Ramblings.

Bending the Truth

Cereal is my breakfast food of choice. I usually buy it at Costco, and last time we were there I happened to buy a box of "Vector" cereal "meal replacement". The front of the box advertises the fact that it contains 13 grams of protein per serving, and I wondered as the box was in my cart whether they had sneakily included the protein from the milk (after all, it is the "suggested serving").Read more


Conservative Disruption

I recently got back from the 2014 Legal Marketing Association conference, where one of the sessions was a small roundtable about disruptive business models in the legal world. Much of the discussion centered around Axiom, a law firm that eschews the conventional associate/partner structure and that is quite innovative overall.Read more


Target’s Lacklustre Apology

I've just received an email from Target, far too late after their credit card hack debacle. Despite the ample time they had to word a true apology, the following is what they've released (with my comments):Read more


Predicting the Future is Hard

I've been on a bit of a sci-fi novel binge lately (I usually read nonfiction, mostly history) and I'm always struck by the predictions in those books, the authors' extrapolation of current technology far into the future. Often they are remarkably prescient in some areas, while comically missing the mark in others.Read more


Knowing Just Enough to be Dangerous

What is the role of a CEO? Usually it's to bridge a corporation's board and its day-to-day operations and provide high-level strategy and direction. Designing logos is not typically part of the job of the CEO of a 30 billion dollar company.Read more


Bad Time to Be a Bus Driver

Not too long ago I mentioned bus drivers in passing in a post about how technology was slowly eroding certain jobs. Bus drivers are an appealing (i.e. profitable) target for self-driving car technology, much more so than offering self-driving cars to consumers.

Sure enough, the decline of the bus driver has already started - Singapore is testing a fleet of driver-less electric shuttles that look like a large golf cart.Read more


Unauthorized Smartphone Tracking In Public… Again

I'm beginning to feel a bit like a broken record with this, but here goes: a London-based company is stalking passersby in public, this time by capturing the MAC address of their smartphones using devices implanted in sidewalk trashcans. MAC addresses are a bit like an IP except they are generally permanent and unique to a device.Read more


Distributed Solar Finally Catching On

... at least among the intelligentsia. From ScienceDaily:

It is commonly assumed that compact cities, with built-up central business districts and densely-populated residential areas, are more energy efficient than the low-density suburban sprawl that surrounds them, which are dependent on oil for high levels of private transport use.

In a future with photovoltaic solar panels on suburban roofs and increasing use of electric vehicles however, experts have predicted that suburbia will adopt a valuable new role -- transforming from a high energy consumer into a vital power provider for the city.

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License Plate Scanners Know Where You Are

Big Data continues its inexorable march towards a creepy world without privacy.Read more


Google adds Satisfaction Surveys

Google have just announced "website satisfaction surveys", a little interactive pop-up available through their Webmaster Tools service. It allows webmasters to gather feedback about their website, or even to make a bit of money by inserting survey questions for others, like a slightly less annoying and obtrusive version of those "win a free iPad" surveys.

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NSA Leaks and the Dark Side of Technology

Edward Snowden has leaked information regarding something we all suspected was happening, but that is nonetheless terrifying - the extent of the NSA and the world's other intelligence agencies' intrusion into the online world.

People much better-informed and more eloquent than I have written a lot about this, so I won't go into the nuts and bolts here; I merely want to point out the not-always-obvious impact that technology can have in our lives.

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Better Cell Phone Plans? Not So Much.

News outlets are making a big fuss over the changes the CRTC has made to wireless regulations. Maybe I'm a cynic, but the changes don't amount to much. Read more