It’s time for Drone’s to have camera Tripod mounts, not permanently mounted cameras…

There are two distinct types of Drone controllers and frankly I struggle with one of them. While I certainly have been playing video games for years, I am not as intuitive as my children are with the controllers. Based on that the virtual controls of some drones just don’t work for me. I do much better with a flying yoke than with the virtual controller.

What this speaks of is the reality of the consumer market. You have people on both ends of the market in terms of abilities and comfort. I am not as comfortable with the virtual controls. I know, because I played with them extensively trying to become more effective with them.

The other thing is the reality of the fixed camera. While I understand why the camera is fixed to the drone, I think the first drone that allows for a true camera tripod mount will be very successful. Why? Because it is going to allow people to expand their drone’s capabilities.

Today you can get a number of different kinds of cameras that support the tripod mount. It gives you the flexibility to have infrared, sonar and 3d laser cameras on your drone. This gives you a much bigger capability set. For example an engineering firm can you 3d laser mapping to produce both an aerial and topographical map of a specific location. You can use sonar and infrared imaging to see what is going on with greater detail.

The reason you use a drone is you aren’t limited to what you can lift into the air on a crane. You aren’t limited by the presence of water and you aren’t limited by debris.

Solar installation companies can use Drones to do a visual survey of a roof. You don’t have to send a person up for that survey. Insurance companies can post hail storms use drones to quickly survey an entire neighborhood. Certainly skipping those hosues that are not currently their customers.

I’ve talked before about using 3d mapping (laser systems) for road repair crews. Run the drones at night when there is low traffic so you know where the pot holes are.

The functionality offered by moving to the standard shared tripod mount is phenominal. Fixed or permantently attached cameras offer some capabilites that you would need to make sure the tripod connection was secure for the camera or device mounted.

Scienctists, surveyors, highway crews, solar installation crews and insurance companies would all benefit from the ability to quickly change out what device you had on the drone. Power companies that do use surveys could quickly give you an infrasred image of your roof (to see where you need more insulation). The potential is amazing and hopefully this change happens soon!


Drone fan…p

Hero’s are leaders that rise above the moment.

Leadership is all about recognizing that you can’t do everything by yourself. That others are both needed and important to your success. Congratulations to John Elway for proving the model he followed as a player worked as a General Manager. Congratulations to Peyton Manning for being able to follow that great model and of course Congrats to an amazing set of defenses. I have never in my viewing (I’ve seen all 50) of Super Bowls seen two defenses that great go at each other.

Over the course of my life I have had favorite players. I root no matter where that player is, for the team that player is on. My first football hero was Bart Starr. I loved the calm way he entered every huddle and controlled the game. But as a Bears fan it hurt rooting for the Packers. My second hero was a smallish back that started off returning kickoffs in 1975. An unheralded player with that designation I still don’t really understand (athlete). I told my grandfather after I watched that first game with that young man that he was going to be something. I have read everything ever written about Walter Peyton. He was a human being of extraordinary talent. I loved watching him play. He was the most talented player I have ever seen.

A man of honor. When Walter high stepped his way into the end zone it was electrifying. I remember a game where because of injury Walter played quarterback out of the wildcat formation. I remember a game where Walter was the punter. He passed for a number of touchdowns as a running back. He was a great runner. But he was versatile, a great pass catcher. A complete player who could do anything.

For years and still Walter Peyton remains my favorite player. In 1999 we moved back to Indiana and in particular we moved to the southern Suburbs on Indianapolis. I started watching and enjoying the excellence of Peyton Manning. I can honestly say he is the most surgical quarterback I ever saw pick apart a defense. He was and is the most amazing quarterback.

How do you measure greatness? Both Walter Peyton and Peyton Manning reached the pinnacle of the all time statistical leader at their position (Emmitt Smith passed Peyton’s rushing yard total, but it took the amazing Jerry Rice to pass Walter’s all-purpose yardage record).

Personally I measure greatness both on the field and off the field. Does the addition of the human being make the player better or do they simply become a person. Greatness is a measure not only of on the field but also their impact on the world around them. So for that I applaud Peyton Manning is has achieved both.

