Sunday, October 17, 2010

Had a project waiting for me when we got home


Water line sprang a leak, apparently right after we left. Luckily, our neighbor noticed and turned off the water for us before it completely flooded the lawn, and we were able to get the emergency plumber out there relatively quickly (and covered by warranty). This was after I dug up the lawn to find the leak, but before it got fixed.
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With or without irony?


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Monday, October 11, 2010

The world-changing awesomeness of cars that drive themselves

Google announces self-driving cars.

I've been thinking about this for a long, long time. I've had a draft blog post in my head for years. Maybe I've buttonholed you already in person. A few quick hits of things that would be better:

  • Fewer accidents

  • Less need for garages

  • Fewer, bigger parking lots in lower value places

  • Less wasted time driving. It's not the transit that wastes time (especially not with wireless Internet), it's the attention. I'd be willing to double my commute if I could do something else in transit.

  • If you want to drive to the beach, you waste hours of daylight in the car instead of at the beach. If the vehicle drove itself, you could

  • Drunk driving stops being a problem

  • You don't have to worry about being stranded by flat tires and other types of breakdowns

  • You won't buy a vehicle too big for your daily needs, but big enough for your occasional needs

  • You stop caring what your car looks like

  • You stop caring how your car handles

  • You stop caring how your car is powered

It's always bothered me that we invest so many thousands of dollars in everyone having their own personal transportation machinery that then sits idle and unused 20-some hours of the day (for most of us). It's a huge investment, and the vast majority of the time, it's not yielding any benefit.

In my ideal world, you call for a car, it takes you somewhere, you get there, and then it disappears. It becomes a utility.

Note also how important this would be for rapidly urbanizing developing countries like China and India. Think how much pollution, gridlock, and just plain waste would be avoided.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Augmented unreality

Sort of along the lines of this other idea I had. I want something that can take a bunch of pictures of a real world location, and then turn it into a level in an FPS game like Quake. Deathmatch at the office.