Category Archives: technology

Sometimes it feels like…somebody’s watchin me

While getting ready to BBQ this last weekend, I was shopping for some steaks and some cheeckin at the local Jewel in Chicago. While placing the meat in my basket, a small sticker from the steak package stuck to my shopping list.

The sticker read something along the lines of how to safely handle the meat products, detailing how to clean the meat and the area and utensils you use during the preparation.

I noticed something odd about the sticker though. It wasn’t made of paper, and it was kind of thick, with a thicker band running around the edge of the sticker about 1/4″ wide. I tried to tear the sticker in half, and couldn’t, it had a sort of thin laminated plastic coating. I took out my keys and jabbed at it until it tore open, and sure enough RFID inside.

Then I looked down the aisle; every package of meat, be it beef, swine or bird, had one of these ‘safe handling’ stickers on it.

What I want to know is this: who is so interested in the meat that I am eating and why?

Biometrics in the wild

Pay by finger:

Sign up for pay by finger:

While I was shopping for Texas Toast at the local Jewel this last weekend I noticed something interesting. With a five minute time commitment you can sign up to pay with your fingerprint. I have read about other companies considering using this in-store but didn’t think I would see it in person for a while. The photos are a little blurry mostly because my camera phone stinks, but also because I felt like an idiot/criminal standing around taking photos of the new biometric payment equipment.

I don’t think I would ever sign up for this type of service. Its bad enough that they already force you to swipe in to get sale items so they have records of what you’ve been buying, but this card swipe system is only as reliable as the information you put on the paper when you sign up.

To pay by finger they require photo ID’s proving who you are and where you are from as well as direct access to you banking information. Sounds like a great plan to me…

In my opinion we need to stop all of this unwarranted technospying while we can; before Anthony Hopkins tries to freejack your ass when your formula 1 crashes into an overpass at the big race…then you’ve got Mick Jagger chasing you around trying to shoot you with laser guns. Trust me, I’ve seen the future, it’s a mess.

c.o.m. w.i.p.

i am working on new skills. a lot of the work i do in 3d is merely vertical and horizontal faces with materials applied. this isn’t taking nearly enough advantage of the 3 dimensional digital landscape. so i am currently working on a digital sculpture of…what else. a ceramic owl mug. sometimes if you have a theme you just gotta stick with it.

behold:

com_wip_051215.jpg

if only it were for real

Industrial Designers One & Co produced a sweet little piece of gadgetry for the headset powerhouse Plantronics and I have to say it is one of the sweetest things I have ever seen. If you can’t get it from the photo, it is a set of wireless stereo earbuds – think those trendy white ipod earbuds minus the wires.

1andco.jpg

Sure its only a concept design, but a man on the moon was once only an idea…

This type of ear-tech might even make me consider using one for my phone. As far as I know, the only wireless headset option available right now is to walk around with something the size of a pager sticking out of your ear. The least someone could to is make those things look less like a glowing blue robot parasite. And people who have them, feel they must wear them all the time. Whats up with that? I can’t have a serious conversation with someone who looks like they are on call from NASA.

When some guy (and for whatever reason, its always a guy) with one of those things on tries to talk to me it usually goes like this:

Guy: Hey Mike, whatsup?
Me: Oh hey, it looks like your transformation is almost complete!
Guy: Huh?
Me: (walks away)

Anyway…

There are some other cool things on they One & Co website. I like the concept for the ‘Timex Life Index Watch’ which has a countdown for your life expectancy that updates itself constantly by reading your bio-signs through the skin. This thing sounds like fun.

I could see some sort of competition at a fraternity where guys could see who can get their Life Watch closest to zero while binge drinking on a thursday night.

“DUDE! You totally almost died!”

Who’s got time to wait any more….PT II

Always in a constant search to hack your physical environment? Give this a shot next time you are too lazy to take the stairs.

While some elevators require a key, others can be put into “Express” mode by pressing the “Door Close” and “Floor” buttons at the same time. This sweeps the car to the floor of your choice and avoids stops at any other floor.