During the working week, I regularly park in an area controlled by parking meters – not one per slot, but in big blocks, so you pay for your ticket/parking at a machine, and return the ticket to the car.
It’s an area/business that in many ways doesn’t seem to have kept up with progress at all, but in others is quite a way ahead of most other places. It’s very odd – and it seems like a lot of people are caught in that middle space between the two extremes.
You see, the meters themselves take cash, and only cash. There’s no facility to take card payments, let alone contactless. I assume that some of this is down to maintenance costs – the more things it can do, the more things there are that can fuck up.
Then at the other end of the scale, we can use online/mobile payment setups like RingGo to pay for parking, which is super-easy to do, and works really nicely. (There are other parking payment providers, most of which are worse than RingGo, but they’re still getting used by various councils etc. around the country) There’s no need for cash, it’s all smooth and simple to do, with the parking wardens having smartphone equivalents where they can check each vehicle’s registration and see if it’s paid for parking online.
Both solutions seem to work, either with the super-basic “put coins in the machine” or the semi-techie (but still really pretty simple once it’s set up) paying via mobile/online. There’s also the ability to pay by phone using RingGo, but that appears to be overly complex.
However, both options seem destined to confuse the majority of people. I regularly see people dredging pockets for change – which is becoming less common, with the prevalence of debit cards and contactless payments, so they’re surprised and unprepared for needing coins to park – or completely stumped by smartphone apps, or having problems with the paying by phone.
In some ways that harks back to people not being prepared, but at the same time I do understand that these meters are a bit of a surprise. They’re so low-tech in many ways, and people just don’t seem to expect that. But they’re also unprepared for using their smartphones – despite this whole pay online/app thing becoming more and more common for parking – and don’t have the relevant app, or have it set up. And even with 4G coverage etc., it seems that a lot of them are utterly unable (or just unwilling) to sort out installing the app and just doing things the easy way.
I don’t know what the answer is. I think we’re in this weird hinterland at the moment, where we’ve still got simultaneous low-tech and hi-tech solutions, and people are just caught in the middle, too advanced to be happy with the low-tech, but a large number also still unhappy or uncomfortable with the hi-tech alternative, so they’re stuck in some kind of mid-tech wilderness.
It’s very odd, but interesting to watch and see how things go.
Yesterday, I was a bit stumped about what to write for today – but luckily, AVG came to my rescue.
It put up a notice yesterday on my screen telling me that six of my installed programs were out of date – which is kind of a surprise, as I’m normally pretty good at that kind of thing.
Then I read the message properly…
You’ll need to click on it to embiggenify and make it properly readable – but basically, all six programs it was telling me were out of date were actually *more* up to date than the ones it wanted me to install.
So no, I don’t think I will ‘update’ them to keep my machine safe. For fuck’s sake.
Sometimes, you see something, and your brain just goes “What?!?” (or words to that effect, but with more swearing) Currently, there seems to be a theme connecting that with both Father’s Day and Star Wars.
Last year, we had the card with Kylo Ren…
[Spoiler from two years ago – Kylo Ren kills his father]
This year, I’ve seen this in Sainsbury’s…
I’m pretty damn sure they haven’t seen the same Star Wars films I have…
Sometimes, things come together fortuitously.
Over the weekend, it was this – I got in the car one morning, and saw that the odometer was on 88,888 miles. So I took a picture of it.
I know it’s properly geeky, but still, it made me happy to have caught it – and with no risk to anyone else.
It’ll be interesting, as pretty much all the films starring Wolverine have been rotten, but I’m still willing to give this one the benefit of the doubt- it’s being sold as more of an independent film, looking at how these heroes have aged, how they’ve been treated by time, and the like. So yeah, I’ll be interested to see how it works out.
On a geekier note, the preview starts at 22:23, which is amusing. Why? Because it works out as 10:23(pm) , which works out as X:23 (we’re being geeky, so one roman numeral will have to do) because the X23 programme is the programme/code for one of the successors to Wolverine
I’ll probably write more about it in the next couple of days.
I didn’t really explain much about the IoP Lecture Series at the Open University in the last post.
I’m lucky enough to live quite close to the Open University‘s main campus in Milton Keynes, although up ’til this week I hadn’t actually ventured on/in to it.
I was made aware of the Lecture series a few weeks ago, by a friend who’d been to one of the earlier events. Basically, it’s a collaboration with the Institute of Physics, and consists of free lectures (open to the public) on a range of subjects. I’m sure there’ll be ones I’m less interested in, but being a bit of a geek – OK, a lot of a geek – I’m always open to learning about new stuff, so I’ll take something out of all the ones I’ll get to go to.
I’m hoping that in 2017 I’ll do some more learning, both random stuff and more organised/official, and this Lecture Series will definitely be part of that…