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Android Nexus 5X smartphone – thumbs up!
June 9, 2020 Technology chris

See the source image

I recently purchased a new, Nexus 5X 16GB unlocked smartphone on eBay for $229 (deal of the day). The phone itself is made by LG and uses Google’s Android reference architecture including a native Android 6 Marshmallow experience. After using the Nexus 5X for over a month, I’m a fan.

The new Imprint fingerprint reader is easier to setup and quicker to use than Apple TouchID. Initially, I didn’t like the placement of the fingerprint reader but I quickly got used to it. Using Imprint to unlock the Nexus 5X is much easier than entering a passcode. However, there are relatively few apps that support Imprint for app authentication at this time.

Pros:

Low cost
Just the right size – not too big and not to small; can be used with one hand
Very nice LCD screen and build quality
Nice camera
Native Android 6.0 Marshmallow experience
Android Imprint fingerprint reader
Native Android experience
Lots of security updates from Google that are installed automatically
USB C connector

Cons:

Buttons for power and volume are awful – way too small
Dual speakers look great but sound awful
Security updates take a long time (20 minutes+) and have to process each app installed on the phone – the more apps the longer the updates take
No integrated visual voicemail

Specs:

5.2 inches
1920×1080 LCD at 423 ppi
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Fingerprint- and smudge-resistant oleophobic coating
Rear Camera 12.3MP, 4K (30fps) video capture
Front Camera 5MP
Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 Processor, 1.8GHz hexa-core 64-bit
Memory & Storage RAM: 2GB LPDDR3
Internal storage: 16GB or 32GB. No external storage options…

IBM Impact Conference Kickoff
May 5, 2020 Technology chris

IBM’s Impact conference, focused on Websphere software, kicked off on Monday in Las Vegas. Highlights:

 

Opening general session kicked off with a great talk by Walter Isaacson who shared some great stories of Steve Jobs from his book
Twitter hashtag is #ibmimpact

See the source image
Press release: IBM releases New Foundation for Mobile Computing. A big focus of the conference is mobility and the new IBM Worklight product. IBM VP Bob Sutor has a great overview of the product on his blog
Official website
Official blog
8,500 attendees

My role at the conference:

Participating in analyst briefings
Working on the showcase floor at the IBM booth
Delivering a presentation on the showcase floor and assisting with two breakout presentations on mobile

I’ll share a recap of the conference when it wraps up later this week.…

Efficient Technological Advancement To Look For While Buying Home Appliances
Image April 9, 2020 Technology chris

When we talk about comfortability and getting maximum of it, then the home appliances come into the picture. Just imagine if you are totally exhausted by the day’s work and headed home, you just want to take a warm bath and when you get into your bathroom the geyser doesn’t work or the screen doesn’t show the right temperature. It will cause a sense of dissatisfaction and you will feel so restrained. This can be kept at bay if you are using some of the advanced tech home appliances. 

Often people just consider durability and the usage of home appliances while buying one, but with technological advancement, one should opt for an updated one. It also depends upon the usage and the needs. 

In this excerpt, we will provide you some of the effective attributes one should look for while buying advanced home appliances. 

Attributes to look for while buying home appliances

 Automation

When it comes to home appliances, automation is the key to ultimate comfort. There are lots of automated appliances such as self-cleaning robots that provides alternative to all of the home chores. Different kinds of humanoid robots are equipped with top-class AI. When you are buying one of the home appliances automation is the key to be productive and efficient. One of the main concerns while keeping this in mind is the cost associated with it. Highly advanced home appliances can cause a hefty amount.

 

Smart appliances 

One of the technological advancement is the smart appliances. Everybody needs a smart home appliance that has an advanced user interface that can be operated remotely. There are loads of appliances that can denote the parameters such as high-end refrigerators or air conditioners that readily provides the temperature and storage capacity. Apart from these, they are also able to provide different prompts when they need preventive maintenance.

Energy-efficient technologies

As we know some of the home appliances use a bulk of energy and it can cost you massively. There is numerous advancement in the home appliances that rates them based on efficiency to use energy. There are different levels of energy efficiency in home appliances. If you are going to buy one of the advanced tech appliances then this attribute should be at foremost as they provide you stress-free usage.

Closed and private aspects

When it comes to security various home appliances provide ultimate security to the home. The remote operation is the next big thing where people can access their home appliances from a distance. It works on the principle of geolocations that enables you to access efficiently.

