The Null Device


The latest trend in America: able-bodied people riding mobility scooters because they can't be arsed walking:

On a recent afternoon at Walt Disney World, Dennis Robles was cruising around on an electric "mobility scooter" that the park usually rents out to people with disabilities. Mr. Robles doesn't have a problem walking -- he says he was simply saving up energy for late-night dancing. "I'm pretty healthy," says the 37-year-old truck driver from Brooklyn, N.Y. "Just lazy, I guess."
"Now waiting on line at the buffet is no problem," she says. "You just sit there."
Scooters are now being designed for specific uses. The SmartKart by Dane Technologies, for example, maxes out at three miles per hour, instead of the standard five, because it is meant to be used in grocery stores and other crowded indoor spaces. In the last year, Pride has super-sized models like the Maxima and introduced the Celebrity-X, to keep up with the increase in obesity.
I wonder whether there'll be a SUV-style arms race in making larger and more intimidating-looking mobility scooters, to boost the egoes of the riders whilst not so subtly encouraging the few remaining pedestrians to get with the program and buy one.

And, once technology has eliminated the exertion of having to walk, perhaps they can go to work on mechanising one of the other remaining unnecessary exertions; such as, say, sex.

(via jwz) obesity society technology usa 0

Something worth reading for anyone involved in issues of online freedom/surveillance/copyright laws/digital rights: 95 Theses of Geek Activism:

1. Reclaim the term 'hacker'. If you tinker with electronics, you are a hacker. If you use things in more ways than intended by the manufacturer, you are a hacker. If you build things out of strange, unexpected parts, you are a hacker. Reclaim the term.
15. The true enemy is the line: "If you haven't done anything wrong, what do you fear?" The problem with that line, as Schneier has said, is that it assumes that the desire for privacy implies wrong-doing.
16. Proprietary data formats must never store public information.
40. Flame wars help the other side.
58. Voicing your views in a Slashdot comment thread is good, in your own blog is better, but in places that non-geeks frequent is best.
64. Geek activism is not all about extreme positions. There is a gradient- find your position on it.
89. Free as in free lunch is good. Free as in a free people is even better. For software and for everything else.

(via Boing Boing) activism geek 0