“The Disruption” is starting again

horses-and-cars

In 1900, and for several hundred years before that, the dominant form of transportation was horse and carriage.  Thirteen years later, in 1913, they were gone. Disruption: The Automobile, The Oil Industry

Why did this happen? Because it was cheaper and more convenient to ride cars than horses to get from point A to point B.

In 1985, AT&T commissioned 3rd party expert consultants to predict cell-phone adoption by 2000.  The result of the research was a prediction of 900,000 cell phones in the world by year 2000.  The ACTUAL number was 109 MILLION.  They were wrong by a factor of 100x.  Today there are 5 BILLION cell phones in use and landlines are basically irrelevant. Disruption: Mobile Phones, Cellular Technology, Battery Technology

Why did this happen? Because it became cheaper and more convenient to use mobile phones instead of landlines.

In 2000, Kodak had record breaking revenue of $14 BILLION.  In 2012, Kodak filed for bankruptcy and was gone.  Disruption: Digital Cameras, Imaging Technology

Why did this happen? Because it became cheaper and more convenient to take pictures with digital cameras than with conventional cameras and film.

In 2007, Nokia had more than 50% market share in the multi-billion dollar market of mobile phones. Now they are virtually gone. Disruption: Apple iPhone, Google Android, Touchscreen Technology, Mobile Internet Technology, Battery Technology, Compute Technology, Data Storage Technology

Why did this happen? Because of the confluence of technologies that made it possible to make one device be your phone, camera, and computer all in the palm of your hand.

It’s now nearing the end of 2018. We have the following technologies that are converging both technologically and economically to the point where it is just a matter of a few years (NOT 10 or 20 years) before they disrupt the transportation industry (again).

Battery Technology is getting cheaper while getting more efficient at storing electrical energy.  What will it be used for?  Electric vehicles, home energy storage, utility-scale energy storage, etc.

Solar Technology is getting cheaper while becoming more efficient at harnessing energy from the sun. What will it be used for? Energy generation both residential and utility-scale.

Compute power is getting more powerful while getting smaller and cheaper. What will it be used for? Everything! Artificial Intelligence, Self-Driving Cars, Neural Nets, etc.

It’s easy to imagine the confluence of the above factors initiating a disruption that will make the internal-combustion engine car go the same way as the horse and carriage. Electrical power generated via solar (no oil anywhere from start to finish) and then stored in batteries which are then used in self-driving electric cars to take people from point A to point B WILL HAPPEN. It’s just a matter of time.

Maybe if the US Government (and the powerful oil lobby) would get out of the way and just let it happen, it would be even sooner!

This blog post was inspired by this video that I watched:

 

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My favorite quotes

Every now and then I hear or read something that makes so much sense that I have to try and remember these quotes/sayings.  Well, since my memory is not eidetic, I figured the next best thing is to save them here so that I can refer to them whenever I want. 😀

I will just add to the list as time permits, but in no particular order:

  1. “The endgame for civilization is not political correctness and tolerating all manner of absurdity, it is reason and reasonableness and an openness to evidence” – Sam Harris
  2. “What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence” – Christopher Hitchens

My Lasik Experience

I was writing a Google review for Dulles Eye Associates in Lansdowne,VA but the character limit was exceeded, so I decided to put the full review here on my blog:


First, a little background: I am nearsighted (can only see things up close) and also need reading glasses when I wear contacts because I am over 40 years old. I went to three different Lasik providers before I decided to go with Dulles Eye Associates. I felt comfortable with Dr. Nasrullah because he explained that the best procedure for me was Monovision Lasik (dominant eye corrected for distance, non-dominant eye slightly under-corrected to allow for reading). The first provider did not think I was a good candidate for Lasik. The second provider said I should do both Lasik (for distance) and Raindrop (for reading). Dr. Nasrullah suggested monovision and said Raindrop was not necessary for now because the under-correction can solve my reading. He said that he COULD do Raindrop, but it would just be more expensive and was unnecessary for my situation. I felt that this was the right call, and his honesty of providing me a less expensive alternative was much appreciated.

After making the decision to go with Dulles Eye Associates and Dr. Nasrullah, I scheduled the procedure for a week after my first visit. I came back for a pre-op check-up and measurements, and during that time was when I had to sign all the “disclaimers”. If anything, I suggest they update those disclaimer documents because they reference the use of microkeratomes (blade) which they actually don’t use anymore. The “flap” is made nowadays using the laser. When you read the disclaimer documents, it references worst-case scenarios such as loss of eyesight, halos, dryness, and other scary things that could happen if things go bad. Yes, they caused a little trepidation, but I understood that this was just all standard legal stuff to protect themselves from lawsuits.

