There’s No Line In Online

There's No Line In Online

I loved the article in the Wall Street Journal By Andy Kessler.

Kessler’s point is that technology is all about convenience.

The way I put it is that online, there is no line!

With technology, we can do things proverbially–better, faster, cheaper.

But so much of technology really is about doing things with the utmost convenience–that means that rather then spend time hunting or gathering, searching or shopping, traveling or transacting, gaming or gambling, we can go online and in Internet speed it’s done!

The beauty of the Internet and technology is that there is no queue, no lines, no waiting–just lots of convenience mainly with point and click.

I couldn’t hate lines more–hate wasting time–hate doing stupid things that have no real meaning–>time is absolutely precious!

We are mortal and one day, time stops for all of us, so we better use what we have well–use it wisely, not wastefully.

When we have convenience from technology, we have to spend less time on the mundane and have more time to do the things we really enjoy or that can grow us.

So get the doldrums done quickly online, and spend more time with family and friends, on fitness, pursing spiritual matters, and even learning the secrets of the universe–and then blogging about them.

Technology is a convenience and a true G-dsend. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Fun, The Good ‘ol Fashion Way

Fun, The Good 'ol Fashion Way

This was a funny picture today on the street in downtown D.C.

This guy was getting a cheap ride down the thoroughfare in a bin.

She was pushing and he had his arm raised as the winner of the big race.

It reminded me of when we were kids and used to ride go-karts down the hill–and only after we picked up some speed did we realize that the breaks didn’t work that good.

Oh well, a little flip and some chuckles and no worse for the wear.

Those were the days, young and carefree–nothing to worry about except whose house we were going over to, next, to wreck some havoc.

I remember, one day we were having a huge wet paper towel fight and one kid ran into the garage to escape the barrage, I gave chase and unwittingly pushed against the glass in the door to follow and oops my hand went right through.

Not a pretty sight, but I thank G-d lived to tell my kids about it, and now they got one up on me when they do something a little out of bounds and fun–actually they are a lot better than I was at that age.

And it wasn’t that I was a bad kid, I was actually one the good ones–or so I was told–but before we all had computers, the Internet, social media, and smartphones, we had each other.

It wasn’t the technology that drove us, but rather the evolving web of interactions (today my new best friend is…), the challenges we made up (let’s bike up to Tarrytown in 100+ degree heat), the fun we found ourselves in (from the board game Risk to early gaming on the Atari, or just cleaning out a friends garage for a few bucks)–times were simpler, more innocent, and in a way better.

When we went home at night from work or for the weekend, our time was our own–were weren’t glued to email and always on call.

When we attended an event, we didn’t check our Facebook and Twitter, but paid attention to the company we were in.

When we ate dinner together, maybe the one rabbit-ear TV was going in the background with one of the 3 networks stations, but everyone wasn’t being pulled away for gaming, blogging, or some Internet shopping.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my technology as much or maybe more than the next guy, but I also miss just being me in the physical world with my family and gang of friends, and not just so much TheTotalCIO in the office and in cyberspace. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Never Thought I’d Be Up There

Parasailing

Somewhere between 600-1000 feet up in the air. 

Suspended by a parasail wing (like a parachute).

Teethered to a moving speed boat. 

With a birds eye view of the beaches, hotels, ocean, clouds, sun, and more.

I had always thought of myself as afraid of heights, but I guess it turns out I’m really not. 

It was calm–peaceful up there–like sitting in G-d’s very hands. 

Before we went up, I asked my daughter if she was scared. 

She said to me: “No Dad. I am fearful of G-d. He is all powerful. But I have faith that He will protect me.”

I appreciate her faith and adventurism, but while encouraging her to learn new things and have fun, I also caution her to be careful and use good common sense.

I guess that’s the balance in life that I strive for and that I try to teach my kids–push yourself past your comfort zone to learn and grow, but not too far that you fall on your face (or in the ocean)!

In the end, it is probably my wife and kids that challenge me to be “more”–they’ve gotten me to do things that I never thought I would–and this was one of them.  Believe it or not, blogging is a close 2nd!  😉 

Anyway, we’re already talking about (and looking forward) to the next adventure–please G-d it will be wonderful as well.

From Adventure Photography to Lifelogging

Felix Baumgartner jumped from a helium-filled balloon lifted space capsule, one week ago today, to set a skydiving record from 24 miles up and reaching the speed of 834 miles per hour.

On Felix’s helmet was a GoPro video camera to capture this memorable event.

GoPro is the leader in wearable, waterproof, shockproof videocameras and has an especially strong market in action and extreme sports.

Their newest helmet-mounted camera is the HD HERO3 (available 17 October 2012), and it continues the significant trend to ever smaller, lighter, and more powerful cameras technology.

I like this video they put out showing the high resolution and exciting video taken while doing activities from surfing to mountain climbing, deep sea diving, flying, kayaking, and more.

I have a feeling that these cameras are going to make a leap from capturing adventure photography to being used for lifelogging and lifejournaling–where people capture major life events on a wearable camera, and in some extreme cases–they try to capture virtually their whole life!

As someone who has blogged now, thank G-d, for 5 1/4 years, I greatly value the ability to capture important events, share, and potentially influence–and lifelogging with discrete, wearable camera technology can take this even further. 

Of course, with this technology, we need the ability to search, discover, and access the truly memorable moment–those that are meaningful to you and can have a deep and lasting impact on others–and let’s face it, despite the rise of Reality TV, most of life is not quite a Kardashian moment. 😉

It sort of reminds me of the Wendy’s commercial, where the old lady asks from a fictitious competitor, “where’s the beef?” With lifelogging, blogging, or other capture and sharing technologies, the beef had better be there (people’s time is valuable)!

