UBI and the Future of Automation

 

The future of jobs is soon coming to head and the end of manual labor for the mass society of Americans as we know is coming to an end sooner than you expect.

I have had this conversation with a friend of mine and acquaintances who simply do not believe it and just want to put their heads in the sand and want to wish it all away. They think that technological advances in automation of so many different industries is “so far” away that it will never be seen in our lifetimes and they just don’t want to even face facts and numbers. It may not be the ‘Terminator’ style ending that we saw in the 80’s and 90’s from the Arnold Schwarzenegger hit movies, but robots will basically take over everything that we do.

I will point you to the screenshot above from the 2008 Disney movie, ‘Wall-E‘. As you see the movie progress, you will see that humans have evolved (or devolved, however you want to see it) to a point that robots do everything they need and there is no real need for the manual labor of people anymore. Obviously, this also shows the progression of humans getting more obese, but that is not the point of this post and I will not delve into that side of things. I want to point out, that the future portrayed in this fictional movie is really not far from us, as technology stands today.

I have shown the video of the Tesla automated semi-truck to my mother’s boyfriend, who is a truck driver and has been for multiple years. He just laughs and says “good luck”. I have shown him that his job is going to be questioned in the near future. As companies get larger and larger, they will want to automate and efficiently get rid of human workers in the process. Humans are the most expensive and least cost efficient part of any process and they can cause errors on a much higher level than robots will ever do. One of the worst economic examples of this, was bust before the millennium in 1999, when a NASA, Mars observer was burned up in the martian atmosphere, due to the translation between imperial and metric measurements. As this was obviously due to American’s stubbornness not to change to the metric system, this mistake would not have been made if a trained robot was doing the work, but I digress.

We have seen the idea of automated cars driving around and now taxiing people around cities like Las Vegas as the likes of Waymo, Lyft (aka Level5) and Uber are all working to eliminate their drivers. You can see some automated systems in cars now like lane assist and automated breaking systems that are already being sold to the public in cars from companies like Ford, Toyota and Chevrolet, just to name a few. The human driver is the worst accident causing part of the driving equation and the faster we can remove that from behind the wheel, the better off we are.

Obviously, this is not something that we can do overnight or even quickly, but will take a serious amount of time for acclimation for the society at large to accept this, but it will happen. Let me repeat that for affect here, IT WILL HAPPEN. I have already seen so many skeptics and worker’s unions fighting this, but there is no real need to fight it. Technology, no matter how big or small, has always and will continue to enrich our lives. the problem is that humans are infallible and will always find a way to make any process longer, take their time or just flat out quit. Humans are not really built for repetitive tasks and we need to understand this moving forward. There is a reason, as I write this, I begin to think of the writer’s worst nightmare, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

I am using driving cars as the example above, but it can be repeated for many, many industries across our human work force. The most menial jobs will be the jobs taken over by robots and automation, which include service jobs like fast food, hotels and even security jobs. I could take almost any industry and show you how there are, or will be automated robots take over some aspect of the job. When it comes to even more dangerous and even more skilled jobs, these are not left out either. Since most of the ‘blue-collar’ jobs will be taken first, I can see how the ‘mob mentality’ will fight this the heaviest, but do not dismay, as the ‘white-collar’ jobs are also on the way out as well.

You have to understand that automation knows no bounds and does not care at what level anything is. If a process can be eliminated or automated, robots will take of this in the future for us. This can be software robots or even hardware robots. Many robots are already out there in today’s workforce that you may not even be aware of. I currently work at a car plant that ’employs’ loads of robots to do a lot of tasks that help alleviate worker strain or even repetitive tasks that a robot that only needs light maintenance and doesn’t require a paycheck to do so. This can be seen across almost every car manufacturer today.

You may have heard of or already know about the IoT, a la the ‘Internet of Things’. This is the area of the gadgets that we have, that will be a part of this network. This can include but not limited to, things like our Amazon Echos, our Internet connected weather vanes, or just some internet connected toaster that allows us to control it via the internet in some fashion. Basically, anything that we attach an internet connection to, that previously did not have internet access, just for the simple means of having access to it remotely, is a part of, or will be the IoT. We as a society are connecting more and more things to help enrich our lives, so that we can basically control our lives from the smartphone, that the automated robot future is just an extension of the current reality that we live in today.

