“Collectivity” – I coined a new word today

One of the really cool things about language is you can create new words, that have meaning.  Today I was on a call about the Internet of Things, and we were discussing connectivity.  That layer of the stack that allows you to send data from a device to the cloud or a data store.  As businesses area always trying to “move up the stack” they talk about going from being a pipe to ultimately providing high value business analytics.  Well to me, the word “Collectivity” is the desire to go from connectivity to collecting the data required for the high value analytics.

What do you think?

WWDC 2017 Keynote – My Raw Notes

I had the idea to do my yearly write up of all the things I saw watching the WWDC keynote.. instead this year, I thought it would be cool to just post my raw notes.. see how I am thinking while watching the keynote.. Let me know what you think:
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WWDC 2017 – Keynote Notes
Cool shot of the mixer showing all the speakers to come
Why do all camera guys look the same, black pants, t-shirt, frumpy hair?
Silent mode announcement at 1:03pm
Crowds are all waving at what appears to be drone video flying around the inside of the auditorium.
Ok 1:05pm starting to play music with lyrics must be the key for everyone to sit down

Start time 1:08PM

Funny video on unplugging the App Store…

16M registered developers, 5300 in the room

Platforms tvOS, WatchOS, macOS, iOS

No updates – too much to talk about, other than apple is doing great
6 announcements –

    1. tvOS – 50 partners, Amazon is coming to Apple TV
    2. watchOS – Kevin Lynch –
      1. Watch faces –
        1. Siri powered watch face, what you need by dynamic time of day. (Including 3rd party apps)
        2. Kalido scope face
        3. Toy story faces
      2. Activities
        1. More personalized smarter coaching and monthly challenges
        2. Workout app – new UI, Pool swim will auto sense the sets that you are doing, and pace and stroke type. High intensity interval training too. Multiple workouts in a row to add multiple things, like swim, bike, etc. In door at the gym enabling two way data exchange with GYM equipment using NFC connection.
      3. Music
          Redesigning music app – auto sync to the watch – new music and mixes, so that you can listen.
      4. Demo
        1. Vertical scroll thru the dock
        2. New news app on Apple Watch.
        3. Play list auto starts with workout, swipe left to control music.
      5. Flashlight and safety light in control center
      6. Apps running the background increased… and native core bluetooth on the watch. (Dexcom sensor for real time glucose monitoring, swim monitors, etc.). Upgrade across ALL watches in the fall.
    3. macOS – the heart and sole of Apple. High Sierra
      1. 1. Safari update – faster
        1. 1. Autoplay blocking!!!! YEAH!!
        2. 2. Faster Java
        3. Privacy – Intelligent tracking prevention… identify trackers, segregate cross site scripting ads
      2. Mail –
        1. Search improvements using spotlight to do top hits
        2. Split view in full screen to do mail compose
        3. 35% less disk space usage
      3. Photos
        1. All imports in chronological order
        2. Face improvements and synced across your devices
        3. Editing enhancements: curves, selective color, punch out to other tool sync back to your photo library like Pixelmater or photoshop
        4. Printed books added to third parities are now opened up
      4. File system updates: (HFS is 30 years old)
        1. APFS is coming to macOS as new default.
      5. Video: h264 current standard
        1. 1. New standards h265 40% better compression
        2. Metal 2. Another 10x improvements
          1. Using metal 2 for machine learning
          2. Metal for external graphics – so you can add an external graphics card from your Mac
        3. Pro content creation
          1. Metal for VR to high-sierra
          2. Final cut will allow you to edit spherical video
          3. Multiple VR platforms to Mac
      6. all systems that are 2010 and newer
    4. Hardware MAC
      1. New iMacs
        1. Upto 64 GB storage
        2. Fusion on all 27inch
        3. 2TB SSD on 27 inch
        4. 2 USB-C adapter
        5. Graphics –
          1. Adding discrete graphics on all 4k graphics
          2. Using Raedon with 3X performance
          3. ILM demo of new iMac. Showed Unreal editor in VR, WOW…
          4. 90 frames per second rendering on an iMac
        6. Starting at $1799 for 5k 27inch
      2. New MacBook Pro updates
        1. Going to Kabyt Lake
        2. Faster SSDs to Mabbooks
        3. Better graphics to MacBook Pro base
        4. Lowered
      3. End of the year target at the new upgradable MacPro (built kinda like. iMac)
        1. Thicker… called the iMac Pro
        2. CPU – 8 Core – Xeon processor
        3. CPU – and a 10 core Xeon processor
        4. Up to 18 core Xeon Processor
        5. Radeon Vega Graphics architecture – up to 16 GB VRAM ( 11 Teraflops single precision)
        6. 128GB ECC Memory
        7. 4TB of 3GB/secon SSD
        8. 4 TB3, 10GB ethernet
        9. Drives up to 44 Million Pixels
        10. Starts at $4999 (kinda pricey) available in Dec.
    5. 5. iOS – 86% of devices are on iOS 10, vs. Android 7 – 7% adoption
      1. Messages –
        1. Redesigned app drawer
        2. Messages in iCloud – all conversations will be synchronized
      2. ApplePay
        1. Person to person payments – send and receive money
        2. Also available on Apple Watch
      3. Siri –
        1. 21 languages – available more than any assistant
        2. Improved the voice using deep learning
        3. Added translation (very cool)
        4. English, Chinese, French German and Italian
      4. Improvements to Siri Kit
        1. Task management
        2. Better predictive technologies
        3. Using on device learning, and some auto responses
        4. Learning gets synced across all your devices, readable only by you and your devices.
      5. Camera improvements using HVEC – less storage, better compression and replacing JPEG with HEIF (new compression)
        1. Low light photographs and stabilization, exposing depth api to developers.
      6. Photos Apps
        1. Better Machine learning to improve the process for Memories
      7. Demo
      8. Control center redesign
        1. Added 3D Touch for more features
        2. All fits on one screen now
        3. Unification of the notifications
        4. Long exposure option in photos… very cool
        5. Apple Pay accessible in messages
      9. Maps
        1. Detailed floor plans of Malls, place cards, directories, and by floor adding 100s each month
        2. Same for Airports
        3. Speed limit and lane guidance
        4. Bring Car Play capabilities too – called do not disturb while driving.
      10. Homekit
        1. Airplay 2 protocol.. multi-room audio in iOS
        2. Apple TV and third party api for audio
      11. Apple Music
        1. Added your friend’s music
        2. With profiles, etc.
        3. Developer API for music now
      12. App Store Updates
        1. 500 million weekly visitors to App Store. 180 Billion apps downloaded to date.
        2. Phased releases you can decided how to rollout over time
        3. Brand new design to App Store
        4. New Today view
        5. New Games View
        6. New in app purchases can be featured
        7. Live demo
      13. Metal 2 and HVEC coming to iOS
        1. Machine learning –
          1. New APIs –
            1. Vision API – face tracking / landmarks
            2. NLP – Tokenization and named entity recognition
        2. Augmented Reality –
          1. AR Kit — demo.. Very very cool
          2. Fast and stable motion tracking / plane identification / ambient light rendering and scale identification
          3. Wingnut AR – demo of new app. Using unreal engine 4.
        3. QR support from lock screen
    6. iPad – time to talk about iPad Pro
      1. Currently two models 12.9 and 9.7, New iPad Pro – 10.5 inch display
        1. Japanese JIS keyboard
        2. 120 hz refresh . Dynamically adjust reset rate based on content, allows improved battery life
        3. 20ms latency for Apple Pencil
        4. A10X – 6-core CPU and 12-Core GPU, 40% faster graphics performance
      2. Finally iOS for iPad updates!!
        1. More items in the dock
        2. Multitasking and drag an app from the doc
        3. App switcher with DRAG AND DROP!!
        4. Keyboard flicking to get to 2ndary things
        5. New App – FILES….
          1. Get access to the file system on iPad
          2. Including third party storage options

