So I spent last night staring at my television screen with a sad face. This was not due to the terrible programming on offer nor was it due to Tracy Grimshaw telling me how I could better my life by buying a particular type of laundry detergent. This my friends was down to technology or should I say the lack of.
Yesterday the internet was removed from my life. At first I brushed this off as nothing but soon I began to feel the loss and it wasn’t good. It first hit when I was catching the train to the city in the morning, I got to the train station and swiped on with my myki card and realised that my balance was in the minus. I needed to top up my card so I could use the train to get home in the evening, that’s easy I thought, I’ll just take out my phone use the ANZ app and transfer some money from my account so I can top up my card. D’oh! I broke my phone the night before when it bounced off the ground. Now I will have to got to Flinders Street and by a ticket in the evening, adding 15 mins extra to my journey home, an inconvenience to say the least.
Stuck in analog land with my phone, I was forced to listen to other people’s conversation, music and sniffling on the train to the city. Normally I am immersed in my own world listening to The Roots and checking what everyone is up to on Facebook. What a disaster, but still I wasn’t too annoyed as there was a copy of Wednesday’s MX on the ground to read but I couldn’t mute the dude sitting next to me and his sniffling.
After my epic trek to Flinders Street Station in the afternoon to get my ticket I hopped on the train and trundled my way home with the masses. Following the usual routine of chilling out, getting something to eat and chatting with friends I sat down on the sofa with my Playbook to catch up on Facebook, check if there were any bargains on ebay and fill out my footy tips for the weekend. Switched it on, no connection that’s strange, checked again, tool out my laptop and still no connection. After about 30 mins of close to frantic and deranged checking and rechecking I confirmed over the phone with my provider that the connection was down. Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!
Now I was left with my analog phone, my tablet, my laptop and Tracy Grimshaw. Ms Grimshaw was my only connection to the outside world, my only source for real world information. This was not good, I felt like I had been transported back to the dark ages.
Thankfully normal service has been resumed, the internet has been reconnected this morning, my myki is full of money and my phone is being repaired and I will collect it this evening and then once again I will be able to communicate openly and freely with the world. I know you didn’t miss me while I was gone, but I missed you internet.
No sooner had we posted about technology and could we do better last week, did Google release detail of Project Glass. Now I’m not saying that Google released in response to my questions but does it answer the question that was raised: can we do better
The video released last week a man, during his daily routine, using only his voice does things usually associated with smartphones use; arranging meetings, taking pictures, checking the weather, finding directions and making a video call. Obviously the difference here is that instead of holding a smartphone, all of this information and activity is displayed through the glasses.
Techeads will love the idea of a stream of data floating right in front of their eyes constantly updating, and I’m sure there are others who will run a mile from the idea. I guess the major question to ask is, how can someone interact properly with the real world environment if you are being prompted to update, check-in, attend or friend someone? Also, one thing that the video has failed to include is ads, and since Google makes almost all of its money from ads this is a must. Take a look at the video below for what that may be like.
With all this aside, this is some seriously cool technology. The possibilities for its uses are endless and the opportunities to do something good must surely follow. Imagine if you had your Google glasses on while coming home from work and found some injured at the side of the street. With your glasses you could alert the emergency services while also at the same allowing the doctor/paramedics to make a pre-diagnosis using the forward facing camera.
The world today is an exciting place to be. Billions of people are being connected across the world through technology. Technology is allowing people to learn, comment and communicate like never before.
The question is: are we using the technology to the best of our ability? Are we creating and developing the correct tools, relationships and patterns to better benefit ourselves and the world we live in? As we know, our environment is being filled with manmade carbon dioxide and we, as a global village, do not seem to be able to come up with a viable solution to solve this problem. Are we using technology to our advantage here?
William Kamkwamba is a person who has embraced technology and harnessed its power for good and the advantage of himself, his family and community. At age 14, William from Malawi built a windmill from scrap metal to power his family’s home. He built the 5 metre windmill using a broken bicycle, tractor fan blade, an old shock absorber and blue gum trees. He connected the windmill to an old car battery for storage and was able to power four light bulbs and charge neighbours mobile phones. Subsequent projects have seen William develop clean water programs, malaria prevention, solar power and lighting systems, a deep water well with a solar powered pump for clean water and a drip irrigation system.
How can we better use technology on every level to improve our lives and to improve our environment? Does it start at home, in the kitchen perhaps or at our computers? It would be great to hear all of your thoughts.
Welcome to our new MLN Blog. Whats this about? The blog will be a compilation of contributions from MLN staff and friends. We aim to provide a detailed overview of technology news, new product releases and reviews and, from time to time, opinion pieces on how we at MLN see the technological landscape and how our digital life is evolving.
You never know what area we may cover – computers, notebooks, electric cars, vacuum robots, smartphones, gaming, cameras. Variety is the spice of life, right?