October 2002 Archives

Homes of the future

Red Herring has an article that briefly talks about the different studies electronics companies are doing to see how people use homes that are crammed with all the latest interconnected technological gizmos. One day, in a far-off future, project names like "Perceptive Home Environments," "EasyLiving," "Living Lab," "Aware Home Research Initiative" and "Cooltown" will sound naff and dated. Er... (via Techdirt)

"This vehicle is powered by chicken fat"

Yoz links to a Guardian article about Asda, a UK supermarket chain, running its trucks on used cooking oil: "the biggest boost yet for the legal use of recycled cooking oil on Britain's roads."

The Telegraph has a story about how "an American team has used a pioneering genetic method to help convict an American doctor of deliberately infecting his former girlfriend with Aids." The story grabs one's attention by suggesting people could be open to legal claims for passing common colds to others but later suggests this may be completely impractical in practice; these kinds of air-transmitted virii would be difficult to trace. Nevertheless, this does open up the possibility. If nothing else it could lead to people staying at home when ill, rather than heroically staggering to work. Or there could be insurance against such lawsuits, cold-prone people confined to relative isolation, masks and gloves worn to prevent germs travelling... (via Metafilter)

Jon loves Lucy

I'm not doing very well at keeping this updated. Too much time writing code. However, here's a lovely article from yesterday's Guardian in which Jon Ronson visits a guy who's building an AI robot at home near Weston-Super-Mare, UK. I'm not saying it has any great insights, but it's a good read!

Flu as a wild card

I'm forever catching up on reading old Future Surveys and the June 2002 has a run of books on health issues, including Secret Agents: The Menace of Emerging Infections by Madeline Drexler (Amazon US and UK). The summary of this includes this paragraph:

Four futurists' predictions

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Wired's current issue has a little spot where four futurists (Jim Dator, Peter Schwartz, Glen Hiemstra and Gerald Celente) predict things. It's only small, a bit random and comes free with several pinches of salt, but it fills a couple of minutes.

Still offline, but...

BT have now spent more than three weeks testing my phone line. The issue's been escalated so many times there must be a couple of engineers perched on top of the BT Tower examining my connection. And it's still as useless as it was when the company "upgraded" a load of their exchanges. So still no updates I'm afraid.