Author Topic: Your five utterly brilliant things about modern technology  (Read 2237 times)

Your five utterly brilliant things about modern technology
« on: April 18, 2020, 01:04:18 pm »
1. The fact that the Google Assistant on my phone can listen then tell me what song and artist is on the radio.
2. Bike lights.  Does anyone remember how shite they used to be?
3. Petrol car exhausts no longer stink.
4. My fridge/freezer never needs defrosting.
5. Much as I despise them as a corporation, eBay means I can track down real obscurities that would have been thrown away or buried for ever.  Bike parts, old books, odd fixings and fasteners.
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Your five utterly brilliant things about modern technology
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2020, 01:19:02 pm »
1. That I'm still alive.
2. Computers that are good enough and ubiquitous enough that you don't really have to care about computers.
3. That much of the real world is now available on the internet, to the point that it's actually useful for something other than talking to fellow nerds.
4. I'll second the LED thing.  Bike lights, low-energy lighting, it's all good.  Except when done badly (eg. strobe-o-vision lighting or excessive use of retina-searing blinkenlights).
5. Cars no longer needing exhausts.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Mrs Pingu

  • Who ate all the pies? Me
    • Twitter
Re: Your five utterly brilliant things about modern technology
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2020, 01:28:14 pm »
1. Google maps. I can go places on my own and actually get somewhere without having a nervous breakdown. Yeah, it would be better to be able to navigate with a paper map but I don't have that sort of brain.
2. Things like Brewdog's Hopdrop app where I could order food and beer and have them paid & delivered to my table. Welcome to the future.
3. Google Lens. I can take a photo of a random plant and Google will give me some ideas as to what it is.
I'll think of some more later

Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

Re: Your five utterly brilliant things about modern technology
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2020, 01:29:16 pm »
  • The fact that I can meet up with people when plans go awry. (Remember the 'good, old days' when you'd struggle?)
  • Modern mapping that can tell me how to get somewhere with a good degree of accuracy - generally
  • I lived abroad in pre-internet days when BT ensured foreign phone calls were prohibitively expensive, whereas now Skype, et al. make things easy and free
  • Doing an essay on Hungary post-Treaty of Trianon and being able to dig up verifiable facts and figures from multiple sources without having to rely on an encyclopaedia
  • Word processing. How brilliant is that? Don't take it for granted. Hand writing work is a real PITA.
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Your five utterly brilliant things about modern technology
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2020, 01:33:45 pm »
The fact that I can meet up with people when plans go awry. (Remember the 'good, old days' when you'd struggle?)

Double-edged sword, because people don't commit to proper plans any more.  But on balance, I agree.

I should probably have included GPS.  It's utterly brilliant.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Your five utterly brilliant things about modern technology
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2020, 01:35:53 pm »
1  Carbon fibre elegance
2  Satellite navigation systems
3  Seeing stuff that's billions of light years away
4  Genetic engineering
5  Unbelievable levels of precision in manufacturing
Rust never sleeps

Re: Your five utterly brilliant things about modern technology
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2020, 01:43:11 pm »
The fact that I can meet up with people when plans go awry. (Remember the 'good, old days' when you'd struggle?)

Double-edged sword, because people don't commit to proper plans any more.  But on balance, I agree.
I'm old-fashioned enough to make sort-of definite plans, but knowing that there's a safety net is reassuring.
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

Re: Your five utterly brilliant things about modern technology
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2020, 01:49:28 pm »
On demand TV programmes.

Freedom from the tyranny of scheduled viewing and the TV recorder.



Sic transit and all that..

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Your five utterly brilliant things about modern technology
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2020, 01:55:55 pm »
1. video calls, and free worldwide calls in general, mobile to mobile.
2. all (or most of) the knowledge at your fingertips, within seconds.
3. all modern conveniences - we can live better than the kings of the past.
4. making ideas a reality easily (3d modelling, 3d printing, computational/fluid dynamics, structural design etc.)
5. building, reaching your audience and sharing ideas worldwide, easily and simply

p.s. even the best bike ligths together with the whole bike industry are still at 4-6 out of 10, a long way to go towards engineering excellence, imo.

Re: Your five utterly brilliant things about modern technology
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2020, 02:34:51 pm »
The bike industry keeps reinventing the wheel (often literally) and usually gets it wrong.  For every success (headsets that don't go indexed, well-sealed bottom brackets) we get other stuff that causes more problems than the thing it was intended to replace (integrated headsets, PF30).
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Re: Your five utterly brilliant things about modern technology
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2020, 02:52:34 pm »
A lot of the big stuff is up there ^, so my list once those have been removed is:-
1. Rechargeable batteries that generally work, and aren't killed by over-overcharging or being not used for months.
2. Mains transformers that don't use 20% of full power with no load, and work on any input voltage, don't give out 50% too much voltage with no load, don't mind being shorted and are small enough to be comfortably supported by even USAnian sockets and are stupidly cheap.
3. Being able to get data sheets for electronic components without having to wait for the post, finding it's completely wrong, having to wait for the post, finding it's completely wrong.....
4. Television and computer screens that are so thin that their depth is irrelevant.
5. Plastic water pipes that don't need funny tools, big spanners, fire risk and arcane skills to fit.
Quote from: Kim
Paging Diver300.  Diver300 to the GSM Trimphone, please...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Your five utterly brilliant things about modern technology
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2020, 03:11:28 pm »
1. That I'm still alive thanks to someone being able to cut the right sort of hole in the right part of my skull, because they could see inside it before they started. I don't think trepanning worked out so well for the Neanderthals.
2. LEDs.
3. Bike tyres that grip in the wet and rarely puncture.
4. Disc brakes for bikes.
5. Web conferencing that means people can do things like play music together in 'lockdown'.
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Re: Your five utterly brilliant things about modern technology
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2020, 03:25:10 pm »
5. Web conferencing that means people can do things like play music together in 'lockdown'.

