Watches, Wearables, Worth It ?

I am a big fan of my Galaxy S3 Frontier Watch. I can replicate expensive watch faces, change straps and get notifications from a number of key apps……what’s the temperature?, email, SMS. I can also tell (roughly) my heart rate, and be told that I have reached a step target. One really cool thing is that I can get my mpro5 job notifications on my watch (nice).

All useful – BUT there’s a BUT.

As a watch, I want to wear the watch all day. I have a very nice charging dock (Thanks Samsung) but if I forget to put the watch on charge, or if I don’t put it exactly on the dock then, well the next day I am not going to have much charge in the afternoon and have to go into power saving mode. That’s the end of notifications for me. A significant factor is that the watch doesn’t charge directly from a cable (so a clunky power pack with proprietary charger is my only option).

It has to be noted that one presumes that a Samsung watch runs on Android. It doesn’t. Tizen is Samsung’s hybrid watch OS. I don’t have a massive problem with that but it does mean that not all apps are compatible and writing Tizen code is (according to our Head of Development) not “straightforward”

If we look at a wearable as a notification device, my S3 is probably overkill. A lighter device (Fitbit?) could do the “there’s a job that needs doing” notification and, let’s face it the Galaxy watch is not particularly cheap. I am told that the new Galaxy Watch 2 has a better battery life.

Finally, my dream watch is a Longines Moon Phase. I actually have this face on an app on my Galaxy Watch – it cost £4.99 on the app store…..

AI is just IFTTT……..or, software

Acronyms, jargon, call it whatever you like but AI (Artificial Intelligence) is, in my humble opinion, just IFTTT (If this then that) which we tend to call , now let me think, ….software, that’s it.

AI suggests some sort of robot intelligence or action that means that a non-human could cure cancer, go and do the shopping or even improve Arsenal’s defence. All of which are not yet foreseeable.

AI is advertised as Chatbots (a database with a GUI (Graphical User Interface) ) , machine learning (the machine doesn’t learn) and home management (Alexa, are you AI ?) . All of these things are software, some with algorithms (logic) that’s quite cute.

Until Hal, the computer from 2001; a Space Odyssey (released in 1968 !) says “Sorry Barrie, I’ve worked out that you are going to need diabetes medication in 2024 (still software in my opinion) I’m sticking with the fact that software is getting better, faster and has more data than ever. It is therefore smarter rather than intelligent.

mpro5 does all sorts of smart stuff, it is not artificial, but it is quite intelligent – It just processes data with (very) smart code (software) . Hopefully true AI will stun us all eventually – but at the moment it is the latest “buzz” that sells more software

**Thanks to Dale Walker, a writer for ITPro for the article here

Security in the cloud

For many years I have said that the major cloud providers’ cloud environments are “probably” more secure than a private network. Seems that others now think the same , unless you are using a multi-cloud environment. At mpro5, we use Azure exclusively and the article at cloudpro here suggests that our single provider strategy is the right one.

The argument for private networks usually revolves around control. Examples of password security, back up and controlled access are often brought up. However it is what is usually missed in this argument that makes on-premise deployments of software slightly more scary to my mind.

On site I’d like people to think of things such as:-

Have you ever restored a back up?

What happens in the event of a fire – it’s OK having a backup, but where is the server?

Have you ever actually tried your off premise solution (connectivity, access, building security)?

Of course, the folks at Microsoft have a very rounded cloud security policy. It’s quite long, but you can see it here. I like to think we can rely on Dell, The City of Barcelona and The Seattle Seahawks to make the right decisions. We rely on Azure and, as Microsoft Gold Partners for over 10 years, we understand how to use it properly and…..securely.