13. Technology: Setup question?

Alienware

Which setup should I go for?

I decided which setup to go with but it was tricky; my choices were a thin and light Laptop with a EGPU, Desktop computer, thicker laptop and should I get an external monitor with that?

In the end I went with a desktop PC and a wide screen monitor how did I come to this decision?

Prior to this my sole computer was a Surface pro 4 and before that I only used a Surface Pro 1 and had no complaints, why the switch to big and bulky? POWEEEERRRRRR!!!!

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12. Technology: Are smartphones boring?

Are smartphones getting boring? Yes

The last smartphones I got proper excited for was probably the HTC hero and the Iphone 4 but since then I got to admit; these days honestly most phones do the same, look the same and feel the same so it don’t matter if I get an Asus, Samsung or Apple so when did it all get so boring?

Parts of the reasons are the Apple biased media who kissed ass for everything Apple did even if the technology was being used prior by competitors, competitors then slowly started to adopt I’ll let them blink first mind set, carriers and manufacturers also threw spanners in the works by wrecking software updates, meaning rather than get it seamlessly as you do with Apple (Steve deserves a lot of props for this), it was staged roll outs and in some cases you didn’t even get the update; a lot went the safer route with skins keeping the OS’s closer to stock Android OS, which limited differentiating factors, they also plain ran out of new design ideas making designs all seem very similar.

So what’s there really to look for too?

Better camera, better battery life, better screen, new emoji’s… because everyone loves emoji’s and oh yeah, how could I forget; it’s thinner wohoo yay *rolls eyes*, new authentication methods and some new colours.

Truth is when they harper on about the camera all I’m thinking is; can I get a clean picture regardless of lighting without have to fiddle about with a trillion settings? Yes, well that’s great; all that other stuff your rambling on about means nothing to me, now what’s this thing going to cost?

Links:
Brainthrough!

11. Technology: Want a chip?

My answer? No
I’ve been hearing about people wanting chips for a number of reasons but one from a fellow accountant I was not expecting.

If we don’t get the chip we won’t be able to compete with robots
 

When it comes to cost cutting which is always on the agenda, people will opt for the robots and here’s just a few reasons why:
The machine can work longer, there’s no need for sleep, sick leave, lateness, annual leave, recruitment time/costs, no flexible time and that’s before you look at Salaries, cost of living increases, NI contributions and pension contributions.

I’m not picking up chippie when I can capex the robots and pay maintenance and software upgrade costs, if our current method for payment for large items remains true, it will probably be a lease agreement with an upgrade every xyz amount of years.

Another reason why I was not expecting it is as accountants we’ve been seeing outsourcing and automation happen gradually for years, but it has not hit full aggression yet, Accounts payable, Accounts receivable and banking were the first to have the torch pointed at it and in some companies you have 1 person locally and several outsourced, as the software gets better (still some way off) the pure data entry parts of accounts will shrink, basically we’re heading towards this collision anyway.

Why would I not want a chip which would have me all knowing; simple I don’t want to feel like a machine, I am happy with not knowing everything finding out little titbits as I go along, I am happy to switch off my electronics for a couple days and read books and write, I am happy to see two people debate and listen to how well they present their arguments from memory, last but not least people are people never expect too much from them, at some point someone will find a way to abuse it.

Links:
eletimes.com

Brainthrough!

10. Technology: blind eye

I read the below article and it got me thinking; do us technology fans appreciate assholes or do we simply respect someone who can get it done?

From the article I read:
We have this habit of highlighting and celebrating brilliant assholes like Steve Jobs and [Uber co-founder and ousted CEO] Travis Kalanick, when the reality is they are awful human beings,” said Greg, head of technology at e-commerce startup Brandless, adding that it is women and people of colour who tend to bear the brunt of their behaviour.

“It reminds me of stories that came out of Wall Street in the 1980s, when sexism was part and parcel of the culture,” he added. “Stories like that become public very quickly and people find out and paint tech with one brush.”

Some of this behaviour stems from the hubris that positions profit-seeking corporations as benevolent forces in the world.

“You are selling ads, you’re not really making the world a better place,” noted the former Facebooker. “But most people drank the Kool-aid.

I can’t take comments from a previous employee too seriously as most tend to be bitter plus this all wreaks of virtue signalling (my new favourite term).

So let’s ask the question, are these people assholes or do they just call it like they see it and get stuff done?
Let’s talk about everyone’s favourite CEO (except mine) Elon Musk; he’s is known to be an asshole but unlike many before him he seems to be getting stuff done and is loved like get it done Steve Jobs before him; those same people who whine about technology companies are the same ones who are kissing his ass, I guess it’s different because he’s a green guy right?

