23 Nov 2017

PLANNING IS ONLY HALF OF THE BATTLE

Are You Ready ?

You’ve planned your day. The schedule is set. You’re ready to do this, right?
Not yet, according to Craig Jarrow, author of the blog, Time Management Ninja. You also need to PREPARE.
“Planning is good… knowing what you need to do is a great first step,” Jarrow says.
“Preparation is even better… it readies you to actually do your work.”
Think of planning as the first phase and preparation the second. Here are six tips Jarrow offers to help you with preparation:

  • Do it the night before.
    Preparing the night before allows you time to get everything organized and take care of any missing pieces. Waiting until the “day of” can lead to a last-minute scramble (ever scrambled to find a missing item on your way out the door?).
  • Do it well in advance whenever possible.
    This is especially important when preparing for a big event. Gather materials several days beforehand. Getting everything together early allows more time to remedy any unforeseen issues.
  • Do the (pre) work.
    Preparation is all about doing as much of the work as possible in advance. Read the materials, review the data, and practice the activity. When the time comes to do the work, you’ll be ready.
  • Save time.
    Don’t allow yourself to believe you don’t have time to prepare. Good preparation saves time by reducing errors and helping to prevent the need to re-do mistakes. It also shortens activities. For example, a well-prepared meeting takes less time to conduct.
  • Reduce stress.
    Being prepared means being confident. That means less for you to worry about, which reduces stress.
  • Make it a habit.
    Practice preparation part of your lifestyle, rather than just on occasion. You’ll reap the benefits every day.

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22 Nov 2017

Cloud security tools and vendor perspectives

Cloud Security

Amazon, Google and Microsoft continue to pump out features that reinforce their varying perspectives on public cloud security, but they still don’t solve one of the biggest threats to cloud workloads.

The so-called Big Three cloud vendors have added a host of features this year to help users protect their workloads against threats, with slightly different approaches that highlight their products’ maturity and their own technological and cultural pedigrees. But one of the biggest obstacles to lock down workloads on these platforms persists: the customers themselves.

Security remains a top priority as enterprises evaluate a move to the public cloud. There are still scenarios where the cloud is unacceptable, particularly at corporations where data residency and other governmental restrictions are paramount, but by and large security is no longer a reason to reject a move to the cloud. In fact, the security practices and staffing behind these platforms are superior to what enterprises have built internally, according to most industry observers.

According toTim Prendergast
CEO and co-founder, Evident.io, “[Cloud] providers are innovating piece by piece, as they learn more about what attackers are doing to compromise workloads.”

Amazon has progressed the farthest to improve security, simply because Amazon Web Services (AWS) was first to market and lacked many of the tools to track and manage resources that are layered on the platform today. Once found mainly in startups, AWS is now commonplace at large enterprises due in no small part to upgrades of its cloud security tools in the 11 years since it began selling storage and compute resources.

Over the years, AWS has added identity and access management, configuration rules and other policy controls that have become common practice in the cloud. Many of its latest security upgrades reflect the platform’s maturity, with incremental improvements such as tighter integration with other AWS tools. Now, Amazon’s latest steps aim to protect customers from their own mistakes.

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21 Nov 2017

WEBSITE MAINTENANCE

Maintenance

Owning a website comes with certain responsibilities. You can’t just build it and forget it. Well you can, but regular website maintenance is a must if you want your site to be successful. Regular maintenance can:

  • Keep your site secure. Websites get hacked, and hacked sites lose visitors and traffic.
  • Prevent you from losing everything by keeping a regular backup schedule.
  • Prevent disgruntled users because something doesn’t work or you provided a broken link.
  • Keep regular visitors happy by giving them fresh, updated information and exciting news.

There are all kinds of things that need to be done when maintaining a website. Whether you decide to do these yourself or hire out the work, it still needs to be done.

Here’s a quick list to get you going on keeping your website humming:

Keep secure: monitor for malware, viruses, hackers, and errors

Hackers don’t usually announce themselves on the front page of your website. You could be infected and not even know that your site is being used to send spam emails or links to nefarious parts of the web. Setting up a regular monitoring service will ensure that if you do get infected or have site errors, you can fix them fast.

Keep a regular backup schedule

Backing up your site is something that should be done regularly, especially for those who update their site often. Things happen. Do not expect your web host to be keeping a scheduled backup for you. While they may be, it could be old, and not on track with your latest site updates. If the server crashes for some reason, or your site gets hacked, or you make some major mistake, your edits could be gone.

Keep updated: Software

Most websites are built on a content management system, which means it’s software that can potentially be exploited. We use WordPress for many reasons, but one is that it’s constantly being updated, improved, and made more secure. When WordPress releases a new version, it’s a must to update your site. Failing to do this leaves you vulnerable. Plugin
updates should be treated in the same way – all software updates are a form of protection.

