Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Real Reason Why Your Galaxy 7 is Exploding

So, we all know that the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones are catching fire at an alarming rate.  These phone are hot!  Not hot as in good, but hot as in "burning down your house".  

Samsung issued a recall on these phones and the replacement phones proved to be no better than the original "pocket fire crackers".

So, one might ask, why are these replacement phone causing fires at the same rate as the original "fire starters".  Surely, a company like Samsung with billions at stake could find the cause and fix it.  Right?  

We all were informed that the cause of these mini meltdowns was flawed lithium ion batteries.  Lithium ion batteries are not new.  It was thought that replacing these batteries would resolve the issue, but it has not.  That's because the issue is not solely a hardware battery issue.  The cause of these fires is most likely a flawed charging algorithm embedded in the firmware of the phone.  

So, some of you may ask: "What is firmware".  According to About.com, "Firmware is software that is embedded in a piece of hardware. You can think of firmware simply as 'software for hardware.'"

The flaw could be a simple coding bug or even a firmware virus. I knew of a really smart guy who theorized about a virus that could live in the firmware of a network printer.  The virus would spread through the network and infect computers as most computer viruses do.  Different from most viruses, this virus would retreat to the firmware and lie dormant until after the network was cleaned and re-infect the network later.  The same could be in effect some these Samsung blow torch phones.

The conventional wisdom of replacing parts and issuing re-calls says that if the problem is isolated to a specific item/part then replace that item/part.  Unfortunately, if the replacements are showing the same level of failure, then you have to look at the system in which the replace item/part resides and the surrounding environment which makes that item/part work.

So, you heard it hear first.  Samsung's exploding phone problem is directly related to the firmware.  All of the evidence points to it.

What do you think?


Don't Be No Punk About Artificial Intelligence

I recently attended a few workshops on the future on AI (Artificial Intelligence).  There is a growing concern that the proliferation of AI could spell financial doom for those hard working Americans whose jobs are replaced by AI.

Cnet.com quoted President Obama in an article titled “Obama: Don't let AI Impoverish American Citizens”

“ ‘High-skill folks do very well in these systems. They can leverage their talents, they can interface with machines to extend their reach, their sales, their products and services,’ Obama said. ‘Low-wage, low-skill individuals become more and more redundant, and their jobs may not be replaced, but wages are suppressed.’
One possible fix he mentioned is a ‘universal income’ to redistribute money and ensure ‘folks have a living income,’ though he also said that would be politically difficult for a lot of people to accept. “

Let’s address this statement on “Universal Income”.  You damn right that mess is difficult to accept. That is absurd! This sounds like Communism to me! Capitalism should always be the focus over Communism!

Capitalism, automation and industrialization have ALWAYS been good for the economy.  Back in 1450, being a scribe was a very lucrative career choice.  Scribes manually copied books painstakingly copying each word by hand.  Some books took years to copy.  In 1450, most Europeans where illiterate, the supply of books was limited (by today’s standards), books were rare, very expensive and owned only by the wealthy.  Then, Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press and AUTOMATED the process of creating books.  The result was drastic.  Scribes unemployment was at an all-time high, but knowledge flourished.  The end result was an economic boom which lead to the industrial revolution 300+ years later.

In France, during the industrial revolution, an inventor named Barthelemy Thimonnier had invented a sewing machine and was making a good living sewing uniforms for the French Army until a mob of angry tailors burned his shop to the ground.  As we all know, tailors are still needed today, perhaps not as many tailors as in 1840.  Textiles, fashion and hundreds of other industries were created by or are much stronger now than they were in the 19th century primarily from automation.

My statement to our President: “Don’t create policies like a fearful French tailor from the 19th century.”  Embrace the change without creating social crutches calling it “Universal Income”. In other words, "Don't be no punk about artificial intelligence!"

What do you think?



Thursday, May 5, 2016

Report Builder Interactive Controls Issue

As a heavy user of Adobe Analytics, I ran into a problem using Interactive Controls recently. I could not find a solution on any Adobe website, on any blog or social site.  Adobe Support pointed me in the right direction but they did not provide a solution.  I was able fix the problem.  See below.  I hope this helps.

Problem:
Getting the following error message when attempting to use Interactive Controls in Report Builder in Adobe Analytics
"Cannot run the macro 'FormControlClickEvent'. The macro may not be available in this workbook or all macros may be disabled."

Reason:
Adobe ReportBuilder.Bridge is not enabled as an Excel Add-in (it may be enabled as a COM Add-in only)

Solution:
Open Excel
Click File
Click Options
Under Manage, select "Excel Add-ins"
Click Go
Adobe.ReportBuilder.Bridge will be missing from list.
Click "Automation"
Select "Adobe.ReportBuilder.Bridge"
Click "OK"

Friday, March 7, 2014

New Game: Curating BITS



Years after the industrial revolution men like Henry Ford made billions of dollars by assembling and curating raw materials such as iron and rubber.  The result of his assembling and curating raw materials was automobiles which could be sold at a nice profit.