I could go deeper into this rabbit hole, but I just want to say this. Many of our jobs, in the next 2 decades may be all but eliminated and we need to be prepared for that. Many tech pundits of our time today are talking about the Universal Base Income (UBI) because the distribution of wealth will most likely stretch even further than it is today and the super rich will become the super super rich as they own and build the robots that will be the future we are looking at. The idea that everyone, everywhere will get the same basic income because robots and automation will most likely wipe out the middle class is not that far from the truth, if you expound upon the ideas of what I am speaking of above.

I am not here to say that your job is in direct fear of losing it to robots right now, but it is over the next few decades and I include myself. I am stating however, we need to plan now for this automated future and not try to tear it down or block it before it comes. As history has taught us, those who oppose future, always fail. We are about to embark upon the next revolution with automation, the same way we did with all the technologies of the past, being that of the printing press, the cotton gin or the airplane. The next ‘Industrial’ revolution is upon us and we must understand it now and try to begin to educate ourselves for the future instead of trying to either idly stand by or try to tear it down like uneducated cavemen of the past.

My recommendation is taking the next hour or so and reading this article from the Guardian and watching these videos below.  If the videos below interest you, I recommend heading over to ColdFusionTV on YouTube and subscribing to his videos as well. Be prepared!

 

 

 

 

Why Does At&t keep Lying?

5G is up and running and ready for 2019. Kind of. It isn’t really ready for mass market yet, but we will start seeing it come to our mobile handsets, maybe as early as March 2019 with the announcement of the Samsung Galaxy S10, 5G edition(via CNet). What is 5G you ask? Just to K.I.S.S., it is the next evolution in mobile internet access via mobile devices like the smartphones and tablets that we carry with us today; though tablets may be on the way out (via Forbes). 5G will mostly likely, double, triple or even quadruple the speeds that we have with our mobile devices on 4G LTE (via PCMag). It is the next evolution in our mobile internet broadband access for the world to use. The fun part about it, is the race to be the first to have it. Well, as of recently, if you have an At&t device, you may be seeing it pop up on your phone, like this:

att-5ge

Are you able to see the difference? It’s very subtle,  but you may be used to seeing it this way. Let’s zoom in a whole lot.

att-5ge-change

Can you see it now? You may be used to seeing that 4G LTE logo on most At&t phones, or some fashion of it. It may just be the text AT&T LTE in the top left hand corner of your phone, depending on the software. As of this writing, I would say that 99.9% of At&t customers are used to seeing the LTE logo on their phones now, but as of 2019, it looks like At&t is starting to swap some customer’s icons to the ‘new’ 5G as they are touting 12 cities with 5GE capabilities available (via FierceWireless). The overall problem that I have with that is, that the handsets are not yet available that have the 5G modems that can receive the signal and most likely, won’t be available until later this year, if not until 2020.

Now this is a similar tactic that was previously used by At&t back in 2012, when they basically did the same thing and started labeling HSPA+ (a 3G .5, or 3.5G technology) as ‘4G’. I actually wrote about this when it happened back in 2012. T-Mobile actually started the whole snowball by labeling their HSPA+ 3.5G as ‘4G (aka FauxG) with their whole Carly Foulkes marketing campaign and At&t followed suit (via DigitalTrends) after finding out that no one really cared.

So now, here we are again, where companies are allowed to put labels on things that are not truly what they are. The fun part about it is, that companies are now trolling each other for the shenanigans. Check out T-Mobile’s response on Twitter:


As stated above, and linked in the Digitial Trends article, it was At&t who condemned T-Mobile for the sudden change in marketing tactics, even though the technology didn’t match up with the labels. So now, in 2019, the shoe has swapped and T-Mobile is trolling At&t for the same exact behavior. While I don’t like the marketing tactics of either, it can start to be confusing for the consumer, as salesmen at the store can start using this as a selling point, even though the phones have not reached the capabilities for 5G yet. As the Verge points out, the ‘5GE’ that is currently being changed, is really only LTE Advanced or LTE Advanced Pro in the current markets.

All of my issues aside, as this has happened in the past, even dragging Apple (via the Verge) into the mix, I am just tired of companies making things more confusing for the customers at the bottom and just getting more $$$ in their pockets with marketing jargon. I just find it very funny that all of the wireless companies are repeating past mistakes and no one is really on a national level calling them out and most general consumers will never care to be educated about the things they are being sold on past the cover of the book.

My Problem with Apple Fanboys and the Company as a Whole

 

I want to be very transparent right up front. I used to be an Apple iPhone guy, an Apple iPod guy and even now so, an Apple iPad guy. I can say without hesitation, Apple STILL makes the best tablet, as of January 2019. I have had a Samsung tablet and even read some of the most recent debacle issues that the current Google Slate is having. I still use my Microsoft Surface Pro 4 as my “daily driver”, though, not in tablet form, but in full on laptop mode, if you will, because I have FULL Windows on there, and tablet mode just seems to ‘maim’ it and I don’t like that version of it. All of that aside, let me get you to where I am with Apple and Apple products.

