Thursday, 28 April 2016

On Air CPD with Podcasts

I am a massive fan of podcast, they are usually the audio versions but some like Leo La Ports Twit shows I often take as the lite video version.

I am appalled that so much is made of strict manufacturer lectures,  have aired my feelings on this in many of my blogs, and just recently at the Region 5 meet.

Its to ridged and inflexible, perhaps another way is to listen to the many podcasts that are available, My list stretches from History, through to Technology, touching on a little social, and a lot of global news both general , and political, the SA elections at present are a real interest.

But Tech news for computing is probably my favourite at the moment with Twit tv blogs, I like This week in Google, even though I have gone away from them back to Apple, and Triangulation. a show that looks at the greats of computing.

The FT is my business new blog, and I also like the Guardian, although I don't buy the paper, the podcast is not bad.

I don't have to make a specific time, to listen to my blogs, I tend to do it either driving, or walking my dog, don't ask, Barley is well up to speed on computing.

I am also a big fan of Science and love the Guardian's Science podcast.
All downloadable from iTunes store and onto the Podcast play app, which auto downloads all my listening and shows them as unplayed,

There are not many construction podcasts of note, I am trying "The Construction Leading Edge Podcast" at present, it seems to publish quite regularly, 7 issues so far this year 2016, so I'll let you know. Its lot and I mean a lot of effort to produce a show thats worthy of releasing, so I am not surprised at the lack of shows related to our industry, I would like one just for us, and I have thought about it many times, but the time just is not there.

So there it is, another way to increase your quality CPD without spending at leat 2 hours either side of a 1 hour manufacture presentation, just plug in and enjoy.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Backscatter Technology become WISP

You might remember, but some time back I wrote on the way Backscatter Technology, was taking my interest, big time, well a lot has gone on since, not only have I been writing Academic papers, but the really clever researchers have been expanding the technology.

It now seems possible that we can program the sensor, and make it act like a simple computer, not so much it can run games, but more simple calcs acting like a small computer. From my research its seems to be in the low end of what you might find in a FitBit watch. The University of Washington have been looking at this and have a rather good website paper for your reading.

Still this takes the whole concept of Sensors to the next level, and beyond. In one paper the researcher had made a simple black and white camera, all powered by Backscatter ambient energy. If you can't access academic papers, you might be missing out on a lot of research, I have written my research up into a 1 hour CPD program.

So perhaps instead of the sensor just sending loads of data, most of which might just be of no use, the unit would be able to do small calc based upon its readings and that perhaps of its near neighbours, and only send info when there was something interesting to report.

Another problem is the way a sensor knows its location, previously we had thought that the room sensor would do the calc, but now it seems once the room sensor pings the room and asks if there are any sensors, the returns are calculated, and  it tells each sensor where it is in space, and its programmed into the sensor.

This brings up another problem, that of ID, each sensor needs some form of ID, well why not its Easting & Northing plus it's height, or X,Y, & Z, no two sensors can occupy the same space, so each would be different. Another big reason to understand simple mapping and the difference between Lat Long, and Easting & Northings. Again the subject of a 1 hour CPD presentation.

Is your a manufacturer, then this is something you should be investigating, it's the start of the IoT, and beyond, miss it now and you'll be left behind, again I have several 1 hour CPD presentations on this.

The video below explains some of the technology, but I think its wise to start building up some of your own research on this starting where I first began, at the article and saving information to Evernote, or your preferred archive personal data store.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Poorly Written Literature

How many times, have you been put of using a product, because the technical literature is badly written. It happens to me more than I care to admit, sometimes I just battle on simply because its the only product that will do the job, but so often, I go looking for something new.

  • When I wrote literature I took care, will the literature lie flat on a desk, can I leave a page open without the folder closing. a symptom of plastic folders !.
  • Does the text, tell me specifically what the product does, no sales waffle, give me the facts.
  • Can I see good, clear Technical drawings, that show me exactly how its fitted into the detail.
  • Does it make reference to the building regulations,
  • Are the drawings available as a CAD download in several formats, Vectorworks, Rewvit, Sketchup, Archicad, Dwg
  • Are the CAD drawings correctly drawn for both 2D and 3D, with full specs attached so they work for IFC.
  • Does it have an agrement certificate,
  • Is there a clear dedicated telephone line to a technical help desk. I don't want a sales person, a simple clear techy is just fine.
  • Is it available in pdf
  • Finally please put of a CI/sfb logo and code for the library, some of us still use it.

Its not much to ask, yet companies spend £1000's on literature and its useless, and before you question me on paper or PDF, I like both, somedays it has two be paper.

And a final message to marketing people, you do not know construction, so why do you think you can write tech literature, give it to the tech department,.

Thats it, its not so hard, good quality Technical Literature, is this CPD, dam right it is, make it a quest, comment back to the manufacturer if literature is bad.

I love todays photo, "I think, there fore I am", seems to fit my current frustration with literature, think before you send out bad literature.