These are some of the attributes that help to narrow down your search for an effective and productive appliance. Home appliances can be a big sense of relief for those who work long hours. Advanced tech inclusion in those appliances can be an icing on the cake that appeals to masses. Best of luck for your purchase of a technologically advanced home appliance.…

Technology … Where We Are!
Image March 26, 2020 Technology chris

An Honest Opinion


From the renaissance to the present age the most significant and fundamental change in the world has been technology. As human beings grew and bonded intellectually, the planet saw the creation and implementation of science and technology. Nothing in the universe has so affected mankind; nothing has fascinated us to this extent as technology.

The changes have been so rapid that it suddenly consumed the interest of a vast majority of humans and has now left us feeling empty, in a void, like vacuum.

What I mean is if we look subjectively into the way technology has emerged into the times there are two distinct phases:

One was the beginning of the golden era during the times of Da Vinci and later Newton and finally Einstein until 1900 where discovery as such was neonatal. Every single discovery and invention merited the maximum cognitive brilliance of the human mind. The technologies developed and the sciences studied were a challenge to the human mind itself. Even today, many people fail to understand the meaning behind Einstein’s theories or Da Vinci’s brilliance. The world that day was an exciting one for intellectuals. Discoveries made, hit the headlines almost everyday in the newspapers.

But if we see the second phase, the second half of 1900’s to today, there has been a total paradigm shift in the way research takes place. Technology advances today in a rather sporadic manner. Science has diversified into an application oriented business rather than the pure magic of discovery and invention. Learning for learning sake has become passé.

The entire gamut of technology has become a commercial enterprise with almost every aspect of learning requiring external coaching. Individuality and originality is lost in a sea of madness, a rat race where the winner is the richest.

Nothing creates headlines in technology today except the booming of markets, the building of new industries and foreign trade.

The raw design of research which was once the fundamental aspiration of every human being is gone. With future advancements we might lose that feeling, the pristine feeling of pure joy that discovery brings, the madness that is the insignia of life on earth.…

Technology Can Change a Lot in Ten Years
Image March 15, 2020 Technology chris

Technology has changed a lot since I was a kid. Being in my mid-forties, I’ve seen great technological changes over my life. When I was a kid, for example, we knew that computers would be important in the future. But, we didn’t know that they would be in people’s homes and can fit in the palms of our hands. In the last ten years, there seems to be an acceleration of mobile and development towards nanotechnology.

Technology is more mobile, nowadays, because it is smaller and it is smaller so it can be more mobile. Everyone seems to be carrying around a small computer nowadays that are more powerful than the business computers in the early 80s. Fifteen years ago, you wouldn’t see someone walking along the street with a smartphone in their hands like you do now. People can connect to the internet, read email and play games on phones that are fairly high in resolution. For me, mobile technology has meant that I can maintain important communication when I am not at home for long periods.

Another thing that has increased a great deal in the last ten years is the number of cameras that are being used and carried around. Everyone seems to be taking pictures now. The cameras in phones have improved a great deal and easy editing software makes it easier to take good pictures. Cameras have also gotten smaller and easy to keep hidden, which isn’t a good thing, sometimes. But, they can help solve crimes and provide helpful information in other situations. Some people even use them to take pictures of documents or even checks for deposits. That’s something I wouldn’t have seen anyone do ten years ago.

American society seems to be more saturated with computers, in one way or another, than ever. In 2003, it is estimated that only 62% of the households in the United States had their own personal computer. Now, it’s at least 77% with most of those having broadband. This not only means that most people in the country have computers at home, but that they’re probably faster than they were ten years ago. This may mean that more people are using the internet to do things like pay bills, watch TV, chat by video, or shop online. I’ve been using broadband for more than ten years, but it is a lot faster than it was when I first started using it.…

Old World Notes Meets Modern Technology
Image February 4, 2020 Technology chris

Old Meets New and How to Cope

I struggle daily with reconciling old world things with the new world technology. I blog and I also write in a journal, I also tend to take a lot of notes at work. Blogs are digital, no options there. But for my work notes and for my personal journal should these be digital or on old fashion paper? I have done numerous web searches for this exact topic, but I have found little in the way of answers. Which is one of the reasons I am writing this. I may never find the answer I am needing, nor the answer that I am happy with. I more so want to find the best practice for me.

At work the ability to pull up a notebook and sketch, take notes, rip out pages to give instructions, and be more immediate in responses on a factory or lab floor are invaluable. For these uses I use my Moleskine notebook, whether it is a knock off version or an actual Moleskine. Granted at work it would be easy to make the switch to a digital note system, since work provides everyone with a computer, not to mention my iPad. I simply just don’t like the digital clutter that follows at work and with so much stuff happening at work. Going back to sling a thought into a note is that much harder to do on the spot with digital files spread around various programs and apps.

