Crunchy snow and missing IP!

The meteorological phenomenon known as snow occurred last night near my house, around my house on top of my house. For some reason, and in 2020 and 2021, we had the always frustrating combination of snow and rain in at least this particular printer. An inch or so of snowfalls and in the rain falls control freezes together into a mass. You end up with a frozen cringing that makes walking difficult because the sidewalks all freeze into sheets of ice. I walk outdoors and walking in the crunchy I see the mess that was left in the DC area yesterday take my normally 16 minute times and make them easily 22 minutes or 23 and a lot more physical exertion completes the same distance.

I had a treadmill for days like this in Indiana, but we just haven’t had that many days like this since moving to DC. So I got rid of the treadmill. In retrospect, I should have kept it. But today’s technology blog is about the reality of snow falling or the slipperiness of ice on roads. Today I want to talk about the reality of the information age. I know most analysts call where worry is now technologically the information age I understand that. I don’t mind being the lone voice in the wilderness on this one. Sometimes I don’t want to be the lone voice, but I do on this particular problem. I have spent years chasing intellectual property and intellectual capital in every organization I’ve been a part of. I have built and managed to run and organize IP management systems. Both regional and international.

That’s why I do not think we preach the information age. There’s far too much information that exists on the hard drives of professionals as they go about their day-to-day business. There’s a reason why hard drives keep getting bigger. And it’s not to do with the fact the operating system is growing that quickly. People need a place to store information if hard drive search were better than it is today. You will find ten times the amount of IP on hard drives that you do today. But the reality is there is still more information on people’s hard drives, and in people’s heads, there is in all the world’s IP systems combined. One of the coolest technology projects that I’ve watched his project, Gutenberg. Gutenberg is the inventor of the printing press. Project Gutenberg is taking all those printed books that exist in the public domain. In other words, the copyright has expired. And it is converting them into digital assets. There are thousands upon thousands upon thousands of books there probably a third of the way through the world’s library if that.

When the project Gutenberg is done, we’re on the cusp of the information age, but it’s not done for now. It’s nowhere near done and was nowhere near the information age. A wise man once said, if I can find information, I can solve your problem. The reality is they can’t solve your problem. They can’t find the information because too much of it exists in human beings’ heads or on laptops or desktops or servers within organizations. Yes, the information age will be Nirvana. And I don’t mean Kurt Cobain’s band. The information age will allow us to quickly utilizing whatever device we choose to find information that we need. It will also deliver information to us so that we can consume it not one way for all to consume but many ways for all to consume. You see, information consumption is the hallmark in the bellwether of the information age!

.doc

Do you track your steps?

Do you track your daily steps? A few years ago, I think nearly 15 now a doctor came out and said that everyone should walk 10,000 steps a day. That’s been changed by ijnhuy7ud7gsgyf6thow most health experts say that women should walk around 7500 steps, and men should walk around 8500 to 9000 steps a day. That’s not walking 17,000 steps on Monday and zero steps on Tuesday that 8500 steps every single day. Eight thousand five hundred steps is a little all over 4 miles. Or around 7 1/2 KM for those who prefer kilometers. For the first ten years or so that I was tracking the steps, I predominantly use the Fitbit. I don’t use a Fitbit anymore for many reasons, one of which is it just never worked consistently rightful me, and honestly, having to charge it every day yada yada never worked out. I wandered around there many applications available the track your steps, but I settled on now.

I use Sweatcoins, and I use the Apple fitness tracker that comes with my iPhone. The other application I use is run, keeper. She uses run keeper predominantly because it lets me map my walks. I can compare the routes I’m taking, and if I want to tweak it or add or remove distance, it’s a little easier for me to do it knowing where I’m walking. All of the applications I use are dependent on the GPS in either my watch or my phone. I have noticed a subtle variance. The error rate, I would say, is probably about 100 feet total. So all of my step totals are always plus or -100 feet, which is about 200 maybe hundred and 50 steps. When I was first using GPS’s in the 1990s, it took on average 70 seconds or more for the GPS signal to lock-in. My phone and watch pretty much lock-in in about 7 to 10 seconds. Since I don’t cross any major latitude and longitude in lines, the GPS doesn’t have to reset its connection.

