So we took delivery of the new Google Pixel flagship range of devices. We had to replace our ageing Pixel 5 phone and Fossil smartwatch. So this seemed an excellent time to try the new goods.
As you know we have been Google fans for phones and tech for a while and this is us just keeping to what we know best. The Pixel 7 Pro is the larger of the two Pixel 7 phones. So WE wanted to try all the extra bells and whistles it has. The camera and the built-in AI intrigues us and we wanted t see if it lived up to what they claim. It is early days yet but we are so far impressed. even the under-screen fingerprint reader has improved a lot in the Pixel 7 Pro. It is a larger phone and the screen resolution can be pumped up and give the sharpest of images. We will report back in a few weeks on the pros and cons we have found after using it for business and leisure.
Onto the Pixel Watch
Google’s well-rumoured first dive into a Wear product. It is not as watch-looking as my previous Fossil Watch. But works well. The only thing we are finding so far is the battery just doesn’t last and we are charging it through the day at least twice, so it can be worn it at night and check sleep patterns. It also doesn’t fast charge at this point and doesn’t use the rumoured QI charging. so you can only use the supplied charger base. Will see if they push out any updates to improve things. It also has its own dedicated App and not the Wear app I used before. Will again report back on usage, but these are some of the initial findings.
Watch this space for more info as we collate our findings in the weeks to come.
Having watched a lot of the reports from the CES 2022 this year I am constantly drawn back to the Ameca the robot to help humans communicate with AI. (My Sci-Fi routes coming into play)
The development engineer is interviewed and actually talks about how we have been using keyboards to interact for so long and they are a dated device. If we have to interact with AI in the future we will want a more human contact method. The AI here is impressive and she, (Ameca), can react to people’s facial expressions and know if they are happy or sad, etc.
She is the best I have seen over the last few years and uses her hands etc to gesture as she talks. She can identify who spoke and look right at them. I am just glad they didn’t call her HAL.
Here is the video called A conversation with Ameca from Interesting engineering, what do you think?
Microsoft has done the very thing it said it wouldn’t and launched a new operating system, Windows 11. They had always said that Windows 10 would be the last and it would be tailored and updated. However, here we are with a new version of Windows. So, Windows 11 then?
So lets all go and download and install it.
Microsoft has said it is a free download for Windows 10 users, so surely it should be a simple case of downloading and installing it. Well, unfortunately, no it isn’t.
So what are the issues, or known issues just now?
Here is what we know so far and it is changing every day. Windows 11 looks at two main things and they are as follows: –
It checks if your current hardware system has something called TPM version 2. (Earlier versions are not supported.) What is TPM, well it is explained here? I have version 1.5 on my system.
The next thing it checks is your processor and it must be 8th generation or higher CPU. I have an i7 and it won’t install on it as it must be an older generation. Now being a green focussed guy I purchased my desktop last year as a refurbished machine and has an i7 and 32Gb of ram and a 480Gb SSD and can handle everything I throw at it. I won’t be changing my machine soon.
Work arounds, what are they and are they recommended?
Now you may have read about various workarounds and even Microsoft posted a link to give a workaround for the TPM check. It involves changing registry settings on the current machine and then running the install package from a downloaded ISO of Windows 11. Someone has also come up with a workaround for the CPU being a problem. Some people I know have managed to install even though Windows 11 said their system wasn’t compatible.
But, the big elephant in the room is that Microsoft even in their own article about the workaround for the TPM has said, “We do not recommend this as the system maybe become unstable and it may affect future updates.”
The problem with these specific workarounds is that when Windows 11 updates run in the future the system may become corrupted or even completely brick itself and the machine will have to be flattened and reinstalled with a system that works. So do these at your own risk.
So what are Microsoft playing at?
Answers on a postcard, please. They have copied Apple on the TPM front which ties the Operating System to the Hardware. But making the processor such a new version seems a bit ridiculous, as I can’t see larger organisations and even some smaller orgainsations I deal with replacing all their machines just to get Windows 11. The cost would be massive and very prohibitive. This would suggest that Microsoft is going to have to support Windows 10 well into the future until these organisations replace their machines with the later kit. I honestly think that Microsoft has lost the ball here and/or is playing a new card that we are all unsure of. They may be trying to force people to replace machines, they have rumored that Windows will become a Software as a service like Office 365, and in fact, they have that just now where you can purchase Microsoft 365 which includes the Operating System. How this will be affected by Windows 11 being so selective, for the people who have already purchased this I don’t know.
