Archive for technology

Fingerprint Recognition For Guns Saves Lives

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gun safety

gun safety personalization system overview

For a while, about ten years ago, there was a rash of car break-ins where the only thing stolen was the car radio. It was a very easy item for the crooks to fence. The huge numbers of incidents of these thefts rose so high that the car manufacturers and the car radio makers got together to address this problem. And you know what? They did and so successfully that the number of radio thefts dropped precipitously.

Now almost all cars are equipped with radios that have an anti-theft mechanism. If you steal a radio, you need a special code to activate it. Even if your power goes out in your car -- the battery dies -- you need the code to activate it. So a stolen radio won't work and hence you won't be buying too many "hot" music making devices.

Necessity is the mother of all invention, or so the saying goes. And Senator Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) has a new proposal to cut down on accidental and even intentional gun violence.  He plans on introducing new federal gun legislation that would require all firearms manufactured in the U.S. to be equipped with “personalization technology,” so that if a weapon lands in the wrong hands, it can’t be fired.

For the uninitiated, that means all guns must come with fingerprint recognition -- similar to ID codes for radios -- so that they can not be fired except by the licensed, registered owner. It doesn't stop gun sales. It only stops unauthorized use of these weapons.

If the same outcome is true for firearms as for car radios why not do it? Illegally sold firearms won't do a buyer any good if they can't be fired. Hence, less unreported or fenced gun sales.

Markey gave an interview to Boston Magazine:

The Handgun Trigger Safety Act will help ensure that only authorized users can operate handguns. This is the type of gun safety legislation that everyone—regardless of political party or affiliation—should be able to support,” he said.

Now this technology is already available. It's just plain common sense. It's not taking any rights away from legal gun registrants, those with a license -- it actually could prevent them from having their weapons stolen. Safety-safety, win-win.

The technology could include fingerprint recognition, or safety systems like the Armatix iP1, referenced in Markey’s proposal, which relies on a radio-controlled watch that is responsible for gun access and use.

If passed, the law would also require anyone selling a handgun to retrofit their weapon with personalization technology three years after the date of enactment of the bill. 

The technology already exists:

A company called Safe Gun Technology, or SGTi, has been working on a product that could do just that. Relying on biometric technology, people would be unable to fire a weapon unless they were the owner.

If someone is against such a personalization then I suggest they have something to hide. There's not a sane reason that this can't be done. And cost isn't the issue. People always seem to find the money to buy a gun. If this technology is added to that cost, they'll find a way to come up with that extra few bucks just like they do with security locked radios in their cars. It's just part of the cost. If you really need a gun, you'll find the money. Just like when gasoline spikes to nearly $5/gal. We grumble and grouse, maybe cut back on our driving habits, but we don't give up our cars. Well gun owners can do the same. And they'll get over it just like we gas users do.

We make automobile smog testing and attaining a certificate mandatory every two years here in California. It's a cost burden (around $75 including certificate) and inconvenience, but it's for public safety and clean air. How about asking gun owners to be responsible for public safety with their own weapons by not letting unauthorized people pick up their gun and shoot it? Think of all those young kids who discover their parents' weapons and end up shooting a sibling or neighbor kid while they're playing with it? If equipped with fingerprint recognition, those accidents won't become fatalities. They just won't happen at all.

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V2V: Conversational Vehicles and a New Rumble Seat

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TJFlintstonesCarw396h367

Written by guest contributor, "hardybear" of the wonderful Free Range Talk site:

Rumble seats were a glorious part of automobile history, what freeness of spirit they must have offered - part danger, part exhilaration - and now the high techie American automobile industry has been given the Fed green light to give our buggies voices that other cars will hear, understand and then tell the drivers whussup' after vibrating their seat.

It is called V2V technology.

Earlier this week, the National Transportation Safety Administration announced the wrap of a study promoting the mandate of this technology in American vehicles going forward. Also according to CNET:

V2V communications use a variation of the 802.11 wireless network standard used by laptops and mobile phones, but instead link cars, which can share position and speed information with each other 10 times per second. That can let one car reliably detect when another in front is braking hard, for example.

I thought the reverse gear ass-cam with a live feed of your bumper was fantastic on new dashboards. Being such a huge improvement over your semi-Pinoted-Up best friend out in the icy parking lot in a blizzard going "NO! I said back YOUR way!!" "TO MY LEFT!!!" -- right before the crash, and all. I light up like the five year-old daughter of a handy father with no sons would when I am co-pilot with that technology on board, and suspect my dear friend Jessica [frequent pilot] has a fond laugh about my wide eyes at age 52.

