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I saw this discussion within another discussion so I thought I would bring it here. I still use a desktop computer, have no idea how old is my tower. And I still have a flip phone. I am lucky I know how to cut & paste.... [sigh]. My office recently hired a "Social Media Coordinator" as my boss and I are totally clueless on what to do. I don't have Facebook, never Twittered, no snap-chatting here [whatever that is], have no idea what is Instagram. At least I know the names :)) Did any of the above help me with caregiving? Only the Internet and this website for information !!

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GardenArtist, I remember back when brand new cars had options that one could purchase. Want an FM radio, that was an option :) Air conditioning also an option, otherwise one would open up the vents on the side walls to get in air.

Even seat belts were an option to which my Dad would order back in the 1960's [it wasn't until the 1990's before Mom would even wear a seat as she didn't want her dress to get wrinkled].

Tire skirts anyone? Another option. Metal sun-visor on the top of the front windshield?

The glove box was actually used for gloves :) Separate snow tires?
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I can't remember the last time I bought a ticket either....probably 40 or more years ago.

Life has become too complicated; I think I'll find some land near a forest and escape from civilization. Homesteading had been a plan of mine several years ago.

All this sounds like another step to capture personal information and commoditize and dehumanize us. Eventually perhaps we'll be known by numerical IDs - caregiver no. 1,000,000 or something totally impersonal.

Maybe it's time to start paying cash and become more anonymous.
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Most tickets are electronic so you print them off your email or they scan your phone.

They are promoting this as "job creation". They can classify workers as servers and pay $3.10 an hour and the stadium is the only place that I dont tip 20% because a beer at $8.75 a pop is already just crazy.

With the biometrics they want to record your attributes and have you put a credit credit card in the system so when you gesture you need something, they will bring it to you and do the charge with your fingerprint. Its just stupid.
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GA, I think one advantage for the innocent consumer is that it stops touts from pinching or cloning your tickets! Organised crime hasn't been slow to get involved in identity theft.

I do speak as one who can't remember when I last went to the sort of game you have to buy tickets for, mind.
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Tacy, what's the point of using facial recognition technology unless it's to identify suspects and/or criminals? Or are they concerned about scalped tickets?

I don't understand how this will help concession sales, unless they're going to add chocolate milk shakes if there are more women and hot dogs if there are more men...something like that. Or if they're going to improve the bathrooms, or something of that nature.

Otherwise, I think it's not only a violation of privacy, it's an egregious violation of privacy.

A friend year ago moved to a gated community and warned me that when I visited, the gatekeeper would ask to see my ID, photo it, and photo my license plate as well. I said we would have to find a different place to get together.

Private sector data gathering of personal information is intrusive enough as it is. No way is some unknown person going to copy my driver's license!

Good for your for taking a stand on this.
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I was just listening to sports radio having a discussion about technology. The MLB is working on a deal with the TSA to buy biometric technology (facial recognition and fingerprints) for tickets and to help concession sales. Some teams are already doing this for season ticket holders...at their expense. I go to Comerica alot but if they do this, I will boycott. Just feel it is a violation of privacy .
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CM, human evolution to master texting is in fact something I've wondered about. Are you seeing signs of additional appendages on your daughter's fingers yet? I suspect thumbs will eventually grow to massive proportions.

I'm surprised, as you were by the TV techs, to hear more young people commenting on the rapid pace of accelerating technology change. I think for some it's an adventure, others are pulled along by conformity to mass behavior, and some might just be getting tired of buying and buying more and more.

I wonder how much the dedicated devotees have put aside to pay off their cars or save for a house. And I wonder how much they'll have saved for their care when they're 50 - 60 + years older.

Clever therapist! Imagine that someone needs to share a presence on Twitter. That's really sad. That's worse than my sharing my weeding activities.

Appliances: I think they've become unnecessarily complex, and it hasn't affected their function. Ovens still need to heat regardless of how many steps required to turn them on. Washers still need to clean.... where are the basics of function going? What's more important? Gadgets or the basic purpose? I'm still battling the microwave to get it to heat at % power. The instructions are, well, useless.

