Sports and Data Nerds Rejoice

https://www.nhl.com/news/puck-and-player-tracking-intrigues-nhl-coaches/c-304225886

How cool is this? More than 20 years after FOX introduced the Glow Puck and comet tail, the NHL is embedding sensors in players and pucks to enhance the fan experience AND collect data to aid coaches.

Taken to its inevitable conclusion, can you imagine being able to see (in real-time) the heart rate and speed of a player after blocking a shot with his ankle? Is he skating slower? Is he gutting it out and playing in intense pain?

The X’s and O’s aspect of this concept will also undoubtedly have a huge impact on the game. Every play, pass, position on the ice, shot, goal, etc. will be recorded and analyzed to identify trends, patterns, and opportunities. For example, coaches will now be able to see (in real-time) if there’s a matchup that can be exploited to try and gain advantage on the ice. Apply this same idea to football and you’ll be able to (in real-time) know that by shifting the formation you’ll be able to get your ‘Z’ wide receiver matched up against the nickel corner who is running 2mph slower than usual.

Ha, maybe they’ll start putting energy meters above each player like in video games.

It’s like living in the future.

Random thoughts on Inertia

Same story, different year. It seems like every year I lament that fact that I don’t write enough. And every year I try to do better. This is me trying to reboot the writing engine…again.

It’s strange how I somehow manage to ignore the things that have proven to make me happier, healthier, more productive, and less stressed. I don’t read enough. I haven’t run a race in almost two years. I haven’t posted a blog in almost a full year. I don’t meditate every day like I should. I definitely don’t floss everyday like I should. And I often ignore my productivity tools even though I know they’ll help me get more done.

Maybe it’s human nature. Maybe it’s just laziness.

But you gotta try, you know. Just keep pushing. Do it once today. Once tomorrow. One more day after that. The funny thing about inertia is that it works in both directions.

Free Parking for BMWs?

BMW acquired Parkmobile

That’s interesting man. It turns out that the Parkmobile app is already integrated into BMW’s infotainment system. I mean it makes perfect sense. Sooner or later you’re gonna need to find a place to park your B’mer. So you gotta wonder:

  1. Will BMW offer free parking (credits) for its drivers?
  2. Will BMW start acquiring garage management companies?
  3. Will BMW buy/build their own strategically placed parking structures to accommodate a future of self-driving B’mers?

It’s like living in the future.

Random Thoughts on Boredom

A thought occurred to me the other day…

Maybe it’s good to be bored

Remember when you were a kid and you thought you might literally die of boredom? What if that was a good thing? What if boredom was critical to our childhood development…and as an adult, what if it still is?

Of course, the problem today is that I have more Apple devices than I have perishable food items in my fridge. Always on. Always connected. Always Addressable. But never bored…and maybe that’s a bad thing.

I took my mom to the dentist yesterday and as I was waiting room, I tried something. I put my phone in my pocket and I stared out the window – into space. I allowed myself to become bored. In doing so, I think I allowed myself to be the unwobbling pivot at the center of an ever-revolving universe; to be still…

Now I’m bored, time to go watch the rest of Stranger Things 2 😉

Random thoughts on Google Search

I was just thinking that I ought to be able to raise my camera (iPhone) and ask a question like “where am I?”. GPS is never going to be perfect and signals bounce off buildings so what if you could combine GPS with a visual input to determine location? I can also imagine something basic like pointing my phone at a car and asking Google “What kind of car is that?”. Last but not least I can imagine pointing my phone at an insect bite and asking “Should I go see a doctor about this?”. That would be cool…like living in the future.

Random Thoughts about Living in the Future

Someone tweeted the other day that in the not too distant future people might say (when referring to cars) “I can’t drive this, it’s a manual”, but they’ll be referring to the steering wheel and not the transmission. And that got me thinking…define future. A year? Five years?

After a childhood spent reading Popular Mechanics, I had become jaded after the vision of the Year 2000 failed to live up to expectations. But lately it seems like “The Future” is finally arriving and more importantly it’s accelerating. I have “nephews and nieces” who range from one year to twelve years old and I keep wondering which of them is going to be able to, need to, or want to operate a motor vehicle. Potentially none of them. Even if Level 5 autonomous vehicles are still a few years off, Uber/Lyft is here to stay.