So I go back to my original thesis do you track your steps? And if you do track your steps, what is your daily step goal? For me, originally, my goal was 10,000 steps a day. I bump that to 15,000 steps per day about five years ago. Since I came to that goal in the five years, I’ve only missed 15,000 steps four times in five years. The fun thing is that in the year 2020, the year of the pandemic, the dark cloud over all our heads, I averaged 20,900 steps every single day for 365 days. Now we all understand the law of averages that meant that they were many days above 20,000 steps in a few days below 20,000 steps, far more days above 20,000 steps then below. You see, by March 2020, my average daily step count was around 17,000 steps a day, so the first quarter of the year, I average 17,000 steps a day or but it does, however, does work, then then I had to average more than 23,000 steps a day for the rest of the year the pandemic was good for walking. So what is your step goal?

.doc

My review of the reMarkable2!

Many years ago, I worked with a person who ran the usability lab for the company I was working for. He would show me videos of the people in the room trying to do things if you saw those videos 20 years ago and used a computer now. You would see many of the things the people did in the labs were part of the operating system. It makes me laugh when I think about computers’ evolution in the last 20 years—a bit of os the EVP; top of the tablet that I want to talk about today. In particular, the newest tablet, the Remakable2 tablet. Reading, signing, and interacting with PDF files is pretty normal for most people now. In my profession, I also tend to review documents before they are sent to the customer.

reMarkable

Remarkable is a tablet-based system designed for two different things. The first is taking digital notes (I like that functionality a lot) the second is reviewing and annotating documents. It works very well, and getting papers to the tablet device is pretty easy. The handwriting conversion is pretty good overall, and I find myself able to convert around 90% of my handwriting into something I can read 2 or 3 days later. That is my measure for converting my writing; if it is converted and still makes sense, it worked! Overall the toolset is pretty good at converting my now very slopping handwriting to clearly understood machine text (or what we used to call typewriter output)!

Remarkable uses the concept of paper to make the interaction with notes and documents easier! The issue with most digital pens is that they don’t have a good feel. The Remarkable pen has a tactile surface, so you feel the cell. I am not an artist, but I do make drawings in my documents and my notes. They are more focused on services and what can be built or delivered, boxes and lines, but the pen works well for adding graphics to the notes. It wouldn’t do for a professional artist, but if you, like me, sometimes draw an example, it works well. Overall the product is easy to use. They have an iPhone and an android application to get documents onto your tablet. They also has a web browser extension and a pc application. Getting content to your remarkable is remarkably easy! (pun intended)!

Overall I give the Remarkable2 a solid 9 out of 10!

.doc

Are YOU willing to wait?

Yesterday I talked about the hue and cried about Big Tech. The fact that Big Tech has a moral and ethical responsibility (they don’t). I realize a lot of people are angry that decisions were made to have certain accounts deactivated. If I ever post something that causes a riot or contributes to a riot or could be conceived as supporting a hoot, I hope they shut down my account forever. The reality of the world and the reality of information is critical. When you have an audience, you owe the truth. Since the truth is often subjective, you owe your audience the facts. That means if you believe something happened that was not right, you have to share the evidence you have.

The truth is often an interpretation of facts and then presented as the truth.” As I said, the truth is often subjective. Facts, however, are not. Facts are pieces of information. They do not come with “this is what I mean” stickers. They do not simply present themselves. They are not always heard the same way by different people. (ergo, the taught being my interpretation of facts). But the thing that is missing right now from the call for Big Tech Ethics is facts. When the people using social media in Egypt erupted, we applauded that eruption. It was a corrupt regime, we said. We have to walk a very fine line. We allow something once, and it is then, by default, allowed the second time.