Way back in 2006, I was carrying the Motorola RAZR V3i. This was the variant of the wildly popular Motorola V3 RAZR phone that had iTunes on it. Apple had recently partnered with Motorola to release the Motorola ROKR(a poorly received, yet rehashed phone from 2003 called the E390) which was the first phone with iTunes that was announced a few months before the V3i, but was a HIDEOUS phone. It was the “dream” phone, because you could carry your iTunes library (albeit only 100 songs max) from your iPod and also have your phone on you at the same time! You have understand, back then, you had to have your iPod as a separate device and carry it separately (and the reason for the modern AUX jack in your radio) from your phone. Smartphones were not yet ubiquitous. Blackberry was the dominant player of the day in the smartphone market, which held the nomenclature of ‘crackberry’.

So back in January 2007, when Steve Jobs got up to announce the iPhone and that we could get this ‘magical’ device in 6 months, the world was EXCITED! (The Motorola ROKR was silently killed off.) I have to admit that the iPhone was the first of it’s kind and definitely changed the smartphone market from then on. I even video’d the event on my RAZR V3i (very poor quality) as I waited for my first iPhone to get shipped to me through Cingular Wireless.

I did several short videos on this, as back then, you could not ‘live-stream’ the way we do now. I had to do this via short clips, as the V3i didn’t have a lot of storage to store videos and I couldn’t use the live-streaming app Qik that I would eventually start using with the iPhone. As you can see, that this phone drew a lot of new people to the smartphone market, including myself.

So I had the original iPhone 2G (named because it only had Edge network capabilities on the Cingular, soon to be At&t network) and was able to sell the phone unlocked and jailbroken a year later to some guy in Italy for more that I originally paid for it! You also have to remember, this was back when the wireless companies subsidized the full cost of the phone because you were agreeing to a 2 year or more contract, so I had only paid $299 for it! You can see the video I used on eBay to sell the phone still online:

So I purchased the iPhone 3G, as it was obvious that many other phones that weren’t smartphones had 3G capabilities and was limiting the first iPhone from ‘high speed’ internet. Apple’s biggest argument was that 3G was a battery hog and could kill the performance that they wanted from their first foray into the smartphone market. As the first iPhone was such a smash hit, they pushed forward with the second iteration, known as the iPhone 3G. Then, in their 2009, 3rd generation iPhone, they released their now known update as the ‘S’ year, the 3GS. This was basically a simple update to all things on the previous version, which usually doubled all the performance over the previous version. Since this was an ‘S’ year, I skipped and held on to my 3G for the full 2 years and waited for the iPhone 4.

The iPhone 4 was an AMAZING upgrade and introduced us to the ‘Retina‘ display and showed to us that Apple still could hold the consumer market in ‘awe’ as they continued to innovate on the original design and capabilities of the iPhone. They had added a front facing camera for the then unknown Facetime chats, but would soon just become the ‘selfie’ camera. Even though it had been leaked ahead of it’s launch, the iPhone 4 was wildly anticipated and hyped before we were ever able to purchase it! Apple is a company known for it’s secrecy and even hunted down the people who were implicated in the ‘loss’ of it’s prototype device. All of that aside, it was an awesome phone for 2010, so I made my purchase and sold my iPhone 3G, though this time, for a little less and didn’t make a profit.

Though, I did have this weird vibrating issue with the phone when I first got it, but that ended up being a REALLY small fluke issue that only affected a small number of people and you can see that video here:

I mentioned it in passing in this video, but it affected quite a lot more people than the vibrating issue that I ran into and that was one of the first MAJOR ‘gate’ issues, known as ‘Antenna Gate’. There have been plenty over the years, but this was the first one that I became majorly aware of. It was such a pivotal moment for Apple to take a hold of the issue, but the way they illustrated it to us, was that it was our faults. Even though they did provide ‘bumpers’ or discounts on cases, with the idea that we were supposed to buy MORE items from them to fix their issue, it was painfully obvious that Apple was blaming the users. I even had a rant about it, when it all went down. You can see the full event here (sans the Q&A afterwards, which you can find in pieces on Youtube):

The funny thing was, that after the press event, it didn’t take long for someone to show that their answer was a bit flawed.

yourholdingitwrong

Even though, this was one of the first ‘cracks’ in the armor that I saw in the ever growing popularity of the iPhone and Apple as a whole, it was a little disheartening to see they were blaming the users. Obviously, this was a real attenuation issue with how the antenna received signals and the human hand could kill it, but to say that it was the user’s fault and not really admit that his was a design flaw was a little disingenuous in my opinion, but I held on and continued with the iPhone 4 throughout it’s life cycle.