Keep updated: Content

This isn’t strictly a maintenance issue, but we feel it’s so important to keep your site fresh and updated on the content front that we’re including it. A regular blogging or publishing schedule that pushes out relevant content will keep your returning visitors happy and engaged. The search engines will like you a whole lot more too. If there was one
piece of SEO advice we had to give it’s this: Publish relevant content, and publish it often.

There’s a few other tasks that we should mention too:

  • Check for broken links – nobody likes broken links. Nobody.
  • Check site speed. A fast site is a good site.
  • Track your site statistics. We set up Google Analytics on every site we build, but if you don’t check you don’t know.

Please visit our website at KEMNET.CO.KE!!  to get the best website for your business.

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20 Nov 2017

THE RISE AND FALL OF DIGITAL BRAND BUILDING

The age old phrase “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” is an apt starting point for understanding the hype behind digital brand building (and its gradual fall from eminence). Digital brand building is the most prominent of all the commercialization initiatives of the internet. But it wouldn’t have reached its current state without the explosive growth of the internet in the last 1980s / early 1990s. We suddenly got a new past time in our lives, which eventually became our life. From something that we use to spend 15–30 minutes in a day (by specially making an effort to connect wires, start up a modem, hear some nice whirring sounds etc.), we are now in a constant online mode (digital detox advice is becoming the next big occupation)

At its very onset, digital branding was aspirational for brands. It was a novel way of brand building on a medium that was slowly revolutionizing our lives (still primarily in terms of how we access and use information). The typical downside of any form of commercial initiative is its ability to reduce the lowest common denominator. From being a novel and aspirational way of brand building, digital mediums became the only way of brand building (and gave rise to the fancy catchphrase of “digitally native”).

Exclusivity has long been a key component of luxury brand building. But global surveys of luxury consumers (by different parties) now reveal that quality is a stronger influencer of purchase (rather than exclusivity). Have luxury brands accepted this new reality? They have not and are still struggling with it. Why did I bring up this concept of exclusivity at this point? A brand is not an isolated dimension anymore — it is a connected dimension.

A brand is now as much as where it advertises and communicates compared how its identity is and who are its consumers. @Tom Goodwin recently wrote about the “Democratization of E-commerce ”. This very concept of democratization can be extended to digital branding channels.

Consider the following facts from Adobe Digital Insights:

  • The average cost of a digital ad (now categorized separately for mobiles / laptops / iPads / tablets) has gone up by 12% in the last two years.
  • Brands have increased their investment in search advertising by 42% in the last two years, but the number of people visiting websites of brands through search advertising has only increased by 11%
    People are spending less time on websites than they did before (the reasons are muddled here but it could be a combination of more efficient and structured availability of information combined with the advent of apps)
  • The democratisation of digital channels as mediums of brand building is significant. The barriers to entry are significantly down (or are virtually non-existent). Instagram allows me to start a promotion using one of my recently snapped pictures for as low as $5 to reach an estimated 10,000 people. When the first banner ad debuted in 1994 as part of AT&Ts “You Will” campaign, things were neither this easy nor were they straightforward (and for good reasons). According to Joe McCambley, who created the banner ad, there was a reason behind the 44% CTR:
  • It was part of an integrated marketing campaign (with spends on TV, radio and print) that had $50 million in annual spends — the banner debuted 2 years after AT&T ran multiple spots using different scenarios but all culminating in the same holistic message of “You Will” — It was not click-bait and had a high level of in-built awareness and curiosity
    Way back in 1994, the AT&T team created a virtual reality tour of the world’s famous museums and loaded it on to the Arts section of Hotwired.com, which was were the banner ad appeared. Clicking on the banner ad opened up this magical experience, which again goes back to the fundamental premise of digital branding — building experiences (and not merely brands)
  • Supply was more than demand — There were only 6 global advertisers who lined up for running banner advertising on Hotwired.com. In Joe’s own words, “The supply of creative talent far outstripped advertiser demand. For about two years many of us in digital advertising created some of the most amazing experiences of our careers”
  • The three characteristics of success of the first ever online banner ad are exactly the three factors that have led to the slow demise of digital branding as a meaningful medium of brand building. The endemic factor that holds back the progress of the human civilisation is our constant need for copy-cat behaviour, displaying herd-mentality and getting easily influenced. Marketers are solely responsible for tipping the balance in favour of demand over supply. Quantity will never beat quality in any sense or dimension.
  • As the floodgates opened, quality of online advertising (aka as a primary influencer of digital branding) declined. What started off as a novel and unique method for building brands, quickly reduced itself to an array of sub-standard execution, misleading CTAs, overwhelming volumes, push marketing vs pull and a creator of a sense of paranoia among consumers.
  • Marketers and brand builders of all shapes and sizes now create online advertising and endeavour to build their brands digitally. Majority of it are laughable, embarrassing, silly, noise and annoying. Consider the significance of the following quote, which indirectly outlines why digital branding as a principle is a failure:
  • “Too often we tend to think of change in a very singular mindset, technology. But technology is not the real issue, not the root cause. It’s an effect, for sure… [but] the real driver of societal change is society itself, not your smartphone.” — John Hayes, ex-CMO, American Express
  • The fall from grace of digital branding is because of a complete misunderstanding or arrogance on the part of marketers on our ability to react and take back control. What has been happening since the time consumers have started realising the idiocy and annoyance of online advertising (aka digital brand building component):
  • Mad Robots, Farcical Digital Experience, Retargeting runs amuck — I couldn’t find a better way of writing this so have left the bullet heading unchanged. You can read the full article here
    More statistics can be found here but 11% of the global internet population is blocking ads on the web, which in itself is a growth of 30% from the previous year (2015)
  • More meaningful and deeper collaborations and partnerships — With the fallacy and waste associated with programmatic advertising laid bare, brand builders are increasingly getting into more controlled and careful collaborations with other brands. This is with the aim to develop more deeper and meaningful content with a win-win outcome for both parties
  • Global campaigns have not lost their shine when it comes to digital brand building, but localisation has assumed critical importance — The previous notion that the borderless nature of the internet will allow marketers to shove down the same set of images, video and sound across millions of consumers around the world has been quickly discarded. Digital brand building, and for the right reasons, has embraced the development and dissemination of more localised brand experiences. Apple’s localised carnival themed campaign in Brazil to push the iPhone 7 Plus is an example:
  • The language of online advertising has changed and so has the ‘offer’ available to brands — When we say ‘offer’ here, it actually means the redefinition of what constitutes an ad on online channels these days. Media owners and content creators have started offering brand builders the concept of ‘original content creation’. The fundamental reason behind this movement is to stop online ads from popping up (which can be ignored or blocked) but integrating brands into the storyline of entertainment (TV shows, movies, original streaming content etc.). There is a new definition of an ad doing the round these days, which advertisers need to get their head around
  • What started off in the early 1990s as an honest and highly creative attempt in brand storytelling and creation of branded experiences, is now under increased scrutiny from marketers (who has lost tonnes of money), consumers (who are dazed, confused and annoyed), regulators (who find advertising ethics and principles getting blurred), industry bodies (as they see the last visage of their control slipping away) and platform owners (who are now experiencing the adverse impact of earning money without any checks and balances).
  • The rise of digital brand building was due to an honest attempt by marketers to use the capabilities of the internet to enhance their brand messages. The fall of digital brand building is a failure of the whole marketing ecosystem, from which it will never recover.
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17 Nov 2017

