Automation and a scary future

When I look at the future, I really do worry about the upcoming automation wave and what it may do to our society.  Right now many low skilled jobs are being replaced by machines, the popular right wing talking point is that those are entry level jobs, stepping stones and that people should be striving for more, easy to say but the realities of the world are another thing.  What’s the excuse when robots start taking jobs from family doctors, lawyers or accountants, these are not people we think of being “losers” in society.

AJ+ has put together a great series of videos talking about the subject.

I really hope that by Maggie and I are retired before our jobs get automated away, mine is a bit harder I think (though not sure) as it’s based on human relationships but Maggie’s an accountant which is basically a series of inputs and outputs, her job could be done by a robot pretty easily. 🙁 I also worry about Brandon’s future, what type of job can he do that won’t be automated?

It’s something as a society we really need to think about, I think the solution we’ll eventually get to is some sort of universal basic income where everyone gets money no strings attached.  Our society at the moment is built on consumption by the masses, if the masses have no money then it no longer works.  In the short term I think it’s going to be very scary, the optimist in me thinks that the future can be really bright where robots do everything for us and we can live our lives out in luxury but the pessimist thinks we may head down some dystopian path where everyone except the richest people live in slums.

Who knows what the future will bring but this reality is closer than many think.

Hehe check this out

So earlier in the week I picked up the FLIR Scout TK because well I was impulsive and this little thing is pretty darn awesome. Even a couple of years ago something like this would be well over $2k but well anyway it’s pretty affordable now. 😀

It’s slightly larger than my Vortex monocular and it allows me to see heat.  So if there were a lot of smoke or in a place where there was no light (and where my night vision would be useless), I could still see with this thing.  The refresh rate is slow at 9 Hz and the sensor is small but it can help me see hot spots as far away as 100 meters.

There are a whole bunch of different settings, I like the black and white image tha thighlights hot points in orange, that seems to help thing stand out the most. LOL I’ve already gone around my house to see where it’s leaking energy and I will see improve the insulation so I’m not wasting so much energy. 🙂

Now this is cool!

Today Telsa announced all its cars produced moving forward will have the hardware to be fully autonomous!

Build upon Enhanced Autopilot and order Full Self-Driving Capability on your Tesla. This doubles the number of active cameras from four to eight, enabling full self-driving in almost all circumstances, at what we believe will be a probability of safety at least twice as good as the average human driver. The system is designed to be able to conduct short and long distance trips with no action required by the person in the driver’s seat. For Superchargers that have automatic charge connection enabled, you will not even need to plug in your vehicle.

All you will need to do is get in and tell your car where to go. If you don’t say anything, the car will look at your calendar and take you there as the assumed destination or just home if nothing is on the calendar. Your Tesla will figure out the optimal route, navigate urban streets (even without lane markings), manage complex intersections with traffic lights, stop signs and roundabouts, and handle densely packed freeways with cars moving at high speed. When you arrive at your destination, simply step out at the entrance and your car will enter park seek mode, automatically search for a spot and park itself. A tap on your phone summons it back to you.

Source: Tesla

Maggie and I have talked briefly about maybe buying a used Model S but this is a feature I’m going to want so I guess I’ll just stick with the Model 3 we have on preorder.  Hopefully they won’t be delayed too long, we’ll see Q4 18.

The option I like most

So over the last couple of weeks I’ve been gathering quotes from various vendors on putting solar panels on my roof and the option I like like most (so far) is from New Dawn Energy Solutions. While I know it’s possible for business to lie, they rate pretty well on HomeStars and they’ve had no complaints since registering at the BBB 3 years ago.

The other quotes I received say my home can generate 9-10kW of power per year, New Dawn Energy Solution says they prefer to quote conservative (8kW) numbers and I understand that point of view.  No maintenance is required during the winter and the system should pretty much run forever though they recommend I go up and clean the panels once a year…  I like the Standard + power optimizer and panel level monitoring option and it’s about what I expect to spend.

Maggie’s reluctantly on board, she knows it’s one of my dreams to have a home that can generate its own power and I’m really close to achieving that capability!  There’s no way for me to store the power at the moment however I can add that ability at any time so maybe I’ll buy a Tesla wall when they’re available in Canada. 😉

New toy…

So today I received my PowerAdd 14W high efficiency solar panel charger and woo I can’t wait to play with it outdoors!  I figure if there are power problems, at least I can keep my phones and batteries charged that and if I go camping, play airsoft or spend a lot of time outdoors, at least this will give me a way to keep things topped up.


I could potentially tie this my pack, hike with it on and charge my phone or other devices at the same time!  Oh man the possibilities, anyway when I do end up using it I’ll post an update. 🙂

Very cool!

So today Tesla motors announced battery backup systems for homes and I have to say this is freaking cool!  I’ve been thinking about outfitting my house with solar panels for a while and always wanted a system that allows me to store excess energy.  The Powerwall would make this job very easy and I wonder if you can buy a few units and run them in parallel for more capacity, that’d be pretty darn cool to have a modular system.

Musk wants to boost the amount of renewable energy use in the United States and around the world. “We have this handy fusion reactor in the sky called the sun,” he said at the press conference. The idea is to create an easy, efficient way to store energy generated by sunlight during the day that can then be used at night (the 7 kWh version), or during emergency scenarios (10 kWh). For comparison, a refrigerator uses about 0.2 kWh and lighting a room uses 0.1 kWh.

I’ve been saying for a while now that I believe the future of power generation is in micro generation done at the local level, on tops of houses and buildings, the space is there we might as well leverage it!  I can’t wait for the Tesla Powerwall to roll out in Canada. 🙂


As a Canadian and outsider, I have been watching the net neutrality debate in the US very closely because whatever happens down south will affect the rest of the world and today the FCC ruled in our favour!

Wheeler’s plan will prevent ISPs from blocking or degrading legal Internet traffic and bar them from cutting deals to charge companies for so-called Internet fast lanes. It applies net neutrality protections to both land-based and wireless Internet as well as to “interconnection” points between networks deep inside the Web.

Read more:

This is a great day for netizens everywhere on the internet.  While I already dislike the Republican positions on pretty much everything, I really despised how they pretended to be protectors internet freedom when they were in fact promoting what ISPs wanted which is an a la carte carve up of the internet.  Hopefully the rest of the world follows the US lead here, it’s a good day!

Stupid FB

So after all these years I have finally relented and started using Facebook. I blame my airsoft teammates for conducting business and jokes over there instead of on Airsoft Canada, anyway I wanted to take part in it so I finally have made the plunge. I’ve had an account for over 6 years, just never used it… If I use social media, I should update my LinkedIn profile first lol.

I resisted for as long as I could, another one has fallen…


Today my Samsung Galaxy S3 told me there was an OS update so I upgraded it from 4.1.1 to 4.1.2 and to my surprise it added multi window support! It’s a very cool feature that allows you to run two applications at the same time (I can text and stream a Youtube video at the same time for instance) and a feature I wish I had for a while now after playing with Megan & Estelle’s Samsung gNote 2 phones.

There aren’t a ton of applications that support this feature yet but I think that’ll change as time goes on. Hehe yay though now I wish my phone had a bigger screen.