Jony Ive did not leave Apple because of the ‘Accountants’, or at least that’s not the only reason, despite what this The New York Times piece says. I think that’s one of the reasons, sure. After Steve Jobs died, I am sure Ive felt less important. Plus he already had made a significant difference and he made a lot of money.
I believe one of the other reasons was simply because he and Apple have designed themselves into a minimalist corner. Jony Ive’s career rose on the design of the machine that saved Apple…this:
Since then the Apple computers have gone from that to this:
It’s a great computer, but very little in the way of physical changes year over year. The engineers still get to do a lot, but there’s very little for Ive and the design team to do there.
Sure he got to design some of the higher end devices, like this:
But the Macbooks and the iMacs are very simple now. (Never mind the iPhone.) They are all wonderful engineered and fantastic minimal designs. But that’s the point: they are minimal to an extreme. And that, I believe, is one of the main reasons that Ive left.
The book that inspired that article is supposed to be really good. Apple fans, get a copy if you can.
Posted in IT
Tagged apple, computers, IT, macs
And to me he is doing it with these two machines: the CutiePi tablet above, and the Penkesu Computer below…
I think both of these machines are fabulous. I love the different designs of both of them. The handle for the CutiePi is great: you can carry it and then use it to stand up the computer. As for the Penkesu, I love how it reminds me of the old netbooks I used to love.
Well done, Penk Chen and team. For more on the bottom device, see: The Penkesu is a DIY retro handheld PC with a mechanical keyboard – The Verge.
P.S. Hat tip to Clive Thompson for pointing this out.
They seem terribly small and limited now, but when I started in IT they were a real workhorse computer and for a time they threatened IBM’s dominance in the IT space. (Then the PC and DOS and Windows came along and did even more to challenge IBM.)
(Image from here.)
I love Raspberry Pis. They are great for playing around and learning about technology. But until recently I would not recommend them as an every day computer, if anything because they are just too slow. Or they were before the Raspberry Pi 4. With the capabilities of the new Pi 4, they may be ready to become your main or at least backup computer.
If you are interested, you can Google them and get alot more information on them. Here’s two sources more: Raspberry Pi 4 Computer | Uncrate and Engadget.
This piece explains the logic behind getting certain relatives a Chromebook so as to relieve you of being tech support: I bought my mom a Chromebook Pixel and everything is so much better now – The Verge.
Now your mom may be tech savvy and not need a Chromebook (my mom was). But for some people’s moms or dads or children, it can be a very good solution. Especially for people who don’t travel much with their computer and who have a stable IT environment (e.g. the networking set up doesn’t change, the printer is good).
Chromebooks may not seem good value. You might compare what you get from a Chromebooks vs a Windows laptop and think: I get more from the Windows laptop. If you are good with computers, that true. But that’s not how to look at it. Factor in the cost of the relative’s computer plus the time you spend solving problems with it. When you factor that in, the benefit of the Chromebook jumps out.
Here’s an assortment of 42 links covering everything from Kubernetes to GCP and other cloud platforms to IoT to Machine Learning and AI to all sorts of other things. Enjoy! (Image from the last link)
- Prometheus Kubernetes | Up and Running with CoreOS , Prometheus and Kubernetes: Deploying – Kubernetes monitoring with Prometheus in 15 minutes – some good links on using Prometheus here
- Deploying a containerized web application | Container Engine Documentation | Google Cloud Platform – a good intro to using GCP
- How to classify workloads for cloud migration and decide on a deployment model – Cloud computing news – great insights for any IT Architects
- IP Address Locator – Where is this IP Address? – a handy tool, especially if you are browsing firewall logs
- Find a Google Glass and kick it from the network – Detect and disconnect WiFi cameras in that AirBnB you’re staying in– Good examples of how to catch spying devices
- The sad graph of software death – a great study on technical deby
- OpenTechSchool – Websites with Python Flask – get started building simple web sites using Python
- Build Your Own “Smart Mirror” with a Two-Way Mirror and an Android Device – this was something I wanted to do at some point
- Agile for Everybody: Why, How, Prototype, Iterate – On Human-Centric Systems – Medium – Helpful for those new or confused by Agile
- iOS App Development with Swift | Coursera – For Swift newbies
- Why A Cloud Guru Runs Serverless on AWS | ProgrammableWeb – If you are interested in serverless, this is helpful
- Moving tech forward with Gomix, Express, and Google Spreadsheets | MattStauffer.com – using spreadsheets as a database. Good for some
- A Docker Tutorial for Beginners – More Docker 101.
