Category Archives: News

That VR is so hot right now.

VR3


VR is HOT right now. Do you know why? You probably see those goofy goggles and imagine some gamer shooting aliens. That is WAY off. The whole VR world has changed. TechWite helps you understand how.


  • “Old VR” – Think of Google Maps “Street View”—flat, boring…
    • 2D – although you can “move”, the images have no depth.
    • Viewed through a porthole – big screen, little screen, it’s still like a submarine.
    • Controlled manually – by a keyboard, joystick, or game controller. It kind of works, but it’s not like being there.
    • Still images create the 360 degree “dead” world
    • No interaction with anything “in” the images
  • “New VR” – Think of Star Trek TNG’s “Holodeck”—mind blowing, you are there!
    • 3D – What you see has depth, you can see “around” objects
    • It Devours your vision – that’s what those goofy headsets are for- everything you see is part of the VR world. Add stereo sound, and that’s why it’s called “immersive”. You are in it!
    • Controlled by your movement – Turn your head to the right, you see what is on your right in the VR world. Look up, look down, ditto. This alone is a bit of a shock the first time you experience it!
    • Content can be 3D 360 degree video – Want to go for a helicopter ride over Manhattan? Be sure to hold on to something before you look down!

That’s just the beginning. Size, gravity, time – they can’t stop you. Examples:

  • RTVR – Like drones? Be one. Experience flying, in Real Time Virtual Reality
  • Remember Fantastic Voyage? You are now a tiny submarine inside a living human body. Explore the arteries and veins and organs. You see this, and experience it.

There’s so much to learn about this, to think about. Fortunately, the Tech media is all over it. (Links for you, below.) Start reading about it. But no words can do this justice, you must experience it. Get some Google Goggles, get the New York Times app for your iPhone or Android, and download one of the demos. Then take some time to imagine the possibility of experiencing the impossible.

—TW

via TidBits On the iPhone, Virtual Reality Is Unofficially Real

via AirWatch Blog  5 Epic Examples of Business Using Virtual Reality

via Google Filed Patent For Injecting A Device Directly Into Your Eyeball To Improve Vision – Forbes —Yes, another suggestion that we are not that far from “The Matrix”.

via Augmented and Virtual Reality: A New Vision – Deloitte CIO – WSJ

via Virtual Reality Therapy: Treating The Global Mental Health Crisis | TechCrunch.

via Samsung Announces Gear 360, a New Virtual Reality Camera – The New York Times.

 

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Forecast CLOUDY For IT Jobs and Vendors

AWS_sysadminWake up and smell the drought. IT infrastructure jobs fast evaporating…

via The Morning Download: Cloud’s Impact on Traditional IT Vendors Looks Increasingly Serious, JPMorgan Chase Says – The CIO Report – WSJ

“41.6% of corporate workloads at big companies are expected to be running in the public cloud within the next five years, up from 16.2% today.”

Hey, this is no happy blog post. Techwite wants to help, Techwite wants to be positive. And Techwite also wants to speak the truth. Sometimes that means taking a look at what is happening and discussing it. If that’s not for you, skip this. I’ll have a Tip soon about iCloud Calendars. Otherwise, if you have more information or comments about this post, join in.—TW 

Make no mistake, moving to “the cloud” is part of a trend to shift as much of corporate IT as possible into a commodity subscription service, like electricity.  Billed monthly by volume used, managed offsite, no local server upgrades or software updates, maintained by somebody else. The WSJ article referenced here concerns itself chiefly with the effect on the investment world of mega-cloud vendors Microsoft and Amazon on their smaller rivals Oracle and IBM. But from a human standpoint, your local IT, your local data center, your local administrator, your local Help Desk, THEY (and if you are one of these people, I am talking about you)—ARE ALL GOING AWAY.

“Hybrid Cloud” and “Middleman” Hosting is a stepping stone. You’re company isn’t putting everything in the Cloud? Not yet? Accenture, IBM, Dell—somebody like that—can take care of your local IT administration requirements! They’ll manage your relationship with Microsoft, and for now you can tell everyone you are “going to Office 365” although technically, you’re not. (That would be using Microsoft totally as your host for Office…)

Your IT Infrastructure Director may optimistically tell you, “Don’t worry, we’ll need someone to engage in ‘vendor management‘, someone who understands Infrastructure…, and heck, if you get on well with them, maybe you can work for the hosting vendor!”

If you know your stuff, you can probably point out that your “hosting vendor” is missing the boat with Microsoft Exchange backups, mobile security, a proprietary and non-standard archive solution that “locks you in”, and inefficient mail routing. But how long will that save your job if you are seen as a bump in the road to “the full Cloud”? And will that endear you to your potential new employer? Remember, the CIO wants his IT Infrastructure to be as easy to manage and replace as an iPad.

