Diebold Selects DEX Reverse Logistics Software

Diebold, the security systems and services firm has announced that it will implement the DEX Systems Reverse Logistics software for their Canton, Ohio facility. The returns software will be used for the Global Service Logistics operation to facilitate the repair operation. The software will increase visibility, control and efficiencies throughout their reverse logistics operation.

The DEX software is easy to use front-end extension to the Oracle E-Business Suite, specifically designed for managing RMA returns and processes. The software includes a customizable, color-coded process flow management dashboard that notifies staff to impending problems in the reverse logistics process. In addition, the DEX Returns product supports the return of items for a variety of reasons, including repair, testing and recertification.


The Light Touch Projector: Any surfaces into touch screens??

Deal of the Day:
Imagine being able to access your social networks , manage your personal files , watch movies and many other things on any flat surface instead of being limited to the screens on your I-phones, I-pads or laptops. Light Touch Projector is the new cutting edge technological development that will soon transform the world of consumer electronics. The Light Touch is an interactive projector that instantly transforms any flat surface into a touch screen. It uses holographic projection to throw 10-inch image at WVGA resolution at incredibly short distances and frees multimedia content from the confines of the small screen, allowing users to interact with that content just as they do on their hand held devices – using multi-touch technology. It comes with 2GB of onboard flash memory, a micro SD card slot for expanding the storage and the battery life will last 2 hours.

Needless to say, this new technology will significantly change how people communicate and interact in the near future. The product is manufactured by Light Blue Optics, a small, privately-funded company that develops miniature projection systems for use in high volume applications in markets including automotive, digital signage and consumer electronics. According to the reviews on Huffington post, “the light touch will allow users to interact with the displayed image as they would a modern touch screen display and have already pleasantly surprised its skeptics”. I remember watching Tom Cruise’s movie Minority Report and thinking it would take ages to develop that level of technology. I guess I can say we are definitely way ahead of our own time table.



Lulit Bereda

| #2Tagnl

| #2Tagnl

Deal of the Day:

Refurbishment Process Flow at DEX

• DEX has developed solutions that provide screening / testing capabilities for programs. Years of experience, has shown us that a significant percentage of products returned for repair or credit are not defective. A Go/No Go test separates the ‘good product’ from the product that is in need of repair and rapidly returns that product to finished goods or salable inventory. When product is received at the DEX facility, a go/ no go test to be performed prior to any type of repair.
• During this testing period, technicians look for units that have obvious customer induced damage (CID), i.e., water damage, that can be immediately moved to scrap or teardown without further action performed. This type of product testing reduces repair costs.
• Screening / Testing Procedures are different depending upon the product type, i.e., laptop testing is different from LCD testing. DEX has a staff of engineers that produce testing and repair procedures that are available to all technicians on the repair line. DEX develops clear, concise procedures that are repeatable ensuring that the personnel perform the sorting, testing and repair functions accurately.
Product Identification
• As product enters the DEX facility, a small bar code label is affixed to the product – the unit’s serial number can also be used. This label and associated product data, such as serial number and product comments (good/bad), is entered into DEX’s system. This label enables the tracking of product through the DEX facility, including all steps taken to repair product and data from QA checks.
• At each station, the bar code label is scanned, with information transmitted to and maintained in DEX’s system.
Quality Audit
• Upon completion of product repair, the product undergoes testing in an environment that closely emulates the operating environment. Upon completion of testing, QA is then performed to ensure that the product operates at manufacturer’s operating standards.
• One of the core competencies at DEX is in the area of our world-class technical repair skills, coupled with high volume returns management capabilities and a significant infrastructure of people, processes and facilities dedicated to providing cost efficient solutions. DEX’s roots are based in the repair of high-tech equipment. Over three decades ago, DEX was founded with the premise that the high-tech equipment repair could be accomplished faster and better with a staff of engineers that produce procedures to assist technicians in the repair cycle.

Trisha Ito

Refurbished means environmentally friendly for less money

Don’t be discouraged by buying refurbished. Refurbished computers can offer you a better value and performance while reducing electronics environmental footprint. The United States Protection Agency is actively encouraging consumers to purchase refurbished home electronics.

