My first Seeking Alpha post ran today

IMG_0826 (1)I know many readers are tired of my (too) many columns about IBM. So I won’t be posting the latest one here at all. It’s over on the Seeking Alpha investor blog. You can read it here. I mention the post simply because some readers do care about such things.

The Seeking Alpha post is about IBM earnings and how the company is using old business to prop-up new business and not being at all upfront about what’s really happening.

The Seeking Alpha column is also a complaint about blog posts related to earnings in general because they are often written by people who think they know a lot about financial numbers but clearly know […]

Our $27,500 drone. Do you have one, too?

IMG_0770This is the kind of thing you find on the bedroom floor of a 14 year-old boy. It’s a gift from last Christmas, still sitting in its box, not yet flown for a reason that often comes down to some variation of “but the batteries need to be charged.” I’d forgotten about it totally, which means the little drone missed the FAA’s January 20th registration deadline. Technically, I could be subject to a fine of up to $27,500. If the unregistered drone is used to commit a crime the fine could rise to $250,000 plus three years in prison.

Do you have an unregistered drone sitting in a closet somewhere?

Registration costs $5.00 […]

$99 Mineserver: The Devil is in the Details

IMG_0734You may recall my three sons ran a successful Kickstarter campaign last fall for their $99 Mineserver, a multiuser Minecraft server the size of a pack (not a carton) of cigarettes. On the eve of their product finally shipping here’s an update with some lessons for any complex technical project.

At the time we shot the Kickstarter video my kids already had in hand a functional prototype. Everything seen in the video was real and the boys felt that only producing custom cases really stood in the way of shipping. How wrong they were!

First we needed a mobile app to administer the server so we hired an experienced […]

Prediction #7: Internet of Things becomes a security nightmare

2016predictionsJust because IBM suffered a marketing hiccup doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about doing 2016 predictions. This one is simple — a confluence of anti-hacking paranoia combined with the Internet of Things (IoT), which will lead to any number of really, really bad events in 2016.

Remember how the CIA or the NSA or whatever agency it was hacked a few years ago the Iranian nuclear centrifuges making enriched uranium? The centrifuges updated their software over the Internet, loading doctored code that eventually caused the machines to overspeed and shake themselves to pieces, putting the Iranian nuclear program months or years behind.

Now imagine much the same thing happening to your Internet-connected thermostat, baby […]

Predictions 5 & 6: Drones and driverless cars? Not this year

2016predictionsWhen it comes to predictions it is often easiest just to take some really popular new technology and point out the obvious time it will take to be actually adopted. You could say I’m doing that here with drone deliveries and driverless cars, but I like to think my value-added is explaining why these will take so much longer than some people expect.

Amazon.com has been making a lot of noise about using small helicopter drones to deliver packages. I’m not here to say this is an impossible task or that drones won’t at some point be used for this purpose, but what I am saying is that it won’t happen this year, won’t happen […]