FF, if only the cost of cars would come down; there's just too much stuff that not everyone wants or needs, driving the costs up.
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Caregiverology: "My issue lies with how rapidly technology is changing." I have a similar concern, but I try to balance by asking myself how much of this technology change is for the better, and for the good of people? I don't want to spend time to learn something that's going to change in this year, or the next....like the software updates for WIN.

I'm thinking of advances in medical technology, in diagnostic applications, in treatment methodology. Good applications, benefitting humanity as opposed to glitzy consumer products.

Funding for research obviously is an issue, and I find that somewhat ironic as it's more important than funding for a new talking machine to provide a weather forecast.

I've been thinking about how this trend began and how it's sustained. There has to be a demand and people willing to buy the consumer products. I wonder how many of them would provide an equal amount of money for medical research funding.


Smeshque, I too loved the written word, letters from across the "Big Pond", Australia, Germany and Japan when I was really actively corresponding in writing. The Japanese writers would send photos of their home area. They sent samples of rice paper, so delicate, and reminded me of the delicacy of the Geisha life and the beauty and peace of their garden designs. Somewhere I still have the beautiful fans they also sent. I often felt as if I had been to Japan, even though I haven't.

My German friend wrote in English, German and French. That was probably the time I was more prolific in language skills than I've been since. And it was exhilarating, to learn another language, sense the nuances and feel a part of that culture. She used to send little gifts made from braided wheat straw, opening my thoughts to growing my own wheat and using it not only to make flour but to make little ornaments.

That was when I started designing my own stationery, and had so much fun coloring the little cards I made. There's so much creative challenge in designing something to send to someone.


CW, thanks for the memories of turn of the century life, although that was long before me. But it was a more leisurely lifestyle; people knew how to enjoy life. I think so often of nostalgic scenes, and family memories...of driving up to one of the fishing ports, sitting on the dock fishing, and enjoying the home caught meal after returning home when Mom added her magic touches to our catch.

I remember WIN '95; my father was the tech leader and first to buy a computer. I remember grounding myself when I did something to open the case; I have no idea now what it was I did, but I didn't short out the computer; that was an issue then.

BTW, Clive Cussler the author has a collection of vintage autos, all sorts of styles and names I've never heard of. Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum also have collections, including early steam trains, autos, wringer washing machines (we had one until automatic washers were invented). A visit to either the Village or Museum is like stepping back in time. And I think it's about time for another visit.

We went to one of the Christmas events. Old fashioned streetlamps cast light on snow covered streets, and candles lit the windows of the buildings we visited. All the decoration was period style. There were no flashing LED strings of lights, no thousands of decorations or lights enveloping homes like giant squids.

The path eventually ended at one of the eateries, with wassail and other delicacies which I probably consumed with gusto after the invigorating walk.
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I remember back when color printers were around $5k-$10k to purchase. Personal computers were also quite expensive. I figured out that the cost per pound was more than that of a car !!
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Speaking of stoves... I remember back when stoves had a large red light on the control panel to let you know the oven or a burner was still on. No forgetting to turn it off :))

My newer stove has tiny red rights the size of a pin head.... not much help. If I walk past the stove and feel heat, then I know one of us forgot to turn it off.
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I am comfortable with technology (8 classes from a Bachelor's in IT) but am rusty in some areas of it. I use technology on a daily basis as all of my paintings are hand drawn and painted on the computer using a pen pad and fine art techniques. I build and maintain our websites for both my art and my other business (taught myself how to do that on a dare but that is a story for another time) and use Facebook to keep in touch with my family members, but though I am signed up for twitter don't use it or snapchat. I can generally fix problems with our computers, but am way behind on updating some of the software that I use.

