Category Archives: Thoughts

The Shape of Tomorrow

One of the ideas that is common to hear is ‘tomorrow will be so different’ and the recently more common ‘this will change everything’. The idea being that the next thing on the horizon will change the world in ways that we could never imagine and that is not going to happen to our civilization without a revolution in technology itself.

Let us consider the example of the horseless carriage, or not since we have beaten that to death. Let us instead look to your home, it is a nice place, it has 4+ walls, a solid flooring, and one would hope a roof over your head. This basic idea has not changed much but our execution of this simple concept can now take us from a dry hole in a hill to any modern dwelling.  but we have mastered the building style, tools, and knowledge to make a modern structure. The story of how the food go to your plate is a much better story to show how things change and yet can stay the same, contemplate the supply chain needed to get you that produce on time.

We can see the changes coming that sound big take for example the idea that all stores will have robotic attendants, and all manufacturing is done by machines creating on demand custom handbag to the new kitchen counters. We can imagine this because it is already happening. You only need to look at manufacturing, farming, and distributors to see how they use more advanced tools like robotics to see how this will have a reduction in the need for humans on site.

The shape of the world has is not changed from how it was, we are still going about our daily life handling many small items, doing a task, and interacting with others around us. The idea that things will change beyond our imagining is a farce to help us deal with change in general.

We constantly change but we also adapt and accept the changes. Lets look at something simple like keeping your floor clean, wipe or pickup all the dirt if you do not have a broom or mop the carpet need to be beaten if you do not have a vacuum cleaner. Or jumping forward actually vacyume if you do not have a robotic vacuum. From this simple idea we can see that soon the laundry will be folded for you, the dishes cleaned, and put away.

When you can go down to the local store and pickup a personal attendant for the cost of a small appliance it will be common place. and just like with robotic vacuums nothing will have really changed.  We as a species do change more every day and at a faster rate then ever before but your life will not change fundamentally, it will just be improved like it was yesterday.

Job Losses, Basic Income, and EVE.

The modern person works a job to pay the bills and support their way of life and improve it, hopefully by doing something that they enjoy and find rewarding. I would like to ask what happens when you do not have an income and compare this to the MMO Game EVE.

A job is very important to the average person because it pays for the most important things you need like food, and shelter. I do not know anyone that can do without food, and most places are not sunny year round requiring shelter to survive. You might be luck and your parents, partner or to a limited extent governments can provide a limited coverage when you can not support your self. But if government support runs out or parents have issues how do you survive?

If you are luck to find a job you like and you are good at, you should not have many issues providing for yourself. Many people though do not know what they want to do, or have no support to test the waters and get the first job they can. Many articles have been written on the topic of job progression and how once you are in a job that only provides the basics of survival you do not have much ability to progress to better employment, you cannot risk what little you have. To progress you might need to take risks and the risks need to be balanced against what you might gain and what you might loss. If you risk losing your survival you will not take the risk and this would result in becoming trapped and unable to escape.

In most MMO games you do not need to survive in the traditional sense, in EVE you can sit in a space station forever and never pay for rent or food. Now this is not much of an existence but it does something very basic, you can fail at everything in the game and still have a second chance. You can start a company in game, you can explore the universe, you can do literally everything that is offered until you succeed. But the important thing here is that you can and will fail, and that is not a problem in the game world. Because of this safety net you can keep trying and learning from the mistakes and improving until you do something great, and when someone bigger takes it all away you can still try again.

This is where Basic Income would help society grow by giving everyone a guarantee of survival even if they lost everything. We need to provide the basics of food and shelter to all people with no restrictions if we want to encourage people to take the risks to do something great. We normally can not take the same risks we do in games, but if we could build a safety net like Basic Income then we would finally be able take many of the risks in life, imagine what we could accomplish.

If you would like to read more on Basic Income read the Wiki on the topic.
I also recommend keeping up with the reddit community.

Goodbye our friend NPAPI

We are starting to see changes in web browsers that will let us move forward, towards a future of the web that works for everyone on any device. Google has announced that it will stop supporting NPAPI in it’s Chrome browser and Mozilla has announced that it is changing how NPAPI works in the Firefox browser. This is a big change because mobile devices, tablets and locked down systems do not have plugins or can not have plugins installed.

With the advent of new web standards like HTML5, WebRTC, and others the operating system that runs your browser is less vulnerable to security holes, bugs or other attacks that can corrupt the operating system. The operating system should be silent and out of the way. What you want to do is use the tools and services provided, you should not be required to learn how to install a printer, find missing DLL’s, or patch the kernel.

Example of the command line

Example of the command line.

The natural progression of computers is to reduce the focus on the operating system in the same way we stopped using the command line. What is meant by this is that you can still use the command line if you really wish, but most people will never need to use it. The command line is not the focus of the operating system anymore and has been locked out or hidden. Over time the operating system will slowly fade in to be the background much like the command line, and we will only care about programs and services that are really part of the web and accessed through the browser regardless of what operating system you use.

Imagine a time when you do not need to be setup on the computer, you do not need to install your programs, you can toss your computer in a lake (DO NOT TOSS YOUR COMPUTER IN A LAKE) and all of your files, work, tools, and services are instantly on any system you sign on to. With the Web as the next layer of computing we can have this vision but it is only after we have abandoned our demand that all games, programs, and services are installed locally to one machine. We have many more reasons to do this and many companies are working hard at pushing hard for this vision of the future. 


