Tuesday, October 18, 2011

How connected do you really want your car to be?

In my search for articles this week, I stumbled on an interesting on about how connected cars are becoming.  http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/13/the-next-boom-in-mobile-devices-is-the-car/.

One of the things I love most about my car is all the technology built into it.  It is like one big toy to me.  All those features make it a pleasure to be in my car...and there are so many more that I know they can move towards.  One of the ones discussed in the article is having your text messages read to you while you are driving...now that is all great but will it in turn send a message back using voice translation?  I mean, for tech toy geeks like me, the more features, the better.

However, all these features do have consequences...I want tech to make my life easier but I am also very private.  So....where is the right balance between my toys doing all the cool things I want them to do and yet the consequence not being having to give up privacy?  I guess it becomes degrees of acceptance.  Some privacy for some really cool new capability.

Privacy is not the only concern too...security it one to think about too.  The more connected you are, the more vulnerable you make yourself to potential cyber threats.  One of my friends is actually writing a book about how the technology in your car can be used against you.  

Lots to consider...but knowing me, I will have to try it.  I just cannot resist.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A "bright" solution to our oil problems?

I don't read too many things and think, holy cow - this is frickin cool!  I mean...who thinks up this stuff?  So in my perusing of the masses of information on emerging technologies this week, I tripped across this story - http://www.marketwatch.com/story/chevron-technology-ventures-launches-worlds-largest-solar-enhanced-oil-recovery-project-2011-10-03.  I don't quite count myself an environmentalist, but I am surely not oblivious to these issues.  Having spent some time over in the desert...yes, that big sandbox in hell...I happen to have some pretty strong emotions when it comes to our country's reliance on foreign oil.  So, any intiative that offers some potential solution is at least worth my time reading and considering.  I also happen to be a huge ocean lover so the whole offshore drilling makes me uneasy, especially after the disaster in the Gulf.  Knowing nothing about oil or how to get it, all I can do is think about how ridiculous it is to me that our gas prices go up and down like a yo yo based on a bunch of factors I don't understand...but seem to be on whether people overseas are going to give us oil or not.  How frustrating is that when you are paying through the nose to drive down the street?  Both my husband and I even traded in our cars for hybrids just so we would at least "feel" like we were doing something to change things...foolish as that is - we know we aren't but dammit, it made us feel better at the time (and we do buy much less gas which helps too). 
So enough jammering on from me...onto this great article...who would have ever thought that you could throw a bunch of mirrors in a field, point them at the sun, and in return, increase oil production??  I mean really...how do these people come up with these crazy ideas - brilliant ideas - and dammit, why could I not have thought of that :o).  I am all about any emerging technology that is creatively looking to solve this problem and my hats off to the oil companies who, though they are raking in the dough off our $4/gallon gas prices, at least they are using some small fraction to change the world...wish it was more but we have to start some place!