Throwing The Book (Of Opinions) On “Will Print Media Survive?” – IMRAN™

In the long run……

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This is one of the questions I have seen asked for my literally 3 decades spent living in America (this coming week!) The irony of this question is that the words print and media have some overlap. Media, as in the industry encompassing information, news, knowledge, views, commentary, and print, a medium of distributing that content.
So, if the question is, will the “media” (industry) survive…… indeed, the answer is Yes, the real problem of fascism style labeling of real news as fake news and real(ly) fake news as (alternative?) facts notwithstanding, Will PRINT as a medium used by the media (industry) survive, is a more complex one. In the long run (when we are all dead anyway, as John Maynard Keynes said and wrote, ironically, in print, a long time ago), the pace of innovation, the sheer volume of information and knowledge, the staggering number of content types, content creators, and content creators, will make it practically impossible to rely on printed paper as the mainstream mass-use medium.
There are not enough trees, one could say, to sustain that volume of paper production, without destroying the remaining forests of the planet, regardless of how much reforestation gets done. Also, if we look at the real long run, when increasing numbers of us will be able to explore space travel, there is just no practical sense in bringing printing equipment on space rockets and even spaceships, much less trees and other plant forms to produce traditional paper. Plus, the amount of information we are already used to having at our fingertips just would not translate into printed paper as a practical means to carry it around.
Having said that, however, I will also say this, or as another great mind said last century or even earlier, predictions of the death of paper/print are exaggerated. When computers came on the scene, with dot matrix, inkjet, laser and color laser printers soon following, the actual production and consumption of paper grew massively.
That rate of growth, especially in a planet starved of space to store the paper, or grow the raw materials for paper, plus a species (not)hell-bound on finding new places to live on in space, will not be sustainable. So, I see traditional, especially high quality paper based printing becoming a growth industry, where the vanity of having a hardbound book rather than just being the author of an eBook, will ensure its survival for a while, much like vinyl albums are still around despite higher resolution audio sampling of today’s digital music libraries fitting in our back pockets.
Another interesting twist may be the very notion of paper to be printed on. If the current pace of innovation continues, what is to keep us from not having literally infinite printed books, where the actual electronic screens become so thin and so embedded into plant and forest based paper pages, that we could still be holding a paper book or two in hand, where flipping pages gives the tactile experience we are used to for millennia, but with all the words of the universe surrounding us in an invisible omnipresent network.
What do you think?

Imran Anwar
Tampa Bay, Florida
12/31/2018

© 2018 IMRAN™

Image original source unknown.

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.

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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