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Privacy and Marketing – A Blanket Statement

Targeted Marketing

An “RD rant” about the ever-present and overwhelming amount of targeted marketing on electronic entertainment media such as cable TV, and SPAM email sent to me on my computer.

I would disconnect my cable TV if it were not for my spouse who somehow can tolerate the constant barrage of all the things that must be purchased to improve our lives.

I am sooo tempted to change my email address and “go dark” except for my closest and most trusted friends. All two of them… Ha!

I realize marketing is a necessary evil in a consumer driven Capitalist society.

70 years ago, the popular media was […] Continue reading » Privacy and Marketing – A Blanket Statement

Urban Drone Delivery Systems?

I am certain that widespread urban and suburban “Drone Package Delivery” is a system that will never be implemented. It is an urban legend/myth that is perpetuated only for its publicity factor.

Technically, it is possible. So is the flying car. They are both in the same category. Technically possible, feasibly impossible.

Imagine a kid running out the front door, smacking into a drone hovering a few feet off the ground with sharp knife blades at eye level spinning at 20,000 RPM. (The propeller lift system)

It is also (at present) a one package per trip system. Drone size is dictated and limited by fixed and absolute aerodynamic and power requirement […] Continue reading » Urban Drone Delivery Systems?

Stealthy Prime Delivery

A strange thing happened with a recent order of coffee from Amazon Prime. Invisible delivery.

As I always do, I placed a “next day” (for Friday) Prime order for my usual 100 count, box of “coffee pods” for my Kuerig K-Cup brewer.

I was down to a two-day supply about 5 K-Cups. No problem as delivery here in the Dallas area is very fast.

The order was processed very quickly. As usual, I started getting delivery updates via text message which again was absolutely normal. Text messages are an opt-in feature for prime members. Sometimes, it seems like an overkill of tracking. But it has become the expected […] Continue reading » Stealthy Prime Delivery

Ain’t Broke!

Many people believe that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t have enough features yet.

I often say or think the first line. I almost forgot the come-back.

Many engineers are tasked with taking something that isn’t broke and make it cheaper to produce and no better than it needs to be. It’s call “planned obsolescence” when the need is determined to be designed-in failure. In the case of the light bulb, there was a light bulb engineering collusion that occurred on December 23, 1924, that decided the lighting industry needed to have a replacement market […] Continue reading » Ain’t Broke!

The Science of Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting requires a knowledge of the why and how of proper behavior or operation. I don’t troubleshoot human problems as their how and why is very complex. I do enjoy troubleshooting things mechanical because machines don’t involve emotion in their operation. At least not yet.

Controls have been my specialty for most of my life. The last part of my working career was managing construction projects involving building (the structural kind) energy management systems and making sure they operated as intended. It required intimate knowledge of the why and how mechanical systems operate.

The ability for humans to operate complex systems (operators) and the ability to troubleshoot complex systems […] Continue reading » The Science of Troubleshooting