Author: joeygee94

Our Safety on the Road

Through the Australian Government’s Department of Infrastructure and Regional Developments’ database, Australia alone have over 750 FATAL crashes and over 800 FATALITIES due to car accidents from the 1st of January to 30th of September 2014, which is an average of approximately 2.96 fatalities and 2.88 fatal crashes per day. With such terrifying statistics we can assume that for the October data update, roughly 180 more incidents will be recorded. These incidents are mainly due to miscalculations, speeding, fatigue, recklessness and etc.

How do we avoid these tragedies?

How do we stop bad driving?

How do we minimise damage?

How do we increase safety?

Well, the answers are all with UmK (United Micro Kingdom) and their idea of Robocars/Digicars.

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(Dunne & Raby, 2012)

Before we delve into the concept, lets get a good idea of what exactly is UmK. ‘The UmK is a deregulated laboratory for competing social, ideological, technological and economic models.’ (Dunne & Raby, 2012) What we are focusing on in this ‘four super-shires’ (Dunne & Raby, 2012) are the Digitarians who ‘depend on digital technology and all its implicit totalitarianism — tagging, metrics, total surveillance, tracking, data logging and 100% transparency.’ (Dunne & Raby, 2012)

What is a Robocar/Digicar?

Post 2- Our Safety on the Road (2)Post 2- Our Safety on the Road (3)

(Dunne & Raby, 2012)

It is ‘a development of electric self-drive cars being pioneered today’. (Dunne & Raby, 2012) ‘Robocars will be highly unlikely to get in accidents and will park themselves after dropping off their passenger’ (Templeton, 2008)

Basically, you’ll be safer on road. No need to worry about bad driving skills, slow reactions and unforeseen happenings that seem to always be the blame for things. Truthfully I’ve heard too many of those stories where outrageous excuses are being told just to avoid blame, “the kerb moved closer to my car and hit it!”, sometimes I don’t know whether to cry or laugh because I’m in their car…

There have already been prototypes and test cars out there that have succeeded one way or the other. The first step would be the new ‘Auto-Park’ feature for parallel parking in some current cars and although some have complained about it’s failure to park if there is no car in the front/back, it’s the little steps we take that count. While you dwell on the idea of Robocars/Digicars, have a look at the video below which shows us what our roads can potentially look like in the future with the existence of Robocars.

(Dunne & Raby, 2012)

It’s something we definitely can look forward to in the future!!!


Australian Government 2014, Australian Road Deaths Database, viewed 20 October 2014,

Dunne, A. & Raby, F. 2012, United Micro Kingdoms, Accessed 20 October 2014,

Dunne, A. & Raby, F. 2013, Digicars-anim-vimeo, Accessed 20 October 2014,

Templeton, B. 2008, Templetons, Accessed 20 October 2014,


How Far Would YOU Go?

Is this what people call ‘love gone too far’?


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(Boboltz, 2014)

Some of these just seem way too much, love can only go so far before it becomes a dangerous obsession and that’s what the ever-advancing technological world has done to our generation. Losing our awareness of responsibility, rationality and sensibility just for a device may have been seen as outrageous in the past but nowadays we hear too many of these stories to even be surprised anymore

We see it all over news every single time, especially when Apple brings out a new product and it just seems to get crazier. As the date of release for the iPhone 6 in China is still unknown, they have gone extremely frustrated and taken extreme lengths to get their hands on one. Reaching out to oversea relatives, going overseas directly and paying extreme amounts that are way overpriced.

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(Apple, 2014)

Is it really worth it?

Having started working at a phone store recently, observations have been made on customers who walk into the store. The iPhone 6+ that is on high demand has been out of stock for our company for a few weeks yet we continuously obtain new contract and pre-orders, even unofficial waiting lists with over 30 forms and they probably won’t see their iPhones until 3-4 months time. Some people who pre-ordered early have waited over 3-4 weeks for their phones and if they haven’t received it on time, they usually come to the store 3-4 times within a week. The amount of money some customers or more specifically families spend is quite astonishing, whilst organizing contracts, we see multiple orders under one customer and most of the time they have other family members that have signed multiple under them too.

