Tag Archives: iPad

The left corner

Yup, we have all heard it on TV, in movies. In the left corner weighing ……. Yada, yada, yada. The beginning of a match. You heard it, but did you realise it? It hit me today, I was thinking back to the good old days (Google Plus), it had a side others ignored and they are still ignoring it. I joined Facebook in 2004, or was it 2003? The setting was that I was travelling the globe, most of the direct family (when they were still alive) had a travelling bug. As such Facebook was part of a solution, yet it turned out that Google Plus was a much better fit. Reality shows that I have 2 best friends, I have a number of ‘sort of friends’ and I have relatives. Apart from the relative members I would happily shoot with an M-24, I did try to stay in touch with those I had no need to shoot and then time caught up with them and they died. 

Family solution

Time is the eternal equaliser and it will claim me too at some point (once). Yet today I considered how the need for greed of Facebook is leaving an untapped side to social media. They were all about boasting that everyone wants to know everything (better for advertisement), yet the foundation of Google plus was that you decided to give to certain circles, and family is its own circle. Facebook forgot about that part and the others that followed Facebook is overlooking that too (as far as I can tell). You see, the world is not interested in the desk you bought (unless it comes with a naked lady) and then they are merely interested in how visible the nudity of the lady is. But family members are different, they are interested in your new desk, your new quilt cover, especially when there is more than an hour of travel time involved. Some are a lot further away and they want to see the birthday pics of your little one, the rest of the world has no business to see those. So why did social media evolve into an advertisement space where we see all no matter how trivial, or how convoluted the message? 

And as far as I could tell there was no one, at least that was the case, former Facebook employees caught on and created Cocoon. It is not free, it will cost you $39.99 USD per year, yet as they say (at cocoon.com) “Thirty days after you create a Cocoon, one person in the group will need to sponsor it on everyone’s behalf to keep it going. You don’t need to decide upfront whether to pay for Cocoon, only after you reach the end of your trial period. A Cocoon costs $5.99 USD per month or $39.99 USD per year for the entire group”, so one family member pays the amount of slightly less than $40 a year to keep it going and only ONE member needs to pay. That is a very different story and it is one that could take off. So as we get “The app itself does not cost money to download. Pricing is per Cocoon, not per person, and you can be in as many Cocoons as you would like”, it is actually brilliant, to get back to the true foundations of social media, of true socialising and I am amazed that others had not caught on here. Consider a family with nieces, nephews and other riffraff (read: family members) and one price per family. I am decently amazed that they have not cornered that industry yet, because as I see it that setup could grow far and fast over the next three years. As Google lost its Plus side, Cocoon might be all that remains for a lot of people who are sick of the 17 advertisements an hour and the nobodies who have something not so nice to say about your niece’s new dress or your nephew’s new bike. Yes we all make fun of family, yet that is the right of a family member, to say to auntie bertha that her hat went out of fashion when Black and White TV’s did. 

I am equally aware that Cocoon is not advertising, which is debatable as a choice, because there are globally millions who have had enough of Facebook in some regard. I am not totally against Facebook, it has its space and its function when it is about schools, friends that are not family members. And with Google Plus out of the equation Cocoon has a much larger stage to play on. And as they end their sales pitch with “You can be in as many Cocoons as you’d like, but they’ll remain separate from each other and you can navigate between them using the Cocoon switcher. Your nickname, picture, and colour are distinct in each, and contents from one Cocoon can’t be shared or forwarded into another.” We can clearly see that they are on the right track, they are heading into a direction where Social media should have headed in to a much larger degree than it has been doing. If there is one downside it will be the case that I can have it on my iPad, but not on a MacBook. At times I prefer to do my socialising on something with a decent keyboard, I am just wired that way, but that is me, some will find the iPad, android phone and/or iPhone sufficient. I also believe there are a few flaws in the initial stage, but that might be me (I don’t think so though), as such it is a great setting and it does have a real future on a stage where people are being drowned on advertisement and personalised information mining. Yet cocoon is new and fresh, just like the 1985 movie which was all about family as well. 

When you have a family that you do not want to shoot at a moment’s notice, Cocoon is a bright choice in a field where most choices are smitten with some level of darkness.

1 Comment

Filed under IT

Innovative?

Yup we heard it all. Quotes like ‘Apple is widely considered as the #1 innovative company in the world’, as well as ‘While most companies are lucky to come up with one major innovation, these three continue to develop breakthroughs and don’t seem to be slowing down any time soon’ and Apple it was to some extend true, especially when Steve Jobs was still mortal, around and kicking. Since then they only gave us the Apple AirPods, which is true innovation. The rest is iteration. Microsoft is calling the Surface innovation, wrong! I see it as iteration and a weak copy from the iPad to begin with, it goes on and on, IBM has the Quantum computing cloud, but that has been pretty much it, beyond that most are merely iteration and weirdly enough, they seem to focus on what can be iterated, not innovated. 

iPad fling
I have had a fling with my iPad going back to 2011 when the first one came out. It was a present from me to me when I got into graduate school at UTS. I saw all these eager students with a laptop in one hand like it was a serve platter running from corner to corner trying to find a powerpoint, as such I decided on the iPad, the very first one, which had 64GB, cellular and WiFi. I was happy as a puppy with a fresh bone. This would continue until 2020 when it started to show issues and most parts would no longer be updated, it was too old. There were no tears, with 10 years 24:7 service it had earned its keep at least twice over and my storage never exceeded 50%, the 64GB was a true achievement. As such in 2020 I updated to the iPad Air, now with 256GB, a more powerful processor, higher resolution and that fling feeling came back in a rush. 

Yet the market has changed, this is fair enough and I see the iPad Air as an iteration, not innovation. It was this step that I saw today that innovation was absent, or more precisely absent from the iPad systems for too much. Now, in the larger scheme I do not care, I am still really happy with what it has, and as pretty much all of it is back, I have little to complain about.

There is this one thing
It is there that I saw innovation, where none was and I do not know why Apple did not see this. You see apps, games (free to play) are all nice, but they need to get their money (as much as possible) from advertisers. As such it does not matter how it is setup, the increasing amount of advertisements, a setting that is beyond the borders of harassment are also grabbing my Bluetooth speaker when I am trying to enjoy music whilst playing a game, and it is there that I saw the lack of innovation. I wonder why Apple never looked at the setting to make the bluetooth an exclusive to for example the Music app. I cannot fault app makers to rely on advertisement, but when your speakers get hijacked every other minute, you either listen to music or nothing at all, why did Apple not see this, or even see this coming?

