Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Does Microsoft really have a Chromebook killer?

From ZD Net, Here come Microsoft's Chromebook killers | ZDNet:.

First my take is that Microsoft needs to be ahead of the game and not playing catch-up as it has in the phone and tablet business. Can Microsoft produce a Chromebook killer? I really doubt it. That market will soon be declining or closed to new entries.

Microsoft is innovating in an old market. What worked in the 80's and 90's and into the 21st Century is OLD now. Microsoft is still thinking innovation they way they did and the world has caught up and passed them.

Microsoft's thinking is tooooo much Enterprise. Who is buying Chromebooks? Not Enterprise. Who is buying Android devices (phones, tablets) or who is buying iPhones, iPads? It's not generally the Enterprise (although it has in some cases). The BIG buyer of all these other devices, Android or Apple, have been USER'S, the people in the street (or on the street), the individual consumer.

Microsoft needs to separate Enterprise from User and KNOW the difference.

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Monday, August 11, 2014

The Future of Jobs and the Robotic, or AI Influence

Recently Pew Reseach Center released a report regarding "AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs". It is a good read however I am not sure that it's impact is reaching the right people.

Yes the tech world understands. We have been there and listened to Ray Kurzweil sending the signals for quite sometime. There have been detractors to Ray Kurzweil's "Singularity" however every day there is more and more evidence of the eventuality, or potential, of Singularity in the future everyday. The question is not when will Singularity occur (Ray says by 2045) but how long until we begin to see the light of the oncoming train?

In today's world we keep on keeping on what we thought yesterday. We see the change as 'out there' and, in my mind, do not grasp the speed at which things are really changing. The rate of acceptance of technology today is, in my mind, incredible. Could most live without a smartphone today?

What will someone today graduating from high school today, in our current conditions, be doing in 10 years?

The realization that most of these graduates are using a phone as their prime computer added to the anticipation the smartphone will be going away for other devices in incredible to us. I am 75 and the smartphone is not a gadget anymore it is a practical, and needed, piece of technology today. I search for answers to questions that in the past would have been left unanswered. We can get opinions, advice, and knowledge instantly - well as long as the Internet is up and working.

The following article today at Gigaom takes another look. Check it out.
Pew releases AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs — Gigaom Research:

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On Big Data Collection and Analysis

This morning in the NY Times is an article titled  "What Cars Did For Today's World, Data May Do For Tomorrow's". It is the kind of writing I find intriguing as it brings to front an interest in the data we are collecting. This interest being our ability to collect and then analyze that data for a benefit/purpose. I believe that in today's world this is an important quest and something we need to be aware of - VERY aware of.

I think we all know (or should know) that everything we do is being recorded in someway. If you are using an old alarm clock to wake then the time you get up is still private however if you are using a more recent technically significant device then there is the possibility that your alarm is being recorded. My example is the smartphone. What you do with that smartphone could be recorded and then captured. 

How does Google Now know that when I check in that it can tell me; 1) how far I am from home, 2) how far I am from Starbucks, 3) how far I am from work, and on Saturday 4) how far I am from my RV in the woods. I not only get the weather at home, on Saturday Google Now tells me the weather where the RV is. Google Now knows that I have an RV and knows where it is. Google Now knows all my appointments and with who, knows my interests (as in searches), and it can sense when I am driving or walking. 

Look at all the apps that we use and what they know. Is this being compiled someplace? Just read "Age of Context: Sensor's, Data, and the Future of Privacy" by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel. I can believe that everything is being recorded. 

On another side this has great potential. In the article I mentioned at the top this data collection can really be a benefit for companies like GE, the Airlines industries, automobile industries. and so many more. 

Think about what you do, the company you work for, and think about the data that is being collected and how it can be used to benefit your life, your families life,  your community, your social network, and very importantly the product or service you are building? Collection of data can push you to build or do better. 

You should keep in mind there could be a negative side to this data collection. Who is watching the collectors? And I am not just talking about our Government.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

U.S. Tech Corporations Limited to doing Business Only in U.S.!

One perspective of the courts ruling is that foreign governments will suggest to businesses within their borders that they only use communications services within their own countries. I am sure the governments of foreign countries will find services within it's own boarders to do business with. On the other hand; foreign governments might prefer the NSA to have their information than some secret service in their own country. Hmmm....double edged sword. 

Not sure we shouldn't consider using outside services for our own communications - just to be more difficult.