So let’s ask a different question; do you need to be tough and terse to get things done?
In most cases yes, the CEO who is more concerned about appeasing everyone rather than getting things done usually gets tossed out on their ass and does not churn the results investors want or the products consumers need, they don’t become obsessed with the companies vision, instead they become obsessed with people pleasing which will not always go hand in hand with good results.

When you read up on any of these titans you soon come to find similar personality traits which is no coincidence, so why do we keep whinging about it?

In an old AAT accounting magazine I read it said one of the reason small accounting practices fail is owners have a tough time letting people go when times get hard or who are not cutting the mustard, i.e. they are people pleasers and this behaviour is partially responsible for the failure of their business.

Another quote that made me smirk was this one:
Some of these folks aren’t the most socially gifted people and therefore suddenly having a culture encouraging this experience for them bleeds into everything, giving them a sense of self-importance and entitlement. It’s effectively like dealing with children all the time,” Greg said, referencing his time at Dropbox when people would “fly around the office on these stupid scooters and skateboards”.

This is probably the same type of person who hates ‘suits’ wants ‘dress down Fridays’ and considers being able to bring a blooming dog to work an ‘awesome’ idea, to me it’s simple, build a better company, change companies/careers or do us all a favour and shut up!

Links:
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/nov/08/ashamed-to-work-in-silicon-valley-how-techies-became-the-new-bankers

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/04/02/technology/uber-drivers-psychological-tricks.html

Brainthrough!

9. Technology: AI are you scared?

Should we go down this route? The answer “screw your debate because money” is the true reaction most US technology companies, if there is money in it, it will be done, screw your concerns!!!

The AI is coming, the AI is coming!

All this panic about AI puts a smile on my face, Hollywood films, countless books, social commentators and tech heads have warned us about the dangers of AI forever.
I have heard some good reasons for this, the best coming from a colleague (who either read in a book or heard in a podcast that,) that the main fear with AI is there’s no 2nd chance! i.e. if the programming goes kaput, then we could find ourselves really fighting the machines. Why does this put a smile on my face? Irony, AI is being created to solve issues we create.

This debate actually take me back to my first encounter with it; whilst most people’s first cinematic/televised experience with the machines changing their views was probably the terminator, Space Odyssey or the Matrix movies; mine was a great scene from the X-Men cartoons shown in the 90’s.

Dr Trask built Master Mould to build sentinels to deal with mutants, unfortunately for the Dr, Master Mould demands that a senator’s brain be replaced with a computer (which paints another irony); trying to plead with his creation the following conversation happens:

Dr Trask: “You were designed to protect humans from mutants”

Master Mould: “That is not logical, mutants are human… therefore humans must be protected from themselves”

I don’t think the writer could have picked smarter words!

This scene even as a kid for some reason just stuck with me, and here I am, no longer as happy, no longer as free, no longer as innocent and no longer as trusting but still hearing the same debates… amazing.

Currently we have the following: Alt left vs Alt Right, misandrist vs MGTOW, Theism vs Atheism, Vegans vs Meat eaters, religious vs anti-religious, feminism vs anti-feminism, socialism vs capitalism, pro-genders vs anti-genders heck we even got Cyclists vs non-cyclist, the point? we are brilliant at being divided and the question that has to be asked is; who’s programming AI and what are their views on life?

For example; misanthropy is growing; people are constantly showing us they love animals more than their fellow humans, what happens if one of these are let loose on the programming?
What we should be doing is ensuring there is a clear understanding of how they are being programmed and who by; where will AI be drawing their information from? & the most obvious question, is it even possible to keep AI unbiased?

So should we fear AI? No, it’s coming either way and you’re part of the reason why they will be needed!

Links:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCFlYL9RhBM

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/elon-musk-neuralink-brain-computer-startup-a7916891.html

https://www.neuralink.com/

Brainthrough!

7. Technology: Love bots?

Who do you love?

30th November 2017, I was channel surfing and stumbled upon a channel 4 program regarding adult dolls and oh boy!!!

Let’s get to facts, 20% of non-AI dolls are bought by women and 80% are bought by men; despite having no smart features these basic dolls can costs anywhere from £3,000 upwards! The smart bots (or AI dolls if you prefer) are expected to sell from £8000 upwards; we know these will sell, let’s face it, the current adult toy industry is a billion-dollar industry with female items topping the list.

What’s the bloglem?

The reaction people are having to the soon to come smart bots/Love dolls, reminds me of an episode of Futurama where Fry falls in love with his Lucy Lu bot, painted the grim picture of what could happen if man opts for machines over women and if social media was anything to go by, people share the same sentiment.

Channel 4 which has brought this to the forefront (in terms of mainstream TV) and in my opinion has shown it is AGAINST this; I remember watching Humans, we have the scene where one of the bots works in a brothel, it paints a grim picture, long story short the #AI becomes self thinking and leaves but before she leaves she says “everything those men do to us, they want to do to you” as a parting word to the female brothel owner.

