iPhone Notifications Need an Upgrade

Color Coded Notification Cards

I have a swarm of notifications from many sources, and yes, the header source name and icon does help differentiate between notification sources, but it’s relatively tiny, and I have the 8+. Developers and/or User Settings should allow for the color-coding of the header, and the body of the notification cards by App Name, or App Category (“Gaming”)

Notification Transitions – Active and Passive

When the iPhone screen is in passive (sleep) mode or the screen is active, the ability to transition the notification in and out could be fun, such as when using PowerPoint slide transitions.

Notifications List by Source – Filter + Sort Order

I’m constantly scrolling through my notifications for specific Notification sources’ updates. It would be great if the user can sort Notifications not just by the latest updates. Maybe allow alphabetical sort order. Or, allow the user to Filter by only the notifications they need at the moment, instead of being lost in a sea of notifications. For example, allow the user to Filter the notification list by specific app notifications.

Google’s apps crash in a worldwide outage – Saas Education Outages are the new “Snow Day”.

The tech giant’s popular services like Gmail, Hangouts, Meet and YouTube went offline, halting work across the globe.

Source: Google’s apps crash in a worldwide outage. – The New York Times

This morning my kids woke up to the new “snow day”, an internet outage of SaaS Education products, i.e. Google Meet.  Since we are primarily virtual with education these days, the term “Snow Day” at least for this Winter 2020-2021 season will not be an issue.  No dangerous roads for busses to navigate. They have been replaced by tech outages.  Although few in number, and limited duration, thus far, kids may be happy that they can miss their first period in school.

My Internal IRQ is Broken

Interrupt ReQuest (IRQ) is an hardware interrupt on a PC. There are 16 IRQ lines used to signal the CPU that a peripheral event has started or terminated. Except for PCI devices, two devices cannot use the same line. If a new expansion card is preset to the IRQ used by an existing board, one of them must be changed. This was an enormous headache in earlier machines.

Starting with the Intel 286 CPU in 1982, two 8259A controller chips were cascaded together and bumped the IRQs from 8 to 16. However, IRQ 2 is lost because it is used to connect to the second chip. IRQ 9 may be available for general use as most VGA cards do not require an IRQ.

PCI to the Rescue
The PCI bus solved the limited IRQ problem, as it allowed IRQs to be shared. For example, if there were only one IRQ left after ISA devices were assigned their required IRQs, all PCI devices could share it.

Who’s Managing & Securing Your Information Assets?

What is meant by Information Architecture (IA)?

Information architecture (IA) focuses on organizing, structuring, and labeling content in an effective and sustainable way. The goal is to help users find information and complete tasks.

There must be a common consensus, an understanding of each data point collected, and the appropriate labeling and cataloging of the Information Asset. Information assets may have a score attributed to the asset and leveraged in a multitude of ways, such as guidelines for the purging of archives, sensitivity of the information, and the levels of trust.

For each data point collected, correlations/relationships can be added either manually, or through an Induction Engine (AI) leveraging a history of relationships. The definition of hierarchical relationships between data points, and link types (e.g. processor, successor, child, or generally related) further to bolster a larger lexicon.

What are Information Assets?

For example, your phone number is an information asset. Your phone number is provided to everyone you know and is a primary point of reference to contact you. Traditionally, the “phone companies” manage that resource for you. However, in this “new” day and age, we see companies like Google providing a phone number, and as a result providing features not generally available, such as Google Voice, with Call Forwarding, and obfuscation.

Common, Consumer, Information Assets Include:

  • Documents of ALL Types, e.g. text, spreadsheets, presentations, etc.
  • Domain Names and Email Addresses are Information Assets.
  • Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Other Social Media Platforms Assets, such as User Names, Post Text, Images, Video, and Profile details.
  • Skype, WhatsApp, and other VoIP Info Assets such as Phone Number, User Profile information
  • Windows Teams, Slack, and other Team Collaboration, Information Assets, such as the historical, ongoing posted information in the Team Chat, including the integration of 3rd party apps, such as Whiteboard collaborative drawings.
  • Passwords, Passwords, Passwords

Common, Corporate, Information Assets Include:

  • All of the Consumer, Information Assets PLUS
  • Documents of ALL Types, e.g. Solution Architecture docs, Database Models, HR Policies, Org Charts, Corp. Network Topography, etc.