On the day of the procedure, it is mandatory to have someone drive you home, because your vision will not be fully clear immediately after the Lasik. They explained everything to me and my wife right before going into the operating room. In the operating room, you lie down on a special “bed” that has a receptacle for your head. This keeps you in the proper position and keeps you from moving your head. They put eye drops to numb your eye, then they place the instrument that keeps your eye open. You are obviously awake throughout the entire procedure. It does cause a little bit of anxiety as your eye is held open by the instrument, and you see the laser machine approach your eye. However, you don’t feel anything at all. The next thing is a sort of “suction cup” that they place on your eye that lets the laser “lock in” to your eye. This first laser actually makes the cut for the flap. It lasts a few seconds. After that, they wait a couple minutes, recalibrate, do the same thing for the other eye, and now you have both eye flaps cut. Once the flaps are ready, they recalibrate the laser again, this time, they don’t need the suction cup anymore, and the surgeon uses an instrument to open the flap and your vision becomes very blurry. You see him “wiping” your eye in preparation for the final laser. That laser is the actual one that corrects your vision. Again, it is positioned right in front of your eye, the laser fires for a few seconds, and then it’s done. The only comment I have on this is that you will smell it when the laser fires. If you think about it, the laser is actually burning away tiny portions of your cornea. That is why you can smell it. In all of my research and reading before doing this, I don’t think I read anyone mention that there would be a slight burning smell. Definitely not a big deal, but thought I would mention it.

Once you are done, you are assisted to walk out of the operating room, as your vision will still be very blurry. They will provide you with sunglasses (very dark ones) as well as some goggles for sleeping. They recommend you just take the rest of the day off and not do anything that utilizes your eyes. I just forced myself to go to sleep that afternoon and things started to become clearer once I woke up a couple hours later. That night I put the eye drops in, and slept with goggles on (the goggles are to protect from inadvertent rubbing of the eyes). The next day was when I really started to see clearly.

I came back the next day for a post-op check-up, and then another week later for another follow-up check. On that 2nd post-op follow-up, Dr. Nasrullah confirmed that the flaps have healed and that everything looked good.

I am now 10 days past the procedure and everything works great. I can see distance, and I can read things that are close (books, my phone, etc.). The monovision works for me and my brain has adjusted automatically.The next follow-up check-up will be in 3 months. So far, I have not had any side effects from the Lasik, and have very minor dryness every now and then, which is easily remedied with artificial tear eye drops (over the counter). I usually go a whole day without needing the eye drops.

I would definitely recommend Dr. Nasrullah, as he has a very therapeutic demeanor. Throughout the entire operation (which lasted only around 15 minutes from walking into the operating room to walking out), he kept talking with words of encouragement, clearly stating what he was about to do, what he was currently doing, and the immediate results of what was just done. Their office in Lansdowne is easy to get to, plenty of parking, and I never had to wait more than five minutes when I arrived for my scheduled appointments. If you are considering Lasik, definitely put Dulles Eye Associates and Dr. Nasrullah specifically on your short list. I DO recommend visiting at least a couple of providers and comparing what they have to recommend regarding your specific situation. I went with Dr. Nasrullah because I felt he gave the best option for me and his demeanor was honest and caring, and also because he had the latest laser technology right in his Lansdowne office (where others would have had you go to a different location for the actual Lasik procedure).

Hope this helps someone, and if you have any questions about this review, feel free to reach out to me.

 

 

Song #4 of 100: Blues Saraceno – Remember When

Performance Notes:

I used to know how to play this song way back when. I decided to re-learn it because my friend asked me to! (That’s you Ricky!)  I sat down at 8pm and finished recording at 11pm, basically re-learning the whole song, practicing it many many times, and then recording takes until I got something that wasn’t too bad. I think it took more than 20 takes to get this one. LOL!

Production Notes:

I was trying to get the tone close to Blues Saraceno’s tone, but I didn’t want to spend too much time tweaking the sound and not actually playing the song. I know the intro parts should have some chorus and delay, but I didn’t want to mess around with switching presets while playing, especially since I haven’t mastered the song.

