"The longer you wait to check your email, the more new email you'll have (unless nobody emails you to begin with)."
Electronic devices are a big part of our lives in this modern world. Mobile phones, laptops, stereos, TV’s, flash drives, cameras, and so many other loveable objects with circuit boards for brains tend to come in one color and one color only. That color (or absence of color) is black. The accessories and chargers and cables that go with them also tend to be black. And that’s great in many respects. Black looks good, is slimming (even for laptops) and it complements almost any other color. Sure it attracts lint and can get smudges but that’s manageable.
What I find annoying is how when you put something black and small in a bag, you can’t see it. You think you packed your cell phone charger because even when it’s there, you can’t see it, but sometimes it’s actually not there. It makes it easier to lose things like Bluetooth earpieces. If you drop something that’s black, you are less likely to notice you dropped it, especially in the dark. And even if you know you dropped it, shadows under sofas and car seats hide black objects quite well.
Another aspect of too many products being black is that you don’t know which charger or adapter or cord goes with which product. If they labeled them to indicate which one matches with the product it wouldn't be so much of an issue. When you have an entertainment stand with lots of devices and spaghetti wiring in back, you can’t tell which cable goes to which device. Brighter or differently colored cables would help.
Apple and some other companies have bucked the trend. They make devices in white or silver. I bought an orange compact flash drive and I haven’t lost it yet. Bright colors help. But I see black being the predominant color for electronics products for a long time. When we all need only one device (possibly an implant) and everything becomes wireless, then this issue will go away. Until then, just accept that when it comes to electronics, black is the old black, the new black, and the future black.
I get email.. a lot of email for work for personal and for junk reasons. Once I figure out what my password is for one of my 7 email accounts, I realize that I have way too much email to manage. It’s hard to find the ones I want to read and I base the decision on what I want to read by the sender or the subject. I can filter out a lot of spam by the ridiculous email addresses and I know my friends’ email addresses. Sometimes I ignore an email because I don’t know the sender’s email address. Often it's some obscure system generated address like "DO_NOT_REPLY@letsget.net" or “firstname.lastname@example.org,” so then it comes down to reading the subject. I hate the ones that say things like “Inquiry” or “Email alert”. They look too spammy to make me want to read them. Then there are ones from friends and acquaintances like “Hi” or there's the always infamous
Google is a formidable search engine that has stood the test of web time so far even though Bing from Microsoft has come out with their “Decision Engine”. As the writer/owner/tracker of thingsivenoticed.com, I have signed up for web analytics service that tells me how visitors to the site reach it. If they searched on Google and clicked on a search result link to my blog, I see exactly what they typed in for search, (but I don’t know who the person is). What I see is usually normal, sometimes weird, sometimes disturbing, and sometimes sad. People search in Google with questions basically asking Google to solve their problems. I’ve seen searches like, “why does he hate me?”, and “is it ok to wear the same clothes every day?”. People who get to “Things I’ve Noticed” via those sites need to realize that the internet will not solve all of your life’s problems, (and neither will Sudoku). I doubt that Bing can make decisions for you either. You might get lucky and get to see a link where people write about experiences with solutions to similar problems on a site bulletin board, but vague general problems mean nothing to Google or any other search engine for that matter. Yahoo Answers has a better approach, but people vote on the best answer and it may not be right or helpful.
These search sites do their thing through impersonal mega-algorithms and they care nothing for you. They haven’t spent any time in a human body and don’t have personality. Talking to people probably helps the most. In some cases, Google comes through with information that may help you make a decision, but that’s often just luck. I suppose one has little to invest in searching for, “where should I sit on a bus?”, so it’s worth a shot. But instead of getting answers, they end up landing on sites, (like mine), that exist to make you think and for entertainment. One other aspect of relying on search for solutions to life is that the websites that come up in the search results often have conflicting information or answers. What to do then? Information overload can be confusing and stressful.
Perhaps it’s just a sign of modern times. We use the internet to pay bills, make reservations, and even to maintain and establish friendships. Why not use it to solve problems in life? It seems to make sense, but computers aren’t good at figuring out humans and the sites can’t take the place of a friend or psychiatrist. Or perhaps nothing can take the place of you. Eventually you may be able to figure out how to handle your problems yourself.