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And then life took over and I missed the rest of the keynote.

A week since MoogFest 2017

It’s been a week since MoogFest, and I’ve started to reflect on the experience. I’ve not seen any published numbers, but it certainly seemed much smaller than 2016’s MoogFest.  A report in the local paper said that 2016 was over 10,000 people with 65% or more being from out of town.  This year, in the sessions I was in, I would expect that the number coming in would be less than 7,000 (I guess we will hear some time closer to next year).

The number of technical sessions during the day seemed to be significantly smaller than 2016, but I was able to go to all the ones I wanted to, but one.  The one I couldn’t go to was completely full by the time I registered for sessions, it was a session on VR.  Well, I’ve played with Occulus in the past, so perhaps I didn’t miss anything.

There were three sessions that I really like a lot:

The first was from a professor at Ga. Tech, who teaches a class on musical instrument design. New Instruments, interfaces and Robotic Musicians – Was presented by Dr. Timothy Hsu and a PhD student – Mike Winters.  The talked about various instruments that people designed, and the contest that students compete in – http://guthman.gatech.edu/2017-winners .  The Guthman Musical Instrument Competition, has some really interesting designs by students and others.  I found the Rib-Cage instrument to be very cool.  Go check out the videos – Here.
The second session was from a Professor at Duke University – Brain-Machine Interfaces: From Basic Science to Neurological Rehabilitation – (Miguel A. L. Nicolelis, MD, PhD).  This session was inspirational and amazing!  During the 2014 World Cup, Dr. Nicolelis and a team of 100’s of scientists from around the globe worked together, in 18 months, to build an exoskelleton and train 9 quadriplegics to walk out on the field during the opening ceremonies and have one of them kick a soccer ball.  While this in itself was amazing, the part that was truly inspirational was the results of what happened after the World Cup.  Many people who are defined as permently quadriplegic due to a severed spinal cord, actually have 5-20% of the cord still in tact.  What Dr. Nicolelis and his team discovered was that after the training of the World Cup, many of the subjects actually started feeling below their defined injury.  Not only that, but some are even walking now!  Evidently the brain can be retrained to start controlling the limbs with the very limited spinal cord, after the injury (and without the exoskeleton).  While they are still doing research, this is very promising technology, and by training people with VR and other techniques that used during the World Cup work they can help people regain some control, and live a much more normal life.

