Saturday, October 08, 2005

On progress

When will we reach the promised techological paradise? When we have spaceships? Skycars? Long-distance brain surgery? (I am sure I've seen all of these somewhere...)

I have a different benchmark. When a ten-dollar alarm clock I buy will automatically set itself to a correct time as soon as I plug it in, then I'll believe in progress.

All that's needed is to transmit correct time and correct timezone. There are literally dozens of networks and protocols that can do the job. From radio, GPS, cellphone, WiFi, wired networking to IP, NTP and the rest. Yet, I can't buy the self-setting alarm clock for ten bucks.

How long do I have to wait? And, specifically, what for?

update: Steve J says there's already one for $9.50—and I just ordered it. But I wonder, do you have to set the timzeone manually?

update 2: the $9.50 phone failed to figure out the correct time after 24 hours. I am still waiting.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Krace said...

do you realize that, for most part, this is a useless feature?

not to mention that if, for some reason, you wanted to keep your alarm clock off-zone, you'd be out of luck.

i'll vouch for ending world hunger or something.

9:55 AM  
Blogger =M said...

No, this a useful feature. It will save five minutes of my time per year, considering the Daylight time moves and power outages.

You can have buttons to override TZ. But for 99% users, it should work without requiring any button presses.

Ending world hunger requires cooperation between many entities. Building an alarm clock also requires that, so it's a first step.

10:32 AM  
Blogger Steve Jenson said...

It exists! But it's not instant, it takes a few hours.

I have one similar to this.

10:43 AM  
Blogger =M said...

Steve, thanks!

I've just ordered. Should have it my hands in a few days.

11:10 AM  

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