When we have YouTube playing and the advertiser grabs/pushes through the same speaker as YouTube, it is fine, I get that, but I have a problem in the other event when I play a game muted, but the advertiser will hijack/obtains your speaker. Did Apple not see that coming? So whilst we saw in June 2020 ‘13 new innovative technologies and features unveiled at WWDC20’, Bluetooth innovation was absent, Bluetooth iteration too. As such, whilst we herald the addition of “New cycling directions in Maps take into account elevation, how busy a street is, and whether there are stairs along the route”, we see iteration, the natural consequence of what came before, not iteration, which is supposed to mean “the practical implementation of ideas that result in the introduction of new goods or services or improvement in offering goods or services”, yet here we see the problem ‘or improvement in offering goods or services’, the problem there is that ‘improvement’ is now on a sliding scale, especially in software where a lot of improvements are iterations, not innovations. 

Is this me?
Yes, it probably is, but in that same light, there is a larger group of people that see the addition of one new chip as iteration, not innovation. Marketing departments globally have ‘abused’ the word ‘innovation’ to the degree that we see it as a debatable word at best. This is pure in us, driven through the advertisers and the larger brands need to see that innovation is no longer a calling to customers, it is a calling to investigate the brand in just how loyal one needs to be. In this I will also admit that it might not merely be marketing, but the brief that their board of director gives out to marketing, no matter how you slice it. As such what information to trust, and that is fair enough. Yet the stage we see is larger, larger than even I can consider, simply because I am not the greatest expert in the field and there is also the stage that I do not look everywhere. It becomes increasingly difficult where we see the Internet of things (IoT), consider that a device is suddenly used in a field that it has never been used in, this (to me) is innovation, not iteration and that field is in motion, in rapid motion in all directions, as such what might be innovation is seen as iteration in the way it is brought to us, it is understandable that we see this wrong, but it is unfair to the player bringing it. We can blame it on their marketing, but that is not fair either. As such you need to wonder where the threshold lies and here we have a nice example. Are the Bravia XR TV’s (2021) iteration or innovation? We might say one, but consider that speakers have to go somewhere and Sony is the first one to put them behind the LCD display, does that make it innovation or iteration? I am not certain, but they call it innovation. Is it true or false? I actually do not have a clear answer, yet my view of what is would call it iteration, an iteration I desire, but an iteration none the less. 

It goes deeper and ZDNet gave us that part in January 2021 with a list of ARK Big Ideas 2021, which would include the following:

  • Deep Learning
  • The Reinvention of the Data Center
  • Virtual Worlds
  • Digital Wallets
  • Bitcoin Fundamentals
  • Bitcoin: Preparing For Institutions
  • Electric Vehicles (EVs)
  • Automation
  • Autonomous Ride-Hailing
  • Delivery Drones
  • Orbital Aerospace
  • 3D Printing
  • Long Read Sequencing
  • Multi-Cancer Screening
  • Cell and Gene Therapy: Generation 2

When I see this list, we see deep learning, Bitcoin fundamentals, and Long Read Sequencing and in these cases we expect iteration. 

In case of deep learning (often presented as AI) we see the definition “Deep learning (also known as deep structured learning) is part of a broader family of machine learning methods based on artificial neural networks with representation learning. Learning can be supervised, semi-supervised or unsupervised”, yet my issue is with the part ‘Learning can be supervised’, as I personally see it to be deep learning, it needs to be semi-supervised or unsupervised, if not it is merely adapted scripting. I will skip Bitcoin fundamentals, it is in my mind an iterative field, but in that I must admit there is a lot I do not know and I never cared to learn it, as such if someone states to me that I was wrong, it would be a fair assessment, but to see innovation paired with a word like ‘fundamentals’ is weird on too many levels. It becomes a different stage when we consider Long Read Sequencing, I get it data is in evolution and transformation and these sequencings are often linked to biometrics, a field that is very much innovation, even the iterations tend to be innovation, so I see the flaw in my thinking here. Yet it compares to naught when we consider ‘Long-read human genome sequencing and its applications’ by Glennis A. Logsdon, Mitchell R. Vollger & Evan E. Eichler. It was published less than a year ago and it took almost that long for me to get the gist of it (armed with a thesaurus). As such when we see Oxford Nanopore Technologies and its applications we do clearly see a large field of innovation, not merely in biometrics, but in an adapted path towards a string of devices all the way from manufacturer to user, where we see an optional path towards identifying digital forensics, I wonder if Mr or Mrs Technology Nanopore from Oxford considered that part of the equation. In a stage where the IoT is in nonstop motion, setting a chain of identifying hardware and connections in a string, an extremely long string might be (for now) the only way to go and that will be (as I personally see it) a much larger stage in digital forensics to find the paths towards organised crime and disorganised corporate crime soon enough. When parts of a path are identified we would optionally see an identifier of non repudiation. Only that person, and that person could have taken that road. Which might also more quickly identify a larger strain of click farms. Not claiming the innovation, merely stating that this might be a path worth considering. At present some will discard the issue with data size, yet I come from an age where DEC had a Winchester drive with 250,000,000 bytes, which was the size of a work-desk and 50 times the weight, all for the price of a house in 11 specific cities in the USA. This happened within a career, as such do not dismiss the idea, as size becomes ever debatable, as speed is increasing in the better hardware, the application of ONT could go a long way and in directions the makers never considered, or at least not openly considered. 

It might be me, anyway, I am meeting up with an old friend (Gaius Julius Caesar) who is giving me the lowdown on his campaign in Gaul, with my rusty Latin, it will take all weekend, so let’s see if I can afford a nice bottle of Italian wine. Have fun!

Leave a comment

Filed under Media, Science

Wanna be rich?

This is a setting that is not for me, I am not a programmer, I do know my limits. I had a need and on the iPad (first generation), I had a data vault, it worked perfectly, but not anymore, now that I have a 4th generation iPad Air, I found the funny side of Apple apps (it is an actual joke). When investigating the new apps, I found well over two dozen other ones, yet they are all copies of one another, all giving us pics of sexy ladies and the owner of the app (most likely a man), that person needs to keep the images of his neighbours daughter a secret. Most of them all having the same idea, none of them acting on business principles. 