Disaster Recovery for Information Assets

What happens when the technology managing information assets become “unavailable”? What is your impact assessment? Is there a centralized data/information catalog or repository that contains a partial or complete set of Information Assets?

Information Assets are also passwords, and we have a plethora of “secure” password managers, such as Norton Antivirus provides a mechanism to hold passwords in a virtual “safe”.

Insurance Policies for [digital] Information Assets

What is the cost of securing these Information Assets, verse the payment of recuperating the information assets, if even possible?

What about Hackers that “hold your data/information” hostage?

How to price out “Insurance” for your information, just like safeguarding any other personal articles insurance policies today? Are there “Personal Articles, Insurance Policies” that can currently add a rider to your existing policies? Need to price out “Information Assets”, and the recuperation values?

Norton Life Lock [Personal / Business]

Norton LifeLock reimburses funds stolen due to identity theft up to the limit of the plan total not exceeding $1 Million USD.

Notes Repositories

Notepads like Notepad++, Microsoft OneNote, and Google Keep are tools that allow their authors to quickly take notes and organize them. A wide array of Information Assets are contained within these applications, such as text, and photos with some data describing the information captured (i.e. metadata). Gathering and exporting this information to reference Information Assets could be a lengthy and laborious process without automation, rules for sorting, and tagging info.

AI Induction and Rules Engines

Dynamically labeling Information Assets as they are “discovered”, an auto curation process. For example, the Microsoft Outlook rules engine has a robust library of canned AI rules for sorting, forwarding, formatting as emails arrive in your inbox, as well as a host of other rules “triggers”. An Induction engine is a predictive instrument that “observes” behavior over time, and then creates/suggests new rules on the basis of the history of user behavior. For example, if MS Outlook had an AI Induction engine, and observed a user ‘almost’ always moving an email with the same subject to folder N, the AI Induction engine could create the rule to anticipate the user’s behavior.

Data Lakes or Sea of Information Assets

  • Structured, Semi-Structured, and Unstructured data.
  • Labeling/tagging Information Assets in a consistent fashion.
  • Retrieval of data, and cross-referenced data types

19 Best Data Catalog Tools and Software for 2020

Extract –

Tool: Alation Data Catalog

Description: Alation is a complete repository for enterprise data, providing a single point of reference for business glossaries, data dictionaries, and Wiki articles. The product profiles data and monitors usage to ensure that users have accurate insight into data accuracy. Alation also provides insight into how users are creating and sharing information from raw data. Customers tout the product for its expansive partner ecosystem, and Alation has focused on increasing data literacy when metadata is distributed across business and IT.

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Roblox, Massive Tween Gaming Platform, Goes Public

Popular tween gaming platform Roblox filed to go public on Thursday. The company declined an interview, citing a quiet period.

Source: Roblox, massive tween gaming platform, goes public – CNN

My son and I, OneWildRide,  are hooked on the Roblox game Theme Park Tycoon 2   I’m fixated on building out my park.  For beginners, there are the “out of the box” rides you can buy, and the amount of items you can use to accessorize your park is staggering.    Not only can you add “canned” rides, such as the Gravatron, but the theme park builder can add all different types of roller coasters, water rides, park transportation, etc.

