Warning: Parameter 2 to SyndicationDataQueries::posts_search() expected to be a reference, value given in /home4/sattek/roguepolitics.com/wp-includes/class-wp-hook.php on line 298

Warning: Parameter 2 to SyndicationDataQueries::posts_where() expected to be a reference, value given in /home4/sattek/roguepolitics.com/wp-includes/class-wp-hook.php on line 298

Warning: Parameter 2 to SyndicationDataQueries::posts_fields() expected to be a reference, value given in /home4/sattek/roguepolitics.com/wp-includes/class-wp-hook.php on line 298

Warning: Parameter 2 to SyndicationDataQueries::posts_request() expected to be a reference, value given in /home4/sattek/roguepolitics.com/wp-includes/class-wp-hook.php on line 298
technology « Rogue Politics

Categories

A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

Bringing Back Manufacturing Jobs to the U.S.A.: Confronting Tough Realities

Meeting with American corporate CEOs at the White House on the first “working day” of his presidency, Donald Trump warned, “A company that wants to fire all of its people in the United States and build some factory somewhere else, then thinks that product is going to just flow across the border into the United States . . . that’s just not going to happen.”[1]The new president was up against “tectonic forces” in trying to bring back “blue collar” manufacturing jobs to his base using tax policy. Yet the business calculus goes immediately on the basis of financial advantage, and the contours of the “game board” include the various tax and trade policies of countries.


The full essay is at “Bringing Back the Jobs.”

[1]Nelson D. Schwartz and Alan Rappeport, “Call to Create Jobs, or Else, Tests Trump’s Sway,” The New York Times, January 24, 2017.

Continue reading Bringing Back Manufacturing Jobs to the U.S.A.: Confronting Tough Realities

. . . → Read More: Bringing Back Manufacturing Jobs to the U.S.A.: Confronting Tough Realities

Passengers

Augustine wrote that Christians are ideally in the world but not of it. The fallen world is not the Christian’s true home. For the 5000 (plus crew) prospective colonists hibernating aboard a mammoth spaceship in the film, Passengers (2016), the planet Earth was presumably not their true home—or maybe that home was becoming climatically rather untenable and the 5000 were lucky souls heading for a new, unspoiled home.


The entire essay is at “Passengers.”

Continue reading Passengers

. . . → Read More: Passengers

The Golden Age of Innovation Refuted

“By all appearances, we’re in a golden age of innovation. Every month sees new advances in artificial intelligence, gene therapy, robotics, and software apps. Research and development as a share of gross domestic product [of the U.S.] is near an all-time high. There are more scientists and engineers in the U.S. than ever before. None of this has translated into meaningful advances in Americans’ standard of living.”[1]The question I address here is why.
The essay is at “Golden Age of Innovation.”


1. Greg Ip, “Economic Drag: Few Big Ideas,” The Wall Street Journal, December 7, 2016.

Continue reading The Golden Age of Innovation Refuted

. . . → Read More: The Golden Age of Innovation Refuted

AT&T Buys Time Warner: An Expansive Strategy Amid Industry Uncertainty

After Comcast’s $30 billion takeover of NBCUniversal and Verizon’s acquisitions of the Huffington Post and Yahoo, AT&T agreed on October 22, 2016 to buy Time Warner for $85.4 billion. The ability to produce content and deliver it to millions of viewers “with wireless phones, broadband subscriptions and satellite TV connections was not lost on either board.[1]At the time, AT&T sold “wireless service in a saturated market, while Time Warner [was] a content company whose primary assets, networks like CNN and HBO, [faced] tougher times in a cord-cutting world.”[2]Although AT&T’s board could be accused of empire-building wherein bigger is better (i.e., more powerful), the stabilizing impact of combining wireless service and content could hardly be ignored in a business-environment so full of change and uncertainty. In other words, with the traditional television industry facing such dire threats to its revenue-structure due to the proliferation of high-tech substitutes, having the wherewithal to formulate and experiment with different distribution means and even content was at the time a fitting strategy.
The full essay is at “AT&T Buys Time Warner.”


1. Michael J. de la Merced, “AT&T Pledges $85 Billion To Acquire Time Warner,” The New York Times, October 23, 2016.
2. Farhad Manjoo, “AT&T-Time Warner Deal Is a Strike in the Dark,” The New York Times, October 24, 2016.

