The Smart Road

The smart road might be coming, along with smart cars. A smart road would help the cars drive themselves so we as people can relax as passengers, why, even multi-tasking as we commute to work, perhaps doing our holiday shopping on the Internet as we cruise along, chatting with friends, with no fear of taking our eyes off the road because the car and road are in sync. They'll work together just like our other electronically linked devices.

Like your computer and your printer, or you computer and the Internet. They work great together, although some bugs in the system can still cause mayhem. Every once in a while, links are clicked and end up not working, displaying a 404 or 500 error or taking you somewhere you didn't expect, somewhere you didn't want to be. Just the other day, I came in the house and discovered all the computers had lost connectivity with the net. All reached the net okay after a few except my work computer. Could not connect to our company Intranet. Everything said it was working and connecting. The computer was hooked up to the net and I could browse it, but not my work locations, even though the VPN said I was connected. Eventually, using some faint memories of Things That Have Gone Wrong Before, I disconnected and reconnected the VPN. That fixed it.

That's one of my greatest issues with computers and the 'net. Something goes wrong, it's maddening trying to learn what has gone wrong and more maddening to figure out how to fix it. The typical standard responses are, uninstall and re-install, reboot, or restore to a previous configuration, when everything worked right. That all assumes its the computer firmware, when it could be the computer hardware, router and or modem, or your ISP, or the website you're attempting to reach. Many of us experience a first fear when our computers go awry, jumping on the worry that we've been hacked or have picked up a virus. People often still reach out to me about emails they get from others. The email doesn't have a subject line. Sometimes it has an attachment. Should they open it now? Problem is now, hacking and whacking computers and the net have entered new heights of sophistication. 

What if these things happen to our smart cars on a smart road? You click for work and end up at a strip club or shopping mall. "Sorry I'm late for work. The road took me to a bar." Or, "I can't make it in today, the smart road is down." Can't you just imagine a security breach causing a huge disaster, I'm thinking in terms of a monstrous traffic accident involving trucks and cars? Or weapons or armored cars stolen as the car and roads' computer systems are compromised.

I mentioned this to friends and relatives. Many chuckle because they believe the Internet can't crash and that it's highly secure. Perhaps it's just me, being deluged with news of new vulnerabilities and exploits discovered, new revelations of data breaches and forensics tales of how these crimes were done. Maybe it's just me and my imagination, running away with me again. 

I do tend to over-analyze things, you know.

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The Case Of The Missing Assignment Or Too Much Information

Last week I heard on NPR that in some elementary schools in the US parents are notified by email if their child fails to submit even one assignment.  In high schools parents get on-going notices of all the different deadlines regarding their children’s college applications, so that they could make sure their children do not to miss them.

It is true that the school has all that data on hand and it is very easy to share it with the parents. Also teachers and schools are judged by their students’ performance and they are very willing to recruit the parents to help improve it.  It could even  be  possible that  the parents themselves request, or put pressure on the school to give them all that information.

Please keep reading in The Times Of Israel

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/the-case-of-the-missing-assignment-or-too-much-information/

 

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