Here are a few other links that talk about the workarounds and some of the Windows 11 stuff. ( I do not recommend these, do them at your own risk)
A question I am asked a lot is, “What technology should I be using?”
The better question would be why should I use that technology?
So, what is the point of this article.? It is all about what you need and what you do.
The technology of yesterday, is not the technology of tomorrow as it is changing so fast. This matters because of the reason that technology is changing. It is changing because of customer demand a lot of the time and the new technology helps users work smarter and not harder.
So, what are the key factors about adopting new technology?
The ultimate answer is you are the key factor, let me explain further: –
I could easily go into any of my clients and simply say here is the new tech and you need it now. This of course is a broad-brush approach and they may not need half of what I am telling them they need.
So, I never do that, I ask loads and I mean loads of questions. I need to get inside their heads and their business. My forte is that I keep an eye and focus on what is out there and can advise accordingly.
I try and establish the following: –
What do you and your business do just now?
What may you be doing in the shorter term?
Where do you see things in the longer term?
This enables me to focus on exactly you do and how you currently are doing it.
I can then look at solutions that are there just now that may make your tasks smarter and with emerging tech, I can advise on when you should maybe put your toe in the water.
I.T. is an ever-changing horizon and you have your focus and business to run. So why not hand it over to someone who focusses on the tech and get them to advise on what may be beneficial for you.
So, the key factors about adopting technology is you and your team and business. I always start from that point.
The first-ever laptop with a foldable display
is undoubtedly a highlight of CES 2020 — a futuristic device that you can
actually buy this year.
Way back in May 2019, Lenovo made a lofty
promise while showing off a prototype device: that it would release the
first-ever laptop with a foldable display, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold, in
2020. Now, Lenovo has clearly made good on that promise.
The tested, stylized version of the product
shown off almost a year ago — with literal support tape on it and without a name
— easily sells the idea of what foldable screen technology could accomplish in
a mobile computing device.
Magazines could look fantastic on the ThinkPad
X1 Fold, and with the bundled Bluetooth keyboard, people could work on that
document while watching the latest episode of “The Witcher” on
Netflix above. These are quaint scenarios, and barely business-related as the
“ThinkPad” name would suggest, but these are the first ideas that
come to mind.
The $2,499.00 price tag essentially shrinks the audience for this first foldable outing to just well-off executives and other financially fortunate technology enthusiasts — including some creative pros despite the suit-like ThinkPad branding. Regardless, the ThinkPad X1 Fold captures our imaginations, which makes it all the more exciting to be released in 2020. — Joe Osborne, senior technology editor
We haven’t had the time to look over all the announcements at CES 2020 this year, but we will try and bring one or two that caught our eye to you over the next few weeks.
This one we think should be taken further and adopted by vehicle manufacturers. What do you think?
Virtual Car Visor
Made by German manufacturer Bosch, the virtual visor works by tracking the driver’s eyes using facial recognition technology. When it detects sun in the driver’s eyes it blocks it without obscuring the rest of the road.
When it detects sun it casts a show over the small area of the driver’s face exposed to sun glare stopping it from interfering with their view.
Sun visors are one of the most overlooked features of a car’s interior, according to Bosch. AA research shows that one in 50% of car accidents in the UK is caused by sun glare.
If the product proves viable it could totally eliminate the need for traditional sun visors in cars. However, at present, the virtual visor is just a concept and years away from going into production.
We are writing to you our followers, a Christmas apology. We have, due to our parent company reorganising been very quiet on the blog site this year. We are sorry about that. We are hoping that in 2020, a new year and a new decade that we will be updating more often and posting articles about what is happening in the tech world. with some guest bloggers as well.
Let us take this opportunity to say a massive thank you for sticking with us and we wish you a very merry Christmas and a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year when it comes.
This month we have trawled articles on the Net and looked at some ideas of where tech is going. Most of the credit for this content belongs to https://highexistence.com/10-ways-the-next-10-years-are-going-to-be-mind-blowing/, I have then added some of my observations. Here are some we have pulled together for you to think about and watch this space as they appear over the next few months and years. Please note that these ideas and statements are pulled from various sources and just give a reflection of what is happening. The nature of the beast is by the time you type these articles things have moved on.
Bionic Hand controlled by brain signals
Okay, it doesn’t let you crush rocks as you would think, BUT it does allow people without fingers to have fully functional hands that can pick up and handle delicate objects. It is completely controlled by the brain and requires no surgery. Touch Bionics, the company the produces the Pro Digits hand, is able to install the hand complete with “living skin,” a plastic covering resembling human skin, for under $50,000.
