Tag Archives: Chromebook

A repetition of events

This is speculative, this is my view on the matter and it might be very very wrong, yet I see events take place and I have seen it all before, this is not a first. It has happened and it will happen again yet to be true I never expected Apple to be part of that equation. No matter how we consider the stage, no matter how we thing it will be alright. As I personally see it, it will not.

My insight started well over 30 years ago with a Dutch Company called ‘Infotheek’, an IT company when IT was a mere myth, it was rising and in that air it started to believe its own marketing. I saw some service person air anecdote after anecdote but never really managing anything, merely pushing the expectations of its boss unto the staff member on his watch and anyone not meeting presented and assumed expectations, that person was done away. They started buying companies and keeping the few stars that a company had and the rest, you guessed it, over time they were done away. It was slow enough not to raise flags, but the centre core was that they were purchasing revenue. I saw a pretty amazing sales star walking away from that. Even if I never realised it at the time, his name was Oscar, he had a sales routine and a calculator and he was doing tricks with the calculator and he was good, he really was. I never understood him, all I saw was some slick suited person with expensive sunglasses, but I was in services and happy to be there giving technical support. It was the golden age of Tulip Computers and I was aiding those users. Yet I saw Infotheek buying company after company, I saw people go faster and faster and it was my first view on ‘buying revenue’ but there were more later, when it became more common ground. These thoughts went through my mind as I took notice of ‘Apple buys a company every three to four weeks’ (source: BBC). The stage is similar, the problem is what path are they taking? Are they buying revenue “Apple recently delivered its largest quarter by revenue of all time, bringing in $111.4bn (£78.7bn) in the first-quarter of its fiscal year 2021”? Or perhaps it is a stage here they are accumulating cost to lower tax brackets? Are they merely looking for a cheap way to get the real jewels in a company, get the revenue and do away the rest? In this we need to consider the number one part, they are not doing anything illegal, yet the stage remains that the bought companies have a population of X, when within 2 years the population goes to X-45%, and when you see that this involves 100 companies, how many people will become unemployed? Even if we see “Most often, Apple buys smaller technology firms and then incorporates their innovations into its own products” we see a half truth, it is not the whole story. Yes, we accept that sometimes it is straight revenue like “Apple’s largest acquisition in the last decade was its $3bn purchase of Beats Electronics, the headphone maker founded by rapper and producer Dr Dre” and there is nothing wrong with that, but there is a larger risk that some people lose the foresight (or is that hindsight) that the Apple egg becomes like an actual egg, a hard outer exterior, but behind that it is space, empty space, not all of it is the joke (sorry read yoke) of the matter. A larger stage and in this case not some presented larger Dutch IT firm, but an actual behemoth that I set somewhere between $1,000,000,000 and $1,500,000,000 when that comes crashing down what will the impact be? And any firm that I in the stage of buying revenue is always heading for disaster and when it becomes someone buying another firm almost every month for 6 years that crash is close to a given.

You see, on paper it all looks nice, but incorporating new companies, re-schooling staff, educating staff on a new set of ideologies is a much larger task and the stage is alway in motion, the stage of confirming and checking whether the new people are on track of becoming images of the old people is a setting that takes time and when you buy a company every month the pyramid becomes unstable a lot faster than anyone realises and when that happens, good luck with finding support and services to your Apple product. In this there is one given, the sales people tend to forget about the services required and when they learn that their sales pipeline is stuffed because they forgot to give trust the larger stage of corporate valour it all goes pear shape rather fast.

In this I am speculating on the past, perhaps Apple will be fine. Perhaps I am all wrong and my experience does not count. So basically I could be wrong, however GeekWire gives us ‘Chromebooks outsold Macs worldwide in 2020, cutting into Windows market share’ (at https://www.geekwire.com/2021/chromebooks-outsold-macs-worldwide-2020-cutting-windows-market-share/) a week ago. This does not mean that I am suddenly right. A 6 year tactic is not the stage that is seen in one article over one year that is optionally the weirdest year of the century. 

