Search This Blog

Sunday, October 30, 2011


When I was a child, Apple was a fruit; Blog wasn't a word; Granny Smiths and Golden Delicious, it would appear, have been sent to the liquidizer and are now part of a mixture, which is known as the 'delicious' alternative to eating your vegetables. Fruit with one centre, after all, are really rather prehistoric. Ask almost any six year old which apple they would prefer, and the answer, I am sure, will be, 'one with a dual core'.

However, my daughter has the latest electronic piece of fruit with the double middle, and is making use of its advanced applications, although probably not to the full, as who really knows of what its 'full' actually consists.

I do not object to the advanced technology, per se. It is the lack of necessity to use the brain that I find disconcerting. Technology is not so much intimidating, as terrifying. Futuristic programmes such as the Twilight Zone, and the Outer Limits, are now so yesteryear. My first response to, 'There is nothing wrong with your television, do not attempt to adjust the picture', would be, 'how do I adjust the picture?' I have enough trouble turning it on!  In the words of the now outdated CP3O, 'affirmative!'. I am getting old!

Going shopping for non-pulped pieces of fruit, or going out for any reason, I have found, does not preclude me from anything, even watching the Outer Limits. There is an 'ap' for that. It is possible to set my television to record from a phone. However, as always, I am rather sceptical as to the extent of the machine's intelligence. After all, it can only answer questions that have already been programmed into its memory. Yesterday, Samantha and I went on a long mission to take pictures of the cows that have appeared around Austin. Having had two cups of coffee, one cup of tea, and half a bottle of tonic water, (no crushed fruit anywhere in my morning diet,) I was starting to feel slightly uncomfortable as we approached 'downtown'. Dana had completed his Saturday morning tasks at the office, and I did not have my keys, so an alternative restroom was going to have to suffice. Obviously, being 'caught short' is something that is on the top list of, 'what people need', as the nice lady who lives in the phone gave me a list of potential venues.
We walked up and down the streets of downtown Austin, snap happy, and found we were not the only people searching for ornamental cattle. Apparently there was a list. Each cow had an icon which could be scanned into a phone, to 'learn more'. Samantha decided to ask her phone, 'where are the cows in Austin'. The nice lady in the phone answered, quite quickly. Unfortunately, our nice lady is from the USA, and has a slight problem with the English accent. She was unable to locate any fowl in a city she mentioned, that is not on any map printed in the western hemisphere. I was not very impressed. We would have to resort to our crude attempt to imitate the local accent. The previous night we had been watching the commercial for the new fangled device. A female had told her phone that she was locked out. The nice lady in the phone told her that there were sixteen locksmiths within the area. Samantha decided to test the capabilities of her appliance. If she had, indeed, been unable to access the house, she would have remained, all night, without a roof over her head. I took the phone and employed a method I had once heard from the actor Michael Caine. Although I cannot remember verbatim, Mr. Caine was told that if he wanted to speak with a perfect Texan accent, he should speak in his normal voice, and then, 'let it slant'. I let my speech 'lean to the left', and repeated the predicament. Should Samantha ever find herself locked out, with nothing but her phone, she needs to make sure that mummy is with her! 'YES!' was the announcement heard by those in the nearby vicinity, as I was given the numbers of various people who would help me access the building, legally.
Of course, the new super phone has the ability to take pictures, as well as videos. If placed screen down, it can be used as a coffee coaster. One more use that is not listed in the manual. 'Can it make the tea?' I asked?  It could not, but it did know someone who could!

Those that know me will not be surprised that I was now out to discredit the voice inside the contraption. It was not easy.  There had to be something that it did not know, or at the very least, be unable to direct me to a webpage that did. I would also have to ask in my own version of local dialect, and ask a fair question. It would have to be something that did not put me in the same category as those who do not use their brain, and consider the phone to be the 'oracle'. I am not entirely sure whether I was 'being fair', or if I was just concerned that it would know the answer to 'Where is my husband?', should that be the one that was posed.
'Why would someone ask that?' Dana had asked, when I suggested my attempt to challenge the phone. Edward did not find it to be particularly odd. He works for a TV cable company, and is asked the most peculiar questions. Asking if you are entitled to a refund on a pay per view sports channel because your team did not win, is a peculiar question. Asking why the power has been cut off to your neighbourhood, is a peculiar question. Asking where one's husband is, would be no more peculiar than the others.

Finally, my question formed. Two weeks ago, whilst at the Austin symphony's performance of Holst's 'The Planets', I became aware that specific names were given to all moons, of our neighbours, in the solar system, but ours is simply known as, 'The moon'. Perhaps the nice lady in the phone could let me know if our moon had a name. Samantha asked first'. 'What is the moon's name?' The nice lady asked what tune she would like to play. Heavy sighs were followed by the question being repeated. Dana took the phone. 'What is the name of the moon', he asked. Although his deep subtle Texas accent is authentic, our 'Wizardette of Ap ' did not understand the question. Two down, two to go. I was next. 'What do we call the moon?', I said in my slightly slanted speech. Quite exasperated, the nice miniature lady seemed to be losing her temper. 'I do not understand', she grimaced. I passed the phone to Edward, suggesting she may be suffering from PMS. Softly spoken, with a very clear pronunciation, he asked again. If the phone had teeth, they would be 'gritted'. It was her turn to be unimpressed. (Not a good time to tell her you are locked our.  'So you think I care', she may answer!)  Suddenly, as if a light had been ignited, Edward took the phone. 'What is the name of Earth's moon', he said. 'I am not sure of the answer to that', she started, and I 'fist punched' the air. The triumphant 'YES!' was forming in my mouth as she continued, 'It is called, 'The Moon'. I have found something that might help', The website she found, confirmed that the Earth's moon, does not have a specific name.
I shall continue to find ways to discredit the Ap Queen, but I am sure she will do that for herself before too long. Five seconds to access information will become too long. Kids will want to know the answers before they ask the questions, in the future, and cranium activity will be zero. To me, an apple pie will always be a fruit tart, rather than an application to find the area of a circle! An apple a day no longer keeps the doctor away; it finds the doctor, calls the doctor and even gives the doctor directions to your house!

Who knows; perhaps one day I shall succum and I shall directly dictate, rather than type....another story.

No comments:

Post a Comment