Posts tagged “Technology

Can technology reduce gun violence?

For years we’ve had countless members of our government, primarily liberals, that have spoken out against our lackadaisical firearm laws in the United States. Not only do we have some of the weakest laws on the planet, we also have increased school shootings and acts of localized terror — irregardless of if current presidents agree on the terminology. It is truly a shame that citizens can easily obtain military grade weapons and use them on others. What’s even worse is that it is even more apparent that the NRA seems to be in the ears of half of our political system. Why? Money and power.

The looming question is that since we have technology creeping into every part of our lives — why aren’t there more technological controls on and around firearm safety?


Smart Guns?

Should smart guns ever be a thing? It’s been talked about and prototyped but it doesn’t seem that one of these things will ever see the light of day. Is it simply because it’ll disrupt a booming American industry? I think so.

So often are technologies put on display that wouldn’t even allow an operator, not considered the “owner” of the firearm, to discharge it without fingerprint authentication.  However, as usual with big business being behind every aspect of American life — it would be a travesty to allow a company to come in and instantly make our great “‘MERICA’ safer.  The NRA is a major driving force of why smart gun adoption is not growing in the United States, to think that an organization that things each citizen should have an entire militia at their disposal would want any gun.

Wrong.

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The NRA believes that smart guns could open the door into banning other firearms.

I agree whole-heartedly.  This is a conversation that should be had.  It’s one thing to own a gun; however, if you’re not military — you don’t have the right to walk into a gun show or pawn shop and purchase an AR-15, it is absolutely asinine.  The same logic applies that me, Dexter Johnson, being a Database Professional, can’t go buy surgical equipment — why?  Simply because I am not a surgeon and I do not require those tools.

Technology literally fills every part of our lives and it is truly sad that certain groups are holding on to guns as if they are the mark of freedom, an ignorant statement that gets the story wrong consistently.  Other countries do not have the mass shootings and gun related incidents that the US have because of steeper laws on the ownership and possession of firearms.  Additionally, let’s stop changing the narrative that I hear on repeat, “people kill people” and “the person was mentally ill”.  No one should make it considerably easier to commit murder and that’s what lackadaisical gun laws do and 30,000 gun related deaths (Source: CDC) in one year is not “ok”.  As Barack Obama said, “We are not trying to take your guns away.”  However, it is 2018 and we have fingerprint sensors, retina scanners, facial recognition technologies, AI and more that could be tied to a gun and built into it that not only could it only fire for a particular user, maybe, just maybe not fire at all if even aimed at a human.

Source: Motherboard, “Who Killed the Smart Gun?”

The largest issues here are when, not if — authentication on a firearm fails.  Let’s not forget that.  Does your iPhone unlock EVERY time you look at it or every time you place your finger on the fingerprint sensor?  No.  No technology is perfect; however, it works within a high enough percentile placing the acceptance rate at nearly 100%.  This is the primary argument against smart guns.  However, the same can be said about mechanical failures — they also happen without “smart” technology built in — yet, that conversation isn’t had.

Final Thoughts

Smart guns and an actual protections and trainings of the potential buyers, while not the only answers, can help bring down gun related incidents in the US, let’s just hope that our overly-conservative, NRA fearing administration can see that.  For everyone else working with technology, let’s find a way to keep this story at the forefront of our minds because technology can help if allowed to.

Keep in mind, that I don’t talk just to hear myself, I’ve provided a link to fast stats at CDC so that you can see the numbers for yourself as well as explore other statistics that are for public consumption.

Battery and Charging Issues in 2016

On the iOS side people complain that iPhone charges too slow — on the Android side the phones don’t charge fast enough, although we have “fast charging”, “dash charge” and more.  As usual, I say in instead of making phones charge faster than they should.. How about us maximize battery life and stop having rogue apps that utilize too many CPU cycles and exhaust system resources?  

All in all, battery technology has gone nowhere — fast.  Batteries have been getting bigger, but they still seem to drain and drain.  On the Android side Google has done a few things to try to make battery life suck a little less, such a Doze, which turns on when the phone is laying down or is in your pocket and helps to reduce the number of processes that are running that can drain your battery in the background.  But when you think about it, apps should occupy less space in RAM the longer that it remains unused, so it is certainly two sides to the coin here one side that raises into question the quality of the apps that are installed on the device.

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Example of an iPhone charging.

So, since our batteries seem to deplete so quick in this world, where we cannot manage to put our devices down for a moment, we invent quick charge “standards” — I use the term standard very loosely because NOTHING has been set in place by Google to be followed, which leaves these well-intentioned, but poorly executed plans laid out by OEMs to destroy devices left and right.  So what do we have on the Android side?  As mentioned above: fast, dash, rapid, turbo and quick — all are a different means to the same end.  (a full breakdown of these technologies can be found here: http://www.androidpolice.com/2015/06/12/quick-rapid-turbo-and-fast-charging-explained-what-you-need-to-know-about-charging-your-smartphone/).

Bottom line: Google and Apple, let’s tailor these mobile operating systems to run as efficiently as possible and last well throughout the day.  I will note that typically iPhones and the latest Android devices running more up to date versions of Android have no problems getting through a full day under normal usage.

Technology & Life — 2016

It is July 2016 and in a world filled with smartphones, smarthomes, smartcars and smart + INSERT DUMB THING HERE, there are mounds of technology that are at our fingertips that our ancestors would’ve loved to have been able to take advantage of.  We can communicate with friends and family across the world or country in minutes via Skype or FaceTime, publish a video that can be seen by millions on YouTube and have your car drive itself on the interstate — what a world we live in.
However, “with great power, comes great responsibility”.  We have all of these things at our realm that can help us; however, it can also be a hindrance if we do not seek our real people and real conversations instead of gallivanting on-line in forums.  Not only must we try our best to retain those real life moments (in moderation) we must also not allow technology to put our lives at risk (ie. using Tesla’s autopilot while sleeping at the wheel — a huge “no, no”).  Technology is great and as someone who’s life is largely influenced by it, I can see the huge overwhelming benefits of taking advantage of it; however, we must also not allow it to control us — if it doesn’t make your life better, then discard it.
Bottom line:  The technological advances that we see today are simply too much to act as if they aren’t great influences, I strongly suggest you utilize the tech around us to help make your life better, easier and more fun while ensuring that you aren’t putting yourself or others in danger.