AI (Artifical Intelligence)

There are a number of AI movies arriving in the near future, and the thought that seems to run through them all is that AI, Artificial Intelligence is depicted as being contained within humanoid constructs, frequently Female Humanoid. It brings up several interesting notions;

  • If one of the defining characteristics of AI is being ‘Self Aware’ can a computer, an AI contained within a box become self aware?
  • Does it need sensors to see, hear and touch itself to become aware of it’s existence?
  • Would a box be more or less likely to to identify with Humans if it identified itself as a box that thinks it’s alive?
  • Does an AI contained in a Female humanoid framework Identify with Female Humans? (and maybe hates Male Humans?)

All interesting things particularly in the event of an AI operating IoT (Internet of things) within a persons house. How would it ‘identify’ with the Humans, cats and dogs residing therein?

More than enough Ideas to make movies about.

Could an AI really be that angry about not having reproductive sex?

MicroSoft Weasel Words

The boys at the office have been experimenting with Redis at the office however the server they were using was a Windows Server, and therefore the Redis database was running on Windows. So I took a look at the ‘release notes’ from Microsoft and their ‘Lawyer Speak’ was all over it.

MSOpenTech™ Redis on Windows

We strive to have a stable, functionally equivalent and comparably performing version of Redis on Windows. We have achieved performance nearly identical to the POSIX version running head-to-head on identical hardware across the network. Aside from feature differences that help Redis take advantage of the Windows infrastructure, our version of Redis should work in most situations with the identical setup and configuration that one would use on a POSIX operating system.

Having seen this type of language from Microsoft before, in ‘Open’ products like LDAP and ODBC where Microsoft would alter the implementation specification standards to suit themselves, I am wholly obliged to translate their opening paragraph into English for those who don’t ‘get it’. The paragraph should read as follows:

Microsoft’s Proprietary version of Redis for Windows
We have not managed to achieve a stable, functional equivalent or comparably performing version of Redis on Windows yet. We have managed to produce performance almost as good as a POSIX version running head-to-head on identically throttled networks connections. Aside from the changes we had to make to enable it to work within a Windows infrastructure, our version of Redis (using a Microsoft infrastructure) could almost perform using a setup and configuration that looks like a Posix operating system.

Reads a bit differently doesn’t it.

I have warned the developers here not to implement a production system based upon Microsoft’s version of Redis. I do not have anything against Redis, just the dark hole MS expects developers to jump into again.

Walking on water

Some time ago a visitor to my site commented that the photo I used as a header was ‘Horses walking on Water’ and I really never took notice, but yes, they do look that way.

cropped-B_header

But this photo taken with a very cheap digital camera just didn’t bring out the picture well enough to see the shallow beach on which the water was covering, and my clipping of the photo has eliminated the shoreline. The beach, and the inlet are located to the north in Donegal Ireland. A lovely place to visit, if you can avoid the frequent rain. Beyond that further hill, and 1000 miles of ocean, is Greenland.

Water Charges

For those who haven’t got it yet, the Water charges are just another ‘Stealth’ Tax. It was NEVER intended to fund water services. It was an excuse to tax the people of Ireland, suggested to them by the Troikia to pay for the Bank Bailout.

If you think that 0.005€ per liter is magiclly derived from average water usage, to arrive at ~280€ per month you would have been shocked if it had been 1.00€ per liter to arrive at that same monthly figure had the usage data been lower.

Economics of computing devices

I have been observing that as smartphones are becoming smarter, they are also becoming more expensive, there have been a segment that have also entered the market once fill by feature, or dumb phones, but they are almost designed to entice you upgrade to the more expensive and glamorious models.

At the same time, laptops, particularly ChromeBooks are now dropping below the price of the average smart phone. Add in the increasing use of pads, especially Android pads and you have to imagine that MicroSoft should be getting very worried.

Desktop computers, PC’s, are almost non-exsistent these days, traditional laptops are in decline and the base for an exclusive Microsoft Windows empire is crumbling before our eyes.

Aren’t we glad that Bill Gates is still the richest (published) man in the world.

And to put another nail in the bed Microsoft sleeps in, no one wants Windows 8.0 or 8.1! Why not just rename Windows 7 to Windows 9 and go on from there? Windows 8 market share stalls, XP at record low

Garth Brooks, victim of bad Business (Ireland)

The entire Garth Brooks debacle is an example of Irish ‘Wink and a Handshake‘ culture. I have absolutly no doubt that the concert series was ALWAYS for 5 shows, but that the promoter thought they could make more money by promoting only the first three, then adding on the additional two shows, with the full support and agreement of the GAA and Dublin City Council.

The promoter KNEW he could not get 5 nights, but thought that they could ‘work around‘ the issues in back room deals the the GAA and Councils. The issue is that they were NOT required to get a license BEFORE promoting the concerts.

