9/30/2017

Current State of Technology

What is the current state of technology.

Get a deck of cards.  Open the box.  Throw the cards up into the air.  Watch how each card lands.

Next get a fan, plug it in, aim the fan at the cards, turn on high.  Watch the cards fly through the room, under chairs, tables, behind curtains.

Next, shut all the lights in the room, so you have absolutely no idea where anything is.  Notice how you can't even see the cards any more, scattered, under the chairs and tables.

Now, walk out of the room, down the hall, get in your car, and drive away, fast.

That basically sums it up.

Any questions?

9/28/2017

Technology Advances like a Drum with Block Chain Ripe for Prime Time

Data becomes information.  Information adds value if used properly to align business practices, streamline processes with net result of increased sales & profit and reduced costs.

Traditional Reporting
Reports have existed for a very long time.  They report on the past.  Business typically managed the business in the rear view mirror.

Red shirts seems to be selling in region B, while White shirts are selling in Region C, while Yellow shirts are not selling anywhere.  Let's drop Yellow from the product line, increase Red & White shirt production.  Seems Fred had highest sales, Bob had lowest.  Lots of useful information of the past.


OLAP Cubes
Next, we accumulated that data into Cubes for faster slice and dice.  Lots of data transformation, business rules and data ingestion.  Costs a lot, tough to maintain, can't store all data.


Big Data
Next, Big Data provides data lake to store all data.  Still need to cleanse, transform and prepare data for consumption.  Handles a lot of prior issues, and adds some problems as well.

Machine Learning
Machine learning has been around for a while also.  People have been creating "models" to predict future probability based on past data.  I know the banks used this in the mid 1990's to score credit applications.  Advances in technology, lower costs and software availability have proliferated into mass consumption.  Schools and University's provide courses so people can get up to speed quickly.

Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence is a higher level of all this.  Massive data, crunching numbers to provide easy access to important information at the snap of a finger.  It's widely available on smart phones.

Internet of Things
Internet of Things allows remote sensors to capture and relay information back to central hub for storage, processing, analysis in real time.  Our planet is in the process of becoming interconnected.  Besides not have standard protocols, guaranteed security and widely available programmer base, there are other things to consider like how long is the battery life of a device, how do we apply software patches and upgrade Hardware & Software over time.

Quantum Computing
Quantum Computing is a hot topic.  Scientist attempt to leverage the peculiar behavior of quantum physics and apply to technology.  Our entire computing system is based on binary numbers of zeros and ones, when combined, they form a language which computers can interpret.  Quantum bits allow greater flexibility where a state may be 0, 1 or some where in between.  This added feature allows faster computation across wider scenarios and can potentially reduce computation time to solve difficult problems.  Theoretically, this technology will be able to crack any encryption known today and poses security risks perhaps.  The machines are very expensive, difficult to maintain cold environments and the knowledge base is centralized to advanced level mathematicians, physicists and scientist.  The quantum bit has bizarre properties, such as instantaneous communication with paired bits across great distances.  Another behavior is not knowing the state of a particular bit until we ask the bit what its state is.  This tech has great potential.

Block Chain
With all that said, the newest feature that has a lot of attention right now is the Block Chain.  Why is it hot?  Because it lays the framework plumbing technology foundation across a variety of sectors.  It has potential to radically alter existing processes such as banking, healthcare, election systems, stock market transactions, clearing house middlemen, just about anything.  What is unique about Block Chain?

It's a distributed ledger.  Transactions are written, never removed.  Each transaction has a Digital Signature, basically a hashed key of the prior transaction, along with current key.  As the transaction is sent out, the Digital Signature is validated and record is recorded across a distributed  data store and record is assumed to be valid because it passes the rules engine and the group agrees the transaction to be valid.  Block Chain can handle any "asset".  Assets can be people, things, events, you name it.

The transaction could be anything.  We agree to give x person 10 units of y.  Transaction sent.  Authenticated & distributed & recorded.  Audit trail agrees.  Done deal.

It could also be stock purchases.  ABC agrees to sell 10 shares of Y Stock to DEF at $10 per share on 10/01/2017.  Transaction sent, authenticated, distributed, recorded.  Done deal.  No batch processing.  No hidden fees.  No hold up in time.  No fraud.  No corruption.  

Speaking of fraud, imagine an Election process that wrote votes to the Block Chain.  Secure, record-able, transparent if need be, audit trail.  Completely transparent with documented audit trail.

This Block Chain technology could not only disrupt just about every business model today, it could also replace our paper money.  Imagine that.  Without paper money, what's the need for traditional banks.  Just sent money across the Block Chain, pay the nominal fees, transaction is secure, done deal.  Imagine all the available real estate with empty banks potentially.

In my estimation, sure reporting is great.  Insights are wonderful.  AI to ease the flow of life, that's tremendous, although Artificial General Intelligence may not happen for a while, if at all, can read my post on that topic here.  IoT can link the worlds together digitally.  Block Chain has the most potential to radically alter the life here on planet Earth.  

