Posts Tagged Facebook
The Feds’ ‘Ultimate Solution’ to Curb Distracted Driving
Photo: Ryan Harvey/Flickr
NOVI, Michigan — Distracted driving kills more than 3,000 people each year in the United States, a figure that represents about 10 percent of all traffic fatalities. How many of those people die because they were fiddling with their phones or navigating their navigation systems isn’t clear, but no matter. The feds say they’ve got “the ultimate solution” for curbing the use of mobile devices while we’re mobile.
Nathaniel Beuse, associate administrator for vehicle safety research at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, says government regulation coupled with standards set by automakers and the electronics industry could reduce fatalities. He says we need “a technological solution, some sort of innovation” in which the device or the car would recognize when the driver is using a mobile device and deactivate it.
“This would be the ultimate solution,” he says.
Federal regulators want to make it impossible for you to send a text, update Facebook or surf Instagram while driving, a campaign that could have as big an impact on mobile phone manufacturers as automakers. This spring, the NHTSA and its parents at the Department of Transportation laid out — in a 281-page report (.pdf) — several guidelines for accomplishing this.
As we noted at the time, a key objective is limiting the amount of time a driver takes his eyes off the road or hands off the wheel, with a maximum of two seconds for each input and total of 12 seconds to complete a task. NHTSA wants automakers to make it impossible to enter text for messaging and internet browsing while the car is in motion, disable any kind of video functionality and prevent text-based information such as social media content or text messages from being displayed.
Beuse, speaking at the Telematics Detroit 2013 conference, says two paths could be taken to this destination. The first is less than feasible because it would require drivers to physically connect their smartphones or mobile devices to the vehicle’s embedded system, disabling functionality while the car is in motion. You can see the problem with that idea.
“[We would need] 100 percent compliance to get drivers to pair their phones,” Beuse said. If such integration isn’t user-friendly and dead simple, “[drivers] will be right back to using their handhelds.”
That makes the second idea far more viable: a proximity sensor, in the vehicle or the device, that recognizes when the driver is using the device and requires them to pass it off to a passenger. Think of a seatbelt chime, but more annoying.
This isn’t the first time NHTSA and the DOT have required companies to eliminate certain distracting features while driving. The most obvious example has been disabling video playback while the car is in motion. But Beuse admits the NHTSA must “figure out how to monitor compliance.” And this won’t just extend to automakers, but the automotive aftermarket that produces in-dash stereos with increasingly complex functionalities.
NHTSA and the DOT, led by outgoing honcho Ray LaHood, have made distracted driving a signature cause during the past four years. Although distracted driving is indeed a problem — the phenomenon accounted for 3,331 fatalities in 2011, up from 3,092 the year before — it’s hard to know just how many crashes and deaths resulted from the use of mobile devices behind the wheel.
“If you look at crash data, there are a number of crashes that are due to distracted driving,” Beuse says, but “our data is not refined enough to pinpoint [the exact cause of those] crashes.”
What’s going to be more difficult is to get what NHTSA wants: 100 percent compliance from automakers, consumer electronics companies, aftermarket manufacturers and the public.
“We can’t force consumers to pair their device to the vehicle,” Beuse says. “We need a technological solution.”
- The Feds Ultimate Solution to Curb Distracted Driving (textually.org)
- The Feds’ ‘Ultimate Solution’ to Curb Distracted Driving (wired.com)
- Genius Parents Curb Teen’s Distracted Driving With Manual Transmission (jalopnik.com)
- Are NHTSA’s numbers on distracted driving wrong? (oppositelock.jalopnik.com)
- Hard Lessons From Distracted Driving (wccbcharlotte.com)
- The End of Distracted Driving? – Continued (auiinsuranceblog.wordpress.com)
- NHTSA Releases New Distracted Driving Guidelines As Data Presents A Very Different Picture (thetruthaboutcars.com)
- How Federal Distracted-Driving Guidelines Will Shape Your Next Phone (wired.com)
- Distracted Driving in Charlotte Series Pt. 1 (wccbcharlotte.com)
- Truckers have unique view of distracted driving: Opinion (nj.com)
APRIL 7, 2013
FACEBOOK UNVEILS NEW WASTE OF TIME
POSTED BY ANDY BOROWITZ
MENLO PARK (The Borowitz Report)—Before a rapt audience at Facebook headquarters Thursday, Facebook C.E.O. Mark Zuckerberg unveiled new software that he promised “will totally change the way you are wasting your life.”