Then this program, boy was the men they found creepy as heck…. I don’t think you could of found a better selection of customers to make you want to ban a product, one of the damn dolls looked like a freaking kid; I am not kidding and the shocker was the man actually had a WIFE!!!… she should have been left him, then you had this other plonker who took his doll to the beach and took photo’s of it WHAT ON EARTH!!!; you can’t make this crap up but the icing on the cake for me, was when the guy with the arguably pedo doll had his first interaction with ‘smart’ doll and he asked her if she has ever been to Brazil, ahahahah this was a good laugh. Additional comedy came when I saw the lady who’s campaigning against the sex dolls, I can’t remember if it was some made up moral non-sense or the usual ‘men’ liking something makes them evil rhetoric but all I got was she only wants sex bots to be in male form (I say this because she did not mention the male form of dolls being an issue).

Is there a moral issue?

No, but I don’t buy morals are universal as everyone reads off different pages; here’s what will happen; some men and WOMEN!!! will buy these, as the technology improves and the #AI can be perfectly tuned into what their owners want (giving them the perfect partner), more people will jump on board. A surprising customer base will be those who are just flat out lonely or unable to get the male/female they are truly attracted to, when the technology improves and these bots look/act more human and gain the ability to do domestic duties, some will cover the ‘other’ uses for the love bots under the guise of it being a personal assistant who can watch your pets, take your parcel, watch the house, control the heating etc but that’s quite a way away; but you can see that happening.

There are some who are panicking this could be the end of humanity, I’m bored of this story naturally being a Christian I have a different view but let’s pretend I buy into a different view, this will be adopted massively by western societies (all the weird stuff happens here first), other cultures it won’t effect as much if at all, thus the entire globe and the human race will continue but there may be a significant population reduction; or with an additional train of thought it could lead to population increase, surrogacy requests could sky rocket as the new family becomes human + bot + surrogacy child!

Interesting times ahead!

Links:

Brainthrough!

6. Technology: Imac pro, huh?

“Hey guys, we know the MacPro has received some backlash and as a result of this in 2018 we are going to make the MacPro we should of made from the beginning; one that is modular for you professionals!, we’ve struggled to figure out how to do this but rest assured this is a high priority for us,… oh by the here’s an ImacPro”….. wait? What?!!!!

So let me get this straight, pretty much from when the MacPro was announced it got backlash and the smug statement of “can’t innovate my ass” has provided some good laughs, in fact the best joke I’ve heard from the MacPro fiasco is “Apple has learned the importance of vapour ware” Lol

We all know the MacPro is not core to Apple sales anymore, and common sense could tell you the Imac is a better seller than the MacPro and the current turd MacMini, he’s where I say what on earth.

Apple basically said they are struggling to provide a modular re-designed MacPro but one will be here in 2018, so you think fair enough let’s wait; and for no good reason they announce the ImacPro, so you struggled to give users a modular MacPro but surprise… surprise….; you somehow, someway managed to redesign a product that has limited upgradeability, that no one asked for, slapped a ‘Pro’ moniker on it and I’m supposed to buy the garbage MacPro story.

Here’s my theory, Apple’s design language points towards slim devices with limited user upgradability, they are also working to blur the lines between Pro and non-pro users as they have successfully made footways into enterprise via casual users who love their Mac’s, the Imac Pro tells the truth, the users who want to upgrade components are dwindling, they would rather sell their current computer and buy a newer one model, fiddling about with drivers etc is just not appealing to the majority of people anymore, people are happy with an all in one, especially as the Apple monitors are high res, and Apple know this, heck they damn near pioneered it.

The Imac pro will become the default ‘pro’ desktop for Apple and sales will gradually slip for the MacPro and upgrades will come at a slower pace until it becomes like the current MacBook air, stale but still sellable because you can upgrade it yourself, right?

 

Brainthrough!

5. Technology: Smart glasses?

Where are the smart glasses?

Let’s get straight to it; Google glasses were a good idea but from the wrong company, Google’s creepy peeping tom vibe is off putting, you can just see faces being tagged, privacy being invaded, weirdo’s filming ‘attractive’ women, conversations being recorded and idiots recording themselves assaulting people (think happy slap 2.0).

Plus the whole “if you are searching something on the internet you don’t want people to know you probably should not be searching it” just makes Google a company I personally want to deal with as little as possible.

That Google shade to one side: HTC, Samsung, GoPro, TomTom, Garmin, Fibbit, Specialized, Cube, Giant and BMC I’m looking at you guys we need smart glasses guys.

