The reality of who owns the sidewalk…

I spend a day or so (sometimes more) a week in downtown DC. I love the rideshare bikes everywhere. The thing, however, today’s picture inspires me to recall is the reality of shooters, Segway’s’ and sidewalks. When I was a little kid learning to ride my bicycle, it was understood that you could ride on the sidewalk. But the bike rider on the sidewalk was responsible for making sure they didn’t hit anyone. They didn’t have the right of way.  Now with the scooters, motorized and human-powered, bikes and everything else that is using the sidewalk who has the right of way? The answer is still who the sidewalk was made for, the pedestrian. Don’t from your bike seat shout right of way to a walker, you don’t have the right of way.

What happened to civility?

By the way, a pedestrian with their face buried in their cell phone counts as a biker from now on. As the pedestrian walking on the sidewalk, or in the crosswalk of a street it is my job to avoiding obstacles. But, in that crosswalk, if traffic is stopped, I have the right of way. It scares me sometimes to walk on the streets with people buried in their cell phones. People are kiting along 10-12 miles per hour faster than the walker and of course, bikers on the sidewalk. I am not saying they shouldn’t be there, just that they need to pay more attention than the walkers. The next generation of personal safety devices won’t be a hidden taser that no one can see. It will be personal lidar.

Lidar is what they use in cars to determine when another car is too close to you. With personal Lidar, you will know when bikers, scooters and other walkers buried in cell phones are too close to you. You will also be notified when someone is walking faster behind you. It is a sidewalk designed for those who are walking; everyone else is a guest. Please act accordingly.

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Side Walker.

of cell phones and over the horizon

One of the things I always love to do is peek over the horizon to see what is coming. Lummo was an interesting thing for me, a robot that was also a Segway or personal transportation system. Seeing Lummo roll around our house is a blast. Realizing that I don’t have the balance, and need to practice to get better is something that makes me realize I am not the primary audience for that particular tech. The reality of new technology is always the tradeoff – do I need it vs. what does it bring to my life. In the case of connected medical devices, I suspect those will become more and more a part of our lives. But there are many devices that fall into the cool, nice to have a category.

All of us have criteria for what we need around us. I suspect most of us would argue its family and friends first then things. Unless the things are life-saving devices, then they might move a little closer to with us all the time. The reason for this morning’s post is more thinking about what is the stuff we have to have. I lived through the birth, growth, and evolution of the cell phone world. There was a time when I was one of the few people driving around Cincinnati Ohio with a car phone. Then everyone had car phones, and portable phones became the rage. Then, the world of digital phones opened up and well the rest is history. The first smartphones in the early 2000 period, were the Pocket PC phones. The iPhone changed the world in 2007.

One of the smartest people I know once told me that he wasn’t going to get a PPC phone. “I don’t like Swiss Army knife marketing,” he said. I was confused and asked what he meant by that. “Good at a few things, sort of the Jack of All Trades approach.: The funny thing is the capabilities of the phones has continued to increase, although, they are now becoming master of a few of the potential areas.

What are the things that move the needle for you? What makes you most comfortable with technology>? (in the comments for these would love to know)!

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Tech Wiz

Tech wiz cool stuff shipping now!!!!

The newest product from Segway isn’t just a personal transportation device. It is also a robot. Lummo arrived on Wednesday. Once setup was done, we tried to ride Lummo. First off, I do not have the balance required to ride a Segway. I am working on that now. It was a little scary, and I slipped off. My daughter and my future son-in-law hopped on and were zipping around like it was nothing. My wife hasn’t tried yet; the twins also have tried. They didn’t do as well but did much better than I did! The coolest thing about Lummo isn’t the Segway, although that is cool, it is that it is a robot. With voice interaction and a touch screen, Lummo is an interesting addition to the world of useful robots.

You can call Lummo to you, like Keecker, but unlike Keecker Lummo doesn’t project on the wall. Lummo only uses his screen. Anyway, it is also intriguing to me when new robotic projects ship. Yes, I am enough of a geek that I wait for new robots.

