Friday Shorts: Transit

Prologue.

It began with dark and raining. These hallways are usually full of surveillance robots that roam the place to ensure security and to have everything in order. Tonight seems to be somehow different. It’s too quiet and the damping weather made it even more haunting.

The man kept running towards a tight corridor. The platforms around the area are huge and it’s hard to find a place that is hidden and away from sight. The surveillance cameras and robots are inactive. So its unsure why the man is trying to hide himself. It may seem a greater danger is keeping the man running to a place to hide. There is a loud clinging sound and it seems to be following the man.

The man looks like he is exhausted. He could barely keep up with his own pace. He is breathing heavily and panting all he could to gasp for air as much as he can. But he kept pushing on. He felt his life depends on it. And perhaps he is protecting something. The documents he carried with him. Looks like a stack of paper and an envelope of some sort. It must be important as he grabs it closely within his chest and tightly he gush. He heard the clinging sound again and it seems to be getting closer. Whatever it is, it seems to be on him very quickly.

He reaches to the end of the corridor and it seem like a dead end. The man doesn’t seem to be concern. But his face shows that he knows the end is near. He took out a device from his pocket. It seems to look like a device that has a few basic buttons. He clicked on one of the green ones that have numbers on it. It looks like a combination of numbers for a password. Then he clicked on the big red one. Suddenly a big sound shattered the silence. The wall in front of him moved and reveal a doorway. The passage in was darker than the dark outside. Without hesitation, he quickly ran into it and towards the staircase down the dark room.

He can no longer hear the raining sound from the outside. It’s quieter but the danger is still trailing him. He knows he wouldn’t be safe for too long. The room seems to be more spacious than it seems. It looks like an old subway. Dusty and dark the place is. He pulled a lever and some small light illuminates the place. The place revealed itself and it’s huge. It looks like a hanger for gigantic trains. It’s too big for just a normal train station. It looks old but it seems operational. The man approached one of the train pods that has no windows. The door opened like a space ship. It has a hole in it and the man enters to the small pod.

Everything is calm inside the pod. It’s much cleaner and brighter. The leather seems to be well kept and the machine is operational. The computer inside turned on.

“Require destination” the computer asked in the form of a polite female voice.

The man took out his devise from his pocket again. He connects a cable between the devise and the computer in front of him. Then he clicked on his device to input some instructions.

“Destination received” the computer replied.
“Thank you for choosing Transit” the computer added.
“The safest mode of transportation” the computer assured.

The engine started but not as loud as you would imagine from a normal train. This train is far more advanced and it seems like it runs on electric. The bottom of the train lifted and hovered in its position. Then the sides of the train started to glow in a strip of navy blue. It’s flickering just a bit. Perhaps it’s not as well maintain from the outside compared to the interior.

The man inside looks confident. He finally looks relax as everything that he hope for in an escape is falling into place. As long as he gets out from this place, he knows the worst will be over. To his relief, the train started to move.

Its fast. Really fast. The train moves faster as it gains momentum. It’s a technological marvel. The whole train network is a huge cluster of sub networks of trains. Each train is made up with a singular pod in various sizes but the shapes are similar. When all the pods connect with each other, it looks like a giant centipede. But the way it moves is like a flying dragon swirling in different directions to get to a better position in moving quicker.

Some pods disconnect itself from the train and it moves to reconnect itself to another train network. It seems like there are many train lines to help connect the whole network to reach its routes. The way it connects and disconnects is just marvelous and almost look like a musical dance. But from near and up close, these amazing trains are tons of solid steel and brilliant technological advancement that mankind has ever made.

The man in the pod is closing his eyes. He is resting. While he was trying to rest but his hands are still conscious. He is grabbing tightly to the documents with him. Suddenly, an unnatural squeal noise came within the pod. From the outside, the pod looks perfectly fine. It’s still attaching with the other pods in front and behind.

The man was alerted and he knew something is not right. Then, he felt something dripping from the top and it’s dripping onto his hand and the documents he held. It was blood red. He looked up and he screamed at what he saw. The light failed and then it was black.

