13th Doctor

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I’ve loved Doctor Who for as long as I can remember. It has and continues to have it all; a protagonist you can look up too and who is still a mystery after 54 years, a huge scope capable of supporting any type of story, adventure and optimism. Not to mention a brilliant mechanism for making the show endlessly new. These are the things that make Doctor Who great. None of it has to do with the gender or ethnicity of the Doctor. I am so excited to see where the show goes and how it changes with the new Doctor and the new show runner.

I suppose the reaction by about 10% of the fan base is to be expected. That 10% should perhaps consider the following;

  1. Being a fan of the show doesn’t mean that it belongs to you. It belongs to us all and it is different things to us all
  2. The upset about the Doctors gender says more about them and their fears than anything else
  3. It’s about time they grew up and opened their minds. If they do, they might even enjoy what the find

I have no doubts that Jodie Whittaker is going to be a great Doctor and a fantastic role model to all the girls and boys who watch the program. This is all very exciting.

The everything device

I remember way back in 2001 I wrote in a tech briefing for our MoD customer that predicted the mobile phone would swallow a number of key technologies. Not particular precient, as it was already happening, but I think I quoted the camera and the wallet. Well somehow it’s 16 years later and it looks like the phone has become the only piece of technology that most people need to carry. For me it replaces the following;

  • The phone (obvs)
  • Portable music player
  • Radio
  • Pocket TV
  • PVR
  • Camera / Camcorder
  • Photo album
  • Note book
  • Calendar
  • Maps
  • GPS
  • Alarm clock
  • Torch
  • Voice recorder
  • Calculator
  • Document scanner
  • Diary
  • Gameboy
  • Books
  • Credit and Debit cards (though not the whole wallet)

For many it replaces the functions of a PC. In addition there is a whole host of things it didn’t replace, because they just didn’t exist before. Makes you wonder what it will have swallowed in 10 years time, or what will have swallowed it.

WWDC Preditions: Results

It was a packed presentation. How did I do?

iPhone (2 out of 3)

Not much time was spent on iOS for iPhone. Lets face it, like Mac OS it’s pretty feature complete until the tech changes that.

  • UI Refresh: DING!
  • More music features: DING! But not much was made of this on stage. But still… DING!
  • Dark Mode: UH UH!

iPad (3 out of 5)

iOS 11 == iPad Biggly

  • Drag and Drop: Double DING!!!!
  • Split View App Picker: Kinda DING. The dock counts. Right? I’m counting it
  • A finder type app: OH DING!
  • No 10.5. UH UH! I have one next to me right now. Lovely it is too.

Mac (1 out of 2)

  • Spec bumped Mac Pros. DING! I’m writing this on a 15 inch Kaby Lake Aluminium slab
  • New version with touch bar updates: Ok, there was a new version (D’Uh) but no touch bar changes of any significance. I’ll take this as a UH UH!
Apple Watch (0 out of 2)

Not much meat here.
  • More sports biz waz. Not really
  • A step away from the app model. There is a Siri face, but I don’t think that really counts.
tvOS (1 out of 3)

More on this later in the year according to Timmy Cee, but not much today. It did get a dark mode though. At least there was some dark mode action
  • Amazon Instant: DING!
  • TV app outside US. UH UH!
  • Talk of Apples TV shows: NOPE!
Siri (2 out of 3)

Some changes, but not the focus people expected.
 
  • Siri Speaker: It was announced. Not sure why, but it was so; UH UH!
  • New Siri domains. There were a few, but not the number I expected. Technically I was right though: DING! *sigh*
  • New AI smarts: Not really on Siri, but lots of talk of Machine Learning so kinda: DING!


Total: 9 out of 18

Not great, but very happy to be right about the Mac and delighted to be wrong about the 10.5 inch iPad

Political Change but Little Forward thinking

It’s been a big week in politics. Many things have changed and may more are set to change in the next little while. It occurs to me though, that despite all the hand wringing about the economy, no one is really doing any thinking about what the economy will look like in 10 years time.

How do we regulate the gig economy as opposed to legeslating against it to make it fit into a pre-existing employment model?

How do we deal with AI and the effect it will have on the jobs market and the demands the need for employment will then place on the educational system?

What becomes of the role of work in a society with extensive automation?

It occurs to me that we have an opportunity to get ready for a set of inevitable changes. Like climate change we seem to be firmly anchored to the needs of the moment to the detrement of the future.

 

 

WWDC Predictions


Well, it’s that time of year again. Predictions seem to be the thing to do, so here are mine. iOS is splitting into many forms at the moment. I think the iPhone flavour of iOS won’t see too many big changes, but the iPad version will do. Also, you can think of Siri as a whole new ajunctive OS that’s available in the cloud, though all Apple devices. Here we go…

iPhone

  • UI Refresh in line with the music app. Nothing too major. You will see more bold fonts and more colours.
  • New music features. Because Apple has to keep driving this forward.
  • Dark mode. OLED is coming and a dark mode is a battery bonus for OLED screens. It also looks cool. The interesting question is how developers will be asked to go about implementing this.

iPad

This is where the big stuff is bound to happen. Nothing happened in iOS10 so there is two years worth of stuff ready to go.

  • Drag and drop has to be the number one most demanded feature. With split view this will solve so many of the iPads productivity whoes.
  • New split view app picker. Because the existing one is just awful.
  • A finder type app. 
  • Some Pro only feature to help differentiate the line up. Possibly pencil related.
  • No 10.5 inch iPad just yet. WWDC just doesn’t seem like the time

Mac

  • I think Apple knows that Devs are getting tired of waiting. So they need to show willing. They can do this by releasing new spec bumped MacBook Pros.
  • New version of MacOs with extended touchbar support. I’m not sure what else. macOS is a thing of beauty and I’m not sure what more they can really add without changes to the hardware.

Apple Watch

  • Sports focused refinements
  • A baby step away from the app model. Tres Vague.

tvOS

  • Amazon Instant Video.
  • TV app comes to more countries.
  • Lots of talk about Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karoke.

Siri

  • No Siri Speaker announced because the devs need to get to work first
  • New domains that heavily hint at the Siri Speakers imminent arrival
  • New AI smarts

Ok, that’s 18 predictions. Lets see how I do.

Troops in the streets and more surveillance

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Well, it took all of 2 days to happen. Despite the proclamations that the terrorists will not change our values, we’re already doing exactly that. Less privacy and troops on the streets.

Government officials appear to have briefed newspapers that they will put many of the most invasive parts of the relatively new Investigatory Powers Act into effect after the bombing at Manchester Arena.

The specific powers being discussed – named Technical Capability Orders – require big technology and internet companies to break their own security so that messages can be read by intelligence agencies. Government will ask parliament to allow the use of those powers if Theresa May is re-elected, senior ministers told The Sun.

From the Independent

There is no indication that it would have prevented Manchester, it would be almost impossible to implement and is gross violation of civil liberties. If it were implemented then it would cause no end of security issues.

All this comes one week after the NHS was taken down using an technique developed by a US government agency, and leaked online.

At best this is the government looking to give the appearance of action, and to make Teresa May look like the strong leader she isn’t. At worst it’s the latest step in a deliberate and continuing plan to erode civil liberties. Whatever the truth is, it’s a stupid move.