- What is DevOps? Think, Code, Deploy, Run, Manage, Learn – IBM Cloud Blog – DevOps 101
- Learning Machine Learning | Tutorials and resources for machine learning and data analysis enthusiasts – Lots of good ML links
- Machine learning online course: I just coded my first AI algorithm, and oh boy, it felt good — Quartz – More ML
- New Wireless Tech Will Free Us From the Tyranny of Carriers | WIRED – This is typical Wired hype, but interesting
- How a DIY Network Plans to Subvert Time Warner Cable’s NYC Internet Monopoly – Motherboard – related to the link above
- Building MirrorMirror – more on IT mirrors
- Minecraft and Bluemix, Part 1: Running Minecraft servers within Docker – fun!
- The 5 Most Infamous Software Bugs in History – OpenMind – also fun!
- The code that took America to the moon was just published to GitHub, and it’s like a 1960s time capsule — Quartz – more fun stuff. Don’t submit pull requests 🙂
- The 10 Algorithms Machine Learning Engineers Need to Know – More helpful ML articles
- User Authentication with the MEAN Stack — SitePoint – if you need authentication, read this…
- Easy Node Authentication: Setup and Local ― Scotch – .. or this
- 3 Small Tweaks to make Apache fly | Jeff Geerling – Apache users, take note
- A Small Collection of NodeMCU Lua Scripts – Limpkin’s blog – Good for ESP users
- Facebook OCP project caused Apple networking team to quit – Business Insider – Interesting, though I doubt Cisco is worried
- Hacked Cameras, DVRs Powered Today’s Massive Internet Outage — Krebs on Security – more on how IoT is bad
- Learn to Code and Help Nonprofits | freeCodeCamp – I want to do this
- A Simple and Cheap Dark-Detecting LED Circuit | Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories – a fun hack
- Hackers compromised free CCleaner software, Avast’s Piriform says | Article [AMP] | Reuters – this is sad, since CCleaner is a great tool
- Is AI Riding a One-Trick Pony? – MIT Technology Review – I believe it is and if AI proponents are not smart they will run into another AI winter.
- I built a serverless Telegram bot over the weekend. Here’s what I learned. – Bot developers might like this.
- Google’s compelling smartphone pitch – Pixel 2 first impressions | IT World Canada News – The Pixel 2 looks good. If you are interested, check this out
- Neural networks and deep learning – more ML
- These 60 dumb passwords can hijack over 500,000 IoT devices into the Mirai botnet – more bad IoT
- If AWS is serious about Kubernetes, here’s what it must do | InfoWorld – good read
- 5 Ways to Troll Your Neural Network | Math with Bad Drawings – interesting
- IBM, Docker grow partnership to drive container adoption across public cloud – TechRepublic – makes sense
Posted in IT
Tagged AI, cloud, computers, GCP, IOT, IT, Kubernetes, machinelearning, MEAN, ML, nodeJS
Superbook, a $99 computer project on Kickstarter, is impressive in itself. Based on the sponsorship of this project, many agree with me.
Essentially it extends your phone like a Smart Watch does, but instead of the form factor diminishing, it’s increasing. In some ways, it does what the Chromebooks do, but with the use of your phone. If it works well, it is one more nail in the coffin of the personal computer. Already tablets and other devices have distributed computing away from the personal computer. I can only see this trend increasing as displays and memory and CPUs get better. Sooner than later, the attachment of the display to the keyboard will dissolve, and people will assemble “personal computers” from a variety of tablets and other displays, keyboards, and whatever smart phones they have. The next step is better designed and detachable keyboards, along with more powerful phones. (The phone isn’t a phone anyway: it’s a handheld computer with built in telephony capability).
Networks are going become more pervasive, faster and cheaper. Displays are going to become cheaper. Phone makers are going to need to give you more reasons to buy phones. All of these things point to computing devices like this becoming more prevalent and personal computers getting further and further displaced.
You can find out more about the project, here here.
As digital technology gets more and more compact, expect to start seeing it combined with new and unexpected things. Wearables will not just be watches and sports-bands, but clothing and jewellery. For example: Meet Ear-o-Smart The World’s First Smart Earring.
Anything you wear, anything you touch, anything you own: all of it will soon have sensors and digital technology in it to talk to your computer and your phone. This is just starting.
If you are an old geek or interested in computing history, especially the early days of the PC, then I highly recommend you check out the section of the Computer History Museum on CP/M. Before Microsoft and Apple there was CP/M. You can even download the source code! Fun! 🙂
See Early Digital Research CP/M Source Code | Computer History Museum.
Do you find it weird when you search for something, then go to other sites, and it seems like the product is following you around? Do you worry that sites are tracking information about you and you want to stop it?
I’d like to say there is an easy way to put an end to such tracking, but it doesn’t seem to be so. If anything, companies like Facebook, Google and others have a big financial interest in tracking you, regardless of what you think, and they are going to make it hard for you to put an end to it all.
That said, if you still want to take action, I recommend these links. They highlight tools you can use and steps you can take to limit tracking. You don’t have to be technical to read them, but you have to be comfortable making changes to your system.
- How to prevent Google from tracking you – CNET – this may be the best article that I read. Mostly focused on Google. There are useful links to tools in here and plugins you can use, like Disconnect and Ghostery. Somewhat technical.