My first post of 2009 is about people doing what they're not supposed to do or not doing what they're supposed to do. I'm not talking about New Year's resolutions. Everybody talks about those. Rather, I'm talking about actions that are taken every day, ones we must deal with because they lead to results that are undesirable. They affect what society has to do. I would say that many of the daily activities in which we partake are done as a direct consequence.
If this was an ideal world with respect to how people behaved, there would be a lot more unemployment. If people were honest and didn't steal, we wouldn't need locks, safes, computer security systems, or policemen. Just think. Life would be easier though. You would never need keys, could move your friends car or take care of their house while they traveled without any prior planning. We wouldn't have any security hassles at the airport, wouldn't need to sign when we used our credit cards. You could have left your cookies un-licked at the school cafeteria table without worrying that your friends might eat them. On the business side, contracts would be much shorter. We would need far fewer lawyers. (Such a shame). Kids wouldn't have to be taught to not talk to strangers and parenting would be immensely easier. Hitchhiking would be an interesting, stress-free experience. My personal utopia angle on this is that we wouldn't need computer passwords, (which have ruined my life)! Could you imagine? The world would be so much more efficient.
On the flip-side, we would have to find other jobs for all the people that design and manufacture security cameras or for any people whose duty it is to secure or protect someone or something. On a different front, most people in white collar jobs have to do a lot of follow-up. This is only because other people don't do what they're supposed to do as expected. If everybody did their job like they're supposed to, there would be fewer managers to oversee what we're (not) doing.
But life would be a lot less interesting if everybody was forthright and did what they were supposed to. There wouldn't be any funny criminal stories in the papers. We wouldn't sharpen our senses in sniffing out spam. We wouldn't have as much to complain about and we'd probably be more vulnerable to dangerous wild animals or aliens. I say that it's good that there are people who don't do what they're supposed to. It probably leads to innovation and great ideas both in trying to perform illegal activities and in trying to defend against them. It probably accounts for a significant portion of our economy.
I'm not advocating that you don't do what you're supposed to do, but next time somebody steals your Garmin out of your car, maybe this post can help you laugh it off. And in this bad economy, many of us should feel fortunate that we have jobs. Many of them depend on human dishonesty.
Times are tough with the whole financial crisis, job losses, and an auto industry on the edge of bankruptcy, (although they just got loan money today). Accordingly, I’ve started some major advertising on Things I’ve Noticed to help defray TypePad’s monthly fees for the blogging service. I use both Google text ads and Adify’s high-falutin’ animated ads. (Feel free to click all you want, especially if you’re interested in what’s in the ad.) I figured out that if traffic to Things I’ve Noticed goes from 40 visitors a day to 100,000 visitors a day, I could live off of my blog, but that will never happen unless the top 50 blogs in the world start linking to me. I don’t see that in my future, so I have to continue working in a real job.
I have been noticing what’s getting advertised in these spaces on my site. With Google, I have little control but with Adify, I can approve or reject campaigns. I consider whether I want to advertise products or services that aren’t in keeping with my philosophies, or are too cheesy, even for this blog. For instance, I didn’t want to advertise meat products, so I rejected the McDonald’s campaign. The specific advertising on my Google ads depends on what I write about, but I can't single out companies, only topic areas. Although, I’m a very very small time advertising venue without complete control, I will do what I can.
But I wonder about ads accepted by major newspapers, magazines, and websites. Sometimes they advertise things like police radar camera license plate blocking sprays or products that enlarge certain body parts even when they know that these products are illegal and/or don’t work. I’m surprised that they don’t want to protect their readers from fraud or their own image by rejecting such ads. They just look the other way as long as the advertising revenue is coming in. It would be nice if they would verify the credibility of the advertisers before placing such ads in their publications or on their websites. I guess, in the end, it’s all about the money. That’s why I’m forcing readers of T.I.N. to endure ads that take up significant screen space, and I apologize... but I gotta eat.
We’ve heard a lot of news from the press lately about the dire situation the American automobile industry is in. In part due to the “financial hurricane” that the credit crisis has created, the Detroit 3, (D3), including GM, Ford, and Chrysler are on the brink of going bankrupt or closing up completely. As a former GM employee who loves cars, and cares for Detroit, my friends who work in the auto industry and our whole country, I believe that the government must provide loans to the Detroit 3. Blame can be laid on many things but a negative spin about the Detroit 3 has gotten out of control to the point that people have a grudge beyond reason, one that could lead to our government making a horrible decision. I don’t mean to dismiss mistakes of management and the possibly unreasonable demands of the unions up to this point, but the issue is not who we should punish but what we should do now to prevent a catastrophe.
