Requirements for the Future

December 10, 2004

Utopian Parking Meters

How many times have you looked all over for street parking, found it, but then you don't have money for the meter? And not because you don't have $2, but because you don't have it in quarters?

The parking meters in Santa Monica - not only do they take quarters, dimes AND nickels, unlike the meters of some cities I could name..

::pausing to look meaningfully at Chicago, then resuming my statement::

... but you can also buy a little electronic card that can be used with the meters. It's about the size of those little supermarket discount cards that fit on your keychain. You just insert the card, have the 50 cents or whatever deducted from your account, and you're on your way.

It's not exactly the automated monorail pod-car I ordered. But it will do.

Posted by Chris on 12/10/04

But did you ever catch a bus in the city of angels? Either bus?

Posted by: isaac at December 10, 2004 3:38 PM

Hey guess what was announced this morning, in Chicago, the city of real men and strong women?



Posted by: friend jessica at December 13, 2004 7:21 AM

You beat me to the punch, missy. I was going to throw that back in his face as well, but I couldn't get to the computer fast enough. My face was buried in Vin Diesel's ass crack @ the time. Take that!

Posted by: klugula at December 13, 2004 11:07 AM

mmmmm ass crack

*I just threw up a little bit in my mouth

Posted by: friend jessica at December 13, 2004 11:25 AM


Posted by: klugula at December 13, 2004 11:40 AM

June 12, 2003

Message to the Future

I know that you people in the future are making fun of our cell phones. You probably have skits on your future comedy shows where you mock we in the olden times with our constant refrain of "Can you hear me now? I'm sorry, you're cutting out! I missed that last bit. Can you hear me? I can't hear you! OK, I'm calling back. You there?"

"Ha ha ha!" you'll laugh in that superior, futuristic way of yours. "They didn't even know how bad they had it! Phones that only worked some of the time! And look at the size of them! As if making them smaller and smaller was the answer!"

Let me clue you in on something - WE DO KNOW HOW BAD WE HAVE IT. Every time my phone doesn't give me the actual phone call, only the indication that I missed a call; every time the voicemail takes nine days to give up the information that I have a message waiting; every time I get a phone call but the signal isn't QUITE good enough to actually hear it - which is basically every time - I realize that the promise is there, but it just ain't working so far.

I'm not asking that I be able to hit the com-link on my chest and have instant voice clarity to the spaceship in standard orbit. But I would like a phone that would work as... a phone. My land-line has basically been taken over by telemarketers, so it's out. Four out of every five calls are salespeople. It is nothing more than an audio billboard right now, although I unfortunately have to keep it around for my DSL to work.

I cannot receive phone calls 1) in my apartment (without rising up to what my friend McFall calls "periscope depth" - which means outside of the garden-level apartment.) 2) Anywhere in my neighborhood, because it's one of those "dead-zones" ("Ha, ha, ha," you're laughing in the future. "'Dead-zones!' Remember 'dead-zones'? Ha ha ha!") or 3) most places in the building I work in. That leaves the commute to and fro as a perfect time to get calls, BUT! Oh, wait. I take the subway so that's 4) Anytime I'm on the subway.

I know you're also laughing about the size of our computer monitors, too. I'd be laughing as well if I didn't have to lift them as a part of my job.

Posted by Chris on 06/12/03

May 27, 2003

Those aliens

Those aliens that are waiting on the dark side of the moon, to give us the anti-gravity technology and the cancer cure? I think they also require us to STOP IRONING OUR CLOTHING. Is there anything more medieval?

I'd also like to think they are waiting for us to STOP SENDING THANK YOU NOTES. But maybe that's just my own peeve.

Posted by Chris on 05/27/03

May 22, 2003

More Requirements for a Future

5) Universal Handheld Device

Why am I schlepping around a PDA, a cell phone that doesn't work, and an iPod? Why is that not all one thing?

Don't tell me how if it was all one thing then the MP3 player part would be great while the phone part sucked. DON'T TELL ME THAT, LEST I REFER YOU TO MY NOTES BELOW.

It must be modular so that when new functionalities are discovered that I need later (an OCR scanner, a complete functioning computer, a laser gun, and handheld video game system, whatever) they can be added easily.

Posted by Chris on 05/22/03

My Requirements for the Future

Is there any sensor as sensitive as the dollar-bill reader inside this Coke machine? If the dollar bill has ever been folded, spent, or minted longer than two months ago, it's a REJECT. NO COKE FOR YOU! UNTIL YOU FIND APPROPRIATE HARD-EDGED MONEYS!

Shouldn't this thing be used somewhere more important, like the military or in a hospital? When will I be able to just wave my Universal Card in front of this thing and have it just deduct the .65 from my Government Account? And at the same time perhaps access a record of my last ten purchases and display the appropriately enticing advertising on its surface? What else is the Bureau of Homeland Security for, if not to assemble and parse data about me into its Terrorist Database and then use it for marketing?

Here's my list of things I require to truly be living in "the future:"

1) Universal Card.

It will hold all my account info and balance, and any info needed to authenticate me to any gatekeeping device or complete any transaction. Or maybe this should be a ring I wear, or an implant. Either way it can't be stolen and used against me, as some sort of biometric check is built in.

And spare me all the crap about security issues and why this can't work and who's tried it and why they failed. My request for this technology presumes all those bugs have been worked out.

2) Cars that ride on magnetic rails.

No more combustion engines. "But what about the big automotive companies?" you ask. "What about the oil-based economy?" I TOLD YOU MY REQUEST IMPLICITLY INCLUDES THAT THESE ISSUES BE RESOLVED. They do not concern me.

3) Computer monitors that weigh less than 2 lbs.*

Wait - no, I want to be able to project my computer display on any surface in my house.

4) *Conversion to the metric system.

I think there are aliens just waiting to give us the anti-gravity technology waiting just behind the moon. But they won't make a move until we prove that we can handle changing the way we think, and at LEAST get our system of measurements standardized to base 10.

The list will continue...

Posted by Chris on 05/22/03