There are billions of people to reach–capture, reflect, share…in writing and with pictures–then truly, “The pen is mightier than the sword.”

Capturing It All

Lifelogging

Often it seems as if so much of our life is spent memorizing things and then trying to remember what we thought we memorized.

It starts in grade school and continues throughout our education–memorize, spit back, repeat.  
Advances in education may actually recognize the need and try to get kids to think now-a-days, but there are still all the “fundamentals” that need to be put to memory, so you can pass the standardized tests like the SAT, GRE, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT, and more. 
But we don’t just memorize to pass tests, we pride ourselves on what “we know” and we test ourselves and show off our expansive knowledge-base through things like board games such as Trivial Pursuit to game shows such as Jeopardy.
At work too, we hire, retain, and reward people based on their “knowledge, skills, and abilities” and recognize those who are true “subject matter experts.”
I remember friends who used to read the encyclopedia to increase their knowledge, and the Almanac with all the facts and figures–is still a best-seller. In Yeshiva, we also spent a good part of our high school years, memorizing from the Talmud. 
The challenge for us in the 21st century is that knowledge is growing so fast that we as individuals can barely keep up with the volume and pace of change, so we specialize professionally and seek expert advice from others on areas outside our area of specialization. 
Still we memorize and try to remember as much as we can.  We read, watch TV, browse the Internet, travel, try new things, and fill our heads with incessant facts, memories, and chatter. And we become frustrated when we can’t remember names of people we recently meet, the punch line to a joke, the facts for a presentation at work, the spelling of a simple word, or even what we had for breakfast.  
So rather than memorize and forget, people are turning to capturing events from their lives and playing it back when they need to recall information or are feeling nostalgic. 
We do this when we take photos, videos, audiocasts, blog, tweet, etc.  and then access these from our hard drives or the Internet though services like Flikr, YouTube, Podbeam, Blogger, Twitter, and so on. 
Now we starting to move beyond recording just moments in times (i.e. snapshots) and instead capturing it all!  
The Futurist (July-August 2011) reports that people are discovering things like Lifelogging–where through cameras, recording devices, and storage media, they record virtually “every instant of their lives.”  We are nearing at a time, when this is becoming “not only feasible, but possibly even appealing” to the masses.
By recording the events of our life–whether in blogs, photos, audio or video recordings–and combining this with advanced search tools, lifelogging “could provide us with the equivalent of near total recall.” 
Perhaps the ability to capture more and more of our lives digitally will make it unnecessary in the future to sit and memorize so many useful and useless facts and information. 
We don’t have to remember everything in our heads, we just need to know how to access the information when we need it.
Learning does not have to be about memorizing but rather can be about critical thinking, and being an expert does not have to be about what you have memorized, as much as your experience and ability to think through problems and find solutions. 
(Photo Source: here)

>Social Networking, Blogging, and Tweeting in Plain English

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Here are some great little videos that explain Social Networking, Blogging, and Tweeting in Plain English:

1) Social Networking

2) Blogging

3) Tweeting

Check out these and other social media learning resources, policies and procedures, discussion forums and more at the Department of Defense (DoD) Social Media Hub.

>Democracy and Enterprise Architecture

>A society that is open to thoughts, ideas, and expression is free to grow and mature. This is democracy.

The Wall Street Journal, 5 December 2007, reports that the Chinese government’s repression of ideas is being challenged through the widespread use of social and networking technology, including the use of the internet, blogging, messaging, and so on.

Generally speaking, without the ability to think and express freely, Chinese society’s development has been stifled. One Chinese blogger shares this parable to describe the effect of repression on Chinese society: “There was a kind of fish that lived deep in the ocean. It did not use its eyes very often, since it was used to the darkness there. So its eyesight degenerated gradually, until one day it became blind.”

While 162 million Chinese use the internet, the government continues to try to stymie their freedom and movement toward democracy. For example, the “Great Firewall of China”—the Chinese government’s filtering software—is used to censor website access.

In addition, there is the Chinese “mental firewall,” which is a form of self-censorship, based on “China’s Confucian values [that] teach respect for authority and the subordination of the individual to the family and state. In China’s rigid education system, young people rarely are encouraged to express their opinions. And people have learned to keep quiet as political orthodoxies changed with the wind over the decades…finding yourself on the wrong side could lead to punishment, including exile and jail.”

However, the power of technology to open societies—even those as entrenched as China’s—to free thinking and expression is compelling. Many “think that over time, the social-networking capabilities of the Internet will help Chinese people become more assertive about speaking their minds. Young Chinese have already made the Internet an integral part of their lives. It opens opportunities for them to express individuality and emotion in a way that didn’t exist before.”

In one survey, “73% of Chinese Internet users age 16 to 25 felt they could do and say things online that they couldn’t in the real world.” The Internet is opening up real possibilities for freedom and democracy that could only be dreamed off earlier.

From a User-centric enterprise architecture perspective, we as architects apply technology to solve our organization’s greatest business challenges in order to improve mission execution and drive results of operation. However, the use of technology goes way beyond our organizational boundaries and outcomes. Modern technologies based on the Internet are a major disruptive force that brings down the “great firewalls” and “mental walls” of China and other countries with similar restrictive regimes and traditions, and enables the free expression of ideas and the democratization of billions of peoples around the world. Therefore, while EA can be applied at an organizational level to drive enterprise outcomes, it can also be used on a macro-geopolitical level to drive political change, freedom, and human rights. The foundational principle of information-sharing and accessibility in enterprise architecture can be an important lever to drive social change.