The final session was really a set of sessions by a group of scientists who are all working with CERN and the LHC.  Dr. Steve Goldfarb, Dr. Kate Shaw, and Dr. Mark Kruse.  This group of experimental physicists talked about the Large Hadron Collider and physics across a multitude of sessions.  Sunday ended with a pub crawl at FullSteam brewery and an open Q&A session.  Had a great time talking physics with them.  Go follow their work on twitter at ICTP-News

Moving On – Staying the Same

Over the last few years I’ve had a really cool and challenging job – My job was in IBM research.  I worked to help our researchers get their innovations to market via customer engagements and trying to get product teams to take those assets and integrate them into products.  The basic idea was that we have tons of really valuable technology in research that is struggling to drive high revenue growth for the rest of the company, since it was not a fully supported product.  I was really lucky to focus in areas of technology that I love, Internet of Things and Cognitive Technologies. I also helped drive a new process that allowed research assets to be exposed publicaly on the cloud, so customers could experiment with these technologies.  The roll was really fun and exciting, but as with any really large corporation, sometimes it is hard to get things going as fast as I’d like.

Well now that I feel we have a good, and repeatable process, for getting these research capabilities into the hands of customers via the cloud, I am moving on to a new challenge.  The new challenge will be focusing on the Internet of Things and Cognitive technologies, but from a brand persepctive.  I will be working on “big plays” – meaning things that move the needle financially, in these two areas for the Watson IoT business.  And I know that I will be leveraging research… So now I will work to get research assets to market in order to drive financial growth and success.

I like to think of this transition in the following way… the last few years I was pushing research capabilities to the business to drive growth, and now I will pull research assets into the business unit to drive growth.  I love working for a company where I get these opportunities.  

Let’s do this!

Is an increase coming for Electric Bills

Over the last 18 years, we’ve investigated putting solar panels on our house many times. Unfortunately, there are many reasons we have not installed them:

  • The house is facing the wrong direction, we can get around this by putting the panels at an inclined angle, but living in the Hurricane state, this would be like putting a sail on the house. When high winds come in, it would rip off our roof (not an attractive option).
  • We have too many trees, and we don’t to lose them.  We could cut them down, but see the first bullet.
  • We have been talked out of it by our general contractor. He claimed to have been a big supporter, but lost so much money in the 90’s that he could not support installing them anymore.

Well, North Carolina is one of the top states in the country using solar.  I believe one reason is Apple built a new data center in the state, that uses solar.

One of the things we see around the globe is that the costs for the electric grid are spread out over years and consumers.  As Germany has installed tons of solar, the existing grid is being impacted by lost revenue.  When I saw the report today that Amazon is starting to put solar panels on all their warehouses, I had a crazy thought.  As more and more businesses install solar panels, their use of the Grid will drop.  As their use drops, the consumers will be burdened with more and more of the fixed costs of running the grid.  Raising our basic rates.

Somehow we need to accelerate the adoption of solar by home users.

Freedom of the Press

This will be a biased blog post.  The bias will be mine.  The bias is formed by my life, my education, and my beliefs.

When the United States was young, very young, we wrote a document called “The Constitution“. The purpose of this document was to correct the many problems that were identified by our first attempt at starting a government with “The Articles of Confederation“. (For those who don’t remember these, they were an attempt to make the states the center of the country and to grossly limit the powers of the federal government).  Part of getting “The Constitution” accepted, was the creation of a the first 10 amendments.  These amendments are know as “The Bill of Rights“.  

The “First Amendment” was created, in my mind, as the MOST important amendment.  While the NRA and other gun rights supporters may feel that the “Second Amendment” is the most important, I tend to disagree.  

The first address a few issues that were critical for a representative democracy. Let’s look at the words:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

First, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”.  With much of the country being settled by families that had lived under monarchies (who were “legitimized” by god, i.e. by a religious fiat), removing this aspect and allowing people to worship in the matter which is aligned with their own beliefs and conscious, was critical to allowing ideas and thoughts to grow.  With no establishment of religion, people can also choose NOT to believe in a good or religion.  That is there right.

Second, “or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press;”.  Again, when your prior government was announced to be anointed by god, and therefore unassailable, the freedom of speech and the press phrase shows that the people are allowed and encoured to speak up, and have an advocate in the press.  We see this point challenged quickly with the “Alien and Sedition Acts.”  The idea of voter suppression was a key part of these acts, the Federalists were worried that too many people were becoming citizens and would change the direction of the company.  Three of the four acts will quickly repealed after Thomas Jefferson became president. 

And third, “or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Governament of a redress of grievances.” And finally with a thoughtful and vocal populous, the writers of this amendment encourage us to question the government and petition for change.  

I am a supporter of the first amendment. I got my undergraduate degree in Journalism.  I podcast. I blog. 

When I see the behavior of government officials attacking the press, because they don’t agree with questions or stories, I look back at the first amendment and like to call BS. We have these right, and even when we don’t agree with people, they have the right to speak their minds.  Free speech, can be done thru words and actions.