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Imagining the Future Smart City
October 4, 2021
At the Qualcomm Smart Cities Accelerate 2021 event last week they talked about the advantages that those living in a smart city would enjoy. Smart cities are coming, though I agree with Qualcomm that most will likely be done poorly and need to be redone due to the lack of city and state expertise in smart technology. Let's talk about smart cities. Then we'll close with the product of the week: a new household robot from Amazon.
Microsoft Finally Has Truly Competitive Alternatives to Apple Products
September 27, 2021
Microsoft last week launched its new Surface line, and elements of it better target Apple's weaknesses than any prior effort. Let's talk about the new Surface PC product that best showcases how Microsoft can compete with Apple. We'll close with the product of the week, the Surface Duo 2, which has become a viable alternative to the iPhone.
Will Mistrust Jeopardize the Survival of Facebook?
September 20, 2021
Trust in sources that we depend on for business and personal decisions is critical. A platform that aggregates opinion and news should be held to the highest standard of trust and honesty. Last week we heard that Facebook's moderating system XCheck gives special privileges to some celebrities and politicians. This adds to a growing list of questionable activity by the social media giant that many people consider to be a monopoly.
Do You Need an MBA Degree for a More Prosperous Future?
September 6, 2021
I recently met a young lady with an education degree who is frustrated that her younger siblings are far more prosperous than she is. She's planning on getting an MBA to pivot her career and hopefully position herself for a more prosperous future. Let's talk about that. Then, I'll close with my product of the week -- an "oldie but goodie" from Microsoft.
Tech Weapons We Need To Combat Global Warming
August 30, 2021
What if we applied the military's capacity to build weapons to develop ways to save people from natural disasters? Let's talk about some of the inventions that could be used to make us all safer, and switch our focus from harming to helping. We'll close with the product of the week, arguably the coolest Tesla-like electric-powered hydrofoil boat that's trying to transition boating away from fossil fuels.
30 Years Later, the Trajectory of Linux Is Star Bound
August 25, 2021
Today the Linux community is estimated to be 86 million users strong. It has become the backbone of large enterprises and is installed in government systems and embedded in devices worldwide. As people around the world celebrate and discuss 30 years of Linux, the focus, rightly so, is on supercomputers, Martian helicopters and many other developer-centric initiatives, noted GigaOm analyst Chris Grundemann.
Happy 30th Anniversary Linux! How We Got To Know Ya
August 23, 2021
August 25 marks the 30th anniversary of the release of a free computer operating system that revolutionized nearly every industry and helped spread the open-source movement globally. Today, Linux is everywhere in industry as it dominates servers and networking; is the driving force behind cloud computing; and is the foundation of Google's Android and Chrome operating systems.
30 Years of Linux History Told via Distros
August 17, 2021
Linux entered the world of technology with little more than a kernel to call its own. That was the intent of a young computer science student from Helsinki named Linus Torvalds in doing this personal fun project. In 1991, he created code that would become the basis for a completely new approach to operating systems for computers. The rest, as they say, is history.
Autonomous Driving's Missing Link
August 16, 2021
Autonomous driving now forms the core of most of the efforts to create autonomous robotics. However, up until now there's been one rarely talked about but critical problem that remains unsolved: What do we do with those things that will share the roads with these self-driving cars and trucks that are not autonomous?
We're Late Closing the Barn Door on Pegasus
August 12, 2021
People are freaking out about reports of NSO Group's Pegasus surveillance tool being used to spy on journalists, political dissidents, and other opponents of regimes worldwide. It's disheartening, and worth discussing. But why are we shocked? In Pegasus' case, the game theory is clear: some company was bound to develop surveillance software, some less-than-scrupulous government was bound to buy it, and they'd eventually get caught.
The Metaverse Comes to Life
August 9, 2021
Much of what you are going to see at Siggraph this week has to do with creating the Metaverse, which is conceptually very similar to the artificial world that the movie "The Matrix" showcased. This technology will not only have a massive impact on lower-cost and far better movie graphics, but also our ability to translate what is in our imaginations to real-world events.
When Is the Right Time To Buy vs. Lease an Electric Vehicle?
August 2, 2021
In short, every problem the electric car has begins and ends with its power supply. But that is changing very rapidly, making an EV likely for you within a 10-year horizon. Let's explore the state of affairs with electric vehicles, and key determinants to take into account if you have your mind on an EV. Then we'll close with the product of the week -- a new laptop from HP.
Corporate Participation in the Open Source Community
July 26, 2021
Many businesses find themselves launching open-source products at a rapidly accelerating pace without truly understanding either the benefits that come with it or the potential pitfalls that must be avoided. Let's talk about what open source means to your business, and how you can leverage it to serve both your customers and your business needs.
Oculus Quest 2: Step Into the Untethered Future of VR
July 5, 2021
The advantage of using a VR rig without a tether is huge because in a complex movement-oriented game you tend to get tangled in the tether. Let's talk about the Oculus Quest 2 this week and the announcement that this class of products is about to embrace 5G for its next generation. We'll close with the product of the week, a new webcam from Dell that may be perfect for those of us still working from home.
Windows 11: The Beginning of a New PC Age
June 28, 2021
Windows 11 shows a massive change in focus from earlier significant releases, which pretty much assures that the Microsoft's mistakes of the past won't be repeated, at least not under the current leadership. It also suggests a path to the next version of Windows -- which for now we'll call Windows 12 -- that could be even more groundbreaking.
HP Sets Example of How to Prioritize Sustainability
June 21, 2021
HP this month announced the release of its Sustainable Bond Framework, which will be used to issue bonds to help the company finance projects for a more sustainable future. Let's talk about this move to sustainability. We'll then look at the product of the week -- a mobile workstation which appears to be the lightest so far released into the market.
