Word To The Wise! A Picture IS Worth A Thousand Words! – IMRAN™

I predict the end of differentiating between text and image files, with it all being seamless information available to us and our tools.

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I was delighted to see this cool & powerful Microsoft feature in Office 365. Now you can search for words in your images in #Microsoft #Office365!

With such algorithms and more & more Artificial Intelligence in use in all types of software, I predict the end of differentiating between text and image files, with it all being seamless information available to us and our tools.

What do you think?

 

© 2017 IMRAN™

Need Talented Hardware & Software Electronics Engineers For Different Types Of Projects – IMRAN™

Ideally you would be great at designing and prototyping innovative new things in side projects for me. That takes more than just having a degree. (After all, even I have that. 😊). Here are some of the skills I would require.

As a Pakistani-American and UET Lahore Electrical Engineer, I know how many brilliant minds, even technical geniuses, were just in my own class of 80-Electrical. So, I always think of Pakistanis as well as UET students or recent grads first when I have ideas where I may need to hire someone for side projects or new ideas I want to develop into something more. 

Sometimes I need to hire someone for a short project, sometimes longer. But I would also love to find one or more very capable electrical/electronics engineers I can use regularly, not fulltime, but part-time on different projects and ideas. Could that be You?

Ideally you would be great at designing and prototyping innovative new things in side projects for me. That takes more than just having a degree. (After all, even I have that. 😊). Here are some of the skills I would require.

You have great command of English, total ability to hear an idea and technical requirements, and design the hardware prototype and / or write the middleware software or web apps. By that I mean more than “Oh I can do responsive website and SEO for you!”

A full understanding of intellectual property concepts and areas (including patent, trademark, copyright, and licensing) is essential. I repeat: Knowing about what patents are, and what is needed to get one issued by USPTO or Pakistan PTO, is absolutely essential.

The following are skills specific to various projects that I do NOT expect any one person to have. So I may need different people for different projects related to:


Electrical/Electronics Engineering

 Wireless / Home Automation and integration to other IoT systems, including interface and middleware. Nothing massively complex, but being able to make seemingly unrelated things interface and communicate. (e.g. …this is just an EXAMPLE… if I wanted to have a doorbell ringing outside the house to trigger a dot matrix printer to print Hello World, then he or she would be able to make that happen. Again, this is an EXAMPLE, not an actual idea!)

 Mobile Phone (iOS and Android) expertise to design accessories for Apple/Samsung etc. devices with apps to use that accessory. (e.g. design an extra external camera accessory for smartphones and software to capture data from the external and built-in device together). Only for EXAMPLE check out the FLIR InfraRed external camera for iPhones. (www.flir.com/flirone/ios-android/ )

 Android open source operating system customization (e.g. and this is only an EXAMPLE…. to customize Android for an IMRAN-Phone that just changes the screen display based on location and temperature). 

 Web Apps. not websites, development expertise. For EXAMPLE, think more about building FaceBook the SYSTEM not just offering to do FaceBook’s index.php page design.

 BlockChain, with knowledge of micropayments and BitCoin, smart contracts, digital currency.


Patent Drawing With Mechanical Engineering A Plus

– Patent Drawing EXPERIENCE of actually FILED patent(s), not just wasting my time by saying “I can draw plan, elevation, side view!” or that “I can do anything in SketchUp or other 3D or illustration program.” You need to ACTUALLY KNOW and have experience of having MADE the very SPECIFIC types of PATENT DRAWINGS required by the USPTO. Please do NOT waste my time if you do not know what I am talking about specifically here. This person can be a NON-ENGINEER or non-Electrical engineer, or even a talented teenager.


If you already do this type of work through sites like Fiverr, etc. that would make life simpler. I will need you to sign NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) and agreements to ensure that the intellectual property is protected and that you will neither re-use it nor use it yourself nor let anyone else have or use or copy from it. If interested, write in detail on what your areas of expertise are, what kind of time you are available, and rates. You may contact me via: http://imran.com/contactus.php but make sure to use an accurate and valid email address. To make sure your message is found and not lost in spam blockers, leave a comment below also to let me know. Let’s see what great projects we can do together!


IMRAN

(Still The) World’s Most Powerful Medium! – IMRAN™

Stay tuned… television imagery may become holographic or directly tuned into our heads one day in the future, but TV is here to stay.

