The Way Things Were

Old Fashioned
So here’s the word of the day–Troglodyte.



How many of you know this word?



It usually refers to someone from prehistoric times, like a cave-dweller. 



But it is used to refer to people who are basically just old fashioned. 



A near relative of the Troglodyte is the Luddite who opposes new technologies. 



Today, a colleague said to me that he misses the old organization phone books we used to have with organization charts and readily available contacts everywhere. 



It didn’t matter that we have this electronically now, he likes the hardcopy ones that he could keep on his desk and flip through…to heck with technology. 



Then he goes that someone called him (jokingly, I think) a troglodyte for feeling this way. 



Well there is something to be said for the good ‘ol days and I understand people that appreciate “the way things were”, but in many ways, those days weren’t all that good–think poverty, illness, corruption, racism, and more. 



So I feel quite blessed to be living now, rather than say at almost any other time in history. 



In looking out towards the near future, I am prepping myself for the new smartwatch coming out from Apple later this month, and while I have my doubts about it (having gotten so attached to my smartphone especially the large screen–6 plus, Yes!), I realize…



That the next technology tidal wave is coming with wearables (and then embeddables), and if you don’t get on board and adopt early…you might as well be riding an old Timey Bike around town with a big sign on your back that says, “Troglodyte…A Stick In The Mud and Stuck In The Past!” 😉



(Source Photo: here with attribution to Marie-ll)

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)

Selfie Heaven

Selfie
So this lady found out how to take the best selfies.



She has an extendable stick with an adjustable ball head that attaches to her smartphone, and a separate remote control for snapping the photos.



Here she is with the camera snapping away.



I looked it up on Amazon and this device is only around $6.



For a completely ego-centric society without friends, why not get this doodad and you too can take selfish selfies all day long. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Data Like Clouds

Cloud Security
So data is like clouds…



Clouds want to be free roaming the wild blue skies similar to how data wants to be searchable, accessible, useful, and so on. 



But with data, like clouds, when it rains it pours–and when data blows about with the windstorm and is compromised in terms of security or privacy, then we not only come away wet but very uncomfortable and unhappy. 



Then, as we actually end up putting our data in the great computing clouds of the likes of Amazon, iCloud, HP, and more, the data is just within arm’s reach of the nearest smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer. 



But just as we aspire to reach to the clouds–and get to our data–other less scrupled (cyber criminals, terrorists, and nation states)–seek to grab some of those oh so soft, white cloud data too.



While you may want to lock your data cloud in a highly secure double vault, unfortunately, you won’t be able to still get to it quickly and easily…it’s a trade-off between security and accessibility. 



And leaving the doors wide open doesn’t work either, because then no one even needs an (encryption) key to get in. 



So that’s our dilemma–open data, but secured storage–white, soft, beautiful clouds wisping overhead, but not raining data on our organizational and personal parades. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

For Everyone That Loves Reading

Books
I thought this was a great picture for everyone that loves reading.



Whether you read from traditional paper books, newspapers, magazines, and journals, or you prefer reading from a tablet, smartphone, eReader, or browser. 



Reading expands our mind, challenges our thinking, and builds on our knowledge. 



Here’s to reading…just about everything you can get your hands on. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Health Monitoring Ad Nauseam

Art
So the new Apple Watch promises to monitor our every virtual health status as technology and person blend to become one.  



However, the question raised in the New York Times is whether this level of continuous monitoring is really all that necessary?



“One central rule of doctoring is that you only gather data that will affect your treatment?”



But how can more data hurt you?



– Change in measurements are often normal: For example, “blood pressure jumps up and down in response to thoughts, hydration, and stress.”



– Data sometimes outstrips our ability to understand it:  So collecting more and more data may actually end up concealing the needle in the haystack, rather than culling the crucial piece of evidence we need for a diagnosis and treatment. 



– Data can sometimes belie the underlying truth: “Some patients die with ‘Harvard numbers, [and in others] test results can can look bad even when the patient is fine.”



– Obsessive-compulsive monitoring may actually stress us out: “If you were dieting would stepping on the scale 1,000 times a day help you lose weight?” Perhaps, the stress of monitoring every stat we generate may actually make us sick from fear and worry.  



The point is that as they say, “there can be too much of a good thing”–monitoring and checking is helpful, but not every minute of every day without some intelligent filtering and analysis. 



Perhaps, the technology will evolve to wear the monitoring is unobtrusive and where the artificial intelligence is there to more or less accurately decipher true warning signs from run of the mill changes in bodily functions, and where data is aggregated to get a holistic picture and diagnosis of the person rather than a snapshot of individual functions.



No one can live under a microscope and making ourselves sick with an endless stream of health tracking and worries is not helpful. 



However, in time, the technology will most certainly evolve to where it will be discreet, accurate, and truly lifesaving. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)