You see, an actual data vault have 2 elements, the first is the iPad, that is the vault that needs to hold the data, the provider (any laptop) needs to synch and there the issue starts well over 50% relies on a camera roll, the rest on other means (all equally useless), then there are a few apps that require a monthly fee, none of them get it, all of them in the naughty picture mode, yet there is a whole range of consultants that need an actual vault.

As you see in the image, there is a USB stick (or network location) that the computer or laptop can access. That links to the iPad. Yet there is no good link and the links that are offered, so far none of them properly work. And there the foot becomes even more uncomfortable. You see, it is not merely images, the folder needs to contain JPG, PDF, MP3, MP4, MOV, XLS, DOC (optionally), es well as TXT files. Consultants come in many forms and directions, from accountants and actors through to X-ray Technologist, they all have projects that need to be kept ‘hidden’ only shown to a chosen few. It can be any sort of project, but the people (like me) do not trust anyone and there can be no copies out in the open, so we need a data vault, we need to load USB sticks (or network directories) and there is no trust in the cloud (not with well over 90% of cloud transgressions). 

And none of these data vaults seem to understand that, so there is not one app, there needs to be two apps, one on the computer, one on the iPad, the computer links to the iPad and that is the setting of an actual data vault, the app makers that act on cool are missing millions in revenue, I would happily pay the $10 for that and hundreds of thousands of consultants as well. Consider the tens of thousands of real estate agents who settle the deals for dozens of houses and apartments going well into the tens of millions of dollars. New York at any given time have well over 4,000 places and most of them are set to ‘Price on request’ and a few other restrictions, and those estate dealers are merely one in a very long line of consultants that have an actual data vault need. Customer and client details that they need to keep hidden, so that a stolen iPad leaves the thief with nothing. 

That is the app that is needed and no one figured that in Apple land, so who else is missing parts in all this? Oh, and I know that there are other tablets, but most of us all use iPad.

Leave a comment

Filed under IT, Science

The completed list

It happens, we had a list and we completed it. It is nothing dramatic, earth shaking or revealing, it merely is, but it feels like we completed something larger than it is. For me that happened about three hours ago whilst I was contemplating upgraded gaming IP. There was a tank game that I had on the very first iPad, I conquered the game, completed most of it and at some point, I could no longer update that iPad, so I deleted that game (something I regretted more than once), anyway, on my new iPad Air, I got another game with the same basic approach, so I was happy, it was the only game, or app that was missing, now I have an iPad, like the first one, all the apps, all what I need and it makes me happy, it is nothing major, but like any completed list, you somehow feel like you really made an impact, I am no exception there. 

As such, my mind wandered into the upgraded Millennium 2.2, a game I originally had on the Amiga, I got the game somewhere on abandonware (I forgot where I left it), but I think that this game can be remade on Apple, instead of charging people, the game is initially for free, for $3 you can upgrade the game, as such, your plants on the moons work 20% more efficient, the miners will get 20% more and 2 additional resources can be found there. No ads, and all flyable units will be 20% faster. As such, the game can be played and those who love it will buy the upgrade, those who do not can complete the game in a slower fashion and watch a few ads. I also considered what more the gamer could receive, you see, the Amiga had no more than 7% of the power and available options that a modern laptop or even a tablet can have and as such, I think that the makers should consider upgrades. In the first, the solar generator part was way too shallow, in light of that, we should consider adding a part to that. Not merely a generator, but any part of the station (research, resources, life support and production, they all need their own generator, with a smaller addition to power the base as a whole. Research also needs an AI part, and of course that will only work with a more powerful generator, the stage of how much power there is for the AI decides on how much extra he can do, a small sub-game with two sides (not original mind you), one is based on the RAM game from Paradroid.

You get to choose the side, but there is no opposition, as you have more power, you get more bits, the more you unlock, the more efficient the AI becomes, then there is the second setting there the AI has to unlock any new section, not unlike the phone tap in Covert Action, Yet this part is depending on how good you unlocked the first part, a lousy generator means less options and less choices, as such, you have to create a new net every time you update, but you only update when a new segment becomes available.

And you do this for every station you create, but if you are creating a base on a moon near Saturn, you need a much more powerful generator to get anywhere near the basic power levels that the moon requires. OK, not all new and original, but one segment requires miners to go to the asteroid belt, there we can add originality by actually scanning asteroids and when we have done this for the first miner, we can lock the elements in and it will seek for those settings in every subsequent flight (to avoid dreariness), from that point onward a lot will stay the same (the original scored 90%), I wanted to add things as the game can be done in 20 hours, I wanted to add to that so that people will enjoy it much longer, but it remained a game that they can pick up when travelling and have a nice time whilst travelling. The original game sets us on the moon, as does the remake, but the original did not use the moon as a lore creator, there were probes for scanning, but I want to add to that (and if you unlock the full AI set), where we use the actual moon locations, to find debris that will allow more research. For example, the Hasselblad lenses on every moon lander are quite the achievement, they are still on the moon, yet these lenses will allow for upgraded scanners on probes, and over time will allow for more advanced scanning of locations. When we consider what the Americans, Russian and Chinese left n the moon, there is a lot more we can do, we can add to the original version, there defence was limited to a Launch Fighter, or to Activate Laser, when a rover is found we can have a Mobile Laser and when we get three rovers (one Russian, one American and one Chinese) we get Automated mobile laser, which is twice as efficient. We could even consider adding the Israeli Beresheet, should we find it, the laser becomes more powerful. So many options, not enough places to look. 

We can add so much more, without hurting or changing the original game. I had the same approach when I looked at a remastered Murder on the Zinderneuf, that is if EA no longer has a claim to that IP, and the less said on Seven cities of gold, the better, all optional stages for millions in micro transactions, without spoiling the fun for those who cannot afford that, if Igor Bukhman and his baby brother Dmitry Bukhman are any indication, I am looking at at close to half a dozen titles, each with the optional setting of 5-10 million, and in that it is not the silly sales notion of ‘what if’, it is the stage of ‘would you also like to’, the second stage might not seem like much, but when a person gets the option the choice to spend $3, it is all that is needed and a million times over that will start to amount to serious cash.