Numerous firms and consumers upgrade their computers and other electronics every three or four years, even though they are in functional condition. This practice causes enormous flow of discarded machines. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in the US alone, consumers abandoned between 50 million and 75 million desktops, laptops, and monitors in 2005. That is more than 1.15 million tons of hardware left behind every day. In the EU the volume of e-waste is expected to increase by 3 to 5 percent a year. Developing countries are expected to triple their output of e-waste in the following year.

Consider this
Before you press the power button on a brand-new computer for the first time, it has already used almost 80 percent of the energy it will consume over its lifetime.
Eric Williams, an assistant professor at the Center for Earth Systems Engineering and Management at Arizona State University, has been researching life cycle assessments of IT machines since 2000. Life cycle assessments measure the total environmental impact of a product or service. Williams explains that computers require an intensive process in the manufacturing stage, part of this is due to the high-tech components and scrupulous environmental conditions required to build one.
William says research shows that the care put into this manufacturing phase accounts for 70 to 80 percent of a computer’s energy use over its life cycle. He states, “If you take the strategy of extending the life of the computer instead of buying a new computers, buy a used one then you’ve eliminated the need to manufacture that new computer, at least for a while. The energy savings are significant”

What we do
Being a part of DEX, eDEXdeals.com offers a wide range of refurbished items that include laptops, desktops, digital cameras, LCD monitors and more. Exceeding 30 years of experience, impeccable technology service, customer support, and efficient refurbishment process (see graph 1 in appendix), DEX is able to provide you with great products at highly competitive prices. We carry most major brands including Toshiba, Sony, HP, Dell, and more. All of our facilities are ISO certified, have rigorous quality standards, and are focused on continuous improvement. eDEXdeals.com can reassure that all items are tested and verified to be in 100% working condition and more than 90% of our orders shipped the same day you place your order (Orders placed before 6 pm PST). We ship all items via UPS with tracking.

While the number of home electronics manufactured keeps growing every year, the flow of waste increases respectively. By choosing refurbished today, you are significantly contributing to the better environment of tomorrow.

2.Avoiding a Computer Wasteland. By: Tozzi, John, BusinessWeek Online, 10/5/2007
3.T H E Journal; Apr2010, Vol. 37 Issue 4, p37-38, 2p, Secondhand Is First-Rate. 4.Demski, Jennifer

Anna Bychkova

Apple TV: Solving a Problem Nobody Has Anymore

Apple’s press conferences are popular, highly anticipated events, and for good reason: they usually unveil some fantastic upgrade to their already impressive product line or come up with an entirely new must-have gadget. Apple may not be perfect, but they have a stellar success record.

Those are some very shiny iPod Nanos.

This all really makes me wonder what they were thinking when they announced the updated model of their take on cable, Apple TV, in yesterday’s conference.

Now, don’t get me wrong: this new version of Apple TV is actually pretty snazzy, so far as technology goes. It fits in the palm of your hand and has very little memory, but that’s okay: it focuses on renting shows and movies, all in HD if available. Apple has already made deals with ABC, Fox, BBC America, and the Disney channel to have their shows available, as well as iTunes’ entire movie rental store and Netflix’s streaming capabilities. That’s right: the Apple TV will stream movies from your Netflix account. It will also stream content from MobileMe, Flickr, and YouTube; its wifi capabilities also allow it to connect to your computer, your iPad, your iPhone…the possibilities are endless.

Also, it’s cheap. The tiny set-top box goes on sale in four weeks for $99, with $0.99 TV show rentals and $4.99 movie rentals, but who worries about those rental fees when you’re already using it to stream Netflix?

The technology behind the Apple TV is well thought out and put together, that much is certain. But wait – if I’ve spent half this entry praising it, why do I wonder about Apple’s strategy?

The answer to that question can be summed up in another, shorter question: where’s the market, Apple?

Consider Apple’s marketing strategy: all of their devices are marketed towards younger consumers, people more apt to go for the newer technology, better connectivity, or just the “ooh pretty shiny” of it all. In Mac commercials, the Mac is a young, cool, savvy guy, while the PC obviously represents your technologically illiterate dad/grandfather/teacher/insert other stereotype here. iPod advertisements feature silhouettes of people generally in their teens or early twenties dancing along to the latest pop hit.

Admit it: you can't see your grandparents busting a move like this.

This is the generation that stereotypically pays attention to announcements for new technology. This is the generation that would be streaming video from Apple’s press conferences to their desktops, laptops, and tablets. This is the generation Apple wants.