Personal notes and journals on the other hand are simpler to manage as digital or physical paper. If I stay with physical journals and notes I will continue to use Moleskines and keep the little black books around for years. The harder question will be if I choose to go to a digital system, which one do I use? There are many options for note programs and journaling software for both the Apple laptops and for the Apple iPad. File format being the most important, since I log all my backups and keep them around having them all accessible later is very useful. Future proofing in a sense is a great thing even if the retrieval and rebuilding of the data can be notoriously painful, yet not as painful as a total loss of data.

There are also, as you could guess, pros and cons to both styles of notes and journaling. Mainly the issue of electricity. I simply cannot go on a camping trip and easily drag my iPad along let alone a laptop. The quiet of nature surrounding me is a great catalyst for writing, I simply cannot tune in as easily during camping trips with a piece of technology as I can with paper and pen. I also have an issue with durability, since paper is proven and safe from electrical failure. Digital data is easily destroyed with power surges, accidental erasure or even a spilled beer in the wrong place can render anything digital into scrap. …

How GPS Technology Has Changed My Life
Image January 15, 2020 Technology chris

Being from the generation that remembers when there was no internet, technology has changed my life immensely from back then. However, even in the past 10 years, dramatic changes have occurred. My first thought goes to my GPS installed on a smart phone. I remember even as late as 2004 still needing printed maps because the earliest navigation systems were quite expensive. Now having a GPS is probably more common than having a TV. The device, either installed in your car or hand-held is ubiquitous in our current American society. Businesses have been built upon this new technology which has increased my productivity immensely. These businesses have provided jobs for people that can use this type of technology effectively, which as also increased my livelihood.

Getting from point A to point B has never been easier. As a driver, it is important for me to provide outstanding customer service to those who are in need of transportation. Part of providing that experience depends upon my knowledge of the city but the other part is dependent upon my skill in using a GPS device. Customers sometimes insist on routes based on time instead of miles or vice versa. Without this technology I obviously would not be able to provide that type of service. Also it makes me safer, knowing where I am going at all times and being confident in my route makes me a more confident and safer driver providing a better experience for my clients.

I also need to use transportation services, and as a consumer I find that GPS technology has lowered my cost of this service and made it better ten fold. I can budget my costs of transportation more accurately and be more efficient from a timing stand point. Taxi services are no longer outlandishly expensive thanks to new competition in the industry. Some of this competition has based its business model upon GPS technology. The service that I get today is dramatically better compared to the service that was available ten years ago and I am paying much less as well.

I think it is safe to say that a technology has permeated a society completely when it’s difficult for people of all generations to think how we ever survived without that technology. Real change has happened for me and millions of others. GPS technology has improved the way all individuals travel and has made society more efficient.…

Business Technology Classes in San Diego: Microsoft Office Essentials and Advanced Microsoft Office
Image December 17, 2019 Technology chris

Business Technology Classes in San Diego provide the opportunity to grow in computer skills making one’s overall skill set much more marketable. If you have a computer but aren’t quite sure how to use all of the program applications, there are Business Technology Classes in San Diego that will help the novice computer user upgrade his or her skills in either the Microsoft Office Essentials Class or the Advanced Microsoft Office Class.

One of the most versatile of the Business Technology Classes offered in San Diego is the Microsoft Office Essentials, which provides a basic background of all of the Microsoft Office programs.

In the Microsoft Office Essentials Class participants gain essential skills necessary for success in most office positions. Participants learn the essentials such as file management, PowerPoint, Excel, and Microsoft Office Word. At the completion of the class students should have a good understanding of program usage as well as computer terminology.

Classes for Microsoft Office Essentials, one of the Business Technology Classes are held mornings, afternoons, and evening. The schedule provides classes on a Monday and Wednesday format, or Tuesday and Thursday format for 3 hours per class twice weekly for 13 weeks. All classes are held at the Adult Vista School and are free of charge to the public.

The next of the Business Technology Classes available free of charge to the public is the Advanced Microsoft Office Class. This class takes participants who began with the Microsoft Office Essentials to a higher level as a user as well as adding to the individual’s business technology skill set. Students learn advanced levels of each program application as well as incorporating graphics usage, designing personal business plans and reports, and building financial spreadsheets.

One of the great assets of this particular Business Technology Class is that it goes in depth into teaching students the basics and importance of business communication including team building techniques and telephone skills.

The Advanced Microsoft Office Class meets between the hours of 9:00AM to 12:00AM twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday for a period of 13 weeks at the Vista Adult School.

