The Happy Equation

My next read is definitely a “Geek Read” – Solve for Happy by Mo Gawdat. Solve for Happy is a book about creating and maintaining happiness, written by a top Google executive with an engineer’s training and fondness for thoroughly analyzing a problem, “problems” like self driving cars and Google Glass. Mo applies his engineering skills to the “problem” of happiness and proposes an algorithm based on an understanding of how the brain takes in and processes joy and sadness. 🙌🏽❤️

One of Solve for Happy‘s key premises is that happiness is a default state. If we shape expectations to acknowledge the full range of possible events, unhappiness is on its way to being defeated. To steer clear of unhappiness traps, we must dispel the six illusions that cloud our thinking (e.g., the illusion of time, of control, and of fear); overcome the brain’s seven deadly defects (e.g., the tendency to exaggerate, label, and filter), and embrace five ultimate truths (e.g., change is real, now is real, unconditional love is real). By means of several highly original thought experiments, Mo helps readers find enduring contentment by questioning some of the most fundamental aspects of their existence. panmacmillan

Watch Mo in action below and purchase your copy of Solve for Happy on Amazon (videos, Goodreads).

Smart Jackets

Hey peeps, it’s been a while 🙂 Honestly, I really haven’t had anything important to say. So, instead of putting out a post just for the sake of it, I choose not to blog at all until, something interesting and/or exciting comes along.

I’ve already told you that I ❤️ collaborations and that I hope to see many more! Smart Jackets is a collaboration between Levi (yes, the jeans company) and Google and it’s exactly what it sounds like – a wireless enabled jean jacket – that will cost you $350. Mashable notes, “…for now the jacket is mainly used to control core features of your smartphone, like starting or stopping music, answering the phone or reading text messages, as well as Google services like Maps and Calendar.” iPhone users are out of luck – at least until Apple announces a similar partnership with another popular jeans brand and we all are again, forced to pick sides… sigh.

You all know I love technology; but, I do just have to say one thing here, especially in the age of leaks, breaches and hacks. The more connected we are, the more vulnerable we are and our (perceived) “safeness” lies solely in these company’s ability to protect their infrastructure (severs, databases, etc.) from outside intrusions. I’m not saying you shouldn’t buy this jacket or that you should be paranoid about everything that’s connected or that we should all go back using to flip phones. What I am saying is everyone needs to be aware. Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on your perspective), this is the economy we live in and the way of the world/future (see also Drones).

You can watch Levi’s smart jacket in action below.

DoD + Silicon Valley > ISIL

  • DoD: Department of Defense
  • Silicon Valley: Tech industry leaders, mostly located in California
  • >: Greater than
  • ISIL: The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, jihadist militant group

Now you can understand the title of this post, DoD + Silicon Valley > ISIL? Meaning can a partnership between the tech world and the US government be the key to fighting terrorism? That’s exactly what the Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, suggested this week (watch below).

It really is a crazy time in tech and I can’t imagine how the US government can expect this campaign to be successful, without the likes of Apple, who by the way is currently in a fight with the FBI for REFUSING to unlock an iPhone of one of the SanBernardino shooters. Don’t think this is at all inconsequential. As I told you before, it would be EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to see what side the other tech companies took in this battle. Facebook, Google, Verizon, MicrosoftAmazon and others ALL support Apple’s position.

U.S. Secretary of Defense on Apple encryption: ‘I’m not a believer in backdoors’

So how can the government on one hand, ask tech to help fight terrorism one way, while at the same time asking these companies to completely ignore the privacy of millions of Americans also in the name of fighting terrorism. Sorry; but, that is not going to fly, so saith and judge in New York.

US cannot make Apple provide iPhone data in drug case, NY judge says

Apple Gets Tech Industry Backing in iPhone Dispute, Despite Misgivings

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Master Computer (or Life) Filter

Let me warn you: this is not meant to be an informative-like post; but, rather a rant. So buckle your seat belts…. Every day when I log into Twitter, Facebook, Feedly and other social media sites I see great articles and things I like to read every day. Sometimes I get frustrated, like tonight and think to myself, “Why is everybody posting about these stupid things I’d rather not see/hear about??”

button deleteWhy can’t I create a Google-like search for my ENTIRE computer that filters OUT content from EVERY site I log into, based on my preferences. How would this work? I’m glad you ask! When you perform a normal Google search, you would typically type something like “mustang”. You can FILTER OUT the types of mustangs you DON’T want to see by typing this EXACT text this in the search box: “mustang -red”. The “-red” is what narrows the search results and ELIMINATES red mustangs. Think of a Venn Diagram: the largest circle is the master set (or universe) – it contains all mustangs: black, white, pink, red, orange purple, you name it. Within that circle there are smaller of circles: one with all pink mustangs in it, one for the red mustangs, etc. You’re not sure what color mustang you want but you know red is out of the question. So you search for exactly that: mustang -red (more Google search tips here) Maybe something good is coming out of this post after all.

Anyway, I think you get my drift. This is what I want for my computer – or actually for my life entire would be even better – I want to create a master Google-like search on my computer for stuff that I never want to hear or see. It would look something like this:

SHOW ALL -kanye -oscars -taylorswift -kardashian -justinbieber

filter_dataApple are you listening? Maybe there’s a solution already out there – one for Chrome, one for Facebook, Instagram, Feedly, etc. That’s not what I’m asking for. I want one MASSIVE and MASTER filter that would work on my entire computer (or life if you’re ambitious) and I want it now, please (see, I can be polite) Besides, who has time to install a separate filter, plugin or extension for each app, site or service they use.

So, that’s all I have. Yes, it’s a rant – I don’t do many of these – but I did tell you that from the beginning. If you’re still reading, thanks for listening. At least you can enjoy the video below and get a few more tips on filtering your Google search results. #TheFilterGirl

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Amazon Echo

61f6gLIXBSL._SL1000_If you’re an iPhone user, do you ever fire up Siri? What about Google Now on Android devices? I mention before that I started using Siri much more on my Apple watch; but, did you know Amazon offers a similar product?

Amazon Echo has been out for a little over 1 year now and is the online retailer’s answer to Apple and Google. Echo has over 30,000 reviews on Amazon and is listed as a #1 best seller in Home Audio speakers. While the device is surely convenient and has many features, the most promising feature is the device’s promise to control your “smart home” by turning on the lights. You can also imagine, pre-heating the oven, turning on on an alarm, etc via it’s mobile app, Alexa, (iOS, Android, Amazon), described as follows:

Echo doesn’t stop working when you’re away from home. With the free companion app on Fire OS, Android, iOS, and desktop browsers, you can easily manage your alarms, music, shopping lists, and more.

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The future is near my friends (think The Jetsons, Iron Man, Back to The Future and  The Kingsman). Watch one of Amazon’s wi-fi enabled device in action below or get more information here.