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  • LIFE

    Facing up to social media bias

    Life, James Hein, Published on 21/06/2017

    » An interesting thing is happening on the major sharing and information sites like Facebook, Google, Yahoo and others. In what is supposed to be an open and free environment, political editing bias is starting to creep in. The local phenomenon that started in the US has started to pervade the global system. This is not the direct political editing that occurs in places such as China but that of one group's opinions suppressing another side's. It is not an issue if the views being suppressed are demonstrably incorrect but in some cases the factual and data based views are those being suppressed in favour of the unsupportable "politically correct" ones of small but outspoken groups.

  • OPINION

    Mind your passwords

    Life, James Hein, Published on 25/01/2017

    » Google, Facebook and Apple are the names of a few companies working on artificial intelligence (AI). I don't mean the kind of AI that simply teaches machines to be useful to humans, though that is also being done everywhere. I mean the self-aware kind. After so long at it I think the bigger organisations are locked in a series of dead end paths. Instead, I predict the first breakthroughs will come from small, even one-man operations thinking outside the cube. As an aside, when it comes to the search giants like Google or Yahoo and social media sites like Facebook, they all have their biases so the results you see may not be all that comprehensive, balanced or accurate.

  • TECH

    Samsung: Wannabe Apple Corp

    Life, James Hein, Published on 26/08/2015

    » I recently spent a week roughly south of Buri Ram in the Northeast. I was far enough away that my AIS SIM could not reliably pick up data and it was an interesting feeling to be disconnected for such a time. There are now apparently psychological conditions being defined for those who feel a lack of continuous connectivity but for my part at least it was a short enough time to be a novel experience. It did highlight just how much those who are part of the modern world rely on connectivity for news and contact. When I was younger we thought nothing of waiting a few weeks for a reply to a written letter. These days some feel put out if they don’t get a reply within a few seconds.

  • TECH

    Computing genetic manipulation

    Life, James Hein, Published on 20/05/2015

    » What is the next big thing? Microsoft and some others would like you to believe it is all things cloudy. The problems with that are factors like communication channels between continents, security of information, the reliability of a server somewhere else versus on-site and the army of hackers trying to get into all that information just sitting there. If you have seen the intro to CSI: Cyber you will know what I mean. Another group want it to be virtual reality glasses for all, but as the Google Glass demonstrated, people walking around with even small glasses were not appreciated. At least the VR goggles will mostly be at home. This technology still has quite a way to go.

  • OPINION

    Unconcerned China hacks the iCloud

    Life, James Hein, Published on 29/10/2014

    » Apple was temporarily enthused that their iPhone 6 was going on sale in China since this has been a reasonable marketplace for them in the past. Then it was reported that China state-supported hackers were actively implementing a so-called man-in-the-middle attack against Apple's iCloud which would give them access to people in China trying to connect to the iCloud.com server. This attack replaces the certificate used by the customer and allows monitoring of user names, passwords and activity.

  • TECH

    The Cloud is thinner than we think

    Life, James Hein, Published on 28/05/2014

    » The world is currently enamoured with the Cloud, which is more of a concept than a reality. The recent two-day crash of the Adobe Cloud highlights just how fragile this technology is. The Cloud is definitely spectacular, and the usual suspects jumped onto the bandwagon — unfortunately so did certain CEOs captivated by glossy handouts and presentations, as usual not bothering to first check in with their system administrators. This is new, bleeding-edge technology that should typically be something from which an organisation steers clear until it has matured.

  • OPINION

    Growth slows in IT sector

    Life, James Hein, Published on 14/08/2013

    » As predicted, and has now been confirmed by the IDC, the IT market is tightening up. China has slowed its spending and the knock-on effects will impact everywhere. There will still be growth, but not as much as there was in 2012. The figures look likely to come in below earlier projections but, given that a tenth of a percent equates to tens of billions of dollars, even a small change can mean large sums of money not appearing in the market.

  • OPINION

    Google's Ingress to the real world

    Life, James Hein, Published on 17/04/2013

    » There is a new game for Android mobile users called Ingress. It is from Google and based on their popular Google Maps. The game requires you to get out of the lounge and into the real world. It is already being played in Bangkok but is in closed beta mode until the end of April. You'll need a Google+ Community account, sensible shoes, patience and time. You play on one of the two sides doing battle for control and if you want to know more go to www.ingress.com. I'm playing on the side of the Enlightened that is doing well in Bangkok but as I write this the Resistance is currently winning worldwide. Watch out for spies!

  • TECH

    Win 7 a winner on my new notebook

    Database, James Hein, Published on 14/07/2010

    » This week I'll catch up on some reports I promised for Windows 7, my new notebook and Jitbit's Macro recorder software.

  • TECH

    Thailand trumps Oz in tech stakes

    Database, James Hein, Published on 05/05/2010

    » Thailand is sometimes called a Third World country but, compared to some so-called developed nations, it beats them in technological developments. For the purpose of the exercise I'll use my country of birth, Australia, for most of the comparisons.

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