Inevitably the items that we buy will break. With the way things are designed these days, the attitude is frequently that it is easier to just get rid of the item and replace it with a new one than spend the money for repairs. This is understandable as often times the costs for repairs can end up being more expensive than buying a completely new item. For very small items like cell phones and tablets, they may also be made such that they are sealed so repairs are not possible.
The problem is that there are many cases where the item in question can be repaired for less than it costs to get something new or it is more affordable to do it on your own then pay a professional. In a six month period, I had three cases of things breaking on me that I was able to repair or hack them back into working condition. Find out what they were and what resources I was able to use to get up and running.
Google has been working on self-driving car technology for some time. I jokingly mentioned to a colleague that they were probably doing this to automate their Google Street View images instead of hiring fleets of drivers whose sole job it is to drive around in specially equipped cars. At the end of May though, the company announced their intention to bring an actual self-driving car prototype to the streets of Silicon Valley this summer. The cars are very different from past conversions in that they intend the vehicles to be fully autonomous except for a start button and some form of voice input so the passenger can state their destination. The vehicles are limited to just 25 mph in speed for use on city streets not unlike the special city cars that are based upon golf carts. But is this something that consumers will want to use? Continue reading