The Vista Adult School whose classes operate on a Trimester schedule is located at 305 East Bobler Drive in Vista, California located in the North County Coastal area of San Diego. For more information on Business Technology Classes in San Diego visit the Web site for the Vista Adult School. Inquiries may also be made at 760-758-7122.…

Technology in Medicine Today Merely Hints at the Future Importance of Sound Waves in Your Future
Image December 14, 2019 Technology chris

Whenever I happen into a conversation about long term investing or what the distant future is going to look like my contribution is always the same: sound. Your future and your means of making money tomorrow by taking what may appear to be a risk on what seems like science fiction today rests upon the fact that immense power of sound has not even begun to be harnessed. Mark my words. In the future you will clean your body with sound and soldiers will kill enemies with sound and, more likely than not, your means of transport will be fueled in some ways by sound. Crazy? Ask your grandparents or even some parents if they ever imagined the following common medical practices when they were young.

Ultrasound

The ritual of expectant parents heading to the doctor to get an ultrasound image of the baby forming in the womb of the mother has already become mundane. That use of high frequency sound waves to peer right through a pregnant woman’s belly would get that same doctor hauled up before the Catholic Church’s Inquisition if transported back in time a few centuries. You might not even be able to convince a time travel show audience of the Great Depression that it wasn’t just some kind of slick magic trick. The very idea that sound could be used to give you a picture of a growing fetus and actually let you know whether a woman was going to give birth to a boy or girl would most certainly have been considered something more suitable to a pulp science fiction story in a world where Joe McCarthy was able to convince millions that commies were lurking behind every street corner mailbox.

Acoustic Treatment of Kidney Stones

This treatment using technology that harnesses the genuinely awesome power of sound waves to non-invasively rid the body of painful kidney stones is still relatively new enough to raise eyebrows even among young people. How does it work? Remember the commercial where the opera singer hits just the right note to cause a glass to shatter? The higher the intensity of the acoustic waves that create that effect, the greater their power. Make the waves of sound powerful enough and they have the strength to literally break into pieces the acidic deposits that join together to form what are known as kidney stones. It probably won’t be too much longer before acoustic waves are used to shatter brain tumors in the brain. And we’re still in the Stone Age when it comes to harnessing sound to attack health problems located within the body.

Sound Therapy

We don’t need a time machine to convince millions that using sound in its simple form of a musical composition may be more effective at treating depression and anxiety than those fancy, newfangled pills that are all the rage. Sound therapy to treat mental health disorders still lurks out there on murky edges of questionable alternative treatments acupuncture, art therapy and crystals. What …

Why Voice Technology Might Not Be the Way Forward for Russian ATMs
Image November 25, 2019 Technology chris

Liar, Liar, Your Russian Credit Application’s on Fire


COMMENTARY Coming soon to ATMs in Russia: ATMs equipped with voice-analysis equipment that can tell if you’re a filthy liar.

Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, is testing ATMs that use voice-analysis software to detect whether a credit card applicant applying via their automated machines is telling the truth. The New York Times reports that the ATM would ask questions regarding employment and other necessary details involved in a credit application. The software, created by the Speech Technology Center, would be able to assess the anxiety and nervousness involuntarily hidden in vocal responses when lying.

This is groundbreaking, and the technology sounds amazing. But will it work?

I’m reminded of the phone call I made this morning to have a pick-up scheduled through a shipping company. My call was routed straight to a voice recognition menu, where I cheerfully replied that the purpose of my call was to “schedule an express pick-up.” After a pause, the automated female voice replied, “I’m sorry, I didn’t understand. Please repeat your option.” I replied, enunciating clearly, “Schedule. Express. Pick-up.” The female voice replied, “I think you want to schedule an express pick-up. Is that correct?”

“Yes.”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t understand. Please repeat.”

“YES.”

At this point, my voice was no longer cheerful. It was sharp and edged with the irritation of having had this same repetitious, clipped exchange on an almost daily basis when attempting to send out my packages. The computer picked up on what I was trying to do, though, and the female voice assured me that my pick-up was scheduled. At least, for today, my business was taken care of.

But will there be similar, stressful moments with the Russian ATMs? I foresee a well-meaning client applying for credit and having to repeat several times that he is employed with Moscow Shoe Company. The ATM will respond sharply, “I’m sorry, I don’t understand. Please repeat.” The client will become flustered and again say the name of his company. Becoming agitated, his voice will change, at which point the ATM may reply:

“You’re a liar. Please step away from the machine and don’t come back until you can tell the truth.”

Maybe my confidence in voice recognition and analysis software isn’t as high as it should be. Hopefully the technology developed by the Speech Technology Center and employed by Russia’s largest bank will be more dynamic than the program used by my preferred shipping company. That said, I eagerly await humorous tales from the front-lines of Russia’s most (and least) credit-worthy citizens.

Source: Andrew E. Kramer, An A.T.M. With An Ear For The Truth, The New York Times…