One does not imply the other but we need to take notice of both, especially in a stage where the 5G future is more and more likely to be a cloud based one and we cannot deny that the Chromebook is a pure cloud based solution. It is up to us all but when we consider that we need to realise that we too are wage slaves and service slaves and whatever hinders or threatens us will threaten all, a small truth that goes back to the age of Gaius Julius Caesar and for those who remember his name from the history books as a politician and a ruler, he was a general first, so he knows a few things, come to think of it, he set in motion some of the tactics that are till used 2 millennia later, all set before he became Dictator Perpetuo, think of that before we dismiss all of the facts and in this there are more facts, some are hidden in the story, it will be your puzzle of the day. In this I give you one small clue ‘Is Iteration in similarity the same as iteration and does that warrant consideration of the title iteration?

Have a great day!

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Musings

I am currently awaiting my new laptop. My Lenovo Chromebook just is not good enough (apart from the dodgy spacebar). And as I was pondering a few actions, the BBC article ‘How Elon Muskaims to revolutionise battery technology’ I remembered the idea that his car battery gave me. You see, the solar cell idea was nice, yet the setting to ADD somethig to your roof is where the issue optionally starts. My idea was to replace the roof tile in roofs, in newly built houses. This new tile based on the old one, exists in two versions, version 2.0 and version 2.0 plus The 2.0 tile is made from recycled plastics, and therefore over time cheaper and beneficial to nature, the second one has added solar cells in it and it fuels the car battery.

Now one tile is not going to hack it, yet a roof can be replaced over time with more and more cells. Fuelling that battery faster and giving it more use. Over time that battery will fuel lights, heating aircons and a whole range of appliances. Making the house first carbon neutral and over time carbon negative. Those buying houses will benefit the most, yet apartment complexes can benefit too as it fuels the common usage parts and over time we add to the electricity net making them money too. A stage where we look at a stage where we all become the power suppliers. His battery is the start of something more and in this age of power usage, we can become neutral in its needs. Consider your own needs, how much power does your console use, your TV, the router and optionally the PC, now consider that their power use is nullified by the roof, as well as the two most power intensive parts, the boiler (if you have one), and the fridge which will use power 24:7.

Now consider that usage to be nullified not by one person but by 10,000,000. That would reduce brownouts in places like California and Greece by close to 80%, from the benefits of having, we now see the benefits of providing, the electrical car being one part, you create the power it needs, implying that your personal fuel costs will diminish handing you more money every months for other matters. Consider your bills at present, now take fuel and power out of that equation. The larger benefit is not gained overnight, but over time and the stage I considered was one where we grow the creation and diminish the usage by not adding loans from the get go, but replace at easy steps without having to add loans. In this setting we can have a stage with the initial mortgage, and that makes sense, yet over time (every 2 years) you can add 20-50 tiles with spare change, giving you that in your first decade you are well beyond carbon neutral and that is only the start, as I see it the Musk battery technology can alter lives on a very large scale. His car is merely the start of something larger, benefitting billions of households.

You might think that these are simple musings, and you would be right, yet the creativity to apply someone’s creation in another way could start more creativity, more originality and applied to a much wider field. Lets face it, the weapon I created to sink the Iranian fleet was based on an offshore engineering principle (with some added physics). 

The roof idea would not have had the impact if Elon Musk did not do its duracell manoeuvre. We merely need to look at where else a battery like that one could impact us and how we fuel it, and when you walk through any city and see the billions of inactive roof tiles, consider the amount of power you get when every tile you see becomes a power creator. In this the rural people have an added bonus, they will have access to power on a size they never had before. When that becomes a thing of the past, we can focus on new fields and in other areas, there is plenty of mess to fix and a lot of it can be broomed under a rug (we all do it).

 

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Without even thinking

As I see it, Microsoft did not learn from the massive act of idiocy that Don Mattrick bestowed upon the Xbox One, when the quote “Microsoft’s Don Mattrick has addressed concerns about the compulsory connectivity requirements of Xbox One. ‘Fortunately we have a product for people who aren’t able to get some form of connectivity; it’s called Xbox 360,’ said Mattrick. ‘If you have zero access to the Internet, that is an offline device’”, the blowback in 2013 was massive and as such Microsoft had to take a few steps back, mainly because Microsoft had lost the trust of the people through the mere lust of data.

