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Ron Obvious

Profile Information

Name: Ron
Gender: Male
Home country: Middle Earth
Current location: Seattle
Member since: Tue Dec 13, 2011, 11:37 PM
Number of posts: 5,983

About Me

I got the nickname Ron Obvious because -- in addition to being a huge Python fan -- my name really is Ron and I used to start sentences with \"Obviously\" a lot. Obviously, that\'s no longer a problem.

Journal Archives

Everyone's gone to the moon

Note: I happen to like this song. This is NOT meant as an endorsement of Jimmy Saville or Jonathan King!

Carl Sagan: A Glorious Dawn (Symphony of Science)

This came out several years ago, as the first of the Symphony of Science videos, produced by running spoken words through auto-tune. The results are pretty interesting, I think.

I had just about forgotten all about it but came across it again today. I don't know if this has ever been posted here before, but I hope it's new to some of you.


From enervate.

D: verb (used with object), enervated, enervating.
1. to deprive of force or strength; destroy the vigor of; weaken.
Synonyms: enfeeble, debilitate, sap, exhaust.
2. enervated

Now confess: how many of you thought it meant the exact opposite? I did, and I even studied Latin back in school.

Funny old language, English.

Hertz puts cameras in its rental cars, says it has no plans to use them

Of course they have no plans to use them. Of course not! They're just spending a lot of money alienating customers.

I confess I've never seen this, and I rent a lot of cars, but I suppose I better take some duct tape along next time.

This week I got an angry email from a friend who had just rented a car from Hertz: “Did you know Hertz is putting cameras in rental cars!? This is bullsh*t. I wonder if it says they can tape me in my Hertz contract.” He sent along this photo of a camera peeping at him from out of his “NeverLost,” a navigational device that the company has started putting in many of its cars:

“I even felt weird about singing in the car by myself,” he said. A Googling expedition revealed that my friend was not the first person driven to disturbance by the in-car surveillance system. A Yelp user was revved up about it. Disgruntled renters on travel forums like MilePoint and FlyerTalk want Hertz to put the brakes on “spy cams.” A loyal Hertz customer who rented a car in Chicago said it might make them never want to rent with Hertz again:

The system can’t be turned off from what I could tell. Further investigation revealed that the camera can see the entire inside of the car. I know rental car companies have been tracking the speed and movements of their vehicles for years but putting a camera inside the cabin of the vehicle is taking their need for information a little TOO FAR. I find this to be completely UNACCEPTABLE. In fact, if I get another car from Hertz with a camera in it, I will move our business from Hertz completely.


[...] a car that snoops on you and a fridge full of adverts: the perils of the internet of things

This article exactly articulates my views about "The Internet of Things" which the marketeers are determined to shove down our throat. It promises marginal benefits at best, and real and serious risks. I don't even want a smart TV, and certainly not one with a camera in it.

Hacked dog, a car that snoops on you and a fridge full of adverts: the perils of the internet of things

In the not so distant future, every object in your life will be online and talking to one another. It’ll transform the way we live and work - but will the benefits outweigh the dangers?

If we think of today’s internet metaphorically as about the size of a golf ball, tomorrow’s will be the size of the sun. Within the coming years, not only will every computer, phone and tablet be online, but so too will every car, house, dog, bridge, tunnel, cup, clock, watch, pacemaker, cow, streetlight, bridge, tunnel, pipeline, toy and soda can. Though in 2013 there were only 13bn online devices, Cisco Systems has estimated that by 2020 there will be 50bn things connected to the internet, with room for exponential growth thereafter. As all of these devices come online and begin sharing data, they will bring with them massive improvements in logistics, employee efficiency, energy consumption, customer service and personal productivity.

This is the promise of the internet of things (IoT), a rapidly emerging new paradigm of computing that, when it takes off, may very well change the world we live in forever.


I just noticed Stallman wrote a comment below the line. He's generally spot on in these matters.

So are you thinking about buying that $10,000 iWatch?

What a strange item. I can just about see spending that much on what would be a family heirloom, but these will be obsolete in just a few years.

Beethoven for Sports Fans (PDQ Bach)

This is an updated version of the classic recording

Police chief: 'Put CCTV in every home'

You can't bloody make it up. It's like they've never read 1984....

CCTV cameras should be installed by homeowners and businesses to help detectives solve crimes in the age of austerity, Britain’s most senior policeman has said.

Commissioner Bernard Hogan Howe also said that homeowners must make efforts to install equipment properly to avoid undermining inquiries.


He said: “Over the last year as facial recognition software has got better we can apply the software to the images of burglaries or robberies and we can compare those images with the images we take when we arrest people.”

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