DIGITAL ADDICTION

Alarming Statistics That Show Just How Addicted We Are To Mobile Devices.

October 17, 2017 by Anthony Ongaro

We’re using smartphones and other mobile devices more than ever before, and there is no shortage of evidence. Even anecdotally, just take a look at any place
where people have to wait: stop lights, bus stops, checkout lines, restaurants, and parks. There’s no sign that this trend is reversing, either—despite the fact that high
levels of screen time have been shown to have substantial negative effects.

  • The mere presence of your smartphone is reducing your cognitive capacity.
  • Over-dependence on smartphones leads to user stress and is correlated to psychological traits including loss of control, social interaction anxiety, and materialism.
  • There’s a strong link between the amount of time teens spend looking at screens and how sad they feel.

Along with that, who knows what issues we’ll see surface over the next decade as the technology we use is forced to become even more addictive in order to compete in today’s attention marketplace. There are some pretty alarming statistics that give you a good idea of where things are now, and where we’re headed.
Watch more about it on the link below;

https://youtu.be/Ml-IiKawB0k

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16 Nov 2017

TECH TRENDS

Tech Trends

The renown editor for the Wired magazine’s Kevin Kelly on 12 converging digital forces rather than describing the future with a list of technologies such as AI or Io T, ‘Wired’ magazine editor Kevin Kelly does a compelling job of showing how tech convergence is leading to 12 inevitable forces: becoming, cognifying, flowing, screening, accessing, sharing, filtering, remixing, interacting, tracking, questioning, and beginning.

Industries will topple, new competitors will emerge, and entire occupations will disappear. “New occupations will be born and they will prosper unequally, causing envy and inequality,” Kelly cautions. It is hard to push back against these driving forces, but we need “vigilant acceptance.”

“Technology is human’s accelerate,” says Kelly. We are moving in a state of continuous flux, with products becoming services and processes, and even nouns becoming verbs. “These forces are trajectories, not destinies. They offer no predictions of where we end up,” he explains. It is up to us to recognize and reorganize ourselves around these forces, as described below.

Becoming
“Technological life in the future will be a series of endless upgrades. And the rate of graduation is accelerating,” says Kelly. “We will be newbies forever. That should keep us humble. Endless Newbie is the new default for everyone, no matter your age or experience,” he jokes.