Now smart phones that is a horse of a different color. ha, ha, ha. My phone quit allowing me to press the button on my Bluetooth to dial a number verbally. Keeps telling me that google has quit working and I have yet to figure out how to correct that...ugh. So guess I am in the middle as to being technologically savvy.... (Smile)

I still remember dial up modems when you would get the musical sounds that Countrymouse was describing as I started using computers in 1990 and my first computer was an old lap top that I had to download one program before I could use a different one. Amazing the speed with which technology has advanced in the last 27 years.
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We're all going to have Pavlovian responses to

fax machine tones deeeeeeee-diddleliddleliddleliddle-deeeeeeeee

dial up tones baaaaahhhhhhhhhm squeak squeak paaaaaaa

Not to mention the Nokia arpeggio and the Apple chord.
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CW, about the appliances. A good friend had invited me and another woman to her country house for the weekend. Sunday was GF's gym morning, so off she went asking us to put the casserole in the oven at eleven or so. No worries!

When she came back at noon we were both still staring at the oven trying to see where the On switch was.
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Reminds me of a lovely exchange on a radio comedy, set in a therapist's office...

Beleaguered MP: ... oh, did I mention I'm on Twitter now?
Therapist: No, Richard, you didn't. I'd have lost sleep.
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I remember my Ex watching our middle daughter texting - predictive text, goodness, wasn't that fun? - and speculating aloud about how long it would be before humans evolved to have prehensile thumbs with two extra knuckles. That was back in the nineties.

What comforts me is that in spite of how widespread ICT is, and how sophisticated it already is, surprising people don't know how to use it either. Company directors. Marketing gurus. I would say world leaders except apparently sometimes they do get the hang of it [deep breath, people].

Yesterday two engineers came to deal my t.v. which has been misbehaving, apparently since an upgrade to the transmitter back in March or something - I wouldn't have noticed the missing channels if the BBC hadn't put key bits of Wimbledon on them, idiots. They started to explain. I stopped them and told them that when it comes to television, I want it to work and I have no interest in understanding how. And you know what? Not only did these two young men not laugh at me or get exasperated, one said "I think we all feel the same."
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Worries from a 20 something about being unable to keep up with the changes makes me feel a little bit better, it's not just my brain atrophying then?

We were once on the cutting edge with a home computer, dial up internet and Windows 95 - it's laughable how quickly you can be left behind. Remember when software came with paper manuals? Windows for Dummies books? That horrible noise when connecting to dial-up, and then not being able to use your phone and internet at the same time? When our boys were in school they wouldn't accept a hotmail email address because hotmail was dodgy, instant messaging on your desktop was cool. lol

I think of the turn of the last century when some people were driving sleek roadsters, some were still using their model T's and the hopelessly out of date old timers were still hitching the horses.
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By choice, I don't do facebook, instagram, snap chat, nor watch tv. I think all this is overrated, and keeps people from living life. It keeps people from actually communicating or visiting as they use to. The art of letter writing is gone. I try and keep it alive. It's almost as if society is reverting back to hieroglyphics.
Funny how society thinks your kinda weird if you do not conform to technological "progress."
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Cats, I hear a strange voice telling me that it's okay to eat chocolate, even when I'm trying not to. And sometimes another strange voice tells me it's okay to sleep in and get up later, or just spend the day reading.

These strange voices are the good kind.
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CW, yes, I'm totally in support of KISS. It just makes common sense.

FF, Head Up Display, as in fighter jets.

You have to pay property tax on your vehicle? Wow. That's a new one for me. We have annual fees, although I suppose they're a form of tax.

Caregiverology, MS is guilty of churning updates, although some of them really do seem necessary when they interface with other programs. But the nonsense and the silly applications they keep downloading for WIN 10 are a waste of space, and reflect the arrogant presumption that I want that junk on my computer.

I think a critical aspect is being left out of all of this generation of new adaptations, new gizmos, and more. And that's that they need to serve a useful function, which to me is more important than providing activities for spare time. Being outside or doing something natural and healthy is better for leisure activities than playing with tech gadgets.

And one of the major problems of the upgrades is the lack of product and user documentation, in hard copy. We have to spend OUR time to research and use applications to make them worthwhile.

