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Author Topic: Musing about life and technology or Drones and Dreams  (Read 960 times)
Yoda
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« on: December 03, 2013, 03:39:18 PM »

I consider myself lucky to be born in the 80s. In school, we still had chalkboards and overhead projectors, and only one computer lab in the Catholic school  attended until the 4th grade. That was a city school and part of a well funded parochial system. I remember playing some crazy math games, typing games, and of course, Oregon Trail. In fact the computers were brand new to us and weren't part of a class. We had to stay after school and sign up for a special program. It was filled with kids like me who were eager to learn. (Though I never did learn proper typing technique)

When we moved to the suburbs my grade school didn't have a computer at all. And in fact I didn't use a computer to do research in school until my junior or senior year in high school. And then again there was was computer lab in the library. We of course wasted time looking up the hamster dance.

My friend Lee was the only one that had a cell phone, and most of my friends had pagers. We're talking 98, 99 here. The only reason he had one was for emergencies and it was one of the old motorola flip phones and little antenna.

As a kid I'd never imagine that I could do everything from my phone. Order food, watch crap on the internet, look up dates on Match, or research any dumb fact I could think of from one little device that works anywhere... absolutely insane.

And now it's feasible I could have a robot delivering a shipment of tea ...

It's even more amazing talking to my dad about this stuff. As a kid he'd read Dick Tracy and his little watch had a screen on it that'd do pretty much everything. And I'd watch Star Trek:TNG and their tablets and tricorders did everything...

It's just crazy to think about.
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Annubis
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« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2013, 03:44:26 PM »

What will truly blow my mind is the day we have capable androids.
God, I wish I'll live long enough to see that.
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unsmashable_pumpkin
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« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2013, 04:15:55 PM »

God. I remember the hamster dance. Why do I remember this? :O

It's always hilarious looking at somewhat older sci-fi/future speculative fiction from ages past. I have no idea why people seem to think that flying cars were/are going to be a thing. Loads of practical reasons why that is not really going to be easy to implement if you think about it for more than 5 seconds.

More than gadgets specifically I'm pretty excited for potential innovation in the fields of epigenetics and personalised medicine. And that research paper published earlier this year using atomic force microscopy where you could actually see pictures of the molecules as they are reacting. (http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2013/05/30/scientists-capture-first-images-of-molecules-before-and-after-reaction/) Not really in the android/drone realm, but I personally find that stuff really cool.
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ultra7k
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« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2013, 04:21:56 PM »

I consider myself lucky to be born in the 80s. In school, we still had chalkboards and overhead projectors, and only one computer lab in the Catholic school  attended until the 4th grade. That was a city school and part of a well funded parochial system. I remember playing some crazy math games, typing games, and of course, Oregon Trail. In fact the computers were brand new to us and weren't part of a class. We had to stay after school and sign up for a special program. It was filled with kids like me who were eager to learn. (Though I never did learn proper typing technique)

When we moved to the suburbs my grade school didn't have a computer at all. And in fact I didn't use a computer to do research in school until my junior or senior year in high school. And then again there was was computer lab in the library. We of course wasted time looking up the hamster dance.

My friend Lee was the only one that had a cell phone, and most of my friends had pagers. We're talking 98, 99 here. The only reason he had one was for emergencies and it was one of the old motorola flip phones and little antenna.

As a kid I'd never imagine that I could do everything from my phone. Order food, watch crap on the internet, look up dates on Match, or research any dumb fact I could think of from one little device that works anywhere... absolutely insane.

And now it's feasible I could have a robot delivering a shipment of tea ...

It's even more amazing talking to my dad about this stuff. As a kid he'd read Dick Tracy and his little watch had a screen on it that'd do pretty much everything. And I'd watch Star Trek:TNG and their tablets and tricorders did everything...

It's just crazy to think about.

I had pretty much the same experience, but we had computers throughout school and had dedicated classes, which when I now think about it, is a pretty big deal considering it was c. 1991/1992.

