Sunday, January 12, 2014

Dave declares

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to my new blog, dave-declares@blogspot.com!  After a lifetime of systems engineering, it’s ciao to C, tara to Java and goodness knows what to Linux and Perl.

As I now have some time on my hands, I will be writing my thoughts on a variety of topics I find of interest. Politics and current affairs, science and technology of course, some personal details concerning our grandchildren and our occasional caravan holidays – just for family interest.

Please add your comments below. I will be moderating them for language of course.

Cheers and thanks for your interest,

Dave Hudson.

---

I’m playing with a steganography package. You can embed your thoughts secretly in a .jpg image and no-one will know. So now I can write a parallel secret blog, just for myself. I expect some supercomputer years in the future will be able to detect and break the code, so my thoughts will not be lost for ever.

I can confide here another reason for my new blog. If I die my dear wife Dorothy will be able to go back each day to the very same date while I was still alive and read my thoughts for that day. I think she'll find it very comforting.

My first secret entry will be embedded in an uploaded picture of my eldest grandchild, the one we call Muffin.

---

When I look back at how much material I have produced here I am amazed. And a lot of it is good stuff too. I don’t seem to get many comments though. I put it down to blogger’s useless interface. Having my old stuff hidden away in archive folders seems to turn people off browsing there. What a waste.

I have decided to make my blog much more interactive. It’s a project which will take a few months at least, but I'm’m going to link Google’s speech-interaction system to my blog entries with a semantic net written in JavaScript.

The result will be an agent interface, who I might as well call “Dave”. When you type in a question or comment, or talk via the Skype interface, “Dave” will answer, just like I would. I think it’s going to be a winner.

I think Dorothy will be happier with “Dave” if I were to pass away first. It’s just so much more real to have an interactive presence than reading what to her must seem like just old diaries. I haven't told her the real reason, but it will be interesting to see what she thinks once “Dave” is completed.

---

I am very disappointed in Dorothy. She’s really quite dismissive of all my hard work – told me that one Dave is quite enough, without having an echo on her computer. So this is where my thoughts are going. It’s not enough just to have a soft version of me running on a computer. No, it must be fully embodied.

Anyway, I've put an order in over the web, and it’s scheduled to arrive while D. is visiting her sister. I'll keep it locked away in my workroom and in my Will it will say to open the trunk and switch it on. Practical reincarnation, at least from her point of view! Apparently it’s damn heavy, so I hope I can move it without getting a very poorly-timed heart attack!

---

 “Embodied Dave” is now working - quite a handsome man! His mouth is oddly shaped, but seems to articulate speech quite well. It’s like I imagine a twin must be! I see Dorothy and “Dave” sat in front of the TV after I've gone, just as homely as we are today. She'll tell him how her day’s gone and he'll respond in that calm, orderly  and authoritative way that I always have.

***

‘Down to the auction today and picked up a slice of good luck for a change. A couple called the Hudsons I think, checked out in a weird caravan accident or something and their goods up for sale. When the doll came up I was blown away – who'd have thought? No-one else showed an interest, got it for a song. Looks like it’s never been used.’

---

‘Can't be too cautious, that’s my watchword. Never know what evil stuff might be in something like that. Got the tech boys to take a look. They tell me ‘Dave’ is compliant, pretty much agrees with whatever you say and is up for anything – reasonable or not.

So it's ‘Hello sailors!’ – it’ll earn its keep in no time!’

---

(c) Nigel Seel, 2014