I was thinking the other day of the auto "upgrades" decades ago, when fins would change shape and length, and annual changes in cars were mostly cosmetic. There have been some good upgrades since then, but there's still focus on adaptations that to me are frills...if they don't upgrade safety, mileage, and basic factors, I think the bells and whistles are just a waste of money.

Cats, is your anti virus, anti malware, etc. system kept up to date? What security program are you running? Being hacked must be so frustrating - unsettling, upsetting, frightening to feel so vulnerable...
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You all are lucky. Wait until you've been hacked 3 or 4 times like I have. Best advice. If your screen goes blank or a strange voice starts telling you to call a #, DON'T DO IT. Shut it down and immediately notify someone you trust. Hackers are definitely trying to get into your system. It might be expensive but you can avoid further damage if you disconnect entirely. Believe me, I learned the hard way. Inconvenient as all get out but they love to prey on seniors.
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As someone who enjoys using and learning about the latest and greatest advances in technology, I am most certainly out of the loop. I even got my certification as a computer maintenance and repair technician years ago. It scares me how clueless I can be at times considering how involved I am and the fact that I am only in my 20s.

My issue lies with how rapidly technology is changing. There are constantly new products being introduced often annually for many companies. That's not to mention all of the software updates that get churned out nonstop. Just when you are becoming familiar with the way something works, a new update comes out and you are back to square one.

I don't have the answer on how to combat this. Things are just going to continue to be updated more and more often. A part of me actually enjoys seeing how fast technology is improving and advancing, but I can't help but fear I will eventually fall further and further out of the loop until things become way too advanced for me.
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That's one reason I am hanging onto my 22 year old Jeep Grand Cherokee... the gauges are so simple. The vehicle has everything I need. My sig other also has a 22 year old Jeep Cherokee and has no plans to buy newer. From advertisements the dashboard for these new cars one would need a pilot's license to figure out.

GardenArtist, HUD statement?  If yes, right on.

Plus my car yearly property tax is like $10.00 because of the age of the vehicle. Buy new, the tax would be hefty.

cwillie, I agree with you about the K.I.S.S. At work my boss was wondering if I wanted the upgrade version of a software, I looked at it and said NO quickly. The version I was using was good enough for me. That new format was too busy and would take longer for me to figure out how to use. And if I used the software only once a month, I probably would need to re-train myself :P
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Whatever happened to K.I.S.S., when it comes to newer devices it seems to be the opposite of that. All this intuitive crap and pre sets on everything from toasters to automobiles is only helpful if you never want something outside the norm. Up, down. On, off. Why do I need a manual to accomplish that?
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My repair shop offers that service as well, but I'm almost on the other side of the county and they don't drive that far. Too bad, because I don't want to switch repair shops; this one is absolutely the best.

There was one really good feature that I would have liked to have had: apparently it's a motion detector or sensor that alarms when the car is too close to another object, such as a car being driven by someone texting while driving.

Wouldn't you still have to look at the gauges/dials, etc. in order to change something? One thing I noticed is that the dashboard is beginning to resemble a HUD; there are probably 3 - 4 times as many gauges and dials as on my existing car. If I pressed the wrong thing....well, I'm not sure what would happen - chaos maybe?
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My car dealer offers a shuttle service when you take your car in for repairs but instead of a dedicated bus they will take a car off the lot, in my experience it is generally something similar to what you are already driving they hope might catch your eye. But do I really want a touch screen on my dash, with my old car I can feel to change the radio or fan or temperature without taking my eyes off the road,
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Dad taught us how to read maps as well. I couldn't help thinking of this thread today when I had to pick up a rental while my chariot was in for repairs. The rental company's entire system was down, every single branch was literally dead in the water.

The staff didn't know who had contracted for pickup. They couldn't tell how many cars needed to be available; and the phones were jammed, probably with others like me who had to wait 15 minutes to get through to someone to find out where my pickup ride was.

By the time I did get through, and finally got the rental, it was 2 hours later. I was ready for a nap by then.

And to add an almost bitter contrast to this, the car I got was a new one, with all the bells and whistles, and a 200 +/- page manual. It has something called Sync, camera for back-up (not all that new), and I can't recall what else right now. I actually got bored reading it.