#TelevisionIn4Words is a trending hashtag on Twitter right now. I contributed to that stream with:

“World’s Most Powerful Medium!”
Yes, better believe it, it still is.
You get, as I tagged the post, “#media #news #entertainment #opinion #history #music #comedy #politics #sports #weather” all in one ‘box’!
How many heads of state, or sports champions, or politicians, or businessmen, refuse to be interviewed for TV and say, “No, no TV interviews, tweet me or ask me on FaceBook.” ?
Much that many of us complain about how TV quality sucks these days, very few spend hours daily watching TV reruns from the ‘good old days’. If anything, more and more global citizens are now getting and experiencing the power of television.
Its influence will get even greater as even greater network bandwidth and Internet technology takes global TV to every corner where traditional TV antenna broadcasts could not reach.
And, news flash for those who claim that TV is dead. When you watch video programming, dramas, sports, music, and entertainment on your iPad or smartphone, you are still watching ‘television‘ programming, even if you are not sitting in front of a television set.
Just because the shape and size of the screen change, it does not mean the medium has died.
Stay tuned… television imagery may become holographic or directly tuned into our heads one day in the future, but TV is here to stay. In many ways, it is up to the television industry on how much of the best is still to come.
What do you think?

Imran Anwar
http://IMRAN.TV

What Workloads Should Or Shouldn’t Move To The Cloud? – IMRAN

There should not be a generic “All workloads of Type X can move to the cloud” nor a “Workloads of Type Y should NEVER move to the cloud” attitude.

To Achieve Greatness In The Digital World, Respect Intellectual Property & Innovate, Or Be Irrelevant! – IMRAN™

How then can people think in terms of creating intellectual property if they are themselves busy stealing someone else’s? That attitude is embedded in our culture and needs to be addressed. Without that, all the creative capabilities of Pakistanis will continue to be wasted on copying or reverse engineering others’ work, not creating brave new IP to change the world.

The article (Tech In Pakistan 2014) in the reputable Pakistan newspaper, Dawn, makes good points lamenting the mind numbingly stupid, and self-destructive, policies and factors that make for such “tepid performance” in Pakistan. The author, Y. Brohi, points how one does not need an army of people to launch a startup. My personal experience proved that, indeed, even one person can start a revolution or entire industries for others to build on.

In the end of the 80s and early 1990s, I was fortunate and blessed to pioneer and launch Internet email service in Pakistan right from my home in Gulberg-III, Lahore, while I was studying for my MBA at Columbia University Graduate School of Business in New York City. Together we, my partner & friend Ashar Nisar and I, were able to launch the .PK ccTLD, literally putting Pakistan on the brave new digital world’s map.

I later also had the opportunity to make another, less known but also important, humble contribution to Pakistan’s economic progress, by bringing and launching global credit cards in Pakistan, starting with issuing the first MasterCard license to a Pakistani bank in the early 90s. The availability of credit to the middle class can be a major driver to drive economic activity and the creation of products, services and related jobs.

Both of those industries were launched with no government funding (actually, we succeeded despite resistance and other tactics of the authorities of that time that I will not mention), and without venture capital, which at that time was near impossible to get in Pakistan.

My reason for writing this is not to boast on past achievements but to exhort the dynamic and hard working Pakistani entrepreneurs to learn from what the article says and what my experience shows.

You, one person, can start anything you want. There is nothing stopping the next secure identity and privacy solution to be created in Pakistan. There is no reason that artificial intelligence or secure cloud computing methods cannot be pioneered by Pakistanis.

If there is one thing that I have been frustrated by, and feel is a core reason for Pakistanis not creating world changing new things, is the disregard for intellectual property rights and concepts. From people ripping DVD movies to kids ripping games without payment, to the shameless way so-called respectable newspapers (excluding Dawn) steal and reprint others’ creative output, theft of intellectual property is commonplace, and almost something people boast about.

How then can people think in terms of creating intellectual property if they are themselves busy stealing someone else’s? That attitude is embedded in our culture and needs to be addressed. Without that, all the creative capabilities of Pakistanis will continue to be wasted on copying or reverse engineering others’ work, not creating brave new IP to change the world. 

I would love to see that topic get discussed at a national level. There are few nations that have so much creative entrepreneurial talent than Pakistan, as I have seen in my ~30 years of traveling the world.

Let us find ways to stimulate that and channel that and guide that for the greater good of the creators and the nation. That is why, in speaking to groups of Pakistani entrepreneurs and technology professionals, I say, “To Achieve Greatness In The Digital World, Respect Intellectual Property And Innovate With Your Own, Or Be Irrelevant!”

IMRAN™
http://imran.pk

Keep A Finger On The Pulse Of Fingerprint Readers In Gadgets

..despite being eligible for the new iPhone 5 upgrade from AT&T, I did not see any compelling reason to buy this one..

By now everyone has probably seen the news about Apple‘s recently launched iPhone 5S. Even as an old time iPhone fan, I had stopped buying new ones since the iPhone 4S. The iPhone 5 had not given me any compelling reason to buy one either. Ironically, in that period of time, even as an old time Mac user and past critic of old versions of Windows, I joined Microsoft

I did not immediately get a Windows Phone (even though I was losing out an employee discount) and waited until the phone I really wanted came out….. The Nokia Lumia 1020 WindowsPhone 8, with its 41MP mind-blowing smartphone camera, which I bought without a discount or employee rebate. I still kept and use my iPhone 4S, because of the many apps I had bought over the years, and music that is tied to iTunes/Apple at present.