Computer Speed, Size and
Most people tech-nerds
know of Moore’s Law from 1965 (the number of transistors we are able to cheaply
put in computer chips doubles every year, thereby doubling the speed).
However, most people don’t know that Moore, himself, came out and said his law
will most likely fail finally in 2020 where the number of transistors we can
put on chips will be limited by the laws of physics. Does this mean the
exponential rise in computer processing speed will come to a halt in ten years?
Not a chance, says Jim Tully, chief of research for semiconductors at Gartner. “The technology which will replace this is a bottom-up approach, where chips will be assembled using individual atoms or molecules, a type of nanotechnology.”
Ray Kurzweil, a well-respected Futurist, stated in 2008 that
when this molecular computing technology comes out in 2020, computers
will have the intellectual capability of human beings. You might want
to digest that for a minute before moving onto the next section.
That Macbook Air is
pretty damn thin. So thin, in fact, that it makes you wonder if physical
computers will even exist in 2020. Well according to developers at Intel, the
keyboard and mouse surely won’t. Who needs QWERTY when you can control
a computer with your mind?
“We’re trying to
prove you can do interesting things with brain waves,” said Intel researcher
Dean Pomerleau. “Eventually people may be willing to be more committed … to
brain implants. Imagine being able to surf the Web with the power of your
Pomerleau and countless research groups around the world are working with brain scanning devices to map blood flow in the brain. They have found that when different individual focus on the same image, they have very similar patterns of blood flow in their brains. For example, one British group announced that they could discern where subjects wherein a computer-generated virtual environment by looking at where blood flowed in their brains.
How we interact with the
The way in which we interact with the outside world has changed SO much since the introduction of the internet, smartphones, etc. In the very near future, another huge jump will be made: integrating the information on the internet with our surroundings.
By that, I mean being able to look at a building, product or place and immediately seeing information about the subject on our devices and eventually just with our eyes.
If you’re still
confused as to what I mean, check out the earliest innovation of this concept,
Goggles by Google. This app allows you to take a picture of whatever you are
looking at and instantly receive info about it on your Android phone.
Like the video says, Goggle is only scratching at the surface of this technology. Kurzweil says that “By 2020 we’ll routinely have pop-ups in our visual field of view that give us background about the people and places that we’re looking at.” Your memory and the vast information bank of the internet will be one at all times.
Until we can do this
with a chip in our brain, a new device has come out that overlays video onto
our normal vision using special glasses. It’s called the Vuzix display Wrap 920AR and it goes on sale soon for around
Solar energy will
soon leave fossil fuels and inefficient wind farms in the dust. According to
Kurzweil, “the cost per watt of solar energy is coming down rapidly and the
total amount of solar energy is growing exponentially. It has in fact been
doubling every two years for the past 20 years and is now only eight
doublings away from meeting all of the world’s energy needs.”
from a company called Sandia is making the reality that much closer:
solar cells are made of 100 times less material than the
current top solar cells while operating at the same efficiency. Since the
biggest hurdle in the path of solar power is the expensive and large nature of
solar panels, these new microscopic cells will make a huge difference. For
example, current panels are massive and require large motors to move them to
track the sun. Sandia’s cells, on the other hand, would only need to be moved a
fraction of a millimetre to track the sun efficiently while weighing next to
Even more amazing, they can be suspended in liquids and printed on flexible materials, allowing the cells to be placed on any surface. What if your entire car was covered in these powerhouses? Bye bye, Chevron.
While we still can’t cure a common cold, custom-made organs are just around the corner.
A company called
Organovo has developed the first commercial 3-D bio printer that builds custom organs cell-by-cell.
Each individual cell is based upon sample cells from the body of the customer.
Organovo reports that veins and arteries will be available in 5 years, and more
complex organs like hearts and livers in 10.
On a more general
note, nanotechnology is revolutionizing the health world. The awesome
combination of a higher understanding of how DNA works and the ability to
create very small cellular parts is painting a very bright future for medicine.
Scientists are finding specific sequences of DNA that code for conditions like schizophrenia, autism and even ageing. The cures are actually in sight.
The first decade of
the 21st century has been a remarkable time for innovation in robotics. While
we’re still far away from having bots helping around the house or doing our
construction, big strides have been made towards that future.
Recently a robot was
able to teach itself human facial expressions by randomly contorting its face
and receiving feedback on what resembled real expressions.
