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Any cool new things?
Old 12-30-2017, 09:24 AM   #1
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Any cool new things?

My college orientation speaker (1972) used Toffler's Future Shock theme of accelerating change playing a major role in our lives. Change seems to be moving into warp drive lately.

We were given an Amazon Alexa. At first I thought, my technologically illiterate cousin probably regifted this, here's another piece of technology I won't be able to figure out. But within a few minutes I had it set up, and was giving commands like Captain Kirk. "Scottie, beam me up"- no, not yet. But, "Alexa, play Christmas music ". I know it's not new, I had ability to get on my iPhone, turn on speakers, and find Christmas music. But it's so much easier to just say it, and have it happen.

Also, on a recent trip to San Francisco, we utilized food delivery services. Again, not new, but so much easier with the Uber delivery option.

I know those are trivial examples. Solar panels and electric cars are more major things I'm moving into.

Anything new in your life?
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Old 12-30-2017, 09:30 AM   #2
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My newest cars amaze me with all the electronic stuff they have or can do. Still haven't discovered everything. Maybe I'll read the users manual/instructions someday but those are big books.

Things sure have changed from the days I can remember when the only electronic option in a car was a push button AM radio.
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Old 12-30-2017, 10:36 AM   #3
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I remember attending a talk by Alan Kay in 1990. He predicted that by 2010 we would no longer have to use a separate computing device; it would be built into what we wore.

He was too optimistic at the time, but when i consider my Apple Watch and the iPhone in my pocket, we are definitely moving closer to his vision.

As for cool new things now, I really like my AirPod wireless earphones. They have excellent sound quality and are so easy to use.
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Old 12-30-2017, 11:06 AM   #4
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My newest cars amaze me with all the electronic stuff they have or can do. .........
My Highlander has a button for something called down hill descent, which I figured I'd never use. On Christmas night, we found ourselves descending a fairly steep mountain road near Mt Hood when the road turned to black ice. I clicked on the button and just steered as it safely got us to the bottom at 20 mph. Pretty cool technology.
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Old 12-30-2017, 01:18 PM   #5
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My Highlander has a button for something called down hill descent, which I figured I'd never use. On Christmas night, we found ourselves descending a fairly steep mountain road near Mt Hood when the road turned to black ice. I clicked on the button and just steered as it safely got us to the bottom at 20 mph. Pretty cool technology.
What goes around comes around. 50 years ago you'd just shift into a low gear.
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Old 12-30-2017, 01:22 PM   #6
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What goes around comes around. 50 years ago you'd just shift into a low gear.
Did that allow all four wheels to be braked independently based on each wheels traction, coupled with accelerators to keep the vehicle going straight? Did I mention this was black ice?
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Old 12-30-2017, 01:44 PM   #7
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DD just got this VR headset for her Playstation:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I initially thought it was foolish and a waste of money, but after trying it out I've decided it's AWESOME (but still a waste of money!)

The image quality is great, and the motion is so realistic. This is the first time I have used a quality VR headset and I was just blown away.
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Old 12-30-2017, 01:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by travelover View Post
My Highlander has a button for something called down hill descent, which I figured I'd never use. On Christmas night, we found ourselves descending a fairly steep mountain road near Mt Hood when the road turned to black ice. I clicked on the button and just steered as it safely got us to the bottom at 20 mph. Pretty cool technology.
Agree, hill assist (up hill and down hill) are pretty cool features. Things like Nav systems, DVD players, hands free cell, keyless entry and starting, XM radio etc, etc, etc, have all seemed to become old hat by now. But some of the neatest new things I like are things like lane departure/correction (actually steers the car back in your lane if you drift over to far), approaching vehicle warning alerts (when someone is pulling up behind you in a blind spot) auto braking if you are approaching a vehicle to fast (I turned off the auto braking part but still allow the alerts), cruise w/distance control between cars, speeding warning alerts (I set that one pretty high ) etc. Some of these things are not 100% yet so you still need to use your eyes, ears and head.

