What’s the big deal with 5G?

I’m never really sure what the deal with 5G is. I mean: better networking, sure. But is that such a huge deal? It feels like getting all excited about going from cast iron pipes to PVC.

Here’s some 5G background and commentary in this interview:

I don’t expect the highest 5G standards to be met until the middle of the decade, if ever, there’s a lot that has to happen before 5G delivers ultra-low latency of one millisecond. Average download downlink speeds of up to 20 gigabits per second, or handoffs at speeds as high as you know, 500 kilometers per hour. I’m just not confident those standards will be met anytime soon.

And, a tangible benefit for us consumers:

Among those promises, I think its potential to replace broadband at home or in the office could have the greatest impact. I mean, it’s just ridiculous that so many of us are still paying for at least two connectivity services today, we have our mobile plans and fixed broadband. In most cases. If mobile operators can deliver reliable broadband like speeds that will finally break the hold that cable and other internet service providers have on so many of us. I think all of us could use the savings that would provide more now than ever. Not sure we’ll get there, but I remain hopeful.

Original source: 7 Layers Interview: Matt Kapko ‘5G is easily one of the most overhyped technologies’

Innocence

“‘ The blood-dimmed tide is loosed’!” The voice is positively gleeful now. “‘ And everywhere / The ceremony of innocence is drowned…’ Ah, that’s my favorite line. Gets right at the shallow performativity of so many things, don’t you think? Innocence is nothing but a ceremony, after all. So strange that you people venerate it the way you do. What other world celebrates not knowing anything about how life really works?” A soft laugh-sigh. “How your species managed to get this far, I will never know.”

— The City We Became: A Novel (The Great Cities Trilogy Book 1) by N. K. Jemisin
https://a.co/7npAZXy

COBOL is just fine

More than likely, those government systems going doing was due to too much traffic, not COBOL.

“Cobol isn’t cool, but businesses don’t care about what’s cool,” Klinect says. “They care about what works.”

Also:

The New Jersey Office of Information Technology website doesn’t list any job openings, for Cobol programmers or anyone else. Rather, it’s seeking volunteers to help it meet its challenges. In other words, it’s asking people who might have high-paying jobs elsewhere to work for free. Ensuring that people can file for unemployment during the pandemic is a worthy cause. But it’s easy to see why the talent to do it might be scarce.

Really – eye-roll!

Original source: Can’t File for Unemployment? Don’t Blame Cobol

People focus on the trivial because it’s comfortable

"The Law of Triviality states that the amount of time spent discussing an issue in an organization is inversely correlated to its actual importance in the scheme of things. Major, complex issues get the least discussion while simple, minor ones get the most discussion."

This concept as a tool is about learning how to place value in a task. Your tendency will be to solve problems that you understand, that seem easy to solve. Sometimes those are important, sometimes harder tasks are important. You have to know which outcome is better, what you want.

Of course, it goes the other way too: just because a task is difficult or confusing doesn’t mean it’s valuable.

Original source: Why We Focus on Trivial Things

Americans probably aren’t as crazy as they appear

Two-thirds of registered Texas voters agree with decisions by Gov. Greg Abbott and several local officials to suspend nonessential business operations. And more than three-quarters of voters support orders to stay home except for essential activities. The poll’s findings come as Abbott says he will soon announce plans to reopen a wide range of Texas businesses.

Original source: Texas voters overwhelmingly approve of business closures, stay-at-home orders despite blow to state’s economy, says UT/TT poll

Less voices, better meetings

The key is to recognize that the available input on an issue doesn’t all need considering. The most informed opinions are most relevant. This is one reason why big meetings with lots of people present, most of whom don’t need to be there, are such a waste of time in organizations. Everyone wants to participate, but not everyone has anything meaningful to contribute.

Original source: Why We Focus on Trivial Things

Creating and gardening your personal brand

Building a reputation or brand is hard. Sustaining it over time is extremely hard. As my colleague Coté told me, you have to “show up a lot and for a long time.” It takes intentional planning, and ongoing effort. It’s hard to just stumble into a durable personal brand. You need to make conscious choices. Worth it? I think so. In no particular order, here’s what I’ve learned about building and sustaining personal brands.

Original source: Looking to build or sustain a personal brand in technology? Here are 10 things I’ve learned.

Consumer tech for the enterprise, enterprise tech for the consumer

'One major difference between Microsoft and Google, in Soltero’s view, is that Google is able to more naturally move across the worlds of consumer and enterprise technology. For Microsoft, he said, this was “just a very difficult thing for them to reconcile,” in his experience.

He said he has been helping the G Suite team “appreciate the unique opportunity that we have to not be conflicted by our role as both a consumer and an enterprise company, in a way that I just constantly saw Microsoft really struggle with.” Google has the ability to “not even bother with those distinctions” and focus on making products that people want to use, he said.

Original source: Google is getting a bigger grid: G Suite chief on Microsoft, Zoom and the new world of collaboration

Food lasts longer than you’d think, especially if you freeze it

Let’s start with the things you definitely don’t have to worry about. Vinegars, honey, vanilla or other extracts, sugar, salt, corn syrup and molasses will last virtually forever with little change in quality. Regular steel-cut or rolled oats will last for a year or so before they start to go rancid, but parcooked oats (or instant oats) can last nearly forever. (Same with grits versus instant grits.)

Original source: The Food Expiration Dates You Should Actually Follow

Who wanted all this?

Government leaders are the only ones who’re saying this virus stuff will end soon. Everyone else says it’s two years or so:

the only viable endgame is to play whack-a-mole with the coronavirus, suppressing it until a vaccine can be produced. With luck, that will take 18 to 24 months. During that time, new outbreaks will probably arise. Much about that period is unclear, but the dozens of experts whom I have interviewed agree that life as most people knew it cannot fully return. “I think people haven’t understood that this isn’t about the next couple of weeks,” said Michael Osterholm, an infectious-disease epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota. “This is about the next two years.”

The confusion is compounded by all the different governments globally. Here in the Netherlands, I’m not sure there’s a sense of how long it will last except…longer?

The US is a massive country, and it’s governance system (State and city run when it comes to day-to-day operations) is causing huge problems, especially when there’s no plan from the Federal government:

“These problems might be surmountable. The U.S. is still a scientific and biomedical powerhouse. To marshal that power, it needs a massive, coordinated, government-led initiative to find the cleverest ways of controlling COVID-19—a modern-day Apollo program. No such program is afoot. Former Trump- and Obama-era officials have published detailed plans. Elizabeth Warren is on her third iteration. But the White House either has no strategy or has chosen not to disclose it.

Without a unifying vision, governors and mayors have been forced to handle the pandemic themselves. Ludicrously, states are bidding against one another—and the federal government—for precious supplies. Six states still haven’t issued any kind of stay-at-home order, while those that moved late, such as Florida, may have seeded infections in the rest of the country. “A patchwork approach to fighting a pandemic is very dangerous,” said Jeremy Konyndyk of the Center for Global Development. “It’s a recipe for a response that’s less than the sum of its parts.” While several states have created their own coordinated groups, Konyndyk’s worry, shared by others, is that there are limits to what even the most capable state leaders can do without federal coordination. “We almost need to devise a public-health government in exile which can take on the responsibility of national coordination,” said Osterholm, the University of Minnesota epidemiologist.”

It’s all baffling. As an American, I’m continuly confused about how we all let things get this weird. First, how we elected and put up with the Trump administration, then how we’ve had such a limp response to the core purpose of government: to keep people thriving, pursue happiness and and all that.

I rarely blame the government for problems and instead blame ourselves, "we the people." As they say, we get the government we deserve, rather, asked for.

I don’t know, man.