Monday, 18 April 2016

Climate change might well be a huge global problem, but for some its a real oportunity

Todays headline might all look strange, but bear with me, its not so bad. True the planet is changing and for many it brings untold problems. But for some manufacturers, its an opportunity for new products, that business needs, and a challenge the planet needs them to take up.

The increased activity on several levels that humanity has orchestrated by their rampant need to use fuel and not see the damage it caused, the way we discard rubbish,  the single minded view that the planet can absorb what ever pollutant we emit with no problem.

But we now know thats not the case, so many good scientists are proving time and time again we have altered the planet, and no matter what we do , its not and easy, fix , what ever we do will not slow down the change, its going to happen, the planets getting warmer.

So  governments will meet, spend millions on debate, make huge promises, and argue as to the best solution. But the real power in all this lies not with governments not with people power as you might think, more with manufacturers who will devise, invent, even change existing products that will have the difference. manufacturers can even change attitudes and slowly bring down the toxic levels to former industrial levels. Look at the way Elon Musk is altering power concepts with his cars and battery  technology.

Thats one side of the argument, the other is we will certainly have to live with climate change for at least one perhaps two generations, and the real money might lie with products that will help us cope with the increased temperatures, provide alternative power, and design new ways of living.

My lecture is centred on all the items above and more, it lasts about an hour, its quick paced, full of ideas and above all entertaining,who said life changing concepts had to be boring. To book me please contact me via the contacts page.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Architecture & VR

You can't have missed it, VR is going to be big, and I am not just talking gaming, but the whole gambit of VR is going to touch all aspects of viewing not only video, and games, but Architecture, manufacturing and dare I say Medicine.

But lets take the two I am interested in Architecture and Manufacturing. A few years ago I went to Manchester to see the CAVE environment at Manchester University, and was literally blown apart by being so immersed inside a building, and being able to touch and move objects, it was clunky and slow, plus the hardware was not cheap. But that is changing and I for one will be watching it with interest. I have purchased a card Google holder, and hope to report on the unwrapping and use in future blogs.

I have shown and talked about the World Builder video for so long, it's what I envision the next generation of Cad to be, and Oculus Rift and the others are pushing that reality forward. I would explore you to track Scoble who is this week moving from Backspace to a VR Media company called Upload VR, and its here I have loaded up my request for their news letter.

So how can we move from the present CAD programs to a world of VR, do we need to some might ask. I think so, but there will be a slow migration from our current Cad to what I perceive in the film World Builder.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

A list of SitesThe University is going great, lots of interesting work being produced, I have the SUDS material to mark this week, looking forward to it.

It's not been an easy few weeks, so much to do and so little time, the blog had to go on hold for a while, whilst I caught up.
But thats it, I am back , I hope without interruption for a while.
Todays photo is on all the blogs I run, although this is my main outlet for writing, the others are also used, so please use the list below to take a gander ever now and them

 I think I may have mentioned it previously, the old archive is back up in all its glory, ( Konstrukshon CPD Archive All the blogs from the old site )

I have also swapped back to Mac Mail, and most things Mac, not because I do not like Google, but because was just a little tired of the slight conflict you get, trying to run a Mac whilst using some of Google products, Its a waste of good resources, so I am back to Mac.

Old construction is still a major interest, I have joined a group called AEEBC ( The Association of European Building Experts ) to help write a book on the subjects, we had the first meet yesterday at CIAT, City Road, very excited about that.

One area of book writing has interested me yet again is the format, paper, or electronic, I use both, and can't really decide whats best, so keep tags on Smintke where I will try and explore my thoughts.

My Site List :

My Blog List
O- Konstrukshon CPD My CPD blogs ( This Site )
O- Konstrukshon CPD Archive All the blogs from the old site
O- Scays Its all about the Name Scaysbrook
O- Horfðu framtíðar My Futurist thoughts and ideas
O- Konrannsoknir Research and storage of ideas

O- Smintke Electronic Book Writing

Friday, 1 April 2016

Skype - Office Telephone Number

Whilst I am on a roll with reorganising my office internet, I thought I might let you all know how I use the Telephone. My office line is a paid for Skype line, which means no matter where I an as soon as I open up my laptop, or switch on my iPhone or iPad, my office is open, and that can be anywhere in the world. so if I take a week or so of then I can still get called if I want them that is.

The Skype system will allow messages to be left and picked up at my convenience.

I tend to use my Mac Address book to the fullest, Skype can access this so making called is so easy, I do a search and up comes a list of all the contacts for that person, Skype, Mac so cool, and of course its the cheapest call ever, I phone the USA and Canada a few times a year, and the call is routed through the internet to the cheapest method.

Some times I like to use my iPhone, its known to many and they see me light up their phone, but working and holding a phone is not so compatible, so I use the address book and find who I want to talk to and click the phone icon, this calls via my iPhone and I can talk hands free, ok I can do the came direct with the phone, but the Mac adress book is so much easier I think.

Thats it, my mobile office coms system, all rolled up into my mac and Skype. I have tried Google and yes it does work well, but as I am Mac oriented,  !!!