And now, without even thinking, Microsoft now does exactly that same thing as they rolled out Windows 10 on Xbox One. Once you have updated, you cannot play any games unless you have signed in online. A mandatory sign in! I reckon that Microsoft has now moved beyond a certain point, it is called betraying your customer base, so fuck you very much Microsoft!

Thank god there is Sony!

Without even thinking they pushed it out, forcing mandatory internet connectivity, the threat that made people jump towards Sony due to ‘the Mattrick equation’ will now assist to soar Sony’s PlayStation 4 even further. So if Phil Spencer gets a lovely bouquet from Andrew House we will all know the reason. So as this mistake was made just in time for the people of America just before Thanksgiving and for all other people before Christmas to cancel their Xbox One order and change their order to a PlayStation 4.

There will still be an issue for me; you see to keep the PlayStation competitive it needs a nemesis. If we accept that the Xbox will run dry another solution needs to be found. Perhaps Google will father a sibling next to their console and make one for true high level gaming. Perhaps it will be an upgraded Steam based reality, perhaps something truly new. They might be the only one who can replace Microsoft. I reckon that is not the only field where Microsoft will lose. As it has ‘mesmerised’ the media with a massively overpriced tabled with a soft keyboard (the Surface 3) at almost twice the price of the most powerful iPad, being at almost 400% of a Chromebook that can be stronger from the word go by inserting an $80 CF card you get the 32Gb storage the surface has (they have bigger models too), yet these CF cards can be switched in mere seconds. This is not me becoming anti-Microsoft, this is me informing the consumer that they should not take any ‘easy’ path but they should consider that alternatives should be considered. The fact that Microsoft becks out on their earlier promise, how long until they break other promises? What options will they have AFTER they paid $2293 for a Microsoft Surface Pro 3?

Yes, we cannot deny that there is still a market for Microsoft, but they are now pricing themselves out of a market by no longer being reliable, because how long until every device is forced onto the land of THEIR cloud systems and how private will your data be? Part of that was addressed by ZDNet today, the rest (the press at large) seemed to have ignored the Xbox issues. Perhaps they decided to hold out for advertiser’s funds like hungry debutants! Yes, the press is not the reliable force of true information it ones was.

ZDNET gives us another part that connects to this (at http://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-updates-privacy-statement-addressing-concerns-from-critics/), stating “Microsoft recently revised its global Privacy Statement, with a few minor changes and some significant additions aimed at cooling overheated privacy concerns“. The article is for the most about the user’s privacy and it goes into lengths to do that, so if you fear your ‘privacy’ then read the article and fear no more. The article addresses it quite clearly but then stops short of dealing with the mandatory login (which was not part of the article in all fairness), which is now one step away from ending preowned gaming. An entire economy now in direct possible threat.

But back to the consoles!

The fact that this escalation has happened is also a blessing now, because as people realise before Thanksgiving that whatever Microsoft device is gifted at thanksgiving, it will be the thanksgiving present for Microsoft, not for the intended person that would be the recipient of the console, so How crazy is that?

Thank god we have Sony!

Between now and late 2016, the PS4 will have 15 titles on its sleeve that are PS4 only, some of them have been jaw dropping, as such PS4 remains the compatible system that does not demand you to be online, yet until the Achievements remain offline, that part is not too realistic. Sony has in addition kept its word throughout the PS2, PS3 and PS4 era, something that cannot be said for Microsoft as the promised backward compatibility on the 360 was not delivered on and now that it has some backwards compatibility, the issue of being forced online is a massive setback to gamers all over the world.

Thank god we have Sony!

Sony is not without flaws either, yet this level of backstabbing has never been ‘offered’ by Sony, which gives Microsoft now a massive disadvantage with Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, so the gap between Sony and Microsoft could widen even further. When we consider that Sony has a 2:1 growing lead and even as the Microsoft Marketing engine is trying to flog statements like “Sony PlayStation 4 sells 22 million, but Microsoft has backward compatibility“, whilst not revealing that online presence on a daily basis is now mandatory gives food for thought and the served meal is no longer that appealing.

