Robots are Coming

On Sunday I happened upon a radio show about robots and how they’ll revolutionize industry. The program mentioned how construction is far more labor intensive compared to other fields and how there are now robots that do these jobs much more quickly and without needing bathroom breaks, vacations, lunch time, etc. Robots do need maintenance but they don’t get tired as people do. They don’t need insurance or a pension. They won’t strike. You get the idea.

The video at the top shows a robot that lays bricks. Masons are still needed, but not as many. The robot can lay bricks an estimated 3 to 5 times faster than a mason.

Here we see a robot that can do demolition work.

In the radio show, the presenters asserted that a house could be build much faster and far cheaper. A small brick house could be built for $5000. Amazing. That would really do something to the housing market as a whole.

Of course the big question is how will this impact labor and economics. People do need jobs. The Second Industrial Revolution featured great turmoil as the people who worked as craftsmen were put out of work. Can we learn from those mistakes? Can we plan so that thousands of people aren’t thrust into poverty?

We also have the advent of driverless cars. I’m not a fan. I realize that these cars can prevent accidents, but I like driving and accidents seem rare. This change will do away with truck drivers, cab drivers, bus drivers, etc do when their jobs are eliminated. One reason I prefer to take the bus if I’m in the city at night is that there’s a person who can take action if there’s a crime on the bus, while the subway lacks personnel. In the early days there are sure to be more accidents with the driverless cars malfunctioning.

Change Ain’t Easy

So I figured out how to download the Christmas style-sheet I used so I could save it and then change my theme. My former WordPress theme, as I’ve mentioned, disappeared without so much as a “by your leave” from WordPress. I’m glad I’m not holding my breath for WordPress to reply to my query on this.

I have also been waiting for the exported file that was supposed to be emailed to me. I’m not sure where that is.

Anyway, here’s a new theme. It doesn’t have the color or delight that Koi offered, but I didn’t see a free theme that had that same look. I regret changing but how did I know it would be irreversible.

I realize change is good, but ironically, my holiday change resulted in a forced change.

Why is Printer Ink so Expensive?

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We got a new printer and it seems we’ve been replacing the expensive cartridges way too frequently. I had to call Epson to because though the ink had just been replaced, the screen insisted we needed to replace the ink. How maddening!

Anyway, while I was waiting for the call to be answered, I did a search on the costliness of printer ink, a product that should be relatively cheap, but sure isn’t.

I found and read three articles and learned the following:

  • Ink can cost from $13 to $75 per ounce. Mind you this is more than gasoline, milk, whiskey or champagne. A gallon of ink could run you $9600.
  • While the size of the exterior of the cartridge looks the same, producers like Epson and HP are making the space inside where the ink is held has gotten smaller. So you’re purchasing less ink than you did a few years ago. Talk about deceptive.
  • When you print in black and white, the printer will use some colored ink as well as the black. That’s not necessary.
  • Printer/ink companies have sued office supply stores like Office Depot and the makers of generic cartridges to make them stop offering cheaper ink refill options. (I’m getting sickened.)

I’m sickened by the deception. Just conduct business above board. I’ve linked the articles below and posted them on social media.

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Source: Consumerreports.org

Once a representative got on the line, I mentioned these facts and asked that the rep to forward my request that Epson start to sell ink at an ethical price. I mentioned that I felt bad for the clerk because it wasn’t their plan to fool consumers. The clerk suggested I save money by purchasing ink at Best Buy, where ink is over $53 with tax. Not a bargain. Wouldn’t it be great if ink was priced fairly? That’s what I’d like to see. It should be $10 or $12.

References

Consumerreports.org (2013). The High Cost of Wasted Printer Ink. It’s pricey, yet tests show much of it may never hit the page. Retrieved on Dec. 28, 2017.

Forbes.com (Oct. 2006). Why does it Cost so Much to Print? Retrieved on Dec. 28, 2017.

Robinson, D. (Feb. 2013).  Printer ink cartridges: why you’re paying more but getting a lot less. Retrieved from Guardian.com on Dec. 28, 2017.

 

Is Your CPU Spying on You?

If you have a Windows or Linux computer, that’s 3 or 4 years old, your computer may have some code which can be activated remotely, whether it’s on or not.

To see if this code is on your computer and to download a patch, click this link: https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/27150