Remember where you are from. You’re from Earth.

Demonstrating “all” is difficult. Most of the time, the climate doesn’t follow our dire predictions. The date arrives and the apocalypse doesn’t happen.

This is why so many movies (2012, The Day After Tomorrow) depict two things

1. The disruption is happening faster than predicted.
2. It’s happening to nice, educated, relatable white people, not to strangers far from us.

Hence drama ensues. But this is a movie, right?

The reality is that it will be slightly slower than predictions but it will be uneven. Entire regions populated by people who don’t look like you will be devastated by floods or hurricanes. Meanwhile you’ll complain that the summer was a bit rubbish (or in sailing circles that the westerlies and trade winds patterns are changing).

The locations hit worst will be places that you like to go on holiday or regions which make your products cheaply.

But it doesn’t have to be like this.

Providing developing countries with modern technology (such as solar) in sufficient quantities could change them from being a carbon-producing economy into a carbon neutral economy. The impact of that alone could be massive – China already has realised that their rapid industrialisation has had a negative impact and they’re taking steps to produce more solar every year than most countries will ever install in a lifetime.

We have the technology to create a future-proofed 22nd Century civilisation. But like climate disruption, it is applied unevenly.

The negatives of globalisation can be turned into positives if we remember that we all live on the same sphere (the pale blue dot) and that what happens in London or Mumbai or Durban will have an effect on lives in Shenzhen, Helsinki and Melbourne.

Remember this when someone asks you where you’re from.

You’re from Earth

Why Armour?

For many small to medium enterprises, the idea of ISO certification is daunting. They’ll see companies announcing their latest certifications on LinkedIn or they’ll see the banners on web sites and they’ll immediately think it’s not for them. Not yet anyway.

When I started out in business, I had no idea what ISO certification was. Then, with my first big public sector tender, I got a quick introduction to it. It was something we needed to have to respond to the tender; a prerequisite for this organisation to do business with us. Cue a lot of sleepless nights figuring out how to respond to this tender; and in the end, we found a partner who had the certification and applied alongside them. End result? Our profit margin took a hit but we got the work.

My next contact with ISO was again from a point of not understanding what it was. I got the impression that it was all about adding documentation to everything. From payroll to toilet breaks. Of course I was wrong again; but this is what happens when you listen to other people rather than going to the source.

If only I knew then what I know now.

The ISO certification isn’t about getting a checkbox; it’s about real world stuff. It’s about looking after your business should something bad happen. It’s about caring for employees to prevent something bad happening. It’s about covering your back should something bad happen to you. And it’s about showing the world that you’ve put thought into it, that you’re not just flying by the seat of your pants.

You’re as likely to fail an ISO audit from having too much process and documentation as too little. If you’ve put too much in there and it becomes outdated or worse, it doesn’t get used, then you’re not doing anyone any favours.

So, if you were intending to get ISO certification for responding to that big tender or, alternatively, if you just wanted it because you’ve figured out that it’s about running a business right and not just checking a box, how would you do it?

Well, there’s two ways.

The first is to contact an ISO consultant. Then you go through a lengthy consultative process and have a lot of distracting work where you tell them all about your business and they start to draft your documentation for you. You’ll pay them a small fortune for them as well as the employees who are being involved in the knowledge transfer. Finally you pay for the certification and hope that it works out; again it may be days of the auditor being onsite and disrupting the main line of business. And every day is costing money.

The second is to use an ISO management tool, like Armour. Essentially the tool tells you what you need through a Q and A process that you lead; at your pace. Based on your answers, it will tell you what documentation you need AND provide templates. You can assign tasks to employees directly so there’s no need for this knowledge transfer phase – you and your employees are directly involved. And when the time for certification comes, your audit can be initially processed remotely and a lot of the work done before the site visit which saves both time and money.

From Armour

This discrepancy in the way things are done is why we built Armour. We took decades of experience as ISO consultants and auditors and put them into this tool. We strongly believe that the preparation and audit process needs to be owned by the business and the employees rather than an external ISO consultant who’s contracted for a few days work. We firmly believe that this tool fosters engagement within the business and cements the practice within the day to day work of employees.

Whether your motives are to run your business right or just to get bigger tenders and retain more of that profit margin, you need to give Armour a look. You can sign up right now and peruse legislation that has been simplified for your consumption so you don’t need to be a specialised consultant to understand it.

Use Armour to protect your employees, your business and your bottom line.

Basic Income is a sham

Capitalism is based on the premise of un-ending growth. That it is always possible to make more, sell more, to more people. But unfortunately it’s not working like that. The concentration of wealth in the upper echelons of society means there is a dearth of wealth in the lower, and we are many.

Without consumers to buy, without cash in their pockets, capitalism crumbles and Oroboros Capitalism ends up consuming itself. With no money available among consumers, due to higher costs of living and lowe rates of pay, where will the money come from to keep the rate of growth that capitalism demands? We have seen them pushing into other nations, through the developed world into the developing nations, eager to grasp their wealth as rapidly as they have plundered their resources.