This is also the generation that has already figured out how to stream Netflix to their TVs via their laptops, desktops, and gaming systems. They watch their TV and movies online. In order to watch YouTube, they actually go to YouTube. In short, the Apple TV has very little to offer this generation.

What about the previous generation, the parents and uncles and teachers typified as PCs? Would they ever buy something like this? Personally, my guess is no: this generation either learned to stream things from their kids’ tech savvy, or they already have a cable or satellite hookup of some sort. Given that Pay-Per-View tends to come standard on these hookups and DVR, which Apple TV does not have, is an add-on for small cost, it would make more sense for the generation already happy with their hookup to simply stay with it. If they wanted Pay Per View shows and movies, why not just pay for them with the company they already have? An old adage states, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” As far as the previous generation is concerned, their current TV hookup quite simply “ain’t broke.”

Kit Eaton at Fast Company brings up a good point about the grandparents’ generation: Apple TV’s low price tag, combined with its ability to stream from MobileMe and Flickr, means that “thousands of folk will be buying one for Granny and Grandpa, to keep the oldies up on the latest family photos and videos.” Considering I know my Granny likes receiving actual photos in cards, I’m not sure this idea holds up for everyone’s grandparents; however, it is creative, and I would love to see Apple pick up on this aspect of it.

Where does Apple TV fit? Aside from the palm of Steve's hand, that is.

Now, all this isn’t to say that the Apple TV won’t sell. Generational observations have mostly been of the broad, sweeping type; there are certainly people who won’t fall in those categories and who will buy the Apple TV. Unfortunately, most marketing campaigns also happen to be of the broad, sweeping type. Apple might have to work to find and market towards the group who will buy this particular bit of their tech.

Do I think the Apple TV will flop? Certainly not. It has all of Apple’s trademark aspects of success: it keeps things small and simple, provides a high level of connectivity, and, for a change, is incredibly affordable. Plus, Apple doesn’t flop. They make very certain of that. The Apple TV’s big flaw is that it’s behind the curve; it’s promising a quick fix to a problem most people have already solved. To that end, Apple’s usual marketing strategies likely won’t work.

Will I buy an Apple TV? Nope; I’m one of the people who’s already figured out their movie and TV streaming needs. Am I interested to see what Apple does with their little set-top box? You bet I am. If nothing else, creativity is what Apple does best, and I look forward to seeing what they’ll do.


Deal of the Day: RCA L32HD32D 32-Inch LCD/DVD Combo HDTV, because you need something to hook your Apple TV/Wii/360/PS3/streaming device of choice up to, right?

Who Won E3? The Big Three Showdown

It’s been the buzz of every social network with members following the expo: who “won” E3? Which of the big three names in gaming – Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony – had the best new releases and the best new tech? Who made the fans the happiest? Who can be crowned the winner? We’ve chatted about it around the office and this is the order that we’ve come up with.

WIN: Nintendo

This was not a difficult decision to come to. Nintendo’s presentation had everything, from long-awaited announcements to impressive new tech. They played heavily on the ever-important nostalgia factor, that feeling that makes every gamer wish for the Good Old Days When Games Were Awesome, by announcing sequels to, additions to, or remakes of long-loved franchises, including Mario, Kirby, and Metroid, and even going so far in the Wayback Machine as to create sequels to Dragon Quest, Golden Sun, Donkey Kong Country, Goldeneye 007, and even Kid Icarus. Their lineup of new games was just as impressive, including Mii Party, a Mario Party-esque game for those not interested in franchises, and the long-awaited Epic Mickey, Disney’s (hopefully) triumphant return to gaming.

Of course, there was the requisite new Zelda game, and while the demo for the new game, subtitled Skyward Sword, was a bit rocky due to wireless interference, the graphics and mechanics were as impressive as ever. We didn’t think Nintendo would be able to follow up Twilight Princess’ sword duel with Ganondorf. If the Skyward Sword preview is accurate, they’ve done all that and more.

Of course, they saved their best for last, debuting their newest piece of technology: the Nintendo 3DS.

Why yes, that is incredibly pretty.

Their claim to fame? 3D technology without the use of glasses – something that went completely against the 3D movies and 3D televisions, complete with glasses, being touted as the future of entertainment. Nintendo even went so far as to laugh at the glasses, jokingly referring to them as “fashion-forward” and stating a goal to get rid of them.