If Peyton retires than I may have found the person I will replace Peyton with. When he was Auburn I listened to his interviews and thought he was a bit arrogant. But last night I saw Cam Newton emerge. He has amazing talent. I have listened to the stories of what he does off the field for people in North Carolina. While my conveyance of hero status on Cam probably does nothing for him, it does mean I will watch more Carolina Panthers games. Hero’s are leaders who see beyond a game to what is possible.


Football Fan

Fees are out of control. It is killing our economy and killing the growth and use of technology.

The very first blog I ever wrote at this blog address was about phone and mortgage companies and the fees they charge. Phone companies and banks basically. (here is a link to that blog). I talked about the fees changed by phone companies in particular in my book the Syncverse. I posted on my other blog in 2007 that the internet would explode when there was easy access to broadband data at home (it did). I think the next big step in the process is the reduction of the fees charged by various businesses.

Banks make more money on the fees they charge than anything else. It is kind of scary. Phone companies make money on data movement. Lots of money on data movement. That is also scary. The reality of both the economy and the growth of the economy are living in a world of fees. A house with all sides charging cannot stand. (sorry Mr. Lincoln).

Banks have the right to charge fees, after all they like phone companies are providing a service. What concerns me is the nature and amount of the fees charged. In the 2006 time period there was a huge up swing in what has later been dubbed predatory lending. In the past couple of years a number of phone companies and banks have been sued (and the plaintiff won) regarding these fees changed.

It is not a bandwagon I am jumping on because I want to. I actually see these two problems as impact two huge areas.

  • The economy
  • The growth of technology

My argument for the first is as follows:

First off fees charged for the following are excessive

Overdraft and insufficient funds. Given that the bank has access to your personal banking and employment records changing a fee when you go slightly upside down on the Thursday before you get paid is truly ridiculous. Secondly while it costs the bank money to hold checks against pending funds it does not cost them 35 dollars per incident (I made a mistake last month and paid a bill a day earlier than I thought I did, which cause me to have insufficient funds for 2 checks. So they changed me 70 bucks.)

Data transfer and movement fees. Seriously like overdraft fees these are overkill. It doesn’t cost the phone company more than 30 cents to move data across the country. IT doesn’t cost a penny more to move data from Canada to the US. For that matter it does cost a little emote to move data between the US and Europe but not 1.50 or more. In fact if you look at where phone companies are making massive amounts of money it is in two places, Long Distance calls to other countries and data movement both within the country you live in and between any two or more countries.

Those two fees alone are ridiculous. Excessive and predatory in the end. It makes me want to move to a credit union. Why? because they don’t charge the outrageous fees banks do. Don’t even get me started on the ATM costs. Yes banks charge other banks an ATM fee (if you are a customer of bank A and use the ATM of bank b, bank b change bank a, bank a charges you and adds a little extra you know because after all they get no value from having your money.).

My last argument is the growth of technology and the overall impact these fees have. First off, there are companies that exist in this new economy that change flat rates. They are not however telephone companies that have major footprints. The world of fees remains one where the phone companies are profiting heavily and that actually slows the expansion of cloud and CPS usage. If it costs too much, it is something companies don’t take on.

It is a simple argument. I’ve used it for years working with partners. Don’t make all your money on one deal. If you do, then you are bound to that deal. It means your company can easily be lost. The day of fair fees is coming.


Futurist and Anti-Fee poster since 2009.

If all cars are connected, only criminals and eccentrics drive disconnected cars :-).

I have been talking a lot about sensors (CPS and IoT) for the past few months. It is a very interesting conversation for now. But there are things I think going forward are going to be more interesting. So today I would like to talk about sensors that will be in cars in just a few years.

So let’s establish the “now” of car sensors.

  • Car phone system (includes inbound and outbound data traffic)
  • Internal car temperature and external temperature (environment)
  • Car component temperature (safety)
  • Tire pressure
  • Radar (front and rear)
  • cameras (front and rear)
  • more

So what is coming or more important what is missing. Car Radar is the collision protection system. The cameras are used to keep in your lane. There are a number of other connected safety systems that will expand over the next couple of years.

Biometric locks? Today cars can be stolen fairly easily and frankly quickly. But more and more systems are integrated in the car that will reduce the ability of thieves to steal cars. The easy ones are the onboard protection systems (basically a cellular connection). That connection allows the car manufacturer to track the car. I wonder, long term if that like cameras and other sensors will reduce crime? Or reduce the cars criminals drive? (you can’t drive a new car to rob a bank because the police can track you).