Image courtesy Motortrend dot com

Image courtesy Motortrend dot com

This, however, is like when Pizza Hut figured out how to put more cheese in a pie some years back, it parallels Steve Jobs giving us the iLife ... vehicles that talk to each other are a raging safety uptick for a nation with life-threatening traffic (and drivers).[/caption]

And it's just plain cool. If cars had been able to chat, kvetch and theorize during Chris Christie's GWB Waterloo re-creation slash main scandal, we could have SO much more juicy juice detail for the post-mortem, liberals!

Another large GOP Loser might feel the need to get involved and make sure there's no funny business going on though, gawd forbid the female cars collective libido becomes a lethal distraction.

TJHerbie

 

Aren't fanatical anti-modern conservatives going to just HATE this?? It hits the non-sciencey aorta, deepest spying paranoia and that disturbing general dislike of change in any form.

From NBC.

Not only will cars be able to connect with cloud-based services, they will also be able to talk to other cars; with the smartphone in the driver's pocket; with the toll booth or traffic light up ahead; or with the electric charging station to determine when and how long it needs to be fully juiced up.

 

TJrumble-seat-300x232

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"Isn’t time to bring back the slow dim zombies? Of course we still have the Tea Party for that."

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cartoon technology phones via nate fakesVia Nate Fakes

Today’s guest post is about coping with technology, by the one, the only Will Durst:

STREAMING HULU IN THE WOMB

Delivery drones that crash into telephone poles. Eyeglasses stockpiling video wherever the wearer walks. Dick Tracy wristwatches that do everything but tell time. The deeper into the future we proceed, the more obvious it becomes that this whole progress thing ain’t all its cracked up to be.

Yeah. Sure. It’s nice to have greater computing power in your pocket than accompanied Apollo to the moon, but the down side is ceding dominance in another power relationship to an inanimate object. One that keeps track of our every movement. We buy and carry our own bugs.

Indeed, we did learn how to make tomatoes mature within a month, but they taste like cardboard dipped in stagnant pond water. Placing it on the tail end of the good, the bad and the ugly of progress.

Don’t get me wrong; this is no sepia toned love letter to a romantically imagined, totally fictional yesteryear. The past was lousy. It sucked big beige banana slugs from Mars. Society was primitive, boring and unjust. And slow. Today, it’s pretty much the same, only faster. We’re all about speed. Kids are streaming Hulu in the womb.

But perhaps we’ve focused too much on the new, rather than fine- tuning the tried and the true. For instance- GPS units. Used to be only NASA had them. Now 2 are in my possession. One in the car and one on my phone. But getting lost is still in the cards because both insist on steering me over cliffs or into oncoming traffic. And not infrequently, over a cliff into oncoming traffic.

Some things don’t really needed fixing. One-cup coffee makers are fine. For people who don’t like coffee. Brewing coffee it is not a chore. It’s an art. Toilets in public rest rooms. Doubt if our grandparents were ever startled by a presumptuous automatic flush. What was wrong with the big chrome toggle on the side? You could use your foot. Seems more sanitary than an unrequested butt douche.

Proceed directly to the washbasins. Who among us hasn’t pitifully shuffled from sink to sink waving over, under, nearby the faucet base, trying to activate some randomly positioned unseen electric eye? Anyone watching on closed circuit cameras would think we’re horizontally motivated crazy persons shooing away swarms of gnats. And don’t think people aren’t watching on closed circuit cameras.

The faucets that do feature handles require engineering degrees from MIT to operate. Hot on the left, cold on the right is a distant memory. Design has finally triumphed over functionality. And beware the turbo hand dryers powered by small jet engines, which replaced the automatic paper towel dispensers triggered by shoulder and elbow movements 30 feet away.

Television. Who really needs 1000 channels? By the time you’ve gone around the horn and scoped out what you want to watch, it’s over. Of course, half the stations are flacking home gym/ juicer/ skin moisturizers that grow hair and clean your pet while the pounds melt away and your hose retracts automatically.

And zombies. Whose idea was it to come up with fast smart zombies? Zombies are supposed to trudge and meander. Zombies don’t apocalypse. They stumble. Isn’t it time to bring back the slow dim zombies? Of course we still have the Tea Party for that. Sorry. Couldn’t resist.