While the jokes are fun, it’s the tech that’s important. The 3DS is the size of the DS and the DSi, with the top screen being 3D-capable. This means the Nintendo 3DS can play trailers from 3D movies, handle 3D games with ease, and even take 3D pictures using the dual lenses on the outside of its frame. It also includes a gyro sensor, WiFi connection, and SD card slot, as well as a graphics engine that may well put it ahead of the PSP. In addition, it looks like Nintendo intends to partner with a laundry list of developers in order to have a full line of games at release time, including THQ (racing), Capcom (Resident Evil), and SquareEnix (Kingdom Hearts). Our only big complaint was the fact that we couldn’t see the 3DS being demoed – the small-screen technology on the handheld console didn’t translate to a less advanced big screen. Various gaming bloggers who attended the conference tweeted after their experience with the 3DS, saying the 3D resolution was “fantastic.” While this 3D technology might not have much application beyond entertainment, it’s still incredibly impressive.

With its new technology, nostalgic games, and friendly marketing approach, Nintendo simply blew away the competition.

The Good: Major nostalgia factor, marketing that came across as friendly rather than corporate, the Nintendo 3DS – the only truly new technology from any of the Big Three
The Not-So-Good: Rocky demo for Skyward Sword, a piece de resistance that couldn’t be demoed on a large screen
The Reaction: “Nintendo 3DS” was trending on Twitter for a solid eight hours after the conference ended. No other technology announced at E3 had that many tweets from that many people.
Our Questions: What are the release dates for all these new games? We want something to put on our calendars.

PLACE: Microsoft

Microsoft had the honor and the enviable position of presenting first, and they gave it everything they had. Their first move was to announce Metal Gear Solid: Rising and Halo Reach, the latest additions to their most popular franchises. Their previews were short-lived, however, as Microsoft made way for its central focus: the motion-capture accessory called Kinect.

Jump! For your l- I mean, for Kinect!

I wrote a full review on Monday, but the long and short of the Kinect is, it’s a camera and motion sensor that hooks up to the Xbox 360 and allows the gamer to play games without a controller. Microsoft took the opportunities the technology presents to market its system towards casual gamers, introducing games like Kinectimals (think Nintendogs with tiger cubs) and full-body fitness and dance games. All the gamer had to do was move and their character on screen moved with them – no controllers needed.

Microsoft also showed off the Kinect’s ability to take voice commands on the menu, allowing the user to command anything from Zune to Netflix to the new ESPN channel added for Xbox Live Gold users. They then topped off their conference by introducing a new version of the Xbox 360 – smaller, black, with a 250 GB hard drive and Wifi built in – and giving one to every member of the audience.

The Kinect’s technology has some fantastic potential, even outside of gaming and entertainment. Think of the possibilities if computers, cars, and just about every other piece of technology we use could recognize us with the ease the Kinect does. Unfortunately, Microsoft bombed hard with advertising. The spotlight spent too short of a time on their highly-anticipated games, and the publicity for the Kinect was grating, with live game demos running on entirely too long, played by people trying far too hard to impress us. If Nintendo was a friend recommending a game to you over lunch, Microsoft was that garishly colored noisy pop-up ad that your browser couldn’t quite block.

Microsoft’s technology was impressive, even if it was a bit of an updated “been there, done that.” The Kinect gives the company a strong second place finish.

The Good: The Kinect’s impressive motion-capture capabilities, the addition of voice commands and ESPN, branching out into new markets
The Not-So-Good: Demos were long and annoying, we’ve seen it all before, not nearly enough screen time for MGS and Halo
The Reaction: Mixed – some people loved Kinect, some people couldn’t stand it, and some just couldn’t decide.
Our Questions: Why didn’t Microsoft announce the price for the Kinect? We had to find it from an accidental GameStop leak. Also, has the new 360 fixed the hardware problems that plagued the old one?

SHOW: Sony

Poor Sony. These guys have been behind on the console race ever since Next Gen consoles hit the shelves. While they did have some impressive demos, they had the misfortune of following Nintendo’s conference. Right after Nintendo denounced 3D glasses, Sony handed them out at the door of their conference.

Unlike the other two conferences, Sony started their big reveal off with their tech: the PlayStation Move, a motion-oriented controller with the unfortunate design of a black Wiimote with a yellow clown nose on the end.

It's a Wiimote...with an idea.