My father always said you couldn’t legislate morality. He was right, of course. The nuisances of a law that provided the “moral stance” on something would be massive. Let’s try and play that out with a single tweet. There are limits to the number of characters that can be used. Lots of abbreviations are used. But the reality is that tweeting to be legal would have to adhere to the guidelines. Nuances are the problem with morality. It is ok to call your best friend an idiot. It is ok to call a politician you disagree with an idiot. It is not ok for someone with power in a situation to call someone else an idiot. There is a risk there. Just imagine how that would have to be legally written. Because the thing about laws is once written, they have to be enforced. So we repeal section 230 of the code that applies to social media. We now expect big tech to censor what is on their site. That would apply to everyone. Are you willing to wait for two days for those pictures of Aunt Millie’s 100th birthday to appear on your feed? Or four days for those pictures of you fishing to appear?

Ask yourself, are you willing to wait?

/doc

Seriously, what is Big Tech supposed to do?

I’ve seen a lot of moral indignation lately about the morality of big tech companies. The reality of big tech company is that they are as moral as the people around them. We cannot hold companies to a higher level than we hold ourselves. The reality of free speech is that people can say anything they want within reason. My favorite example of that is that it’s okay to say anything. It is not, however, okay to in a dark movie house screen fire. There are limits to what free speech is. It’s why the Internet is such a mess. It’s why the concept of information brokers is one that will eventually come to pass. It existed in the past. If you look at the legal profession and the medical profession, and the academic world, they have been peer-reviewed journals for many years. It’s a lot faster to use your voice. Ask one of the digital assistants to help build is to find a peer-reviewed journal on the topic and read it. So suddenly we decided that the tech companies need to be responsible for that information. Section 230 of the law under which they operate says that they are not content creators, their content curators. Based on that, they’re not responsible for the information posted by people on their site. If you look until recently, neither Twitter nor Facebook intervened very often when it came to what people put on their sites.

So I ask, what is the moral responsibility of the tech companies? Are they to be held to a higher standard than people? You see, none of the major disinformation sites on the Internet are on Facebook or Twitter. They exist separately. Are they bound and limited to the same rules the people expect Facebook and Twitter to live by now? I see people posting things that are at best bad and at worst racist because I don’t see that. I know that I stop frequenting sites when I see that type of post appear. There is no arguing with people that post on the extremes. And I’m not just referring to extreme right-wing posters; I’m referring to extreme left-wing posters as well. Pres. In an interview, Jimmy Carter talked about how he often at dinner would argue both sides of an argument one night, one side the next night the other side. At first all, Jimmy Carter’s one of my heroes, but he always said if you argue both sides, you have a chance to understand both sides. Honestly, for the most part, the extreme left and extreme right or positions I tend to discard.

Discarding them is my information filter based on my experience, education, and thinking. The issue is the Internet makes those sites much more available to everyone. So I hear the hue and cry, the outrage, and the screams that the big tech companies are being responsible. I would ask every person who feels like the big tech companies should be responsible for the information on their site to look around the Internet. At what point and what limit do we accept that it is okay for sites to publish this information that is harmful to other people? One of the hardest things to prove in our legal system in America and throughout the world is libel. Improving libel requires a significant amount of evidence, a significant impact, and a significant intent. It’s very hard fruit, and it should be very hard to prove. But moderating and controlling information on the Internet should be as big a deal as it is. If we are going to rail against big tack and say it’s all big Tech fault, then we have to go and start applying those rules to the sites that are currently uncontrolled. I can name ten left-wing, and I can call ten right-wing sites that I believe should be removed from the Internet. But that’s my opinion, and I removed them from my searches, and I removed them from my browsing. So in effect, I have removed them from mine. But sometimes, if you’re not careful, information like that pops in your browser. So let’s stop complaining about big tech. Let’s leave Facebook alone. Let’s leave Twitter alone. After the events of January 6, 2021, those two organizations did something they had to do. Let’s say they were right based on what happened on January 6, 2021, in the United States; it was the right thing to do. And let’s stop blaming big tech because it’s not their fault.

