Hawaii missile false alarm due to badly designed user interface, reports say

The user was to select from a menu of options including “Missile Alert” and “Test Missile Alert”, which were next to each other on the options menu.

The system also lacked a “Cancel missile alert” feature so no one knew how to un-do the transmission of the fake missile alert.

As I suspected, the system design was so bad, they never thought to add a “cancel alert” feature to the system. Other news reports say no one will lose their job over this or be reprimanded. This sounds like an organizational leadership and organizational culture failure – bad design, bad implementation, bad procedures, lack of leadership.

Source: Hawaii missile false alarm due to badly designed user interface, reports say


Increasing minimum wage leading to more automation

If workers can keep their jobs, they’ll enjoy higher wages. But rising labor costs are pushing employers toward robots.

Source: California’s $15 minimum wage may mean more automated jobs | The Sacramento Bee

Automation has been coming and is coming, regardless of minimum wage hikes. However, large mandated wage hikes encourage rapid adoption of automation.

When automation is introduced, businesses often re-think their business processes too and invent more efficient ways to get things done.

The combination of automation – and improved business processes –  reduces the labor required just as the costs of automation are plummeting.

Mandated wage hikes lead to automation and improving business processes – which leads to greater economic efficiency. But it also leads to the loss of low wage jobs.

If workers retrain to add more value, this can be a positive development. However, for a variety of reasons, many workers will not improve their skills to add more value and end up out of work.

The bottom line is minimum wage hike laws are speeding up investment in automation and improvements to business processes that lead directly to low wage, low skilled job losses.

Author advocates more control and censorship over Youtube video content

In a free advertisement courtesy of USA Today, author Andrew Keen, who has made his living writing books condemning the Internet is quoted:

Andrew Keen says the real problem lies with YouTube, a platform without gatekeepers. The rules on the content that’s allowed on television, particularly children’s television, should extend to YouTube, which is soaking up more and more of young people’s screen time, says Keen, author of the upcoming book How to Fix the Future: Staying Human in the Digital Age.

“It’s the same old story. No curation, no mediation, no taste, no boundaries. All clicks,” says Keen. “How many times does this need to happen?”

Source: Logan Paul Japan vlog video raises issue: Is YouTube is safe for kids?

While I have similar concerns I do not advocate heavy handed, top down, centralized content control nor censorship programs; Keen thinks user generated content is evil. I do advocate that information consumers turn off the spigot and take charge over what they subject themselves to each day.

Will virtual reality lead to more effective propaganda? | SocialPanic.org – Occupy Propaganda

By “effective” we mean, propaganda that is more successful at persuading someone to adopt someone else’s agenda: “What really makes people trust VR more is that it creates a…

Source: Will virtual reality lead to more effective propaganda? | SocialPanic.org – Occupy Propaganda

Dean Kamen, his organization, the magic of invention

Some of the best inventors I know didn’t have a deep knowledge of any particular technology. They had a deep understanding of what the need is and what we would today call intuition — because we don’t know at the granular level what intuition is — they’d have an intuition about how to solve the problem and then they might go to PhDs for help in implementation.

I think invention is maybe like love. Everybody wants to have it. Nobody knows what it is. It’s an amorphic process. The public has an overly simplistic view of inventors. They suddenly have this brilliant vision and they go running down the street saying,“eureka I’ve got it!” Invention is an iterative, frustrating process in which you keep finding all the wrong ways to get to where you wanted to go. You back up, try a new route, hit another stumbling block, fall down. Eventually you integrate enough of the ideas that might have should have could have would have worked into something that actually does work. Then the world sees it and think it was a straight line from your idea to that solution. That there was instant clarity. As opposed to this iterative, long struggle.

Source: A conversation with Dean Kamen on the myth of “Eureka!” | TechCrunch

I find people like Dean Kamen, Elon Musk, etc to be incredibly inspiring in their tenacity in pursuing and find solutions to real world problems – as compared to those creating endless social media thingies in Silicon Valley 🙂

If you enjoy the process of discovery, invention and engineering solutions, this is a great and enjoyable article to read – highly recommended!

#Google allows caller ID #spoofing apps to be distributed in #Play Store

Caller ID spoofing enables someone to make it look like they are calling from a different phone number than their own. A smart phone app like this was allegedly used by the alleged “swatter” that resulted in the death of an innocent young father in Wichita, Kansas.

The company that creates this app – Caller ID Faker – Android Apps on Google Play – says it is based in North Carolina.

In the U.S. it is legal to spoof caller ID.