Blog Archives

That Darn Dress…

What Color Dress

By now you’ve all seen “that dress” (pictured above). This dress took social media by storm over the last couple of days, with debates raging and technical arguments about what colors the dress really is. I know my Facebook news feed was loaded with it last night. We’ve seen things like this before too… memes or rumors or whatever, that bury our feeds on Facebook or Twitter or whatever social media outlet we choose to use.  And we get sick of it, right?  Well, if you can’t trust your friends to stop posting and sharing these things, technology can take over from there.

This post is not intended to teach you all of the ways to block memes or viral videos, etc. For that, you can find plenty of articles on the internet to help you with the “how-to” including this article on LifeHacker. This post is about how social media has impacted technology. This is similar to my post from a couple of weeks ago, where I discussed how many mobile apps have been created to allow users of social network sites to create photo memes so quickly. Although this time, I wanted to mention all of the technology that’s been created to block all of these memes, etc. The primary means to block anything on the internet is with browser extensions. Wikipedia described a browser extension as”a computer program that extends the functionality of a web browser in some way.”  Some browsers might call them add-ins or plug-ins also. These are typically written with HTML, javascript, or CSS code and in some way actually block specific code from being displayed in your web browser.

But what about mobile apps? Well, that’s a different story. Your Facebook or Twitter mobile apps aren’t using a web browser so you can’t install extensions to block content.  Android and iOS allow you to set parental controls, which blocks or restricts content based on ratings in their respective app stores. This isn’t great for blocking a specific viral meme but it at least allows some blocking on a broad scale. Mobile technology still has some more way to go in this realm.

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The Most Social Car


The other day I saw this commercial on TV for the all-new 2015 Nissan Murano. I was struck with bewilderment when I heard, towards the end of the ad, that the 2015 Nissan Murano was “the most social car we’ve ever produced.” I realize that “social” is the buzzword of the decade thanks to the success of Facebook, Twitter, et al.  so I guess it’s no surprise that the elements of “social” make their way into automotive technology.

The major element of “social media” is allowing consumers to become producers, so how is it that a car can be “social?”  I would equate rear passengers in an automobile to consumers, in that they typically just sit there and take in the ride. The driver of the vehicle would be like the producer, making the car go where they want it to. And between the driver or front passenger, they would control the audio entertainment in the vehicle.  Enter the 2015 Nissan Murano. This vehicle comes with a rear passenger USB connection port for iPods and other compatible devices, thus allowing those backseat drivers to become real drivers… of audio entertainment.

Nissan also mentions ambient lighting and zero-gravity seats as part of what make the Murano a “social lounge” and while I think this is a weak attempt on Nissan’s part to capitalize on the phenomenon of social media, it made me take notice. It will be interesting to see how automotive technology advances in the next few years and how much “social” the automotive manufacturers try to cram into the vehicles.