The PlayStation Move proved to be an advancement on motion-sensor remote technology: incredibly fine movements were caught and relayed accordingly into the system. The latest Tiger Woods golf game used this perfectly – any slight adjustment of the Move controller adjusted the club, and a good golf swing was required to get the best results from the game. A newer game, Sorcery, also used the Move’s sensitivity to its best advantage, channeling the controller’s flicks and swishes into wand movements to cast spells. Sony then treated the audience to a 3D montage of games to be released with Move technology, including Gran Turismo 5, Kill Zone 3, Mortal Kombat, and the Sly Cooper collection. They also introduced a collaborative game entitled Heroes on the Move and featuring PlayStation’s more successful franchises: Jak and Daxter, Sly Cooper, and Ratchet and Clank. Heroes on the Move promises to be the Dissidia of the PS3.

The PlayStation Move was the end of Sony’s technological announcements; they followed it up with a list of new releases, sequels, and previews. After promising a full 70 new games for the PSP in the coming year, they announced a paid addition to the Play Station Online network, entitled Play Station Plus. Plus subscribers would gain access to exclusive content and some free games, not unlike Xbox Live’s gold membership.

Sony then moved onto their larger console games, announcing sequels to God of War, Dead Space, Medal of Honor, Call of Duty, Gran Turismo, InFamous, and – surprisingly – Portal. The show-stealer was the Little Big Planet 2 demo. True to LBP form, LBP2 allows gamers to customize their characters, including multiple new upgrades, and create any sort of game they want, from RTS to FPS to RPG and far beyond. LBP has added a fantastic array of new features and should have been the final release of the press conference if Sony wanted to go out on a high note.

Instead, Sony ended with the announcement of a sequel to Twisted Metal, a racing/shooter meld that was vaguely successful in its previous incarnations and a rather strange finishing move for a corporation with as much to prove as Sony.

While Sony’s technology also has the potential for application outside of entertainment (think sports training for starters), the overall concept of a motion sensor control has been on the market for over two years now. If Microsoft’s conference was Been There, Done That, Sony’s was Been There, Done That, Bought the T-shirt, Donated It to Goodwill, and Promptly Forgot About It. Retreading old ground has left Sony at the rear of the pack, if only just barely.

The Good: Kill Zone 3, Medal of Honor, Little Big Planet 2, Portal 2, the added sensitivity of the PlayStation Move
The Not-So-Good: Insulting other game corporations during your presentation (really, Sony? Really?), the Been There Done That factor, the lack of anything very new
The Reaction: Also mixed. Fans of FPS and RPGs were delighted. The rest of us were a bit bored.
Our questions: How does Sony plan on bringing 3D to its audience when most households do not own a 3D television? Also, why revive Twisted Metal?

There’s our rundown and our rankings. What do you think? Do you agree with Nintendo’s place at the top? Should Microsoft have dominated? Or were we completely wrong about Sony? Let us know! We’re interested to see your rankings.


Deal of the Day: RCA L32HD32D 32-Inch LCD/DVD Combo HDTV, because you need something to watch the rest of E3 on.

New 360s and No Longer Natal: Microsoft Takes E3 By Surprise With Kinect

Game reviews, anticipatory articles, and spoiler leaks alike have all been ending with the same line: “Hopefully we’ll see more at E3.” Yearly, the gaming community pins its hopes and dreams on the Electronic Entertainment Expo, wishing for confirmation that the next Golden Sun game is indeed coming out or just a bit more information on the Nintendo 3DS that’s been announced but not detailed. This year’s E3 has finally come around, with Microsoft occupying the coveted first press conference of the expo.

They did not disappoint.

Their first move was to cater to their longtime gamers and franchise fans, releasing previews of Metal Gear Solid: Rising and Halo Reach, the latest games in their relative franchises.

Highly anticipated and pretty much exactly as expected.

With their hardcore gamers satisfied, they moved on to what everyone wanted to see: updates on Project Natal. Microsoft had released the motion sensor technology at last year’s E3, billing it as gaming without a controller. This year, it came with stunning updates.

The first was the name. Project Natal now goes by Kinect, a name that reminds me more of Linkara’s “Poor Literacy is KEWL” joke than anything else. Marketing-wise, it’s better than Project Natal by a long shot.