Will this be a new list? Not sure, I am focussed on my 5G IP, that does not mean I will look away from any new challenging puzzle that show the people that gaming can be fun and it is not founded on pay per challenge, it is the one part that Mass Effect 3 really got right. We forgot about that title, did we not? And even as we look at what other games can contribute, the setting of Covert Action, the stages of Paradroid and a leap towards 7 cities of gold are all stages (providing that the IP is available) that people overlooked, I cannot fathom why and that is before you consider that Ubisoft is also sitting on a few million that they seemingly forgot about.

We all have lists to complete, I merely wonder why some decide to leave theirs in some drawer collecting dust. Enjoy the weekend, and if you hear the US Secret Service knocking on your door, don’t forget that most of the US Administration has been hacked, they might not know where they are. oh… didn’t Activision have something on that?

Leave a comment

Filed under Gaming

Institutionalised Positioning

Yes, we can take IP in several directions. For me it started yesterday at 17:15 when I got home with my new iPad, after 6 months, minus one week, my iPad finally arrived. So happy happy joy joy. Yet the story is not that simple. I was able to get mot of the apps from my iPad 1st generation onto my iPad Air 4th generation, in a few cases I bought the program again (the $5 will not kill me I assume). And for the most, these programs held up for a long time, so I am happy. 

Yet there the issue started. You see, there was a problem with one program, the program no longer existed. It was a data vault, this data vault kept projects in directories, and they were all hidden. When I needed it I could open one of the folders and I was ready for the presentation. This was the first hurdle. There were all kinds of programs, I must have liked at a few dozen of them, all with cloud backup, all with options to hide all these secret pictures, WTF do I care? I needed a specific application and the 2-3 dozen are all copies of one another, all copies of an idea they all had at the same time. With the exception of two, a massive waste (in my specific case). I got one of them working first with two projects, that was the one I got. Some will think that I am all about the fuss, all about paranoia. So consider January 2020, Forbes gives us ‘Microsoft Security Shocker As 250 Million Customer Records Exposed Online’, with the two additional quotes “Paul Bischoff, a privacy advocate and editor at Comparitech, has revealed how an investigation by the Comparitech security research team uncovered no less than five servers containing the same set of 250 million records”, as well as “the researchers say that many contained plain text data including customer email addresses, IP addresses, geographical locations, descriptions of the customer service and support claims and cases, Microsoft support agent emails, case numbers and resolutions”, as this point, do you think that I am trueing any cloud with my IP? Do you think that I will give any reliability to any firm handing control of their cloud to the NSA? The IP wi worth a pretty penny and there is no way in hell that I trust anyone with that. Especially when you consider “A new report from the National Security Agency (NSA) titled “Mitigating Cloud Vulnerabilities” identifies what the agency considers the top cloud security issue plaguing organisations: misconfigured privacy settings” (source: unconfirmed), so according to the source, not only is it a cloud solution, but the makers cannot properly administer this, so the NSA is needed? I have question marks, but more so in the direction of Microsoft who had been shoving this solution down our throats like it was the second coming. It reminds me, there was a comedian who had this story: “I apparently had a rare disease, but my older brother knew the cure, just eat a handful of sand, thank god for older brothers”, I think you can relate this to both Azure and Microsoft, can you? So as my trust is close to zero Kelvin, I have my IP in a secure location, and I have an encrypted version that I can access via Webmail and then into the Vault. It takes a few steps, but the chance it gets hacked is less than 2%, this in light of Business Insider giving us “Seventy percent of companies using cloud computing vendors get hacked or leak data, Sophos found”, so I am rather picky on how and where my data goes. The fact that almost NONE of the data vaults took that precaution, r allows for it is the larger stage that needs addressing. Apple gave me 4 confrontations in that regard, and let’s be clear, this is not the fault of Apple. Their app store has limits and abilities and as such we are confronted with the larger evil, and evil Apple did not create, the developers are optionally also unaware of the stage that they are on, but the stage we do see is that things need to change, a new IP, one that has the foundations of a 30 year old program called DBMS/Copy, with the foundations of something that resembles ODBC. A setting where WE decide what the source is, where the source is and how we get it to the point of destination, if the cloud can no longer be trusted, we need that solution fast and we need it to be clearly controlled and set in a station where the user is allowed to make the decisions. Now, let be clear, this is not for all, this is not a solution we all need to consider, but enough need to consider it, for one, all those with bankable IP. 

So when we are in a stage where we have 25-50 passwords, and the setting is now that we can’t rely on these passwords because the rainbow tables of today are more and more efficient, in some cases we added simplicity to the working of these tables, as such, in a stage where we enter 5G, where dat travels 10-25 times faster, a rainbow table becomes a lot more dangerous to a much larger group of people and when you see the alleged Microsoft Blunders, we have a lot more to fear. And let be clear, Microsoft might be the clearest example, I for one am unwilling to believe that they are the only one, especially when you see the Sophos numbers. 

In all this, the institutionalised positioning is that there is no issue, there are no glitches and there is no lack of safety. I will let you decide whether I am right, or whether I am wrong, type is enough out there to form your own opinion, yet when you do and you get it wrong, do not come crying. Consider that IP can only be sold once (if it is done right), do you really want to take a chance on something that could be your life’s work and sets you up for retirement? I will let you decide, because that is your right.

Leave a comment

Filed under IT, Media, Science

The delusional stage of me

Yup, that was always going to be a phase. Even if it is merely academical, the best setting towards a stage of balance is to reflect on the matter that I might be bonkers. To others this mean gaga, mad, insane optionally freaking bug nuts. Some people might be afraid of setting their mental capacity to minus 365, but I do not share that. There is the chance I have been correct on every count (I usually am), but to set that stage I must reflect on the chances that I somewhere to the right of insane and to the left of being bonkers to the umpteenth degree.

