Saturday, February 28, 2009

'Talking' Cars

Now, all I would need would be Super Pursuit Mode!

'Talking' Cars Could Hit the Road by 2012

Dust off that leather jacket and those tight jeans, Knight Rider fans. An Australian startup says "talking" cars could be on the road as soon as 2012 and the technology could reduce fatalities by half.

The technology developed by Cohda Wireless and researchers at the University of South Australia combines Wi-Fi and GPS technology in a system called dedicated short-range communications to make each car a node on a huge communication network. Those vehicles can communicate with each other and warn drivers of potential collisions. The company also claims the system would minimize traffic jams and curb emissions by more effectively managing traffic to avoid congestion.

"This technology essentially equips vehicles with the ability to see around corners and to predict and avoid dangerous situations," said professor Alex Grant, head of the university's Institute for Telecommunications.

Cohda is one of several companies joining automakers in developing car-to-car communications and in-car connectivity. Here in the United States, the goal is to create an Intelligent Transportation System where cars talk to each other and to us in a network designed to increase safety, reduce congestion and manage traffic. The Department of Transportation has been pushing the idea for years, but progress has been slower than rush hour traffic out of San Francisco.

But Cohda says the technology could be road-ready by 2012. It already has conducted 700 field trials in Australia, the United States and Italy, and it recently demonstrated the system for automakers and government officials Down Under. A $1.5 million field trial involving 200 cars is slated within two years. Now, if they can get cars to utter KITTisms like "Scanner indicates danger ahead" or "Engaging the infrared tracking scope" ...

Dedicated short-range communications uses Wi-Fi and GPS to share data with a centralized location and other vehicles via external Wi-Fi spots, effectively making each car a node on the network. The system was designed to work in urban environments — where radio signals can easily be lost among buildings, tunnels and the like — and does not require line-of-sight transmission to work.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I'm sitting at work dealing with an all day cut, trying to ignore the bowling ball on my chest that is my unresolvable frustration with Mika.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Week in Review – February 21st

Last week was really rough for me. I was sick most of the week, and my unhappiness with my relationship with Mika, which I’ve been trying to keep a lid on since she was busy and stressed from moving, boiled over into an unfortunately argument over text message, the repercussions of which are still being felt. I thought we’d resolved some things Thursday, but from the email I got today, apparently not.

Last Sunday Jero had to go to derby practice, so I headed over early to hang out with Ke and Mira while Mira was in town. For dinner we went out to a super-yummy Turkish restaurant, and then snuggled in bed and watched The Big Bang Theory DVDs Ra got me for the holidays. Since we’re all big geeks we laughed our asses off until time for bed. Mira and I were planning to stay up but wound up going to sleep, too.

Monday before work I got to hang out with Mira before she had to head back to Evansville. Monday night is usually my MUX night, but Jero was stressed from derby stuff, so after I ate yummy food she made me we played Kingdom of Loathing for a while and then went to bed to cuddle and watch the latest BSG. Friday’s episode was a bonanza of exposition. B)

Tuesday I had a bad headache at work and wound up arguing with Mika over text message between calls, which I’m sure didn’t improve either of our days. She eventually stopped talking to me, but my headache lasted late into the night. After work I headed over to Ke’s, and we hung out and watched Bones while playing on our laptops. When she went to bed I joined her.

Wednesday morning I continued my text message argument with Mika until she had to get back to work. We tabled our discussion for Thursday, but the situation continued to bother me throughout the day. I spent the night alone, and tried to focus on other things, but it’s difficult for me to concentrate on anything else when there is unresolved tension between me and someone I love.

Thursday I got together with Mika to talk about our relationship. During our discussion we focused on the fact that our relationship had a weird beginning and we skipped over a lot of the “getting to know you” foundation. Mika wanted to take a break to work on rebuilding the foundation of our relationship – I’d rather continue dating while we work on things. We made plans to get together on Tuesday to discuss further.

Friday I stayed up late printing character sheets for Saturday’s game. I had far too many characters left over from previous sessions, and wanted to make sure I knew what everyone was doing so there’d be as few delays as possible. When I was finished I went over to Ke’s to snuggle and sleep. She was already in bed by the time I arrived, so I slid in next to her and snuggled her while she slept.

Saturday I ran the Exiles game for a big, fun group of players. I had a lot of fun, and am finally getting the hang again of running things for large groups. I learned lessons for the future – get started sooner so we don’t lose players to time, and design stories to feature fewer NPCs and less back-story so players spend more time playing and less time listening to me talk and RP with myself. Nonetheless, I had a great time.

The rest of the weekend was nice, and my Monday was nice until I got new email from Mika. I have to wait until after work tomorrow to talk to her about what’s up, which is bad since I have a hard time concentrating on anything else when something is hanging over my head. Still, it’s getting late and I’ve been a grumpy mess all evening, so I’m going to log off now and try to salvage my night with Jero.

