Internet for the O5B

The fight for the other 5 billion escalates … The other 5 billion being the folks who lack affordable internet connectivity (2nd/3rd world – this is a long term investment obviously).  Google has “project loon” which will launch balloons to deliver internet. Facebook just made an acquisition to support their investment in the initiative. The acquisition will deliver flying drones with a 5 year continuous-flight capability. These drones fly in unregulated airspace (just climbing high enough to foil regulators) – a very low earth orbit satellite if you will. Another excellent example showing that internet is critical utility infrastructure and showing how the 1st world can provide “a leg up” to the 2nd/3rd world countries by using technology advancements.

How To Get A Country To Trust Its Banks

The challenges of implementing an ATM in cash based society cut-off from the world for over 50 years. As a telecom guy what I found interesting was how they worked around Myanmar’s horrible telecommunications cable system using ATM “cloud services”.  I especially like how you can boot leg a phone call on the street with alligator clips!

Winter Tires May Finally Be Legislated?

It may not be well known, but winter tires are different from all-season tires (AKA, confusingly, mud & snow tires). They are formulated with a different rubber formula making them more pliable in cold weather.  All season tires are much like a hockey puck. Have you ever been hit by a hockey puck at freezing temperatures? Ouch. I know because that’s what my brother said as he went to the hospital for stitches. Winter tires should be mandated. They provide better traction and can stop faster. I know this because I drive by 4×4 trucks in my compact car because they can’t make it up a hill. Driving all four tires does not work if none of them can get traction. This is a public issue since if someone else does not have them and hits you that might have been avoided if they had winter tires. And, shockingly, when you rent a car they all have all-season tires (same with taxis, buses, etc). This is a safety issue. Winter tires are currently legislated in Quebec if the temperature is below -7C (20F). The city of Calgary is looking at legislating them too.

When Winter Tires are Required in Each Canadian Province

Update: The CBC Marketplace segment that convinced me to use winter tires. This is also an economic and quality of life issue.

Classic Quotes: The Common Denominator of Success

“The common denominator of success— the secret of success of every man who has ever been successful — lies in the fact that he formed the habit of doing things that failures don’t like to do.” – Albert E.N. Gray.

Mr Gray adds further detail in his 1940 major address at the National Association of Life Underwriters annual convention:

Click here for a related theme about getting out to meet new people in order to form great opportunities.

About the Author

An avid writer, Trevor Textor has been quoted by Reader’s Digest, NBC News, and among others. Trevor has done plenty of things he was told were not possible. Got a great idea? Ask Trevor if he can help:

Connecting everything is going to be painful at first

Excellent summary on the health of the “internet of things” (also called “Embedded systems“). “Embedded systems are commonly found in consumer, cooking, industrial, automotive, medical, commercial and military applications.” The title of the article actually summarizes the issue nicely: “The Internet of Things Is Wildly Insecure — And Often Unpatchable”. My personal experience confirms this. The problem is so large that the individual response is to shut down and not worry about it. The article further explains how this situation has come about and why there is no incentive for change.  My warning to companies and consumers is don’t expect “everything to be connected” to be a good thing at first. We’ll all likely be experiencing the pain of all this until purchasers become so angry as to finally form the incentive.

USA Job Graph Illustrates that the future in 1st World jobs is service

Capital chases efficiency and that can take jobs offshore, like it did for manufacturing. Despite all the media hype (they sell hype), this is a healthy process. But, manufacturing is coming back to the 1st world in the form of automated manufacturing (high cost of energy can further accelerate this trend). This means manufacturing does not really generate local jobs since it requires few people to run them. And the folks that run the plants are highly trained/skilled engineers. So what is the future for jobs in the 1st world? Service. Take a look at NPR’s graph for a breakdown. The question you should be asking yourself is this “Could my job be outsourced and/or moved offshore?” If the answer is yes/probably, start making an investment to move your career in a direction to where you serve the new 1st world economy.


Article: IT Should Stop Trying to ‘Surprise and Delight’

As BAs / Architects, I think we see this a lot. Personally, it makes me sad, because I know there are many more efforts of higher value if only we didn’t focus on trying to “Surprise and Delight”.  Summary points: 1) Organizations Should Seek to Meet Customer Service Expectations, Not Exceed Them. 2) Low Customer Effort is the Key to Meeting Service Expectations.