People and Tech

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Our mission is to make others aware of how technology and people have failed at times to be compatible. It is our hope that in sharing this information pertaining to certain instances that things can begin to change in the future.

This is our wiki dedicated to how technology is misused and how it fails when not used properly.

Opening Summary

By: Kevin Dobson

In December of this past year, the Kim family (James, Kati, Sabine, Penelope) became stranded in the Oregon mountains after missing a turn onto the Interstate in Oregon. They were driving through a blizzard on back country logging roads when they eventually decided to stop their car and hope that a snow plow would drive by that night or in the morning because they believed they were still on a main road. After five days James Kim decided to set out on foot to try to get to a town they believed was only four miles away. He said he would return within a day or two, however he never did and his lifeless body was found in a creek, four days after his family was rescued. The Kim family thought the rode they were on would eventually lead them to the Oregon coastline, where they would be able to figure out a new way to get home, however, there are parts where the road splits for logging purposes that are not indicated on all maps, and they could not see all of the directional signs on the road due to the heavy snow storm.

There are many communication errors that occurred throughout this particular case that will be further discussed, but the most notable issues were the lack of communication between different departments, including neighboring community search and rescue operations, search and rescue officials admittedly being overwhelmed by the case, and people not taking advantage of all their communication and search and rescue technology.

The following articles on the focus of people and technology will further inform you on the subjects of the consequences of failed technology, money hindering necessary technology advancements, the importance of people and technology working together, and new health care technology and its effects on our economy.

Report highlights mistakes in search for Kims Mom, 2 kids survive -- frantic hunt for dad

Consequences of Failed Technology

By: Adrienne Chambers

There are many useful communication technologies in the world today. However, sometimes these technologies are not used when necessary or the technologies fail when actually being used.

I have compiled a list of the consequences that may happen when certain communication technologies fail. These failures could impact many aspects of human life and could be a failure of many of the technologies we use on a daily basis such as computer programs, cell phones, and the Internet in general.

Some of the technology failures that could impact all of us include:

1. unreliable or unavailable connection (whether it be a computer, the Internet, cellular phone signals, etc)

2. undelivered messages (voicemails, emails, etc.)

3. the high cost that could be incurred if the technology were to fail (cost in repairing the technology and rectifying the problems caused by the system failure and sometimes the cost is so high that the failure of technologies result in someone’s death)

4. the misuse of personal and private information that can be redeemed when technologies fail

5. the length of time it takes to repair the failed technology (and all of the problems that go along with having an obsolete piece of communication technology for a period of time)

6. the problems that occur with these technologies when they are operated by people who do not know how to operate the technology (often damaging the technology a great deal).

There are many consequences that we have to endure when communication technologies fail. It is essential for us to decide how many failures of a piece of technology we will accept before demanding that a new technology replace the obsolete one.

These are all important issues in our society because nearly every part of our lives has to do with some sort of communication, often relying on technology for that communication.

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Money Hinders Necessary Technology Advancements

By: Rachel Seeman

It is difficult to keep up with the changes of technology. Every year, there are smaller devices with more capabilities to replace the work of 3 devices. Unfortunately, the cost for advancements in the technology world is not always feasible.

However, the costs for technology advancements in the law enforcement world should be irrelevant, but they are not.

What is happening in North Carolina departments, is happening across the country. It has been happening for years. September 11, 2001 was the major event that opened our eyes to the situation.

Police departments in Burlington, Elon, Graham and Mebane Counties are having difficulty calling each other for backup.

Each county has one of two types of radios: one that receives highband frequencies or one that picks up 800 MHz frequencies.

In order for two officers from a different agency to communicate with one another, they must call the county’s Central Communications office to request an intervention. Sometimes, by the time a connection is made, information or the need for backup may have changed.

For the Elon Police Department, the upgrade to a 800 MHz system will help them better communication with Burlington and Gibsonville police. However, they will have difficulty communicating with the Elon University campus police who are still using highband.

One of the reasons for this mismatch in radio technology is the lack of towers in the appropriate places. In the western and southern parts of Alamance County, there are transmission towers for 800 MHz radios. In other areas of the county, there are no towers that departments can utilize, thus, preventing them from upgrading to better radios.

A major reason for the communication jam is money. It cost $4 million for the Burlington police and fire departments to upgrade to 800 MHz radios in 2002. The estimate for making the switch today ranges between $2.2 million and $13 million.

Since the federal money for these types of upgrades in North Carolina decreased from $23 million to $8.3 million in 2006, these changes are all but possible for law enforcement agencies.

There are possibilities of receiving Homeland Security grants and applying for federal money. In the meantime, departments are faced with the everyday challenge of handling emergencies while struggling to communicate with backup to control 911 situations.


People and Technology Must Work Together

By: Nate Daymut

As said before technology and people must find a way to co-exist and work together, an example of this was performed in Frankfort, KT. A new emergency notification system was put in place to alert residents of any kidnapping in the area where the child and his abductor were last seen.

This system helped to locate and save the life of a young boy in September 2006 when the Universal Communication System (UCS) provided by Twenty First Century Communications rapidly called over 3,000 residents and business to alert them of the kidnapping.

This alert was sent out within 20 minutes of the actual kidnapping. This shows that when the technology is in place and used properly it can help rather then hinder the jobs people do.

In a previous incident in the same area of Kentucky the UCS system was not in place and the local residents were not alerted of the kidnapping until several hours after it happened.

The end result was drastically different, the child was found dead only 40 miles from where she was abducted.

Authorities at the time suggested that if there was a system in place to help notify the local residents of the kidnapping her life may have been saved, the system was available at the time but was not installed in this area.

Quicker Alerts May Save ChildrenSuccessful Missing Child Recovery Attributed To Twenty First Century Communications Universal Communications System

New Health Care Technology and Its Effects on our Economy

By Mike Carson

Medical technology is largely described as the use of procedures, equipment, and the process on how the medical treatment is delivered. With new medicine and surgical procedures such as angioplasty to joint replacements these operations couldn’t be executed without modern technology such as; scanners, implantable defibrillators, among other various technological breakthrough in the past 5 years.

Now with all of these new technologies comes the rise in health care. Health care has doubled over the past 35 years and is estimated to be over 4 trillion dollars by 2015. This is because of the rapid increase in insurance premiums. As technology gets better the price of health care goes up and not a lot of people can afford it. Hospitals have to incorporate our economies growth status with all of this new health spending to get better ways of treating people through new technology.

The constant development of new technologies for terminal illnesses that so far can’t be cured boosts up health care. So should these terminal illnesses be put on a tighter budget along with many other variables in the health world? Health Care has to be more affordable but with new technology this is impossible.

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