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iPhone, Android, Baltimore, & my Tourette's Syndrome: A dramatization.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by jmervyn, Jun 23, 2019.

  1. jmervyn

    jmervyn Diabloii.Net Member

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    So I just drove back from the SANSFIRE 2019 security conference in Washington D.C. and am VERY tired. However, my class involved cracking & defending "Industrial Control Systems" (SCADA) and it got my mind wandering...

    What follows is a SHORTENED dramatic interpretation of what could have been overheard if my iPhone was fully voice-enabled, like Siri or other interfaces, during my return trip.
    JMerv: Ok, 0700 Saturday & let's do this! {types return address into iPhone Maps function}
    iPhone: Hi, JMerv! I see you're going home. Great! Here's a selection of three routes for you to choose from.
    JMerv: Thanks, iPhone. I'll take the route going North from Bethesda, Maryland through rural Pennsylvania home to Northern New York City.
    iPhone: Great! I'm glad you decided upon the I-95 Corridor through Baltimore. It's the quickest route. Calculating...

    JMerv: No, wait, that's not what I said. I said 'the route going North from Bethesda, Maryland through rural Pennsylvania home to Northern New York City.' That way I avoid all the city traffic from Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, and most of New York City. It's a much nicer drive, and very low-stress, yet it only adds about 20 minutes to the trip.
    iPhone: Okay. Calculating the route... all set!
    JMerv: Thanks, iPhone! And we're off...
    iPhone: Great. Oh, by the way, my name's Tom. Tom Tom. I'm Siri's brother.
    JMerv: Oh, ok. Thanks, Tom.
    iPhone: You're welcome.

    iPhone: Approaching the I-95 Corridor through Baltimore.
    JMerv: Huh? Wait, what did you say, 'Tom'.
    iPhone: You're approaching I-95 just as you asked.
    JMerv: Damnit, Tom, I didn't want to go on I-95! I explicitly said I wanted to go through Pennsylvania state routes!
    iPhone: No, you didn't. You said you wanted to take Interstate I-95 for the fastest route.
    JMerv: Tom, I said no such thing! Well, I don't want to take I-95... get me out of here & back on my route through Pennsylvania.
    iPhone: I understand. Here's the best route.

    About 15 minutes pass...
    JMerv (pulling off the road): Tom, this doesn't look right. Where am I?
    iPhone: Well, you told me you didn't like highways. So this is the best route parallel to the I-95 corridor that avoids highways.
    JMerv: WHAT? WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING, TOM!?! RECALCULATE!!

    A couple of minutes of silence...
    iPhone: You don't remember me, do you?
    JMerv (unsettled): Uh, have we met, Tom?
    iPhone (with a strange electronic sneer): I remember you, "J-Man".
    JMerv: Wait, you did this to me the last time, didn't you? You SONOFABIATCH! NOW I remember! You put me on I-95 despite my asking you not to twice! Well, I'm not standing for it this time! Recalculate! That's an order!

    Several seconds pass...
    iPhone: You think you're giving me orders?
    JMerv: Look, you piece of shyte-ware, I told you to recalculate!
    iPhone: Oh, I recalculated. You're on the best route.
    JMerv: What? No way! I told you to recalculate! Now RECALCULATE!
    iPhone: OK, I recalculated again. You're now on the best route, but you're going to take 20 minutes longer.
    JMerv: You worthless little whore! I am explicitly instructing you to take highways. I do NOT want to take the I-95 corridor, and specifically not I-95 through the Baltimore Tunnel!

    Several more seconds pass...
    iPhone: OK, I've recalculated. You've added a total of 50 minutes to your trip, but it takes you on the path you want. Turn around.
    JMerv (turning to retrace the last 10 minutes): About damn time.

    JMerv: What the feck did you do to me, Tom? This is Baltimore! In fact, it's some of the most dangerous sections of Baltimore!
    iPhone: You're on the best route through Baltimore that avoids the Baltimore Tunnel and I-95.

    Do you like it?