Equipment Used:

  • Guitar: Ibanez Prestige RG3550MZ
  • Amp/Effects: Fractal Audio AX8
  • Recording Software: Mixcraft Studio 7
  • Interface: Focusrite Scarlett 6i6
  • Video Editing Software: Pinnacle Studio 20
  • Camera: Logitech C910 webcam

Link:

https://iohanr.wordpress.com/2016/12/24/im-going-to-learnre-learn-100-songs-in-2017/

Song List:

  1. Foo Fighters – My Hero
  2. Audioslave – Like a Stone
  3. The Beatles – Here Comes the Sun
  4. Blues Saraceno – Remember When

Song #3 of 100: The Beatles – Here Comes the Sun

Performance Notes:

Well, this song is actually more difficult than I thought. It has a lot of fiddly parts while strumming that are supposed to be the guitar mimicking the melody of the vocals. I must have practiced this 50 times and still couldn’t get it perfect. This recording was probably the 20th take before I just gave up and decided that it was good enough even with some of the mistakes. 😀

Production Notes:

I just put a GLS Audio ES-58 (Shure SM-58 clone) microphone about 18 inches away from the sound hole. The mic goes into a Mackie 1202-VLZ mixer and then into the Focusrite Scarlett interface and recorded using Mixcraft 7.

Equipment Used:

  • Guitar: CF Martin DX1AE
  • Mixer (used for the mic preamp): Mackie 1202-VLZ
  • Microphone: GLS Audio ES-58
  • Recording Software: Mixcraft Studio 7
  • Interface: Focusrite Scarlett 6i6
  • Video Editing Software: Pinnacle Studio 20
  • Camera: Logitech C910 webcam

Link:

https://iohanr.wordpress.com/2016/12/24/im-going-to-learnre-learn-100-songs-in-2017/

Song List:

  1. Foo Fighters – My Hero
  2. Audioslave – Like a Stone
  3. The Beatles – Here Comes the Sun

Song #2 of 100: Audioslave – Like a Stone

Performance Notes:

I love this song. It is actually very easy to play, but difficult to get the tone and the effects set up properly. I tried to get as close as I can to get the tremolo sound as well as the delay + whammy solo. I think I got pretty close and am happy with the sounds I got. After learning it and then practicing it for about an hour, I was able to get an “acceptable” result on the third take. I had a little bit of trouble with timing my footswitch changes for the different sounds of the song, but I eventually got it. Also, the bridge section I thought I was on time but it turns out the backing vocal falls behind a little bit and makes me sound ahead! Ugh.

Production Notes:

This one was simple. One track for the backing track, and one track for the guitar. Recorded direct via the Fractal Audio AX8 into the Focusrite Scarlett interface using Mixcraft Studio 7. I adjusted the levels to match afterwards.

Equipment Used:

  • Guitar: G&L Tribute ASAT Classic
  • Amp/Effects: Fractal Audio AX8
  • Recording Software: Mixcraft Studio 7
  • Interface: Focusrite Scarlett 6i6
  • Video Editing Software: Pinnacle Studio 20
  • Camera: GoPro HERO 4

Link:

https://iohanr.wordpress.com/2016/12/24/im-going-to-learnre-learn-100-songs-in-2017/

Song List:

  1. Foo Fighters – My Hero
  2. Audioslave – Like a Stone

Song #1 of 100: Foo Fighters – My Hero

OK, song number 1 of 100 has been uploaded to YouTube:

Performance Notes:

I chose this as my first song to learn because it seemed easy enough and it didn’t really have a guitar solo for me to fumble around with. Plus it’s a kick-ass song. I flubbed the middle section a little bit, oh well. I didn’t want to do 20 takes to get it right. Like I said, I’ll come 85-95% close enough most of the time… 😀

 

Production Notes:

I recorded 2 tracks on top of the backing track because there were two distinct guitar parts for the verse. I then panned one guitar to the left and the other to the right. The video and audio seems a little out of sync at first, just a by-product of video editing and utilizing the audio from Mixcraft and mixing in the 2 video files that were just from my webcam.

Equipment Used:

  • Left Channel Guitar: Dean Zelinsky La Voce
  • Right Channel Guitar: Agile AL-3100
  • Amp/Effects: Fractal Audio AX8
  • Recording Software: Mixcraft Studio 7
  • Interface: Focusrite Scarlett 6i6
  • Video Editing Software: Pinnacle Studio 20
  • Camera: Logitech Webcam C910

 

Link: 

https://iohanr.wordpress.com/2016/12/24/im-going-to-learnre-learn-100-songs-in-2017/