March 6, 2019
...or is it "are devices listening" to you?
Well yes. There's always a simple answer to these questions and it's yes. Breaking it down to the basics, pretty much all of our devices are listening because we've enabled Siri or Google or Alexa or… to respond to a keyword command like "Hey Siri" such that they can present us, in the case of Siri, with a spooky HAL 9000ish blob to indicate it's listening (because it wasn't before honest) and ready to perform our bidding.
Sometimes things can go amiss...
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November 7, 2018
Last year at this time Bitcoin was going haywire! It was on what seems to be the never ending rise to THE MOON! Until it stopped just shortly into 2018. Totally unpredictable behaviour. Stupid bitcoin! Or is it?
There is a pattern. Ok a few patterns but this one struck me as interesting.
If you check out the blog article or this podcast on Codifyre.com
you’ll see a few graphs of bitcoin over the years. The all time price isn’t really that interesting because the big 2017 Christmas spike kind of skews the whole thing but the idea is that it’s generally going up with basic awareness. That doesn’t give it real value so much as real potential value.
What IS interesting is the behaviour of the price when the media gets involved and starts hyping it. Part time thrill seekers get into the crypto band wagon and shit gets crazy. In fact if you think last year was a bizarre anomaly, and do check out the price graph for Nov 4th 2017 to Nov 4th 2018 to get a feel for the signature of that crazy….
but then, let’s go back 4 years.
In fact I’ll even go back to the exact same dates Nov 4th 2013 to Nov 4th 2014. That was the last major Bitcoin hullabaloo in the press.
If you check out the graph, although the pricing is almost exactly 20 times smaller, the shape of the graph can almost be overlaid on the graph from 2017/18 and it was even the exact same time of the year as Christmas approaches.
Driven by media and speculation, people react almost exactly the same and it appears that 4 years is the magic amount of time for us humans to totally forget that we already did it once and, just go ahead and do it again.
Let’s get away from Bitcoin for the moment… and talk about some of the other big ones like Ethereum and Litecoin.
I like Ethereum and while I don’t entirely understand Litecoin's purpose yet it’s definitely got a good following.
The reason I like Ethereum is it has a leader (who is real), it had a plan and it has one really critical differentiator that I think a lot of people will like and that’s the Proof of Stake system it’s got in its roadmap for the future.
Before I get into that though, the other reason I like Ethereum is because it’s not a straight up cryptocurrency. It’s a platform for the creation of Smart Contracts.
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June 20, 2018
Once a new technology rolls over you, if you're not part of the steamroller, you're part of the road.
This is one of those podcasts which isn’t the offspring of late night research, countless hours of trial and error tempered by seminars, articles and other people podcasts. This one is coming from real life… whatever that means.
This one is coming from real life… whatever that means.
If you’ve found yourself working in the technology arena it can be as exciting as it is challenging. Sometimes these are one and the same and sometimes they could not be farther apart. Being a GenXr myself I was there at the beginning of the home computing boom. I remember the rise of Steve Jobs, and when Bill Gates was the young genius instead of Mark Zuckerberg except of course when he famously said “640k is all the memory anyone will ever need” or words to that effect. Ok fine he didn’t say that but, thanks to the post-truth world I think it’s probably perfectly ok to attribute that statement to him or anyone else for that matter. Even better if you turn it into a meme!
Getting back to the 80s and 90s when technology was “young” and when air-quotes were first invented (I was thinking some as I typed “young”). Back then I learn to program in C language, I could disassemble my PC and fix it myself, even over-clock the CPU to get more gusto from it and I was building linux kernel I got from Linus Torvalds (the OS namesake) himself because that was the only place you could get it. I will return to Linus as a flagship example of staying relevant in the technological age as he one of the most influential people in our technological era.
Let’s talk about that era. We are currently in a phase of advancement which is to say the least, complex.
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April 18, 2018
I was a late adopter waiting until about 2007 before getting onto Facebook. Back in the 2000s I remember my brother calling Facebook a platform for narcissists. Just over 10 years later and 2.3 Billion narcissists later he and I are both active participants.
I don’t think he was wrong! To a degree of course. I think Facebook, to take a positive spin, provides an outlet for many people to express themselves without directly expressing themselves. Kind of like wearing a Nike t-shirt. Do I like sports or do like to look like I like sports? Hard to know and you’d need a larger piece of the profile to figure it out but the point remains, I’ve made a statement without having to say anything.
Facebook allows people to ‘share’, ‘like’, or ’emoji’ to provide indicators of their feelings without the risk of direct criticism to direct messaging. In fact don’t we find it a bit annoying sometimes when somebody breaches the unwritten rules and posts something blatantly opinionated… I mean come on people… allude to your feelings damn it, don’t provide direct feelings, we are not capable of coping with that!