Continue reading Friday Shorts: Transit

Happy New Year!

Looks like we survived 2012.

Great, so wishing you a wonderful new year in 2013 and may all your wishes and resolutions come true in 2013. It’s not just another new year.

Make it the best year you will ever have. There isn’t going to be another 2013. So go for it whatever you want to do and have fun doing so.

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Apple Only Needs One Cook

Well it only requires one chief cook.

An interesting read about Tim Cook on TImes magazine this month. I think Apple will do just fine having Cook taking the helm from Steve jobs. Apple has a strong foundation and the succession plan to have Cook carrying the company forward.

Here is a snippet from the story.

Like Jobs, Cook never shows any doubt in public, either about himself or about Apple, not a scintilla, not for an instant. He rarely strays far from his core message about Apple: that it’s the best, most innovative company in the world, that consumers love it and that it is his privilege to work for it and for them. When speaking about his management style, Cook begins, “CEOs are all packages of strengths and …” He hesitates, looking for some way to reroute the sentence around the word weaknesses. Then he finds it: “and so forth.”

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Top Headline Terms in 2012

Like most people who follow tech news, I read Techmeme daily and almost religiously.

But to be honest, it’s getting much less. As there are getting more options out there such as Zite, Flipboard and others to help curate content that you like to read. Anyway, Techmeme has just released their Top Headline Terms for 2012.

Looking at the chart for the Top 20 terms for 2012, it’s not surprising that Apple is still on top and leading the rest. I can also observe that many of the keywords are the common suspects like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Samsung, mobile, apps and others. But one that I can’t quite get is No. 17, which is just the number 8. It must be an auspicious number for it to repeat so many times on the headlines. Perhaps Microsoft has a big part on that one.

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Cultivate Learning in the Workplace

Some ideas on how I would think an organization can cultivate learning.

The culture is about learning. The objective is about making learning fun. Every new recruit must be expected to be enthusiasts to learning. These people are constantly seeking new knowledge, reading the news, reading books, and having done a lot to prove that they want to gather knowledge to improve not just themselves but others too. They do to impact the people around them.

There will be days during certain mornings where we bring outsiders to come and learn pieces of running a company, such as coding, designing, social media skills, marketing and more. We will invite students and fresh graduates and hopefully the best ones and the ones with a great learning attitude. For students, it’s great for them to have some extra pocket money, meeting new friends, and for the company it’s a platform to recruit new talent for the company.

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Disruption for the Internet of Things

What is the Internet of things?

Here is a simple example. Have you seen a television that connects to the Internet?

The ones that give you access to web content such as YouTube, online news and web pages. Chances are you have probably seen one, played with one or at least heard of one. It’s nothing new actually for today’s standards. More televisions are enabled with Internet ready technology so it can be more convenient if you need to surf the web. With these smart televisions, the choice is yours if you wish to check or update your Facebook, Twitter or other social platforms that you use. That first example was easy.

But have you seen toys that you can control from a smart phone via the Internet? Or perhaps a toilet bowl where you can control with your smart phone to flush and track its usage? There are many other interesting ideas that are already been tested and its products are out in the market. The ones that I just pointed out are actually real. We have Internet enabled refrigerators that can tell you about its inventory, shopping list and more. New cars with smart dashboard that can connect you with information of road traffic, stock news, Internet radio or even surf the web via their touch screen dashboard. Security cameras that are connected to the Internet allowing you to check on your home or kids while you are away at the office or working overseas. Home locks that you can control with your smart phone via the Internet so you can open it for someone if you are not around.

Home thermostats that are connected to the Internet so you could track your usage, preferences and automatically adjust and optimize your home temperature at different time of the day that suits you. Internet enabled glasses that you wear to see, are now carved out from a science fiction movie. With smart glasses, you can view the world differently with real-time information presented next to objects that you see. These smart glasses also allow you to surf the web, listen to music or play a movie on a screen size as big as you can view through your glasses. The list goes on. The Internet of things are already here.