GOP pollster Tony Fabrizi told the L.A. Times, "It becomes a more crystallized proof point that we are no longer the party of smaller government. We have become a party of 'It doesn't matter what size the government is as long as it is imposing our set of values.'"
-- “Some in GOP Fear Effort May Alienate Voters,” L.A. Times

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Week in Review – February 14th

Last week was good, even though I started feeling sickly around Thursday. I got to spend some much-needed time with Ra and Amsc, and spent the weekend hanging out with Jero, Ke, and Mira. I didn’t get to see Mika at all for the second week in a row, which bothered me a lot more than I realized it would. I could have gone to her anti-Valentine party, but I didn’t want to deal with the smoke and the social anxiety.

Last Sunday I woke up early to drive to St. Louis to see Ra and Sckl. When I arrived we went out for lunch and watched Coraline, which was awesome. After the movie they ordered pizza and we watched The Big Bang Theory, which Ra had gotten me as a present. TBBT was good choice – some of the geek jokes strike very close to home. I’ve already started quoting it, to Ra’s amused annoyance.

Last Monday Sckl had to depart super-early to leave town for work, so he was gone by the time I woke up. I ran to the credit union to give my mom money, and then Ra and I went out for lunch and a visit to the comic store. We spent the afternoon discussing our relationship, and then at 7 I got onto the MUX for a meeting. That night I had to head back to Indy, after a long and very pleasant good-bye from Ra.

Last Tuesday I took a half-day off work to recover from the late drive back to Indy. It was very worth it for the extra Ra time, and I made up for it by converting my day off Friday to another half-day. After work I went over to see Ke, who seemed just as tired as I. We tried to stay up and be productive, but eventually we threw in the towel and just went to bed to snuggle and catch up on sleep.

At the MUX meeting Monday we realized that a lot of our players and admin were free on Wednesday, so Hemy put together a TinyPlot event. Cobra attacked Chicago, both to damage Boeing headquarters and to damage the message of hope set forth by President Dunham (our stand-in for Obama). The event was a lot of fun, and we got it started early enough that General Hawk could join us, which was a nice bonus.

Last Thursday after work I drove to Illinois to see Amsc. We ordered Jimmy Johns and snuggled on her couch to watch the two most recent episodes of BSG. Amsc played some on her fancy new laptop, but this time didn’t let tech focus completely distract her during our visit. Unfortunately, I was starting to get sick, so by the time we went to bed I was too miserable to fully enjoy her company, which was a crying shame.

Friday I got to sleep in a little with Amsc since I’d taken a half-day off work. After my four hours at the job, I picked up Ke and we went to shopping for flowers for Mira, who came to visit this past weekend. We were hoping to go to Panera for dinner, but it got too late so we hit the Chinese buffet instead. I had to work the next day, so when we got back to Ke’s house we soon headed to bed.

Saturday after work Jero picked me up and we went to see the Naptown Roller Girls Warning Belles debut bout. I was still feeling anti-social and crappy, but I had a great time nonetheless. The Warning Belles kicked ass, beating the NE Ohio Rock n Rollers 63 to 41. They also raised $ 5025 for breast cancer research during their half-time auction, which was even cooler.

I had a good time seeing Ra and Amsc last week, and I’m glad I was able to work out the time to drive out to see them. Besides being sick, I had a great time this weekend hanging out with Jero, Ke, and Mira. Unfortunately this week has been hellaciously crappy so far, due to feeling sickly and fighting with Mika. I’m hoping I’ll at least be able to work things out with Mika when I see her today after work.

Oil Drilling In Alaska
"This can't be true. Bush described himself as an environmental guardian last fall, and I've seen photos of him standing in front of trees."
—Cecelia Mayo, Systems Analyst,

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Week of February 7th

This week has been pretty quiet. A lot of my social plans got cancelled, so I mostly hung out with my girlfriends and worked on my wikis – Obsidian Portal for my D&D campaign, and Wikia for TFU. I’ve been feeling a lot more anti-social and geeky lately, so I’ve appreciated the quiet time. This weekend I get to role-play and travel, so that will be fun.

Sunday I was still feeling sickly, so I slept in late with Jero, and when we finally roused ourselves from bed we went out to Breakfast of Pain for brunch. When we got back, Jero and I finally pwn3d the Guardian that’s been giving us trouble forever in Icewind Dale II, and then I went over to Ke’s for dinner. Unfortunately I was still feeling sick all night, so all I could do was keep her company while she read and studied.

Monday I was feeling better, so I decided to forgo the doctor and try to be productive. I got some journaling done during the day while Ke was at school, and then met up with Jero when she got off work. We had dinner and I MUXed while we watched House M.D. I got to role-play a bit with Spike, one of my favorite players there, and even though my back was killing me, at least my stomach finally felt better.

