Technology's a great industry to cover as a journalist. It is a seemingly endless fount of products, statements and events that make you go “hmmmm.” A couple of head-scratchers for this week:
* While Google Inc.'s network of top-secret data centres is redundant out the wazoo, infrastructure chief Vijay Gill says there's one condition the company's having trouble protecting against: gunfire.
Gill told U.K.-based IT news site The Register that itsfibre connection to its data centre in The Dalles, Ore., is regularly shot out by hunters. Whether it's for sport or out of boredom, according to Gill, these upright, law-abiding citizens try to shoot down the insulators on the electricity poles that carry Google's fibre.
Gill says repair crews are normally sent out by helicopter or tractor, but the company once had to send a repair crew out on skiis when weather wasn't co-operating.
Google is trying to move the fibre link underground to avoid the shootouts.
* Don't have enough voice options for your talking GPS? Tired of listening to “Woman, Australian Accent” tell you where to go? Tom Tom will treat you to turn-by-turn directions from Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam, according to a press release from the company.
While I can see Sam's bowdlerized stream of epithets working quite seamlessly in the cut-and-paste turn-by-turn environment, I have trouble picturing Bugs's lazy drawl reproducing well.
Tom Tom will continue to roll out classic Looney Tunes voices for its GPS units through the fall, including Daffy Duck's splatter, Sylvester's lateral lithp and Pepe Le Pew's amorous murmur.
Apropos not much, wouldn't Barry White be awesome for turn-by-turn instructions?
* From our Probably Inflated Product Claims bureau in Wawa, Ont., comes a report of this press release claiming an iPhone-powered alarm clock that will change your life.
“In addition to waking you up refreshed, this is the only alarm clock ever created that also had the power to wake you up as a better person,” says the press release fromiFit Technologies.
The Sleep Science Alarm uses high-techmonitoring technology and “complex sleep fatigue algorithms” to determine sleeping stages and awake the snoozer at the optimum time. (Which, for me, is simply several hours later than I've set the alarm, but that's a whole 'nother issue.
Among other claims, the Sleep Science Alarm “doubles as as your personal Psychologist.” That is a tall order for an iPhone app.
Anyway, feel free to give it a hack. It's available on iTunes and the Apple App Store.