I would like to know how as we tried it (Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp) and latency meant it was not possible.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Your five utterly brilliant things about modern technology
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2020, 03:37:23 pm »
I can't answer that; haven't done it myself, only enjoyed the results. I expect a great deal of editing is involved.
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

nicknack

  • Hornblower
Re: Your five utterly brilliant things about modern technology
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2020, 03:38:20 pm »
5. Web conferencing that means people can do things like play music together in 'lockdown'.

I would like to know how as we tried it (Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp) and latency meant it was not possible.
I get this on my Facebook feed a lot:
There's no vibrations, but wait.

Re: Your five utterly brilliant things about modern technology
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2020, 03:58:30 pm »
1.Spotify on my running watch, and I dont need to plug it in.
2. My chromebook. So much slickness for £250
3. YouTube/Internet. I can now fix most things on my car that dont require getting underneath it.
4. Whatsapp/Zoom: I can have an online beer with friends in Italy without it costing the price of a round. Can also do online yoga and pilates. Can talk to friends I am unlikely to see in person for years. Can have written word 'conversations' that play out over weeks and are incredibly funny
5. Synching and integration between devices that actually works

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Your five utterly brilliant things about modern technology
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2020, 05:00:22 pm »
a relatively simple thing that has not been widely implemented so far - identical and stable (from one use to another) water temperature from the taps. every time i have to wait ten seconds or so for hot water to arrive and temperature stabilise, more noticeable/annoying now with the frequent hand washing. surely i must not be the only one wishing for such feature being an industry standard?

Re: Your five utterly brilliant things about modern technology
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2020, 05:05:11 pm »
Cars that are reliable.

Not all modern cars of course.

Oh all right, scrub that one.
Sic transit and all that..

Re: Your five utterly brilliant things about modern technology
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2020, 05:46:24 pm »
As others have said, mobile communications. 20 years ago I phoned my wife, and she answered with "I'm on the bus at Melbourne Airport" Astounding. (The call, not that she answered from where I expected her to be. On second thoughts....)

Sonos and Spotify, and wifi stuff in general.

Car tyres. I mean, for the price they're amazing value.

GPS and all it's associated mapping etc. And it's free (FCVO free)

The tablet computer.


We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Re: Your five utterly brilliant things about modern technology
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2020, 06:21:10 pm »
Trying to avoid what has been said, I have an appreciation for these improvements during my lifetime:

1. Dual SIM mobile phones - a long way on from my parent's party landline and my pair of mobile phones.
2. Digital audio - I started recording on 4-track tape with wow and flutter and all sort of other things to contend with.
3. Rechargeable batteries.
4. Prosthesis - seeing so many people have a better life because of advances in internal and external prosthetics.
5. Electric kettles - no more having to be there to turn the gas off as it boils.

Clare

  • Is home
Re: Your five utterly brilliant things about modern technology
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2020, 06:23:30 pm »
How modern?

1. Blood type matching
2. Translation tools allowing instant communication anywhere there's a signal
3. GPS
4. Being able to see and talk to people on the other side of the world
5. Being able to ignore people on the other side of the world

Re: Your five utterly brilliant things about modern technology
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2020, 06:45:49 pm »
1 Dental tools and techniques. Changed beyond belief in my lifetime and I don't want to think about anything earlier.
2 Modern medicine. OK, we're having problems at the moment, but the changes in the past 100 years have been almost unbelievable
3, 4, 5 probably repeating what others have said, communications, computers, bike lights...
"No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everybody on the couch."

Basil

  • Um....err......oh bugger!
  • Help me!
Re: Your five utterly brilliant things about modern technology
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2020, 07:26:39 pm »
Good quality food. If you're prepared to look for it.
Quote from: Kim
And remember that friends who organise things on Facebook aren't proper friends anyway.

Re: Your five utterly brilliant things about modern technology
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2020, 07:35:45 pm »
Once this is I could not do will outline anything is fine isn't autocomplete.

Wonderfully ideas.
Sic transit and all that..

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Your five utterly brilliant things about modern technology
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2020, 07:55:15 pm »
5. Web conferencing that means people can do things like play music together in 'lockdown'.

I would like to know how as we tried it (Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp) and latency meant it was not possible.

I expect they're mostly recording themselves playing along with a recording and syncing it up afterwards.

You could probably get the latency acceptably low enough if you used a landline telephone (no GSM or VOIP, which probably includes most conference bridges) to synchronise, but the quality would be so awful that you'd want to record at higher bandwidth and edit them together anyway.

Or everyone could play to a click track synced to the atomic time source of choice.  But you'd still have to synchronise the streams at the receiving end, which would likely require timecode shenanigans the usual conferencing solutions won't have.   And since nobody would be able to hear anyone else in real time, you might as well use recordings...
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...