Alright, let’s look at some hard facts and trends today. Apple is reportedly already working on a super smart television product that will disrupt the smart television space. Google is also reportedly working on their smart glasses that will be out sometime in 2013 or in the following year for the masses. There are other lesser known consumer products like FitBit, Jawbone, Pebble and others that are wearables that can either track your fitness, sleep cycles, communicate with your phone and such. And if you want to view more weird, creative and interesting Internet of things concepts being done, a good place to check out is probably South Korea and Japan. A lot of innovation around Internet of things are being done there including wearable headbands that read your brainwaves so that you can interact with objects in front of you or things that are half way across the world.

The bigger challenge and question that we should be asking is how does the Internet of things impact our lives. A full disruption of the Internet of things will require us to embrace more trust, transparency and giving away more of our control to these devices with their masters and its infrastructures. This technology and the smartness that enable this magic, sit on the Internet cloud where all our private data and information are stored. Here’s the caviar, very often no one really knows where these Internet clouds are in the first place. Very likely, those clouds are probably located half way across the world and handled by folks who you don’t know.

Of course, your data will be protected as much as possible by their operators. But who say that these platforms cannot be compromised? And when it does, will you be ready to be exposed with your precious information potentially stolen and having your private self exposed to the whole world. There are security concerns that will take precedence when it comes to moving things to the cloud and it will in oder to truly be embracing the idea. However, we must take these pros and cons to be well balance, as there are strong benefits to the idea as well.

To be optimistic, I think that these questions will be addressed as we get closer to seeing the Internet of things become more integrated to our lifestyles. When it does, imagine that world you live in will be highly integrated and connected to the Internet. Most of the things you own will be trackable on your smart phone. You will have access to data of your usage, insights for optimizations and yes, deals and promotions. Deals will appear in the app and it will be recommended to you based on your usage data. Well the idea is to help you to spend more while giving you the best deals personalized to you.

The experience for the Internet of things for the individual should be highly engaged, easier and more social when comes to sharing usage data with friends. Also, personalization becomes a huge factor too. If it isn’t enough, the Internet of things will be every step with you when you shop, dine, seeking for entertainment, work and fun. The Internet of things will be no doubt become more popular as we are already experiencing its benefits.

For industries and businesses, the disruption effect will be similar to what we have seen on the mobile space where companies are more focus in building their applications and services on a mobile first strategy. For consumer electronic products and its related verticals for the enterprise, we will most probably be seeing a similar trend where we see the Internet of things as their first strategy when moving into the market. Having a consumer electronics product ready without an option for it to connect with other connected devices or the Internet, would seem to look old and unattractive, comparing to one that has that option ready. It will also be interesting to see the Internet of things to be applied in manufacturing, medical, financial and other industries. Connected devices becomes a strategy similar to mobile first, the ability to be connected will be pivotal for most consumer products and enterprise services.

So what do you think? It will be great to get your feedback.

Note: Thanks for reading. This has been Part 1 of Project Disrupt to identify disruptive ideas shaking up our world. More details on this are available from the previous post.

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Project Disrupt

You have probably notice it.

Other than disruption is already happening all around us, the fact that it’s getting a bit more busy here in this blog. There is a reason for it, the year end is the perfect time to get some small experiments done. Also, I have noticed I have been compiling quite a bit of notes of interesting ideas, lessons, insights and trends throughout the year.

Somehow, I have made it a habit to write down something almost everyday for the whole year. Now looking back, it seems like a good idea. The notes I have made have been proved to be quite a hefty research of interesting trends. Some I might even classified as great ideas for disruption. Note: Disruption in business and even in different industry verticals, is a good thing as it changes things to become more interesting and most of the time, better for the end consumers and the whole marketplace. We have seen disruption happening in social media, smart phones, music industry, taxi services and more.

Anyway, I thought I would share some of the trends I have spotted and get your feedback. The ideas are free but it will be valuable if it helps you to shape it into your own strategies moving forward for your projects or business. It’s just a small experiment, so let’s see what happens next. I am thrilled to see the future.

Part one will be shared in my next post.