- Facebook Is Tracking Your Every Move on the Web; Here’s How to Stop It – This Lifehacker article has more on how to deal with Facebook tracking you than Google, but it is also good.
- How to Stop Google, Facebook and Twitter From Tracking You – this piece from ReadWrite talks mostly about the Disconnect tool, but it does it in conjunction with discussion of some other tools. Seems less technical than the first two, if you found the first two links too hard to follow.
- How to Stop Google From Tracking You on the Web on NDTV Gadgets has tips that are more manual in nature, if you don’t want to download tools. Also some good information on how to deal with mobile phone tracking.
- Delete searches & browsing activity – Accounts Help via Google comes straight from the source of the tracking.
Some thoughts of my own:
- Consider using two browsers: one for your Google use (e.g. Chrome) and one for other uses (e.g. Firefox or Safari). The non-Google browser you can lock down with blockers and other tools, while the Google oriented browser could be limited to just what you need to integrate with Google.
- Avoid sites that track you, like Facebook.I know, it isn’t easy. If you have to go on Facebook — you get a call from a sibling asking why you haven’t commented on the new baby pictures there — limit yourself to a few thumbs up and leave it at that. (Knowing Facebook, they will still find a way to do something with even that data.)
- If you are really concerned, avoid Google altogether and use other search engines, like DuckDuckGo, and other email services, such as Outlook.com. There can still be tracking, but in theory this should make it harder.
- If you use any of tools, get into a habit of using them and keeping them up to date.
- Don’t forget to do the same thing on your mobile devices. Facebook can track your activity on your mobile phone, regardless of what you may be doing on the web. You can be tracked via apps just as easily as you can be tracked from your browser.
- If you do anything else, install the Disconnect plug in and then activate it and go to a newspaper site. You will be amazed just how much tracking is going on. (Also, you do NOT have to sign up for the premium version to get it working.)
Posted in advice, facebook, google, IT
Tagged advice, browsers, computers, Facebook, google, privacy, tracking, twitter
Right now it doesn’t seem it when I see a general purpose computer shrunk down to this size:
You can find out more about that computer here: Inverse Path – USB armory.
I believe that soon everything you buy will come with computing built into it, by defaul. When this occurs,people may find it weird to think about non-digital devices, just like younger people might find it weird to see people working from previous generations doing work and not using computers.
First, take this list: 25 tricks to make working with Windows faster, better and more fun.
Second, apply as many as you can. Even if you aren’t technically savvy or comfortable with changing things, look through the long list and find some you are comfortable with and apply them.
Third, ask for help with the ones you can’t do (either because you aren’t comfortable or their are restrictions regarding what you can change on your computer).
There! Your computer is better and less sucky already. And a less sucky computer means a less sucky work week.
Good luck! Thank me later! 🙂 Also thank ITBusiness, which is where I found it.
Here’s eight quick things I concluded while watching Apple talk about their latest product: the Apple Watch
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
You may think that computers are doing little if anything while you are sleeping. While you are dreaming, you might think, if you think of it at all, computers are sitting mostly idle, running the odd screensaver program, waiting for you to return, your faithful servant.
Of course, some computers, like web servers, could be serving different people. Computers could be handling the requests from people around the world who are awake and working and reading and surfing the web. Some computers handle requests 24 hours a day, rarely having any time to themselves, to reboot, to load new software.They process requests until they are shutdown intentionally or fail dramatically.
But just like your body is resting and your brain is dreaming/sorting things out in the wee small hours of the morning, so too do some computers take the night time to get themselves together. While you are sleeping, they are running backups, processing files they don’t get to process in the daytime, defragmenting their disks, cleaning out their caches and buffers. Many computers have utility roles, doing a myriad of tasks you can only imagine. Plus for every set of computers handling your requests, there are entirely different sets of machines that check and make sure that the machines you use are working properly.
If the earth can be said to be automatic, so too can it be said of the many thousands of computers that are running while you are sleeping, running to keep the world running in the 21st century.
And I have thought of all this while I test run batch programs on a set of test computers during the graveyard shift, in order to insure that the real computers that we run can handle the volume of requests that the real (not test) computers will eventually have to handle. For in my case, what computers are doing while you are sleeping are helping me do my job successfully which will help you in ways you don’t even know (not only, but partially, because you are sleeping)
(Originally posted on posterous, July 21 2010).
It’s a constant battle, but this article by Sean Bonner (Encryption and Privacy – What I’m Using) is a great rundown of tools you should consider in making your Internet use more private and less exploitable.
He covers a wide range of tools, from Tor to VPNs to duckduckgo, and more. Better still, his article is readable and understandable by people who lives revolve around something other than computers.
When it comes to security, you are always making trade-offs between being more secure and other things you want from technology (e.g. ease of use). That said, try and make your computer as secure as you can: every bit helps.