Here’s another robot called BigDog that came out a couple of
years ago, but if you haven’t seen the video, you really should. It’s a
4-legged robot that can navigate difficult terrain and correct its balance when
shoved. If you can’t watch the whole video, at least fast-forward to 1:50 where
the robot can be seen running and jumping.
And finally here is the bipedal version of BigDog that walks heel-to-toe
just like humans do. Again, it can regain balance when shoved.
Nanotechnology in Clothing
– Nano-fibres will make garments tremendously more comfortable and durable. “By this process, the textile products can be made more attractive, strong and responsive to customers’ choice.”
– Fibre-based Nano generators will build up electrical
energy in clothing from physical movement, ultrasonic waves and even blood
flow. “If we can combine many of these fibres in double or triple layers in
clothing, we could provide a flexible, foldable and wearable power source that,
for example, would allow people to generate their own electrical current while
hydrophobic (water-resistant) Nano filaments allow for completely waterproof
clothing. It can be submerged in water for two months and still remain dry
to the touch. “The water comes to rest on the top of the Nano filaments like a
fakir sitting on a bed of nails.” (Whatever that means…)
Machine Learning will advance
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) innovations will
continue to bring scientific breakthroughs, in part, thanks to the vast amounts
of data that new technologies have been collecting and is now available.
In 2019, Machine Learning and Artificial
Intelligence will be embedded in the business platform creating and enabling
smart business operations.
In the Artificial Intelligence space, China is
going to leave the U.S. behind, emerging as a leader in AI developments and
Advances in Machine Learning technology and
algorithm training will result in new and more advanced AI. Autonomous
vehicles and robotics are the two industries that will see the most rapid
developments during 2019.
In 2019, there is going to be a convergence of
Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning in
business applications. As AI and learning technologies get to work together in
order to reach better results, AI will have greater accuracy at all
levels. So far, humans have only developed Narrow Artificial Intelligence.
A superior AI, though, is in the future of mankind. How far should humans go
with AI development is still a subject of controversy. Is this really going to
be mankind’s last invention?
Quantum Computing, still an emerging technology, is
one of the most fascinating things researchers, organizations, and governments
have been working on in this century so far. The race toward building the first
fully-functional, fully-working quantum computer (also called supercomputer) is
With its impressive computational power, quantum computers will most like be a cloud service in the near future rather than on-premise machines. IBM is already offering cloud-based quantum computing services.
The first quantum computer is going to have a significant advantage over others. In 2019, the competence to achieve supercomputer supremacy will intensify. As a consequence, the last mile in the race will remain mostly secretive, for obvious reasons.
Augmented Reality (AR) and
Virtual Reality (VR)
Advances in Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR), all of
which can be summarized in R+, will continue to be at the forefront of
attention during 2019 with some fascinating new practical applications for
R+, which once was only found in video gaming has
been quickly advancing to become a useful tool in industries such as
engineering design, manufacturing, healthcare, space exploration, and many
In 2019, Virtual Reality is going to open up to
innovative industrial applications that will change how people work and
collaborate across geographies.
Augmented Reality has been rising in Virtual Reality’s shadow for the past year. But in 2019, AR is set to grow exponentially.
Global Internet of Things
(IoT) security breach
Hackers never sleep. Everyone in the cybersecurity
industry knows that. As long as you connect something to the Internet it
immediately becomes vulnerable.
In the past years, we have seen how hackers have turned to the unsecure Internet of Things (IoT) devices to create an extensive botnet which then they could use to push enough traffic to take down Dyn, the DNS provider. As a way to refresh your memory, here is how the DDoS attack using IoT devices happened in 2016.
A quick look at the news tells us that not much has
been learned. However, the great number of security breaches occurred during
2018 should serve as an alert of what can happen at a global scale in 2019 if
organizations don’t take the necessary precautions.
Analyst firm Gartner forecasts that 20.4 billion
connected things will be in use worldwide by 2020. And with the rise of
autonomous things –I will call this the Internet of Autonomous Things (IoAT)–
there is a good chance that many of these things will show a certain level of
In 2019, it will be paramount for IoT manufacturers
and all of their supply chain to dramatically increase the security in all the
products that come out to market. It can be a connected refrigerator, a
robot, a drone, a vehicle, or a health tracker.
Manufacturers must implement a level of security
that keeps hackers at bay. Otherwise, there is a good chance we are going to
witness a global IoT security breach in 2019.
In 2019, for the delight of organizations,
Blockchain is going to bring the first enterprise applications in active use.
