Thursday, March 30, 2023

Automating ETL = DataOps

 In the 1980s and 1990s, software engineers developed software and then a different group manually operationalized it by either putting it on floppy disks/CDs or deploying it to a server. With the advent of cloud computing, this manual process became automated and the best practices were defined as DevOps. 

With the proliferation of data, and the large amount of information that can be generated even from metadata, the consumption of it can no longer be done manually, in the form of ETL (Extract, Transform, Load), to remain competitive. So, similar to DevOps, DataOps is a key part of automating the process of ETL which enhances data analytics. 

Monday, March 20, 2023

How Will Education Adapt to AIs like ChatGPT?

It's so very interesting to see how society adapts to technology. I'm sure, a hundred years from now, people will look back at us and say, "What was the big deal about AI?" since they would have grown up with it.

When the camera was invented, it was thought that a photo couldn't be copyrighted because there was nothing "created." Obviously, that legal opinion has changed.

We teach Driver's Ed in school, because teens need to learn how to drive in society, but we don't teach "horse maintenance" because we no longer use horses as out primary means of transportation. I'm sure our grandparents were looked down upon by their grandparents for learning to drive and not riding a horse.

Public education teaches personal hygiene, like how to brush your teeth. Now they teach digital hygiene like how to pick a strong password or not leak private data.

It'll take some trial and error, but I'm sure K-12 will eventually figure it out, but only after society, as a whole, figures it out.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Encryption: Air Force One & the Police

Most people don't realize that, for general communications, Air Force One and the police don't use encryption when transmitting over the radio. 

While Air Force One certainly has encryption capable radios on board, it still has to communicate with civilian air traffic controllers (ATC). So anyone can listen in.

In 2012, when I was flying my plane from NJ to San Diego, I ended up on the same frequency as Air Force One while flying by Columbus, OH as the president was landing while on a campaign trip. My copilot, who was a commercial pilot, commented that that was a first for him.

Civilians can purchase police scanners to monitor police activity. However, police departments are now moving to encrypted communications to maintain the privacy of citizens. Imagine being pulled over, in another state, and the cop can't run your license on his squad car laptop. So, instead, he has to call it in over the radio, reading your name, home address, etc. Encrypted communications for law enforcement is probably a good idea. 

Monday, March 13, 2023

Entrepreneur Syndrome

Over the past 25 years, I’ve personally noticed something that I now call entrepreneur syndrome.

In a nutshell, these are wannabe entrepreneurs (nearly always solopreneurs) who spend all of their time going through the motions of entrepreneurship without ever generating revenue by bringing a product or service to market. 

Instead of selling, entrepreneur syndrome sufferers end up being very "busy" working on things they like doing and telling people about it, especially through social media. They have the title of CEO on one or more “companies” with no employees, no marketing plan, and certainly no revenue. They love to work from wherever they want, like coffee shops, never earning a single cent. Their focus is on building, not boosting (marketing), or buying (selling).

In the end, what they're doing is OK, but what they're really doing is called a hobby, not a business.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Silicon Valley Bank

Tomorrow, the FDIC will allow access to Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) accounts up to the insured amount of $250,000. FDIC insurance is something that's not available in the crypto world (just ask SBF and FTX). I'm guessing that all of SVB bank accounts will probably recoup at least 80% of their deposit when the dust settles. This is why billionaires buy many obscenely expensive homes since those investments can be insured to 100%.

Last week, the CEO of SVB sold $3.6 mm in stock as part of a trading plan. I don't think there's much to see with the CEO's stock sales if the cash ended up in SVB, not some other bank. If not, he'll have a tough time explaining that. 

Although I haven't had any personal experience with SVB, a good friend of mind did when he, as CEO of a startup, raised $2.5 mm about 15 years ago. Part of his fund raising deal was that SVB would loan his company $500K provided that all the funds were kept in a SVB account, which he did. In 2009, when times became tough, my buddy's startup had $600K in cash. This wasn't a problem until SVB invoked their MAC clause (material adverse change), swooped in, and pulled his $500K. Unfortunately, the corporation's fellow board members didn't want to fight SVB because they had other deals with the bank. In other words, these directors put their own business interests ahead of the corporations. But what can you do?

My buddy didn't have kind words for SVB when I asked him for comments on Friday.