In all this if Xbox takes another massive hit, so much the better, they need a little humbling experience, because even though the gamers tend to be online, to be forced there is not what they signed up for and if Microsoft is breaking its word, what else will it break its word on? Pre-owned games perhaps? Because if this is where gamers are going, they will be happy to switch trains any way they can. Microsoft just didn’t realise the impact of that move, the worse for them I say!

In the end, what are the fact of life? The people do not mind being online, they mind being forced there, no matter how we feel about some marketed stream of ‘media’ like the Sydney Morning Herald (at http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/games/xbox-one-finally-finds-its-feet-with-backwards-compatibility-gamesfocused-dashboard-20151115-gkzq7p.html). Is it not interesting how Tim Biggs remained unaware how people MUST be online now so that they can sign in?

Thank god we have Sony!

Yet in all this, we have ignored an alternative player, perhaps they will come with a new console called ‘the Black Hole’, a device that equals the next ‘PS4+’ allows for gaming, internet and streaming. That has an interchangeable drive and can be the centre of your devices to you can synch your mobile and tablet. All things the gamer does, all this whilst he/she plays a game, by themselves or with/against friends. Connected was never the issue, it was the non-consensual part that had everyone miffed, so if you do something you truly want, yet you get there without consent, does that not equal getting screwed over?

They did that to you without even thinking and the press stayed silent how lame is that?

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What was the right question?

There is an article in the Guardian called ‘Which laptop should we buy for our child?‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/askjack/2015/nov/05/which-laptop-should-we-buy-for-our-child), you might think that I have an issue with the article, and I do, but not perse with the article. The article is quite decent, however the article is about a ‘solution’. I learned recently that solutions are vague, they are transient and they fade the moment you give them. You see, as a great teacher not too long ago taught me, it is about trust and about answering needs.

I understand what Jack writes, he gives good advice and I would have given a similar advice, yet at some point I learned something new (we all do, trust me). What are the needs of the child? Now, the child might not understand it has needs here (other than cool games, and we can see that in schools laptops, or better stated ‘fat’ mobile devices are going to be the trend. Whether this is an Airbook like the Mac has, a Chromebook like ASUS has or another device in a similar capacity, the child will need to move forward.

Yet, am I not in a mode where the answer is given? No, let me explain. Jack mentions the Windows 2-in-1 “detachables”, which sounds nice Mr. Schofield, but that trend is now, it is 2015, what about 2016 or 2017? What happens when those trends shift? By the way the sentence “we can’t afford to spend lots of money“, so as such Apple will not become a solution any day soon. Interesting the Chromebook solution that many carry are on average of $250 cheaper (Australian comparison), a part not mentioned anywhere, that optional solution did not make it to the table.

For me, do I think it is a solution? I am not at all certain, you see, the needs of the child are unknown. So why spend money? To give the kid some skills? Well that is all good and fine, so why is the possible solution for a tablet; a mere Android based tablet at one third of the cost of a Chromebook not decently investigated? The mention of the tablets (all 6 mentions was regarding the push to the 2015 trend of a ‘detachable’. You see, the object of usage is a small person about to celebrate the moment of his ninth birthday. Kids have accidents, they break things (unintentional), your youngling drinks lemonade and other liquids. So you want to put a laptop there? With his excited friends that is an accident waiting to happen. So, how will you afford the second laptop?

The simplest tablet with a decent casing costs less than a hundred quid. For £49.99 you get a very basic one. The best thing is that the skills will transfer to a laptop or a larger tablet when your child is ready, more important, there is no way of knowing what the needs will be when he gets to a decent school level, when he gets to year 10, what will he need? Perhaps the school provides? Also, the pricing would have gone down to such an extent, that the one device you cannot afford now, could be really affordable in 2016.

So many people so many options, why answer them at all? Why not give the device that at least lets your little one to grow skills and answer the call to the device your young one needs when the moment is there?