On the other hand the court also said (indirectily?) that if anyone in a foreign country uses a U.S. corporation for communications the U.S. will be watching (and listening, and reading) those communications. I suspect the NSA should be happy with this. The world now knows the reach of the NSA and "No One" is beyond the worlds "Big Brother". 

What's next? Newspeak? 
Alas, it's all for the "Greater Good".

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Can Google steal Microsoft's future?

I am a 'small' voice in the wind. After reading GigaOm Research article: Google is planning to steal Microsoft’s future", I still contend Microsoft does not have the right mental approach to stay ahead. As long as Microsoft continues to 'think' Enterprise they will eventually lose the individual's choices for productivity and email is one of those choices.

Enterprise and Individual productivity are two different things and Microsoft does not seem to get that.

In my opinion (and it is not My Humble Opinion)

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Linksys could be hiring Comcast Customer Service people

Why does Customer Service have to start sucking everywhere? I  have enough issues with those you cannot connect but when you are paying for support it damn well ought to be the best.

From the title this is obviously linked to Linksys. I have been Linksys router user for years, I have owned a number of routers and  have always been pleased with their router’s and their life span. Today my love affair with Linksys has gone away.

A little history: In September of 2013 I purchased a Linksys EA2700 WiFi Wireless N600 router. It fit my needs and yet may have been a little overkill for practical purposes. In April of this year (2014), while having some issues with the router I called Linksys Support. I purchased a phone support package for 6 months @ $39.99. I did not think that was too bad. .I had some issues in June of 2014 and I called and got great service and actually learned some things to keep from calling again. That was until July.

Now the issue: Out great cable company, TWC, went down for about 2 days (may have been longer, we were out of town). When the system came back up I could not get the router to see the modem. I spent some time rebooting modems and routers. I could access the router via a web browser however just could not get it to connect to (or talk to) the cable modem. So I called Linksys.

A nice gentleman connected with me and although the connection wasn’t the best (sounded like a radio phone of days gone by) we were able to communicate and he verified who I was and then started into a spiel about since I was having so much trouble with this router they would be inclined to give me a $15 rebate on my contract toward the purchase of a new router. I said I did not want to purchase a new router however he persisted. Finally he gets to a  point of saying he would be glad to suggest a better router for me and again they would provide a $15 rebate. He inferred that I had an old router – hmm – by about 10 months.

I said something to the effect that I will be looking at new routers however Linksys may not be on the list and at that point I thanked him and hung up. I didn’t wait, I had reached my limit. What a waste of time.

The take away from this was that Linksys router’s may only be good for 6 to 10 months – even if you purchase the service contract. I would hope that is not true however it’s the best I know.

Just a note: I downloaded and re-installed the software (using the Linksys site) and the router is working fine. Something my friend at Linksys could have fixed much faster if he wasn’t hell-bent on scoring a new router sale. Hmm…..I wonder if sales is not in charge of Customer Support? I think that is what happened someplace else.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

My Office 365 Home and Office Just Got 1 TB Of Online Space

In Computerworld last night I read the linked below and went to check and sure enough I have 1 TB of Online Storage space now,. The blog post pretty well spells out who gets it. The interesting thing I found is that the 7 GB of storage for non-subscribers (or those with an Outlook email address) is going to 15 GB. In all reality that may be as much as anyone individual needs.

I have a couple of issues. The first being I have had a number of corrupted files over the months that I have had a subscription to Office 365. The second one is the upload time also appears to be slow. I measure that by uploading to Dropbox or Google Drive - which both appear to be faster.

If I could ask for anything at any of the currently 3 big online storage providers that would be an ability to Share with TOTAL control over my whole online storage account. My wife and I share everything and if I needed to hide something I could use a different service. I would like her to sign in with her account and yet I could give her complete access to all I have stored and not folder by folder. I really believe that if this is going to be for Home and Office that needs to be.

Right now we share Google Calendar and it is as if we are both using the same calendar. We both enter items and we both can edit each others items. It's like having one calendar for both. I know many others that do this.

One of the reasons I am considering going with Dropbox is that I can give her my access and she can get into anything that is there. We could use it to backup files for both of us. I cannot do that on OneDrive or easily on Google Drive. I can share specific folders however that is not what I want to do.

We all have different needs and I am sure that I am not the only one with this issue.

OK here is the link to the article for the details on the 1TB drive update.

Microsoft boosts OneDrive storage to free terabyte - Computerworld:


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