Father's Day 2021 Gift Guide: It's the Thought That Counts
June 7, 2021
Gift guides can be tricky because they are written at a specific point in time -- and time moves on. But what is also often the case is that the gift buyer punts without putting in much personal effort to the endeavor. So this year, rather than highlighting products, let's focus on the process of coming up with a gift for Father's Day.
Microsoft's Open-Source Pivot Is Creating a Great Place to Work
May 31, 2021
Microsoft isn't just building for the future. The company is focusing on tools that will allow an ever-broader group of people to program for themselves. At the heart of this plan is Microsoft's pivot to open source; and while there were several benefits of that action highlighted at Microsoft Build last week, an important one was left out -- which is that Microsoft has become a far better place to work.
ARM vs. x86 Battle Royal: Why and How ARM Is Pulling Ahead
May 24, 2021
ARM and x86 have been doing battle for the last decade. ARM tried to move into the server market and failed; Intel, which carries most of the x86 burden, tried to move on cellphones and failed. The battle for tablets is ongoing with ARM in the lead, and the battle for notebooks continues with Intel mainly in the lead. Let's talk about how this is likely to play out, because the winner may end up with all of the chips.
Apple Needs This New Hire to Be Heroic
May 17, 2021
For anyone that still believes that Apple can be more than an incredibly profitable company; but one you can also be proud of for how it treats its people and customers, incoming VP of worldwide communications Stella Low could be the critical remedy for what ails the firm. Let's talk about Apple this week. Then we'll close with the product of the week: the HP Elite Folio Notebook.
Bolt-On Security the Linux Way
May 12, 2021
In this piece, I aim to provide a range of simple but effective options for encrypting a small number of files. In particular, these options are salient for use cases like tax filing, where users are sending sensitive documents to recipients with an unknown degree of technical proficiency. Fond as I am of PGP, I'll bet you your refund check that your accountant doesn't know the first thing about using it.
Dell Apex Sets High Bar for As-A-Service Offerings
May 10, 2021
Last week at Dell Technologies World, the most significant announcement was a massive as-a-service offering called Dell Technologies Apex. This promises to return the IT market to its long lost but fondly remembered IBM past. Let's talk about Apex this week. We'll then close with the product of the week, an impressive new WiFi 6E wireless mesh solution from Linksys.
Autonomous Cars + IoT, and Life or Death Decisions
May 3, 2021
An ecosystem is being created where cars and robots are autonomous and connected so they will be able to connect to other devices, sensors, and data repositories available to them. Let's explore some safety risks associated with this future connectivity on our roadways. We'll then close with the product of the week: a new tablet that is Amazon's first real effort to build a Surface-like laptop.
Nvidia and the End of Movies as We Know Them
April 19, 2021
GTC21, this year's Nvidia GPU Technology Conference, was terrific as always. The alleged focus was on AI and autonomous cars. But, as I watched presentation after presentation from folks out of the entertainment industry, I realized that if you started putting some of these various elements together, they effectively predicted the end of movies as stand-alone, costly entertainment.
A Linux Safari to Classify the Genus of This Penguin
April 12, 2021
Recently, I took an interest in poking at Gentoo a bit. In the eyes of many desktop Linux users, it's considered a rite of passage to install this historically significant distribution. This curiosity sent me on a much more interesting Linux safari to explore what truly differentiates distributions. What follows is the classification field guide I wish I had when I began my Linux journey.
A Cure for What Ails Social Media
April 12, 2021
Social media has become the home of fake news, unscrupulous advertising, places to dole out abuse, and disseminate alternative history. Let's talk about what is likely to happen to social media companies; and how they might work to prevent that outcome. We'll close with the product of the week, a category-busting new smartwatch from OnePlus.
Cisco, Microsoft and a Simulated Workplace Future
April 5, 2021
When technology is advancing very rapidly, the leading providers of an evolving class of products are on very different pages. I'm talking about Cisco and Microsoft -- and while neither's approach is wrong, neither is complete -- and together they can build what's needed for our hybrid workplace future. Let's talk about the advantages of a simulated workplace done right, and we'll close with the product of the week, a new graphics card from AMD.
Intel CEO Gives Unwarlike 'Going to War' Speech
March 29, 2021
Pat Gelsinger's Intel is looking like the very different company it needs to be. It is more collaborative than combative, more strategic than tactical, with a far more effective plan than it has had since Andy Grove left the firm. Let's talk about how Gelsinger presents Intel as an execution and partnering powerhouse, and we'll close with the product of the week, a new set of headphones from Lenovo.
Once the Big Tech Battler, Open Source Is Now Big Tech's Battleground
March 22, 2021
A cadre of tech giants have created the Rust Foundation. This is neither the first nor largest contribution to an open-source project by private tech vendors. Still, the creation of this new body marks another noteworthy instance in which proprietary software companies took the initiative to found and steward a nonprofit project. It's not groundbreaking, but it doesn't happen every day.
Nvidia + Arm and the Challenges of Building a New Type of Tech Company
March 22, 2021
Nvidia is in the process of working through regulatory approvals to buy Arm from SoftBank -- a technology holding company with mixed success husbanding its acquisitions. Let's explore this acquisition, the most significant regulatory hurdles the effort needs to overcome, and what might result once the two firms are one. We'll close with the product of the week: Nvidia's GeForce Now.
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Will supply chain disruptions change when you do your holiday shopping this year?
Yes - I will plan ahead and shop earlier than usual so I have a better chance to find what I need.
Possibly - I like to wait for deals as the holidays approach, though I am concerned that special offers will be limited as a result of shortages.
No - I'll look for alternatives if items on my holiday shopping list arenít available.
I do not plan to do any holiday shopping this year.
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