But with all this technology, the overwhelming feeling of being in the car was like being in a coal mine. The entire interior was black; every rental I've had has had a black interior. It was disorienting; I felt trapped in a dungeon.

If I put my sunglasses on, I couldn't see the screen well enough to read the gauges. I was tempted to stop at a camping store and get a hat with a light on it.

I thought to myself that I hope I don't encounter someone driving one of these things and fiddling with the gadgets while doing so. That car is an accident waiting to happen. But it can't....despite all the bells and whistles, the car doesn't even have a paramedic function. A real person has to come and rescue the driver.
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GardenArtist, my Dad taught me to read a map when I was a kid. Years ago people use to complain that their GPS was stolen from their cars. I use to joke that if my GPS was stolen, that means I was kidnapped :P
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Some of it just baffles the h--l out 0f me. I watch people texting as second nature. Cell phone conversations on buses just drive me up a tree. Often thought of jammers but they're illegal.
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Tacy, thanks for that helpful information. I should have figured that out by myself, if my mind was functioning right...duh. Outsourcing is much better than in house, in this case.

Daughter, your post made me laugh. From what I've heard, TMI seems to characterize some of the social media interactions. Yes, who cares what someone ate for lunch.

Your point though that we need to have (and I would add basic for business) computer skills is well taken. From my experience, databases were some of the hardest for acclimation. Law firms used them for entry of time, and they were cumbersome, not "intuitive" and certainly not designed for law firm users. It was a nuisance every time I had to enter time.

And frequently when I call businesses, I'm told I have to wait b/c the screen has closed and the user has to open it again, or has to switch to another screen to provide additional information.

But word processing, especially WordPerfect, was a godsend for legal use, just as word processing systems were before computer use replaced manual typing. WP's superior systems, its red-lining especially, revolutionized the delivery of documentation to clients and greatly enhanced the productivity of secretaries, paralegals and attorneys.

It especially streamlined production of agreements. Instead of copying an earlier document, users had only to check the firms' data bases and pull up the specific clauses they needed, merge personal data from the client intake forms, and create a new document that way.



FF, I'm assuming that the solar panel was attempting to determine the number of cars with radios on? I suppose that could be for safety purposes....who knows? Cell phone usage would be a better measure; if it determined the number of people talking while driving, maybe the local community would consider (if financially feasible) more video monitors at intersections.

I feel the same way about Alexis and the other talking machines.. If it could scrub the floor (or better yet, the toilet), mow the lawn, repave my driveway, paint the walls, or cook meals, it would have some valued use for me. The Farmer's Almanac provided good insight into reading the weather. I don't think Alexis can check specific trees to see which leaves are upturned, which they do as a storm moves in. Squirrel activity to me is more predictive of the onset of winter than a talking computer device.

Brains are not designed to be hand fed; they need to be kept active, just as muscles do.

One of the things I find so bizarre is that so many people are relying on GPS that they actually CANNOT read a map!




Computers have revolutionized the way business are run and maintained. And that's great. It's the social applications that I think are less valuable. And I never will understand why people share so much personal information, nor will I understand how they can participate in social media w/o even bothering to read the TOS and privacy policies. Perhaps ignorance is bliss.
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GardenArtist, whenever at a doctor's office and they ask me to sign up for the portals, I usually just say "yes" not to be bugged, but I never sign up any more. Tried it once, and I just wasn't interested. One less thing to write in the booklet I have for my ID's and passwords.

Oh, speaking of data gathering, just today while at the office someone was working on this high tech looking metal thingee that was on the easement section of the front lawn of the neighboring building. Boss went out to talk to the repairman. Turns out that strange looking thing with what looks like a small solar panel was gathering radio usage data of the cars crossing in front of a busy highway.

One thing I have been hearing now are those "answering" devices that one can have on their coffee table. Alexis and others. I don't have one, I can look up answers myself... keeps the brain active \o/. Well, there is something about how maybe those devices are listening to their owners.
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