.doc

The tech of tomorrow

What happens when you press and hold? If you were holding an Apple Newton, the very first PDA. Or in English personal digital assistant. Nothing would happen if you pressed and help the screen. Touch technology hadn’t hit the market yet. It existed. It just wasn’t cheap enough to be easily produced and utilized by several devices. The original haptic connections required a lot of processing power. So, by the way, I did the original voice processing solutions. The limit was memory and processor in the 1990s and early 2000s. You didn’t have a fast enough processor; you weren’t going to convert voice to text quickly enough. I’ve talked many times about the evolution of the cell phone. I talked many times about the evolution of the tablet and the laptop. Moore’s law, one of Intel’s founders, created a law saying processors will double in speed every 18 months. That hasn’t rung true in the last few years. The speeds haven’t doubled, but the capacity and abilities within the chip itself have increased 3, 4, and fivefold.

Image-1

Processors have gone from 8-bit to 16-bit the 32-bit to 64-bit. Suppose you want to see what that means buy an old Nintendo system, the original, and compare that to the new switch. The switch is significantly smaller. The switch can put the high-quality video on the screen, as well as high-quality video in your hand. The original Nintendo put SD quality video on the screen and didn’t have its screen built-in. The Nintendo switch is physically smaller than the original Nintendo console. The pack, in a much smaller case, is much more powerful today. The same is true of the self of a template. The processor memory and storage capabilities of the tablet and the cell phone have increased exponentially. But the other side of the cell phone is the client for the cloud. One of the things that I have been very impressed with in moving to the Apple devices is that I can quickly restore from an iPhone backup when my iPhone backup is in the iCloud. I sold the reality of I in front of everything is annoying.

But the reality of the situation is that as 5G becomes more prevalent in the market, more people are going to carry a cell phone and nothing else. Both Apple and Android have done a really good job of preventing the one problem that Microsoft Windows still has. Because the applications on the cell phone or the tablet or bite-sized instead of whole applications, they don’t need to preload as much when you launch them. You can load a shell of an application very quickly. In the Windows world, mini-applications want to be loaded into memory as the computer boots. Over time as you install more and more apps, your startup time will be longer and longer. The fatal flaw within the Microsoft Windows world. You’ll have that problem, so phones and tablets mean your cell phone can be shut off and turned on very quickly. It means your tablet can launch applications very quickly, even complex applications. Because the tablet and the cell phone are the clients to the cloud, you can run a lot more stuff in the cloud and never have to use the device’s processor. That processor and the machine that is a lot more powerful also doesn’t have to do as much. Now, if I’m doing true knowledge creation, writing something critical, I do it all laptop. But that is more because the tools that I like to use are more integrated with the computer, and I type faster than I speak most of the time. But in the future, I suspect that that will evolve. Everyone will carry their cell phone everywhere.

Many employees whose jobs it is to go out and meet and greet people may only ever carry a cell phone the tap. I think the wear and tear on my shoulder from carrying a 10 to 12-pound laptop for ten years while traveling internationally would have been greatly reduced by taking less than a pound with the tablet gear. The worker of the future is likely to be carried only a cell phone. You are putting that phone into a dock and using that dock to connect to the world. At the end of the workday, pulling the phone out of the pier turns on the do not disturb the system, and suddenly you’re free of work, and you’re out living your life.

.doc

Connection

There’s a television show. it is no longer on. But I enjoyed it when it was on. It was called Person of Interest.. It was about a supercomputer or supercomputer system to try to save people, in that show to follow the surveillance and information gathering systems from the United States. It was a work of fiction. It isn’t, however, in the distant future. One of the things that makes me nervous when we see something like what happened in the US on January 6 is that that action is just a justification for surveillance. To protect the rights of those trampled, we have to surveil everyone. That was actually what I said about the patriot act when he came out in 2001 or 2002. It can be dangerous when governments begin the concept of surveillance. But the reality is they can be done today. It doesn’t require the government; any hack can do it. The reality of the world today is we are connected. Even those who say I am not connected at all are still connected today. If you receive a check, you are connected if you get money from anybody, except cash.

There are two sides to the concept of connection. This paragraph will talk about the good things that a relationship brings. Number one, I am dictating this blog on my phone as I walk outdoors. The application on my phone is connected to a server and begins converting my voice into text. The value of that is I can multitask I can watch the road ahead problem working in the at the same time still dictate my blog. A good thing, really, except for those forced to read my blog.