So why the analysis… there is a point and that point is the what has happened over the past few weeks with Facebook and their handling (mishandling) of your data.
Social Media Privacy
Is that a contradiction or oxymoron? What can we do about our privacy and what regulations will change the face of how our data is handled in the future?
The shownotes for the episode are here in addition to some great tips and links on cleaning up the privacy of your digital presence!
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April 4, 2018
Robots will rule us all. I feel that’s already been established by more sci-fi writers than can be credited in one podcast.
You may have recently seen that an Uber self-driving car killed a pedestrian in a headline grabbing frenzy that re-awakened the humanity in all of us.
What if… insert dystopian human based car fiasco here where AI (artificial intelligence) is deciding the fate of human lives with alarmingly regularity. During my recent discussions I found some common themes where these infinite ethical conundrums often came back to the questions of responsibility. Who do you blame if AI kills one of our humans AND… assuming the AI is forced into making a decision which means one life over another how does it make that choice? Heavy stuff folks. Fasten your seatbelts. Or don't.
Doing my best and simplifying my position, I’ll start with defining for the curious (hey that’s why you listen to podcasts isn’t it!) how self-driving cars work and then we'll start talking philosophy and how we are trying to tackle those tough questions, or, ask ourselves if we're just being too darn human.
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February 7, 2018
Thanks to Bitcoin, it’s fair to say that “blockchain” is a buzzword at the moment—like DevOps, or Zumba. This article isn’t going to dive into what a blockchain is, because many others out there already do that. Here’s a pretty good one that has a snappy description of the evolution of Bitcoin and its symbiotic buddy, blockchain. (I may have written that one as well.)
To some people, Bitcoin is a spoof currency trapped in a speculative bubble. To others, it and its alt-coin brethren are the future of financial exchange. In 2017 we saw a growing frequency of news about Bitcoin millionaires, lost Bitcoin tragedies, Bitcoin scandals, and various Bitcoin exchanges being hacked and shut down.
For the millions who have invested (or are considering investing) in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and the ever-growing list of alt-coins, little has been mentioned about the software and the infrastructure on which these cryptocurrencies are based. With all early adoption of technology, there is risk, so there’s a natural inclination to question the security of blockchain and the potential for cyber attack against it.
This special edition two part podcast was requested by Synopsys Software Integrity Group so you can read the show notes for it at the link below instead of the standard location at Codifyre.com
Read the whole article for Part 1 here
November 28, 2017
The Internet of Things! Oh! That! The Internet… got it… Of… no problem… Things… nope you lost me.
When I first heard the term IoT I had no f*cking idea what it was and what it meant. Obviously it was made completely clear when I was told what it stood for…
How long did it take, and who came up with that catch phrase? And why on earth did it stick? Internet of Stuff would have been IOS and we can’t have Apple breathing down our necks. Internet of Devices? What stopped us there? The Institute of Directors perhaps? Those biz savvy suits play hardball about being top dog on the google search so we couldn’t usurp that acronym. So here we are with IoT.
Regardless of how we got here… IoT is a buzzword/acronym/TLA (three letter acronym)/phrase which only through the atrition of use is starting to become somewhat understood.
Defering to wikipedia (give that guy some money) it’s defined as: “The Internet of things (IoT) is the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity which enable these objects to connect and exchange data.”
Teddy “Creepy” Ruxpin
It’s that last bit… the “network connectivity” that is the critical new element that creates IoT. We’ve had the “physical devices, vehicles, home appliances, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators”…and of course the machine that goes “ping!” for a while now in the form of TVs, toasters, baby monitors, lawn mowers, ovens, heart monitors and teddy bears. Yes Teddy Bears. I’m thinking of that old scary Teddy Ruxpin thing from the 80s. It haunts me in my nightmares.
Read more on our blog/shownotes page.
October 31, 2017
I’m in a taxi with my friend Sascha (names unchanged to torment the guilty) at about 3 in the morning and the taxi driver somehow ends up talking to us about whether he should buy or invest in Bitcoin. Sascha pipes in first saying it’s a huge waste of time, it isn’t really worth anything and that anyone who buys Bitcoins should be thrown out of the taxi at high speed with their shirt off. I may be paraphrasing and taking liberties but the message was clear. He wasn’t pro-Bitcoin.
This podcast explores the debates, the opinion and the history surrounding this technology. I've intentionally dated it 2017 because it's changing so fast, who knows, there might be a 2018 (and 2019) episode.
Check out the full blog article based on this podcast on the Codifyre website.
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