Sang “We have seen the Lord” over the weekend

Even though this is not really an application of technology post, I did want to share that over the weekend our church choir sang We Have Seen the Lord.

From that link you can listen to or download the file.

The song is about the interaction between doubting Thomas, the disciples and Jesus after Easter. I sang the part of Jesus, which starts about halfway through the song.

It didn’t come off too badly for an amateur church choir just meet once a week for part of the year.

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Thanksgiving 2018

It’s good every once in a while to think about being thankful for what we have and the possibilities of what we can do. That is at least part of the foundation for our Thanksgiving holiday.

This year has been a heck of a year. We’ve moved to South Carolina and I think I’ve come to grips with being retired. I am surrounded by a great community and learning new things all the time as well as continuing to pursue areas where I’ve had interests. That is the new meaning of the ‘Beyond’ in the title of this blog.

Our children will be here later today or early tomorrow and having them all together hasn’t happened in too long. Hopefully, they will feel the same way after the holiday.

Happy Holidays to everyone (and especially to those who read this).

Another update to QSOSender3

Back in June I wrote a post about releasing an update to QSOSender3 — an application for Android that simulates ham radio QSOs using Morse code. I had some requests for additional functionality and noticed a few odd user interface and grammatical behaviors by the program, so I’ve released a new version of QSOSender3.

This version will allow you to paste in text or save generated QSOs to retrieve later. I received a request by someone to add this functionality since somehow they used the program during contests, so I thought “why not?” The program can now store four text fields worth of information. I wonder if anyone will try and read a short story in Morse, if so they are better than me.

I can’t imaging what else the users of the program may want, but people keep sending in requests so I try to address them.

An SUV I couldn’t stand

This weekend, we rented a car to go to a high school graduation in Texas. When we arrived in Houston, I hopped out of the rental car bus looking forward to my choice of cars. There at the end of the aisle was a Mercedes SUV. I thought “I’ve never had one of those, now’s the Time.” We jumped in and off we went.

The first thing I noticed was that there were 4 (count them four) levers on the steering column. Who needs a porcupine for a steering column.

It was foggy. The first encounter with this little design gem was that one of the levers was located in exactly the same location as the wiper controls on my wife’s Chevy Equinox. The big difference in experience was that if you touch this lever, it drops you into neutral and one time even into park.

There is also a button on the console between the seats that when your hand brushes it, you are now in manual transmission mode rather than automatic. That happened twice before I figured out what was causing it. Flappy paddle shifting can be fun, but only when you expect it.

A bonus feature was that along my drive between Houston and Austin, the following screen kept popping up:

I like a leasurely drive as much as the next person, but to remind me to stop and take a break every 30 minutes is a bit much. I am driving across Texas, not to the grocery store. There is only so much coffee one can drink.

Another thing I found truly disappointing was the entertainment system. In the Equinox, Chevy has made it so the phone can display maps… on the large screen built into the car, allowing me to see the map that I am trying to follow or the progress in the podcast. Not on the Mercedes!

The final bow was when I was about half an hour from the rental return, the car decided it had enough of the Texas heat, and the window cracked, halfway across the drivers side.

I must say that for a car that costs as much as a down payment for a family home, I was a bit disappointed. Maybe that’s because the folks who buy this are looking for status and not convenient transportation. I’m out.

First flight in months

Headed to Round Rock, TX for a graduation. This is my first flight since October and after all the issues and controversy about flying lately, I am hoping for an uneventful flight.

Based on the level of traffic at the Starbucks in the Savannah airport, it should be a quiet flight.

Hopefully, I’ll be home before the first tropical depression of the year can make things interesting.

Ready Player One

Last night, I had the opportunity to see Ready Player One and found it to be an enjoyable movie. Some folks have reacted negatively to the amount of nostalgia placement throughout the movie, but that’s nothing compared to what the book had in it – and I thoroughly enjoyed the book as have many others. In fact, it is the only book I can recall where I had multiple people actually stop me after I’d recommended reading it and claim that reading it had upset their lives, since they literally couldn’t put the book down.

It was clear that those attending the movie, who had not read the book, enjoyed the experience more than those who had not. That’s probably because the movie was only loosely based on the book (in my opinion) — no spoilers here to Joust about… They both had the same characters and the concept of ‘Easter eggs’. I must compliment Warner Brothers on the release date selection. The movie is definitely a safe one for teens and up.

We did not see the movie in 3D and frankly can’t image how difficult some of the gyrations in the action scenes would be to watch in 3D.

My son did state that he would be definitely reading the book now that he’s seen the movie. If you like the book, you’ll also like Ernest Cline’s other book Armada which also has a nostalgic feel to it, especially if you liked The Last Star Fighter.

Six thoughts on mobility trends for 2018

mobility walkLet’s face it, some aspects of mobility are getting long in the tooth. The demand for more capabilities is insatiable. Here are a few areas where I think 2018 will see some exciting capabilities develop. Many of these are not new, but their interactions and intersection should provide some interesting results and thoughts to include during your planning.

1. Further blurring and integration of IoT and mobile

We’re likely to see more situations where mobile recognizes the IoT devices around them to enhance contextual understanding for the user. We’ve seen some use of NFC and Bluetooth to share information, but approaches to embrace the environment and act upon the information available is still in its infancy. This year should provide some significant use cases and maturity.

2. Cloud Integration

By now most businesses have done much more than just stick their toe in the cloud Everything as a Service (XaaS) pool. As the number of potential devices in the mobility and IoT space expand, the flexibility and time to action that cloud solutions facilitate needs to be understood and put into practice. It is also time to take all the data coming in from these and transform that flow into true contextual understanding and action, also requiring a dynamic computing environment.

3. Augmented reality

With augmented reality predicted to expend to a market somewhere between $120 and $221 billion in revenues by 2021, we’re likely to see quite a bit of innovation in this space. The wide range of potential demonstrates the lack of a real understanding. 2018 should be a year where AR gets real.

4. Security

All discussions of mobility need to include security. Heck, the first month of 2018 has should have nailed the importance of security into the minds of anyone in the IT space. There were more patches (and patches of patches) on a greater range of systems than many would have believed possible just a short time ago. Recently, every mobile store (Apple, Android…) was found to have nefarious software that had to be exercised. Mobile developers need to be ever more vigilant, not just about the code they write but the libraries they use.

5. Predictive Analytics

Context is king and the use of analytics to increase the understanding of the situation and possible responses is going to continue to expand. As capabilities advance, only our imagination will hold this area back from increasing where and when mobile devices become useful. Unfortunately, the same can be said about the security issues that are based on using predictive analytics.

6. Changing business models

Peer to peer solutions continue to be the rage but with the capabilities listed above, whole new approaches to value generation are possible. There will always be early adopters who are willing to play with these and with the deeper understanding possibilities today new approaches to crossing the chasm will be demonstrated.

It should be an interesting year…