Another good thing to connect is information. The abundance and the analysts all say we are in the information age. We aren’t in the reason we are in the information age. There is still analog information in the world—more analog information in the world than digital information today. We have lots and lots of digital information, but the transformation is not complete. I was telling people when the age of connection. Which is right on the cusp of the information age, but it is not the information age. When information is ubiquitous worldwide in every single part of the world, we are in the information age. But connections are a good thing when you consider that the more connected information in the open world, the more people can get it, the more that information is spread. Ultimately the more people benefit from it.

The downside to this age of connection we live in is pretty bad right now. Part one is being connected means you can be found. It means that the analysts are running around telling us it’s the information age. When one employee leaving a company can impact the company for a whole year after they leave, which means too much information walked out the door with that person. When the digital transformation process is complete and the information age finally arrives, you’ll understand the difference. When you can find anything, you need to know the source is valid, and the validation process occurs in the search engine, not in the human, then you’ll be in the information age. The last downside to the age of connection we are in distraction. I just mentioned that I use my cell phone to dictate my blog and convert to text while walking. If I will be focused on the screen of my cellular phone was that of my voice, I would walk into an open utility hole. You see the device distracted. The other thing about this instant conductivity that we have today is it decreases human beings’ attention span. Staying in line with a bunch of people and watch how many of them have their phones out playing a game looking something up on the Internet, or chatting with uncle Bob. Go to a sporting event and see how many people in Florida watch the game on their phone, not life. Even though they are actually in the stands of the game they are watching on their device. Question one creates what I called the distraction of connection. The reality that no matter what seeing it on the phone makes it real.

.doc

The last friendly KPI

I’ve been talking about KPI for the last three days. Key performance indicators allow you to measure the effectiveness of a person, solution, or manufacturing process. Right off the bat, that should make you nervous; the three are very different. What you measured the people is very other than what you measure for machines. The precision of a device allows for exacting expectations. Less than 1000th of a millimeter variance from part to part is a reasonable expectation. With a machine, you can expect less than three defects per million parts created. The funny thing is that you can get many more than three defects per million creations with the human being. But the reality of applying KPI to human beings and their behavior is risky.

Many years ago, I used to do application portfolio reviews across enterprise solution sets. I can honestly tell you that many times I found applications that were used. It was simple math. You looked at the application and how many users connected to it as long as they didn’t have a C in their title CEO, CIO, C KO, COO. You could remove the new application. That’s a metric based approach to dealing with portfolio analysis. It’s a very simple process. There’s no argument. It’s just using numbers. But you can’t measure people like that. In the end, you create a problem, as I called it before KPI culture. Where we measure everything at the exclusion of what it is that we want. You see, organizations like human beings wish to succeed. Unlike many other animals on this planet, human beings are the most versatile in the environments they’re successful.

The difference is how we applied the KPIs. Any business that doesn’t apply the bottom line rule isn’t going to last long. Employees, shareholders, and owners all must have the bottom-line view of the business. Businesses are made to make money. Not for profits, are designed to help people and not make money. But you still in a not-for-profit have to have the bottom-line mentality. The cost for each person you help is critical. The reality is that there is only a finite amount of money available. The bottom line culture is important in business and not-for-profit organizations. Don’t waste money. That is an important KPI for all employees. But that is one KPI KPI culture tries to measure every the value proposition of what you measure declines with increasing the number of things you count.

However, the most dangerous phrase in a business setting is we can’t do that because we can’t measure. If we look at the world of crowdfunding, we see why. Idea, after idea rejected by big companies and funded by creators. Or growing up, the legend of what companies do to innovators means that the innovator never even tries but goes to crowdfunding right away. There is value in measuring; there is value in creation. The most important thing an organization can do is compile a series of KPIs that measure performance. But to encourage employees to put down the pen and spend a moment pondering the problem, is there a better way to skin the cat? Sorry for the gross analogy is just the one that came to mind. Because if there’s a better way to do it, go ahead. I remembered once a long time ago, one of the most critical lines I’ve ever heard uttered stuck with me then and still sticks with me today. A teacher spoke the line in the class. He looked at all of us and said, do the right things, and the money will follow.