That was where the Kinect stopped being laughable and became jaw-droppingly awesome. The Kinect has the ability to recognize the user and pull up their avatar (think Mii, not blue cat person) on sight. It also accepts voice commands: saying, “Xbox – Netflix,” will pull up the Netflix application on Xbox Live, where you can also use voice commands to choose a movie, play it, pause, fast forward, and just about anything else you would usually need a remote control to do. If you didn’t want to speak, grab and drag controls were also available with a literal wave of the hand.

As if that weren’t enough, Microsoft appealed to the sports fans by announcing it had partnered with ESPN and that live and pre-recorded sporting events would be available on Xbox Live, complete with the aforementioned vocal controls.

Obviously making every sports and movie fan in the audience cheer wasn’t enough, because Microsoft then proceeded to go after what most people call “casual gamers” – the people who bought a Wii for Wii Sports and think Metal Gear Solid is the name of the latest Transformers movie.

Not quite.

Microsoft tackled every casual genre in this presentation. A young girl demonstrated Kinectimals, a game highly reminiscent of Nintendogs, by playing with a tiger cub she’d named Skittles. A personal trainer showed off a full-body fitness game. A rather geeky-looking programmer demoed a dance game that, unlike the ever popular Dance Dance Revolution, sported choreography that used the entire body and taught the gamer dance moves they might actually be able to use in public. All of these were played completely without controllers – the player simply moved with the instructions on screen, and the Kinect picked up their movements and translated them into the game.

The in-theater audience clapped and cheered. The at-home audience sat in their chairs with their mouths open in shock.

Microsoft capped their presentation by announcing a brand new Xbox 360 – smaller, black, with a 250 GB hard drive and wireless built in – to be sold for the same price as the older model and shipped this week. In a surprisingly Oprah-esque move, they then gave a new Xbox 360 to everyone in the audience.

YOU get an Xbox! And YOU get an Xbox!

Several hours later, now that I’ve recovered from the shock and awe that was Microsoft’s press conference, I have several questions. The first is about the Kinect itself. They announced that it would be released in the US on November 4th and come with fifteen games, but they didn’t give a price. It took a Game Stop slip to reveal that - $149 for the Kinect itself, with controller (if you can even call the Kinect a controller) and game packages going for $299 and $399. My question isn’t about price, but rather how Microsoft intends to keep their newest feature in supply against what promises to be overwhelming demand. Will we see long lines of anxious consumers wrapped around the sides of buildings, waiting for hours to get just one unit? Or is that preferential treatment saved for new consoles only?

The second, bigger question is what is Microsoft going to do with this technology? Obviously they’re not limited to gaming. Could you imagine your computer taking voice commands to open Word documents or browse the internet, or your car adjusting your seat to your preferred height and setting the radio to your favorite station the second you came into eyeshot? Kinect’s particular brand of motion capture technology has far more uses than just gaming, and it will be more than interesting to see how it influences other devices.

The final question is, how on Earth is Nintendo going to top this at their press conference tomorrow? I get the feeling that the next Zelda game just isn’t going to cut it.


Deal of the Day: XBOX 360 Wireless Controller. May as well enjoy your controller while you need it, right?

I Thought This Sort of Thing Only Happened In The Office! GPS Common Sense

We’ve all seen that one clip from The Office. No, not Jim’s proposal or Dwight’s obsession with being Fire Marshal. I’m talking about the clip where Michael puts all his faith into his GPS unit and, following its instructions, drives his car into a lake. (If you haven’t seen it, it’s here in relatively poor quality – I seem to have hit upon the one Office clip YouTube does not have in spades.) It’s hilarious, it’s slightly dumb, and it leaves most people laughingly asking who would do something like that?

More people than anyone would think, it turns out.

Quite a few of us have our own stories of GPS hilarity or woe. My mother’s GPS still thinks she goes offroading whenever she turns onto a new road that hasn’t been updated in its database. My friend once wound up at the wrong end of town in front of a completely unrelated gated business office building, which her GPS assured her was the Cheesecake Factory. Another friend, in searching for the airport, was guided to a backwater terminal in a different part of town; the time it took to navigate back to passenger dropoff was long enough to cause her to miss her flight. As I’ve said before, technology is nowhere near infallible.

There comes a point, however, when the user can no longer blame the device. There’s a tech support acronym called PEBKAC – Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair.

Possibly the most frustrating tech support error ever.