You see, it is easy to blame Reuters, but the merely propagate the news, do they not? So when I see “U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday said he is confident there will be effective 5G competitors to Huawei from Western vendors at comparable costs, adding that he believes Western technologies will come to dominate telecommunications” some could consider that I am not alone in the fashion house with the long sleeved shirts, but that is just them. When I see ‘Western technologies will come to dominate’ I see a clear admission that China is ahead in 5G and they are. This s further fuelled by “I am confident that there will be a cost effective deliverables from Western trusted vendors that can deliver the same services or better services at comparative cost”, there we do not see ‘trusted vendors that will deliver’, but ‘trusted vendors that can deliver’, it sets the stage to a presumption. The former CIA director is precise with his language, he is no fool, not by a long shot. This sets a different scope for me, to counter it, I will be pushed to offer my IP to either Saudi Arabia or the UAE, an alternative is Qatar, but that has its own issues and it might cost me in the long run. If the ‘person of patent calculations’ os to be believed, I would have a lot to lose, but there is no way that I can trust most of the governments, yet Google and Huawei is a polarised field, in this setting Saudi Arabia or the UAE could be the in-between to whomever bids next, and that might be Huawei, they have the advantage on software and they are a smudge ahead of Google in that matter. The Reuters article is limited and one of the smaller articles, it is like Reuters is merely setting out one paragraph of a memo. I see no questions, no rhetoric of even speculative settings towards what is and what could be, Reuters is playing this cautiously, which in light of the ‘revelation’ is interesting, but the stage is one that I cannot ignore. Dealing with Huawei is the safe bet on the value of the IP, yet the bully tactics of the US are starting to pay off, and now that the UK government has handed ARM to Nvidia, the stage will turn for yet another turn. In all this the media remains oblivious on delivery times by Apple that in some cases are set to 20 weeks, a 2 trillion dollar company with a delay of 20 weeks on their iPad air? That means that there is a shortage of unbridled proportions and this is not merely the COVID stage, there is more, there has to be. 

When you cannot deliver for that amount of time, yet you open more and more stages of shop displays (in other chains), the shortage is fundamental and as I see it, when chip shortages hits 5G hardware, it will be fun to see some people panic. This is not a given, and not speculatively, Sony already has issues with its SoC chip. They are expected to ship 4 million less PS5 consoles in the coming year. 5G also has a SoC chip (a different one) but if one has issues, the setting that others have it too is not too far fetched. Gizmodo gave us a little over a month ago ‘MediaTek supply for 4G chips run dry, fresh stock to arrive by 2021’, it does not matter how Mediatek voices it, if it cannot supply the world with 4G chips, it will not be able to keep up on 5G either, and that is what matters. Because the moment China has a decent alternative to offer, 100% of that stock goes straight to Huawei increasing the advantage they have and at that point, how many of them will go to the US? My speculative guess is 0%, and that is where the Middle East comes into play. Huawei needs to make nice and the EU is not ready, but the Middle East is, Egypt too, although not sure if they have a lot fo needs at that point. But the stage that I predicted months ago is still coming to pass, although chip shortage was not on my radar, merely the shortsighted actions by the American govern mental administration.

And me? My delusional stage? Well that is out in the open, either Saudi Arabia or the UAE can get hold of my IP for $25,000,000 upfront with shared patent ownership, as the investor they get 60%, I keep 40%, which would be an awesome payout, especially when the US has no options but to buy in. It was a choice and a risk to play it like this, but there was no trust with some corporations, as such there was only Google and Huawei and Huawei is becoming an international discriminated party, it will hurt me, so I am taking an alternative road and these people want to play on the 5G table, I had to make a choice and I have everything to gain and nothing to lose, in the worst case I make my IP public domain, if that happens it means that governments and corporations are so greed driven that engineers on a global scale will walk out and start for themselves, I wonder if I see that happen.

Well, have a great (delusional) day.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under IT, Law, Politics, Science

Realisation towards achievement

We all realise things over time, I am no exception to that. I am old school (well, old at least), I come from the stock where you buy a product, you get a product and to some degree that is it. I was there from the very beginning. I have nothing against SaaS, I get the concept, I get the notions and the considerations that come with it. Yet when I see how some programs need to find a way to fund its creators, I get it, and I do not oppose (OK, that came across wrong), but you get the idea. There is (for the most) no such thing as a free ride). 

When I look at the beginning of the iPad (I had the very first model), I got deeply into Blockheads. It was a free program and yes that was nice, but the programmer was really smart. He gave the players the option to get production upgraded to twice the speed for a mere $5.99. After a few hours I saw that I was going to like the program and spend the cash. I never regretted it and I still have the program, it served its lifetime stage, a dozen times over at least. It might be the best $5.99 I ever spent. Now, there are ways to get ‘free’ programs going. Micro-transactions was another option. Games had the option to earn the cards, or you could buy a booster pack (Magic) it is another way to get the return on investment. In the beginning games like Castle Age relied on it and it worked well, those who didn’t have the money, or would not spend the money could still play, without purchases you still made progress, but it would be slow and there would be grinding. I had this in Castle Age, I actually only made 1-2 purchases and the game became playable. A decent game for under $5, there can be no objection. 

So as the SaaS model progresses, I looked at both Day One ($2.08/month), and EverNote which is a lot more expensive. I am looking at it a an option next to Tablet Journal, which was free at the time and only charged for the additional backgrounds and icons. I had no issue buying them and now that I am looking at the new iPad, I wanted to upgrade the programs I used. 

Also, over time I noticed a few flaws in the Tablet Journal and I did program once, as such I was thinking to make my own version. Or at least make one that I liked completely (and it keeps me off the street which makes everyone happy). It also intersects with a few other issues I was having and the idea forming in my mind is a new sort of game, but I cannot start on that, my programming skills are just too rusty (the reward for becoming a data miner). 

In all this I needed to address replay-ability, challenge, growth and independence. You might think that this is a joke, but the last element is actually a lot more important than you think. During AC Brotherhood, Ubisoft almost had it right, but their focal point was in another direction. As such I now see that the mobile/non-mobile environment needs to be embraced, not separated on or merged. 

Gaming is a state of mind that must be protected and embraced, the mind is in different settings, the mind is the centre piece in the game and the makers seem to ignore it too often. Most game makers seem to see the brain, the person as the added appendage to the game, yet this is not the case, or at least I personally think that this is wrong, the brain is the entire piece n all this and the game is designed around it, as such the failures of Ubisoft become clear, when you make a game for everyone, you make a game that pleases no one.

We all have different needs in gaming, some prefer puzzles, some prefer stealth, some like it in RPG mode, some love closed levels, some need them to be open. I think that this is why Minecraft is such a hit, it is open and allows us to fill in the part we want to fill in. Yet, I have no intent of making some version of Minecraft, I believe in setting the stage to a group of people, so some will like it and a larger group will not, but it would be my intent to make it as appealing to those who want it as possible. 