Continue reading AT&T Buys Time Warner: An Expansive Strategy Amid Industry Uncertainty

. . . → Read More: AT&T Buys Time Warner: An Expansive Strategy Amid Industry Uncertainty

Apple’s iPhone and the FBI: Recalibrating the Right-to-Privacy

On February 29, 2016, a federal judge rejected the FBI’s request to unlock the work-issued iPhone 5c of Syed Rizwan Farook, who with his wife killed 14 people at a 2015 holiday gathering of county workers. The FBI and DEA cited the All Writs Act, a law passed in 1789 that authorizes federal courts to “issue all writs necessary or appropriate in aid of their respective jurisdictions and agreeable to the usages and principles of law.”[1] The U.S. Justice Department was demanding that “Apple create software to bypass security features on the phone.”[2] In other words, Apple was to “write code that overrides the device’s auto-delete security function.”[3]In response, Apple’s lawyers argued that the statute does not give the court the right to “conscript and commandeer” the company into defeating its own encryption, thus making its customers’ “most confidential and personal information vulnerable to hackers, identity thieves, hostile foreign agents and unwarranted government surveillance.”[4] Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO at the time, said the FBI “was asking his company to create a ’back door’ that could be used to unlock other phones, exposing customer data. Agreeing to the FBI’s demand would set a dangerous precedent that could lead to other calls for Apple’s help to obtain private information, Cook said.”[5] Only weeks later, the FBI abruptly dropped the case because the bureau had found an outside company with technology that could serve as a master key. The FBI could use the “key” to unlock any iPhone. This left customers fearful that their data was now less than private even though Apple had promoted the iPhone product as not having a “back door” In the end, (t)he iPhone fight exposed a rift between the FBI and Silicon Valley technology companies over encryption, and sparked a debate about the right balance between privacy and national security.”[6]I suspect that although a trade-off, or tension between the right of privacy and the national-security interest of the United States existed at the time, electronic privacy would become harder and harder to protect as a result of the FBI’s tactics.  


The full essay is at “Apple’s iPhone and the FBI.”



1.  Jim Stavridis and Dave Weinstein, “Apple vs. FBI Is Not About Privacy vs. Security—It’s About How to Achieve Both,” The World Post, March 8, 2016.

2. The Associated Press, “New FBI Head in San Francisco Was Key Figure in iPhone Hack,” The New York Times, October 5, 2016.

3. Jim Stavridis and Dave Weinstein, “Apple vs. FBI Is Not About Privacy vs. Security—It’s About How to Achieve Both,” The World Post, March 8, 2016.

4. Jim Stavridis and Dave Weinstein, “Apple vs. FBI Is Not About Privacy vs. Security—It’s About How to Achieve Both,” The World Post, March 8, 2016.

5. The Associated Press, “New FBI Head in San Francisco Was Key Figure in iPhone Hack,” The New York Times, October 5, 2016.

6. The Associated Press, “New FBI Head in San Francisco Was Key Figure in iPhone Hack,” The New York Times, October 5, 2016.

Continue reading Apple’s iPhone and the FBI: Recalibrating the Right-to-Privacy

. . . → Read More: Apple’s iPhone and the FBI: Recalibrating the Right-to-Privacy

Tech Industry Self-Regulation: Sufficient to Handle the Ethics of A.I.?

Five of the world’s largest tech companies—Google’s Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft—had by September 2016 been working out the impact of artificial intelligence on jobs, transportation, and the general welfare.[1]The basic intention was “to ensure that A.I. research is focused on benefiting people, not hurting them.”[2]The underlying ethical theory is premised on a utilitarian consequentialism wherein benefit is maximized while harm is minimized. The ethics of whether the companies should be joining together when the aim is to forestall government regulation is less clear, given the checkered pass of industry self-regulation and the conflict of interest involved,

The full essay is at “Tech Industry Self-Regulation.”


[1]John Markoff, “Devising Real Ethics for Artificial Intelligence,” The New York Times, September 2, 2016.

[2]Ibid.

Continue reading Tech Industry Self-Regulation: Sufficient to Handle the Ethics of A.I.?

. . . → Read More: Tech Industry Self-Regulation: Sufficient to Handle the Ethics of A.I.?