This, of course, will be hard, uncomfortable and painful. Rather than utopia or dystopia, we are in a state of “protopia” or constant motion. A typical reaction is to dismiss some of these changes, but we all know how the early clunky text-only Internet transformed within years.

We are in an era of a new type of thinking – part machine, part human, with instant access to the world’s connected information, with much of the content generated by individuals rather than institutions. The web is now more a presence than a place. “By 2050 we’ll come to think of the web as an ever-present type of conversation,” says Kelly.

This is the best time to start up, to invent something. “We are all becoming. It is the best time ever in human history to begin. You are not too late,” he says.

Cognifying
“It is hard to imagine anything that would ‘change everything’ as much as cheap, powerful, ubiquitous artificial intelligence,” says Kelly. “The advantages gained from cognifying inert things would be hundreds of times more disruptive to our lives than the transformations gained by industrialization,” he adds.

AI is now powered by cheap parallel computation, big data and better algorithms, with rapid advances being made in companies from the US to China. AI gets better and better with more usage; Google is using AI to improve its search and search to improve its AI. Cognification will happen in arts, performances, laundry, marketing, real estate, nursing, toys, sports and even in robo-car ethics.

New kinds of minds, intelligences and consciousness will emerge. “To demand that AI be humanlike is the same flawed logic that artificial flying will be birdlike, with flapping wings. Robots, too, will think different,” says Kelly.

Impacted jobs will be of four types: those that are better done by robots than by humans, not doable by humans, jobs not imagined yet, and jobs humans want to give up. “The greatest benefit of the arrival of AI is that AIs will help define humanity. We need AI to tell us who we are,” he says.

There will be massive upheaval, but it is inevitable. “Let the robots take our jobs, and let them help us dream up new work that matters,” he recommends.

Flowing
The Internet is an endless copying, sharing and flowing machine. Real-time flows, streams and tags are more important than pages, browsers and links. The cloud of copies has steamrolled industries like music, and transformed books. For example, definitions of printed page, fixed content, physical location, lack of interactivity, and fixed editions have been upended.

What people value in this era of flow is immediacy, personalisation, interpretation, authenticity, accessibility, embodiment, patronage and discoverability. Flows and unbundling allow innumerable consumers to tag, annotate, translate, mash up and enliven content such as media and music. Brands will become valuable through their trust, authenticity will be certified by digital watermarks, fans will pay to attend live performances.

Screening
“We are now People of the Screen,” says Kelly. Flows bring content and interaction to countless screens, and we are “screening” rather than just reading. Screening will change books, music, movies, education, games and eventually everything. Some screens will even be just one word wide.

The web’s great attraction is miscellaneous pieces loosely joined. Book-related activities will becoming “booking” – researching, sharing, socialising. “No book will be an island. It will all be connected,” says Kelly. There will be one large “metabook” – the universal library, the dynamic inter-linked digital-age version of the library of Alexandria.

AI and humans will both tag content. “The link and the tag may be two of the most important inventions of the last 50 years,” says Kelly. Books will no longer sit alone, they will come alive on innumerable screens; they will become a platform for cultural life, not just a better searchable library.

“Books were good at developing a contemplative mind. Screens encourage more utilitarian thinking,” according to Kelly. Book reading strengthens analytical skills; screening encourages association and pattern-matching. Screens are instruments of the now – and will also watch us.

Accessing
“Possession is not as important as it once was. Accessing is more important than ever,” says Kelly. Instant borrowing is made possible by digitisation, real-time on-demand services, decentralisation, and cloud-based matchmaking platforms. The software-as-a-service model has been extended to accommodation, tools, clothes, furniture and toys, and delivers freshness, flexibility and agility to consumers.

Startups are offering on-demand services for flower delivery, gardening, laundry, house calls, coding/design, and even legal marijuana delivery. Blockchain will even decentralise money and trust-based mechanisms. “Expandable cloud computing at discount prices has made it a hundred times easier for a young technology company to scale up,” says Kelly.

Sharing
The borderless Internet has created new kinds of community culture. “Digital socialism is socialism without the state,” explains Kevin. Peer production and linkages have created a new version of the sharing economy, or ‘dot communism’ (according to John Perry Barlow). “Community sharing can unleash astonishing power. The power of sharing is bigger than we expected,” says Kelly. The small glitters can become solid gold when aggregated in a community.

Coordination has progressed to cooperation, then collaboration, and finally collectivism, explains Clay Shirky (Here Comes Everybody). Examples include Pinterest, Reddit, Twitter, Wikipedia, Apache, Craigslist, PatientsLikeMe and KickStarter. “Seemingly impossible things can be accomplished by peers of amateurs when connected smartly,” explains Kelly.

There are crowdfunding sites now for musicians (PledgeMusic), non-profits (Fundly), medical emergencies (GoFundMe) and science (Petridish). Innovation itself can be crowdsourced, as shown by Quirky+GE, TopCoder, Threadless, 99Design – leading to new models of ‘crowd-organising’ and ‘crowd-making.’