So what will it bring? I do not know yet (the rusty programming skill makes it a question mark). Yet, the larger stage is not what w like, or what we might like, it is the stage of being apart, being different. Just as I hope that Cyberpunk 2077 has larger true hacking skills, we see the need for a game that is about making us seem more clever, not a game that links piece one and piece 2. I am not referring t a puzzle game like Myth, but the added setting that puzzles brought in rendez-vouz with Rama. So not getting two cogs to compete the puzzle in Tombraider (no negativity implied here), but a stage where we need to see the puzzle and consider the solution, not fitting 2 parts, but finding the proper 4 parts out of 50 offered. 

I get it, not everyone likes puzzles and some will not like the option offered, but I would make it for those who do like this side of gaming, the part where the mind figures it out. You see I always believed that games are a great educator and the proper game still needs to be paid for, but as the joy and educations progresses, we see a price that is eagerly paid by the player, all whilst those who lack funds (or prefer not to pay) can still play the game. 

When we realise that we are better or feel better with the program in our midst, at that point the $5.99 is not a hurdle, it is the threshold to the next stage in our lives and if games like Minecraft, Blockheads, Magic, Archero and Fallout Shelter can please its audience, any other creator can too.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Gaming, IT

An actual competitor?

It has taken years, it has taken close to 7 years yet the result is here. Finally there is a competitor to the iPad, it is not some Microsoft claim; no it is an actual tablet that is finally waking up to the fact that Apple has been alone at the top for too long. It is Google and their Pixel Slate that got the job done of getting there.

Will it remain?

That is indeed a good question. In my view they still need a smart keyboard to stand up to the iPad Pro, but when that arrives Apple will actually get a competitor. The main elements storage and battery have been addressed and that is a good thing. This is seen in the Guardian where we see: “Battery life was excellent for a work tablet, lasting close to 10 hours between charges when used like a laptop, with 10 or so Chrome tabs open alongside various chat, imaging and media apps” (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/nov/27/google-pixel-slate-review-chrome-os-android-tablets). It is a little better than the first iPad (which I still use today to a limited amount). As we see battery in the positive, we need to see the price in the negative. The two bigger models, essential for storage reasons are actually too expensive, with $1700 for 128Gb and $2730 for 256Gb this solution is expensive, no way around it, the iPad pro with 512Gb is still way cheaper, almost $500 cheaper and it is an iPad Pro. I am not dismissing that the two bigger models come with an i5 and i7, the Apple processor defeats the stronger of the 2 (i7) by well over 10% which starts to add up. Still, it is the first time that a tablet is actually competitive against the latest Apple has.

Google still has a few other parts to clean and grow apps and iBook elements to name merely two of them, yet the hardware is now here. I reckon with larger development kits for Chrome and a massive discount for students it would be the option for Google to create traction that gives rise to larger acceleration catching up to Apple in this case. Even as Huawei is also giving rise with their new media pads, it was not getting too close to the iPad Pro, Google is getting there a lot better and for those with a personal ‘discomfort’ for Apple, the Google tablet is an optional solution.

I mentioned keyboards and the Google Pixel Slate does have one, but it has a few design flaws. Even as they had the option to close that gap, I see that there is an issue in the reported parts. The quote: “Unfortunately when closed the keyboard side slides around against the screen, which might end up scratching the display and feels less than reassuring when carried” seems to hit the nail on the head, even as I came up with the Google Tome design almost two years ago, that and a few other issues would have been solved, yet it seems that Sundar decided not to be too adventurous in that regard (perhaps in other regards as well).

Still, in the end the Pixel slate is a lovely surprise to look at. Not only is it a competitive device (all being way too expensive), the push for Chrome OS is showing to be an IOS alternative that many can embrace. Once the indie developers start rebuilding their well selling apps, we will see a much larger growth for the Google stores. When it comes to apps, Google has nowhere near the option that Apple has, yet I have not found any functionality in an app (besides games) that Android could not supply when IOS had it (the ones I needed anyway). This now leaves the iBook part to be dealt with, once we see Google offering that to an Apple level, at that point we will see close to a level playing field and Apple has never faced that situation before in tablet land, so the next two years could end up being interesting for us and challenging for Apple.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under IT, Science

Tabula Rasa

Yes, the Latin name for Clean Slate. It is an expression that we got from the Romans, who used wax tablet to scribe information, they used a metal pen, or a Stylus to write on the wax. In addition, when the slate was done, it was placed near a 50 degrees Celsius hotspot (like in the kitchen, and the wax would melt, so it could be used again, that is where the clean slate comes from. This is not the only part, there is enough evidence that the Syrians were doing this too about 2500 years ago, so Apple did not start it and even now (and 1 trillion dollar value later), they still use over excessive electronics to allow you to work with a clean slate at the touch of a button, no hotspot required.

So, in this trailed and tested environment, why would others try to budge in?

That of course was a question that answers itself in greed. I got my iPad (the very first one) 7 years ago; I still have it, even as it is not starting to buckle, so the end of a 24:7 life cycle has been reached. It helped me past 3 past graduate degrees (including a Master degree), so it earned its ‘moment of recycling‘. Yet, I will be a little sad; it was a faithful companion since day 1.

I paid about $1200, for the first edition, 64 GB cellular and Wi-Fi. that same setting with a much faster processor, higher resolution and increased speed, as well as camera and video options that I did not have in my edition will set me back $799, but with 100% more storage, or $1399, with 400% more storage and additional 4K filming. On my budget it will be the normal iPad, but the full version with 800% storage Pro and the rest at $1699 is still appealing. Still, the $799 is a great option, so sticking with that (and my budget makes it an optional setting. The fact that something so much larger and more powerful is merely 65% of the version I bought gives additional satisfaction.

So in all that, why on earth is Microsoft being half baked? First they screw up their gaming dimension, sticking their heads in the sand, ignoring consumers and proclaiming that they know what they are doing, whilst at this very same debacle, we see first Cnet giving us: ‘The Microsoft Surface Go is a good computer, but a very bad tablet‘, we also get “Windows 10’s tablet interface still stinks, and there aren’t a lot of popular apps that were built for Windows 10 in tablet mode. The iPad still has the best library of tablet apps“, it is something we all should have known, when it comes to apps and the Apple solution has millions of apps as an advantage, a decent amount of them free and very useful. In addition a much larger proportion is all less than $5 each, often it is the pro version of the free app, so you can fit before you commit (like any decent relationship). Then we get “Microsoft’s bookstore lacks a lot of titles, including some on The New York Times’ best-seller list. The Times, The Washington Post and other popular publications are also missing. While I could check any website, scrolling was sometimes too jittery and annoying, especially while holding the tablet with one hand in bed at night“, which implies that there is no beating iBook, a very essential tool, not merely for reading.

