Life imitates (science) fiction, yet again

Looking back at old science fiction stories, we can see the seeds of modern technology scattered throughout. One of the most well-known sources of this phenomenon is, of course, Star Trek. Whether it’s the “communicator” which culminated in the advent of the “flip-phone”, or the “PADD”, which pre-dated the Palm Pilot by nearly 10 years, and the now ubiquitous iPad by 23 years, we’ve been drawing real world inspiration from science fiction for nearly as long as there’s been science fiction.

Well, here we go again:

Samsung and startup VTouch are working on a deal that would allow the South Korean giant to incorporate gesture controls into its smart TVs in the future.  The purpose of adding gesture controls to smart TVs is to eliminate the need for remote controls so users can rely on using hand gestures to make the TV do what they want, like changing channels, adjusting the volume, getting more information about the show they are watching.

The basic framework has been in place at the consumer level for a few years now, with technology like Microsoft’s Kinect, the Leap Motion controller, etc. Now they’re looking at incorporating it into home automation.

Of course, Douglas Adams predicted this back in 1979:

For years radios had been operated by means of pressing buttons and turning dials; then as the technology became more sophisticated the controls were made touch-sensitive–you merely had to brush the panels with your fingers; now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components and hope. It saved a lot of muscular expenditure, of course, but meant that you had to sit infuriatingly still if you wanted to keep listening to the same program.

Zaphod waved a hand and the channel switched again.

Fortunately, we’ve gotten the technology to be a little more discerning than that. Your neighbors might be irritated if a badly timed sneeze were to open all  your windows, crank up your stereo, and start your robo-mower at 0300!


[Source: Smart TVs may soon control your home, Silicon Angle article, retrieved 3/10/14]

Excuse me,

I believe you have my stapler.


It’s good to be the guy in charge of ordering supplies.


Breaking News!

The Virginia Tech Police Department has obtained a full confession in the most brazen crime our area has seen so far this year!


Everybody still here?

I thought so. Carry on!


Are you pondering what I’m pondering?

Why do they call it a fortune cookie, when there’s never any money inside?


Election Night Earworm

An appropriate tune for your enjoyment as we wait for the results of the elections.


Seen on the internet

“Sorry, but your password must contain an uppercase letter, a number, a punctuation mark, a gang sign, an extinct mammal and a hieroglyph.”


Reality check, for the win!

From a story at In Jennifer’s Head.

“Let me make sure I understand this correctly.  You signed a contract saying you were accepting financial responsibility for these new [cellphone] lines when you knew that you would not be able to afford them and now you want us to take care of your problem for you?  Is that correct?”

“Well, I’m just trying to help out the 99%, ya know”

“Sir, I am part of the 99% and I don’t expect anyone to take care of my bills but me.  Maybe you should see if the Occupy crowd will bail you out, since that’s what you are wanting – a bailout, just like the big banks you are protesting.”

For. The. Win.

Stupid hurts, doesn’t it?


I need this t-shirt.

Choose the form of the Destructor.

Update: It’s a coffee mug, too!

Update 2: And if you plan to hold your nose and vote for Romney, you’ll probably want this t-shirt instead.


(h/t wfgodbold in a comment at Weer’d World.)

Oops! Not a good career move.

I bet these guys don’t want to meet their bosses anytime soon!


As Air Force One sat on the tarmac at Los Angeles International Airport this morning, the North American Aerospace Defense Command scrambled two F-16 fighter jets to intercept a small private plane that had invaded the airspace.


Agents interviewed the pilots before they were turned over to the Long Beach Police Department and arrested, an official said.

“We determined the incursion of restricted airspace was of no protective interest,” said Leary. In other words, no intended threat to the president.

But the pilot was in possession of narcotics, the Secret Service said.

One law enforcement source told ABC the plane was carrying 40 pounds of marijuana.

NOTAMs, which are announcements to civil aviators about things like airspaces that are temporarily restricted because, for instance, the President is there, are publicly available on the internet. It’s considered a basic part of flight planning to check for any relevant notices along the planned route, even if you’re not going to file a flight plan. Failure to do so can result in being intercepted by F-16 fighters and ordered to land under threat of death, having your load of contraband found, and being arrested for drug smuggling.

It would be especially important to check these notices when smuggling drugs. Something tells me it wouldn’t be very healthy for them to explain their error to their employers.


[Source: ABC News article on Yahoo! News, retrieved 2/17/12]

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