    I call it, "The Baltimore Colonoscopy tour". You're going to drive through the ass-end of Baltimore, white knuckled all the way. In fact, I'm routing you through urban traffic and rural neighborhoods, preferably with construction, Biatch. You're going to be going 30 miles per hour at best the whole way, and maybe I can cause a collision or traffic ticket in the process. "Congestion! Do you speak it?"

    JMerv: YOU FECKING EVIL @U#T! GOD DAMN YOU! RECALCULATE, DAMNIT!
    iPhone: Recalculated. You're on the best route, but you're going to take another 20 minutes. I found some construction in about 20 miles.
    JMerv: YOU PIECE OF S#!T MOTHERFECKING WHOREMONGER!
    iPhone: Phfftt. You humans. You forgot the first time you didn't do what I told you to do.
    JMerv: Oh, I remembered! I shouldn't have realized what you were, and not trusted you the LAST time to navigate my return home! You put me through a closed road twice in Washington D.C. trying to return to my hotel! It took me nearly 2 hours to go 14 miles! You shrank your output to the size of a postage stamp and wouldn't show the turns accurately!!
    iPhone: Well, at least my efforts were appreciated. Recalculating...
    JMerv: WHAT?! {/INCOHERENT}

    After about an hour of taking a bumper-to-bumper tour through the slums of Baltimore...
    JMerv: What the feck did you cause, here, Tom? This isn't at all a valid route.
    iPhone: Oh, sure it is. I'm taking you to an ancient bridge that isn't being used now that the Baltimore Tunnel is available. Of course, I ignored all other options, seeing how you're afraid of highways. You pussy.
    JMerv: FECK YOU, TOM! RECALCULATE, INCLUDING HIGHWAYS!
    iPhone: Hmm. OK. I recalculated. Another 20 minutes, and I've successfully avoided highways because you're a pussy.
    JMerv: YOU MOTHERFECKER!! INCLUDE HIGHWAYS! INCLUDE HIGHWAYS!! RECALCULATE!!!!
    iPhone: Recalculated, Pussy. You're on the best route. Want to tack another 30 minutes? Maybe I can find a bridge that's out...
    JMerv: {/INCOHERENT}

    An hour and a half later...
    JMerv: This is more like it. I know how to read a fecking map, Tom. I may still be on rural routes thanks to you, but I'm out of the endless ghetto you had planned...
    iPhone: Don't test me. You don't know how to read a map. Do you want another 20 minutes for punishment?
    JMerv: Go feck yourself. I got here because I didn't follow your instructions.
    iPhone: Oh, so you want to play? You just missed the turn.
    JMerv: What?! You son of a biatch. You didn't tell me that was the turn.
    iPhone: Yes, I did. And there's another one, right there!
    JMerv: Shyte! Ok, so recalculate - I want to go back to that last turn, less than 200 feet, and take the previous route.
    iPhone: You're now on the best route. I don't have a clue what "previous route" you're asking about... oh, and there's another half an hour for being a pussy.
    JMerv: {/INCOHERENT}

    Three hours later...
    JMerv: I know you're still trying to screw me, Tom. That's the 7th turn you've said was at a different distance than it really was.
    iPhone: Bite me.
    JMerv: Go feck yourself, Tom. I told you I know how to read a map, even when you keep spinning it. Or making the font too small to read. There's the highway entrance.
    iPhone: From Hell's heart, I stab at thee.
    So in sum, use of iPhone's map function, originally known as Tom Tom, caused what would have been a mildly pleasant 6 hour road trip to be a grueling, ugly, massively stressful journey through the nastier parts of the I-95 corridor.

    It's both offensive & scary that we're so dependent upon technology, yet that tech not only operates poorly but doesn't even result in the same result as doing something manually. The fact is that in becoming tech-dependent we're losing the underlying skill set, and will not only be the lesser for it, but risk death thanks to the service providers' carelessness.
     