I’ve written on countless numbers of website comment sections and based on what I’ve written, I want to address all the claims others have made as to why they think the Detroit 3 shouldn’t get support in the form of a loan, (not a bail-out). Please don’t quote me on the exact numbers as these are estimates, but read this with the understanding that I do know a lot about the auto industry from experience and interest. Feel free to research some of my general figures.
Here are claims and suggestions listed, with bullets beneath them addressing why the suggestions aren’t feasible, the claims are overstatements or just aren’t true.
The Detroit 3 don’t make cars that people want to buy:
- Ford, Chrysler and GM sell nearly half the vehicles purchased in our country. 50% of the customers are not nobody, and many of these customers are loyal repeat ones.
- The Detroit 3 had fewer competitors in the 70's than they do now, so some market share attrition is bound to occur by virtue of there being more choice.
- GM sells the most mid-sized cars of any manufacturer, but they are spread out amongst many models with different styles but the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry get all the credit for their manufacturers
The D3 only make gas guzzlers and SUV’s:
- They did profit from the SUV craze but so did/do all the other competitors. Consumers tended to equate value with size and the D3 couldn’t get its typical consumer to buy small cars at prices that would be profitable.
- Admittedly, they should have started making hybrids earlier but that’s a small slice of the market. - For the segments that sell the most, American car company vehicles are amongst the most fuel efficient in their segments such as the Chevy Malibu, Saturn AURA and Ford Focus...
The quality of vehicles from the Detroit 3 is not nearly as good as that of the Asian and Europeans:
- The quality gap has narrowed significantly and in some cases, D3 products have better quality than Toyota and Honda, (Chevy Malibu and Ford Fusion are prime examples in JD Powers studies.) http://www.freep.com/article/20081117/COL14/811170379
- Toyota recalled more vehicles last year than GM did http://forums.motortrend.com/70/6495664/the-general-forum/recall-numbers-for-2007-honda-toyota-numbers-highe/index.html
If the Detroit 3 go under, the import competitors will just sell more cars and provide just as many jobs:
- The Detroit 3 employ far more people in our country than foreign-based companies. It’s not just at plants but at headquarters white collar professional, engineering and technical jobs.
- If any one of the D3 go under, then many suppliers will go bankrupt leading to more job losses and parts will stop flowing to the Toyota, BMW, Honda plants here. That would lead to (at least temporary) layoffs at the transplant company plants.
- No other company is going to take up slack in our industrial base by starting a large, new auto manufacturing company as the major investment, expertise, low profitability, and economy would be inhibitors. Small companies like Tesla and Fisker will take tens of years to become mass market manufacturers, (assuming they succeed).
I can’t remember the last time I used a “regular” film camera and I’m not alone. The world switched from film photography to digital a long time ago. It’s mostly a good thing as digital photos can be taken without having to have them printed. So, they don’t use paper when they’re not printed out and they don’t cost anything to take if they’re not developed into prints. In these ways, digital photos help the environment and the budget. Bhat’s where a positive can become a negative. People now take way too many photos. They’re free so why not? The need for judicious use of film no longer exists.
As an amateur photographer, I do like the fact that I can act like a pro and take thousands of pictures on a trip so that I know a few hundred will turn out good. But what is annoying is how many moments get captured by the numerous digital cameras that your friends and family have. I really feel sorry for children born after the dawn of the digital camera, (and the camcorder for that matter). Many of us lucked out.Save 20% on Economy Rainbow Frames from PictureFrames.com! Select your colors now. Click Here!
Add to the digital photo phenomena, the fact that photo-taking capability is often provided on other non-camera devices like phones, PDA’s, and you have a recipe for disaster. We will all have countless digital skeletons on our hard drives and memory cards. But even worse, these digital photos are easily copied and sent or posted electronically for all the world to see. In the “old days,” duplication of film photographs required money and effort.
Despite all the evilness, digital photography has allowed us to capture memories better. And pictures can be altered with software to look better. But I’m afraid we’ll all become inundated with countless pictures that never get organized or viewed again. Now there’s no looking back. Digital photography is here to stay, and it is as evil as ever.