bkdelong: (Default)
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I'd say the Moller Skycar because then I'd no longer have to say the cliche'd "Where's my flying car?". He's been working on models for years and all have seemed fairly functional - waiting for an X-Prize to beat him out.

In reality, I'd like to have one of the new prototype cars coming out this or next year making use of GPS + Speed for Vehicle to Vehicle communication (V2V) to help people stop faster when there's an accident or problem car two to three cars ahead you can't see until too late.

I know the car industry hope to make such a feature standard and build in privacy controls much like the wireless device industry has WRT being able to locate and identify/find you.
bkdelong: (Default)
So I'm starting this at approx. 9:45pm ET about 15min after arriving home from tonight's BeanSec. I'm going to do my darnedest to capture in keywords the conversation of the night with pertinent links.

The key test here is, sans any ADHD meds in my system, trying to get a single stream of thought into this journal and then follow up with the links that will actually make the post interesting - and not getting sidetracked on any number of actual activities throughout my machine's desktop or the physical distractions now vying for my body's attention.

I owe a huge amount of this to Michael Katsevman aka Anateus, much to the disappointment of fellow BeanSec-ers and SecurityTwits Paul Davis, Zach Lanier, Jack Daniels, and a new attendee. Oliver Day left early to "go to class" but I'm sure he was scared off.

There was probably more but the problem was I had to get from the Middlesex Lounge to my car at MIT and home to Salem. Due to a lack of my most-wished for futuristic communications lazyware (subvocal recognition) plus a continued increase in brainstream noise lead to a near impossible ability to focus.

Made it though....enjoy.
bkdelong: (Default)

Well, I emailed Dennis Crowley from dodgeball.google my idea for using mobile phones for social applications while stuck on various forms of mass transit. No response, but I'm sure he's a busy bee.

I've been thinking further about it, even expanding it pretty largely. I see a few applications:

  1. Live Transit Data - since I've been riding the MBTA Commuter Rail on a regular basis, I've noticed the train is predictibly late; especially the 7:29am Newburyport/Rockport line into North Station. So why not create a service that allows various commuters to text/SMS/IM/email in, (or use a mobile web-based inteface), when they arrive at a station and when they leave a station?

    Several things could be done with that data. Update a Google Map live with a train's location. At the "estimated" live location point, have a small icon with the train's number, (in the case of the Inbound 7:29am train from Salem, 108) and show a train with timed waypoints.

    I gave it a shot with my horrible, second-hand, beaten-up Verizon Wireless LG phone and sent myself emails everytime we arrived at a stop. My thumb was sore from lack of experience and it would have helped more if I was able to send something both when we arrived & left but it was a small experiment proving that this is a feasible idea.

    Keep a history of all these times for referring back to and even mark them up with XML so one can reference a particular date, time, and period between stations. Also, include a means of reporting accidents such as the one in Franklin this week or other such delays with various categories. Users could also leave messages forum-style on a particular trip in commenting on the train's lateness, demeanor of the conductors, report incidents and request witnesses, post a lost or found....etc

    In addition to the "contribute" side, also allow users to sign up their phone or an email address at which to be notified for a particular train, line etc. Create a series of quick SMS codes allowing ad hoc queries as well as a profile on the Web site at which to set defaults.

    This solves a myriad of issues including "where the hell is the train" instead of waiting 15-20 minutes after an incident for it to show up on the MBTA marquee. It also could be used similar to plane tracking to allow spouses, significant others, and friends to know when to ACTUALLY leave for the station to pick you up.

    <sarcasm>And oooh - look! There's Google Transit on which data can be displayed and integrated!</sarcasm%gt;

  2. Social Networking - My train ride really isn't that long but it would be nice to be able to know who of my neighbors and friends along the entire Newburyport / Rockport line is taking the same train I am. Allow contributors and participants to state what train they are on, which car they are in and approx. which seat. Information can be set to "friends only" or based on some other trust relationship to allow for privacy.

    Determining train car numbers for such a short period of time may be difficult but I'd venture to guess that they don't change them at all during the day and if one can determine the pattern of which engine/car setup ends up with which train (i.e. my 7:29am 108 train). This would be helpful when arriving at North Station, (South Station etc). I see the 5:55pm/069 train on the board with no track number. However if I know the engine/car numbers for the day, I can simply look at the last car. This could be risky as sometimes the train master may arbitrarily choose trains based on their availability. I think the avid users of Railroad.netcould make a big contribution here.

    This degree of awareness could allow for localized IMing, ad hoc peer-to-peer laptop-based wireless networks and all sorts of experiments in mobile computing. I already see tons of people on their Blackberries, laptops and other devices working away. Why not enhance their value when commuting?

    I forsee a function of my Tivo being a "trusted friend" on my Commutning network so it will always know what train I am on and popup a window allowing any viewers to know when my train reaches the stop before Salem....or something.

As always, I fully admit my ideas are to the extreme of technology implementation and usage but while I strive to be an innovative fururist I am always seeking ways to maximize what little time I have. The more educated with contextualized data I am, the more in control I feel - much more conducive to getting things done.

Please - all comments welcome.

bkdelong: (Default)

Chris Schmidt, ([livejournal.com profile] crschmidt), pointed out today, (I'm pretty sure tongue-in-cheek), that I'm all about the ideas but always look to someone else to implement them. Guilty as charged. I always have my hands in so many pots, I never seem to make the time to learn the technologies to put my ideas to reality. I'm a technologist - I've never been a math person and no matter how much I try, I can't seem to manage to learn a programming language. I was a master of Apple BASIC back in the 80s and I seem to do OK with markup languages from HTML to RDF to XML but I can't seem to figure out Perl, PHP or Python - the scripts I really need to implement most of my ideas.

Today I did a little searching for a place I could take online courses. Ziff-Davis hit the nail on the head in the late 90s with ZDU, (Ziff-Davis University) but I couldn't seem to find anything similar. Anyone have any leads?

In the meantime, I will continue to dream my big dreams and perhaps I'll come across someone who wants to implement one of my ideas. While I'm not a programmer, I'm a pretty quick learner and already have a fairly strong grasp of what is and is not possible.

Because of the "missed opportunity" of sorts in my previous post, I will also start taking more time to writeup my ideas no matter how silly, ludicious, or downright stupid. I need them on paper and out of my brain - at least until it's possible to do a "Full Brain Backup".

That's an idea for another day.

bkdelong: (Default)

Dammit, dammit, dammit. I need to get better at writing down what's in my head.

When I go out to walk the dogs, am driving somewhere, trying to get off to sleep, I'm usually inside my head brainstorming. I'm pretty good with mind visualization and I swear I could live in there. It's be better than TV if I could connect it to my.....what is it.....visual and aural cortex?

Anyway, in the past year on one of my walks, I spent a lot of time looking at the stars. It was definitely late spring or summer and quite nice out. I was looking up and trying to identify constellations and stars with little success. Being a Scifi geek and always pondering the stars, space and other "star systems" and being a technologist, futurist and pseudo-transhumanist, I'm always thinking of ways to make life easier. The spiritual side of me is constantly fascinated by coorespondences in more Earth and astrological-based religiousness.

So I started dreaming.

Read more... )

Ah, the future. One can hardly wait.


bkdelong: (Default)

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