After 2018 in Europe your car will call emergency services

In this story from the Verge European cars will automatically call emergency services if the airbags deploy. I had proposed something like this in an earlier article. We can’t make money a determining factor in whose lives are saved by technology. Or we can at least find ways to equalize how technology can help hurt people.

People who have had a luxury car in the last decade will say “So what” to this announcement. For years it has been an option in Lexus and other cars to automatically call emergency services if you paid for their optional service. I have a friend who has a Lexus and he said that it costs him $169 a year for this service. The article above says that this technology costs manufacturers about $109 which is a drop in the bucket for a car price. If you can afford to buy a car, just like a seat-belt, you should have all the safety systems integrated as one price.

It probably doesn’t help that I grew up in an era of being in unsafe American cars that had plenty of safety issues. To me, our concern as a consumer over a cars appearance rather than its safety seems at best misguided and at worst ignorant. Given the high probably of being in a car accident in a lifetime, its seems far more prudent to make safety #1. This is one of the reasons that I first bought a Volvo years ago. Now that other cars have Volvo’s features and are more affordable, I would no longer get a Volvo. I saw a video on YouTube of a Volvo 960 from the 90’s, and a cheap 2012 Renault I think it was. Guess which one survived a frontal crash the best? The Renault. The difference in design and technology in just a few years of car manufacture makes an incredible difference. The Volvo 960 in 95 was $35,000 and the Renault in 2012 was £14,000. Even buying a high-end car just a few years old is a worse safety decision than buying a cheaper newer car.

So this goes back to something I have said before. You really have to research things every time you are faced with a decision. What was true in the past is not longer true. The idea that Volvo is the safest car is clearly no longer the case. From what I have learned Tesla, Lexus, BMW, Mercedes seem to have the most safety features and highest safety rating. The Tesla actually broke one of the safety testing instruments because it was so safe. It is amazing how far car safety has come. One day I hope that we make all citizens lives as equally important as those who are rich.

How important is Amazon AWS?

If you aren’t an IT person you can be forgiven for not knowing what Amazon AWS is. It allows a huge number of things that we have come to expect from the Internet like Netflix. This excellent article from The Atlantic has a breakdown why Amazon AWS is so important.

Image representing Rackspace as depicted in Cr...It is clear from many sources that AWS is the top cloud provider in reliability. Other providers have almost perfect records and much more affordable. As you might know from reading past articles, I used Rackspace for years and it was perfect. Now I am using Copyblogger/Websynth and it has been very reliable as well. Really the biggest problems you will face from those services are problems you created yourself or hackers create.

For example, I recently had a “Socket error” on my site that caused it to go down for a half hour. The problem wasn’t my hosting provider, but rather the company that I choose for my DNS. They were having a DDOS against them so understandably that error would happen. You can protect against everything, and you really can’t have two DNS providers, so its a limitation of the current system.

When I tried other cloud providers I found them from completely unusable (Google) to so confusing (Azure) that it is understandable why the average IT person wouldn’t use them. AWS was really the most understandable provider and it is easy to see why they have become popular. Whoever made AWS deserves respect for making it as friendly and reliable as they have. I only wish that Apple would jump in and help simplify cloud technology so that the average person could use it. For example, distributed computing should have been made more consumer friendly  by now so that people and organization could use this incredibly useful technology. It is amazing how it democratizes technology and if it just had a friendly peer-to-peer arrangement this could eventually eliminate the need for IT. I can see that one day it will be that people will have informal/formal grid computing networks and when they have work they will submit it to that network. Instead of having a huge computer that may rarely get used to its potential, we will share computing power and the kind of research won’t be limited in the way it is now.

Kind of sad isn’t it? I read an article today that talked about the sale of a $650k luxury car for people who were world famous. For that kind of money we could have a distributed network working on the cures for persistent stubborn problems for humanity. Its is almost like the people with money would rather hold onto an illusion than progress. The illusion of course is that money will protect them from the scary world. Unfortunately no amount of money protects you from life, but when there is a problem sometimes waiting for a solution isn’t possible. I hope that one day we will be motivated as a species by care for each other, rather than on things that don’t provide happiness.