Revised with: Mitchel Holt

Google Eric Schmidt Cover

Governments should change tax laws

“If the British system changes the tax laws, then we will comply,” Schmidt said. “If the taxes go up, we will pay more, if they go down, we will pay less. That is a political decision for the democracy that is the United Kingdom.”

This sums up my thoughts beautifully, at no point has this company paid less than it should, it paid exactly what the government permitted it to pay in taxes. If you want more taxes from companies and you want the companies to stop using loopholes in the tax code then close all of the loopholes and stop permitting new loopholes to be made. It might be time to fully review the tax code and find all the issues and loopholes that allow companies and people to avoid paying what they should.

I am interested in how they avoided paying  taxes that the governments are claiming they should be paying, but the issue is that the tax law let them avoid paying a large sum of money that the government believes they should be paying.

What Google is trying to do is force a change in the law so that they must pay the proper amount and can not use loopholes. This will have the effect of stopping all companies from using the loopholes not just Google. This will increase the tax flow from all companies and allow the government to provide the services that society needs to operate.

Source: BBC News


I have an idea for a new service, a simple but clean service. This will be a Question system, you ask a question that has a multiple choice answer and everyone can respond. This work on the idea that with a large sample size (thousands) you are likely to get the correct answer for the question.

The idea here is that anyone or thing could ask questions and get a feed back from a huge sample size. Simple, fast, and you could get some interesting data.

Rogers Federal Government Cell Plan

This week we have seen a nice leak from of the Rogers Federal Government cell plan. You can see this plan below in the attached image. The plan is meant for only official business and does not provide any funds to upgrade or install new towers as was explained to me, but this does reflect the cost of using the current infrastructure.

This shows how little it costs to use the service and how you can look at your own bill and calculate nice and fast how much you pay. I have 3 lines all with 1 GB of data usage, Voice-mail  SMS, Caller ID, Canada wide calling, and I pay 50$ plus tax per line a month. I also do not call people often, my bill reported around 300 min usage across all my lines last month with no long distance. I also used a total of 1.5 GB of data across all lines. My SMS usage was around 800 messages (rounded up) and I do not send picture messages.

Time for math: (Woot)
1.5 GB data at 0.03$ per MB is 46.08$
300 min of local calling at 0.01$ per min is 3.00$
800 SMS at 0.00$ is 0.00$
Lets not forget the plan rate of 0.55$ per line is 1.65$
My bill on this plan for all three lines is 46.08$ + 3.00$ + 0.00$ + 1.65$ = 50.73$
I would be saving a total of 99.27$ if I was to use this plan instead of my 50$ per line plan. 

Is the extra acceptable increase to allow for new coverage? I do not know, but I can tell you that I was promised LTE in Winnipeg, MB by the end of 2012 and we still do not have it as of this writing. 

Federal Government Cell Plan

Federal Government Cell Plan

Do you think this is fair or do you feel that Rogers is taking more then they should?
Further Reading: The Country Most Gouged By Telecom Companies? Canada

Post file sharing world

What would the world look like after file sharing has been accepted as common place and is not punished by governing bodies?

Currently most movies would be produced by a large studio that provides backing for the film, this has the benefit of using the studios resources and locations to film. You have access to all the personnel and support to make a big feature film.

With the increase of downloading and sharing movies with out a purchase the movie studios are not able to recover the costs of movies that are produced. This is a major issue because with out the income from movies that have been produced no new films can be made, and the funding for the film has been lost.

The largest change to all of this has been services like Kickstart. These services provide a major change to how we start a project, you are not paying for the product after it has been developed, produced, and gone to market. In this new system we are presented with ideas that people wish to develop in to a product, book, film, or even a game just to name a few of the mediums supported. As a consumer you get the option to support a project before it is produced showing your interest, and showing market viability.

The change is very simple, we would go from a culture that is told what we would like to a culture that says we like this please make it. We have always seen a product or idea that would have been great but it was never produced due to risk or lack of backing. Now we can show the support and willingness to purchase the item before it has even been produced.

Think of what we could have with out marketing telling us what we want.

Here is a thought

From van Dijk’s site: Life at the bottom of the city.

Why do you work? Do you work for the excitement, the challenge, or the fun of what you do? Do you feel good about what you do at the end of the day? Would you take a pay cut and be just as happy?

Or do you work so that you have currency? Do you work to feed your self and your families? Could you replace your job with any other job as long as you get more currency?

I wonder if socialist ideas do not fail because they are flawed but because society is flawed. Why is the idea of a guaranteed standard of living a bad thing? Why would you stop working if you had a guaranteed standard? Is it the fact that your work basically pushes you to work harder, does not care about your stress levels, and just want a more productive you?

Futuristic city concept art by Andrea, Italy.

I think you should work because you like what you do and you feel productive. I think we should all strive to make everyone feel better and live better. The world should not be a few rich standing on the backs of the lesser.

No I do not think you should give all your currency to charity and you should not have to sponsor children in a third world. Think about all the people that want to help why can we not just work at making everyone have a universal standard of living regardless of location on earth, race, or age.

Remember we are one race, we are one people, we all should all be equal, regardless of your personal view of how much better you are. You are not better you are not worse you are part of us.