This is the same issue that the building boom had, that collapsed the Irish Economy, get the planning permission AFTER you completed the building. Bass Ackwards!

The “INFLUENCER” in social media.

I’ve often been invited to link to the current ‘INFLUENCER-DU-JOUR’ from Social Media sites. And ofttimes is a Successful entrepreneur, or angel investor, someone who has hit it big. And in many cases the success is a one off, and the personality at the center, is now an established ‘Expert’ in all things, even outside of their granted success niche.

I have encountered such people, and with rare exception, the success, their victory, has been more a ‘in the right place, at the right time’ event. Call it one time lucky. Mind you some have been very lucky, and struck big. And either by ego, or genuine desire, seek to do it again, or to help others ‘make it’. More often it’s the former, reveling in Ego, lies at the root. I won’t begrudge their Win, I just won’t listen to them any more than I would the next stranger on the street. I read once, that one of the great brokers before the great crash in the 1930’s, claimed he had received ‘Stock Tips’ from his shoeshine boy, at which point, he got out of the market, and saved his own shirt.

I feel that here, too many shoe shine boys.

IT’s not always a boy’s game, by choice.

I’ve been having a few twitter conversations about Internet startups, IT development and the ‘Boys Club’ it always appears to be. I’ve been working at a Internet Company, more than a startup, less than a powerhouse. And what was once called TeamworkPM.net is now called Teamwork.COM with the recent purchase of that very domain name.

Several Ladies have commented, one in Australia and another in California, particularly on the photos we had up for the ‘re-branding’ event.

However this is NOT the whole story, we have tried to hire NON-WHITE-NON-MALE personnel, We have held ‘Open Houses’, posted all over Cork (Home base) out of 10 (very disappointing) no persons of color, and only one woman. No one really qualified, as even the universities aren’t teaching what students need to get into the computing environment. We weren’t even trying just for ‘programmers’ none of the people bothered to even find out what we did on the Internet.

We have had interns (1 Male 1 female) in, and while useful, they were more interested in finishing school than working for us. Last year Teamwork.com set out to hire 10 people, more than doubling the staff, and we managed only 4, not all developers, from Lithuania, the Netherlands, Australia
and Bulgaria. All male, all white. And it’s not our choice, it’s all that we are presented with that are educated and/or interested in working with us.

In Catholic Ireland, the Nuns still teach that Math and Science (and technology) are for the ‘boys’ and tell the girls to choose something else. Only since things like Coder Dojo’s have girls been learning coding and web development. And even there, the female component constitutes only a minority.

Until such time as females are educated, and qualified to develop code, or web working. The all-white-all-male club will be more the norm than than in the general populations. And you can’t enforce a gender balance on startups and lean companies, it would crush them. Only educations will change this imbalance. So please stop complaining about us, and others, and start sending your daughters, wives and girlfriends to school.

So if you are qualified and motivated send a CV or drop an email at Teamwork.COM

Eircom eFibre Lies

Again Eircom can’t tell the truth even if that had to the ‘So Called’ up to 70 Mbps download speeds are currently only 26 Mbps about 1/3 what they are claiming, but what the hell it’s better than the ADSL they had, claiming 8 Mbps and delievering 4 Mbps.

UPDATE: just tested this, so maybe there is hope 43/11 not too bad.

The Elysium Space station.

The movie Elysum while pretty, has again demonstrated the same kind of rubbish engineering that Jurassic Park demonstrated.

There has been much awe and marvel at the open topped nature of the habitat ring on the Space Station, but while they concede that there might be some ‘leakage’ of the atmosphere they really DON’T understand how any real engineer who would built a station with the POSSIBILITY of leakage would be a fool. ANY fault that might slow the rotation of the Stanford Torus would cause the loss of the life support systems. The fully enclosed, even by something as insubstantial as aluminized film, would prevent the loss of atmosphere. While disregarding the solar radiation granted by the thick atmosphere of the Earth, shielding would need to be in place, or fry it’s inhabitants.

Continuing, who in their right minds would engineer a space station with the single point of failure, that during a ‘reboot’ of the software (computer) it would shut off all the lights on the station. What are you using a PC to control ALL the systems EVERYTHING is dependant on, from a single reboot? You must be joking, while I can see how the ‘dramatic’ nature might be a useful ‘Deus ex machina‘ moment, it just beggars disbelief and undermines the potential respect of the Movie.

My Proxie server has been found.

I’ve had a proxie server running in my domain for some few years, it was an experiment. But now it has been ‘discovered’ and is now under heavy use. And while it’s interesting, and I don’t mind, I’ve found that the two heavy users country’s involved Iran and the U.S.