Vitamin-like doses of curators and influencers also play an important role here. “Intermediaries of some type are needed to shape the cloud of creativity that boils up from the crowd,” explains Kelly. There will also be some con artists, but they can be addressed by features like rating/ranking, insurance pools and escrow funds.

Filtering
The explosion of content and flows open up new kinds of opportunities for filtering: gatekeepers, curators, brands, friends, cultural environment and even government. Technical filters include search engines, recommendation engines and collaborative filtering; commodity attention is transformed into personalised attention for multiple parties (eg. viewers, advertisers, publishers).

“We are at the threshold of a Cambrian explosion in attention technology,” observes Kelly. Users will also take their own crack at designing ads, which companies can then crowd-source. There are many emerging forms of untapped attention, and a “blank continent” is opening up; there will be even filters upon filters. Filters will ultimately define who we are in terms of preferences.

Remixing
“We live in a golden age of new mediums. We are in a period of productive remixing,” says Kelly. Morphing, recombining and cross-breeding will apply not just to mainstream media but user-generated content as well. Fan fiction and fantasy universes will create new kinds of content. The best works may be those that are remixed the most – but there will also be challenges to existing IP regimes; transformation is a new kind of becoming.

Tools like SketchUp offer major virtual models of major building structures around the world. Literacy is more than reading books, but being able to use digital tools well. “Database cinema” will allow people to create videos with movie components and new kinds of video grammars. “The holy grail of visuality is findability,” says Kevin; AI will help searching within videos.

Interacting
VR and AR are introducing new kinds of presence and interactivity. In AR, an artificial overlay is added to the real world. Nano-cameras in headsets can look back at your eyes and project your exact gaze onto your avatar. Gaze tracking, tools activated by voice and motions, and wearables are interesting trends to watch. “In the coming 30 years, anything that is not intensely interactive will be considered broken,” jokes Kelly.

From desks and onward to our laps, pockets and wrists, computers are next heading into our bodies with embeddable technology. The brain-machine interface will cover more senses, more intimacy and more immersion. Motions can be mapped onto different kinds of limbs (you can “switch” your arms and feet). Your motions can be tracked so that your body and your gait become unique patterns. “Our interactions will become our password,” predicts Kelly.

Tracking
Ubiquitous sensors are leading to the quantified self, personal analytics, life-streaming, quanti-metric self-sensing, and even medical sleuthing. There are self-tracker communities today that even have metrics to track fingernail growth over the years. Tracking opens the door to new kinds of metadata and indexes as traditional forms of content are unbundled and new kinds of flows created.

You can eventually track not just every minute or movement of your daily health, but also every work-related task and every conversation you ever had. Tracking is only at the early stages in society: car movements, ride-shares, couriers, call logs, retail, banking, fitness and book reading.

Integrating all this leads to huge privacy challenges, of course. Where is the trade-off between opt-in tracking, transparency, surveillance, coveillance, and benefits? Traditional rural communities were always tracking each other, but global digital connectedness opens up new dimensions altogether.

Questioning
In the new “technium,” technology is enabling new kinds of coordination, reputation and trust mechanisms. There will also be challenges of “cascaded failure” and calls for international rules of cyber-conflict. “Criminals are some of the most creative innovators in the world,” Kevin laments.

The continuous consumer search for the next big thing and the next big deal is leading to dissatisfaction for the ordinary and normal. We will have to sharpen our sense of observation and criticism by asking deep questions of what we see and even of ourselves. “Questioning is simply more powerful than answering,” says Kevin.

The digital world is both enlightening and distracting at the same time, and usage needs to be balanced and disciplined. Creativity is a mix of focus and time-wasting, along with critical inquiry. “A good question creates new territories of thinking. A good question is the seed of innovation,” says Kelly.

“The paradox of science is that every answer breeds at least two new questions,” he observes. We are asking questions we never asked before, and more than ever before. “A good question is what humans are for. It’s a safe bet that we have not asked our biggest questions yet,” says Kelly.

Beginning
Technology convergence is not just creating a new super-mind or noosphere, but a new beginning. We are all not just in it, we are it (see also the article We are not just watching the future, we are in the future). A new phase is beginning, as the complex inter-connected mesh brings all humans and things into a global matrix.

“You and I are alive at that moment when it first awoke. Future people will envy us, wishing they could have witnessed the birth we saw,” says Kevin. The changes are greater than we perceive, which are the marks of a singularity.

Some more material on the ethics of technology use, impact on children, and governance movements would have been welcome additions to the book. Other topics to address include the environmental impact of digital technologies and how they can be tackled.

In sum, new technology convergences are creating things that seem “impossible in theory but possible in practice” (Wikipedia, YouTube are early examples). “Tissues can do things that cells can’t,” he explains , and we are seeing new entities emerging in the global real-time society.

“Certainty itself is no longer as certain as it once was. The improbable is the new normal,” Kelly sums up.