Explaining the development of Facebook’s new phone software, Home, Mr. Zuckerberg said, “Our research showed that Facebook users still had a few hours a day when they were leading somewhat healthy and productive lives. Our new software will change all of that.”
Mr. Zuckerberg said his developers had worked for months developing Home, “which seizes control of your phone and makes it good for little other than Facebook—much like many Facebook users themselves.”
By bombarding the user with status updates on a twenty-four-hour basis, he boasted, “Home transforms Facebook from just a social network into something akin to a neurological disorder.”
As the audience applauded that pronouncement, Mr. Zuckerberg added, “At Facebook, we want to be a million voices inside your head.”
When one member of the audience worried whether Home would give Facebook even more access to private information about one’s life, Mr. Zuckerberg reassured the questioner, “After using Home for several weeks, you will have no life.”
While clearly proud of his latest product, Mr. Zuckerberg gave notice that he did not intend to rest on his laurels: “At Facebook, we will never stop striving to replace real experience with something soulless and empty.”
- Facebook Unveils New Waste of Time (soshitech.com)
- Zuckerberg unveils Facebook phone software (cbc.ca)
- Mark Zuckerberg Reveals ‘Facebook Home’ for Android (mashable.com)
- Facebook Unveils ‘Home’ Android Product (techland.time.com)
- Facebook Unveils Facebook Home for Android (forums.pinstack.com)
- Mark Zuckerberg does not think Facebook Home will reach the iPhone (thedroidguy.com)
- Facebook Launches Home Software For Android Smartphones (techweekeurope.co.uk)
- Facebook unveils ‘Home’ for Android mobile gadgets (miamiherald.com)
- Facebook unveils ‘Home’ Android product (onlineathens.com)
- Facebook unveils new experience for Android phones (cnsnews.com)
Sarah Palin: Feds ‘stockpiling bullets’ to use against us
Palin said on she wants lawmakers to ‘stop the hysterics.’ | AP Photo
By KEVIN CIRILLI | 2/27/13 9:26 AM EST
Sarah Palin says America will eventually default on its debt and claims that the federal government is “stockpiling bullets in case of civil unrest” to prepare.
“If we are going to wet our proverbial pants over 0.3% in annual spending cuts when we’re running up trillion dollar annual deficits, then we’re done. Put a fork in us. We’re finished. We’re going to default eventually and that’s why the feds are stockpiling bullets in case of civil unrest,” Palin wrote in a Facebook message Tuesday.
The former GOP governor of Alaska was referring to the sequester, the automatic $1.2 trillion cuts in federal funding that take effect Friday unless lawmakers reach a deal.
“D.C.: Cut the Drama. Do Your Job. Americans are sick and tired of yet another ginned-up crisis. D.C. needs to grow up, get to work, and live within its means,” wrote Palin, the GOP’s 2008 vice presidential running mate of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
She continued: “The real economic Armageddon looming before us is our runaway debt, not the sequester, which the President advocated for and signed into law and is now running around denouncing because he never had any genuine intention of reining in his reckless spending.”
Palin wrote that she wants lawmakers to “stop the hysterics.”
“If we ARE serious about putting our fiscal house in order, then let’s stop the hysterics, tighten our belts, and take our medicine.”
- Sarah Palin: ‘We’re finished’ (oddonion.com)
- Palin: ‘We’re finished’ (politico.com)
- Palin Lifts Bullet Stockpile Conspiracy from Debunked Email, Just for Sequester (theatlanticwire.com)
- Palin: D.C.: Cut the Drama. Do Your Job. (sarahpalinblog.typepad.com)
- Palin: ‘Cut The Drama!’ (huffingtonpost.com)
- Top conservative conference keeps Christie away, because Palin is apparently the future (dailykos.com)
- Why Maria Hutchings is the Tories’ Sarah Palin – and that’s not a good thing (mirror.co.uk)
- Honor: Sarah Palin tweets Todd Palin to donate Iron Dog race winnings to Chris Kyle Memorial Fund (twitchy.com)
- Sarah Palin Fact Checks Obama’s SOTU – He Loses #sotUGottaBKiddingMe (grumpyelder.com)
- Sarah Palin *is not* going to work for Al Jazeera (jimromenesko.com)
We are a sick bunch of people.
Everywhere I go, all I hear and see is hacking and sneezing.
“I have allergies,” a woman said in line while I was waiting for my food.
Joe Heller / Green Bay Press-Gazette
No, you don’t. You have a virus like the rest of us.