However, one of my favorites is the auto dimming headlight feature since I drive a lot at night on sparsely traveled highways. It's actually an older technology but they have it perfected now. It dims your headlights automatically when it detects oncoming headlights and even when it detects taillights in the distance. Turns them back to high beam when the on coming car passes or the taillights in the distance get far enough away. It seems to be able to tell the difference very well between other light sources and headlights/taillights so it doesn't dim the lights for just any light. Anyway, I think it's pretty cool since it finally works so well.
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Old 12-30-2017, 02:25 PM   #9
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My newest cars amaze me with all the electronic stuff they have or can do. Still haven't discovered everything. Maybe I'll read the users manual/instructions someday but those are big books.
It is mindblowing. I actually had to do this to figure out all the functions and features in my car.

Just reading about some of the safety features was amazing too. My car has the standard front and side air bags. Apparently there is a sensor that detects how far forward the driver's seat is; and the sensor adjusts the pressure of the airbag if it deploys based on the proximity of the driver's seat. There is also another an airbag "curtain" that deploys on the side if the sensors detect the car is rolling over to prevent the driver from being ejected.
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Old 12-30-2017, 02:43 PM   #10
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Agree, hill assist (up hill and down hill) are pretty cool features. Things like Nav systems, DVD players, hands free cell, keyless entry and starting, XM radio etc, etc, etc, have all seemed to become old hat by now. But some of the neatest new things I like are things like lane departure/correction (actually steers the car back in your lane if you drift over to far), approaching vehicle warning alerts (when someone is pulling up behind you in a blind spot) auto braking if you are approaching a vehicle to fast (I turned off the auto braking part but still allow the alerts), cruise w/distance control between cars, speeding warning alerts (I set that one pretty high ) etc. Some of these things are not 100% yet so you still need to use your eyes, ears and head.

However, one of my favorites is the auto dimming headlight feature since I drive a lot at night on sparsely traveled highways. It's actually an older technology but they have it perfected now. It dims your headlights automatically when it detects oncoming headlights and even when it detects taillights in the distance. Turns them back to high beam when the on coming car passes or the taillights in the distance get far enough away. It seems to be able to tell the difference very well between other light sources and headlights/taillights so it doesn't dim the lights for just any light. Anyway, I think it's pretty cool since it finally works so well.
I agree, my Highlander has the lane keeping, auto braking, laser cruise control and auto dimming headlights, all standard. Blind spot monitoring is optional.
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Old 12-30-2017, 03:09 PM   #11
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Agree, hill assist (up hill and down hill) are pretty cool features. Things like Nav systems, DVD players, hands free cell, keyless entry and starting, XM radio etc, etc, etc, have all seemed to become old hat by now. But some of the neatest new things I like are things like lane departure/correction (actually steers the car back in your lane if you drift over to far), approaching vehicle warning alerts (when someone is pulling up behind you in a blind spot) auto braking if you are approaching a vehicle to fast (I turned off the auto braking part but still allow the alerts), cruise w/distance control between cars, speeding warning alerts (I set that one pretty high ) etc. Some of these things are not 100% yet so you still need to use your eyes, ears and head.

However, one of my favorites is the auto dimming headlight feature since I drive a lot at night on sparsely traveled highways. It's actually an older technology but they have it perfected now. It dims your headlights automatically when it detects oncoming headlights and even when it detects taillights in the distance. Turns them back to high beam when the on coming car passes or the taillights in the distance get far enough away. It seems to be able to tell the difference very well between other light sources and headlights/taillights so it doesn't dim the lights for just any light. Anyway, I think it's pretty cool since it finally works so well.
My car has all of these and some I like, some not so much.

For some reason, I really dislike the lane departure warning and figured out how to turn it off.

I really do like Apple car play, bluetooth connectivity, adaptive cruise control, rain sensing wipers, and the auto on and auto dimming headlights.