Meanwhile, the data center/hosting company is getting squeezed on both ends and trying to survive a similar change. How long can they compete with their big brother—and former mentor? Does anyone need a middle man?? Your Account Manager’s boss is telling him, “Don’t worry, we’ll probably get absorbed by Microsoft. And either way, you can probably work for them!”

We are seeing a massive consolidation and centralization of data and processing, and elimination of jobs. In addition to the stripping of jobs as the infrastructure ascends to the cloud, much of the work that was outsourced to cheaper labor sources will soon be automated—think robots and “chatbots“. There are going to be fewer and fewer jobs in IT Infrastructure. (Coincidentally,  last week the Verizon strike provided an example of this shift:  The Verizon Strike Signals a Larger Economic Battle.)

What about the people? The overall trend is clear for companies, especially large companies, and service organizations. But what about at the individual level? The level of the gal or guy in IT today? IT is the “service economy” equivalent of the Detroit factory job in the manufacturing economy of 20 years ago. This is just the beginning. Clearly there will be some jobs in hands-on management of Cloud services, such as AWS, and there is still time and opportunity for corporations and small businesses to hang onto that shred of control. As for other opportunities in IT? Infrastructure is going to shrink drastically or disappear altogether. That leaves software development. Web development, mobile apps, databases. The skills will be needed and they are constantly churning, so those who can stay on top of the latest development trends will likely stay employed.

Many of these trends are going to affect the rest of the economy as well. The Uberization of driving jobs will soon shift to autonomous cars and robot assisted shipping. Even the old saw about finding a job “flipping burgers” will not hold true for much longer. Where will people find work? That I would like to know.

“…we have to make sure that we have the kinds of policies here at home where we provide people with the skills they need to get the jobs that are available in the economy…”
US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, interview with Kai Ryssdal, Marketplace

Yes, Jack, we need to be sure that people are trained up for those jobs. But what are those jobs? And where are they? Where are they?

— Techwite

Apple, Hogwarts of Tech, w/o Headmaster Jobs, no longer a “growth” stock??

via Looking for Signs That Apple’s Runaway Growth Is Waning – The New York Times.

Sure, Steve Jobs called the iPad a “magical device”, and if you listen to the press, Apple is the Hogwarts of Technology. Here’s the old and new evidence compiled by the Ministry of Magic:

  • “Reality Distortion Field” – The perception-bending mind trick of the late Headmaster, Steve Jobs, notorious for making Apple employees, industry pundits, the press, and anyone else who was close enough to listen, believe that something, some new product, some new idea, that wasn’t that hot, was really going to be the next big thing. 
  • “Halo Effect” – Attributed to the iPod, said to lift the sales of Apple’s other products, as if riding a broom, making even the Ron Weasley of the corporate desktop—the humble Macintosh—look good!
  • “The Apple Effect” – Now, after decades of attributing rises and falls in the whole stock market to Apple’s price, and the company’s “inability to maintain the pace of innovation“, the analysts have coined this magical influence over the stock market, the “Apple Effect”.

Do not doubt that Apple is responsible for the rise and fall of the stock market. The New York Times has a cool graphic to prove it! (See Big Data Analysis, below.) I guess if you’re Tim Cook, it’s better than being “beleaguered”.

theAppleEffectNYT

This is bad news though, because Apple stock has traded down this past week, causing the pundits and analysts to waste lots of ink (or these days, electrons) pontificating on the unlikely future of the most successful business in history. Oh, gosh, is it no longer a “growth stock”? Is it now become one of those boring old “value stocks”? This is a strategic question that must be answered! (At least for someone at Goldman Sachs.)

But does it matter to most of us? When Apple stock is selling at $100+ a share? Can Amir Average afford a few hundred shares when he is still not in the “one per cent?” Is it Growth? Or is it Value? And does it really matter?

You won’t hear this often from TechWite, but, I DON’T KNOW.

-Techwite

Apple Flashback 2006: Weird News

Looking back at 2015 – News about labor practices in China, wearables, and Big Tech in politics. But wait! This is from 2006. Tempora mutantur?

Apple’s Bad News? – The business news is alive with stories that Apple’s iPods are built by virtual slave labor in China. [Isn’t that true of all manufactured goods from China?] Does make you wonder how prices are going to stay low when the rest of the world asks for a decent wage. Apple has stated it will ‘investigate’ since this clearly runs against their corporate philosophy.