Blaming allergies makes people around you feel safer. Allergies are not contagious, like that crud we’re all struggling with.
“Don’t worry, it’s just allergies,” she said. Yeah. That’s why everyone around you is going to feel like poop by tomorrow, right?
This season’s crud is stronger than usual. It grabs you and makes you feel like … crud.
“I’m sick as a dog,” I overheard another person saying.
No, you’re not. I have dogs, and they don’t get sick. If they did get sick, I would rush them to the veterinarian and get them well.
And, if you are sick as a dog (let’s assume that a dog got really sick and had to be rushed to the vet), what are you doing out here in public, spreading germs?
I used to get sick more often when I had little kids because kids are germ magnets. They got sick, shook it off in a few days, and I suffered for the next two weeks.
When I was in kindergarten, I remember chewing on the same rubber toy every other kid in the class chewed on. What an efficient way to spread germs. Only kids would think of that. Oh, yes, then comes kissing. That’s even more efficient.
After I sucked on the toy, I always washed my hands, just to be on the safe side.
Yes, we are sick, sick, sick.
I get the flu shot each year, but it does not protect against the crud. Last time I got it, I didn’t even feel the needle. Not that I’d freak out if I did, but I expected to feel a prick, and there was nothing. The tech did a great job. Then she sneezed. Good thing I got the shot.
A friend said she would rather be sick with the flu than get a flu shot. Excuse me? The flu is vicious. It takes you down and keeps you down.
With my luck, the only year I don’t get the shot, we’d have a repeat of the 1918 pandemic.
It actually lasted two years and killed between one and three percent of the world’s population.
It was started by a group of kids in a kindergarten class chewing on the same rubber toy. Just kidding. It started some other way.
So, getting the shot and parting with a few dollars is actually a much better option than becoming a human faucet for a couple of weeks.
What’s really unfair is when I get sick right before a big trip, and I bought non-refundable airline tickets. Watch out fellow flyers, here I come. I cannot get my money back, so all of you are now going to get the germ treatment.
I try to be thoughtful of others. I sneeze into my sleeve, not in the air. I even do silent sneezes, but that feels like a bomb going off in my head. It feels better when the sneeze is released normally … into my sleeve.
So, when you’re around me, and I don’t look all that good, don’t touch my sleeve; nor my rubber toy.
Being self-employed, it’s really a big problem when I get the crud. It took me a while to learn to deal with it.
I once called in sick, but nobody picked up the phone.
So, I left a message.
Nothing got done that day. I then decided to go back to work and stay late.
Like I said, we are sick people.
Let’s make some resolutions we can keep.
The hard ones usually get cast aside in a few days … like losing lots of weight, or never be late for work again. But my way, we can all keep our resolutions because it’s won’t take a lot of effort.
J.D. Crowe / Mobile Press-Register
Here we go.
• I promise never to believe anything the Mayans predicted between making human sacrifices to the gods. Any civilization that screwed up its calendar this badly obviously had no business telling the future.
• When I go to the gym, I’ll spend less time messing with my cellphone because I really don’t want to be there, getting all tired. And, I promise that I will not cheat on the treadmill by jumping off of it and letting it run on its own for a while.
• I will not use Facebook for political purposes. This social network site should be restricted to posting pictures of family and pets.
• I will not buy stuff on eBay that is totally useless, but I really wanted it and pushed the “buy” button.
• I will consider rearranging my morning routine to 1) coffee, 2) Facebook.
• I will reprogram my TV so that it can get channels other than news and HGTV.
• I promise to become inspired again one of these days and consider doing some home improvement projects.
• I will not start smoking. This one is easy to keep, since I have never smoked in my life. But, I want to stick to promises that I can keep.
• When passing gas, I will try not to blame it on the dog. This will be hard, because it’s so easy to do.
I will not sit at the computer all the time. I will try to stand while I type, for at least 30 minutes a day. Just joking. I don’t do this all day, just most of the night.
• I will stop pretending it isn’t time to take the garbage out yet, by repeatedly smashing it down.
• I will think of a password other than “hello” or “password.” Oops, now I have to change the password on my checking account to “hellopassword.”
• I will keep an extra safe distance when driving behind police cars.
• I will try to drive closer to the speed limit. Maybe 120 MPH in a 50 zone is a bit too fast.
• I will always replace the gas nozzle before driving away from the pump. Driving through town with that thing hanging out of the gas tank is a little awkward.
• I will start buying lottery tickets at a luckier store.