Wouldn’t it be funny if the police captured a group of bank robbers because their older panel van had engine trouble while they were in the bank?

When all cars have sensors and can be tracked, only criminals and eccentrics drive cars that aren’t.


Back to what sensors will be.

Home sensors are available today (car knows its home). But going forward if you have a car system that offers wi-fi in the car, why wouldn’t you add that capability to your home wi-fi system when the car is in the driveway?

Sing along sensor, when I start singing, remember that song!

Route awareness (you get that with traffic today) but now let’s build in some intelligence. Predictive route analysis is one that watches traffic patterns on your route. It pays attention to the optimal times for you to be traveling and notifies you.

There are so many more things to come. Eventually everyone will be driving Kit. (the Knight Rider car!). Your car arguing with you about the driving choices you’ve made!



100,000 books requires a library. Or a really large Kindle…

When I was younger I collected books. I had a lot of them. No where near as many as my father did, but a lot. When my father passed away we spent 3 days cleaning out his office. He had more than 5000 books. I was much closer to 2000 books. Now there are books I have and will keep forever. I have a few business books that I have been given by people that I treasure. Not because it is an amazing book, but because of the person. I own virtually every book ever written by JRR Tolkien. Those I will keep forever and pass them on to my children.

But I don’t have an office full of books anymore. In part because I can Bing it or Google it and get the answer faster. Partly because I have moved to the world of Kindle. Finally because I also have moved to the world of Audible books. So while I still have books, now they are on devices not on shelves.

(copyrighted application concept)A interesting concept for someone to consider. Building an application that will automatically move live Kindle content to a memory card. The new Kindles support memory cards that nearly quadruples the amount of memory available. I would like to have all my books and all my audible books local so I can consume them at will. So an application that will automatically move content between live memory (the kindle) and storage memory (the memory card) is one that I personally would buy right now. (end copyrighted application concept)

However this blog is about change and technology. I look to what is there to see what may yet be. So I move digital content around in a number of different ways. I use various services (Amazon Cloud Storage and Carbonite) to both store and backup digital images inuring pictures, scanned images and video). I use a number of publication systems (this blog and others). I am also a consumer of digital services via Amazon Fire, Xbox One and Apple TV. I use all three to understand how they work but also all three have distinct differences and value. I can, because all my digital pictures are on Amazon, use the Fire TV as a digital picture playback system. I use the Apple TV to consume content from iTunes including movies I’ve purchased on the family account. Finally I use the Xbox One to consume Netflix, Hulu and local Blu-Ray/DVD content.

The question and the reality of the digital transition (which is what we are in) is the reality of change. Digital content can be more easily managed, if you take the time, than paper content can be. The Dewey system allows for the storage and retrieval of Books but requires a lot of space. Searching an online search engine or searching on a device for a specific file takes up only the space of the input device (how you create the search) be it microphone, keyboard or yet undeveloped direct brain transfer.

Search is the game changer. The reality however remains the same now as it did 20 years ago when I started wondering about digital content. There remains a storage issue.

First off its not the issue you think it is. Peta, Zeta and beyond are rapidly being built, installed and consumed in the world of online storage. It is not a physical storage issue. Oh it is much worse and it’s the same 20 years later.

  • Its about data location. Where is the data?
  • Its about data ownership. Who created the data (where did they put it) and who owns it, really.

I used to get in trouble 20 years ago and still do today because of what I am going to say. I don’t care what company in the world you go to, even fully online companies, there is more IP and more business value on the laptops of the professionals working at the company than there is in the company IP store. Still. 20 years after the first time I said that publically. 10 years after the first time I blogged that line. It is still a problem.

The greatest destruction of company IP could simply be someone in a meeting room having a large magnet under the table. At the end of the meeting all the IP in that room would be gone. Recreating that IP would take weeks, months even years.

The answer of course is that IP management is boiling the ocean. The reality is most of your companies assets are on the laptops your employees carry. The rise of IP management has been long and slow. But soon its going to be critical. Cloud based IP management and automatic data connections would solve the problem very quickly. I started this blog with the line 20,000 books requires a library. 1 billion documents requires a library as well. Not as big a library but certainly one that is easily indexed, searched and supports easy reuse!

More to come…


IP hunter gatherer

Should I report the ethics violation? First, is it a violation of the companies, or my ethics?

