Google’s Eric Schmidt On The Benefits of Internet Privacy: Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt gave an interview with The Guardian today and in the interview he discusses both the benefits of personal and business Internet privacy and the dangers of the lack thereof. He specifically discusses China and other like-minded countries that want to both censor the Internet and block their citizen’s access to it. Additionally, Schmidt highlights the dangers to personal safety dissenters in Internet censoring countries face and the reasons why the attempts of China to hack into American computer networks, as they did recently with the New York Times computer system, are also dangerous.

You can read part of the interview, found in an article, titled Google’s Eric Schmidt warns on China’s attempts to control the internet, on the Guardian website. Here’s the link:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2013/mar/21/google-eric-schmidt-china-warning

And look for Eric Schmidt’s new book on how technology is changing and will change our lives. It is called The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business and is being published on April 23 – the library will have a copy!

Google Glass Glasses Will Allow Us To Send Commands To Household Appliances: Google is working on an aspect of Google Glass glasses that could one day let you control smart appliances by simply using the Google glasses. The idea is that in the future you’ll be able to communicate with your smart Internet connecting appliances by using the smart Internet connecting Google Glass glasses. So you might tell your refrigerator to turn down the temperature in the refrigerator, tell your thermostat to turn up the temperature so your heat comes on just before you get home or tell your garage door opener to open or close your garage door so you can get in or out of your garage when you want to you! This is cool upcoming technology that we’ll be seeing in all our homes eventually; however, as smart Internet connecting appliances are still rather pricey it will probably be a few years before smart appliances start being bought in earnest by consumers. But even so – this is cool technology! Here’s a link to a CNET article on the subject, titled Google Glass could one day let you control objects around you, on the subject:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57575596-93/google-glass-could-one-day-let-you-control-objects-around-you/

Tiny Self Driving Cars: Popular Science published an article yesterday about a very small one-person self-driving car that can drive on pedestrian walkways. The car was introduced in Japan this week by Hitachi and is called the “Robot for Personal Intelligent Transport System” or “Ropits” for short; and it uses sensors and GPS to navigate sidewalks and offer its rider a smooth ride. This too is cool upcoming technology and should eventually open doors to many people who cannot drive cars themselves. And of course, it may also be a cheaper form of alternative transportation for some of us who live and work in the same town. And I know I wouldn’t mind being able to sip coffee and read the news on my iPad as my self-driving car drives me to work in the morning!

Here’s a link to the article which is titled This Tiny Car Drives Itself:

http://www.popsci.com/cars/article/2013-03/tiny-car-drives-itself

Saying Goodbye To GUI: GUI stands for Graphical User Interface and that fancy computer speak really just means the way you use traditional computers – that is how you use your mouse and/or touchpad and keyboard to open and close programs and documents on a computer and just basically take care of any computer tasks you have to get done.

I found an interesting article on the Wired site today that puts forth the idea that the traditional Graphical User Interface is not keeping up with the demands of our quickly evolving technology and should be replaced with a Conversational User Interface. The term Conversational User Interface, or CUI, is another fancy computerese term that simply means that if you use a computer with this type of interface you instruct the computer do what you want it to do via voice command instead of by using a keyboard and mouse. The example of a CUI the author Robert Kaplan gives is one that anyone who has ever seen many episodes of Star Trek The Next Generation will be familiar with – when Captain Picard walks to the replicator station and gives the computer his order for “Tea. Earl Grey. Hot;” and presto a cup of hot Earl Grey tea materializes in front of him.

Voice activated computers and computing systems using CUI will be easier to use than the traditional point, click and keyboard GUIs we are currently using – we’ll just have to wait and see how long it takes for this technology to become ubiquitous and my bet is not more than 10 years.

Here’s a link to the Wired article titled Forget the GUI: It’s Time for a Conversational User Interface:

http://www.wired.com/opinion/2013/03/conversational-user-interface/

Have a great day!

Linda R.

References

Halliday, Josh., O’Carroll, Lisa. (2013, March 21). Google’s Eric Schmidt warns on China’s attempts to control the internet. The Guardian. Online.

Kaplan, Robert. (2013, March 21). Forget the GUI: It’s Time for a Conversational User Interface. Wired. Online.

Lecher, Colin. (2013, March 21). This Tiny Car Drives Itself. POPSCI. Online.

Whitney, Lance. Google Glass could one day let you control objects around you. CNET. Online

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