Worse vs Explosive

Smartphones are all over the news right now. The big story about the new iPhone 7 is that the iPhone no longer has an earphone jack. Here is an ad parody about it: “Because please.” The new iPhone’s top competitor, the Samsung Galaxy 7, has an explosive problem: it freaking explodes into fire when the … Continue reading “Worse vs Explosive”

Continue reading Worse vs Explosive

. . . → Read More: Worse vs Explosive

Apple’s CEO Manufactures a Human Right

People with disabilities represented 19% of the U.S. population in 2015—exactly 25 years after the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became a federal law.[1]With computer technology being by then integral to daily life, the matter of accessibility came to the fore under the normative principle of equal, or universal, access. With major tech companies getting behind this banner, one question is whether they did so simply to sell more computers and software—better access translating into more customers. I contend that the stronger the normative claim being made, the greater the exploitation of the underlying conflict of interest.


The full essay is at “Apple’s CEO.”


[1]IOD Report Finds Significant Health Disparities for People with Disabilities,” Institute on Disability/UCED, August 25, 2011.

Continue reading Apple’s CEO Manufactures a Human Right

. . . → Read More: Apple’s CEO Manufactures a Human Right

A Planned Chinese Supercity Hinging on Technology

A Kansas-sized supercity of 82,000 square miles and 130 million people, with Beijing at the center, is in the vanguard of economic reform, Liu Gang said from Nankai University in mid-2015.[1]Six times the size of New York City’s metropolitan area, the planned regional economy would require nothing short of a feat of urban planning. The economic synergy anticipated from the planned integration is the main benefit. The sheer scale alone presents its own challenges, however, and the complexity in coordinating the various shifts of people and services suggests that unintended excesses and shortages will demand immediate action. Even so, I contend that the application of technology will make or break the viability of the anticipated supercity.


The full essay is at “A Planned Chinese Supercity.”


[1] Ian Johnson, “Pain and Hope as China Molds Its Capital into New Supercity,” The New York Times, July 20, 2015.

Continue reading A Planned Chinese Supercity Hinging on Technology

. . . → Read More: A Planned Chinese Supercity Hinging on Technology

San Francisco: The Zuckerberg Syndrome

It is difficult enough diagnosing a dysfunctional culture in a large corporation—imaging having a large American city as a de facto patient. Not that I had any idea what treatment could possibly cure a social-psychological disease when I was in San Francisco. I, like so many other new-comers there, temporary or permanent, got the sense after only a few weeks that something was very wrong in the way people were interacting there. As a corporate man in his late twenties from L.A. remarked after just ten days in the city, “The people here are very rude.” As he described the particular behavior pattern, I was stunned; it matched what had taken a month for me to discern. This began my curiosity as to the dysfunctional culture undergirding the wholesale lack of manners, and, more particularly, how it is that a distinct mentality or value-set and behavioral trait can show up in so many individuals.


What lies beneath the clouds is not necessarily visible from above. (Jeff Chiu of AP)

The full essay is at “San Francisco.” 

Continue reading San Francisco: The Zuckerberg Syndrome

. . . → Read More: San Francisco: The Zuckerberg Syndrome

The Age of Adaline: Death as No Longer Inevitable

In The Age of Adaline (2015), the age-old “fountain of youth” leitmotif springs forth yet again. In this incarnation, Adaline is forced to come to grips with the fact that everyone around her, including her daughter, is aging even as Adaline herself does not. A strong electromagnetic has altered her genes such that her cells do not divide at slower rates as they age. As she becomes aware of the repercussions, we in turn can marvel at what may be just decades away scientifically concerning the expected human life-span. In short, when the film came out, scientists were already openly discussing whether death itself may no longer be inevitable for human beings.

The full essay is at “The Age of Adaline.”

Continue reading The Age of Adaline: Death as No Longer Inevitable

. . . → Read More: The Age of Adaline: Death as No Longer Inevitable

The Processes of Innovation at Google and Apple: Clash of the Titans

How exactly innovation reaches the surface of human consciousness, and how widespread this process is or could be, elude our finite grasp even if particular managers assume the potion can be applied in our bewindowed linear towers. It is all to easy to willow the question down to a matter of which floor is best suited–the top or the lower ones. We can contrast the approaches at Google and Apple to understand just how little we know about innovation, which is ironic as we are living in an age in which change is the only constant.

The ways in which the folks at Google and Apple approach innovation can together be taken as illustrative of the “archetypical tension in the creative process.” So says John Kao, an innovation consultant to corporations as well as governments. Regarding Google, the company’s innovation method relies “on rapid experimentation and data. The company constantly refines its search, advertising marketplace, e-mail and other services, depending on how people use its online offerings. It takes a bottom-up approach: customers are participants, essentially becoming partners in product design.” To be sure, customers, or “users,” are not “participants” in a company; neither, I suspect, are subordinates.As stakeholders to be appeased, neither customers (or “guests” at Target) nor employees (or “partners” at Starbucks) can be reckoned as “participants.” 

