Losing control

What the hell are they playing at?

I remember when Google first hit the world with their tentative search engine.

It was good; better even than Hotdog which was my search of choice at the time.

Their next good thing was the Google Reader which was great for keeping an eye on my favourite sites.  They also produced Google Earth which was one of the best bits of software on the Interweb.

Then they started to loose the run of themselves.

They scrapped Google Reader for no apparent reason whatsoever.  They started fucking around with the information they had harvested from the search engine.  They produced Chrome which I tried a few times and it's crap, and somehow persuaded loads of software providers to try to install Chrome  [by default] along with their software.  That one really pissses me off.  They fucked up Google Earth so that it doesn't show photographs on the linux version.  Then they started playing around with hardware.  They produced that Glass thing which, if people start using it is going to completely transform the Facebook Generation into a herd of mindless zombies [if they aren’t there already], and will demolish all sense of privacy as you'd never know when someone is filming, recording or photographing you.  That one sends shudders down my spine.

And now they are farting around with driverless cars?

I find that idea more than scary.  One little technical hitch in the software or hardware and cars start careering all over the shop?  Some smartarse hacks the cars software and God knows what would happen?  Cars having to be plugged into the Interweb every couple of hours for "security updates"?

The roads are full of idiots.  They do idiotic things at idiotic times but even their idiocy is reasonably predictable.  Replace the idiot with a chip that runs code and that removes any predictability whatsoever.  And it only takes a small percentage of driverless cars on a motorway amongst the normal idiots and the place could become a bloodbath.

Why the fuck couldn't they just have stuck with the search thing?

And maybe fix Google Earth?

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Losing control — 8 Comments

  1. Given almost complete lack of any driving ability, replacing most American drivers with robots will be a huge improvement. 

    Anyone who can arrive at the department of motor vehicles, see that there is an eye chart (you don't have to read it just see that there is a chart), get an occasional correct answer on a multiple guess test, and hit no more then 2 other vehicles as you leave the parking lot for your road test, will pass the test and get their license. If you are an "undocumented immigrant" you just have to show up and you will be handed a license. 

    As for the hacking, most cars are already controlled by computers and you hack into them today. 

    • We have a fairly stringent [relatively] test but they still churn out the morons.

      Granted there are a few processors in modern cars, but if one or more screws up the driver should easily be able to control the car.  With a Google car I assume there is still a driver with the usual controls in case of emergency but he/she is hardly going to be fully alert at all times?


    As I have often told my own children, I remember when the ESB used to go on wild-cat strikes and the power went off without warning. They were fascinated at stories of toasting bread on a fork by the fire as the primus heated the water for tea. Then there was the candlelit pubs with hand pumps to get the beer up. When the oil embargo came and we queued for hours for a fiver of juice my kids wondered how so little petrol even got me home. Then eyes agog as I explained free-wheeling down hills or as was normal, setting out an hour earlier in the morning and walking to work. 


    For all of the so-called hardship I remember happier closer times because we always talked together. And,of course, on the hour and every hour we had the 'wireless' or 'tranzitter' as my Grandmother called it, for updates on the strike.. She also believed to her dying day that if you took out a bulb from any light fitment then the electricity dripped onto the floor.

    Google-glass my hole !

    • The good old days of the petrol shortages!!  The worst was waiting in line for hours at the crack of dawn and then a bloke would come along and slap a "last car" notice on the car in front?  I knew a bloke who worked in a petrol station and one night I got him pissed and persuaded him to fill my car.  He did, but by the time the tank was full there was a quarter mile queue!

  3. Personally, I cant wait.  The whole lot of you seem to be absolutely crap drivers so a computer doing it cant be much worse.  Drivers in general find it hard to stop at crossings, park without mounting a foot path, slow down while going around corners. The list goes on! Plus, when the day comes when we have self-driving cars, I can finally head to Dundalk without paying €50 for a taxi home or without asking someone very nicely for a lift at 3 in the morning.

    • Of course I know where you're coming from Darragh, but are you really confident enough in technology to allow the roads to fill with vehicles that rely solely on that technology?  If you put a hundred computers in a room, would you stake your life on every one of them working perfectly without error?  I would be confident, but I wouldn't stake my life on it.

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