Nike Deal Borgs Nano Runners – In one more of an endless onslaught of new products and technical innovations from Apple, Nike and Apple are co-advertising the “Nike Runner’s Kit” for iPod Nanos. The kit consists of a wireless sensor that goes in your shoe, a receiver that attaches to your iPod Nano, and software. Once configured, the runner can receive real-time audio feedback in his headphones, as the ‘kit’ tracks speed, distance, and calories burned. Does it also monitor pulse and heartrate? After exercise, the runner can sych the data with software on his Mac or PC, and even upload it to a web site where he can compete with other runners.

Grand Old Party Usurps Flag, is iPod Next? – Do not misunderestimate the significance of President Bush’s fondness for his iPod. For providing an opportunity for local Republicans to discuss how to further control the media, monitor all forms of communication for un-patriotic behaviour, enhance corporate profits, and further modify the tax code to their advantage, the RNC rewards ‘coffee’ hosts with a customized iPod, wrapped in a red, white, and blue flag decal!

Hillary’s Hits Hit the News – But wait! Just when this party starts to fade, we’ve got news of Hillary’s iPod, and my gosh, what’s on it?? It was Bill’s gift to her, and it’s full of Eagles, Beatles, pretty much what you would expect. Jeez. Everybody wants to be a cat. 🙂

Can the Democrats top the GOP marketing coup with their own promotional video iPod to big donors? Rumors assert it will contain denial sound bytes and contradictory truths from the current administration, including:

  • “There absolutely are WMD”
  • “Mission accomplished”
  • “Anyone that leaks will be fired”
  • “This is not a fishing expedition. These are targeted wiretaps of international callers”

…And more. Get yours today!!

– From Unpredictable Issue #81

Apple and Ive Flat Design Assault

via Former Apple Design Gurus Criticize Apple’s Current Designs.

via “Flat Design”? Destroying Apple’s Legacy… or Saving It.

Apple-hockey-puck-mouse

Wake up, Tim! Many years ago, Apple used a great deal of research and creative thought to revolutionize, popularize, and consumerize “Personal Computing” by creating interface rules and guidelines that made most Macintosh applications work consistently, regardless if the application was written by Apple, Microsoft, or one of the hundreds of other software companies that have passed into obscurity at the hands of change and monopoly. (Remember WordPerfect? pfs:Write? ThinkTank? Aldus Pagemaker?) It wasn’t always that way.

The power of this innovation is lost today because—like so much of technology—it is taken for granted. Apple designers, most notably Jonathan Ive, have placed form far above function. The result is inconsistency in the interface, hidden interface elements, huge assumptions about users knowledge, or perseverance, or desire to explore, and the capacity of users to remember invisible elements and features.

If you struggle figuring out how to do something on your iPhone or iPad or Mac, especially something that ought to be simple and obvious, then you’ve encountered the new design philosophy. Learn more about how it ought to be – read the articles linked at the top of this article. And, heck, you could tell Apple what you think! (Maybe they’ll hear you.)

http://www.apple.com/feedback/

Apple TV: Stole the Show?

Compare Apple TV Models

The Difference?

Tim Cook unveils the set-top box, a souped-up iPhone 6 and the next-gen iPad.

Source: Apple TV: What’s on the app tonight? | Marketplace.org

Marketplace Tech Columnist Molly Wood says Apple TV “stole the show” at yesterday’s Apple Product Release event. Then she explains what’s missing, making it sound as if in fact New Apple TV were a disappointment.

Here’s what TechWite thinks:

  • The Current Apple TV is a stealth product flying “under the radar”. If you think you’re the only one with an Apple TV, ask around.
  • The “Remote” app, running on an iPad or iPhone already provides much of the functionality “added” to the New TV using the NEW remote.
  • iPhone Games on the Apple TV? Using AirPlay you can already stream your games output to your television while using the iOS device as a game controller.
  • Apps and Games might be the future of television Tim, but “Crossy Road” is “Frogger”. Right? How can they do that?? Am I taking crazy pills or something?

Molly, I agree the New Apple TV is not a big deal. It’s a collection of incremental improvements. And no, it didn’t steal the show. That would be the iPad Pro.

And that’s the difference.

 

Taylor Tweets, Apple Beats Swift Retreat

After Taylor Swift’s Criticism, Apple Will Pay Royalties in Trial Period – The New York Times.

Who would have thought a few years ago that Country-turned-pop star and super successful Manhattan penthouse owner Taylor Swift would stand up for not only her own financial rights, but those of Indie bands and music companies? Reminiscent of Tom Petty. She did. With the power of Twitter she forced Apple’s Eddy Cue to cue up a new arrangement over the weekend that pays artists during the 3 month “trial period” of Apple’s new streaming music service. Go Taylor.