The same continued for the ‘S’ year cycle again for the 4S and I again, skipped; now seeing that Apple would continue this format of new design, update old phone with new specs and then redesign again. So I figured that by the time the iPhone 5 would come around for the 2012 release, I would be more than happy to upgrade and be WOW’d again. Unfortunately, this did not happen. The iPhone 5, was a rehashed version of the iPhone 4, but this time and for the first time, had the screen size increased to an almost 16×9 ratio with still carrying the ‘Retina’ display moniker. Yes the phone was thinner and faster than the 4S and even had LTE for first time, but this wasn’t as enticing as the change was from the 3GS to the 4.

Also at this time, the Android market had begun flourishing and many companies had already had their freshman and sophomore tries at smartphones and were releasing phones with better specs and features than what the iPhone 5 was carrying. So I began looking around and found a nice alternative with Samsung and the Galaxy S3. This phone had a 1280×720 display, whereas the iPhone 5 only had 1136×640. The overall screen size was larger at 4.8″ over the iPhone 4″ screen, which was one of the major reasons why I left. Apple was getting stuck in their idea that 4″ was the magic number and that no one wanted anything bigger. This wasn’t the only reason, but was a major factor in my decision to switch from iOS to Android.

Which also brings me to the idea that iOS was getting stale. No matter what Apple did to the iPhone, no matter how many times I jailbroke the iPhone, I could see more options on the fledgling Android side of things.  I was getting tired of the software on iOS and at this point, the iPhone was starting to be owned by anyone and everyone. I didn’t want to be a part of the crowd and I wanted to stand out.  I had researched phones like the Motorola Atrix or the HTC EVO 4G for quite some time, but due to network availability, I had to end up choosing the Samsung in the end and I was happy that I did. The funny thing was, that the S3 ended up being a very popular phone for Samsung as well and I was loving their bigger screens and ended up the next year, upgrading to my first ‘phablet’ phone the Galaxy Note 3. This began my obsession with larger screens.

I stuck with Samsung as they kept making things more awesome every time I upgraded and I felt like they were the company that was making me have that WOW affect every time. I followed my 2 year cycle, as I was still on At&t contract scheme and skipped the Note 4 and went to the Note 5. Even though, the Note 4 Edge was a REALLY cool design, and I seen the prototype at CES a few years prior, they only put the curved edges of the glass on the back of the Note 5. It was really cool to see the curved edges finally make it to the front of the phones with the S6 Edge, earlier that year, but I still wanted the larger screen phones. They eventually made the S6 Edge+, which was basically the size of the Note 5, but had less features than the Note series.

I won’t go much further in my history with Samsung and why I continued to stick with them, but you get the basic idea that it Apple continued to be ‘stale’ to me, even with the change to the design of the iPhone 6, which wasn’t really, all that much different. Then they continued on with that design through all versions of the ‘S’ years through to the iPhone 8 and still some of that design is in the iPhone X and XS. All the while, Apple kept cultivating a ‘fanboy’ status among their fans and was becoming of a cult status.

Over the years as issues went on and on, it was all in how Apple handled their ‘faults’. I think this is one of the biggest reasons why I continue to obstain from Apple and have disdain for their products, even though, some of their products are great. I can attest that iMessage is an awesome idea that Android still really hasn’t mirrored. AppleTV and iPad are in my opinion, one of the best products in their particular markets. I will even admit that MacOS from time to time can be quite helpful, but it isn’t enough to sell me over into the ‘walled garden’ aspect of their entire ecosystem. Especially when there are great alternatives out there, that are cross platform and don’t really care what system you are on. Web services, platform agnostic, to be honest are the best and should have always been the way, as Steve Jobs really wanted from the beginning. (Remember web apps, before we had the iTunes App Store???)

All of that aside, I think this guy kind of puts all of my feelings toward Apple in a nice 22 minute video. Thanks for reading my ramblings and rants. Feel free to comment below. I’ll leave you with the video below:

 

Update to Batman Across the Ages

So, a while back, in 2011, I wrote a piece about the similarities across the Batman franchises in the Tim Burton 1989 versions and the early 2000’s Chris Nolan’s versions. It was more of screenshots from each movie comparing the similarities and how similar they are.

