Oakland is Angry

My city is angry, and I understand why. A young man, who was held down on the ground and handcuffed, was then shot by a police officer. (Fucking cops!)

Compounding the issue is that there hasn’t seemed to be any real action on holding any of the officers involved accountable for the death of the young man, 22 year old Oscar Grant who was laid to rest yesterday.

So, people took to the streets. They met in protest at the BART (subway or tube to the rest of you) station where he was killed. They gathered to speak about the young man, and to express their anger towards the bullshit that went down on New Years Day at that location. And some folks then marched that location to downtown Oakland.

And some of those people, well, I don’t know what the fuck their problem was. Some shitty shit happened, yes, but does that justify burning cars, dumpsters, garbage cans and breaking windows in stores?  Hell no!

I saw none of it. I was not in downtown. When I got off work yesterday, I got on my bike and rode home.

Some folks were there – Richard and Becks wrote great blogs about being there.

I love this city, and I hope we can find a way to work it out and express our anger without burning the whole city down.

Just sayin’.

Cool New Technology – Smart Shopping Cart

Microsoft, in collaboration with MediaCart has developed a smart shopping cart.  I read about this on Salon. When you swipe your loyalty card, it will upload your shopping list. As you pick up items from your list, and scan them, it’ll check them off and give you a running total of the cost. It will also be able to help you find items within the store. Of course, they’ll need to find a way to make money off of the system, so they’ll be selling targeted video ads which will appear on the screen depending on what’s on your list, past purchases, or which aisle you’re on. They’re planning on testing the system in ShopRite stores later this year.

I think it sounds like a neat idea, that’ll make shopping more easy and efficient. It sounds like the type of thing I would have fun playing with in the store. Of course, I could also take the conspiracy theory angle, that The Man or the Eye of Microsoft is spying on me, and using my purchase history against me. What do you think? Is the smart cart super cool or super scary?