Impact of Hyperwork on Family

I am seeing this all the time now… 

Parents of little children, or even older children, who are too busy working to pay much, if any, attention to their families.

Call it a disease of the industrial revolution + information technology. 

Whether people worked on the assembly line making widgets or nowadays on the computer and smartphone answering their bosses and colleagues compulsively–it’s become a global obsession. 

On one hand, with the impending robot and AI revolution taking over jobs, people need to be grateful to even have a job to earn a living for the families.

On the other hand, with the connections to each other and our work 24/7, the depression-era saying of:

Brother, can you spare a dime?

Has morphed into:

Brother, can you spare some time?

Yes, we all need to be responsible adults, earn a decent living and pay our bills. 

But in the end, it’s not money or things that we give to our families that is the most important.  

I would argue money and things are the least important, and what is truly most precious is the love, time, and attention you give to yours. 

As the old saying goes:

Money can’t buy love.

But time and attention given to your loved ones can build meaningful relationships that last a lifetime and beyond. 

Yes, of course, people need to work to earn a living and productively contribute something to society, but it is also true that work is used as an excuse to run away from parental and familial responsibilities. 

It’s easier to give an Amazon gift certificate or a Gameboy then to actually spend the afternoon with the kids. 

These days, people say ridiculous things like:

I love going into the office to get away from home. 

But you can’t run away from your problems at home–you need to work on them and solve them.

The diabolical murderous Nazis used work as a tool to enslave, torture, and exterminate their victims as the sign over the gate of the Auschwitz (and many other) concentration camps read:

Arbeit Macht Frei  (or Work Sets You Free)

But as we all know inside, true freedom is being able to give generously from your time and effort to your loved ones, and slavery is not being able to let go of your work. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

When Your Pants Are Down

Balancing Act

Yesterday in the news was how a drone was used to fly over and take pictures at a nude beach


So at a nude beach, even those that advertise privacy protections, let’s face it your walking around in the buff. But still, the use of the drone with a camera was a violation of people’s expectations not to be photographed and by those outside the facility.


And about a week earlier, a five year old finds a camera phone in the lady’s bathroom in a Starbucks


Yesteday, I had a similar lesson about people’s warped sensibilities or perversions (but without the drone or smartphone–this was the low tech version). 


I’m at the pool for a swim after work. 


There are 2 locker rooms for men and women, of course.


But at one point, I see this LADY get out of the pool and head straight for the MEN’S locker room–she actually proceeds to go in one side–through and past the bathrooms, showers, sauna, and lockers–and out the other side to exit the facility. 


So trying to give her the benefit of the doubt, when I get out of the pool, thinking maybe the locker room wasn’t clearly marked, I check it–and there is a big sign with a picture (the symbol for men) and you couldn’t miss it!


Also, this lady was clearly not new as she gestured a friendly hello to the lifeguard, and she wasn’t the slightest bit confused (she had actually made some small talk with me in the pool)   


When she left, as she headed into the men’s room, she didn’t hesitate, knock on the door or anything, and obviously didn’t care whether anyone was in there–dressed or naked.


Perhaps, because the men’s locker room is closer to the exit, she was just taking a shortcut–for her, how convenient!


Then again maybe she was a true perv and this was her way of getting some cheap thrills regardless of other people’s right to privacy and safety, including those of children. 


In a sense, this is more than just about generalized privacy (such as with information), but even extends to your very privates!


We live in an age when it is a balancing act between sharing and privacy, between openness and modesty, and between doing what’s right and pure self-gratification. 


Unfortunately, to put in bluntly, some people just don’t seem to give a sh*t about respect for other people’s decency or rights, and they will do what they want regardless of the social balancing act or the necessity to use common sense good judgement in public and private.  


The lesson is that when your pants are down, as creepy as it sounds, it’s best to assume that someone is always looking or at least may be on the prowl, so be careful out there. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

tURNING yOUR dEVICE aGAINST yOU!

Eavesdropping
So interesting article in BBC about the Samsung’s “Listening TV.”



This TV has voice activated controls and they don’t just take commands, but…



“If your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party.”



So aside from hackers (and spies) being able to turn your phone and computer mics, cameras, and GPS location data on and off to surveil and eavesdrop on you, now the dumb television set can listen in as well. 



You can be heard, seen, and found…whether you know it or not. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal with eyes and ears from here and here with attribution to Firas and Simon James)

They Ain’t Nothing

Apple StoreMicrosoft store
So Microsoft has tried to do the copycat thing of the Apple Store. 



See Apple (top photo) streaming with customers trying out their world-class computers and smartphones yesterday. 



See Microsoft (photo underneath) just a few storefronts down in the mall with nice vibrant colors, but just a handful of customers (the non-red shirts) in the entire place.



BTW, I took a look at the iPhone 6 Plus and liked the size (I thought I wouldn’t) and ordered one (will be nice I hope to actually see the screen on this thing). 



At the same time, I tried the Microsoft Surface, and my wife says to me can you videotape me showing how long it takes to actually try to figure this thing out–piece of garbage!



It was also confusing why the Microsoft store was selling Dells and other companies computing devices–Ah, maybe because they don’t have anything competitive of their own???



Microsoft great try with the overall store (Touche!) but you just don’t have the retail products to compete with Apple–and the piles of Xbox in the rear of the store to draw people in–that wasn’t working either. 



Microsoft still a winner at enterprise computing, but Apple hands-down has you on personal computing–everyone to their corners. 😉



(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

“Wicked” Contact Lists

Chocolate Technology
So two interesting things I learned today about information and communications technology.



One, technology is better when it’s chocolate. Pictured here are telephones, cell phones, and smart phones made of luscious chocolate. Only problem is that the technology is too beautiful to eat!



Two, kids these days are putting in some very creative names into their smartphones’ contact lists to identify their parents. For example, one of my daughters friends who went out with us today told me about three names her friends are currently using for their mothers:



– Birth Giver



– Financial Aid



– Mental Case



Ah, while we have to appreciate creativity in our young ones, perhaps too much of anything is no good. 



Anyway, I’m glad that I’m still “Dad” on my girls’ phones–or at least I think that what they are still calling me!  😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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)

Rosh Hashanah iPhone Greeting Card

Rosh Hashanah
I had to share this wonderful Rosh Hashanah greeting.



This was developed using Apple’s iPhone icons.



It is one great technology way to usher in the Jewish New Year of 5775.



Please G-d, let it be a wonderful year full of blessings! 😉



(Source Photo: Sarah Herbsman from Pamela)