Users of the Theme Park Tycoon 2 are Graded by:

  • number of active users in your park
  • the amount of money you make based on park admission, pay per ride, and concession stands
  • People can “like” your park, and provide feedback at the entrance

Commoditizing Roblox Games

I will shamefully admit that I purchased Roblox Bucks, with real dollars, that can be used on a plethora of items to build my Theme Park.  For example, the Theme Park has a height limit for how high you can build your roller coasters, so naturally, the builder/user has the ability to purchase to lift the height requirements.  You can also purchase additional “packs” that provide the builder enhancements to their rides, such as running the ride in reverse or looping the ride three times instead of the default single loop.  There’s also the conversion of USD to Roblox $$ because builders need to buy the components to build water rides or roller coasters.  You can even purchase concession stands (e.g. Popcorn Vendors).  The builder of the amusement park must also buy/build restrooms and spread out trash cans throughout the park.  There is also the concept of day and night, so make sure to buy/place lamps across the park.

Pay to Play – AI Bots = Theme Park $$

These “auto” bots/characters paying to play in your park may leave if they are dissatisfied, such as no bathrooms.  Also, without trash cans, there will be visible trash on the ground that must be painfully cleaned up, pile by pile, or left there to pile up.  On the flip side, these AI amusement goers will pay:

  • Park Entrance Fees
  • Pay Per Ride
  • Pay to use the loo
  • Pay for Concession Stands, such as Soft Drinks, Popcorn, and Pizza
  • Pay for Theme Park Memorabilia, such as Santa Hats, Tis the Season!

The Theme Park Builder sets the prices for EVERYTHING.  The AI Bots have “thoughts”, such as “This ride is really cheap.” to help you gauge your ride pricing, or “I’m Hungry”, to imply you should buy/place concession stands throughout your park.

Minecraft Anyone?!

I should say someone should have seen this coming, several someones.  You build this Theme Park at the “block” level, very similar to Minecraft, however, it seems, as far as I can tell, the graphics of Roblox seem somewhat superior to Minecraft, although this is a very debatable topic.  Minecraft has lots of 3rd party “mods” or customizations/modifications to the game.  Minecraft has had a lot of time to cultivate its userbase as well as a marketplace for users to buy these modifications.  Roblox as an application/gaming platform seems intriguing in light of the IPO.  I wonder what the highest-grossing games are on the Roblox platform.

Availability

Roblox Theme Park Tycoon 2 is available on Xbox, iPad / iPhone, and Windows to name the environments we use, jumping from device to device wherever is convenient.

Multiplayer Environment

My son constantly wants me to go over to his Theme Park, and go on rides he has just built.  It’s really a lot of fun to go to other builders’ parks.  There is a basic transit system to move between amusement parks.  You can get LOTS of ideas by looking at other builders’ parks, some of these parks put the “real world” amusement parks to shame.  So far, I’ve seen six (6) people playing concurrently, where you can see who has the most Roblox Bucks, and who’s park has the most visitors currently.  Naturally, if you’re not the big kahuna, you’ll want to stroll by the other builders’ parks.  If you are in close proximity, if you time it right, you can log in to the same server, and play with friends.  Doesn’t always seem to work quite right when people jump on and off the game.  There is probably a feature I’m not using to guarantee the same server with friends, maybe the “Premium” version of Roblox?

Build Your Own Roblox Games?  Monetary Incentives?

Wow, I really didn’t contemplate it that much.  I didn’t even think about the possible monetary returns from building one’s own Roblox game.  Not sure what the requirements would be to be a developer, how easy or hard it would be to build Roblox games, i.e. is there a coding language to use, a proprietary language, or just a simple graphical tool to build games.  No clue if there is a “developer/partner” annual cost, which is what I paid when developing applications for the iPhone / iPad.  Also, playing on the iPad / iPhone Roblox platform hosting the Theme Park game, would Apple get a percentage of “In-App” purchases for Roblox dollars?  We purchased Roblox bucks from the PC, and XBOX, so it didn’t occur to me there would be margin paid to the platform on which it runs.

Disclosure – I am not a “Premium” Roblox member or a “game” builder.

Azure DevOps 6 “Most Wanted” Features

Integration of SharePoint into Azure DevOps and Toss the Current Wiki

JIRA and Confluence a powerful combination. Microsoft should ditch the Wiki integrated into the Overview module, and use SharePoint (lite) instead. Put your best foot forward!