Another new device that is currently shipping is the voice translator “Travis Touch” in part this product is a cool product because it has an easy to use the touchscreen. Its small and will easily fit into your pocket. It has done a great job overall and is easier to use than the previous product from this company (Travis Blue). I feel like voice translation, and voice interaction is going to continue to improve.

Travis is a company from Holland, which is another cool thing.

A full review is coming later, for now just a couple of new products that are interesting. I wish, Travis had been around when I was traveling more. It would have been useful!

doc

Tech Wiz

More on connected devices…

Connected devices, a topic I have covered many times. But I got an email from a long time reader saying, can you share more of what devices are connected? Let’s see, there are more than 15 billion connected devices in the world right now (more than 2 per person for everyone in the world). Connected devices today include your cell phone. Every phone that exists and connects to a cellular network is a connected device. Add to that an iWatch, Samsung Gear or the new Fitbit watch, and they as well are connected.  Experts normally talk about wearables versus devices you carry. They also talk about connected devices that can move on their own (drones/ROV’s) and connected devices that are stationary (sensors often).

The biggest area where I see growth is two-fold. The first is the connected medical device. Form Blood pressure and blood sugar devices, your doctor will want to know what is going on, much more often than that once a year office visit. You also can see trends yourself, with the software managing and helping you better understand your health. The second part of the medical device issue is the reality of home networks today. There is a “priority” process that will have to occur. In the enterprise space, we would consider software-defined networking to solve the issue of priority network traffic. In the home space and home network that is a little harder to implement and manage but I suspect it is coming.

The expanding world of what is connected remains interesting. As I said roughly two devices deployed per human being on the planet, today. Tomorrow, and by tomorrow we are talking 2020, analysts believe there will be  6 to 10 devices deployed per d person. My gut is the initial number (14 or so billion now) is wrong. I think the actual reality is that there will be between 12 and 14 devices per person by 2020. By 2025 I think there will be between 20 and 40 devices deployed per living human being on the planet. The rate of IoT expansion is a lot faster than people realize. The dancing Santa we all bought 20 years ago, will be replaced by a connected dancing Santa that changes lights based on the weather!

The connection is everything!

tech wiz

Cool Stuff :-) (oh yeah its tech)!

Lots of exciting things happening in the short and long run right now. The first is the release of some long-awaited products. The new Segway personal transportation system called Lummo (it is also a robot) is shipping now. That should be interesting when they start appearing in the wild. The other things that are coming/soon to be released include some interesting technologies. I promise, based on my past posting of things that didn’t work out, that I will not mention a product until it is shipping. Lummo, arrived in a box at my door yesterday! If you are running Windows 10, the fall update is rolling out over the next couple of weeks. I highly recommend this update, it has a lot of new features but also better support for some things.

Two things that are available and that I am very interesting. The Sonos speakers have added support for Apple Airplay. I suspect throughout the next two-three years we will move away from traditional media sources and everything will be played on the phone. The mindset of the big companies right now would lead me to believe that that is as well. Apple, Google, and Amazon all offer streaming music services today. Honestly, while I find the Apple Music service interesting, and I may add it at some point, I find the connection of voice-controlled speakers and music services is a really interesting mix. I love the Alexa integration with Amazon music.

The other thing that continues to get better and better is the area of 3d scanning. It was, originally, a very difficult thing to set up and use. Now, there are 360 cameras that will support the scanning process of an object. That alone makes scanning easier. 3d printing continues to get easier with every passing day. It makes me pay attention to the software that the 3d and 360 cameras are using. The reason that software is critical has to do with the new world of software. When I started in the software world, you paid less for hardware and more for software. The Apple iTunes system changed that to pay less for software and more for the hardware. The overall change is nearly complete now, so I wonder how the 360 camera vendors will figure out how to operate in the new Freemium world (free software that you charge beyond basic features or in-app purchases!).

