Time to get Bumped!

This is one of those “I wish I had thought of that!” ideas that could make a difference in social responsibility.

As a cyclist with a camera phone, this could be a new measure of protection.  Sure, if you’re the genuine jerk, you may decide you don’t need the exposure, but even  jerks are going to be hard pressed not to register with Bump.com.  Why?  Because most jerks are self-promoters.  They’ll find this site too hard to resist. 

This idea could bring the idea of “pay it forward” to a whole new level of civility.  For example, people, in traffic, who ordinarily might not offer a chance to take a place in a line ahead of them… like they are prone to do in a grocery store, may reconsider.

I know there will be all sorts of doomsayers and privacy advocates out there crying foul, but this is a personal decision, just like joining Facebook.  I say get used to it.  Our mantra at Integra Business Systems is  “Linking Technology with Personal Service”.   Bump.com has all the promise of being the epitomy of just that type of technology.

http://www.bump.com/help/claimplate 

A new social networking tool is trying to turn your vehicle’s license plate into an all-in-one identifier that acts as an E-mail address, phone number, shopping rewards card and even an IP address.

From Wired

Bump.com, the brainchild of entrepreneur Mitchell Thrower, uses license plate recognition technology to allow businesses and government services to connect with drivers and drivers to connect with each other. Thrower says it should be in a public beta by Thanksgiving, just in time for drivers stuck in holiday traffic to send messages to one another.

“The license plate has never given the consumer anything,” said Thrower, who calls the automobile the “last wall that separates us from a communications standpoint.”

That wall may be coming down, as drivers who “claim their plate” at Bump.com will soon be able to sign up for a roadside assistance and rewards program called Bump Advantage (Thrower calls it a “younger, hipper, AAA”) and might even get a targeted rewards coupon on their Bump-enabled smartphone when they pull into the mall parking lot.

“It works like a cookie,” said Thrower, except it uses the license plate as a physical marker for a camera that can read up to five plates per second at up to 150 miles per hour. That technology allows for automated check-ins at hotels and sporting events and easy rental car returns, but it also is helpful for marketers. “It can tie back the owner of the vehicle to their purchase patterns,” Thrower said.

Bump users can also communicate with other drivers by scanning license plate numbers with a smartphone app. Parked too close? Tail light out? Spot a cutie in a Chrysler? Just use Bump to send a text or photo message. For safety, text messaging is disabled when a car is in motion.

Thrower said the technology might actually be able to cut down on road rage, allowing drivers to constructively communicate with each other. Software is used to filter obscenities, and if you’re the passive-aggressive type you can leave a negative rating for a driver that follows them around online. Thrower assures us the rating will never be seen by insurance companies, which is a promise we sure hope ends up in writing somewhere.

Wired Article: http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/09/bump-is-a-social-network-for-your-license-plate/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wired%2Findex+%28Wired%3A+Index+3+%28Top+Stories+2%29%29&utm_content=Google+Feedfetcher

“We are golden”

“We are golden”, taken from the song Woodstock

The song is by Joni Mitchell and here are the lyrics

I came upon a child of god
He was walking along the road
And I asked him, where are you going
And this he told me
I’m going on down to yasgurs farm
I’m going to join in a rock n roll band
I’m going to camp out on the land
I’m going to try an’ get my soul free
We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden

——————

Mid-September we had the good fortune to visit Napa, Sonoma and the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) which was a pleasant diversion from the repressive heat and humidity in Tampa, FL.  What a scenic smorgasbord!  The vistas afforded us along the PCH, were seemingly in relief of every hairpin curve, and unequalled by the last, were spectacular (more on the wine country and the PCH later). 

This post is all about the journey.  Our travels took us south from Sonoma on Hwy 101 over the Golden Gate Bridge.  Good advice from the omniscient Charles allowed us to travel mostly rush hour free.  The journey began in Sonoma and took us through  a very eclectic part of San Francisco.

San Francisco didn’t disappoint its climatic reputation for chilling shades of grey.  Shades of grey were evident even in people’s faces.  People’s faces were nothing short of grim.  Granted it was early, in particular for students.  And their faces could be interpreted to be determined.  Somehow their expressions seemed to fall short.  Determined would include optimism.  There was plenty of time sitting at stop lights to people watch, up close and personal.  Their faces seemed short on both optimism and pessimism.  Instead, people seemed disenchanted if not just plain tired.  Maybe it was the houses, stacked upon each other; or the people getting in each other’s way, skilled at avoidance, but not in familiarity, which bred an absence of smiles.

Fortunately there was a change of face during our journey.  It was very similar to travelling over the Golden Gate Bridge.  People’s faces brightened measurably as we moved south from San Francisco to Santa Barbara. As we left San Francisco behind, traversed the Golden Gate Bridge we felt a mixture of emotion.  As we reached its apex, we enjoyed views of the city and the Pacific.  This brought us a sense of relief and optimism, looking forward to visiting the coastal cities of Monterey, Carmel and San Simeon; and the state parks showcasing majestic redwoods and the coastline along the Pacific Ocean.  “Back to the Garden.”

%d bloggers like this: