The exodus from a dying Earth began early in the 21st Century. As the effects of climate change started to be felt across the globe, vast fortunes were brought to bear on the twin challenges of where to go, and how.

The moon was too barren, and the low gravity would be a challenge for human physiology even if the lack of a viable atmosphere could be conquered. Mars however, while requiring significant effort to make habitable was deemed suitable.

Across the globe new space race began. Led, not by the bloated, ineffectual, corrupt Governments of the day, but driven…

After updating my (until then) reliable Nexus 5x to Android 8.0 I started thinking seriously about switching to an iPhone. After all, I love my iPad Mini (probably the only hardware change I wish for would be the ability to use the Apple Pencil with it), and my MacBook Air. Why not go all in?

Previous attempts to use an iPhone have always left me frustrated. Maybe iOS 11 would be different? [Sadly, neither 11, nor 12 seem to have made any moves to address these issues, even with Tim Cook announcing that the new iPad Pro is a viable…

Yes, it’s a first world problem. But over the last few years I’ve spent almost a third of my life in hotel rooms around the world and while there are a few that manage to get things almost right, I don’t think there’s one that nails it.

And it’s really not that hard. …

For many years the annual trip to the optician, courtesy of my sub-optimal eyesight, was a routine chore that was always accompanied with a nagging sense of failure.

If you’ve ever had your eyes tested you probably know the feeling. Does option 1 make it clearer or darker, or option 2? Is A crisper or B? And no matter what you answer it always feels like, because you are conscious of your ocular faults, it feels like you’re wrong.

When it comes to designing systems — be it functional design, or the user experience — there’s always that same risk…

Today I got an email telling me about exciting new security measures on the “My Social Security” (mySSA) website. This, taxpayer funded, Government organization have decreed that they were implementing a mandatory two factor authentication (2FA) system (which for some reason they referred to as multi-factor authentication somewhat confusingly). Going forward I must provide a US mobile number and, via that, enter a random code every time I want to log in to access the service.

“What’s so bad about that?” I can hear you asking. …

It’s Independence day, and everyone is busy celebrating “July 4th” with no real thought of the meaning behind it. How many Americans take time to reflect on the grievances of the Thirteen Colonies which led to the American Revolution and throwing off the yoke of their British masters?

As an immigrant, and now a resident, one of those grievances resonates very strongly with me. “No taxation without representation”. …

Date Science, or Machine Learning, is a scary topic. It’s hard to know where to get started. It’s hard to even find a good definition of what it does and what you have to do. And there’s always the risk of unleashing the Singularity or Skynet by mistake.

As I’ve given a few ad hoc presentations on Machine Learning (and though focused on implementing it with Azure, the basics are applicable to other platforms) I thought I’d take my random notes and present them as a primer.

You don’t need to be a Rocket Scientist to get started, but having…

I was an early adopter of the Amazon Echo. I invited Alexa into our living room and soon she was a trusted member of the family. She would play music, give us weather forecasts, tell us the time, turn the lights on for us, and check our spelling. She would even tell jokes (almost as badly as I do).

Soon we added another full-sized Echo to the house to extend her ever-present helpfulness. That wasn’t without some complication — the team don’t seem to have yet figured out how to handle multiple Echo’s in earshot of each other, and handling…

For many years I have been a tame nerd in a room full of talented, creative professionals. As a freelance developer working with ad agencies (Leo Burnett), and Web and TV productions (rushTV, Big Brother, Secret Life of Us and others) I was surrounded by people who could, seemingly, effortlessly produce elegant prose.

Working with some great speakers and technology-centric writers at both Microsoft and Amazon I was exposed to different creative skill-sets, but I still always thought of myself as “technical” and not doing that creative stuff. …

Offbԑatmammal

Born naked and crying I somehow made to where I am today. Clothed and confused. http://post.offbeatmammal.com

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