Why Can’t The English Be More English

Brexit

The people of the United Kingdom voted in referendum yesterday for Brexit (British exit) or independence from the European Union (EU). 


Unity is a wonderful thing when values and vision is widely shared and the burden and benefits are more or less evenly distributed. 


But in the case of the UK in the EU, the vote for independence was anchored in the unsettling issues of mass immigration from the Arab Spring, the debt crisis of many of the poorer Southern EU states (e.g. Greece, Spain, Portugal, etc.), the decision of the UK to maintain their own currency (not accepting the Euro), and culturally (and language-wise), even though they all interact with each other, the UK has more in common with the US and Australia, then they ever had with Germany, France, and the rest of Europe. 


It is really very understandable that the UK doesn’t want to lose their identity and sovereignty and just be another EU state–rather than be a unique, independent, and dominant entity of it’s own, charting their own course and driving their own fate. 


While it’s great to a part of something bigger, sometimes being yourself is more important, and you can still interact with the rest. 

No people should be forced to become a shadow of themselves, and if the call is for independence, then that is noble call even if it is inconvenient for those who would rather call themselves the EU. 


Unity may best be by alliance rather than strict integration…one for all and all for each and every one. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Simplify Me

Technology Complexity.jpeg

So here’s the monitor in the “modern” and beautiful Fort Lauderdale International airport. 


Can you see the number of electrical plugs, wires, connections, input/output ports, etc. on this device?


Obviously, it is comical and a farce as we near the end of 2015. 


Think about the complexity in building this monitor…in connecting it…in keeping it operational.


Yes, we are moving more and more to cellular and wireless communications, to miniaturization, to simple and intuitive user interfaces, to paperless processing, to voice recognition, to natural language processing, and to artificial intelligence.


But we are not there yet.


And we need to continue to make major strides to simplify the complexity of today’s technology. 


– Every technology device should be fully useful and usable by every user on first contact. 


– Every device should learn upon interacting with us and get better and better with time. 


– Every device should have basic diagnostic and self-healing capability. 


Any instructions that are necessary should be provided by the device itself–such as the device telling you step by step what to do to accomplish the task at hand–no manual, no Google instructions, no Siri questions…just you and the device interacting as one. 


User friendly isn’t enough anymore…it should be completely user-centric, period. 


Someday…in 2016 or beyond, we will get there, please G-d. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Smartphone or Kitty Litter

Smartphone
Interesting…Bloomberg Businessweek ran a special anniversary issue with a countdown of the 85 most disruptive ideas (in the last 85 years), and guess where they think the smartphone fell in that?



#78!!! 



Right up there with the white board (#82) and good ‘ol high frequency trading (#80).



But not as important as get this…the corporate campus (#77), the VCR (#74), Kitty Litter (#73), Singapore, literally–{Uh, and how about Israel?} (#71), bottled water (#56), High-fructose corn syrup (#48), Air Jordan sneakers (#45), Napster (#43), and junk bonds (#7).



They ranked the smartphone so low in disruption, even after giving it a two-page spread with no less than 32 “things the smartphone killed” and they probably missed a few hundred!



There is no need to list everything the smartphone does for you, because you use these functions every moment of every day



To most people now, the smartphone is one of their most prized possessions and they don’t go anywhere without it and rarely do you see anyone not “on it.” (Uh, I know more than a few people who even dropped them in the toilet!)



Honestly, Businessweek…I think you missed the significance of the smartphone big time. 



Yeah maybe Starbucks (#68) and the Pill (#9) are competitors, but not as important or disruptive as Kitty Litter…shame on you!  😉



(Source Photo: here with attribution to Lonely Bob)

Goods AND Services –> AMAZON

Repair
Really like what I read yesterday…Amazon is expanding from selling goods to also adding services.

 
Amazon is the #1 stop for just about any daily purchase (except things like cars and houses, which I think Amazon will eventually consider for an acquisition in the future as well). 
 
With their nearly effortless shopping experience, free shipping (for “Prime” customers), and easy returns, it is eCommerce as it was meant to be!
 
Now according to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon is adding local service providers from plumbers to electricians.
 
The cross-selling possibilities are luring–so that as you purchase a household item, up pops local services providers for someone to install or service the item–it’s all integrated.
 
Moreover, Amazon will do background checks on these service partners, determine if they have liability insurance, and offer a money-back guarantee on the services rendered (Oy vey to Craigslist and Angie’s List).
 
Amazon is a brilliant retailer, once they have holodeck like virtual reality experience where you can simulate actually being next the goods to look at them, feel them, even try them (on), then we will achieve shopping nirvana and will never have to enter a Best Buy or other then useless and obsolete bricks and mortar retailer again. 😉
 
(Source Photo: here with attribution to Yo Mostro)

The Painter

Painter
I love this picture of a painter that I took in Florida. 



Each of the circles on the tree are part of his color palette. 



He is standing on a ladder leaning against the tree, and reaching for the red paint. 



It is so cool that the painter is part of the painting that he is making. 



The integration of the person with his creative work–he is one with it!



I can practically feel the love of this person for what they do.



And IMHO, they are very good at it. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Robot Man

Robot Man

Don’t know exactly what it is about this little robot guy, but I really liked it.

The simplicity of the body and limbs joined by the connector joints and the head as just a clear crown on the rest.

To me, it looked relatively realistic as how robots of the future might actually look.

Humanoid, but so sleek that they are us but in many ways a step up from our aging selves.

Perhaps, someday the brains of humans and the bodies of machines will really come together in a better alternative to ourselves.

Living (indefinitely) longer and even pain free in bodies that carry mind and soul into the future.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Halo Arrives To Our Warfighters

So excited about the Army’s experimental Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS).

This is really our fast, strong, and agile fighting force of the future.

The integration of technologies for the individual warfighter, including sensors, exoskeleton body armor, weapon systems, communications, and monitoring of health and power makes this an unbelievable advance.

I think the MIT research on magnetorheological fluids–which convert from liquid to solid body armor in milliseconds (sort of like Terminator 2) with a magnetic field or electric current (controlled, so the enemy doesn’t bog down the forces) is a true game changer for balancing agility and force protection.

In the future, I believe these suits will even incorporate capabilities to drive, dive, and fly.

This will complement unmanned swarms of dumb drones with intelligent human fighters that will take the battlefield on Earth and beyond. 😉