Post 3- How Far Would YOU Go? (2)

New York Apple Inc. Store Photographed by Victor, J. Blue

(Higgins, 2014)

Your life is at risk.

Technology has been so integrated into our lives that it has become quite a serious problem, we can barely survive without looking at our phones as ‘people check their phones up to 150 times a day’ (Koelma, 2014) and our social skills have significantly decreased. We know it’s a distraction yet we can’t seem to take our eyes off it whether if we are driving, walking or sitting because we get this ‘lost feeling’ (Gibson, 2011) when it is out of sight and this has cause serious injuries as it has been observed that in Sydney approximately ‘1 in 10 pedestrians were using a mobile device while crossing the road’. (Koelma, 2014) If you aren’t convinced about this obsession or the harm it might do to your life, have a read of this article and tell me you aren’t scared:

So what do you think of your smartphone now?

You are probably not thinking much different to what you did before you read this post and possibly even surfing the Samsung website looking at the new Samsung Note 4 and Samsung Note Edge, ready to order it and become super obsessed with it for days. While you are at it, why don’t you check out the Samsung Gear which seems extremely evolutional yet completely insane (sorry, just can’t seem to stop talking about it’s design and features. Dream come true!)

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(Samsung, 2014)


Apple 2014, Apple, viewed 18 October 2014,

Boboltz, S. 2014, 15 Times The World’s iPhone Obsession Went Entirely Too Far, viewed 18 October 2014, <>

 Gibson, E. 2011, Psychologists Concerned About Smartphone ‘Obsession’, viewed 18 October 2014,<>

Higgins, T. 2014, Big-Screen IPhones Draw Long Lines in Stores Worldwide, viewed 18 October 2014,<>

Koelma, G. 2013, Australia’s obsession with smartphones and tablets could be killing us, viewed 18 October 2014, <>

Phillips, C. 2014, 15 Scary Facts About Your Obsession With Your Phone That Should Worry You For The Future, viewed 18 October 2014,

Samsung, 2014, Samsung, viewed 18 October 2014,

Plant in your Home.

Post 4- Plant in your Home.

(Sarrodie, 2012)

Vertical farming?

‘Farming indoors is not a new concept, per se, as greenhouse-based agriculture has been in existence for some time. Numerous commercially viable crops (e.g., strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, herbs, and spices) have seen their way to the world’s supermarkets in ever increasing amounts over the last 15 years. Most of these operations are small when compared to factory farms, but unlike their outdoor counterparts, these facilities can produce crops year-round.’ (Despommier, 2011)

Post 4- Plant in your Home. (2)

(Sarrodie, 2012)

How do we make this happen?

No one likes to jump from one lifestyle to another and vertical farming is a huge régime change to many. What we must do is integrate small-scaled projects that enhance our knowledge and experiences with such a lifestyle and to do this we recruit designers like Clement Sarrodie and his ‘Botanic Hydroponic Furniture’ project. Sarrodie’s designs combine aesthetics, style and agricultural features into one subject which produces multiple clean-cut furniture that use the hydroponics system. The Hydroponic system is the ‘cultivation of plants in nutrient-enriched water, with or without the mechanical support of an inert medium such as sand or gravel. Fertilizer solution is pumped through the system periodically.’(Merriam-Webster, 2014)

 Post 4- Plant in your Home. (3)

(Sarrodie, 2012)

‘Teburu’, the coffee table design by Sarrodie would be the most favored design out of the three due to its practicality. The design saves space and has actual functionalities of a coffee table which is in contrast with the other two seem more like decorations or just like any other normal gardening plants being displayed. The fresh design of the product allows the user to be more acceptable and adaptable with the system as the use of white, wood and greens all give off a unsoiled, peaceful and natural impression. Sarrodie successfully integrated a small-scaled vertical farm into a normal everyday lifestyle, which causes no disturbances and/or excess space.

Post 4- Plant in your Home. (4)

(Sarrodie, 2012)

Why Vertical Farming?

