9 May 2009

Some ways to improve the world

Here is a collection of some of the "ideas" I've been coming up with for a while now, wasn't sure about posting this (in case people steal my ideas, or my ideas are actually rubbish).

- It would be good if instead of having to copy music, videos and media to your portable media player, that instead, you could leave all your media on your laptop, computer, or online Cloud storage, and then have one simple handheld wireless media device that downloads only the files you need, and when you need them, eliminating the need to synchonise everything. Some technologies like this do exist however - LogMeIn allows remote access to programs and files, online Cloud storage such as Live Mesh, backup servers like Mozy, and streaming services such as Spotify.

- Somebody I know accidentally soaked their iPod with water and had to send it to get it repaired. So why not have waterproof iPods? In fact, iPods aren't cheap already, if i was gonna pay for one I would expect it to be waterproof!

- When I got ill once and had the flu for 2 weeks, I lost a whole stone, which averages out to about 1 pound a day. So the ingenous solution to losing weight is simply: get ill!

- In a discussion about whether it is "right" to eat meat and choosing to be a vegetarian (I#m not though, don't worry), I said: I think that probably, yeah, it is better for the environment not to eat meat, because of the waste products of animal-harvesting, feeding and wastage - plus all the leftover food. In the energy cycle (I studied in Geography) there is a LOAD of wasted energy on movement etc. that the animals make... I think that therefore, the animals that are being bred just to be eaten by us are inefficient... for example, genetically modified chickens that don't grow feathers.

- When somebody I know was filling out a HC2 form to get free prescriptions, dental and optical examinations (eligible to people over 19 if they are in full time education), I asked, wouldn't it be SO much easier if we didn't have to fill out all these ruddy forms for everything? A lot of the services we provide our personal information to are governmental, e.g. dentists, hospital, general practice, DVLA... the list goes on. But every time we have to fill out the same information again and again, and when we change address or whatever, we have to tell everyone about it. Wouldn't it be easier if, say, there was a central database somewhere, which had everyone's details in it, and any companies that wanted our personal information would have to be linked to the main one. If you make any changes to your data, there could be several ways to update, my preference would be using the Internet, or when a company requests your information, they can asked if anything has been changed, and your changes will be reflected throughout the system. I mean, this would be quite a complex feature to install and maintain, but I really think it'd be a good idea.

- Instead of having ID cards, which can easily be stolen, why not microhip people instead - because then, you won't ever lose it, and you can't modify it or change it. Obviously microchipping people is highly invasive, and I don't know any long-term effects, but still.

- On a very technical stance, I thought, wouldn't it be a good idea if there was a program you could get for your computer, that automatically fixed problems for you? I mean, Vista and Windows 7 already have a feature like this, but there are many problems they can't solve. Some programs that can do similar things include TuneUp Utilities 2009 and FreshDevices' FreshUI. I just think that, as there are so many problems that require the user or and administrator to actually fix a problem, why doesn't the computer detect when problems occur and them fix them for you? Here are some examples I thought about implementing:

  • Outside the operating system BOIS, e.g. an untouchable part of the master boot record in case of overwriting / or using a CD that automatically performs and fixes all checks
  • Three modes – on/automatic, prompt for user request (if the computer is busy) and off
  • A manual mode to manually fix errors that cannot be detected, e.g. program resets – e.g. similar to Tune Up Utilities
  • Blue screen errors – automatically go back system restore
  • Change analysis diagnostic – tracks changes, like super uninstaller
  • System changes prevention – detect drivers that will cause damage to the system; track changes in the registry/startup etc.
  • Automatically downloads antivirus programs and removes threats (i.e. silent mode)

And some questions people have been asking that I thought I should post:

- "How do colour projectors project the colour black?" Simple answer: they can't project black, they simply use the background of the surface being projected on. So the "black" you see if actually the colour on the whitescreen where the image is being projected.

- Somebody asked me "Why woudln't you gamble or play the lotttery?" and my answer is: Even though it is still a form of entertainment - for example, going to the cinema, you are losing the money but gaining a film. With gambling, you are paying for the thrill, the rush of emotions and the desire to win money. However becoming addicted to the thrill of gambling is very easy, because there is nobody telling you to stop and it never really gets boring unless you're losing, but even then its dangerous because gambling will encourage you to keep betting even when you've lost everything.

- And also, someone asked, "why do girls eat ice cream and chocolate more than men?", to which I replied: "Girls are more emotional, men are very strict and can deal with sadness well usually, but women need that extra form of support and happiness, and chocolate and ice cream have chemicals in them which make you feel happy, hence the reason for the addiction to chocolate."

Conversely, some recent conversations have also made me think about ways in which the world will end. I remember I created a list in an earlier blog which I will repise here:

Way of killing all life on earthFilms/series associated with this
AsteroidsDeep Impact
Overpopulation/Starvation/Economic crisis/Destruction of the environmentSoylent Green; Logan's Run
Greenhouse effect; pollution, climate change; extreme weather, e.g. hurricanes, twisters, flooding, megatsunami (due to plate earthquakes), submersion (due to icecaps melting), predicted ice ageThe Day After Tomorrow; Twister
Disease/Virus/PandemicTwelve Monkeys; Resident Evil; Outbreak; 28 Days Later
Plate tectonics, volcanoesThe Core; Volcano
Nearby space phenomena e.g. gamma ray bursts, black holes, the sunThe Core; Volcano
AliensSigns; Mars Attacks; Aliens; The Thing; Cloverfield; The Day The Earth Stood Still
Nuclear/warDr Strangelove or How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb
EMP; magnetic polar flipSpy Kids 2; The Matrix
ZombiesCabin Fever
Super-powersAkira; Heroes
Failure of procreationChildren of Men
Law and controlLogan's Run; Equilibrium; Doctor Who
Lack of moralitySuperman Returns (Lex Luthor is attempting to kill most of the world)
Technology/Robots/ResearchMatrix; Terminator; Transformers; the "grey goo" idea; the Large Hadron Collider experiments

There is also a good page on Wikipedia depicting ways the world will end! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Risks_to_civilization,_humans_and_planet_Earth Hopefully, it won't though, but by making some slight changes, like generating green/clean electricity, and stop spending money on stupid stuff like alcohol, which in my opinion is causing our species to devolve (the people that drink to get wasted, that is). But is everyone ready to change?