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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Well,So Much for That Plan..

So, I had this lovely idea. Use my Amazon Fire, an app called Bloggeeroid, GBorard and Google speech-to-text to do my blogposts from my porch. You will note I hardly ever do blogposts, and when I do they're mostly "simulcast" from my podcast page anyway. Thought a change of technique would encourage me to prodcue more. Well...

Google Voice to Randomly Selected Words That Are Almost What You Wanted To Say doesn't work very well. But you knew that. It might be that my porch is 15 feet or so away from a busy street, and there's just too much traffic noise. Maybe.

This is another alternative. I have a little Bluetooth keyboard, barely usable for touch-typing in size. I could type posts using this, and it has the advantage of being typing. I've been typing badly since the 1970s, and well since the 1990s, back when people actually typed letters on paper and put them in envelopes with stamps on them. You know, like writing. English. Whole words, sentences, all that effete snobbery.

This speeds me up because I'm a quick typist, and slows me down because I'm a careful typist. This also adds errors, because I'm mostly an out-of-practrice typist. The current Dayjob mostly doesn't call for typing, just data entry. If you're my age, you know the difference. If you're not, you're likely convinced UR typing LOL!

Voice to text is another of those Science Fiction technologies that never got as good as it was supposed to. If I were to go all crochety-old-guy I might say all technology turns out like that. I won't, but I wouldn't be far wrong if I did. (he said with a smile)

Mature technology is boring. A telephone I mean the black Bakelite brick on the wall with the coily thing going to the handset you have to pick up and put down does what a telephone does. You can talk to and listen to someone at a distance, sometimes a very long distance. Does exactly that and nothing more. Works reliably. Boring.

That piece of glass in your pocket you call a phone may be capable of making a call, but if it wasn't, you might never know, because you probably haven't used that in years. It does a thousand other things, barely adequately or unreliably or both. And maybe makes phone calls.

A television shows you moving images of stuff happening a long way away. You may have a large flat black thing you call a television. You use it as a monitor for your computer or your game system or that camera inside your doorbell, and when you watch moving images it's often movies from back when people talked on telephones on their desk or stuck on the wall.

I recall noticing in an old Bogart movie (like there's another kind) that much of the plot was driven by where phones were. They're at the isolated house, no phone there. If someone gets in the car they can drive to that place down the road where there's a phone, and so on. The old Lou Grant TV show, at the time an edgy example of modernity (such as it was) had plots often driven by whether a reporter could get to the nearest payphone before the other reporters.

Payphones. You put in a quarter to call someone. Ask your grandmother.

Computers were gonna be so cool. I was thoroughly chuffed (ask a Brit) to get my first computers of my very own. Programming was magical, and by typing in the right stuff I could get my very own Personal Computer to do what I wanted it do do, limited by the very few things it actually could do. Computers were amazing and magical. And now you have a computer in your microwave to beep at you when your popcorn has started producing smoke, probably more powerful than the ones I bought as a kid.

So does your smoke detector, you know that thing that lets out one beep every 20 minutes to remind you that you didn't replace the battery. If you'd replaced the battery, it'd be beeping louder because of the popcorn smoke.

Self-driving cars. We seem to be having trouble producing self-driving cars, possibly because we've kinda sucked at producing self-driving people. And then there are the meta-issues. We produce more and more technologies to (supposedly) do all the jobs we don't want to do. But the people who don't want to do those jobs are the people who program the tech and the people who own the companies who sell the tech. And we're approaching a world where they won't be selling the tech, because the people who used to buy the tech no longer have jobs and can't afford it.

Apple makes 84 billion dollars instead of 89 billion dollars... and that couldn't possibly be because $1000 is a hell of a lot of money for a phone, could it?

So, yeah, I could use this setup to do blogposts... but they'd still be old-man rants. You may even have decided I'm a Luddite, though you have no idea what a Luddite actually was. Just remember, 30 years ago, I was you.

posted from Bloggeroid

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