Countries and regions can experiment with Universal Basic Income as a way of dealing with the pressures of a growth-based economy where the foundations have collapsed. But it is merely a sop to keep Capitalism alive.

By all means, embrace UBI as a way of doing what you want rather than selling your life by the hour to people who absolutely would replace you if lives were available cheaper. But be true to your real aim.

We must separate maintaining a home, being warm and having enough food and potable water and adequate healthcare from how we spend our lives as there will not be enough work for all of us in the future. Unless we make this separation, we will starve.

Moderates are Assholes

It’s true. Moderates are assholes.

Moderate people let insane people roam over Facebook with batshit insane conspiracy theories about buildings falling down or vaccines making you magnetic. You just ignore it.

You cowards.

Turning a blind eye to these things is why we are in a situation where the fucking air is on fire. Italy just recorded the hottest temperature in Europe, ever. 48.8ºC.

Thunder screens….

One of the major features touted last week with the 2021 iPad Pro was the addition of Thunderbolt – claiming the boosted speeds for storage and the ability to connect displays would be great. Newsflash, I can already connect a display to my 2020 iPad Pro – what I can’t do is control it.

It’s useful as a “monitor” screen for Lumafusion or maybe to show people what I’m working on without them looking over my shoulder but it’s not that useful as a second screen.

So, I started thinking how iPad OS 15 could handle a second screen that wasn’t a touchscreen.

And it came to me.

Exposé. Spaces. Stuff we’ve had for a decade on Mac OS.

The idea of having a gesture to show me active Spaces. And that I can throw one of them, whichever I want, onto the second non-touch screen, is enticing. Obviously with iPad OS 14 I have mouse cursor control but using it on the touchscreen is challenging.

This could work…..

Is it fair to make money (a markup) off selling stuff? Is it right?

So, lets say I spend 400 million to buy in some technology in the late 90s. I then spend millions refining it into a product, indeed a series of products. I spin one bit of it off and use that to miniaturise the technology meaning my big tech now runs on something in your pocket. It’s a substantial feat that requires the best engineers and the risk is huge. Everyone, especially incumbents, are saying I’ll fail. But I don’t fail and I then spend time building content and a store for other people to sell stuff on the platform I’ve literally invested billions to build.

Just like a brick and mortar store, my investment has created a place where people come to shop. Where they come to buy products, not just the ones I make, but others too. And just like a brick and mortar store, I charge a commission on every sale. Considering the markup on similar stores to mine in the early 2000s was 70%, I figure 30% across the board will make me super-competitive. And it does.

The combination of my stuff plus the stuff I’m selling on the store is a winner. Now….I’m not the biggest seller of stuff. I have competitors who own 90% of the market – one in particular who licensed out their tech and have dozens of manufacturers making stuff for them and they alone command about 70% of the total market – and they operate a store with millions more people.

But I’m doing ok. I built this platform from scratch, built the store from nothing, took the risks when everyone else was saying no and watched as the government let everyone steal from me. But it’s a dog eat dog world. I’ll just go on. I just want to know where the government was when I was struggling. Nowhere. As fecking usual.

But there’s trouble in paradise. A couple of the folks who sell on my store and on other stores want me to remove my commission. In fact, they actually want to take space in my store and build their own little concession stand to sell stuff….and I lose out on my commission and I don’t even get rent for the mini-store. And this is after they used my store to grow bigger, after they made my customers pay for their stuff. They’re calling it unfair that I make money off of the thing I built while, paradoxically, making money off the thing I built.

Someone please explain it to me, because I’ve removed one dude for literally setting up his mini-mart inside my store. I mean, these aren’t people who are struggling. They’re doing really well, even with my commission.

And now this….

EU Likely to Charge Apple With Anti-Competitive Behavior This Week

You see, the danger to innovation doesn’t come from not allowing folks to sell stuff for free on my store. And there’s no danger to competition because these folks are sharecropping on my store, they’re not building an entire platform for sales.

The danger comes from regulation like this meaning that I’ll be less likely invest the 400 million in the first place and the billions later. The danger is that we would then end up a world where the Blackberry was still viewed as the height of technology sophistication.

We aren’t in the 90s any more. The internet is a dangerous place, full of malware and scams. I struggle with keeping my own store clean, what’s the chances that others would do it better. I like to keep my store clean because it attracts in customers. What’s to stop bad guys from putting in their own mini-concessions once we open those doors?

Damn, my iPad Pro (2020) is so slow now….

Words…that I’ve never said.

In fact, the number of times I’ve given this iPad Pro the stink-eye and thought “This is so slow” is precisely zero. Now, I do a decent amount of video editing (LumaFusion is a dream) and a little bit of graphics so processor time is something I do stress the machine with. Sometimes.

Over the last year that I’ve been using the iPad Pro 12.9 (2020) model, I’ve been consistently amazed by it. Coupled with a Magic Keyboard case, it’s simply a thing of grace. It makes me wonder why Apple don’t make Macs with the same level of precision and hardware fit as this thing. It’s just dreamy.