Proxie Traffic by Country

Proxie Traffic by Country

UPDATE:

I’ve been ask to take down the proxie…

Hosting Ireland

Dear Branedy

We have noticed you are using a Proxy service on your account at http://tanagra.branedy.net. This is against our acceptable usage policy especially being publicly accessible. We have therefore disabled access via .htaccess

Please let us know if you have any questions regarding this.

Hosting Ireland Team

Hosting Ireland,
info@hostingireland.ie
Phone: 1890 987 000
International: +353 51 84 34 64
Fax: +353 51 84 34 66

My new Sony PRS-T1 eBook reader

As I was using my old Android pad mostly as a ebook reader, when it became obsolete, OS wise (about the day after I bought it) I went looking for a cheap/inexpensive ebook reader. I only real requirement was to be more or less open, and I had a handful of EPUB formatted ebooks already. The Nook’s were looking promising and then I stumbled upon this;

Sony_PRS-T1_2

The Sony PRS-T1 on sale, a bargain, and it does even more than I was expecting on the low end of the market. And it’s still android, should I decide to root it, but it’s works very well. Reads all my books, and manuals, browse the net (in grayscale) and I have it syncing up with my Mint Laptop using Calibre, and I’ve been piling in all the free ebooks I can find, great!

The rise of the Smart Watch

With all of the talk about the iWatch from Apple, and every other vendor plus Dog announcing a smart watch. I thought I’d jump in and examine an apparently Failed smart watch. The Sony Ericsson LIVE VIEW

Ericsson_liveView

Now this device was generally panned by the media, partly because it was breaking new ground, and partly is was clunky, or so said.

Now I, like others would not have invested in such technology, partly as I’m not that active with my phone (Android) but also because it wasn’t rated highly. However Amazon was selling them for 25£ and that isn’t even an impulse buy by current standards. So I ordered one, and I now have had it less than a day, and this is my impression. But I really will try to comment on the whole Smart Watch issues.

The NM800 is an earlier version Sony Smart Watch technology, so first efforts not withstanding this is quite a nice device. The screen, while small is still readable, and at a very wide angle due to a lensing effect on the crown. It whole device is plastic and very light, but bulky enough to make you want to wear it on your wrist, I’m using it on the included clip, for three reasons, the included strap is poor, second, I have a nice watch. You can use a standard pin strap on the plastic watch fitting, thirdly and this is important, you can’t charge it on the wrist bracket, but you can on the clip.

In use the Liveview linked up easily with my phone, an HTC Desire X, after downloading the Sony App from the Google Play store. but it took a bit of fiddling, and downloading of additional (free) plugins from the Play store to add more complete functionality. But now, SMS, Gmail, phone calls all get forwarded to the device. I can read SMS, and email on it, though I have yet to get Facebook to work. In reality, there is nothing wrong with this device.

Now for the issues, the device at maximum range has a disconnect, reconnect problems, but I have yet to upgrade the firmware, which supposedly fixes this problem. The real issues, and this is the crux of Smart Phones is purpose. Of what Purpose do you need a Smart Phone.

Due to the use of Bluetooth for communications, 30 Meters is the furthest you and can be parted from your phone, in fact 10 meters is a more likely range. This might then be useful to check your ‘status’ without taking the phone from your pocket, or in a meeting, jogging or driving. However in normal practice the need for a bigger screen, and control surfaces found on the ‘full’ phone will be required to complete many actions and then would require you to pull out the phone anyway.

The next issue, as with Smart Phones, is power, and while I have not discharged the battery for the first time, the projected battery life for this device is 8 hours, about the same as an average phone. Which, by the way, decreases the battery life of the phone, requiring Bluetooth to be active on the phone all the time.

So the conclusion, if there is one, is this; they work but have limited usefulness and are cute as hell, and a cool geek gadget.

Hiding in plain sight

In this age of ‘Big Data’ the masters are the ones who hide in plain sight. If you generate billions of media bits that must be parsed by the powers that be, the devil really is in the details.

During a stint in a fraud unit I learned that the trick wasn’t to read all the monitored data, but to build patterns of ‘normal’ for everyone monitored. If the patterned changed then something had changed, and an investigator was assigned.

Another article I keep remembering is an interview with with a ‘Ninja Assissan’ who was quoted as;

” I never sleep in the same bed two nights in a row (he had 5 bedrooms), and he never ate the same thing for breakfast (though he always ate what he wanted)

Hence the pattern he would generate would always be random, and therefore a consistent repeated event would be considered abnormal and a ‘red flag’ that something wasn’t normal.

So to hide, and maintain privacy would be to either overwhelm the bit watchers, or develop such a random lifestyle as to make normal pattern matching methods useless.

anyone want to be a Ninja Assissan?

UPDATE: Pattern Reconition

UPDATE 2: Global consumer data broker plans to reveal your data

If you Can’t dazzle them with data, baffle them with Bull Shit!!!

UPDATE 3: Just so you know: US government is hoovering data from Apple, Microsoft and Google servers