The innovation method at Google is inductive, meaning that major product improvements come at least in part from going over the feedback of individual customers. According to the New York Times, “Google speaks to the power of data-driven decision-making, and of online experimentation and networked communication. The same Internet-era tools enable crowd-sourced collaboration as well as the rapid testing of product ideas — the essence of the lean start-up method so popular in Silicon Valley and elsewhere.” The emphasis here should be placed on a multitude of specific product ideas rather than on the collaboration, for “while networked communications and marketplace experiments add useful information, breakthrough ideas still come from individuals, not committees.” As Paul Saffo, a technology forecaster in Silicon Valley, observes, “There is nothing democratic about innovation. It is always an elite activity, whether by a recognized or unrecognized elite.” Therefore, we can dismiss the presumptuous use of “participant” to describe the inclusive involvement of customers. 

The Times goes on to describe the “Apple model” as “more edited, intuitive and top-down. When asked what market research went into the company’s elegant product designs, Steve Jobs had a standard answer: none. ‘It’s not the consumers’ job to know what they want.'” It is as if Jobs were an autocrat or aristocrat pointing out that the masses don’t really know what they want. The countess at Downton Abbey would readily agree. The assumption that transformative innovation can only come from an elite fits with Apple’s deductive approach wherein a few true visionaries, such as Jobs himself, at the top present the innovative product ideas (e.g., ipod, ipad, smartphone) to be implemented by subordinates. Clearly, neither employees nor customers are participants in this approach.


King Steve Jobs. Does transformative innovation depend on visionary leadership?  (Image Source: www.fakesteve.net)

The tension between the two approaches comes down to their respective assumptions concerning whether many people or just a few are innately creative in relating imagination back to “the real world” co-exist only in tension; each of the assumptions is antagonistic toward the other. In the political realm, the same tension manifests in terms of whether a democracy is likely to end in mob rule and aristocracy in plutocracy (the rule of wealth). 

As elitist as Job’s statement may be even with respect to employees, he may have had a point that virtually no customer could have anticipated the ipad even five years before it was designed inside Apple. Moreover, it is nearly impossible to project in the 2010s what daily life will be like for people living in 2050. Could anyone in 1914 have anticipated the movies and airplanes that were commonplace by 1950?  People alive just before World War I broke out on August 10, 2014 were no doubt getting used to the electric light, the telephone, and the strange horseless, or auto, “carriage.”  Jump forward a century. Only from retrospect can we say that the ipad had been an inevitable innovation. Perhaps it is simply human nature that the human mind is predominantly oriented backward, rather than to anticipating transformational innovation. Steve Jobs was admittedly an exception; even so, this does not mean that triumphs cannot come from hundreds if not thousands of entrepreneurs. 


Source:

Steve Lohr, “The Yin and the Yang of Corporate Innovation,” The New York Times, January 28, 2012. 

Continue reading The Processes of Innovation at Google and Apple: Clash of the Titans

. . . → Read More: The Processes of Innovation at Google and Apple: Clash of the Titans

INSTAGRAM DIRECT: “SEND PRIVATE PHOTOS TO YOUR FRIENDS”

We all remember when Instagram went Insta-video in June of this year, and as a result, we now get fifteen seconds of filtered videos raging from beautiful landscapes and cat fights—actual cats fighting. However, today Instagram announced Instagram Direct. A new feature in which IG users will now be able to send photos that they […] . . . → Read More: INSTAGRAM DIRECT: “SEND PRIVATE PHOTOS TO YOUR FRIENDS”

Arctic Warming: Not Just Another Natural Cycle This Time

In late October 2013, research was published on the average summer temperatures over time in the Canadian Arctic. The scientists found from analyzing deep ice samples and moss only recently freed from the grip of ice that the average temperatures in the twentieth century were the highest going back at least 44,000 years to 120,000 years. The most significant warming did not begin until the 1970s and is particularly striking in the 1992-2012 period. The most significant implication of the study is that the argument that we are merely seeing another natural cycle underway can finally be put on ice.

