Recently a government law was passed that bans the use of cell phones
and other electronic devices, such as BlackBerries and GPS, while
driving in Ontario (Canada). Fortunately you are still able to talk on
a cell phone with a
headset. Personally I think this is a good decision, although I'm not
looking forward to getting a headset, but hey, a new gadget is a new
gadget, and I can explain this one to my wife pretty easily!
The hardest part for me I think is going to be resisting the
compulsion to reach into my pocket whenever I feel my BlackBerry
vibrate as it has become a force of habit more than anything else.
One thing I think this will start to bring about is more different
types of hands free sets, as well as better integration for hands free
in vehicles. As well, more phones are going to have to be
equipped with technology, like BlueTooth, even in lower end phones
which traditionally do not include as many "features".
The legislation got me thinking about how some other places deal with
and driving. There were a few sites that I found that maybe of
interest. First, on a global scope, there is the
appropriately named Countries
that ban cell phones while driving list. Six out of the 54
countries the list looks at have bans on cell phones while driving, and
some of these six are partial bans or being debated At the
bottom of the list it breaks down the US into different states as the
rules and regulations are a bit different for each state.
site, Cell Phone Driving Laws, goes into
more detail that the first list as it specifies novice driver age range
bans as well as texting bans. I'm not so sure about the
novice drive age range bans... isn't it a bit difficult to determine
how old a driver is while going the other direction, or even sitting
beside them? Sure, if you are looking at someone who just got
a drivers license then maybe, but after a few years it could be pretty
hard to determine if someone is 18 or 19.
Speaking of texting bans, I have to say that I think it is a lot more
dangerous to text or e-mail while driving than to talk. When
you talk your mind might wander to the conversation but at least your
eyes can stay on the road. While when you text or e-mail you
have to, at least once in a while, look at the screen to make sure that
the words are being input properly, which takes your eyes off the road.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.