The War of Automation

What happens when +90% of the jobs are not automated?

No longer will we need doctors or surgeons, instead hospitals will just need a single person to decide on moral choices. More of a supervisor that really their time will be spent monitoring the machines. Kids will have no idea humans would drive trucks or even personal vehicles. They’ll say “Why did you not care about safety and efficiency. Robots/Machines are better in every aspect.”

Side note: any movies like Terminator or iRobot will no longer be legal to watch

Population Control:

Concerns of overpopulation begin to be debated by the top 1%, with no longer having to work or work +40hrs a week births begin to increase. Wars are fought in the cyber world, no longer will militaries need boots on the ground as much rather than boots in chairs. Life expectancy is longer due to innovations in healthcare and community outreach.


While automation and robots can keep up with the large increase in population needing new houses and supplies, the environment cannot. National organizations begin to recommend new population control measures, 2 kids max, (unless medical reason, twins, triplets, etc…). Smog is no longer only a threat to a few cities but to all. Automation has created very efficient methods for animal slaughter for food and resources but to humans this is inhumane. Backlash begins against governments to constrain the way automation creates efficiency, what good is efficiency if robots discover humans can be efficiently farmed…



How close are we to this?


Temperature Rising

It’s days like these that make me appreciate the cold winds of November. July is hot and muggy, and if it’s not humid, it’s raining but not cooling down. Air conditioning is nice if you have it, but not so great if your power is out. Everybody running their AC puts a strain on the power grid, and sometimes the grid struggles to keep up with the demand. Brown outs and black outs aren’t uncommon in some places. Your power goes out and eventually you begin to feel the heat. Computer equipment, servers, and network devices don’t like heat. They also don’t like power interruptions. UPS doesn’t last very long, and some generator backups don’t always work as hoped. The old joke that air conditioning only fails when it’s needed is based in reality. It’s a good idea to be proactive for power outages and heat related problems. Generators, fans, and backup equipment – referring to replacement parts and devices – make good sense. You don’t need a storm to start seeing failures. Things break on blue sky days. Things happen, and it’s a good idea to be prepared. If Internet connectivity is important to you, than maybe you need an alternative network path out of your location. Fiber and copper can break, maybe a cell modem (hot spot) can carry you through a land line outage, but maybe the same outage that affects your land line is impacting your local cell tower. Satellite may be a logical primary or logical backup route to look into.
I’ve had to rely on my phone’s “Hot Spot”, but that’s not something I’d want to do for very long. It could get expensive and you might find out it’s not that great.
Have a plan, and think it through on days that you don’t need it, because someday you may. Don’t just wait for bad things to happen, because when the storm clouds gather you might not have time to react fast enough. Some problems are unavoidable, but doing nothing to prevent or at least mitigate problems is usually not good.


Trust or Bust

As the news spins tales of Cyber War threats, malicious activity between power brokers, privacy loss, and now UFO activity the focus still remains on political angles to convince the public all is not well. Everything must have an angle for someone’s agenda, whether it be political, or financial. Yes, we live with the possibility of Cyber War offensively and defensively to some degree. Could this be because we rely way too much on computer networks, a limited selection of operating systems and applications? What’s the average user supposed to do? Simple, don’t rely on something you can’t control. Businesses are limited by financial decisions – sometimes this is not so good. Individuals are also limited by financial realities but will often find that they have more flexibility in the choices they make towards technology reliance.

Many companies are still using Windows 7 and are struggling with transitioning to Windows 10. Many users who use Windows 7 at work usually have already switched to (Windows 10) many years ago – because it’s what was available to them when they purchased a new computer. Why are large companies much slower to transition? Many have expensive software applications and licenses that may incur a cost when updating, or simply require expensive upgrades. (financial reasons). You too may have had to upgrade some software and/or hardware. I’m sure there are still individuals using Windows 7 but remember that corporations often use enterprise versions as opposed to Home or even Pro editions.

You don’t even have to use the same operating system or distribution that everyone else uses – you have more freedom to choose other systems, and other software. The bad guys are going to focus on the most popular and dependent systems. They know who is slow moving and often constrained by inadequate support mechanisms. It’s an odds game, but a smaller company or individual user can be a little nimbler when reacting to and dealing with rapid changes required to operate effectively. Let the propaganda machines spew out their discombobulated sensationalism.

You have freewill – at least for now. Use it wisely. I don’t think anyone should disregard the real news or the fake news. Be prudent and keep your options open. With all the bad press lately about Google, I still have faith in their Chromebook security. I trust it way more than any Microsoft OS. You may have a different opinion, which is of course your choice. It’s good to have choices. I’ll continue to work with Linux distributions, and will on occasion see what’s new with the latest Windows 10 release. I think Windows 10 is secure and stable, just not to the same degree that I feel Chromebooks do for minimal application use. There are many programs that only run well on Microsoft, but I don’t usually need to use them.

I’ll use a Mac once in a while because it is good for content creative work, and to stay up to date with new software developments for Logic Pro X and some video editors, but for basic writing and research the Chromebook is just enough and more.

