As someone who makes a living either by designing systems or complete data centers or managing or servicing same, I probably am more in tune with technology than the normal folk. That is not bragging, it is simply stating facts.
The other day while I was in the super market, upon checking out there was two long lines, waiting to check out. Employees could be seen wandering by, looking at the lines and then continuing on their way. This was a major chain grocery store.
The longest line was for the automated kiosk. As there were long lines of folks with overflowing carts at the one “regular” cashier I opted for the kiosk.
While I could go on about how we are loosing touch with our customers using things like kiosk, and lets face it the internet; kiosk in a grocery store are a mistake. While waiting my turn to “check out” , there was one middle aged lady wondering around from kiosk to kiosk, as the red light on top of each one blinked on a few second apart. That is not fair to the customer and certainly a terrible job for the lady. I personally vote with my feet.
There are too many different items and some are not even in the system. When the normal cashier has to obtain help, “price check” what do they expect us to do? “They” don’t care. They are saving the salaries of 4 employees, while getting you to do their work.
Other technology which is problematic is automated machines that call you. It is bad enough to call a company and have to “listen closely to our menu as our menu items have changed.” Weaving my way through automated machines or IVR’s, when I need customer service, just adds gasoline to the fire; and I install this stuff!
Now we have a constant stream of calls on a daily basis from an automated outgoing IVR trying to sell us something or “hold on for an important message!” The only positive to this is; I don’t really feel so bad hanging up on a machine. The problem with hanging up is that it simply puts your number back into the queue and calls you another time.
Technology replaces people, workers. There is a glut of un-employed people in this country and there is a plethora of new technology taking their place. While no businessman starts a business because he wants to employ people; employees are a necessary “evil,” or are they?
Technology also strips away our rights as citizens to expect some modicum of privacy. From backscatter radiation machines at the airport removing your clothes, to the “no warrant needed” to be wire tapped by just about anyone that wants to.
Some graduating high school kids ask me what I thought they should major in. I pointed them towards the medical field as I don’t see a kiosk doing this. There are of course in the works ways to contact a doctor over “Skype” or other such network. There is no telling what part of the world the call will go and as far as privacy, who knows. How does a doctor from 3000 miles away palpate your abdomen?
Lastly, I want to touch briefly on Drones. I find it inconceivable that we can be watched in more places than ever before. Cameras at every street corner with facial biometric ability to track whoever “they” want to is a little spooky. Law enforcement with remote control drones that they can fly over any place that they deem of interest and “look” down as to the goings on, possibly in your back yard or through your window.
It is not just law enforcement that has these but private citizens have them as well. Currently they are a bit pricey but as the technology becomes more accessible, the prices will come down enough so eventually the pimple faced kid next door will have the ability to fly a camera outside your window, or over your pool.
There are cameras on these drones that have such a high rate of magnification, they can see into your open window from blocks away and tell how many freckles you have on your bottom. There are also FLIR “infrared” cameras that can see heat signatures so you are not even safe to skinny dip in the dark of night!
Google has already proven that you really have no right to expect privacy in your own back yard as the satellite views of neighborhoods and so forth have been littered with people nude sunbathing.
Military drones are equipped with technology that from 17,500 feet can tell what kind, and color of the clothes that you are wearing. The drones for “use over the US,” are to be equipped with technology to tell if you are armed or, electronic surveillance of your cell phone.
If one wanted to get “off the grid” as it were, one would have to live like a caveman with no technology what so ever. Maybe we should find the Sasquatch and find out how they do it.
We are an overly litigious society and perhaps this is one law suite that needs to be fought, if for no other reason than to shine the spot light on a situation that is quickly coming upon us and will get out of hand in no time. I happen to believe that you do have a right to privacy in your home, your back yard, and if you own a lot of land, there too. Law abiding citizens should not have to worry about this sort of thing. I also happen to believe that any branch of law enforcement should be required to obtain a warrant before any type of wire tap, or flying some sort of camera over or around your property. We live in a new age and Orwell may have just missed it by thirty years.
-Best to you and those that you care about.