Today,  the newest game is the assembling and the curating of bits.  Bits are binary digits. According to Wikipedia "A bit is the basic unit of information in computing and digital communications. A bit can have only one of two values, and may therefore be physically implemented with a two-state device. The most common representation of these values are 0and1. The term bit is a portmanteau of binary digit."  Every piece of computer data is composed of bits.  The Netflix video that you watched last night is composed of bits.  Your Facebook images are composed of bits.  This article is a compilation of bits.

Google is the biggest player in the assembling and the curating of bits.  They have masterfully assembled and curated bits that you can't live without and charge a referral fee to advertisers for sending you to see their bits.  Henry Ford could only wish he could make money like this. According to Mashable.com, top bits that were searched on in 2013 in the United States include:
    Boston Marathon
    Government Shutdown
    VMAs
    Tornado in Moore, Okla.
    Royal Baby
    Zimmerman Trial
    Typhoon Haiyan
    New Pope
    Syria Conflict
    Mayweather versus Canelo

Unlike Netflix or Facebook, the majority of accessed bits from Google are text which is easy to store and retrieve.  Video and images require much more computing resources to manage.

When historians in the next century study us they will surely reflect on this time period with marvel.  What do you think?  Is assembling and curating bits the new game?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Obamacare Website Sabotage?

I recently hosted a tech event in Harlem New York and I had an interesting conversation with a woman after the event.  She said that all of the Obamacare website issues are because of GOP sabotage?  What?  I immediately brushed it off.

But, then I thought about it.

The GOP has been working day and night for the past 4 years to destroy Obamacare.  As of November of 2013, the GOP has unsuccessfully voted 46 times to repeal Obamacare.  Using votes and political influence to destroy Obamacare has failed.  But what about using technology to destroy Obamacare?

Little known Canadian-based IT contractor CGI won the contract to build the Obamacare website Healthcare.gov back in 2007.  The contract was for over $600 million to create HealthCare.gov.  CGI has had nearly 6 years to plan a site that primarily accepts text information (your name and email address) and then returns text information (your plan options).  This is Website Development 101.  There is no heavy image downloads, no video downloads, no streaming live content or other things that would require huge amounts of server space and bandwidth.  Healthcare.gov is a simple website that stores light text data in a database then retrieves light text data.  Healthcare.gov is about the simplest website that you can create.  The biggest challenge would be to ready for large numbers of users.

I am a web developer and I have a client who has a website that consistently gets 100,000 unique visitors every month.  She is hosting on a $10 per month grid hosting plan from Godaddy.  It been said that 20% of Americans are with out health insurance.  Thus there are about 80 million Americans would would need to visit Healthcare.gov.  If someone with a brain was the architect for Heathcaregov.com then they should have had a common landing page but then segment visitors based on State, (ie. California.Healthcare.gov or Michigan.Healthcare.gov).  Each of these sub-domain websites would have it's own distinct database and hosting environment.  Thus on average a given sub-domain would be responsible for enrolling 1.6 million users.  Over 6 months each sub-domain website would handle on average 266,000 unique monthly visitors. These bite sized chunks would be very manageable.

A web developer with a 1/2 brain could design a website and database for Healthcare.gov and do it for a traction of $600 billion.  The only logical conclusion that I can draw from this website meltdown disaster is sabotage.  Perhaps the opponents of Obamacare hacked figured out a way to covertly sabotage Healthcare.gov.

What do you think?

Friday, August 30, 2013

Text A Driver! Get Sued!


A New Jersey court just gave an opinion that I find a bit disturbing.  We all know that texting and driving can be just as dangerous as drinking and driving.  Distracted drivers kills thousands per year thus a New Jersey judge recently stated the following:  “We hold that the sender of a text message can potentially be liable if an accident is caused by texting, but only if the sender knew or had special reason to know that the recipient would view the text while driving and thus be distracted.”.

Seriously?  How is it the responsibility of the sender of a text message?  The courts are over stepping their bounds here. As a resident of the state of New Jersey, I require a deeper explanation here.  Am I liable if I send a Facebook instant message to a friend while he/she is driving?  Am I liable if I send an email to a friend while he/she is driving?   Online faxing services can be configured to send automated text messages to the recipient. Am I liable if I know that the recipient has this fax alert feature enabled and I knowingly send a fax to that person?  I have my Orbitz account configured to send me text alerts for flight status updates when I travel.  If Orbitz sends me a flight status update while I am driving to the airport, then can't we assume that Orbitz should have known or made a reasonable assumption that I would be driving during the receiving of these text messages.

I probably send text messages to people that I know are driving all of the time.  I make an assumption that they will read those messages when it is safe.  In New Jersey, I can't do that anymore.  What do you think?