This is to say, the user has no idea what they’re doing. Sadly enough, this sort of makes up a good percentage of tech support stories, and has made its way into GPS markets as well. We’ve seen the infamous example with Michael and the lake, and even the popular webcomic XKCD has commented on the phenomenon. Of course, it was only a matter of time until it became public in real life, and it has: a woman is suing Google for giving her poor directions.

Following the pedestrian directions she received from Google Maps, Lauren Rosenberg headed down a rural highway that had no pedestrian paths or sidewalks. Unsurprisingly, she was hit by a car.

You are about to be struck by a moving vehicle!

Rosenberg is suing the driver of the truck that hit her and Google for medical costs and punitive damages. According to Rosenberg, Google should have known better than to advise her to walk down a road that sported no safe place for her to walk. Basically, it was the fault of the giver of directions rather than the person who, against all common sense, decided to follow them.

Keep in mind the disclaimer on Google Maps: “Walking directions are in beta. Use caution–This route may be missing sidewalks or pedestrian paths.”

Ladies and gentlemen, the moral to this story is, while technology is hilariously and sometimes destructively fallible, so are humans. Please apply common sense while using your GPS unit, or just about anything else that tells you what to do. Thank you.


Deal of the Day: 7 Inch Portable GPS Navigation Touchscreen Unit, for when you do need directions. Just remember to apply common sense.

Goodbye So Soon: Top 5 Shows We're Glad to See Canceled

Yesterday, we gave you our list of top 5 shows we’re going to miss. Today, we’re giving you the opposite: these are the top five shows that we couldn’t be happier to see leave the airwaves, making room for something next season that will hopefully be a lot better.

5. Flash Forward

Wonder if they saw their cancellation coming.

Flash Forward started with an admittedly intriguing concept: everyone worldwide blacks out for two minutes and seventeen seconds, in which time they see several months into their own futures. The series focused on a group of people trying to figure out how and why this blackout happened and whether they can change their own futures. Unfortunately, the writers dropped the ball on this one: a cast too large for us to keep track of combined with action that moved at a snail’s pace made Flash Forward a great idea that would’ve worked out better as a movie than the slow TV show it wound up being.

4. Accidentally On Purpose

Aired accidentally, canceled on purpose.

The first of a multitude of sitcoms to debut and get axed all at once this past season, Accidentally On Purpose follows the story of a career woman who has a one night stand, gets pregnant, and decides to move in with the child’s less-than-mature father and his friends. We’ve seen this before: it was called Knocked Up and was much better executed. This just means that CBS needs to find another sitcom to accompany the empty slot in its Monday night comedy block.

3. 10 Things I Hate About You

1. The plot. 2. The characters. 3. The pacing. 4...

Yet another case of déjà vu, 10 Things I Hate About You is based on the 1999 movie of the same name, which in turn is based on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. This show is a very good example of why Shakespeare wrote comedies but never sitcoms. Like My Big Fat Greek Life, this movie-based sitcom was an uninteresting flop. We won’t miss this at all.

2. Scrubs

Someone ignored this show's Do Not Revive paperwork.

Unlike the previous two sitcoms on this list, Scrubs started out strong, running for seven seasons on NBC. Unfortunately, the writer’s strike cut the seventh and purportedly final season short. Scrubs then hopped networks, heading to ABC for its eight and final season, which wrapped up its loose ends and gave fans the wonderful finale they’d been clamoring for. ABC then put together a ninth season meant to focus on a new crop of medical students being taught by the more experienced characters the audience knew and loved. Of course, the audience hated it. Scrubs already had its happy ending – we’re glad the networks are finally catching on to that, even if it’s a season too late.

1. Heroes

Hero to Zero, a major flunk.

Oh goodness, where do we even start on this one? Heroes was NBC’s baby when it premiered, garnering incredibly high ratings with its superhero story, its engaging cast of characters, and the tagline, “Save the cheerleader, save the world.” Season 1 ended on a strong note and a cliffhanger. Unfortunately, it all went downhill from there: Season 2 was strangled by the writer’s strike and Seasons 3 and 4 have wandered so far off course that the audience doesn’t even know what the course is anymore. Heroes was good for a while, but we’re more than happy to see it be put out of its highly confused misery.

What do you think? Were we too harsh on the budding sitcom or the long-standing drama? Are you going to miss the shows we’re glad to see the end of, or are we missing shows that you’re more than happy to see leave? Comment and let us know!


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