 

 

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14 Nov 2017

SOFTWARE WILL DISRUPT MOST TRADITIONAL INDUSTRIES  5-10 YEARS FROM NOW

The Future

In a recent interview the MD of Daimler Benz (Mercedes Benz) said their competitors are no longer other car companies but Tesla (obvious), Google, Apple, Amazon .
Uber is just a software tool, they don’t own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi company in the world
Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don’t own any properties.
Artificial Intelligence: Computers become exponentially better in understanding the world. This year, a computer beat the best Go player in the world, 10 years earlier than expected.
In the US, young lawyers already don’t get jobs. Because of IBM Watson, you can get legal advice (so far for more or less basic stuff) within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans. So if you study law, stop immediately. There will be 90% less lawyers in the future, only specialists will remain.
Watson already helps nurses diagnosing cancer, 4 times more accurate than human nurses. Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans.

In 2030, computers will become more intelligent than humans.
Autonomous cars: In 2018 the first self driving cars will appear for the public. Around 2020, the complete industry will start to be disrupted. You don’t want to own a car anymore. You will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You will not need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance and can be productive while driving. Our kids will never get a driver’s licence and will never own a car.
It will change the cities, because we will need 90-95% less cars for that. We can transform former parking spaces into parks. 1.2 million people die each year in car accidents worldwide. We now have one accident every 60,000 miles (100,000 km), with autonomous driving that will drop to one accident in 6 million miles (10 million km). That will save a million lives each year.
Most car companies will probably become bankrupt. Traditional car companies try the evolutionary approach and just build a better car, while tech companies (Tesla, Apple, Google) will do the revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels.
Many engineers from Volkswagen and Audi; are completely terrified of Tesla.
Insurance companies will have massive trouble because without accidents, the insurance will become 100x cheaper. Their car insurance business model will disappear.
Real estate will change. Because if you can work while you commute, people will move further away to live in a more beautiful neighborhood.
Electric cars will become mainstream about 2020. Cities will be less noisy because all new cars will run on electricity. Electricity will become incredibly cheap and clean: Solar production has been on an exponential curve for 30 years, but you can now see the burgeoning impact.
Last year, more solar energy was installed worldwide than fossil. Energy companies are desperately trying to limit access to the grid to prevent competition from home solar installations, but that can’t last. Technology will take care of that strategy.
With cheap electricity comes cheap and abundant water. Desalination of salt water now only needs 2kWh per cubic meter (@ 0.25 cents). We don’t have scarce water in most places, we only have scarce drinking water. Imagine what will be possible if anyone can have as much clean water as he wants, for nearly no cost.
Health: The Tricorder X price will be announced this year. There are companies who will build a medical device (called the “Tricorder” from Star Trek) that works with your phone, which takes your retina scan, your blood sample and you breath into it.
It then analyses 54 biomarkers that will identify nearly any disease. It will be cheap, so in a few years everyone on this planet will have access to world class medical analysis, nearly for free. Goodbye, medical establishment.
3D printing: The price of the cheapest 3D printer came down from $18,000 to $400 within 10 years. In the same time, it became 100 times faster. All major shoe companies have already started 3D printing shoes.
Some spare airplane parts are already 3D printed in remote airports. The space station now has a printer that eliminates the need for the large amount of spare parts they used to have in the past.
At the end of this year, new smart phones will have 3D scanning possibilities. You can then 3D scan your feet and print your perfect shoe at home.
In China, they already 3D printed and built a complete 6-storey office building. By 2027, 10% of everything that’s being produced will be 3D printed.
Business opportunities: If you think of a niche you want to go in, ask yourself: “in the future, do you think we will have that?” and if the answer is yes, how can you make that happen sooner?
If it doesn’t work with your phone, forget the idea. And any idea designed for success in the 20th century is doomed to failure in the 21st century.
Work: 70-80% of jobs will disappear in the next 20 years. There will be a lot of new jobs, but it is not clear if there will be enough new jobs in such a small time.
Agriculture: There will be a $100 agricultural robot in the future. Farmers in 3rd world countries can then become managers of their field instead of working all day on their fields.
Aeroponics will need much less water. The first Petri dish produced veal, is now available and will be cheaper than cow produced veal in 2018. Right now, 30% of all agricultural surfaces is used for cows. Imagine if we don’t need that space anymore. There are several startups who will bring insect protein to the market shortly. It contains more protein than meat. It will be labelled as “alternative protein source” (because most people still reject the idea of eating insects).
There is an app called “moodies” which can already tell in which mood you’re in. By 2020 there will be apps that can tell by your facial expressions, if you are lying. Imagine a political debate where it’s being displayed when they’re telling the truth and when they’re not.Bitcoin may even become the default reserve currency … Of the world!
Longevity: Right now, the average life span increases by 3 months per year. Four years ago, the life span used to be 79 years, now it’s 80 years. The increase itself is increasing and by 2036, there will be more than one year increase per year. So we all might live for a long long time, probably way more than 100.
Education: The cheapest smart phones are already at $10 in Africa and Asia. By 2020, 70% of all humans will own a smart phone. That means, everyone has the same access to world class education.
Every child can use Khan academy for everything a child needs to learn at school in First World countries. There have already been releases of software in Indonesia and soon there will be releases in Arabic, Suaheli and Chinese this summer. I can see enormous potential if we give the English app for free, so that children in Africa and everywhere else can become fluent in English and that could happen within half a year.
Must read article on how our lives will change dramatically in 20 years by CEO of Mercedes

