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CENTRAL VIEW for Monday, May 18, 2015

by William Hamilton, Ph.D.

Computer jihad: Ready, aim, and blast away!

Recently, someone got so frustrated with his computer that he took it outside and blasted the computer eight times with his pistol. Apparently, the computer had not developed enough Artificial Intelligence of its own to know that its very existence was in mortal danger and to take evasive action.

At the very least, you would think the computer would have figured out a way to call the bogus "Hands up! Don’t shoot" videos from Ferguson, MO, down out of the Cloud and run them on its display screen. Moreover, a really smart computer would know if its owner is a big supporter of the First Amendment. In that case, the computer might quickly display photos of free-speech advocates Pamela Geller and Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders. Of course, the downside of featuring the sponsors of a Mohammad cartoon contest would be the risk of having the images of Geller and Wilders blasted by Islamic jihadists.

So, it is not easy being a computer these days. In our household, we have two desktop PCs, a tablet, an ordinary cell phone, and a smarter-than-I-am phone. The most irritating behavior of the PCs is when you are ready to shut down and go to bed and the PCs decide to download the latest updates to their programs. You are faced with the choice of sitting there, delaying your bedtime for an hour or so while the updates download or going to bed and leaving the computer on all night. And, even though the computer claims it will shut itself down, can you really trust it like we do the light inside the refrigerator?

Windows Live Mail and Windows Explorer have this odd behavior of shutting themselves down now and then. Usually right when you are in the middle of some e-mail or search you think is important. Sometimes, volumes of text will disappear from Windows WORD, forcing a "global search" to find out where it went.

My PC keeps suggesting that a trip to Nigeria would be a good thing. Once in Nigeria, I could claim billions of dollars due me from a mining claim I never knew I owned. To prove I am the rightful heir, all I have to do is wire $500 to a banker in Nigeria. Or, I could fly to Scotland and take up the title I supposedly inherited from the 14th Duke of Hamilton. With all due respect to Nigeria, Scotland has more appeal. The Duke was the first pilot to fly over Mt. Everest and he was Commodore of the Scots Royal Air Force during World War II. So, both being pilots, maybe we are related?

The tablet computer gets little use. It came with one of those touch-screen operating systems. I had to download a program that makes it look like the keyboard and mouse system of yesteryear. Still unsatisfactory.

The problem is that those computer geniuses in Seattle or Silicon Valley have to keep earning their fabulous salaries. So, instead of leaving well enough alone, they dream up "improvements" to operating systems that are working just fine. Don’t they understand how many computers they are placing in front of firing squads? How callous of them.

Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame, and is a recipient of the University of Nebraska 2015 Alumni Achievement Award. He was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.

©2015. William Hamilton.

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©1999-2017. American Press Syndicate.

Dr. Hamilton can be contacted at:
P.O. Box 2001
Granby, CO 80446

Email: william@central-view.com

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