EU supports eCall – GPS in every car

Slashdot reports:

the European Parliament has pass a resolution in support of eCall, an initiative to install devices in vehicles that automatically contact emergency services in the event of a crash. The resolution calls on the European Condition to make it mandatory for all new cars starting in 2015.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?  But just think about it for a second.  There you go, driving your car around.  And all of a sudden – BOOM – crash!  Not to worry.  Your car has a device installed that dials the emergency services and there is a digital conversation similar to this:

– Hello, this is emergency services.  How can I help you?
– Hello, this is Mitsubishi Galant GDI.  Registration number XYZ123.  I’ve just crashed and need assistance.
– OK, please remain calm.  The help is on the way.  Whereabouts are you now?
– My map suggests that I am Pentadromos, Limassol, Cyprus.  My GPS coordinates are 34.680635, 33.043198.
– We’ve got you.  There is a unit nearby.  It should be at your location in approximately 2 minutes.
– Thank you. Bye.

This sounds so good, for when you really need help.  But there is another side to it – vehicle tracking.  How comfortable are you with someone else knowing where you went, how fast you went there, and for how long you stayed there?  And we aren’t talking just about the authorities here.  Think of all those hackers, script kiddies, private investigators, and then authorities.

Now, back to the original application – emergency services.  It obviously comes at a price of your privacy.  Is that too much to pay?

Flash for Android no more, or is it?

Slashdot reports:

Adobe has finally seen the same light Steve Jobs did in 2010 and is now committed to putting mobile Flash player in the history books as soon as possible. Adobe will not develop and test Flash player for Android 4.1 and will now focus on a PC browsing and apps.

But we’ve heard quite a few announcements from Adobe and Google in regards to Flash in the last few month.  I don’t know about you, but I am practically lost in the controversy.  Between Adobe releasing the last version of Flash for Linux, Adobe releasing a sandbox version of Flash for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, and Google releasing Google Chrome for Android, I have no clue anymore.

The best I can make of it is that Adobe doesn’t want to support mobile or Linux anymore.  But Google takes over with its own Flash support integrated into the Google Chrome browser, which Google supports on all desktop platforms, as well as on iOS and Android devices.  So even without the Adobe we should still be able to access Flash games, porn, and navigation menus.

What do you think?  Are we about to lose Flash, and if we are, what’s the alternative?

P.S.: As much as I love the idea of HTML5, I don’t think it’s just there yet.

Four nights in Tel Aviv, Israel

As some of you know, last week I spent a few days in Tel Aviv, Israel.  It wasn’t my typical trip – vacation or technical conference.  I was there for business.  And I wasn’t there alone, but with a colleague of mine.  That trip was the first of a kind for me.

One of the things that was very different is how prepared I was.  Usually, I try to read and learn as much as I can about the place I am about to visit.  I also plan a bit on where I want to go and what I want to see.  But this time, I didn’t know that I’m going until the last minute.  And I didn’t know how much time I’ll have for sightseeing.  And I was busy.  So I read absolutely nothing. Zip. Nada.  And maybe that was for the better – I could see around me with a fresh eye.

Continue reading “Four nights in Tel Aviv, Israel”

Weekly digest – 2012-07-01