Brad Wardell's site for talking about the customization of Windows.

I'm on an airplane right now.  I've been flying pretty regularly since I was 5 years old (parents got divorced and back then they could live in different states). 

It's the flight experience where you can really see how much tech has changed.  More to the point, as Kurzweil has pointed out, tech is changing exponentially and it's gotten to the point where it's really hard to miss.

On the way to the airport

I was able to check in to my seat via the Delta app that put a notification on my screen while in my Tesla on auto-pilot.  Just a couple of clicks and I was good to go.

At the airport

I have TSA PRE and the new clear program which is supposedly (but not really) faster than TSA Pre.  I was through security faster than before 9/11.   The only hic-up, was that the monorail was down to the gate which meant hoofing half a mile.   Reminded me that most rail advocates probably don't use much rail.  Rail was a great tech in the 19th century...

I sit down near the terminal and every chair has its own little iPad type device for ordering food and drink.  Almost no one uses them now, they're already outdated because their iPhone or Android device "has an app" that's easier.

Under the covers, thanks to computer aided data analysis, what are in airports now are much nicer and useful.  They know what works in airports (coffee ships, mid to high end restaurants, shoulder massage) and what doesn't (fast food, general goods).  And tech has largely eliminated book stores (sigh).  The result is that the airports I visit are generally quite pleasant.

Moreover, the better experience means lower stress.  If Brad from 1989 were to time travel to 2019, the first thing I'd notice is how much happier people are.  The general smoothness of how air transportation works now (relatively speaking) means a lot less stressed people.  The only really archaic thing left are the &#$%@ drivers licenses or other physical ID we still have to mess with and of course the normal TSA experience (mainly the damn shoe thing).  But the end result is that people tend to be pretty relaxed (relatively).

On the plane

Many of the chairs have displays on the back.  Already outdated.  They're the display of last resort because everyone has a handheld or some kind.  Which reminds me, I can't find my Kindle.  

Planes typically have WiFi, it's not free but eliminates much of the boredom of long flights.  I use to pour through PC Gamer, PC Magazine, PC World, Macworld, etc. from start to end on these flights.  And even that was a big step up from the early 80s and 70s where I'd lug Infoworld with me in the late 80s.  I still miss reading Nick Petreley's articles.

But it's not just that it's improved, it's that the rate of improvement is accelerating.   

What are some of the things you've noticed changing that seems to be changing even more rapidly now?


Comments (Page 1)
on Feb 26, 2019

I dunno. I don't use any of that stuff and the closest I ever got to a plane was in the early seventies working as a med tech for a private ambulance company. Had to take a patient on board a 727 and I got a look at the cockpit. That's it, my one and only experience. Lol

on Feb 26, 2019

Glad I don't use air travel any more.   

on Feb 26, 2019

Haven't flown since 76 or 77. You could still smoke on the plane. All I remember is getting a bit tipsy. I hated take off and landing.   

on Feb 26, 2019

What are some of the things you've noticed changing that seems to be changing even more rapidly now?

What strikes me is how many things are wanting to be plugged into the internet.  Get a new home furnace today, they may very well plug it into the internet (an "instant warning" type of arrangement for servicing).  Not an entirely bad thing, but I can't help but see an opening for abuse.

on Feb 26, 2019

Sitting in Houston in my house, I have a Robot cleaning my pool, a Robot vacuuming my house (it even empties its own bin ) while I play a game using my virtual reality headset. All tech that was basically nonexistent 5 years ago and which will be obsolete in 3 years. I wonder when the vacuum robots will be able to climb and clean stairs LOL We are pretty much in a development cycle of 3 months where tech is obsolescent in 6 and obsolete in 12. If you cannot deliver inside that cycle you fall behind and become a market follower or wither and die.