It was funny to see this back in 2011 and I assume that many people have seen these as well, if you are any kind of Batman fan. So it was cool to see an even more updated video comparing the two on YouTube today. This was created back in July of 2018, so there is a bit of time difference as of me writing this and the previous article, but it was still cool to see.

Check out the video below showing the similarities and their differences:

After you are done, you can go back and check out my writing on this here.

The recent Mayor Megan Barry issue

Image from the linked USA Today Article

As you see above, this is the former Nashville Mayor Megan Barry who recently resigned this last Tuesday. She is coming down the stairs of the booking release location in downtown Nashville. I am going to severely irritate a lot of people with this post, but I don’t really care. So we found out that she has now admitted to and has now been charged with felony charges of theft in the amount of $11,000 along with her former security guy, who is being charged with theft of $60,000 in the form of overtime pay. The overall end case is that she is ONLY BEING GIVEN PROBATION for 3 years and she pays the city back in restitution. SERIOUSLY?!?!?! If this were you or I, this would be a whole different ball of wax. Understandable that you or I are not the former Mayor, but still, this is a SLAP on the wrist at most. After she completes the probation, she then can have the record expunged off of her record as if it had never happened. REALLY?!?!

This fine she has to pay in restitution is nothing to her. $10k for her is like us buying a really nice thing for ourselves. Maybe a $1,000 thing that we can pay for over time very easily, but still. The woman had an affair with her head of security and pays the man overtime? Are you kidding me? This is where I will lose the ‘progressive’ people. I have a SERIOUS ISSUE with the fact that this lady had an affair as a PUBLIC official and then continued on in her position for like 3 or 4 weeks and acted as of nothing had happened. As if she didn’t ruin her husband’s life or as if the fact she knew that she had paid overtime to her head of security while having the affair.

The worst part about it, is the fact that she laughed at the press conference. She laughed, as if she knew that she had gotten away with it and was getting off with just a slap on the wrist. I listened to a friend of mine’s podcast (Blame Your Brother, Episode 82) and I have to agree with David B… The lady is showing no remorse in this situation. It’s as if she knows that tricked all of the city of Nashville with her ‘good work’ that she has been doing over the last few years and doesn’t even care that she is wrong on two levels. Check out her mugshot from below and again, I agree with Dave on this one… That smile. I just want to smack that smug smile off of her face.

I just have a hard time with it, because she knew it was going to become a public piece of information and she knew good and well that she wasn’t going to have to stick around in booking very long. This is not the face of a lady who is remorseful or someone who has learned her lesson in any shape form or fashion.

I have read so many defenders of this lady because of ‘all the good’ she did for this town. I’m not debating that and I honestly don’t even really care. I have heard a few times over, that people like me are ‘prudes’ because we feel that a public figure should be better than us, that they should live to a higher standard. This is why we vote you in. You are supposed to be an example to the people of your city of what should be done, not what everyone else does. That alone in itself is what I have heard over and over. “We all do it. She shouldn’t be crucified for having an affair.”

NO. JUST NO. NO WE ALL DONT DO IT. Just because you have been married two or more times or you see that a general number of people around you are the same way, doesn’t mean we all do it. You only say that because that is what you chose to expose yourself to with the friends you chose to be around you. You chose NOT to be better and chose only to have friends who are like you or worse, so you don’t have to feel bad about what you are doing. People who don’t want to have their wrongs shown or brought to light, don’t hang around people who aren’t doing what they are doing, because they don’t want to feel bad about what they are doing. Yes, I basically repeated myselfy there, but it bears repeating.

I find that I like to hang around people who are better than me, so that I can make myself better or strive to be better. I like to be competitive and see who can do better. I want to be a better person. This, again, is where I lose a lot of people. I understand that most people don’t care or don’t want to be better and I can’t change that, but I also can’t change who I am, so I can’t agree with you on the fact that “we all do it”, because “we” don’t.

I just feel that if we elect a public figure, they need to better than us, so that we have someone to look up to. Someone to be the example of what we need to be. In some aspects, I can agree that is what this Mayor was. I just can’t agree to feel bad for her or try to overlook her “sins” for all the good she did. She deserves way more than that she is getting, because of ot were you or me and we removed the title of Mayor and we stole $11,000 and helped someone else steal $60,000, we would never see the light of day again.

That’s my rant and if you made it this far..I appreciate it.

Shout out to the Blame Your Brother podcast. Check them out at Bybpod.com for other cool topics and things to talk about. They have a YouTube channel and stream live every Thursday night.