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Friday Shorts: Dot Adams

Chapter 1

It felt like a Sunday morning and I find myself laying on the bed. I didn’t have the strength to open my eyes just yet, but I can hear the birds chirping outside the window. The wind is blowing gently and I can smell the wonderful breeze of life. I open my eyes slowly and I find myself on a hospital bed. I lay there thinking of nothing else but amazed like a new born child who have just entered to this world.

Chapter 2

Time passes quickly and that’s something that I am losing track during my recovery.

I am feeling a little bit woozy due to the medication that the doctors prescribed for me. It has been about two weeks and I am still laying on my bed at the hospital.

They gave me a computer but the size, it’s much smaller than I could remember.

The next thing I know, I was typing on it and surfing on the Internet like I was born to do so. It came naturally as I typed on the soft touch keyboard, tapping away and exploring a world that is beyond these four walls.

There is Google, searching my way for anything. Wikipedia, what a wonderful new way to explore. YouTube, you will be amazed how many weird videos you can find in there. And Yahoo! what a way to call a site. I can see myself jumping for excitement. There are so many sites that my eyes keep glaring with information overload. But my head just keep on soaking itself into it and beyond…

h ttp://www.facebook.com/matt…

I find myself struggling to setup a profile on Facebook. Entering my details like my name and my email address if I could still remember my old one. Or I will just create a new one if I have forgotten. There seems to be plenty of options on the web I was told. It doesn’t really bother me. My mind just snap into focus and I want to be connected to this new world that is strange to me. Right now, I am just curious and feeling very hungry.

“Great. You are awake” the nurse came in. Probably doing her usual routines.

“Yeah I thought I would just checkout some of these social networking sites.”
“It looks really interesting”

“Hah! You mean Facebook.” she replied with enthusiasm.
“I have a niece who found a boyfriend in there” she excitedly shared with me.
“I thought I would give it a try for myself as well but it didn’t quite work that well for me” she blushed while telling me discreetly and I shrugged.

She is probably in her late thirties and I swear I thought she would have been married. She looks quite decent and I thought it’s surprising for her to not be able to find a nice man. She put some food on my table and helped to change the sheets.

“Great . You are awake” this time the doctor came in.
“How are you doing today, Mr. Adams?”

The doctor has a peculiar mustache that reminds me of some cartoon character. Nevertheless, I can see that he is really a nice guy but I am still curious about the man behind that mustache. it’s distracting.

“Getting well, Sir.” I replied and trying to show confidence.

“Well, good news and it has been over two weeks” that’s how long I have been awake from my coma.
“You do realized that you are doing a tremendously good progress” considering I was asleep for five years.
“Five years is a long time, Mr. Adams” yes.
“I am excited for you and you should explore the world . You are just seventeen and it’s a great future waiting for you out there.” he took a peek at the website that I was on.

“We are living in the age of Facebook, iPhones and Androids. There are plenty of options available for you” strangely too many. I am eager and you can trust me. Anymore hospital food would be more than I can take.

“Anyway, your uncle will be picking you up tomorrow morning to help you discharge from the hospital” my uncle and not my family. Of course.

“I wish you well.”

Continue reading Friday Shorts: Dot Adams

Passions vs Options

It’s important to identify ideas.

Identify ideas, talent and opportunities by knowing if they are passions or options. If it’s real passions, one will overcome every obstacle in order to make them into realities. For example, one will be getting resources, working at odds to fund goals and etc. If one is not prepared to make sacrifices and go beyond hardship in order to push the limit, then it would be apparent that its just an option. Pursue passions and not options.

A lot of people, startups and comapnies waste time and resources pursuing options. It’s important to identify them as early as possible before pursuing.

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Mantra

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Making breakthroughs constantly. That’s the mantra.

This has been a strong mantra that I believe in. It isn’t easy but that’s the goal. Every time I experienced a breakthrough, the feeling of overcoming the big barrier or challenge is really exhilarating.

Time to step it up in 2013 wherever the dots continues to connect moving forward. Moreover, I know it’s just going to be great and awesome.

Wishing you the reader a great 2013 and have fun doing so.