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Tech Wiz

On networks…

One of the things that I think about a lot is the amount of tomorrow’s required bandwidth. In part that is my job. In part, it is something that has worried me for the past ten years. More so now, than it did in the past. The upcoming deployments of 5g will alleviate some of the “bandwidth concerns. The consumer rebellion against upload speeds may someday help if it ever happens. But I wanted today to talk about two different and somewhat larger issues. The first is the amount of data future state IoT devices are going to produce. The second is the overall reality of how networks are deployed. People ask me all the time why I have so many wifi networks in my house (6 today).

There are four bandwidth hogs in our house (gamers and Netflix consumers). Using the fantastic Fing network security device, I can honestly tell you that starting at 6 p.m. 44% of the available bandwidth in our house is spent on Netflix. Based on that, and the fact that it was difficult, for my wife, I added the Orbi product to our home network (adding the 5th and 6th network segment) That was to create a network segment that only she was on directly connected to our Verizon router. That solved her bandwidth issue, having a dedicated gigabit connection. Plus, when I needed to restore an iPhone via iTunes backup, it was very nice to be able to use that isolated segment.

What worries me, however, is the growing reality of IoT devices. I realize that I am not a normal consumer. I do truly understand that. I also know that I am not the only person in my “niche.” With six adults in our house, we sit with between 120 and 130 devices connected to the network (a number of those are my devices). That includes TV’s, Printers, computers, game systems, and other connected devices. Tomorrow’s devices are going to be more connected. Think about the reality of connected medical devices. Your doctor will be able to have a direct connection to you, figuring out what is wrong faster. But that device will need to be connected at all times. That is bandwidth, but it is also a requirement for better uploads. It is time for overall network fidelity. Because when it is life or death, the nature of the connection changes!

Tech Wiz

Ilackasourcism just makes me sad

Many years ago on a team call with my team, I created a word. “Ilackasourceism” was the word. As a joke, one of the people on the team posted that word to Wikipedia. Of course, Wikipedia, lacking a source for the word took it down. As they should have because it is wholly a made up word that lacks both meaning and a source. I applied it at that time to a specific organization known for disinformation. Disinformation is the information that was pumped into Facebook and twitter during the 2016 election. It is how your influence people without having facts.  Facts are quite simply anything that you can verify with a trusted source. Calling a source Fake doesn’t make it an invalid source. It just means that the very act of calling something fake requires verification from a trusted source.

No offense meant to anyone, but a trusted source is not the person uttering the phrase. A trusted source is a validated and verified group, person or poster that presents the information. For example, the Pew Group studies taxes in the US. They publish their report every two to three years. Note, the IRS, the tax organization of the US Government, only published permanent tax data in arrears. Normally the IRS is two to three years behind. So the Pew publication on taxes in the US is going to change radically when the 2018 data is published, and the numbers post-tax cut are verified. For now, we can speculate, but we can’t guarantee numbers other than the ones from 2015.

Disinformation is all over the internet. The other thing I’ve said for years is that the internet is a great ocean of information. But, before you consider it a viable source of information, I would like you to apply the following test.

  1. Can you find it in more than one location?
  2. Does the poster include a link to the data? Link to the Pew Charitable Trust Facttank here).
  3. Is one of the locations liable or bound by law? In other words, if they publish something incorrectly can they be sued?

Just those two questions remove a lot of the internet (my humble opinion – upwards of 97% of the published information on the internet, including my opinion published here). Some experts live with information that is unique to them. You know because you go to them. Most of us don’t try to fix our computers (I do, but that’s different it is my field of knowledge). I don’t try to do plumbing repairs at home. I have a great plumber who always does an awesome job.  Find a source that you can trust. Verify that source has good information. When you share information from that source, don’t be a devotee of the cult “Ilackasourceism.”

Disinformation only harms those who don’t know to look but verify.

Let’s go back to the rules for using information from the internet there is one last rule. It is probably the most critical rule of all. The next time you decide to use information from the internet consider the following. Climb to the top of a ladder with a platform 30 feet above the internet. Now, before you trust the source, you have to be willing to jump into the Ocean that is the internet headfirst from that platform. Does that make it easier to look for better sources?

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sad