KEMNET.CO.KE!! The Technology experts in Kenya

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13 Nov 2017

SOCIAL MEDIA HAS BECOME THE NEW NICOTINE – “NOMOPHOBIA”

Social Media

You’ve seen the posts and videos criticizing millennials for being addicted to their phones. But why did we never criticize past generations for being

addicted to cigarettes?

Because we knew the tabacco companies were using manipulative strategies to knowingly get people addicted and keep people addicted.

If we realized that the largest tech companies were using the same chemical science to addict us to their apps and products, would we spend a little less time blaming the users and more time putting some safeguards in place at the source of the issue?

This week Facebook ex-President, Sean Parker, spoke out against the addictive impact Facebook now has, saying:

“The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them.. was all about: ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?’”

“And that means that we need to sort of give you a little dopamine hit every once in a while, because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever, and that’s going to get you to contribute more content, and that’s going to get you more likes and comments.”

“It’s a social-validation feedback loop. Exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.”

“The inventors, creators – it’s me, it’s Mark (Zuckerberg), it’s Kevin Systrom on Instagram, it’s all of these people – understood this consciously.”

“And we did it anyway.”

According to a 2016 National Institutes of Health study, DSM-5 Criteria for drug abuse and gambiling disorders can be used effectively to identify cell phone addiction.

Meaning smart phone addiction is a mental health issue.

“Only two industries call their customers users: tech companies and drug dealers” ~ Sean Ansett

We treat drug addicts and help gambling addicts, but smart phone addicts? Not so much. Even though the time spent on mobile apps has been growing 69% year-on-year, and the average American now spends 5 hours a day on their smart phone.

The addiction now even has a word: “Nomophobia”, which is the fear of being without your phone.

Some crazy stats:

  • Young adults (age 15–24) check their smartphones an average of 150 times per day (or every six minutes), and send an average of 110 texts per day (New York Times report, 2017 – Pew Research Study)
  • 50% of surveyed teens admitted that they felt addicted to their mobile devices. (Lake Research Partners, Device Addiction Survey (2017))
  • 60% of U.S. college students consider themselves to have a cell phone addiction (Roberts, J., Yaya, L., & Manolis, C. (2014) The invisible addiction)

This is an issue the largest tech companies know of, but they continue with new strategies to increase addiction anyway.

Social media has not only become the new nicotine, it is more addictive and more wide-spread. As for the damage, the mental health impact is only just being measured, but is less easy to measure than the lung health impact of cigarettes (which still took decades to prove). Even so, the social impact is clear all around us.

So while we can all point to millennials (and ourselves) and say we’re using the phone too much and should change, at what point do we say tech companies also have a moral responsibility?

There are clearly huge benefits in how the internet and our smart phones have connected us, but there’s also a fine line that companies could easily design to keep us in the safe zone. For example, Nintendo has built in features in many of their games to stop players from over-playing.

While other tech companies work to keep our attention at any cost.

Roger McNamee, an investor in Facebook and Google, says, “The people who run Facebook and Google are good people, whose well-intentioned strategies have led to horrific unintended consequences. The problem is that there is nothing the companies can do to address the harm unless they abandon their current advertising models.”

For over fifty years, the tabacco industry argued that consumers had the free will to smoke or not, until it was proven that the addictiveness of nicotine was making their will not so free after all.

The result? The entire industry was brought to account with laws, bans and warnings.

Today’s tech companies use the same arguments.

In 10 years time, will the hard core tech companies be seen in the same light as the tabacco companies are now? Will regulation be needed to restrain them? Or will the industry self-regulate?

In the meantime, the current 24-hour all-you-can-eat-free-dopamine-buffett continues. And over time more founders like Sean Parker will step up and expose the issue for what it is. Why? As he said this week:

“God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”

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06 Nov 2017

IDEAS TO GROW YOUR SMALL BUSINESS

Growth.

Growing your business is a step by step process that certainly does not happen overnight.

 

USE YOUR EXISTING CUSTOMERS
When you think of growing a business, the first thing that comes to mind is getting new customers or expanding your client base. However your current customers could be the key to your increased sales. All you need to do is to vamp up your customer service strategy with more focus on customer retention and word of mouth marketing. Some simple tips like remembering your customer’s names, responding promptly to customers queries online and
listening to your customer’s needs and feedback can help promote customer loyalty and have your current customers bring in new customers.