This is because vertical farming uses minimal land but at the same time maximizes production. This ultimately leads to less farmland use which can ultimately be recovered back to it’s natural state. Although this recovery stage may take a long period of time, we can always find other alternative ways to overcome this crisis. In the TEDTalk below, Shubhendu Sharma talks about how we can build a tiny forest in a short amount of time. We can use this idea and put it into a larger scale to help speed up the process, of course with guarantees that it won’t further damage the unoccupied farmlands.

(Sharma, 2014)

At the end, it’s all about sustainability.


Despommier, D. 2011, The Vertical Farm, viewed 14 October 2014,

Merriam-Webster. 2014, Merriam-Webster Dictionary, viewed 14 October 2014,

Sarrodie, C. 2012, Botanic Hydroponic Furniture, viewed 14 October 2014,

Sharma, S. 2014, How to grow a tiny forest anywhere, viewed 14 October 2014,

Big Data: Corporations and User

One day you decide to buy a shirt online and start browsing multiple clothing websites, but before you know it Facebook starts having these clothing advertisements all over your news feed. Everyone with a Facebook would have experienced this once in there lifetime whether it is with clothing, accessories, games or technology.

This is where Big Data comes in. ‘Big Data can be characterized by 3Vs: the extreme volume of data, the wide variety of data and the velocity at which the data must be processed’ (Exelia, 2014). It isn’t simply the amount of data being generated, collected and stored but more of who and how it is being utilised, as it has become ‘a massive phenomenon that has rapidly become an obsession with entrepreneurs, scientists, governments and the media’ (Harford, 2014). It has become such an obsession due to the amount of profit and values it brings in, this can be portrayed in the studies by the McKinsey Global Institute where they conducted research on five domains—healthcare in the United States, the public sector in Europe, retail in the United States, and manufacturing and personal-location data globally. Some of the stunning figures presented are: retailers having a potential of increasing its operating margin by more than 60 percent; healthcare sector potentially creating more than USD$300 billion (AUD$322 billion) in value every year; government administrators could save more than €100 billion (AUD$143 billion) in operational efficiency improvements alone, and such figures make us realise the importance of Big Data in the economy.

With such advancements in technology, the question we are faced with is ‘what is the problem here?’ and this is where things get complicated. Privacy is the main issue with the usage of Big Data, there are many conflicting arguments on the imperfect ways corporations have utilised personal data and the ‘lack of transparency around it’ (Funnell, 2014). Of course, by having big corporations like Google, Facebook and Twitter collect our data would mean users would have greater quality and faster free service, but what most users don’t understand is the billions of dollars being profited from it and exactly how they use the data. However, some will argue that this is the repayment of the constantly upgraded free services given to the users and that having them monitor means a safer and more enjoyable experience. Del Harvey, VP of Trust & Safety at Twitter, gives us an example of the type of safety given to users when using twitter. She mentions that ‘When you take a picture with your smartphone or digital camera, there’s a lot of additional information saved along in that image’ called Geodata. With Geodata, people are able to track down your exact location and so when twitter launched photos on twitter they had stripped out that data.

If we, as users, ‘assume the worst and work backwards’ (Harvey, 2014) we will start thinking more about the contents we post online, how these contents are being utilised and ways of minimizing privacy invasion because we all know that when we ‘tweet’ or ‘post’ something on the net, it is for the world to see and big corporations will not bypass such valuable data.

Reference List

Exelia 2014, 5 Facts About Big Data, weblog, Exelia Technologies, viewed 20 August 2014, <>

Funnell, A. 2014, Social media, data and property rights, audio podcast, Future Tense, ABC Radio, Sydney, 16 March, viewed 14 August 2014, <>

Harford, T. 2014, Big data: are we making a big mistake?, FT Magazine, Financial Times, viewed 20 August 2014, <>

Harvey, D. 2014, The Strangeness of Scale at Twitter, video recording, TED, viewed 19 August 2014, <>.

Manyika, J., Chui, M., Brown, B., Bughin, J., Dobbs, R., Roxburgh, C. & Byers, A. 2011, Big data: The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity, McKinsey & Company, viewed 20 August 2014, <>