HP Enterprise – The Machine 2017 Prototype

HP’s computer vision continues to unfold in their development of The Machine. The device sounds promising and useful. At 100,000ft level, it is the evolution of the mainframe but with more performance. A big machine to consolidate more computing into a smaller physical footprint. Based on what I’ve read so far, it seems more a computing architecture for the business environment rather than general purpose computers everywhere. That’s ok. If the machine is more affordable than a mainframe, it will be a welcome addition to the data center.

Mobile E-mail is Unreliable

I’ve noticed something about online mail that use fancy JavaScript. The messages don’t always show up instantly. I’ve seen this on a number of occasions but sometimes the matter is critical and relying on mobile e-mail can be a huge mistake. The technology can be highly unreliable when the stakes are high.

Recently, I needed notification of my mom’s health issues and the email from my sister did not show up immediately on mobile email app. I didn’t see anything until late the next day. I didn’t consider this until in the same general time period, I tried to do an account reset by email. I sat there, waiting for the reset message to show up. It didn’t. Minutes passed, and it looked like the message wasn’t there, but it was. This weekend, I just kept pressing submit. I couldn’t understand why the messages were not coming in. Admittedly, I wasn’t thinking straight. Today, with a clearer head, I switched off the fancy JavaScript while on a regular computer and the email was finally revealed. You will not believe how I felt.

This is not the first time this has happened, but this time was serious. The technology failed. Can I say this happens consistently? No, but it does happen. In the name of caching, in the name of saving bandwidth, in the name of smooth user experience, there are times when this stuff just utterly fails.

Apple Bringing Advanced Manufacturing to the United States

The Industrial Era never ended. People simply stopped talking about it. Advanced Manufacturing is a major industry focus of the future … for all first-world and on their way to first-world nations. Part of a nation’s prosperity resides in building physical stuff, selling the physical stuff to other nations, and bringing revenue back to the nation. That means each nation will have a niche, a particular spin on a product category. Every major nation could make Televisions, but each one is going to put their particular spin on it and that will appeal to a given audience. Advanced manufacturing is how that situation goes from companies making adequate products to making really good products.

A leading company in this direction is Apple. They have pledged $1 Billion to Toward Creating Manufacturing Jobs In US. The electronics they make will only get better. The approach they take to ramping up quality, will only get better. Advanced manufacturing is a significant step in making that happen. The CEO of Apple as a good vision for expanding advanced manufacturing in the US and the investment will be much needed. Not everything can be automated down to the last detail. People are needed in many areas once thought destined to be conquered by IT systems. The application of good systems helps the process, but for overall success, people makes it happen.

Automation Ending Jobs and Crappy Systems

More politicians are becoming aware that the present era of automation is not quite the same as earlier transitions. Automation is due to reduce a large number of jobs as there are Parts of America More Susceptible to Automation. More people are considering the possibility that more people will be without work as better computer based systems take on more of what people once did in certain industries. However, that may happen in some occupations, but I am not convinced that mass automation will occur as projected. Sure, smarter systems are coming online and some widely used systems are periodically upgraded with new capabilities. Those activities that are already done on a computer by individual people may see less involvement by people over time or … maybe not.

Crap systems are out there. They look good on the surface. Got reputation. Performs quite a bit of automation, but many systems have rough edges. Areas where they are either broken, heavily flawed, or in some way less conducive to smooth automation flow. When that happens guess what? You need people involved. Either in the systems, outside the system performing business level mitigation, or in repeated operational moments in which such uneven automation flow must be worked around.

Information technology is good, but the Achilles Heel of technology is that most systems, at some level, are tightly coupled to conditions that when thwarted introduces unworkable conditions for the IT system. That is more succinctly said at a human level as, “stuff happens”. IT systems are not fully designed for stuff happens. While this realization may not completely address the automation taking over jobs situation, it does leave open the possibility that due to the inherent flaws of people and the flaws they then pass onto systems they design (by what they’ve failed to consider), there will be opportunity.