I was very hopeful for a truly innovative iPhone 5S, because, even though Apple’s phone is now a direct competitor to my employer’s recently acquired smartphone business, I believe innovation at one leading competitor benefits us all, as others have to work hard, invest in innovation and build great devices and services around them.

But, try as I might, despite being eligible for the new iPhone 5 upgrade from AT&T, I did not see any compelling reason to buy this one, at least yet, while my 4S is working fine. The only thing that I found of some interest was the fingerprint reader Apple built in, based on a company it had bought not too long ago.

I have always been a fan of natural interfaces or input devices. 

Ironically, my first fingerprint reader was actually a Microsoft branded one I bought for one of my PCs in the days I was a big time Mac fan.

A few years ago I discovered Authentec‘s USB readers and bought several, especially as they could work on my Macs and my PCs.

Some time later their prices dropped drastically and I found Apple had bought the company. So, predicting that the next generation iPhone would have fingerprint capability was not a leap of genius. 

However, I have to say my experience with the Authentec USB pluggable fob readers was frustrating, to the extent I do not use them anymore. Sometimes it would take half a dozen attempts of aligning the finger, the reader and Jupiter with Saturn before it would accept the print. I found simply typing in my complex password took less time and frustration.

Ironically, now that my current position is with Microsoft, I am happy that the technology is becoming more mainstream even if launched by a competitor. Such wide distribution of technology features leads to a greater pressure on everyone to improve the technology. (Remember how frustrating BlueTooth was early on?).

I have a fingerprint reader built into the new Lenovo Windows 8 (now. 8.1 🙂 ) laptop I got earlier this year, and it works smoothly, quickly and without trouble (so far!).

So, I am hoping to see more of that technology in other laptops and smartphones. Let the new game begin…. Touch And Go (Innovate!).

 

 

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From “Apple Forever” To “Apple? Whatever…”

Today, Apple is steadily losing people like me. I’ve been a Mac user since Apple created them, and have been a loyal user ever since. There was also a certain exclusivity to Apple products,

A contact of mine commented on my light-hearted FaceBook post about it being time to stop using Apple products like iPhone etc. 

She wrote, “Apple til I die”.

That made me think how in 1996Apple was written off for dead, and my web post (before it was called blogging) Imran Anwar’s Opinion on The Future of Apple Computers told Apple users not to give up hope as Apple would survive. Yet now I have no love for Apple now, which acts far more monopolistic than Microsoft was accused of with its Internet Explorer domination back then. 

Today, Apple is steadily losing people like me. I’ve been a Mac user since Apple created them, and have been a loyal user ever since. There was also a certain exclusivity to Apple products, the same market share as Mercedes Benz and BMW was not a bad thing to have with a company that was still profitable and made really cool stuff. But, even before I joined Microsoft, I had been getting fed up with Apple.

In the interest of full disclosure, since last year I have been working with Microsoft, on a strategy consulting project at the Department of Defense. But, my frustration with Apple, which began a few years ago, and has reached total disgust levels, is easily seen from my posts (many even deleted by the criticism-rejecting-content-Nazis at Apple’s discussion boards) on the Apple customer fora. 

More and more often flakier and flakier services (including being ripped off by the class-action lawsuit worthy Music Match that never worked, and the promised refund that was never delivered), major bugs Apple idiotically tried to ignore (antenna gate, the known but never acknowledge static noise bug in iPhone 4S), stupid ugly apps (like GameCenter, PassBook, etc. that you cannot delete and can’t even push to end of apps lists off the phone screen, Apple deliberately shoves them to front screen on reboots), the Maps app that various police departments have called LIFE-THREATENING-TO-USE, Apple’s total lack of variety in phone models, making iPhone 5 a bit longer and with no truly desirable new features, … the list goes on.. would be enough. But even the air of exclusivity is gone… on top of the actual ability to deliver major innovation.

I am not a fan of Android at all, but, I have to give credit to Samsung for really shaking things up in more and more categories, while Apple is playing defense even in segments it made commercially successful.

So, I am not dumping my dozen old Macs and MacBook Pros, iMacs and tens of thousands of dollars in Mac OS based software I bought. But even as an Apple tech (not company) fan, I did not buy the iPhone 5, I did not buy the iPad mini, I did not buy the MacBook Pro Retina, etc. {Though I apparently will need to spend money because the 2010 MacBook Pro I use is apparently one that has a known manufacturing defect. Apple will quietly replace the logic board on it — if you can afford to part with your machine for nearly a week — but I can’t do that as I had since then upgraded to a larger hard drive and do not know where my original drive is). 

I am not the only one from the core Mac loving Apple customers who find the company is due to be kicked off its high horse, that has been limping even more noticeably since Steve Jobs’ passing.

What are your thoughts? Do you think Apple will right itself, go back to innovation, and actually building quality products again?

PS Note, these are my personal opinions. I do not even work on any products or software for Microsoft but do strategy consulting for one of its clients.