Interested in the MEAN stack? Check this out

Like alot of folks, I am interested in the MEAN stack, but in getting started, I haven’t found too many concise, all in one, pieces on the topic that are good intros. (I am sure there are some: I just haven’t found one.)

This IBM developerWorks article looks like it could be the one for me (and you): Mastering MEAN: Introducing the MEAN stack.

The title is confusing: you won’t be mastering MEAN with one article in devWorks, but you will have a chance to learn enough to get started.

Try it out and let me know what you think.

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Why I am backing the ‘1984’ Stealth Fashion for the Under-Surveillance Society by Zoltan Csaki on Kickstarter

Here are my reasons for (and why you might want to as well):

  • To reduce abuse of access to your data: There are more and more stories of organizations, government and other, using and abusing data given off from your cell phone (e.g. this story on location based marketing in Toronto being just one).  This product can help put a stop to that.
  • To increase the amount of control I have: I may not have an issue with others using this data and there may be times when I think there is a benefit to me to have this data accessible. Generally I don’t, but I like the option. This product helps with that.
  • To encourage more people to make such products: if this campaign is successful, I hope to see more businesses attempting similar but different and possibly better products, which is a benefit to me and people like me who values their privacy.

Reasons against:

  • it’s not foolproof. By that, I mean anyone with enough motivation could still use the data you inevitably will give off when you are using your phone to extrapolate things about you. As well, there are other ways you can be tracked (E.g., abusive apps).

In my case, I think the reasons for outweigh the reasons against, and that is why I have pledged to this Kickstarter campaign . I would encourage you to pledge as well.

Here’s a link to it: ‘1984’ Stealth Fashion for the Under-Surveillance Society by Zoltan Csaki — Kickstarter.

Lost your iPhone? A PIN won’t save you from it being abused. Here’s why

My son misplaced his phone. I assumed he was safe because it had a PIN on it and it was locked. Turns out someone must have found it and was using it to rack up big long distance phone bills. Here’s just one way people can do this: 3 Ways to Bypass iPhone Passcode – wikiHow.

Obviously I am not encouraging people to do this, any more than I would encourage people to steal or commit other crimes. I am encouraging you to call your provider whenever you can’t find your phone.

Smart Watches: not just Apple

Apple won’t be the only one driving people to use smart watches: Google and other manufacturers are getting in on the action too. For more details, see the Official Google Blog and this post:  Android Wear, moving forward like clockwork.

Eight quick thoughts on the Apple Watch: its more than watch, more than IT.

Here’s eight quick things I concluded while watching Apple talk about their latest product: the Apple Watch

  1. In the future, you won’t own one Apple Watch, you will own several. For the record I have two shuffles and a number of iPods. I can see the same with Apple Watches.
  2. I expect Apple to experiment with different face types over time. The only thing that changes more than IT is fashion. So expect a steady stream of changing Apple Watches, which will embed fashion and IT.
  3. I also expect Apple to launch partnerships with an array of other companies like high end fashion houses. Just like others make sunglasses for Tom Ford, Prada, etc., I expect Apple to make watches for them. They will be able to use higher end materials, like gold and expensive leather. They might even come with high end apps. Jony Ive was right to say that high end watch makers should be nervous. Apple can work with others to make high end watches that have sophisticated IT: not many (any?) can claim the same thing?
  4. This is also tough for copycat IT companies like Samsung. Apple can now move at the pace of fashion, which is faster than the pace of IT. Plus fashion is about taste, which is an essential part of Apple. It is in their DNA, so to speak. Not so with other mobile device makers.
  5. The Apple Watch is not simply a watch, any more than the iPhone was simply a phone. There is alot of emphasis on the watch part right now, just like there was alot of discussion about the phone part of the iPhone at first. I expect that to change over time.
  6. Right now the Apple Watch depends on the iPhone or other device: it is secondary. I expect the Apple Watch will become the primary device over time, especially with advances in IT. It will be possible to become primary and that makes sense, because you don’t have to carry it: you simply wear it.
  7. Apple has two wearable devices right now: the Apple Watch and Beats. Expect more and more. I expect even Apple eye wear. Unlike the fiasco that is Google Glass, it will be done correctly the first time. And like the watch, you will have more than one pair.
  8. I don’t expect Apple to make a wide range of wearable computing devices. Apple tends to focus. They have a limited range of personal computing devices: I expect them to have a limited range of wearable devices.

P.S. The Apple Watch is not the iWatch. A small shift. Also, this has been a good day for Tim Cook. He is an understated CEO, but he has transitioned Apple from Steve Jobs very well. His first priority was to steady the company. Now he is charting a new course.  Apple shareholders are lucky.

Lastly, these are my opinions only, and not my employers.

 

Should you take vitamins? A simple two step evaulation process

Vitamin image from wikipedia

1) Read and print this: Don’t Take Your Vitamins | FiveThirtyEight.

2) Talk to your doctor. Discuss this article. Then decide.

I’ve seen a number of articles like the one in FiveThirtyEight saying one shouldn’t take vitamins. Others treat them like chicken soup, saying: they can’t hurt. Regardless, if you are putting anything that is not food into your body on a daily basis, it only makes sense to talk to your doctor.

(Image via the “Vitamin” section of Wikipedia)

A fashionable option for men who don’t want to wear leather shoes (or Tom’s shoes)


If you are a man (or someone who like to wear shoes traditionally associated with men) who doesn’t want to wear shoes from leather, don’t want to wear Converse or Toms shoes but do want to wear dress shoes, you have what I think is  a good alternative: Delli Aldo shoes. I came across them via Cool Tools (a newsletter and a section of Kevin Kelly’s website) and I think they are great for a number of reasons:

  1. they are very stylish
  2. they come in a wide range of styles
  3. they are low cost
  4. they are vegan

Beware: they run large (e.g. if you wear 8, consider getting the size 7 or 6.5) and they stink the first few days you get them (then apparently they do not).

For more information, check out the link to Cool Tools or go right to Amazon and pick up a pair.