In addition there is: “The Surface Go’s bezels are so wide they’re almost comical. While it doesn’t hinder performance, it makes the tablet look dated from the get-go“, giving the implied setting that Microsoft again did not prepare for a serious war, merely a setting where they want to ‘tip their toes into the water‘, I would have thought that the Surface Pro setting should have properly prepared them in all this. And the killer in all this is “Finally, battery life is pretty bad. Microsoft advertises nine or more hours of use, but I never got close to that. I usually saw about four or five hours of use with Chrome and Spotify open“, which was countered with “I could save battery life by using Microsoft’s Edge browser — Windows 10 said Chrome was draining the battery a lot — but I prefer Chrome“, a setting that will be shared by many users, so in all this, the mere battery drain will get people to prefer the iPad, or an alternative over the Surface Go and that is merely on launch week. If there is one giggle around the corner, then it is the setting that this device will make more and more people consider the options that the $400 Chromebooks have. This is exactly what we get to see at eh end of the CNBC review. With: “You should only buy the Surface Go if you need a Windows 10 computer but think the Surface Pro is too big and expensive. I imagine most people don’t fit that profile though. If you need a tablet, go with the iPad. If you need a cheap computer, a Chromebook or cheaper Windows 10 laptop would suit you a lot better“, we see that Microsoft again comes with a device that has all the right marketing, yet in the end, the users will soon learn that a flawed approach is not a near hit, it is merely a miss. So, let’s thank Microsoft for their efforts in giving notice to the new blockbuster ‘Rise of the Chromebook‘, already available in several e-Stores near you and you can find those places with Google Chrome and Internet Explorer, or was that Microsoft Edge?

In the end, the setting becomes the iPad $799, or the Surface Go $838, in all seen there is, as far as I can tell no redeeming feature scoring for Microsoft. Even the ‘if you need a Windows 10 computer‘ does not hold enough water to spend more only to get an indecent amount less. The battery life alone makes it a nonstarter. In the end, the die-hard Microsoft fans will accept it, from all the sources I watched, it does seem to do what it needs to do, it might not do what you prefer it to do (jab at the battery life). Another source gave us that the sound is not great, I am willing to accept that this is slightly more in the ears of the beholder, yet I never heard that complaint from any of the iPads, which is another issue for prospective buyers to consider, which is funny when you consider that some of the Chromebooks (not all mind you), come with: “listening to BBC Radio live via the surprisingly good Bang & Olufsen (B&O) in-built speakers“, I tend to not go high-gear on most PC and tablet things, so I might not have given the B&O serious consideration depending on the price, yet at the $100 difference, not having B&O sound seems just crazy. In that setting, going towards something like the HP Notebook x2 10-p033tu becomes just as exciting, with optionally a much better choice as it comes with the keyboard at that point. Even the not so popular Samsung tablet becomes a decent alternative at this point (and I have never been a fan of Samsung), with options at $329, with a battery that offers 13 hours of video playback it implies to be swimming circles around the Surface Go, all issues that should not have been coming up as a serious alternative for the Surface Go, not from a tablet well over 2 years old.

This is what you can find within the hour, so in all this, the Surface Go is not only less competitive, it is merely latching on whatever it can for visibility, that is no way for a product to distinguish itself, a system that is nothing more than the runt of the litter. So, as a tablet, it is not merely in no way a decent alternative to the iPad, there are a few other choices that would make an equal if not a better alternative at this point. All this, whilst only a week ago, the website Mashable gave us: ‘Save up to 30% on Chromebooks from Samsung, Acer, ASUS, and Google‘, now I get that this is temporary, yet at this point (using Google Ads for example), Microsoft could have bid on that specific page and get students across to consider the Surface go at the ‘match price of the week‘, an opportunity Microsoft did not go for (seemingly), so whilst we are drowning in Windows Central reviews on almost every digital channel, we see Microsoft in the wrong places, or perhaps better stated, not in the right places. Missing on loads of opportunities, especially when you realise that most universities with the Spring (AUS) / or Autumn (Europe) semesters are only 5 weeks away, so whomever needs stuff, now is the time that they are getting it.

These are the days where starting with a clean slate (new data device) is important, especially in your new education, in all this the settings that I am noticing give me the distinct feeling that Microsoft has not been very serious in cornering a market, and from my point of view that is the second time where they are forgoing a serious market share on anything. I just cannot work out why someone allows for that not once, but twice in a row, it is (again, merely from my point of view) not the setting of opportunities missed, they are the setting of market shares lost and once lost, regaining them is not really an option, unless they do something so essentially ground breaking that everyone takes notice, a scenario that has not knocked on the doors of Microsoft since Windows XP.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under IT, Media, Science

On the ropes again

It isn’t often that I see a corporation setting themselves up for a fall, to do so twice in a short time span is almost staggering, but would you know it, Microsoft pulled it off!

Now, we need to consider the setting in the right light. They want to capture part of the Apple market and that is a valid jump, yet they are doing it whilst the Apple is sitting there with hundreds of thousands of apps, a setting that almost smoothly sets you up for your music, your photos, your face time and your data. I still have the very first 64GB iPad. It has been running 24:7 for close to 7 years. Only now, only this year did I get the first issue with my 1st generation iPad. This is the situation that Microsoft is facing up and guess what! They still fumble the ball. So the equivalent of the 128GB iPad (the new one) is $100 more expensive than the Apple edition. In addition, the Surface Go does not offer Cell next to the WiFi, which Apple does, making it more ‘on-the-go’ than the Microsoft version is.