Backlog “Feature Timeline” Filtering

As I’ve mentioned in prior posts, the add on “Feature Timeline” by Microsoft is a fantastic bridge between Agile and Waterfall, displaying a Feature [i.e. Milestone] timeline. Expand upon this module with additional capabilities, such as filtering Features by Tags.

Microsoft Teams Chat mentions in Azure DevOps (ADO) Product Activity Feeds

I like trolling the Activity Feed on my Dashboard as much as the next person. Let’s add some external, yet related data sources, such as Microsoft Team Chats directly correlated ADO Team == Microsoft Team. Is that a setting, linking MS Azure DevOps Team to Microsoft Team? Should be…

Auto-generation of Release Notes After Each Build from Repos into the Azure DevOps Wiki

  • Similar to Java Doc, in line code comments roll up into C# Function doc
  • Commits Required to Specify Correlated Work Item IDs
  • Dynamic Wiki Page creation for each build, including release notes, unit test suite execution results

Ability to Create Azure DevOps Wiki pages from within Power Automate (i.e. MS Flow)

Shared Queries Segregated by Teams within the Project

Teams each have their own view of relevant Team information such as Dashboards per team

Runner Up Features

  1. Need the ability to re-name Azure DevOps Dashboards
  2. Need the ability to Clone Dashboards
  3. Product / Project / Portfolio Level Capacity Planning – 3rd party integration, OnePlan handles this requirement

The Power of Collective Consensus for Story Point Effort Estimations

Blind Concurrent Flip

The bartering of effort estimations between a team of 5 or more is really cool to witness and even further awesome to negotiate the consensus process. Not quite the process of the US Congress, but still attempting those on the periphery, extreme right or left of the bell curve of outliers to move toward the consensus. Discuss and draw near the point of consensus under which individuals discover their own need for resolution under grounds of somewhat tangible to their position of an item so complex gives one hope for a grander purpose.

A synonymous flip of the cards leading to the reveal moment is humbling when a team, after several rounds of dissonance, start into a pattern yielding the voting of a collective cohesion. Why do we start voting along a mutual agreement without the need for cohesion?

Can I Convince You to..

What if Chris Wallace facilitated a Planning Poker exercise between the two presidential candidates instead of a debate, driving consensus between the two presidential hopefuls?

Businesses Need a voice

Restaurants Need a Voice

When that phone rings, you should have a consistent and professional voice. This voice can help you bring customers through your doors. “How can I help?”, your virtual hostess asks. Would you like a color menu texted to your phone? Or how about hearing today’s specials from the chef? Maybe your potential customers want to be added to a “Call Ahead” list or make a reservation. No Problem. The virtual host or hostess can help with that and more. Once the customer is greeted at the door of your establishment, your physical host looks at a Google Shared calendar and sees you’ve called ahead. Entertainment could be essential to bring back indoor dining. Texting your customers with a list of events, comedians, Jazz, wine tasting, etc. can help entice your loyal customers from takeout/pickup to indoor entertainment.

Press 5 for Billing – Medical Offices Need a Voice

Make that budding therapy practice of three therapists sound like a flourishing practice with the appropriate level of support staff.

Construction, Contractor, Billing, New Business, Reception: An Army of One

Contractors try to maximize their hours in the field on client sites, and if you’ve got a small company, you need to balance implementing the business, such as billing and invoicing, while taking care of business. A simple automated phone solution can help maximize time on revenue. Whatever your task, such as resending your client a lost invoice can be automated, sending their latest digitized bill. Even for new business, scheduling an on-site quote with your prospective customer can be done without any intervention, automated availability, and scheduling within your Google calendar. In seconds, over the phone, the automation can check when you are available in your calendar, and then schedule the time. The cost of implementing this solution is a fraction of what you would expect.

Let’s Get Started

If you would like more information on cost and setup details, please click here. Or, you can reach me ian@rosemansolutions.com.

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