Probably my favorite is the seat memory. I used to hate letting my DW drive my car as it seemed it took days to get the seats and mirrors back to where I had them. Now, I have her use the spare key fob when she uses my car. When I go to get in and the car detects my key fob, it automatically restores all my settings.

This feature was developed by a genius!!
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Old 12-30-2017, 04:10 PM   #12
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Little lives matter

Not leading-edge any more, but the back-up camera in my truck is a godsend.

Six years ago, when a friend bought a car with a back-up camera, I dismissed it as needless frippery; obviously a gimmick whose sole raison d'etre was to ensure lots of future maintenance profits for the dealer cartel.

But a few years ago the house next door was bought by a young, pregnant couple who today boast two toddlers. Having raised five scampering rugrats of my own, I know that youngsters tend to wander about with no appreciation for the laws of physics which apply to large vehicles. It's not at all unusual for a two-year-old to become captivated by the decaying earthworm on the asphalt just behind an automobile's rear bumper. In my F150, I'd never have detected them in the mirrors, but the camera sees all. Catastrophe averted!!!
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Old 12-30-2017, 04:22 PM   #13
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Rain sensing wipers, a better use of the technology would be rain sensor, close the sunroof , or roll up the windows.
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Old 12-30-2017, 04:30 PM   #14
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One cool new thing, and like most, it's not "new-new", but it just was so easy: I added a feature to a mobile app I've written to read text using optical character recognition.

I Didn't have to buy anything or license anything. I just downloaded a library and coded it, and it works. So the combination of a powerful computer connected to a camera (aka your phone) along with a free to use library made this possible. A more flashy example of this is google translate, which I use when traveling.

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Old 12-30-2017, 04:31 PM   #15
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My new car has the radar cruise control. When driving up on a slower car, it brakes to the same speed as the car in front. If I change lanes, it quickly will accelerate to the speed setting.

Sometimes I will not pay close attention and will find myself 10 mph slower than the speed setting--running behind another slower vehicle.

Give me back my old cruise control and I will be happy.
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Old 12-30-2017, 06:09 PM   #16
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A laser operation on my prostate that has positively impacted a bodily function by 50 years. No mess, no fuss. A relatively fast and mostly painless recovery. If it lasts, I put this in the breakthrough category. Even 'OK Google' agrees.
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Old 12-30-2017, 07:24 PM   #17
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Sometimes I will not pay close attention and will find myself 10 mph slower than the speed setting--running behind another slower vehicle.
Ha! That happened to me too.

I was driving on the interstate, minding my own business, when I noticed that cars were passing me in both the left and right lanes. I checked my speed and I was about 10mph under the speed limit. It was only then that I realized I had come up behind some slow poke and the cruise control had adjusted to match their speed without my noticing.
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Old 12-30-2017, 07:33 PM   #18
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Ha! That happened to me too.

I was driving on the interstate, minding my own business, when I noticed that cars were passing me in both the left and right lanes. I checked my speed and I was about 10mph under the speed limit. It was only then that I realized I had come up behind some slow poke and the cruise control had adjusted to match their speed without my noticing.
I've had this happen, too. It takes getting used to, as well as the sudden lurch when a slow car peels away and leaves open space again.
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Old 12-30-2017, 07:56 PM   #19
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How about the auto brake drying feature on our later model bimmers these days? I know my F30 has that.
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Old 12-30-2017, 09:58 PM   #20
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My new car has the radar cruise control. When driving up on a slower car, it brakes to the same speed as the car in front. If I change lanes, it quickly will accelerate to the speed setting.

Sometimes I will not pay close attention and will find myself 10 mph slower than the speed setting--running behind another slower vehicle.

Give me back my old cruise control and I will be happy.
New CX5 has the speed matching cruise - pretty awesome, as it will even bring the car to a halt if the car ahead stops. Well, I thought it was cool till I had the cruise set somewhere around 70 and the car ahead decelerated to a stop at a stoplight. Our Mazda stopped like magic behind it. Then the car ahead turned right and the Mazda decided it needed to get back to 70, ignoring the red light ahead. Guess a little driver input is still required....
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