The fact that they still screw around with 64 Gb in this day and age, whilst most consider 128 GB now a minimum for anything larger than a mobile phone was the first fumble. It goes beyond that and the editorial of NewWin gives the best voice in all this, they tell you ‘Microsoft’s Surface Go is not the tablet that can replace your tablet‘, no way is there an option for me to phrase it better. They do one better with “But the Surface Go doesn’t make sense as a tablet, because Microsoft hasn’t invested in building a decent Windows 10 tablet experience, and this goes beyond apps“, that in a setting where we need to look deeper at what Apple offers, the numbers that were released in LifeWire gives us that as per March 2018 2,100,000 apps have been released, as per March 2016 – 1,000,000 iPad apps have been released. This discrepancy is mainly as the separation between iPad and iPhone apps went away, the iPhone became larger and as such we can run most apps on both, in addition, as apps designer focused on iPhone apps, as they would work on both is pretty much the other reason. You can read more on these numbers (at https://www.lifewire.com/how-many-apps-in-app-store-2000252). That is the setting Microsoft was up against and whilst they mess around with a 64 GB and larger, the mere setting to just accept that 128 GB is the minimum norm would have been a clever step, the mere consumer difference is $70, that whilst Microsoft will always have a much better price, that is the given and the consumer feels cheated! It is even clearer when we look at the PC World views (at https://www.pcworld.com/article/3288206/tablet-pc/microsofts-399-10-inch-surface-go-rethinks-the-windows-tablet-for-consumers.html). As we focus on “Microsoft designed the Surface Go for people in motion: the sales exec who makes a quick edit or two to a presentation while at her daughter’s soccer practice, for example. A Wi-Fi-only model will ship first, followed an LTE model later in 2018“, yet when we consider ‘the sales exec who makes a quick edit or two to a presentation‘, whilst ‘at her daughter’s soccer practice‘, considering that she is in a place with flaky Wi-Fi and optionally out there with no Wi-Fi makes the absence of a cellular option even more confusing. Not unlike the Xbox One fiasco, it seems that Microsoft does not comprehend their customers, plain and simple. Instead of learning from Google and just hand everyone a 128 GB model even with merely 6GB would have made all the difference but the people setting the stage do not comprehend that rationing the gravy or ketchup merely gives the visitor most likely merely a dry meal, and today the people realise the power of storage, they see it every day, to just take storage doubt off the board they could create trust, Microsoft decided not to do this.

NeoWin gives even more (at https://www.neowin.net/news/microsofts-surface-go-is-not-the-tablet-that-can-replace-your-tablet) and with “Users have complained about missing features like multi-selection of tiles for improved app organisation, folder naming, requested a more touch capable File Explorer and more” they are showing us that they are before the moment that Apple surpassed at least two generations earlier in their devices. This is a level of non-vision that you expect from sophomore students, not in a Fortune 500 company, and I reckon it will all be to push them into the Azure cloud, because that is what brand X requires. I am actually puzzled how Microsoft is not losing market share in a much faster rate. Apple and Google are surpassing IBM and Microsoft at a better and faster stage than ever before, from what I can tell it is done by looking at the population that fits the board of directors, not in the setting that actually represents the population. A view set on corporate policies, not on what the people need, desire and prefers.

It escalates when we consider “while the Microsoft Store app ecosystem is a dead horse that’s been beaten over and over, it has gotten worse since the Surface 3. Microsoft is no longer pushing the Universal Windows App ecosystem as hard as it did in previous years and developers have subsequently jumped ship“, this now implies that the Surface Go is a system that goes nowhere fast and will reduce its own market and options faster still, so when we see that it is $100 more than the Apple iPad with cell and Wi-Fi, why would we consider a device that was surpassed by Apple by 2014, 4 years ago and the Microsoft version has not even been released yet. The only selling part might be Microsoft Office, but yet there we see that Google with Docs and Sheets is an equal in pretty much every way, so there we are with hardware that I dreamed off in 2003, Apple delivered 7 years later and Microsoft is only now getting to that point, and when you realise that you need a keyboard and pen to make the Surface Go decently usable, which is another $200, what direction would you take? Apple or nowhere? So what is Microsoft doing exactly?

Even when we consider other fields, the Microsoft Go will falter on no less than 5 given field settings against the Raytheon Tablet that is already pushing technological boundaries, some that would frighten Apple to a certain extent, others are not worthy of consideration when we consider the market Apple is in. In that my sense of humour takes over when we consider two developers, the first Steven Weeks, the Hydra Swarm program manager who gives us (in regards to the Raytheon solution) “Drop it in the water, you can do that.” and then there is Jeff Mazurek, the iConnect program manager who gives us “What the army is focused on is a single, central battery that will connect to the other batteries and trickle-charge them” , yes you can giggle all you like, Microsoft is THAT far behind, a military developer like Raytheon surpassed them not overnight, but in the timeframe where they (Microsoft that is) were all falling over one another on the ‘greatness’ of Azure cloud and all the logic defying marketing on the Surface pro (and how it was actually really overpriced) in that time Raytheon got a tablet past primary development that is surpassing whatever Microsoft is offering the consumer now. In all this, Raytheon has the basic setting of a field version of a table that would be interesting for pretty much anyone in the Middle East, Latin America, Canada and Rural India and China. By the way these populations surpass the 2 billion mark, 25% of the population on the planet. A group that Microsoft has always ignored and that is fair enough, because the bulk cannot afford a tablet, but to offer one that is already lagging in too many fields is just slightly too weird for my liking and I actually love weird at times.

In the end PC World gives us “The Surface Go enters a tablet space whose most popular players include the Android-based 9.7-inch Galaxy Tab S3 for a lofty $599 and the far more affordable Amazon Fire HD 10 for a mere $150, as well as, of course, the dominant Apple iPad, which starts at $329. It appears that Microsoft is shooting for somewhere in the middle“, I cannot completely agree. Not on the assessment of PC World, but on the path of Microsoft, if they were serious in any way, than they would have given us one model, the 128GB storage/6GB RAM model, allowing the people to get traction, allowing others to see what apps can grow the business whilst giving the people a device that has enough for all their office needs and entertainment value (music and video), that would have been a serious step, Microsoft faltered there (yet again). And whilst offering that for a mere $450 to the education community getting the growth of the next generation through loyalty growth they had a starting path. It seems to me that someone decided against that and they are merely a niche taste that had no distinctive taste and has the aroma that would have been accepted by the consumer 5 years ago. In today’s market it merely looks like an ‘1850 salt print’ in a 1.6 million colour digital marketing world. Some will love the nostalgia, yet a mere 5 minutes later they will be required to meet the updated deadline(s), and when Wi-Fi is flawed, those users will not have any real option.

In the end, is this the Surface Go or the Surface Go Away?

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, IT, Media, Military, Science