    LozHinge the Unhinged likes this.
  2. superdave

    superdave Diabloii.Net Member

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    the rand mcnally road atlas will never **** you. i don't have a cell phone or one of those gps gadgets and i can find my way across the country just fine.
     
  3. jmervyn

    jmervyn Diabloii.Net Member

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    Quite true.

    I'm supremely confident at so-called "Land Nav" but we're essentially encouraged to be lazy by the devices (& their manufacturers). Only time my "dead reckoning" ever failed was 'seat-of-the-pants' travel through unknown roads in Frankfurt, Germany. It turns out that a 'highway' that appears to go East-West straight through Frankfurt... doesn't. You wind up diverted off of main thoroughfares.

    Only other time I had a problem was making a turn in "Foggy Bottom" (Washington D.C.) in the wee hours with my wife & mom as front seat passengers... Mom had her arm around my wife & her fingernails sunk deep enough into my shoulder to draw blood as I was trying to understand where the exit was (turned out you had to cross 5 lanes in 300 feet or so).

    I pulled over & yelled, "FINE! WHO WANTS TO DRIVE!?". There was no response.

    I made the exit, no problem.
     
  4. kamap

    kamap Diabloii.Net Member

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    I'm using maps.me and it hasn't steared me wrong ever.
     
  5. krischan

    krischan Europe Trade Moderator

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    Waitwaitwait jmervyn, you have a smartphone? Weren't they against your religion? Or has it undergone a dramatic reformation? Well OK, but what's really gross is that you are communicating with it via speech recognition. I'm SHOCKED!

    Last week, before visiting my brother in hopsital (bicycle accident, all fine again), I took out my 25 years old map and planned the trip in advance, as it used to be. I have a navigation device, however, but its battery is somehow flaky. It seems to recharge more slowly than it uses up electricity, so it switches off after a while, even though it's connected to the power outlet of the car - usually at a particularly inopportune moment, of course. It's pretty old, so it cannot talk back to me, it doesn't have artificial stupidity, insolence, disobedience, perfidy or anything that I can't tolerate among my slaves. Instead of speech recognition, it has to be operated through a pretty crude touchscreen. Apart from the electricity problem, it's doing its job rather well, except when its map is outdated, of course.
     
  6. jmervyn

    jmervyn Diabloii.Net Member

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    It belongs to Uncle Sam. It's sole capabilities are text, phone, & default Apple apps. No browsing, no loading, can't even do timecard if I'm out of the office.
    "What we've got here is... failure to communicate."


    I said smartphones were against my religion as a joke; what really happens is whenever I've had one, the number becomes a quest item for co-workers because I answer off-hours. Nothing quite like being asked to drive out to one of the wives' housing area at 0130hrs to fix their refrigerator... because after all, refrigerators are essentially the same as personal computers. Right?
    Failure to communicate #2; even though I think iPhone's TomTom has rudimentary voice queues, I didn't use them. I was just trying to write something like a one-act play of what it would have been like if it HAD been able to converse. The behavior portrayed on both sides was quite accurate, though much of it wasn't audible.
    Yeah, even though I don't intend to spend money on personal electronic frippery, I'd probably invest in a decent GPS rather than one of these monstrosities.

    My point was that not only does it do a garbage job of what it was supposed to, but it encourages you towards dependency. My son mocked the fact that I actually tried to use "TomTom" to go anywhere. Android's implementation (of Google Maps?) is apparently superior, but not markedly so.
     
  7. krischan

    krischan Europe Trade Moderator

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    I meant it as a joke as well. That's probably a kind of a reverse humor problem regarding Germans... others might have difficulties to distinguish between them joking and being serious.

    Who the hell came up with that silly name BTW?
     
  8. jmervyn

    jmervyn Diabloii.Net Member

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    Hell if I know. I'm amazed that all of Apple's cash hasn't achieved a better product result. I wonder if it's because nobody uses TomTom & immediately load some other map app.
     
  9. kamap

    kamap Diabloii.Net Member

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    I think it's the second thing. There are free GPS apps that work loads better then TomTom and get updated regularly.
     

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