The most innovative corporations will start using Blockchain as a way to
Blockchain in 2019 comes out cryptocurrency
transaction and becomes an integral part of the business platform. Blockchain
enables transactional transparency across a variety of business functions. In
2019, Blockchain will be present in many industries at the core of business
The current statistics shown that the sales of various tech
is now down and that people aren’t eagerly awaiting to buy the latest thing.
There are various reasons for this and to put your finger in the one would be wrong.
But it begs the question about what we do with old kit? I
have been recently taking 7 year old laptops that have still some very good kit
on board and upgrading by adding a SSD drive to them.
What do we do with our computers?
We need to look at what we now do with computers: –
A few years ago all programmes were on the computer and so was the data until we backed it up
The Internet was growing fast and we are getting faster access.
So cloud storage became a thing and has grown over the last few years to an amazing level.
“According to recent research by Nasuni, there is over 1 Exabyte of data stored in the cloud, or: 1024 Petabytes of data. 1,073,741,824 Gigabytes of data. Quintillion bytes of data” This data was 2013. 6 years ago.
These figures don’t even make sense to us. To try and comprehend this amount of data and storage becomes something we can’t relate to.
Applications are also becoming more cloud driven and this will only increase over the next few years. SAAS. (Software As A Service). Office 365 is a well-known one. Google utilities, (G-suite), etc. Monthly subscriptions and the latest and greatest always at your fingertips.
So what does this mean?
Well, the strain is being taken off a lot of standalone machines as the storage needs to be less as all data goes to the cloud. (See article on using the cloud, here.)
The machines if they have a large amount of RAM and a fast SSD drive can boot up in anything from 4 seconds to 18 seconds. (The one I worked on recently booted up in 4 seconds)
So old kit can be slightly upgraded and cope very well with
what you need it to do. Thus alleviating the direct need to buy the latest kit
all the time.
What’s best for you?
Well, that really depends on how you operate and the things
you need to achieve. But don’t immediately write off all your current kit.
Maybe it is just better connections that you need or you need to think about
the way you operate and see if there are ways it can be done better.
I love this
and was also blown away by this. What does my title mean and how many Internets
Let me give
you background info. At the end of last year I attended, with some tech colleagues,
a Digital Expo in Edinburgh. A day of tech talks and an exhibition area full of
stands and vendors showing their wares. (And the usual freebies as we like to
keynote speech was by an MSP about the Scottish Government trying to help tech companies
and get Scotland at the top of the tech ladder. After that came the chap from
Google. (I must admit at this point as to being an avid Google follower and watcher
to see what they are going to do next.)
He started by
taking us back to how tech and Internet access has developed over the last 30
years. Things have just exploded.
From Dial up
to now literally instant access on all sorts of devices from fridges to watches
and phones and laptops and so on.
Explaining the Internet
Now in a
previous work post I had the privilege of teaching small business the benefits
of getting a website and how the Internet worked for their benefit and the
benefit of the user.
A common way I
described the Internet was to keep it simple but make it understandable, went
as follows: –
“Think of the
Internet as a giant library full of information. Shelves of books going into
the distance and finding things required a librarian to help you. They were at
that time mostly Yahoo and Google. You asked then for what you were looking for
and they went into the library and retuned all the relevant content”
People could visualise
this and then I told them that their website would be in that content and how
they could encourage the librarian to bring it to customers searching for what
they had to offer. All makes sense and even though simplistic, easy to get your
How would you
explain the Internet? (This was very early days as well.)
So what has changed?
So if that
explains the Internet then, surely it has just become much larger and has so
much content the librarians have become smarter and better at what they do?
This is true
of course and the search engines are constantly changing their algorithms to
cater for new searches and the rise of the social media traffic.
Bur prepare to
have your mind blown away. “Your Internet is not the same as my Internet”
“WHAT? I hear you cry. Of course it is.”
My man from Google explained the rise of the A.I. (Artificial Intelligence), has created tailored Internet for each user. So each time you interact and even shop, look for things, cafes, and theatres. Locations you search for, what locations you are in when you search. All these and many more things influence what return you get. So we could be in the same location and search for the same thing and get slightly different results. Our info is being tailored depending on our habits, likes and history etc.
may find this very disturbing and that so much info about us is going around.
Well unfortunately for them it is the case. Even using a food order app influences
things. Loyalty card at stores, the list is endless.
am excited about AI and what it can do for us. I think if used well and smart,
we can benefit well from this technology.
So what Internet do I use, well I use the one tailored for me?