PARTICIPATE IN TRADE SHOWS AND EXHIBITIONS
As a small business owner, you need to take every opportunity to showcase your business and get your brand out there. What a better way to do this than taking part in trade shows and exhibitions that are relevant to your industry.The best thing about trade shows is they draw people who are already interested in your product/service and it’s a great way to get new customers, investors and suppliers.

DIVERSIFY YOUR PRODUCT LINE
Another way to grow your small business is to slowly introduce new products/services related to what you are currently offering. When you start a small business. However, before you venture into new products, it’s important to conduct a market research first so that you may know what your customers needs are exactly.

EXPORTING YOUR PRODUCTS OVERSEAS
It is much easier to have a global market for your product/service now than it was in the past, thanks to tools like social media that have made the world a global village. With a great online marketing strategy and a quality product, you’ll definitely start attracting
international buyers who may request to have your product shipped to them. You can start off by shipping to one or two customers as you expand and slowly penetrate other markets.
To make it here though, you need a strong online presence since that is where your customers are.

QUICKLY ADAPT TO CHANGE
One thing that will make your startup grow and set you apart, is being able to quickly adapt to changes in the market and within your industry. I’ll use an example of the food industry. There was a time when you only had to go to a physical restaurant to dine.
However, the concept of delivery came through and the restaurants that adopted to this quickly gained a whole new client base that had food directly delivered to their homes.

INVEST IN YOURSELF
As a business owner, you constantly need to diversify your skills and be all rounded. As much as you have a team in place to handle different tasks, you’ll definitely play an oversight role and this requires you to have basic knowledge in most topics like IT,
finance, and communications. Make time and take business related courses, further your studies, attend relevant workshops and conferences. All these will translate in making better decisions for your small business and in turn boost your growth.

FOCUS ON ONE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM
Social Media is huge. There are clearly big sites like facebook, twitter and Instagram that have been there for a while but newcomers such as Snap-chat are also gaining ground quite fast. However, as a small business, instead of opening accounts on multiple social media platforms, why don’t you conduct some research, find out where your target market is and use the best site to reach them?

EMBRACE LOCAL WEB DIRECTORIES AND S.E.O
Search Engine Optimization is a detailed topic but for this article, my advice is to have your business listed on as many local web directories as possible. Web directories are a great place for your business to be found when someone searches for a product/service you offer on the internet. Examples of local directories you can sign up for are Yellow Pages Kenya, Kenya Business Directory and Kenya Business Listing.

DELEGATE
You cannot possibly handle everything yourself as a business owner. You have to figure out what your personal strength and skills are and delegate the rest of the work to an experienced team of people you trust.

REWARD YOUR TEAM
Most small businesses have quite a small but productive team. This is why it is so important to keep your employees happy and motivated. Some simple ways to do this are giving them bonuses once in a while, having clear communication lines, helping your
employees achieve their personal goals and having rewards for outstanding performance.

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04 Nov 2017

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION IN THE WORKPLACE 

Communicate

Develop a Communication Strategy
The first steps is to get a group of employee in a room and develop a strategy for how the organization will communicate with employees. This team should think through and define a process and purpose for better business communication management.
This will require considering who needs to know what information, when they need to know it, and how it will be delivered to them. This strategy will help to create a standard for organizational communication.

Create a Communication Process
As with most things in business having a defined process – that is owned by someone – is the best way to ensure consistent communication. This can be as simple as the secretary who takes meeting notes, sending a copy of the notes to a central communication person and that person is responsible for sharing it with all employees.
I know that is overly simplified, but it can be an effective and practical step in the process.

Multiply the Message
Over-communicate the message and use every available forum – email, newsletter, bulletin boards, business website, intranet, social media, staff meetings, town hall meetings, text messaging, or video delivery. The more often the message is communicated the better
chance that employees will absorb it and remember it.

Explain the Why
Often leaders come up with a great idea, plan it, implement it, and may even communicate it, but they may not think to explain why a particular initiative makes sense for any given time.
This requires communicating from the 50,000 foot level and making sure employees understand why something is done and how it supports business goals and organizational strategy.

Create Feedback Process
It’s important that employees have a forum to offer feedback and ask questions. This helps to ensure that the message was received as it was intended. These feedback sessions can be done in staff meetings or an online employee forum.
Regardless of the structure or process, employees need to feel like their thoughts and opinions are heard. This process also helps the organization identify areas that can be improved upon.
Employees spend a great deal of their lives on the job and helping them stay connected to the mission and vision of the organization is one of the ways to foster employee engagement. The more we can do to keep employees in the loop, the better we can manage the rumor mill and the hurt feelings that come when employees feel like they’re not in the loop.

Kindly get in touch with us at  KEMNET.CO.KE!!  and we shall gladly be of help.

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