Mothers Against Shaving Driving

Mothers Against Shaving Driving

So you think drinking and driving is bad…it is!

But look what this person is doing while driving.

No, not texting.

No, not putting on makeup.

This guy is actually shaving while driving an automobile, and he’s at an intersection.

What is he thinking?

Are people really that busy that they can’t find a few minutes to shave in the morning in the bathroom?

Of course when this guy has an accident, G-d forbid, he’ll make up some shameful lying story to get himself off the hook.

Oh, it was the other person’s fault or the accelerator stuck–it’s defective.

Where are people’s sensibilities?

Here’s a band-aid for the nick you got while shaving this morning.

Next time use a bigger mirror and keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. 😉

(Source Photo: Rebecca Blumenthal)

Driving Away With It

Driving Away With It

This last week was another week for gross social injustice.

As it has now been widely reported, a wealthy drunken teen stole 2 cases of beer and then plowed into a stranded motorist and 3 bystanders who were trying to help–and killed them all.

The teen was 3x over the alcohol limit!

What an irony: 3 people stop to help a stranger in need and they are killed by someone who cares nothing for human life.

And the flagrant injustice of it all is that the kid was let off on 5 years probation and will attend a $450,000 a year private school rather than going to prison.

On the news this week, they interviewed the husband and father of 2 of the dead, killed by this teen. He is broken.

The defense teen argued “Affluenza” — like a disease, the kid should be let off the hook because…he is unbelievably wealthy and therefore was not given proper parental supervision–in effect, he is a victim of having too much–too many things, too much opportunity, but too little parenting as well.

I guess I never realized that justice meant if you had too much you could murder 4 people and walk!

While others that have too little–education, jobs, money, 2-parent families, and so on–must take the rap and go away for their crimes.

Too much–you can buy your way free.

Too little–you get sent up the river without a paddle.

Wouldn’t you think it should be the other way around–if you have more, then more is expected of you. While if you have less, your challenges are greater and so we take into account extenuating circumstances?

But no, money talks, and the guilty walks.

It is a shame on our society–and what we inappropriately call a justice system.

Whether the money buys you a top-rated defense attorney, paying off some officials or jurors, or provide alternatives to the the same punishment and rehabilitation that others must face, there is no denying that money influences the outcome.

Sort of reminds me of the infamous O.J. trial–another travesty of justice. How many more?

Funny, how art imitates life and life imitates art–in Season 2 of Homeland, the son of the V.P. drinks and drives and also kills someone and gets off with nothing but a slap on the wrist.

You see it’s not whether you’re black or white or yellow or whatever, it’s plain hard !!power!! and $$cash$$.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

>Lifesaving Technology is User-centric

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There is no better technology than one that saves lives. That is its very essence.

Lifesaving technologies take many forms, from medical imaging to hurricane prediction, from biotechnology to food safety technology, from lifecycle energy management to emergency alerting and countless others.

I read with great interest in the Wall Street Journal (31 Dec. 2009) about another new life saving technology in the area of transportation safety. It is a simple iPhone app created for $8,000 called R-U-Buzzed? This free application download helps people determine whether it is unsafe for them to drive because they are drunk.

Individuals simply enter information such as “weight, gender, hours drinking, and a tally of beer, wine, and liquor consumed.” The application then spews our their blood-alcohol content and a color-coded safety message, as follows:

· Gray—“No hangover expected.”

· Yellow—“You’re buzzed.”

· Red—“Don’t even think about it…designate a sober driver.”

In some cities (just in the state of Colorado for now), there is even a GPS feature that helps users call a local cab to get them home safely.

While the use of the application isn’t foolproof, and some caution that users shouldn’t depend on it alone for judging their intoxication level, using social computing to appeal to young people who are drinking is a significant potential lifesaver because so many young adults are involved in fatal crashes. In fact, federal statistics show that more than two out of three (65%) of drunk drivers who died in a fatal crash last year were between the ages of 21-34. Another 17% were under 21.

One user of the application raved that it “felt very solid and mathematical and trustworthy, and nonjudgmental.” Hence, the application may be more acceptable to users than hearing from their friends that perhaps they shouldn’t drive.

Applications such as this one are truly user-centric, and because of this I believe they hold even more potential for saving people’s lives than technologies that are difficult to understand and use. As technology leaders and architects, we need to ensure that everything we create is friendly to the user, remembering that we are solving problems for people—not machines—and that often, lives are very much at stake.

As we celebrate the arrival of 2010 with family and friends tonight, let’s make a special toast for the people whose technology needs we’ve supported in 2009, and look forward to many more years of solving business problems and enhancing and saving even more lives.