I also think about the next generation and what their interactions with technology will be like. Every other tech article is about “AI” or “ML” and Intel claims to have built a 17-qubit processor. Okay it has to operate at almost absolute zero degrees, but it also wasn’t that long ago that my computer took up half my desk – now it fits in my pocket (sort of).

What will their buying habits be like? I’m guessing they won’t go to malls. I’m guessing they’ll just buy everything on Amazon, and I mean EVERYTHING including prescription meds, liquor, homes, repairmen for the homes, food delivery, and even Cars…assuming car ownership is still a thing in the future. Either way, I hope cars fly in the future.

Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing

Yext is a proud sponsor of the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. We are excited to provide sponsorships for students to experience the world’s largest conference for women in technology. The Yext sponsorship is designed to identify and support extraordinary rising college juniors (Class of 2019), seniors (Class of 2018), and graduate students who are preparing for a career in the Technology sector.

Future Software Engineers, Product Managers, Project Managers and UX/Visual Web Designers are encouraged to apply!

https://boards.greenhouse.io/gracehopper2017/jobs/693784#.WUdZ0caZNE5

Re-learning my first language

I can’t imagine most people know this about me, but technically speaking, English was my second language. My mom had a zero English policy in the house until I was about 8 or 9 years old. I learned by ABC’s along with my A Ă Â both at the same time. Yeah, the first three letters of the Vietnamese alphabet are three versions of the letter A. Honestly, I think it’s rediculous. I can vaguely recall a time where I was fluent in Vietnamese – reading and writing. These days, I can barely pick out my favorite dishes on a Vietnamese menu. I figure everything is still in my brain somewhere…somewhere in deep cold storage. But finding the words from my first tongue are proving to be more difficult than finding a missing sock out of the dryer.

Ctrl-Alt-Delete

Truer words were never spoken. So write something already. Write. Just write. That’s what I always tell myself. Write something. Write anything.

But it’s hard. Hard to find time and hard to find the reason to write. At least, that’s also what I tell myself. Not enough time. Not sure what to write. The reason of course is simple. It’s a lie. I attach too much meaning to the words I write. They’re not that important. They’re not even tangible. Just 1’s and 0’s that will be written to a cloud based instance of my silly little WordPress.

I’m already feeling a little bit better. I’ve written words. Words which maybe one or two people will see – including myself. But I didn’t do this for you. I did this for me. And already, it’s starting to help. In fact I think I’ll celebrate with a bourbon. Here’s to writing…again.

Changing gears…

The recent election has affected me profoundly, in ways I’m still just starting to work out. The morning after the election, I posted the following to Facebook:

Seek to understand, and then to be understood. Then, buy a paid subscription to the NY Times or Washington Post. If you can, buy two. There’s a reason why the framers of our democracy included freedom of the press in the first amendment. Trust me on this one. Stop getting your news from Facebook. Seek facts to inform your decisions and not just to affirm your opinions. Have a real conversation with someone you disagree with and don’t just shut them out. Do it for me. I’m the guy who knows how your wifi router works so maybe I know what I’m talking about. Then again, I might be an INTJ high functioning sociopath who’s batshit crazy. Who knows. Here’s what I do know, I’m going to sign off Facebook for a really really really long time. 

And so I did. I deleted the FB app from my phone and iPad. Logged out of FB on my Mac, and turned off notifiations. It wasn’t premeditated. It was the opposite. It was unexpected. I really like Facebook. And just to be clear, I didn’t quit social media. I think people who “quit” social media like the smell of their own farts. Social media is woven into the fabric of our society, kind of like Walking Dead. You can’t ignore it. Well, you could, but you might as well move to the Northwest Territory and live in a wooden shack with no electricity or running water. No, I just need to reboot. I need to take a step back and re-examine…well, everything.

Btw, I did buy a subscription to the Times, Post, and the Economist just for good measure. I can’t fully articulate why I felt this was important. But I’m certain (or at least I hope) my high school English and Civics teachers would be proud.

Spending less time on social media has been good for me. I’ve been spending my mornings and evenings reading – books, magazines, tech blogs, the Federalist Papers, and of course the news…the real news. Btw, it turns out that ‘Nationalism’ is pandemic. Get ready to start hearing the term ‘Frexit’. AI is advancing at a frightening pace. The stock market hit record record record highs today. And I also just read that Man landed on the moon! I guess I have a lot of catching up to do. But I like where this is headed.

Control+Alt+Delete

Happy Rebooting.