Firsts This week we're taking a look at first things, early things, and—for better or worse—things that are #1. The world is filled with amazing technologies, many that are so old we don’t even think of them as technologies at all. Today, we present the definitive list of every important technology ever, ranked by their importance. These aren’t all necessarily good technologies, of course. There are plenty that have made the world a more miserable place for everybody. But they’re still on the list. If you have any opinion about the fact that this list may be omitting an extremely vital technology, you would be wrong. This list is both correct and definitive and cannot be changed. And you’re wrong. 100. Cow milking machine Are you one of those chumps still milking a cow by hand? An extremely primitive automated cow milker was invented around 1860, but the contraption would see many iterations through the 1920s and ‘60s as the rise of … [Read more...] about Technology, Ranked
On technological devices
Emergency operators in the US will soon be able to get more-accurate information about the location of Android phones used to dial 911. Google said Wednesday that it's partnered with T-Mobile and emergency technology providers RapidSOS and West to send emergency call centers information from its Emergency Location Service (ELS), an enhanced location service that runs on 99 percent of active Android devices. About 240 million emergency calls are placed in the US each year, with more than 80 percent coming from mobile devices, according to the National Emergency Number Association. But because wireless phones are mobile, they're not associated with a fixed address like a landline. Previously, phones relied on a combination of GPS technology and cell tower information to locate the caller to transmit not addresses but rather coordinates, which isn't as useful to first responders. It also isn't as effective when a device is indoors. Google's ELS pinpoints the location of a T-Mobile … [Read more...] about Google teams up with T-Mobile on more-accurate 911 location data
A smart home device -- like Amazon's Echo, pictured here -- can't call the cops. But that could soon change. Joby Sessions/T3 Magazine via Getty Images Police in New Mexico said they recently received a life-saving 911 call from an unexpected source — a smart home device. According to ABC News, an armed man, threatening to kill his girlfriend, asked, "Did you call the sheriffs?" A nearby voice-activated device (Amazon's Echo, which has a virtual assistant named Alexa) mistook the question as a command and called 911, prompting a concerned dispatcher to send over the cops. The girlfriend and her daughter escaped physically unharmed and the man was arrested after an hours-long standoff with police. "The unexpected use of this new technology to contact emergency services has possibly helped save a life," said Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales III, in a statement to ABC News. Later reports disputed the role the smart home devices played in the scenario. Amazon says that … [Read more...] about Should Smart Devices Be Able to Automatically Call the Cops?
The Iowa Department of Transportation is piloting a new program that'll eliminate the need for you to carry your old, plastic ID. Anyaberkut/Thinkstock/Morphotrust USA Every time you leave the house, you probably do a mental check: Wallet, keys, phone. But there are apps like Samsung Pay that allow you to pay without using a physical credit card. And there are apps like Viper SmartStart that let you start your car remotely without using keys. If only you didn't have to carry your driver's license on you at all times, you could ditch your wallet and keys completely and just check: Phone. Well, the future is now, and soon you'll be able to load a secure version of your driver's license onto your mobile device. MorphoTrust has launched a pilot project with the state of Iowa and its department of transportation to test its mDL (mobile driver license) in the real world. MorphoTrust already handles the driver's licenses for more than 80 percent of the United States, so it's got plenty of … [Read more...] about Driver’s License on Your Phone? There’s an App for That
Start the Countdown Event planners have to be connected at all times, so what do they rely on the most? F1online/Thinkstock In our fast-paced world, the expectation that information gets disseminated quickly and communication is immediate makes high-tech gadgets a must in the event planning industry. The old days of leaving a paper trail won't cut it if you want to stay competitive. Sadly, you know what that means -- buh-bye day planner, hello iCal (a calendar that keeps up with your entire schedule electronically). Take heart, though. These devices really do increase efficiency and therefore, business. Read on for five technology devices used for event planning that will ultimately make your job easier. … [Read more...] about 5 Technology Devices Used for Event Planning