Yesterday I posted a blog about ethics. Today the other side of the slippery slope. What is the  responsibility of any one person when you see a clear ethical issue? Should you report the issue? Should you engage with HR?

It’s a slippery slope at best. So here are some of the issues in the world of ethics reporting.

  1. If you do you are perceived not as a whistle blower, but instead as a “tattle tale.”
  2. If the person is your manager, you have to go over their head. So worse than a tattle tale you become a problem child.
  3. Who do you go to?
  4. What if the violation is not your boss, but their boss?
  5. What is a violation?

Ethics becomes a rock and a hard place. You have no where to go. What do you do? I had boss early in my Microsoft career that I should have reported. But he was making life difficult for me, before the stuff happened so how could I? My life would have gone down hill fast had I reported him. I should have taken the lumps and done it. But I was scared of the blowback and it cost me later in my career.

It shouldn’t be a rock and a hard place. It should be something the organization welcomes. It won’t, because management structures are built and pushed down. So you end up with a wasteland of what could be. Reporting things takes time, effort and becomes a he-said she-said excursive. Report, or don’t report in the end the impact is already happening. I wish now, that I had reported then what I knew. It would have been messy but in the long run would have been better for me and the company. Fear is the reason ethics are unchecked.

Which way do I go then? Well you have to decide how severe the violation is. Is it a violation of your personal ethics or of the companies? If it is the companies, you have to report it. I took a management/leadership course where the leader talked about the don’ts of management.

  1. Don’t believe rumors
  2. Don’t play favorites
  3. Don’t see only one side

The firs tone is hard. The second is incredibly hard, the first and second drive the third. If, you bleieve rumors and if you play favorites then you will see only one side. Leadership and management are hard jobs. You have to balance the reality against the goals you have. It’s a fine line to walk and many do it exceptionally well. You have to know is this someone violating your ethical rules or the companies. Only report issues of violating company rules. I would hope in all cases our personal ethics rise far above what the company we work for expects.


Ethics Wonderer…

What in the end does ethics mean?

My sons and I often on our walks discuss ethics. Not the morality of or the legality of ethics but simply the application of ethics. I find myself often pondering the impact of ethics on my life, technology and my family. I once heard many years ago the line that I have tried to live by since I first heard it. Do the right thing and the money will follow.

Over those many and ensuing years I have tried to live by that. It isn’t easy because you run into people that don’t believe in ethics. Well that isn’t fair, its more that their ethics compass points to a few degrees different to the north of ethics. Those few degrees can cause all sorts of pain.  If you poison the well make sure you end up removing the poison later.

I talked about bad managers in a recent post that I have had the misfortune of having for a time in my career. Interesting thing is that two of the worst never pinged me to ask if in fact they were bad. One derailed my career twice in a period of 5 years. I also know that my personal ethics would forgive him, once I got a simple “sorry.”

That is the interesting problem. It is fine to wander through life oblivious to the impact you have. But when someone makes you successful, and you don’t acknowledge that in the end you have an ethics problem. Ethics is the way, in as much as it can be, we treat people. You hear all the time (PETA – ethical treatment of animals) about ethics.

  • If you say something about a person make sure the person you are speaking to, also goes to that person you are speaking of for the other side.
  • Never act on rumors. Better yet just never believe rumors. If it isn’t a fact, or can’t be proven don’t believe it.
  • Do the right thing. If you say you are going to do something and for whatever reason you cannot, acknowledge that publically.

When you cause someone else pain, own it. You don’t have to apologize for what had to happen, but you have to apologize for the pain you caused that person. It is the right thing to do. Those three simple bullets are really easy to follow. The first one, don’t triangulate is actually a point of honor. If you speak ill of someone, without telling the person you are speaking to that there are two sides, shame on you. Acting on rumors in the end does nobody any good. Rumors are often politics. If you act on political information the only person that loses ethically is you. Oh yeah and shame on you. Finally when you say something in a team setting make sure the follow-up is public. If you never follow-up understand that it is your credibility that is lost.

Act as though the other person is you. Yes people need to be managed. Yes People need to be lead. If you aren’t good at one, acknowledge that and work on it. The same is true of leadership although it is a little harder to work on. If you leave a wake remember those are human beings. Stop, apologize and help them right the boat you capsized. It’s the right thing to do.


Ethical Wanderer…