WhatsApp? Signal!

Some of my friends are big fans of WhatsApp, and have noted that I don't (and won't) use it, so I just wanted to briefly provide the major reasons why: It's owned by Facebook (and connected to the Facebook platform) and there are some major privacy concernsSince acquisition by Facebook, there have been major security concerns Due to similar problems, I advise against using similar apps like Apple iMessage, Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, etc.
If you're really keen on using a "Whatsapp-style" secure messaging app (with group messaging, voice calls, etc.), there is an alternative that is free, open source, and run by a non-profit organization.
It's called Signal and can be found at:
I have it installed, so feel free to send me a test message to try it out, and let me know if you have any further questions about the various privacy and security concerns with some of these other messaging apps.
Further reading: https://www.te…

Facebook is over

Alright folks, I'm calling it.

It's quite sad, but as of 6pm Pacific on Feb 21, 2018, Facebook is officially over.

Soon it will join the ranks of MySpace, Friendster, Slashdot, Digg, Orkut, and Google+ as dusty old sites that nobody really uses anymore.

It had a good run.

For a while, it was the perfect way to keep in touch with friends and relatives, but somewhere along the line, it lost its way.

And unfortunately, I don't see a simple way back.

Let's hope they can prove me wrong.

But otherwise, I'm looking forward to seeing what's next.

What is next? Twitter? Snapchat? Instagram? I feel like they're all mostly dead too.

What's coming down the pipeline to help us all connect online?

Or are we all slowly moving back to our smaller, more manageable offline groups?

RIP Facebook, 2004-2018

Should you buy Bitcoin?

"Should I buy Bitcoin?"

This is a question I've heard a lot the past few weeks, so I'd like to quickly answer it in a public forum.

My official answer is:

"You should spend no more on Bitcoin than you'd be comfortable putting into a Vegas slot machine."

As far as I'm concerned: Bitcoin is not an investment.

Bitcoin is a speculative, risky commodity gamble.

If you do choose to put some chips down, remember that Bitcoin (BTC) can be subdivided up to 8 decimals places. Although fees make it difficult to trade very small amounts, you can easily trade down to 0.001 BTC, which at publishing time is worth about $15 US Dollars (USD).

So at least you're not required to put a large amount of money at risk to play the game.

Coinbase, one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges (where you can trade "real money" for Bitcoins) recently sent out an email: "Please invest responsibly."

This might as well read: "Please gamble responsibly."


Capitalism only works if there is competition

Everything I'm going to write here seems painfully obvious to me, but apparently is not well known.

I've read many recent articles and comments that seem to herald "free market capitalism" as the answer to every problem in society.

They all seem to miss one critical factor though.

Capitalism only works if there is competition.

This seems like a very simple, bland, undeniable statement, and yet as I write it, I hear the collective sound of thousands of people picking up their torches and pitchforks and heading in my general direction.

So -- Who disagrees with this statement? Please put up your hands.

Now, how many of you that raised your hands understand economics?

And I don't mean the philosophy or political nature of economics.

I've read Atlas Shrugged cover-to-cover and I'm not talking about the type of "political economic philosophy" introduced there.

I'm talking about straight up basic Microeconomics and the theories, math, and pretty gr…

When did software go off the rails?

As CTO of The Rumie Initiative, I spend a decent amount of time trying to find tech solutions that offer "the most for the least" in terms of computing power vs. cost.

There is one thing that has baffled me in my long career in technology.

Hardware capability increases exponentially, but software somehow just bloats up, using the power and space, without providing much more functionality or value.

Computer specs from the past 30 years

YearExampleCostSpeed (MHz)RAM (MB)Storage (MB)1977TRS-80$599.9520.0040.61981IBM PC$3,000.0050.0630.21982Commodore 64$595.0010.0630.21985Amiga 1000$1,295.0070.2500.91990Amiga 3000$3,000.0016

Fear, or Hope?

It's Sunday, May 7th, 2017, in the evening.

In less than 48 hours, we'll have a good idea of how the 2017 BC Election is turning out.

A mere two months ago, I was nominated to represent the BC Green Party in the BC NDP stronghold of Port Coquitlam.

I must admit, at times, I am finding myself filled with some fear, doubt, and confusion. Fear of the worst. Doubt about our strategy. Confusion over how it has all unfolded.

My confusion stems from the BC NDP's strategy.

After spending the first half of their campaign firing missiles at the BC Liberals, the second half has featured them launching a full nuclear assault at the BC Green Party.

Thankfully, my NDP running mate has not (to my knowledge) participated in this barrage, but I've seen very nasty behavior in many other ridings, especially on the island.

The BC Liberals are running a classic neoconservative campaign, yelling loudly, and trying to scare people about losing their job, or having to pay more tax.

This is s…

"Jobs" is the wrong metric

There's an old business saying: "What gets measured gets done."

Politicians love to talk about jobs.

Even better, how they are "creating" jobs.

But is "number of jobs created" really a good metric to be tracking and optimizing for?

Short answer: No.

Why not?

Some of the most urgent problems today are:

Wealth inequalityEnvironmental pollutionAn aging populationAn increasingly unhealthy populationAn increasingly uneducated population Does "creating jobs" solve any of these problems?
No, and in some cases, it makes them worse.
We need true education, innovation, and technology to solve these complex problems, not dead-end, part-time, low-quality "jobs" that sometimes pay less than being unemployed.
Let's start setting and measuring some education, health, and wealth gap goals, and see what gets done.