If you think about it, there are kids who are born now, and more or less functional where they haven't lived in a world where there aren't smartphones.

I can only imagine what it must be like for my dad....

A lot of the stuff we have now is just mind-blowing, and to think how far technology has come in the last 10 years, it makes you stop and wonder where it will go even in the next 5.

Having spent a brief amount of time as a teacher, and still not yet 30, I'm amazed at some of the skills we learned as children are just not taught today, and this gap only gets larger over time.

Yikes.
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Klutz64
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« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2013, 04:49:13 PM »

The first time someone of a cohesively intelligent age (over 10) mentioned their birth date and it was after 2000, I was a bit thrown off.

And yeah, I remember the days when libraries were actually relevant in schools. I wouldn't be surprised if schools are starting to phase out libraries in favor of just having computer labs instead. Hell, when I was graduating the big debate was whether every student should be required to have a laptop, and now even those are starting to become obsolete.
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Yoda
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« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2013, 05:12:20 PM »

I went back to my HS in about 2007 or so to get a transcript. The library stacks were completely gone in favor of computers.

And with great enthusiasm can I say: "goodbye and good riddance, card catalog."
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2013, 12:18:17 AM »

When I was working as custodian/painter in my old school district back in 2008, I was surprised at how much of a mental map I still had of my old elementary buildings.

Anyway, my highschool's library was still very much there and had a lot of books, but even when I was in highschool we never used it much because the materials were all outdated and lacked variety and any real utility. This also describes the library at BGSU, though, so...

I used to go to the library in BGSU just cause I liked the atmosphere -- very seventies, smelled like old books, etc. And hardly anyone was ever there. Plus it was open late, so if I needed somewhere to go after dark...

College was fucking strange and I barely remember it or maybe I remember it but it just feels like it didn't happen to me.
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o/` I do not feel joy o/`
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Klutz64
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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2013, 03:54:48 AM »

By the way, not sure if anyone heard the development on the story that inspired this thread, but after Amazon said the drones were being tested and could be in the public within the next year... only to then say that they were getting offers from several aerospace companies to help design the drones, Amazon was basically caught blowing smoke.

NelsonHaHa.gif
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Kevadu
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« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2013, 05:05:47 AM »

after Amazon said the drones were being tested and could be in the public within the next year...

When did Amazon ever say that?
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Klutz64
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« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2013, 10:01:27 AM »

The first article someone linked to me said something along those lines, I don't know if it was next year or 2015, but the article made it sound like Amazon was pretty confident these things would be operational soon enough. Then I guess a follow-up on 60 Minutes confirmed that Amazon admitted it had no idea when or if the drones would be a thing, and that it was just an idea they were exploring.
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Kevadu
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« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2013, 01:03:35 PM »

The only official Amazon statement on the subject said that they were trying to get FAA approval by "sometime in 2015" at the earliest and wanted to be ready by then.  Which seems awfully optimistic to me but it's still more than a year.

As for whether they've been testing drones, I would be shocked if they didn't have some sort of prototypes kicking around.  Drone tech like this isn't actually that hard to get.  Even hobbyists have been messing around with it, so why wouldn't Amazon be.  But that by no means precludes looking at offers from aerospace companies because there's a big difference between a proof of concept prototype and a drone that's cost-effective and durable enough to be deployed on a mass scale and complete its job reliably.

So I just don't see anything to ha-ha at here.
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Annubis
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« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2013, 01:47:23 PM »

that's cost-effective and durable enough to be deployed on a mass scale and complete its job reliably.

You forgot armored. People are going to shoot those down for free stuff.
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Darilon
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« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2013, 01:50:23 PM »

that's cost-effective and durable enough to be deployed on a mass scale and complete its job reliably.

You forgot armored. People are going to shoot those down for free stuff.

I wish that was a joke but yeah, I can see that happening.
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