So yes, Jack Schofield gives advice, it is sound advice but in all this, he failed to mention that some devices are limited and to get a better return, a much higher cost comes into view. You see a mere simple version from Asus might be £195.64, yet when you consider how fast 32GB is gone you will need something bigger, that will take you to £289.99 very fast. In my situation, I do not offer a solution, for £49.99 you get a very simple device that allows the little one to grow skills, and in 2-3 years when his skills have really outgrown the 8GB device, he might get that same device not for £289.99, but for £179.99, perhaps even less, so the little tablet paid for itself.

Part of me understands that the next generations needs to be clued in, logged in and online earlier in life, I will not stop it, oppose it or question it. Yet in all this we must also answer what is the best to make your child grow. Perhaps it is the 2 in one that Jack Schofield mentioned, but I am not convinced. You see with the quote: “there are several ways to run Android apps on Windows PCs, such as BlueStacks and AmiDuOS” is all about getting someone to windows. Why? I do not oppose Windows as I use it myself. After the blunders Windows 8 had, I am not willing to trust Windows 10 at this point, yet Microsoft is willing to mandatory push it to its user base regardless of what the consumer thinks. A methodology I do not support. This was shown in another Guardian article by Samuel Gibbs where we see: “Consumer users of Windows 10 will have no choice but to accept the installation of automatic updates, even if they break software for them” (at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jul/17/windows-10-updates-mandatory-home-users), what happens when our choice of software breaks? Are we forced to a Microsoft solution? How is that not an instilled dictatorship? The final quote from that article was “Automatic updates may also create a situation where an update breaks something on a computer system, perhaps a legacy program“, which is what many will face over the next decade. Microsoft is starting a cleaning operation and the user is losing their rights. I might have had to pay $199 for my Windows 7, but at present trusting my system on the net is not an option, that trust was destroyed by Microsoft in a way 10,000 viruses could not. Regardless of that choice, Jack should have remained a lot more neutral than he did. I believe for the bulk of all needs Android fills the requirement of a user, this does not take away to prospect of Microsoft, but last time you looked, which software was free? Weirdly enough, for the normal student, the software like writing, calculating and presenting is free on android and Linux. Apple and Microsoft charges for that.

Yet in all this, where are the needs of the user? When he gets to the setting up of things he is addressing fear in my humble opinion. Now let me add one too. The text: “Windows 8.1 and 10 will email you a weekly record of your son’s activities: how many hours he’s used his PC, the websites he’s visited, and how long he spent in his favourite apps“, so are you the only one who gets this, or will Microsoft have this data too? There is validity in keeping your child safe, but that starts with the need for strong passwords and knowing what to do and what not to do. Your child will make mistakes and even today many adults still make these blunders and larger ones too!

So in my view, spending little is not a shame and your child should be safe, but consider the options hackers and malware have nowadays, it is close to impossible to stop, in that case let it be a device that when it happens will not infer heavy losses. In that part, let me end with another quote the article has “I don’t think it’s worth buying or installing the full desktop programs for a 9-year-old“, which is true, so how large are the hands of a nine year old. Can they not hold onto a 7” tablet easier? More important, when he gets soaked in the rain and his backpack got drenched, my money will be on a skinned tablet not any laptop or ‘2 in one’ solution to survive that ordeal.

In the end it is as I expect growing skills with your child. I get that, and I applaud that approach, yet let it be skills, playful skills and artistic skills. Let the child enjoy their life until year 6 when the skills will be tested, let them grow into the savvy programmer they can be and get them the system they can handle and let them grow into a stronger system, the needs of any child will grow stronger when ingenuity is required, factual evidence that has been known for decades. Yet how they grow will usually be up to them, not you or me, or their teachers for that matter, we can only hope to guide them in a decent direction, let’s not forget if you as a parent do not have the skills to guide them, where will they get their example? What happens when they follow the wrong example?

In the end, what was the right question? Which device allows your child to grow in all directions a device offers growth? On which device are their drawing skills challenged? Anyone can type a text, anyone can do ‘math’ with a spreadsheet, yet the art of drawing (a skill I never mastered) is getting lost more and more in this world of laptops, is that not a shame too?

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