And last night, Apple revealed they’re bringing the M1 processor to the iPad Pro.

To illustrate what that means – moving from the A12Z to the M1 (graphics courtesy of Barefeats)

It’s going to be even faster. At everything.

It already is pretty amazing at exporting 4K footage. It’s already cutting through any photo manipulation stuff (using Pixelmator) with ease. But…speed….

BEO raves about dateless drivel, ignores big obvious data

Business Eye Online are shouting at the sea with their latest article, “Eye View – Freedon (sic) is a state of mind”.

This is the problem with ignorance.

If we had been working from the data, we’d have been out of lockdown months ago. Instead, we worked in dates and didn’t bother to lock down properly. Photographs of Seapark and Newcastle show that these seaside destinations are packed. And if you don’t know how it works it means that in somewhere like that, with a single infected individual, the R-number (the transmission rate) can leap into the hundreds.

“To say that the business community around here was disappointed by the Executive’s much talked about ‘Pathway Out Of Restrictions’ – to give it its full snappy title – is a bit of understatement.

Except that a three-pack of underpants might just be preferable to the pile of directionless data-driven, dateless drivel that our political leaders served up for our delectation on Tuesday afternoon.

So they’ll be telling us when we can eat, drink and sh*** for the foreseeable. They even laid out, in humourless, tepid prose for their hapless but dutiful citizens what kind of delights they could look forward to.”

But this sort of drivel from a business publication highlights why we will still be living with Coronavirus in 2022. It’s the sort of mentality that would have us open our doors in a zombie apocalypse. It’s the sort of thinking that the bad person, Carter Burke, in James Camerons seminal ALIENS would have espoused. Go on, open the doors, don’t mind the problem, just as long as we have something to look forward to.

With a lack of a byline it’s hard to point the finger, but you have to wonder what mentality would create such a whiny article. The mentality that encourages people to break quarantine, to go ahead and have a house party on a birthday (a date) rather than waiting for covid-exposure results (the data).

At a time when we are desperate, rather than having journalism, we have death-cult prose from a business publication. Don’t pay attention to the dying, get the pubs open. Don’t mind those suffering from long covid, there’s a big steak in Commercial court waiting. Death cult? Is that a little strong? I don’t think so – the worst consumers to have to serve are dead ones. They aren’t great at repeat business.

“will not manage to disrupt the market overnight.”

According to Reuters, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess said that he’s “not afraid” of an ‌‌Apple Car‌‌ and that Apple will not be able to overtake the $2 trillion automobile industry overnight.

The problem with this thinking is that no industry is ever disrupted overnight. It takes years of preparation. The Palm CEO said much the same thing – and look what happened there.

And the car industry is incredibly diverse. Hundreds of manufacturers worldwide, and the “software” that they use, is the road so it’s open to anyone with the cash to produce.

Apple have never taken over the industry (with the possible exception of the iPod). They’ve always been happier as a niche player, making decent margins and shaping the direction of hardware and software.

Will they disrupt the industry? Of course. But not by selling the most. If they do their job right, cars will change.

Politics versus Public Health: we do not become stronger through lies

You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.” — Admiral James Stockdale.

Stockdale was a prisoner of war. “I never lost faith in the end of the story. I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade.

Who didn’t make it out of the camps? “The optimists,” he replied. “Oh, they were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they’d say, ‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart …

It’s plain that we will still be masking up and locking down for the remainder of 2021. In March 2020, I predicted that, no, the pandemic would not be over by January 2021. I did predict that the earliest we could expect vaccines would be the start of 2021 and that it would take months to roll them out – even if they were effective.

This isn’t pessimism, it’s reality.

The desire to have sweet lies whispered is anathema to the principles of public service and decency. Our elected officials and appointed bureaucrats must tell us truths rather than just telling us things that might make us sleep at night.

Business eye comments on the briefings by the Chief Medical Officer in Northern Ireland:

We’re not sure who gave Dr. Michael McBride a bit of bollocking on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. But someone must have. Because the Dr. Doom who spoke to the media on Tuesday was very different to the Dr. Hope who appeared alongside Robin Swann yesterday.

And that’s the power of politics.

That it’s better to lie to people now because you can always lie to them later. For the love of everything sacred, give me harsh truths rather than honeyed lies.

As a medical professional, did he not see the damage this kind of grim pessimism can do to people… lonely people, people separated from family, vulnerable people, young people?

See, this is false equivalence from people who don’t know better. It’s been said repeatedly that telling people they will be having a hard time will lead to them having a worse time. This sort of ideation of lowered expectations causes more mental health issues than the pandemic itself.

There may never be a vaccine that gives guaranteed protection. We may be wearing masks for years. We need to prepare for continued fatalities, secondary health issues, long term Covid-legacy sickness, mass unemployment, the entire collapse of the entertainment, travel and tourism industries.

Those who survive are the ones who are resilient, who are stoic, those who are perceptive and adaptable. This has been the history of humanity since the very beginning. We were not the strongest, nor the fastest, but we were the smartest. And you don’t stay smart by being lied to.