What's the holdup from widespread adoption?  My estimation is getting the Block Chain to scale up.  As in millions of transactions a second across a distributed network across the planet.  Maybe that new underwater pipeline between North America and Europe could help facilitate that.  Once Block Chain scales, you could see widespread adoption across a variety of sectors, including all the big boys in every sector.

Technology geeks will eventually run the World's digital plumbing via Block Chain and it will have the biggest impact in the near future.

And so it goes~!

Can Mankind Create Artificial General Intelligence

What do you want to do when you grow up.  For some of us, we still haven't decided.  After close to 50 years.

Chances are, if you chose anything related to technology, you have a chance at keeping your job until you retire.  Although most jobs are now becoming technology related.

They say Artificial Intelligence will soon be here.  First we'd have to define what AI is.  And there are two camps, one is narrow artificial intelligence and the other is general artificial intelligence.

We've already got narrow AI built into many household devices especially smart phones along with some sites on the web.  These assistants make our lives easier by studying patterns, analyzing tons of data to facilitate easier flow in our everyday lives.

As far as general artificial intelligence, from what I've seen, we are years away, if ever, of solving this riddle.  What we are talking about is creating a life form out of thin air.  That sort of dabbles with the hidden laws of nature and physics, which is probably hidden for a reason.

Some of our brightest minds have attempted to create AGI for the past 60+ years, with minimal success.  If the goal is to reproduce the activity of the human mind, we have a ways to go.  We know the basic architecture, except for the black box that ties everything together.  Call it what you like, the soul, the being, the unique aura of an individual, we don't know much about it.

If the goal is to reproduce the behaviors and characteristics of mankind, we better understand what that infers.  This AGI must understand human emotions, like love and hate, lust, greed, envy, rage, revenge, wars, homicide, genocide, blind obedience, hierarchical structures that benefit only the few, for the AGI beings to understand just how we think and behave.

What we've got here, is a reputable version of clinical settings for creating a Frankenstein.  It's alive!  Oh know, what have we created?

I would think that many smart people in the AGI field have already concluded that creating life out of thin air is no easy task.  Is it possible at all?  Time will tell.  If we do in fact let the genie out of the bottle, there would be no turning back.

And why is that?  Primarily because our attempt to rush into this without planning, architect, strategist, creating rules and laws of ethics and behavior, is just not at a point it needs to be.  Our rush to market, for profit and control of the market, is simply bypassing these required tasks.

Another reason for possible delay, AGI is not simply a technology issue.  It's a social, financial, legal, medical, biological, just about every industry needs to be apart of the process.  Technology is just one aspect.  That requires an arsenal of staff, granted, some heavy hitters are putting up a lot of money so they probably have these items covered.

Technology is racing forward.  We've removed the guard rails and safety nets.  Full steam ahead.  If we do crack the code of creating life, I sure hope society can withstand their creation, and if it survives, our lives could potentially be altered forever.



You can read some more blogs on the subject:

Intelligent Machines or Pandora's Box







And so it goes~!

9/26/2017

Data Is Not the New Oil

They say data is the new oil.  Oil is black tar like substance, extracted from the ground, from ancient fossils.

Data is a bunch of zeros and ones combined to form objects in the form of strings, numbers, blobs, etc.

There's only so much oil in the Earth.  Data is an infinite resource.  That's a clear distinction.

Oil can be extracted from the ground, assuming you have the rights and machinery to do so, as well a way to offload your cargo to refinery and then market for sale

Data can be home grown, purchased or found on the web.

Only oil specialist can work with oil, from extraction to shipping to processing to your gas pump at the station.

Anyone who has access to a computer, knows Excel or SQL can work with data.

There are some very clear distinctions as to why Data is nothing like Oil.

What do they have in common.  Ability to make money~!

and there you have it~!

9/22/2017

Digital Currency uses Block Chain Technology

Digital Currency is taking off.  A new currency that bypasses traditional banks and markets.  Many currencies are worth billions.

It runs on block chain.  A database that writes transactions across distributed network.  The digital ledger is sequentially written, transparent and uses hashtags to ensures validity.  If someone tampers with the chain, future transactions will not be accurate for all to see.

Who discovered this technology?  Some guy, not sure.  He wrote a white paper, helped out a bit, then disappeared.  Seems odd.  Digital currency entered the scene Jan 2009, after the financial meltdown.

Block chain is highly valuable due to the fact that it handles secured transactions.  The chain doesn't have to be related to money, so the open source code can be used across variety of sectors.  Think healthcare, retail, stock market.  Transactions are instantaneous, bypassing the traditional wait time like overnight batch processing.

It's primed to replace paper money in the near future.  Perhaps another financial collapse, exit paper money, enter digital currency stage left.  Electronic currency can be tightly controlled, making fraud and money laundering almost impossible.

Block chain can track assets.  Any asset.  With the rise of Internet of Things or IoT, products can be tracked using current methodologies, and soon to be tracked using block train.

Let's say you purchase an item on the internet, using a digital currency like Bitcoin.  The product is shipped, perhaps tracked in the delivery truck, it arrives at your house.  The embedded sensors in the IoT device sends signals back to the home office, write a record to the block chain, "asset ownership="John Q. Owner", DateOfOwnership="2017-09-22", PricePaid="49.99", TaxPaid="3.49".  As you can see, the asset is tracked in an IoT Block Chain database, over time, with audit trail.

