Technology is changing our lives at an increasing, some say, uncontrollable, pace.
This year The Bug brought its reader a wealth of stories on technological developments designed to make our lives better.
In 2019 Bunnings breathed a sigh of relief on news that global retail distribution giant Amazon scrapped plans for a hardware home delivery by remote-controlled drones after failing to perfect the carriage of sausage sizzle items.
Amazon’s director of Australian operations, Sel Cheapleigh, said research showed it was sausage sizzles that attracted customers to Bunnings, and while they were there they usually happened to look inside and buy cheap, low quality, unreliable, and overpriced foreign-made crap.
“Amazon doesn’t need a physical store to sell all that shit. We can deliver it all while customers wait in the comfort of their own home. But we struggle with sausages in bread slices,” he said.
The development of apps for mobile phones and other devices continues to grow.
This year saw The Bug run several stories on just a few of them including the new Ai Si Yu app which caught the attention of Australia’s secret intelligence services.
The local spy agencies took the unusual step of warning mobile device users to think carefully before downloading the app that responds to commands in a similar way to popular voice-activated virtual assistants such as Apple’s Siri and Samsung’s Bixby.
Made by Beijing-based technology firm Reh Da Mee Inc the Ai Si Yu app claimed to be more intuitive than its rivals. But users reported the app seemed to be able to read their minds, or at least their emails.
Another app showcased this year was the brainchild of a Brisbane woman hoping to crack the already crowded on-line dating market.
The self-confessed “deeply religious” Marj Frump (pictured) said her Hinder app would counter the numerous online dating services such as the popular Tinder app that were often used for casual sexual “hook-ups”.
“I see nothing but the Devil’s work in apps like Tinder and others which enable people, and young people especially, to quickly and freely engage their base carnal desires,” Mrs Frump explained.
Her app uses a unique algorithm allowing a Hinder user to insert themselves in any exchanges between people using Tinder within a 5km radius.
“They will be able to tell both parties that they should refrain from ‘hooking up’ if that meant they would be engaging in sexual relations outside the sacred bounds of a consecrated marriage,” Mrs Frump explained.
A new app in the US designed to ease concerns about mass shootings was applauded by the National Rifle Association.
Alabama-based software firm Second Amendment Inc said its INS app would enable people to respond quickly to a mass shooting incident. CEO Clint Face said the INS name, which stood for I’m Not Shot, said it all.
“If a shooting happens and people in any town or city in any state across America hear about it, they can quickly use their cell phone and use the app to tell family and friends through all their social media accounts that ‘I’m Not Shot’,” he explained.
“Those who receive the message will know quickly that their loved one is not in danger and they can get on with their lives and not worry about trivia like mass murder or gun laws.”
This year Samsung became the first maker of TV sets to launch new models with vertical rather than horizontal screens.
It made the decision after watching countless news broadcasts using public-provided footage.
The company noticed that whether it was a building fire, car crash, or sporting mishap, members of the public always shot their mobile-phone videos in portrait mode, leaving TV networks who aired the footage with the embarrassing decision to show the vertical footage and then flesh out the rest of the landscaped image with blurred vision of parts of the same footage.
But the new Samsung vertical TV will show the footage exactly as intended.
Apple launched a brand new product in 2019, it’s new i-Air or “air box”.
The new iAir gives Apple users “something they won’t be able to live without” the company’s CEO Tim Cook promised at the traditional standing-room-only product launch (pictured) .
“We know the users of Apple products are concerned about the health of our planet as well as their own personal health.
“That’s why our new iAir gives them something they have always wanted — air in a box.”
The i-Air comes in a range of sizes from US5 gallons (20 litres) up to US20 gallons (75 litres) for between $299 and $899.
Mr Cook said it was simple to use, just open it in whatever room you are using your other Apple devices and breathe.