Keep in Touch, Without Needing Much, Thanks to the Good Night Lamp

With…well…every single bit of technology available to us, more than ever it is easier to stay in contact with one another, and know exactly what another person is up to. However, at times it’s a power that’s almost too great, as it feels like you can constantly be in touch with someone, and in their lives, to an intrusive degree, removing a great deal of charm from the entire idea.

Maybe that’s why I’m taken by an idea like the good night lamp. A new Kickstarter project, it’s a set of houses (big ones and small ones) that light up, and use WiFi connections to allow the user of the big house to turn their light on and off, causing the same action to the paired up smaller house. The idea is to provide a simple way for a user to alert a group of others as to their availability and location via the status of the light, and is marketed towards homesick family members, couples living apart, household members wanting a simple communication method for certain events (say dinner or bedtime), or really any situation where a people want an easy, fun way to keep in touch over any distance. There are even color coded housing options to know which of multiple users is making an interaction.

There are a million other ways to provide the same basic information that these houses do with tech most likely on your person right now. However, few of those devices are likely to do so with the personality of the good night lamp, and as Samuel L. Jackson mused in “Pulp Fiction”, personality goes a long way.

Though we Greatly Disagree on the Scenarios in Which to Eat a Pig

  

Amazon Looking to Rekindle the Tablet Wars with the Kindle Fire 2

It’s looking more and more like the launch of the Google Nexus 7 tablet is just the start of a firestorm about to hit the affordable tablet market. Appropriately then, Amazon is looking to jump back into the fray by fighting that fire with one of their own.

According to rumors first started by a report in the China Times, Amazon is looking to start production early on the Kindle Fire 2, possibly aiming for a release as soon as this summer. While details are sparse on the upgraded Fire, the word is that Amazon’s Taiwan partner Quanta has received the go ahead to start production on what could possibly be a few different models of the Fire. While all of the models are currently being predicted to retain the original Fire’s 7-inch screen (with the base model retaining the $199 price point), most likely the different units will feature increasingly larger storage capacities and work off an increasing pricing structure similar to the  Nexus 7. There’s even word going around that the most expensive unit of the three will include a built-in camera and 4G capabilities. It’s also hard to imagine that even the base model of the new Fire won’t include a faster processor, better screen resolution, and a longer battery life if it looks to keep up with the standard Nexus 7.

I know a few people that own the original Kindle Fire, and the general consensus that you get from them is that “it does what I need it to do,” That’s a far cry from the original mission statement of the Fire when it was still marketing itself as a rival to the iPad at a much cheaper price. Since then, the smaller, cheaper tablet has established a market of its own with the Kindle Fire being seen as the fore bearer, and even the front-runner, of the new line. Considering, though, that Apple, the company whose iPad helped kick off this new war, is allegedly looking to release their own smaller tablet, the big question is if Amazon would do better holding off and seeing what the industry’s giant is going to bring to the table first before jumping the gun with this 2nd generation Fire. Otherwise, the novelty and name power they launched the Fire with in the first place may not hold up if a rushed product that is only meant to compete with the newest kid on the block eventually turns them into another face in the crowd.

  

The World of Technology is Really Scaring Me Today….

Are you like me and would love to wake up even earlier in the morning just to go nearly kill yourself by running a few miles, and have to come back in a hurry so you can spend the rest of the day at work, but just can’t find a good jogging partner?Well if that’s your excuse (and believe me, it is a great one) then I’ve got bad news. The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology is working on a flying  robot that can be programmed to keep pace with you and become your morning jog companion.

The Joggobot (those wacky Australians…) can be programmed via a smartphone app for pace and height settings, and then uses a built in camera to follow a marker worn by the jogger in order to constantly stay ahead of you. The device is meant to be a motivator to runners, and give them something to chase after and run with.

Is anyone else frightened by this invention? It reminds me of that villian’s machine from “The Incredibles” that could learn from all the heroes it defeated in order to become stronger for the next wave. Not to mention its basic design is essentially a machine that you are supposed to run from. I was convinced this would be the scariest bit of robotic propeller jet technology I would find today, but I was dead wrong.

Yes that’s a flying cat. Depending on the type of person you are, that image either causes you to laugh or shriek in horror at the danger that device poses to the poor kitten. But if you knew the full story, you’d understand that the only option is to scream in terror and run far away from your computer. Because that isn’t just a flying cat. It’s a flying dead cat.

It’s called the Orvillecopter and was created by a Dutch artist named Bart Jansen. When his beloved cat Orville died, Bart was so stricken with grief that he attached propellers to each of the cats paws and made it into a copter so that it would stand as a tribute to the person it was named after, flight pioneer Orville Wright.

Maybe we should just be thankful we didn’t get to see the invention Bart would have come up with if it was named after snack pioneer, Orville Redenbacher.

So yes, I admit that between training robots to match, map, and surpass human athleticism, and people turning their once loved pets into aeronautic exhibitions, today’s tech news is starting to scare me a bit. In fact, the whole ordeal of today’s news makes me yearn for a simple classic evening. You know, one where I can just retire to my quaint zombie proof home.

And of course eventually find myself tucked away into my comfy, classic, self making bed.

You know, the simple things.