph ( Western Union), and this has almost been killed off by cell phones. And be the Internet has almost killed off the Post Office.
The onslaught of technology has cost jobs and must stop before we develop psychic abilities and need no technology, or we will have to bring back the Pony Express for those who can't. And we will need a lot more than 120 riders!
Yes, these are all things that would be eliminated by robot workers, Warren! So it would be a lot less hassle on employers, but then you would have to think about maintenance and AI updates for the robots, what might happen in case they fail mechanically and other considerations that you don't need with human workers. It would still probably favor the robot in terms of being an easier solution if you look at the big picture, but then again, no change comes for free and no solution is perfect.
Ann, what eventually came to mind as I read all of the posts about robotic servers was that one line from the first Star Wars movie, as Luke and the two 'droids go to enter a cantina, and the bouncer stops the two robots with "we don't allow your kind in here". There is a place for robotics and automatia, which are a cute gimmick, and a place where there is simply no adequate substitute for a real human. Robots of whatever type are simply a "different kind", and although it may sound like prejudice, it is not, but there are times when it is a wonderful relief to get away from all of that programmed presence. Of course, that is the opinio of one who works with technology and fights with it daily.
Wow! What a great idea. No tax forms to fill out, no payroll, no SS tax, no workman's comp, no sexual harrassment suits, no sick leave, no vacation pay, no holidays, no dress code, no arguments, no disagreements, no complaining about work considitions, no maternity leave, no union hassles, and no promotions and wage increases. What a perfect solution for the 21st century.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
Using Siemens NX software, a team of engineering students from the University of Michigan built an electric vehicle and raced in the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of those students blogged for Design News throughout the race.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.