Monday, January 13, 2014

Sinclair QL: 30 years

Sinclair’s 1984 big shot at business: The QL is 30 years old • The Register:

Sinclair micros

Some nice memories about this device...

Google to Acquire Nest

Google to Acquire Nest – Investor Relations – Google:
"Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) announced today that it has entered into an agreement to buy Nest Labs, Inc. for $3.2 billion in cash."

For Google, a Toehold Into Goods for a Home - 
"Nest, which was started in 2010 by Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, members of the teams that built the iPhone and iPod at Apple, will continue to operate independently under its own brand and expand its portfolio of connected versions of what it calls “unloved but important devices in the home.
Mr. Fadell, Nest’s chief executive, will report to Larry Page, co-founder and chief executive of Google."

Getting even harder for Microsoft to compete in "Devices" space... 
And even more motivation to do so... 

ideas: Learning Technology

Learning Technology in the Information Age - Online Training Course for Developers: by Dan Appleman @ pluralsight

Dan Appleman: Kibitzing and Commentary » Blog Archive » The Most Common Question
Beginner’s don’t need learning resources – they need learning strategies.

very interesting and provocative class / presentation.
It is almost a blueprint how to arrange an online school,
including training sites such as pluralsight itself!

It is introducing idea that due to "Information Revolution" (internet technology):
anyone can communicate with any other number of other people, 
and get access to all human knowledge, for free and instantly.

And the result is:
  • Knowledge is "free" ("fundamentals", just search for it?)
  • Information is "free" ("specific technologies", just search for it)
  • Skills (ability to solve problems effectively) is NOT free (yet)
  • Innovation is based on expertise, in Knowledge, Information and Skills
The presentation author has a specific, and useful view on technology:
where it is practical to invest time in learning, since technology gets obsolete,
and as mentioned information and "knowledge" is free or cheap?

He also introduces learning "branches"
  • Technology
  • Business and Finance
  • Leadership and Management

In the "information age," usual problem is not availability of information, but filtering relevant information, and that is where training can help.

According to the author, the traditional schools provide "one stop shop" for:
  • Fundamentals
  • Information 
  • Skills (labs, equipment)
  • Curation (pre-selecting curriculum)
  • Support (teachers, student study groups, exams as deadlines, etc)
  • Certification (diploma)
  • Expertise
While there are alternatives for each of mentioned aspects of school, most people don't take them in account when trying to learn something. And that is a problem. 
  • Books may be considered a "curation" of relevant information about a subject: what to learn, in what order, what to exclude. Good curation can drastically reduce time and cost of learning. 
  • Online classes are almost a video representation of a book. 
  • Web, blogs, search, product documentation, may be good sources of specific information, but is very unreliable for complete picture of a technology. 
  • Schools are good for teaching fundamentals and not so good for up-to-date product information. They could be very expensive.
  • New technology is best learned from experts (i.e. conferences, classes etc.)
Learning requires practice to gain skills, the most useful result of learning, by using the information.
  • Learn by solving real problems. 
  • If you can't find problems, solve somebody else's problems found on online forums. 
  • Open source projects are great way to practice and learn
Gaining "expertise" is not most efficient way to get usable skills, but it also could be effective by focusing the knowledge by solving tough problems

Certificates could be a measure of competence, if done right. Its value greatly depends on who issues it. Requirements of certifications could also be a source of curation info (what is relevant to know in the domain)


Windows 9 is coming

Windows 9 is coming: Feels like Windows Phone all over again | ZDNet:
codename 'Threshold'
"Windows 8.1, which is a substantial and free upgrade with major improvements over the original release, is in use on less than 25 million PCs at the moment."
"It's not the post-PC era that Microsoft needs to be concerned with, it's the post-Windows era."

"Threshold" to be Called Windows 9, Ship in April 2015 | Windows 8 content from Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows

Thurrott speculates that a windowed version of Metro will run on the desktop

That should have been from the start, and with same OS for phone and tablets.
Add an Android VM to the mix, and this would make a nice package.