Refresher on AI – history and future

August 14, 2016 Leave a comment

The Economist has a nice special report on AI – both a little history and its implications here. A couple of titbits caught my eye:

  • “Instead of people writing software, we have data writing software”
  • It was not till 2012 that deep learning came to fore
  • Only 0.5% of American workers are employed in industries that emerged since 2000
  • A Japanese firm is selling weird looking goggles to help thwart facial recognition systems

Well worth the read.

Categories: interesting, technology, trends Tags:

Another heartwarming story about private equity

Private Equity never ceases to surprise me. The NYTimes today has another story about aggressive moves private equity has made into ambulance and fire services and the severely negative impact that has has on people. Some tidbits:

  • Private companies now represent 25% of all ambulance providers, and 4% of fire service
  • Private equity firms now manage more money (~$4.3T) than the GDP of Germany
  • One of the firms sent a collections notice to an infant girl born in its ambulance
  • Another firm was too late to get to a fire (and the house burned down), but it still sued the owner

Read and weep.

Categories: trends Tags:

Confused about IoT platforms? Then don’t read this

With over 300 (and counting) IoT platforms out there (and new ones sprouting up like rabbits – e.g. ones from HP, Samsung, Hitachi..), one would think there would a clear paper that describes the landscape to the poor souls that actually have to make a decision.

Alas, the poor souls will have to wait a while longer: The latest addition to the corpus of IoT papers, this time from PTC / Oreilly – Evaluating and Choosing an IoT Platform –  is unfortunately not one that will help clarify much.

(The best one that I’ve seen is the one from IoT analytics )

Categories: iot Tags:

Funny: The pain of conference calls

The New Yorker has a funny piece on the perils of conference calls that left me laughing.

It is for these reasons that most people prefer to be silent during the call, with their phones in speaker mode and muted. This is a good time to shower, write the word “Why?” on a notepad until the ink runs dry, or organize your closet by color. Every once in a while, I like to unmute and chime in with a “Yes,” “No,” or “I agree.” About what, I have no idea.

I think that most (knowledge) workers can relate to this form of torture.

Categories: humor, meetings Tags:

Funny: The partner / consultant relationship

This cartoon from the New Yorker reminds me of the Partner / consultant relationship.



Categories: humor Tags: ,

Great IoT demo

April 24, 2016 Leave a comment

There’s a lot of hype/buzz about IoT. Lots of buzz words – MQTT, COAP, Zigbee, platforms – but not really a lot of simple to understand examples.

IBM to its credit has a really simple demo that involves your smartphone. Simply go to and type in a name (anything really) and then go to a URL on your phone. Their platform (IoT foundation / Bluemix) then shows your phone’s sensor attributes in real time.

iot ibm

For those still struggling to get their minds around IoT this could be the “aha” moment.

Categories: iot Tags:

The incredible shrinking airline seat

Consultants are of course painfully aware of the awfulness of flying. The fact that airlines seats have become smaller and more uncomfortable over the last 50 years will not then come as any surprise.


What was surprising was the fact that airlines may only be part of that problem. Airline seat widths, pitch have apparently declined ~10% over the last ~50 years, while (ahem) our seats / weights have increased by ~20% over the same period.



Categories: airlines, humor, travel Tags: ,

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