If asset changes hands, perhaps stolen or bartered, were proper taxes paid, IoT-Block Chain knows.

Once digital currency takes off and potentially replaces paper money, the national deficit could be wiped clean over night.  Since the dollar is no longer tied to the gold standard, and potentially no longer secured with paper money, not only can every coin or token be tracked in real time, we could also trace each coin back in time to see how it changed hands, when, by whom, you name it.

Imagine how many companies are tied to paper money.  Banks may not be necessary in the future.  Also something to note, the entire currency could be centrally located, perhaps across the globe, with a single currency.  Asset tracking could become a reality.  Transparency.  Audit trail.  And Centrally controlled.  The ramifications of this technology could alter the planet, a real eye opener for sure.  Don't take my word for it.  Have a watch:




The times, they are a changin'.

9/18/2017

Is Ride Share Business Model a Fad or Here to Stay

Driving people from place to place, using your own vehicle has many positive aspects.

  • You become self employed.  Tax write offs.
  • You set your own hours.  Work any time you feel like it.  Day or night.
  • You get to meet interesting people.
  • You get to see the world, not behind a cubicle, but right in front of your eyes.
  • You can work part time or full time, you choose.
  • You get tips plus paycheck.
  • Revenue stream

There's a lot of freedom.

On the downside, you're car takes a real beating. 

  • Wrack up miles faster than one can image.
  • What does that do to the resale value.
  • What about frequent car repair.
  • Increases chance of auto wrecks, possible insurance increases.
  • No guarantee of riders.
  • What if your passenger takes you an hour away with no return fairs.
  • Increase competition as more drivers ready to pick up next ride.
  • Not sure if they get benefits, like days off, sick days, insurance, but I doubt it, freelancers.
I wonder what happens when the drivers require a new vehicle at the end of the year.  Wouldn't the cost of a new vehicle dip in to the profit stream worked so hard to get during the year.

Is ride sharing a good business model.  Definitely for the owners of the company.  Not much overhead, as they don't own the vehicles, the workers are not employees and the routes are selected via a derivative of machines learning and artificial intelligence.

Good model for the workers?  Perhaps.  Quick and easy revenue stream.  Just keep in mind, there are downstream hidden costs.

Will this model trickle into other segments of society?  Streamlined business model, keep the profits, place the burden of costs on the free-lanced workers.  If the goal in increased profits and decreased costs, seems like a no-brainer.

And there you have it~!

9/15/2017

Universal Global Unique Identifier or U-GUID

The Universe is based on energy.  That energy aligns and clusters and disperses.  Similar to a swarm of bees.

We align and cluster ourselves.  Pick a favorite sports team, we align, unite, form a bond, have an agreed upon adversary.  Pick a Country.  State.  City.  Political Party.


We cluster and form an energy unit.  Aligned on beliefs and values.


Yet some of our cluster mates, may actually be antagonist in another cluster.  We may align with USA, but we like the Yankees and you like the Mets.  Another cluster may like the Mets, yet they are Republicans and Pro-Choice while you are Democrat and Pro-Union.


We partake in different overlapping clusters and form alliances accordingly so long as the group does not further cluster within the outer cluster.


Try for a minute, to remove all your Clusters.  No favorite team, political party, country, religion.  What have you.  


That's your true self, without the layer upon layer of aligned clusters.  Now that you've found the core, you have past memories and experiences that make you unique.


Now remove those.  At this point, how much different are you than anybody else?


Do you have a unique signature that defines you specifically, a Universal Global Unique Identifier or U-GUID?  If so, does that stay with you after you depart this planet?  Has your U-GUID been to other realities in other parts of the Universe?  Has it been to this planet prior and will it return, where does it go when it leaves?  Are there different levels of U-GUID's as far as Spiritual Growth.


Is the U-GUID your "soul"?  An energy field that never dies?  Simply transforms dimensions and realities and learns with each new life.  If so, how important is that new big screen plasma television or Ferrari, material pleasures or distractions from our true calling?


That's the question on the table.  Were we placed here on Earth at this point and time to further our evolutionary growth of Spirit, to experience physical reality in order to learn and grow?


And so it goes~!

9/10/2017

Mapping Attributes Across the Galaxy using Big Data

Let's say you had an IoT device.  It would contain a variety of information including latitude and longitude as two attributes that change over time.

Let's say you could record every location along with time, to give a complete record.


Let's take this a step further, and somehow embed a sensor IoT in every atom in our Galaxy.  We'd store the Id, Lat, Lon along with time stamp for every atom at every instance of time down to the microsecond.


Then we could use mapping technology to replay specific intervals in time.  That would pick up a handful of attributes, but what if we could store others.  And record in a big data repository.  Perhaps a Graph database to see how different atoms aligned or repelled with other Atoms, discover the secret to 'dark mass' in the Universe.


If anyone has free time and would like some extra credit, please feel free to begin this project.  It would be much appreciated.


And so it goes~!