• I will not congratulate any woman on her pregnancy unless I am sure she is pregnant. This can create a very awkward situation.
• I will pay closer attention to my GPS.
• I promise that I will try harder to change the date and volume numbers on the front page of The Bulletin so that when Issue 52 comes around, we don’t have to adjust it and hope that nobody would notice.
• I promise to make fewer spelling and grammatical mistakes, although I tend to think that I don’t make all that many. I’ll try not to yell at my editor when I do find one.
- Your Horoscope New Year’s Resolutions (witchesofthecraft.com)
- The Wanted Share Their New Year’s Resolutions For Each Other (923now.cbslocal.com)
- What The Heck Is My New Year’s Resolution? (myfairdiary.wordpress.com)
- Infographic: 2013′s Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions (deanadeciccio.wordpress.com)
- New Year’s Resolutions that Need to Die! (hipmamamedia.com)
- Realistic Resolutions (imconfident.wordpress.com)
- Making New Year’s resolutions work (phys.org)
- How To… Come Up With New Year’s Resolutions (allthosesmallthings.wordpress.com)
- What’s your New Year’s Resolution? (state-journal.com)
- New Year’s Resolutions: a different view (youcanbelieveinyourself.com)
By Paul Bibeau
Pestilence here. The other riders and I are pretty busy lately, but we wanted to take a moment and make something clear. In the days ahead many of you will be deploying some pretty stupid arguments against gun control in this country. The whole “cars are deadly, knives are deadly, Nazis started this, and anyway, what about abortion?” kind of dealie. God, it makes our heads hurt just thinking about it. When you write this stuff you make the internet even more stupid than it already is. Instead of wading into this nonsense we wanted to just address one very specific notion you’ll be sharing with your friends on Facebook.
You really think gun ownership protects you from the government taking your rights.
This isn’t even an argument at all. It’s a poorly-conceived Red Dawn fantasy. You say things like this, because in some ugly part of your brain you want to see yourself fighting the globalist army after the collapse of our country. And you have that particular dream because you’re old and white, and you’re afraid of the way this country is changing. The guns give you a feeling of control.
Okay, well, first of all… when the balloon really goes up you’re certainly going to die very, very quickly. It won’t be like the movies, trust us. You will lumber down into your basement to start the generator, and you will trip, cut yourself on a rusty lawn mower part, or maybe just have a massive cardiac, because you’re overweight, and the only thing you stand a chance against with that AK-47 is a deer. There’s a whole political party devoted to telling people like you – the most soft and privileged and pampered members of this wonderful country – that you’re some hardy band of rebels fighting oppression. That little fairy tale will evaporate before Glenn Beck collects his gold chips.
Secondly, there really are people fighting against government tyranny. But they’re unarmed. They’re reporters, and lawyers, and human rights weenies from Europe. They try to make politicians and bureaucrats accountable for the terrible things they can do. Sometimes they even succeed. Occasionally there’s a subcommittee meeting, or a scandal, or a change in the law, or a politician loses his job or even goes to jail. Once upon a time, a couple of commie reporters helped remove a sitting president of the United States. You and your camping buddies playing soldier in the woods have never even come close to that.
Say what you want about guns… just don’t act like it’s about defending freedom. You’re not defending anything. Your stupid game prevents us from ending a threat to public safety, but it is utterly irrelevant to the struggle for liberty in 21st century America. You want to do something real, start researching campaign donations, make FOIA tougher, call up a Congressman and bitch. Right now your biggest enemy is not a fleet of UN helicopters. It’s an Olive Garden breadstick basket. Cut down on the carbs and grow the hell up.
Either way, it’s not really our problem. Be seeing you.
- NRA goes silent after Newtown elementary shooting (wtvr.com)
- NRA breaks silence, releases statement about Newtown shooting (wtvr.com)
- NRA Shuts Down Facebook Page After Connecticut Shootings (fox2now.com)
- NRA Under Twitter, Facebook Attack After Newtown Shootings (huffingtonpost.com)
- Cracks in the NRA stronghold: pro-gun senators say ‘enough is enough’ (tv.msnbc.com)
- The Left’s Renewed Assault on the NRA (frontpagemag.com)
- NRA Deactivates Facebook Page (fastcompany.com)
- After massacre, the NRA can’t take the heat (tv.msnbc.com)
- NRA Facebook page down after Newtown shootings (wqad.com)
- NRA Social Media Blackout Continues Following Newtown Shooting (webpronews.com)