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Sunday Links

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Homeless Man South Carolina - Credit: The Post and Courier

Homeless Man South Carolina - Credit: The Post and Courier

South Carolina Homelessness On the Rise
(from http://www.postandcourier.com/ June 26, 2013)

Being Homeless in Downtown Columbia, South Carolina, Might Be Against the Law
(from http://www.theatlanticcities.com/ - August 23, 2013)

This is a great article - written by Neil deGrasse Tyson:
America and the Emergent Space Powers
Plus there's interesting food for thought in this article on jobs:
This Week in the War on Workers: How 'Do What You Love' Does Us Wrong

EarthFirstBlockKeystonew326h244Grandmothers Blockade Megaload in Missoula
Note: Please visit these sites:
* Earth First! Newswire and

* Wild Idaho Rising Tide

And then there's CNN. Wow, just wow...
From Daily Kos / the Guardian / the Financial Times:
"CNN recently hit a 20-year low in prime time ratings in the United States, attracting an average of just 78,000 viewers across the whole day and 98,000 in prime time."

Can this really be? 78,000 viewers across the whole day???

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Video Overnight Thread- How 2013 held progress and pitfalls for science

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Via.

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Passwords R Us: Don’t you love being called weak by some snotty algorithm?

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passwords cartoon

Today’s guest post by the one, the only, Will Durst:

DEEP IN THE BOWELS OF PASSWORD HELL

As the new year approaches, many of us in the dimly lit brotherhood of computer clumsoids (and our number is legion) feel the sharp prod of IT experts who blow themselves blue encouraging we Luddites to change passwords once a year like smoke alarm batteries or high school girlfriends or underwear on Duck Dynasty. And you know what that means: time for one more slippery descent into the bowels of Password Hell.

Passwords have engulfed our lives like glitter at a fashion show. You need one to rent a car, view your water bill, turn on the microwave, get in or out of bed. Oh, wait. That’s a safe word. Mine is “ouch.” And don’t get started on usernames, because it’s increasingly difficult to keep track of who we even are anymore.

The gear- clanging, brain- racking to dredge up a unique password for 2014 has commenced. Altering the Es to 3s is trendy. 8s to Ss and versa visa. But will it be enough? Each of us knows the terror inherent in that little bar rating passwords according to strength. Green- good. Red is weak. And don’t you love being called weak by some snotty algorithm? And no matter how many times you snap back, “oh yeah, well, you’re inert and lack sentience,” it doesn’t help.

And yeah, yeah, yeah, we all know the best passwords are a series of random symbols that look like Dagwood Bumstead’s dialogue balloon after hitting his thumb with a hammer. Giving you the same chance of remembering them as Rob Ford has of winning the decathlon in Brazil 2 years hence.

On top of that, enough layers of rules are being added to qualify for croissant dough. Your password no longer can be your wife’s birthday or 1234567 or the word “password” or eatpoo&die. Can’t be any password that has ever been used before. In the history of humanity.

At least 6 characters long but no more than 12. Must contain capital letters and non- consecutive numbers, two punctuations, a Polynesian petroglyph and the closest representation of a squirrel hut your keyboard can muster. Oh yeah, well, hashtag this. How does Password1234 strike you?

Worst thing you can do is write the password down. And please refrain from using the same password for all your firewalls. So expect to have 30 or so strings of nonsense floating around your cerebellum. We may be thwarting hackers, but the first casualty is usually ourselves. Half our time is spent logging in.

There’s password retrieval programs, but none of the questions appear the least bit familiar giving rise to the distinct possibility of drunken site registration. “What is the name of your favorite pet?” Who can make that kind of judgment? “Your son’s middle name?” Negative sons in this family, thank you very much. “Favorite non-cruciferous vegetable.” The hell does that even mean?

Password protection apps are popular. But the very idea seems a bit dodgy. Too many people wanting to manage my passwords. And willing do it for free. Eerily similar to those 80s subliminal tapes used during sleep cycles. Stop smoking. Manage stress. Pretty sure the subliminal message for most of those was “buy more tapes.” Meanwhile, the boatman has been paid and is taking me across the RiverStyx19$#!T. And yes, the period counts.

Will Durst is an award winning political comic. Go to willdurst.com to find about appearances near you including The 21st Annual Big Fat Year End Kiss Off Comedy Show, Dec 26- Jan 1. Six Comics. Seven Cities. Eight Shows. 2,347 Laughs.

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Cartoons of the Day- Tell Santa What You Want

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tellsanta

Paul Fell

tellsanta2

Mike Smith

tellsanta1

Charles Beyl

tellsanta3

Steve Nease

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