In my mind I am seeing it like this, imagine going on holiday or being at a family birthday party, the biggest drag is holding the camera phone up, why? It takes one hand off you for starts but even worse than that because you’re filming you are not really in the moment, think going down a water slide, or riding a quad bike rather than have one hand filing you have the smart glasses on and you say the command “snap’ for pictures “clip” for video and it just does it; this allows you to be in the action and capture what your eyes see, it could be a great holiday/birthday companion.

As a cyclist, you already know why I would want this, GPS, record the run, average MPH, Average Cadence, video footage for safety (or to give to the police), group rides etc, I can almost see it now!

Specs: It has a loop so if they fall off your face they don’t go into the road/floor, water proof, sweat resistant, changeable lens types (i.e. cycling frames and casual frames, HD camera, 32gb storage, 12 hour battery life, and a soft red light to let people know it is recording.

Links:

Brainthrough!

4. Technology: Mac Mini?

What the Mac!!! Apple?

Now whilst technology blogs and magazines still continues to kiss this company where the sun don’t shine, I have a simple question; are you taking the mick with the Mac Mini?

This is ridiculous; no one with a sane mind can tell me there is a valid reason for Apple not updating the Mac Mini but yet they still shamelessly charge an insane amount for the tech that it is. No one going to say nothing? No one? Really?
 

Oh don’t get me wrong, we got a lovely email from Tim Cook in October telling us how ‘important’ the Mac Mini is, to which I smirk, that a billion-dollar tech company could not at least update the Mini’s internals, hey I guess the one guy doing all the work has been signed off on long term sick due to stress resulting from the Mac Pro’s he cocked up.

You’re probably thinking why am I whinging about this? Simple because the Mac Mini has potential to be a great computer, it’s sleek profile and timeless design makes it look the part, plus this is where people should be going who don’t want/need an all in one and don’t need the Super Saiyan power of a Mac Pro, it has potential to be a good mid level PC (if they stop being cheap and get Nvidia processors), heck even a half decent gaming rig once bootcamped into windows not to mention VR and video editing potential.

However we get none of the above, instead as per Macrumors buyers guide as at 18/Nov/17 we get a turd that’s not been updated since 20 FRIGGIN 14, yes that’s right 2014! And nothing, instead I see people trying to defend this non-sense, the same numb nuts who will say something like ‘ideally you want a PC to last 5 years as technology moves on at quite a rapid pace’.

Don’t worry I don’t expect Apple to change anytime soon nor do I expect the customer to say anything, I mean after all some are still buying this product…. Which says it all. 

Links:
https://buyersguide.macrumors.com/#Mac_Mini

Brainthrough!

9. Accounting and other professional bodies.

What other professional bodies are there? Loads, let’s jump straight in.

Prince 2
This is a project management qualification, usually associated with the public sector but is also known in the private sector, if you want to be a project manager this is a good stepping stone but unless you are targeting a public sector career I would opt for PMP/PMI.

Association for Project Management – APM
This is a good qualification and works well for public sector organisations but if it were me I would skip it and go with Prince 2 or PMP/PMI.

Project Management Professional – PMP/PMI
This is a better globally known project management qualification and one I would recommend you do if you want to become a project manager.

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development – CIPD
If you want a career in HR you should aim to get this qualification.

Chartered institute of marketing – CIM
This is not a mandatory qualification for a career in marketing but it’s still worth doing if this is the route you want to go down.

Chartered Management Institute – CMI
This is a good complimentary qualification, it’s not one I would personally go for on its own as it is not a required qualification for management positions for example, I feel this qualification is best when it’s combined with an accounting, HR or project management qualification it’s a good addition.

Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply – CIPS
Procurement is not an industry really spoken about, I tend to find people fall into procurement or hear about it through word of mouth, in short you buy goods for the company you work for, trying to get the best deal whilst you’re at it.

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors – RICS
This is for those who want to get into the construction industry, when you buy a house one of these qualified people will come around and value it for you.

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert – MCSE
I.T. qualification for Microsoft software.

Cisco Certified Network Associate – CCNA
Cisco’s professional qualification, this is entry level.

Cisco Certified Network Professional – CCNP
As above but medium level.

Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert – CCIE
This once upon a time was the must have qualification for demanding the salary of your dreams, it’s a tough qualification (what isn’t) but still worth the effort.

Certified Information Systems Security Professional – CISSP
A great qualification we are going digital and security is important.
Brainthrough!

Links:
https://www.prince2.com/uk
https://www.apm.org.uk/
https://www.pmi.org/certifications/types/project-management-pmp
https://www.cipd.co.uk/
https://www.cim.co.uk/
https://www.cips.org/en-gb/homepage/
https://www.rics.org/uk/
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/mcse-certification.aspx
https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/training-events/training-certifications/certifications.html

@Brainthrough