Tuesday I was an hour late to work because of the snow. Not that I had any trouble driving in it, but for some reason no one else on the road was capable of moving forward. After work I met up with Ke. She came over to my apartment and I made us stir-fry while she cooked us corn. Ke was sleepy, so after dinner she went to bed and I moved my laptop into the bedroom so I could keep her company while she slept.

Wednesday night my plans got cancelled, so I brought Ke food while she was working on getting UVerse installed, and then went over to Jero’s. While Jero worked on financial matters, I worked on my TFU wiki, chatting with people on the MUX and overall trying to be productive as well. When Jero went to bed I joined her, and snuggled up with her to sleep.

Thursday my plans got changed as well, so I stayed home and worked more on wikis, both for the MUX and for my new D&D campaign. I logged on to the MUX again and got to role-play a bit with Stormwind and post about an upcoming TinyPlot. When Ke got off work she came over to my apartment and brought food, and she studied while I continued to play on my computer.

Yesterday I picked up Nivagi from work and we went out to dinner. When we got back to my apartment she got a call from her vet about the results of her ferret’s surgery, which left her in a stressed mood with mixed feelings about her pet. I snuggled her until she felt better, and then we both wound up passing out ridiculously early. We’d planned to go swimming, but we’ll have to try again next time we can find time to get together.

Tonight after work I’m role-playing with Mars. He’s running his old D&D campaign again, and Jero and Jobe will be joining us. Tomorrow I get to go see Ra in St. Louis. I have Monday off, so it can be a two-day visit. She and I haven’t resolved everything yet, but we should have some time to talk this weekend. Either way it will be very nice to see ScKe and her.

“Hee hee. ‘Get her.’ That was your whole plan. I like it; it was scientific.”
-- Dr. Peter Venkman, Ghost Busters

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Week in Review – January 31st

Last week I worked the late shift. Since that usually limits my social options, I thought I’d at least be able to stay up late and get things done, but instead I wound up still going to sleep relatively early and just catching up on rest instead. It didn’t stop me from getting sick this weekend, but it did give me time to think and work on some of my ongoing relationship troubles, even if I haven’t reached any solid new conclusions.

Last Sunday I spent with Amsc, snuggling her and watching with amusement as she explored the options of her new phone. She has a new Crackberry, and is already completely addicted. We did venture out for breakfast and then sushi later, but the rest of the day was spent focused on her phone. I had fun hanging out with her, but I did have to tease her that she inadvertently wound up choosing her phone over sex.

Monday before work I got to see Asca for the first time in over a year, which was nice. After work I went over to Jero’s for MUX night. Unfortunately, by the time I got online most the MUX players were ready for bed (damned late work shift!), so I just did some admin stuff and worked on TFU’s online presence. I’m hoping when the new GI Joe and Transformers movies come out we might net a few more new interested players.

Last Tuesday I went to see Ke after work. I hung out with her and worked on my laptop while she studied. She asked if I’d like to snuggle her before she went to sleep and then go back to my computering. I knew that once I lay down I wouldn’t want to get back up, so I just shut down what I was doing and joined her in snuggly sleep. It was a good choice to get another full night of rest, and to pick snuggles over productivity.

Wednesday night after work I stayed home to talk with Ra. She’s been unhappy with our relationship for a while, and with how many people I’m dating. The problem is related to feelings of connectedness and spontaneity, but after hours of talking we’re not much closer to a solution. Obviously for her happiness and mine I’m not going to start dating any additional people, but besides that we still have a lot to work on.

Thursday night I had free, so after work I surprised Jero by popping by to give her a kiss good-night and to tuck her in. I then went over to Ke’s to keep her company while she studied before bed. I thought again about staying up late to be productive, but wound up follow the pattern of the week by just going to bed semi-early and getting more sleep. Once more I think it was a good choice, especially since Ke needed lots of snugs.

Friday I finally got to spend a night with Mika – the first time this year. She met me at my apartment after she got off work. We went out to a late dinner at Steak n Shake and caught up with what’s been going on in our lives. I was glad that she’d gotten a four-hour nap before meeting up with me, since it meant that she was a little more alert than she has been – her sleep apnea has been a real detriment to her energy level for the last few months. It was great to spend time with her.

Since I worked the late Monday through Friday shift, I had the rare Saturday off work. Mika and I got to sleep in before she had to run home, choosing more cuddles over breakfast. After she left I wanted to use the time alone to be productive, but by then I was feeling sickly so I didn’t get a lot done. Jero came over after derby practice and we went out to dinner, and then returned to my apartment to watch Go Lion before bed.

Last week was rather restful, even if it was kind of ruined by being sick all weekend. Still, it was good to have a chance to see Asca after more than a year, and to have a night free to focus on talking with Ra. The rest of the time I’ve been working on the TFUMUX wiki, trying to get it into some sort of shape so other people can jump in and help. Wiki wiki wiki! (OK. Maybe even more sleep was needed…)

"If you cut your sex organ and then eat it, then something is wrong with you."
-- hospital spokesman, (