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Happy 2023 - Issue #001
Happy New Year
You’re reading issue #001 of the TK brief, the newsletter brought to you by the TK team. Of course, the list is zero-indexed, so post #000 was the TK brief debut! Please read it here.
Newsletter format / Table of contents (TOC):
Today’s tech word
CES and my top picks
Musings on tech
From TK community
Today’s tech word: Technocrat
Technocrats are individuals with technical training and occupations who perceive many significant societal problems as being solvable with the applied use of technology and related applications.
CES and my top picks
For fellow technocrats (today’s tech word 👆), I bet news about CES has made it to you in some way; online feeds, email subscriptions etc. Speaking of which, subscribe below 👇
For the un-oriented, CES is an annual tech extravaganza where global innovators prove breakthrough technologies. In short, CES stands for Consumer Electronics Summit, dubbed the Global Stage for Innovation.
My top 12 CES picks ( I aimed for ten, but the electric vehicles had to be included 🤓)
Satellite messaging to be included in Android phones thanks to Qualcomm.
NB: Qualcomm makes most chips in Android phones.
A foldable screen that slides - Samsung’s Flex Hybrid (Frontend developers everywhere: “Challenge accepted”)
Withings U-Scan - a new era for urinalysis - collects urine, analyzes it, and sends the results to your phone via Wi-Fi. My 2C: I’ve owned a digital scale by Withings and commend the quality of Withings.
The world's first truly wireless TV - 55” Wireless TV screen by Displace
It uses four hot-swappable batteries for a day’s screen time and a box streaming 4K @ 120Hz - for connecting peripherals. It has strong suction to mount on different surfaces, including glass walls 🤯
Dolby Atmos + Mercedes - All surround sound, like in the movies, but in a car!
Compact VR Headset - HTC's Standalone VR Headset
AR - Augmented Reality
L'Oreal Magic Brow - Anyone can print eyebrows on their face with an accompanying iPhone app. Tech: Augmented reality
A concept car by BMW: BMW i Vision Dee. Dee stands for Digital Emotional Experience.
Features: The car is itself a voice-driven virtual assistant. Its entire windshield is the HUD (Heads-up display) using AR. The car can change its colour entirely (using E-ink panels)
Xanderglass - Live caption glasses
L'Oreal HAPTA - a lipstick applicator for people with limited mobility
EV - Electric vehicles
An Electric boat that flies through the air
An electric flying car - An electric VTOL (vertical Take-off and landing) and car hybrid
Musings on tech
Apps are dead
Wait, what? Are apps dead? If apps are dead, what’s next? That was my reaction too. This article provoked this topic. Main points:
Toggling Tax: Most current apps are designed differently and have diverse layouts hence users tend to switch context, that is, pause for a second or more and rewire their minds when switching from one thing to another. Apparently, we switch from apps and websites 1,200 times daily, adding up to five weeks a year.
Solution: super apps like Wechat and MPesa app
WeChat, for example, is used for chatting, shopping, paying bills, and accessing government services. Closer home, in countries with Safaricom, is the MPesa app which includes small apps within it that span government services like the recently added Hustler fund to shopping and healthcare access.
Apps are rigid, yet users have different needs.
Solution: Develop backends that support low-code tools that allow users to extend current apps to fit their needs. This goes beyond customizing dashboards. Users can specify the data they need and which integrations to add to have a customized user experience from another user using the same app. Imagine that!
Apollo Graph Inc, the leading GraphQL company, are a proponent of this with their ‘supergraph’ architecture
Jobs: Layoffs and concerns over AI taking over
Globally the economic times are considered uncertain at the moment. Just three days ago, CNN reported that Amazon plans to lay off more than 18,000 employees as the global economic outlook worsens.
Since the end of Nov 2022, conversations on ChatGPT have been viral. TK community members on Whatsapp joined in as well. There has been excitement and concerns about AI taking away jobs, and ChatGPT threw gas to the already raging fire.
On layoffs: While big tech being affected might tell sector-wide symptoms, counterarguments say that this results from betting too strongly on the economic recovery post-COVID. Globally, better-paced, medium and small startups are scaling and hiring worldwide. Moreover, skills are increasingly being sourced from markets like the EMEA. Remember, skills speciality is still in demand. By the way, TK community members, mainly on Whatsapp, often share job opportunities.
If you’re not part of the TK community on Whatsapp, join here.
On AI: Think, how can I augment/ better my job? Some Youtubers used this script. For example, how I used ChatGPT to do my work X times. Easier said than done; AI, in general, should be used to improve output, making one do their best work rather than shun it. With a positive outlook, I dare say the future is bright.
From TK community
Opportunities: Apply to the AfAS Data Science Hackathon on 18-20 March 2023 here.
The weekly TKQuiz takes place on
Thursdays at 9 PM UTC+3 at https://techkln.org/quiz
Add TKQuiz to your calendar here.
#TKQuiz question from last week.
Question: What does it mean to uncloud?
Answer: Remove all files from the cloud.
The quizmaster erroneously marked this! Most sites and online in-text references favour the definition as Choice B. Apologies to the 45% who were right! Remember that the TKquiz is primarily educational in a fun way 😇
Reasons for unclouding include liability concerns, security issues, and integration difficulties between cloud-based applications and on-premises enterprise applications and data.
NB: decloud means decentralized cloud, NOT delete a cloud service account.
Et al. (Others)
Nairobi API Festival 2023 is on the horizon. Scheduled dates: 4 & 5th May 2023. The call for speakers closes on 23 Feb 2023. The organization team is looking for sponsors too. Reply to this newsletter or email@example.com, and we’ll hook you up.
I hope the series is of value. Share if you can.