Yes, the pace of change is accelerating, however our ability to deal with the social impact is not. Pick up a book called Technopoly, it was a mandatory read for my directors when I ran my IT shop, it is an eye opener.

on Feb 26, 2019

...and the down side.  Absolutely everything you did was recorded, including where you were by GPS location as you did it.  You are fed what other people want you to see through your phone.  If the wrong people have the power to do it, and take an interest in you... you are doomed because of the way that technology currently works.  And that "Tesla on Auto-Pilot' means that they could literally assassinate you with your car... assuming the wrong people were in control of it.


on Feb 26, 2019

Since the 1960's all major infrastructure telephone company's are required to maintain a presence in an underground bunker call "Pentagon City" which is near the Pentagon but not a part of it.  This is the center of a post-nuclear war communications system.  The famous "Long Lines Building" in NYC is the NYC location for this network, most major cities have a nuclear proof communications facility that is a part of the Pentagon City network.  Due too this, the federal government, military, and intelligence all have VERY close relations with the major phone companies in America, "Pentagon City" is a part of what people perceive as a "Shadow Government" which is actually a blending of the Executive Branch and the Civil Defense infrastructure that exists to help America survive a nuclear war.  So the phone companies are involved very intimately with what people perceive as the "Shadow Government".

Because this relationship existed long before cell phones, your cell phone is an NSA designed tracking and surveillance device.  It is designed to track and monitor you, and everyone around you.  The entire world is bugged.  Even if you don't have a cell phone, if they want to listen too you and know where you are all they have to do is ping your location for phones and turn on all of the microphones in your area.  Cell phones are sophisticated tracking and surveillance devices, and any car with a computer newer than about 2005 in it can be made to crash remotely.  Airplanes, too...

This technology is not currently being used in a good way.

Oh, and if you are saying too yourself... "Recording everything from everyone's cell phones would take a warehouse full of hard drives!!!"... you are wrong, it takes two warehouses full of hard drives...


on Feb 26, 2019

Nothing new. Uncle Sam peers into everything that isn't nailed down. Its a culture of paranoia. He can't help himself, its addictive.

on Feb 26, 2019
on Feb 27, 2019

I just visit WinCustomize and all traces about fast changing times is blown away by design.

on Feb 27, 2019


I have a Robot cleaning my pool

A few months ago I saw on tv where someone is trying to develop a robot lawnmover.  I suppose if they can make cars safe enough to drive themselves they can make lawnmowers safe enough to mow by themselves.  Working out the kinks should prove interesting though.

on Feb 27, 2019

Does anyone wonder why there exists driver assist tech on new cars. When I first started driving some fifty years you learned how to pay attention behind the wheel. IMO this new driver assist tech was developed because people don't pay attention anymore. Go figure. 

on Feb 27, 2019

IMO this new driver assist tech was developed because people don't pay attention anymore. Go figure.

And is it any wonder? Think about it: in the old days, NOTHING happened most of the time. Whole days went by with time slowly dragging its feet while you lived your life in leisure. People had time for everything.

Now we are constantly bombarded with new information. There are hundreds of things constantly competing for our attention, but our brain power is still the same it ever was, and, therefore, limited. So we adapted by dividing the whole into small chunks. And because the fast pace of modern life is addictive (constant stimulation), we get bored if things do not happen fast enough.

Welcome to the ADD generation.

on Feb 28, 2019


And because the fast pace of modern life is addictive (constant stimulation), we get bored if things do not happen fast enough.

I don't get bored that way because I like things trundling along at an easy pace.  I always used to be in a hurry when I was younger, but not these days.  Nowadays I don't mind waiting a while and just enjoying my life in the slow lane.

As for tech growing at an ever faster rate these days, well that bothers me some.  While much of it is useful and can enhance our lives, some of it is open to abuse and some people using it for all the wrong reasons.  It annoys and worries me that innocent people are being hacked, held to ransom and having their machines destroyed by cyber criminals with nothing better to do than harm others.

So yeah, I have noticed the fast rate of growth of tech, but it's not all good.

on Feb 28, 2019

It's much worse than most realize because it has slowly crept up on you.  Where on internet do you truly have freedom of speech if you want to say something even the least bit controversial?  The excuse is "the constitution only guarantees you that the government shall pass no law".  But when the result is that there is no place on the internet where there are not people who decide what you can say and how you can say it, then the internet is breaking the spirit of the first amendment.  

Primary forums like Facebook and Twitter should be considered public utilities and regulated by the constitution, not the whims of the owners.  There need to be free speech forums somewhere where "PG-13 & Family Friendly" (the traditional American standard) are the only rules.  This is only one problem, but it is a big one.