Don’t try this at home or anywhere else!

I love gadgets. I love looking at gadgets. I am always amazed at how inventive and creative people are and when it comes to a fancy phone you’ve invested in, it is always good to know you can do more and more with it. Then I saw the first gadget on this video and had kittens. Why would you put your smartphone in a drone and just let it fly up into the air anywhere? Over the ocean? In the mountains? Off a balcony? My brain had a million thoughts all at once. I could just see it. The drone malfunctions, there appears to be no remote, your fancy phone noses dives into oblivion. Do manufacturers see us coming? Is this drone safer than it appears? Even if you use it in a controllable, contained environment what if it did crash…and smash your phone screen? Is the screen protected in some way? I cannot understand why you’d put your expensive phone into a drone and just let it fly away. Recipe for disaster is it not? The other gadgets more than made up for it. Yes, it would be good to have lenses which improve close up photo quality, the 3D scanner was incredibly impressive, the air button was such a good idea and the wifi/bluetooth earbud charger case was a well thought out idea and I can see it being popular. Are those earbuds a health risk , though? You could read these forum posts and have your own thoughts. You could also read the really helpful article on Electricsense. I think we need experts to weigh in on this with us and give us some clear and definite information.

Electro magnetic fields

BBC Panorama is not noted for its alarmist approach so I do think we need to sit down a minute, take a break and think about what we are doing with all the technology at hand. It is very important to keep a level head and allow any evidence to be developed scientifically ,carefully and rationally. It is not as simple as getting a gadget to measure electromagnetic fields. All the evidence in the world will not change us a lot. We were warned of the dangers of TV watching and how it would affect our eyesight, stop us thinking and break down relationships. We still have TVs and we still watch them. The nakedscientists has a good forum where they discuss these sorts of issues. We are not talking a nuclear power plant. We ought to be looking at ways to improve set up and delivery of technology and managing our daily routine so that we are not constantly exposed to magnetic fields. Easier said than done in the age of technology. EM Watch has a good discussion of the topic. When it comes to health hazards you always have in the back of your mind – how much of this information is true? How much of this information has been produced to sell something? We have learned through too many advertising campaigns that we are not always getting the facts. Electric Sense gives some practical ideas of how to manage electro magnetic fields better. Wired is always better than wireless but not always practical. Getting away from technology is desirable but may not be possible if we increase wireless coverage. Putting your laptop on a solid surface and not your legs will help. It is important we look at these things properly. There do need to be solid studies. Things can be made to sound scary when infact they are not. At this stage common sense ought to prevail and looking at ways of minimising exposure should be on everyone’s cards. We won’t be giving up technology any time soon. We need to live harmoniously with it!

New Ubuntu

There is a newer version of Ubuntu coming. They appear to bring out new versions fairly regularly. Today I have made my commitment to Ubuntu. I amusing my old NEC Versa laptop which has served this family well. I can’t find out how you get system information on Ubuntu but I think this only has 256 megs of ram. This version is 8.04 and runs very smoothly. The NEC has had issues with overheating which really became a problem when I installed the new ADSL 2+ wifi fast broadband. On the right equipment it is so fantastic. So got a new laptop to replace this on for my daughter. The problem is high speed wifi puts a strain on old components. You wouldn’t run an old car at top speed. Then there is an issue with NEC Versas and flash. You can really hear this hammering away when I go on flash sites. When I put Ubuntu on it was noticeably quieter and doesn’t run as warm. For safety’s sake I have now put it on a nice glass topped desk and have secured all the ethernet cabling because me and Ubuntu are here to stay. I shall get used to it on this laptop. I had to fight Windows to get it on here,but persistence is of value. Once I am used to Ubuntu then I think I’ll be confident to load it onto a better laptop. It’s pretty easy to work with but I do need to find out how to get my system information! But that’s okay. That’s why God gave me Google.

Vista vs XP

I have had an interesting time with my computers this week and it has set me straight about XP and Vista. I use XP at work but I have a laptop and desktop at home which I was using and they were Vista and Office 2007. I came to Vista with an open mind and quite like the shiny new look. It was irritating me because it kept checking and double checking what I was doing and then the endless updates became a joke. I have had yet another stream of updates tonight. We have an XP laptop and on Tuesday for reasons best known to itself it lost the onboard wifi connection to the Net. I thought it would be easy to get it back. No. I cleaned everything. I checked everything, updated drivers and then did what you do these days…Google. As it turned out I was not alone with this problem but there did not seem to be a solution on any of the problems. The two I tried just didn’t work. So then I did a clean install to no avail and as I did I suddenly thought that XP just was old hat. I re established the connection with a USB wifi adaptor and it’s fine but a bit silly on a laptop. So now I use that laptop for my work things because I don’t really need the Net for that. I was relieved to get back onto Vista. Vista does weirdo things like uninstall my supposedly compatible printer which is highly annoying but it fixes things up pretty quickly. I like how it looks and I like how it is set up for use. I accept it is trying to help people and builds in security against malicious damage and inadvertent absentmindedness on the part of the user. By and large it is very flexible and Office 2007 allows me to produce things which have a wow factor and make me look good. My previous opinion was that XP was better but when I had connection problems with Vista it had the whole lot sorted out within half and hour or less and the thing is, when it goes wrong on Vista, the help is somehow there to get the problem resolved quickly. The other criticism I have heard is that it won’t run old programmes. I have some ancient software and it runs perfectly well as does the new software. There is not a programme I have had a problem with and I have not had to abandon any of my software that I like.

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