I did start up my generator yesterday to make sure it’s ready for any type of power outage, but after a few bad storms, it’s a pretty common thing to be prepared. This doesn’t mean I’m worried about UFO invasions, another war, or Cyber-attacks. It just means I choose to be ready for any type of storm – real or imagined. If the Internet goes down, I still know how to get through the day without looking everything up online or checking social media. Believe it or not, computers are still useful without connectivity to the web.

Computers and phones still require power, but solar power is usually sufficient if done correctly. There are still radio communications which include shortwave, cell towers, and even satellite (unless the aliens start messing with them). Usually most disasters around here are local and short lived – weather seems to never take a vacation. Trees continue to fall over onto the power and phone lines. Stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The Chromebook won’t be connected, but I can always take on the road to somewhere it can be – or simply take a break from computers and do something else.

Have enough coffee on hand to last at least two weeks, donuts (usually gone by day one), and cans of chicken soup. Water always comes up as a big thing to have on hand, and some cans of tuna fish. I’m not sure how long Mountain Dew lasts because I don’t drink it, but it might be a useful bartering tool for trade should you need to trade for more donuts. This is probably bad advice, but about as believable as most of the news out there.



All Hail the Creators

Traditional media continues to slide into mediocrity and obscurity. Large scale operations and multi-tiered productions are rapidly being overtaken by competition from small independent content creators. Music production, distribution, and promotion have been successful for independent artists for years. Today’s technology has put professional quality media creation into the hands of many content creators.
Bloggers, Podcasters, and Vloggers can produce professional quality content with affordable “consumer” or “prosumer” rated equipment. The amount of content produced by individuals or small production teams is truly amazing if you compare such productions to major studios of the past. Social media outlets, YouTube, iTunes, and Amazon make it possible for creators to get their content out to the masses. Not all produced content is great, but some is.
There is a lot of interesting content available from aspiring musicians songwriters, travel bloggers and vloggers, preppers, gamers, conspiracy theorists , extreme couponing, alternative news reporters, humorists, tech reviews, food aficionados, fitness trainers, traditional and natural medical info……the list goes on and on.
There’s a lot of content that isn’t prepackaged and manufactured by large conglomerates, and there’s some that probably is. This may explain why we see large media companies that would at one time have been the major or only content providers for mass media markets (radio, TV, film) slim their operations down or even disappear altogether. Crazy as it might seem, not all content is driven by commercial or political intentions. It’s a wide open field now, and getting bigger as the rest of the world’s content providers find their way to your media consumption devices.
Of course the big players want to get in on the action, even leveraging AI to create content for them. Advertising (relative to the subject matter) through sponsorship of some creative content providers appears to be working out for some high traffic sites/channels/downloads.
One interesting trend seems to be people traveling around producing videos, audio files, and writing while living in a van or travel trailer.
(I didn’t realize so many people were living in travel trailers until I started reading some interesting blogs a few years ago – shortly after the financial crisis of 2008)
For these productions, there’s no mega studio, just a couple of HD cameras, a good mic, and a laptop – and a lot of ingenuity. This is their studio.
The world is their studio. Some even produce the majority or all of the content with their iPad or smart phone.
If you are tired of the major news shows asking their pundits (or expert panels) to explain to you what you should think, try the independent alternate content providers…..soon to be the main stream media’s amazing replacement.
I’d happily watch the latest Linux Distro reviews, PewDiePie’s “Pew News”, or see what Traveling Robert is up to as he travels around the country in his RV, than watch “actors” jabber on for 24 hours about nothing.
Sadly enough when a news agency or reality show is using content already old on the Internet, you know the world is changing – hopefully in a good way. By the people, for the people, what a novel concept.
It is amazing to see how modern technology inspires people’s creativity and allows communication and educational opportunities for anyone willing to put a little effort behind their vision.
Much of the content may seem effortless, but a lot of time and effort is usually behind some of the best examples. If you look even deeper you start to see unique ways of leveraging solar power and budget friendly support schemes to make more efficient use of energy to cut costs for some self reliant enterprises.

I can see where Open Source applications and Linux distributions could play an integral role in some of this content creation, if only for budgetary constraints.
Ubuntu Studio comes to mind immediately, but there are many flavors of Linux with useful applications available in their repository for all types of media creation. For my own personal opinion, I simply have much respect and admiration of all who create such fascinating content.

10 Year Challenge: AI Edition

The “10 Year Challenge” seems like any other social media challenge, however it may have a major effect in the world of facial recognition.

The Challenge as it is now, is to post two pictures of yourself side by side. One of the pictures is from 2008 while the other is from 2018.

Seems pretty harmless at first glance, however Fortune 500 adviser and tech writer Kate O’Neill had this to say on Twitter.

Me 10 years ago: probably would have played along with the profile picture aging meme going around on Facebook and Instagram Me now: ponders how all this data could be mined to train facial recognition algorithms on age progression and age recognition

Kate O’Neill

With the growth of data mining and facial recognition software it will be interesting to see if this has any effect.