.doc

Strangled by the roots of the KPI tree!

Thomas Edison was once asked, “you failed 400 or more times inventing the lightbulb.” Edison replied, “no, never failed, just found 400 plus ways that didn’t work.” Luckily as a KPI professional, I would have put the kibosh on that 400 experiments! The KPI for success metric means that you have to deliver the solution with few if any failures. We have embraced the Six Sigma, Lena methodology for employee management. The problem is ideas are not defects. Edison was active in a far different time in the business world. There were more “ideas” sought then. Now we appear to live on the cusp of the information age—the age of digitization. The reality is we’ve invented everything, right?

Innovation takes time, guesswork, and failure. I remember many years ago, focusing on why creation fails in many companies. I read the Jim Collins books (“Good to Great and How the Mighty Fall), and I read “The Blue Ocean Strategy.” Both offered interesting insights into why companies fail. I researched innovation as it existed in the 1990s and now. Now, many innovators don’t wait to innovate. They start a crowdfunded project. They struggle; why? They work because, in the past, the path to innovation meant you had to learn how things work, from the manufacturing process to customer delivery. You paid your dues working for a company, and then eventually, your idea was alive.

If we look at the rate of failure, it is pretty constant. The number of successful crowdfunding companies is about the same as the number of successful products from the past. The failure rate might be a little higher in the crowdfunding world than it was in the past. But that is more a function of missing information than it is of the products. Many crowdfunded projects lack the voice of reason (how big is the market really, how fast can we go from prototype to production). That lack of knowledge accounts for the higher failure rate among crowdfunded projects overall. But the reality is, as we move to a KPI culture, the culture of innovation leaves. Eventually, the company has to buy back the innovation they had on their team before KPI’s. The sad reality is that buyback is expensive.

The good news is, there will be no more Thomas Edison failing 400 plus times. We’ve ended that tyranny of ideas! We measure everything now! The bad news is that KPI culture will never see the light.

.doc

KPI Culture is bad.

The last KPI before the end of the world…

Yesterday I talked about the quickest way to kill innovation within a company is to move to a KPI culture. One of the points made by a long time reader was that there are good KPI’s for all companies to consider. Concern for the “bottom line” is a good KPI. But that isn’t my argument. One, KPI applied to all employees (make us money, try not to cost money) is a good one, and all companies should do that. My argument isn’t about one KPI. It is about the concept of KPI Culture. Innovation in any company exists solely because the company is still in business. Bankrupt companies kill innovation pretty quickly, as I had found over my career that once people aren’t paid when they used to be paid, they tend not to show up for work.

Rather it is the far more toxic culture of KPI. If it can’t be measured, it doesn’t provide value. It is incredibly hard in the modern world to measure strategy. Strategic ideas don’t meet KPI metrics. You can’t measure them. But, if we go back to the failed companies in the 1950 US Fortune 500, we begin to understand the reality that KPI culture creates—measuring what we have. A philosopher was once asked how you would count the grains of sand on a beach. The philosopher sat for a moment and looked around. I wouldn’t, he finally answered. It would take more time than I would be willing to commit to the exercise. The questioner turned to a religious person and asked them how they would count the sand on the beach?

The religious person smiled and said, “my diety put them her no need to count them.” Finally, the person asked an engineer. He jotted notes on a piece of paper. Built a machine, and then removed all the sand and poured it through his machine. “12 trillion,” the engineer said. The reality is all three answers are correct. But you can only measure the last one. Because only one solution could be verified, that is KPI culture. It’s right because we can check it. So let’s talk about why that isn’t the best way or the only way. You see, the first two did nothing to those standing and enjoying the beach. The third made the beach unavailable for use for a time. Ergo, in the end, it isn’t the best way or the only way. It is just the way that can be measured.

So why is KPI culture dangerous? It can only measure! Say goodbye to the beach because once the sand is removed, the beach is changed forever.

.doc