“The key piece here is just how unprecedented the warming of Arctic Canada is,” Gifford Miller, one of the study’s scientists, said. “This study really says the warming we are seeing is outside any kind of known natural variability, and it has to be due to increased greenhouse gasesin the atmosphere.”[1]Particularly striking is the phrase, “outside of any kind of known natural variability.” We are in unchartered waters made possible only by melting glaciers. In other words, we could really get blind-sided.

To get some perspective on how long the moss had been encased in ice, our species reached Australia approximately 45,000 years ago. Another 25,000 years earlier (50,000 years after 120,000 years ago!), homo sapiens underwent a cognitive revolution, which resulted in the “fictive mind.” The sapiens brain had via development from natural selection become capable of apriori imaginary realities or ideas. Story-telling in the hunter-gatherer bands (i.e., small groups) no longer be bound to observable (i.e., empirical) phenomenon. After the agricultural revolution based on permanent settlements in place of the nomadic life of the hunter-gatherer, the imaginary ideas of the fictive mind would enable homo sapiens to get past the lack of any “hard-wiring”(via thousands of years of natural selection) enabling members of the species to live in close proximity with many strangers. Larger, more complex social living groups (e.g., cities, kingdoms, and eventually even empires) could be formed and maintained through inter-subjective imaginary ideas.

Perhaps then the question is whether the human fictive mind will be able to harness enough coordinated effort and invention to compensate for the non-natural roller-coaster ride in the twenty-first century.    



[1]Douglas Main, “Arctic Temperatures Reach Highest Levels in 44,000 Years, Study Finds,” The Huffington Post, October 24, 2013.

. . . → Read More: Arctic Warming: Not Just Another Natural Cycle This Time . . . → Read More: Arctic Warming: Not Just Another Natural Cycle This Time

ABC= Always Be Careful

It’s that time of year again out here, we’re well into harvest, and everybody concerned is going full-out trying to keep up. That means nearly everyone is working till they get stupid. That’s the term I use when you keep going until you’re so tired that you’re not thinking clearly anymore. It tends to be […] . . . → Read More: ABC= Always Be Careful . . . → Read More: ABC= Always Be Careful

Dayton pursues dead end jobs, Part I

I shouldn’t be surprised by this but, according to this KSTP segment, some of Mark Dayton’s secret jobs trips were expensive wastes of time: Jay Kolls’ report is quite revealing: Sources tell 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that Governor Dayton, or members of his Cabinet, have quietly made numerous trips out West and overseas to try and […] . . . → Read More: Dayton pursues dead end jobs, Part I . . . → Read More: Dayton pursues dead end jobs, Part I

Amazing video – Ride the Space Shuttle’s Solid Rocket Booster

I LOVE this stuff From the video description: From the upcoming Special Edition Ascent: Commemorating Space Shuttle DVD/BluRay by NASA/Glenn a movie from the point of view of the Solid Rocket Booster with sound mixing and enhancement done by the folks at Skywalker Sound. The sound is all from the camera microphones and not fake […] . . . → Read More: Amazing video – Ride the Space Shuttle’s Solid Rocket Booster . . . → Read More: Amazing video – Ride the Space Shuttle’s Solid Rocket Booster

13-INCH IPADS?

In a recent report by the Wall Street Journal, Apple has requested to its suppliers that it design a display just under 13 inches. Is Apple trying to expand their product line or is this a reaction to competitor Samsung as they expand with more products?   IGN has the following: “Officials at the company’s […] . . . → Read More: 13-INCH IPADS? . . . → Read More: 13-INCH IPADS?

INSTAGRAM GOES INSTA-VIDEO

Instagram use to be all about artsy fartsy photos. Think it’ll remain the same with videos capturing? Today Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom announced to 130 million monthly users will now be able to shoot and share 15-second videos, dressed up with one of 13 special filters. “It’s everything we know and love about […] . . . → Read More: INSTAGRAM GOES INSTA-VIDEO . . . → Read More: INSTAGRAM GOES INSTA-VIDEO

WATCH: MEN CAN NOW EXPERIENCE A BABY’S KICK

Some are calling it the “wussification of men,” and others calling it a great experience that up to this point  only mothers could experience. The Diaper brand Huggies has developed a belt that can replicate in real-time an unborn baby’s kick to a belt that the father could wear so he could feel what the […] . . . → Read More: WATCH: MEN CAN NOW EXPERIENCE A BABY’S KICK . . . → Read More: WATCH: MEN CAN NOW EXPERIENCE A BABY’S KICK