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Entries in Technology (10)

Wednesday
Nov232016

Time Flies

The other day we were reflecting that time is accelerating even more while gaining increased momentum.

We could have a discussion that perhaps its all relative to one thing or another, and to various situations, or different stages in life or the business cycle.

At one point we remembered "Tempus Fugit" coined by the Roman poet Virgil who passed away at 19 BC. Yes...tempus fugit is a couple of thousand years old, and resonates more today than with an historical sun dial.

Which at one point or another begs the question...how productive are we with our time? Starting with our own personal time.

Empowered by technology how much "stuff" could we really do in one day (24 hours) and how much stuff are we really doing? 

How much "stuff" do we get involved with, or have to endure that is not productive?

We could keep on going, but you surely get the vector of our thoughts.

Yes...you need to accelerate your usage of time.

 

 

Thursday
Aug252016

Is It Heavy Enough?

You have to wonder. In an age of advancing technology why are vehicles so heavy?

When vehicles had frames, thicker sheet metal, and there were no plastics. It was almost expected that vehicles were heavy, not very efficient, used a ton of gas.

Today we have all sorts of technology, its not body on frame, its unit body (a big shell), its not thick sheet metal, its high strength steel here and there, its a ton of plastics, its aluminum, in some cases its even carbon fiber.

Its still heavy....go figure.

Must be the safety equipment?

Must be the ever increasing technology content?

Its combination of a "ton" of factors, save weight here, ad weight there, and the end result is not much lighter.

Ford engineers an aluminum F150 which saves weight, while the end result is not that much lighter, and the competition embarks on a mission to prove that steel is better/stronger than aluminum.

You would expect vehicles to be lighter, more efficient, than they are.

Although they are safer, have more features, higher technology content, are on the cusp of driving themselves.

 

 

 

Thursday
Jun022016

More on Passion

This excerpt is from Seth Godin...

When someone handed you a calculator for the first time, it meant that long division was never going to be required of you ever again. A huge savings in time, a decrease in the cognitive load of decision making.

Now what?

You can use that surplus to play video games and hang out.

Or you can use that surplus to go learn how to do something that can't be done by someone merely because she has a calculator.

Either way, your career as a long-divisionator was over.

Entire professions and industries are disrupted by the free work and shortcuts that are produced by the connection economy, by access to information, by robots. Significant parts of your job are almost certainly among them.

Now that we can get what you used to do really quickly and cheaply from someone else, you can either insist that you still get to do that for us at the same fee you used to charge, or you can move up the ladder and do something we can't do without you.

 

You perhaps remember the advent of the electronic calculator...and if you do let's leave it at that.

Think of the auto retail business....

Think of how many "long divisions" in the retail business have been supplanted by technology...

Think of the passion being diverted to other activities...

If you replace the electronic calculator by computers, the passion being diverted increases dramatically.

How much surplus created by technology could be directed towards passion?

 

 

 

Wednesday
Apr272016

Software Coding Revisited

Reflect on this what do we really know about all the software code in any vehicle?

That you are a consumer, or an ardent gear head what do you really know about the siftware code, and how it manipulates the performance of a vehicle.

A few months ago we speculated that we were in the dark and shared our thoughts in The Computer Code Epiphany.

Reflect on this for a moment, if you now get a manual the size of a phone book of a small town to operate the center screen on the dash. Imagine a manual clarifying the codes and algorithms for the various black boxes in any vehicle.

Lets get it out of the way now, without software we would not see the horsepower we are enjoying, or the safety we take for granted today. There is no way that any mechanical set up would generate the same results.

At the same time there is a classic case of "Big Brother" watching with the various flash memories in a bunch of boxes.

Think of AV's for a moment, who will know what the decision tree is in the software code, it might be safer than the human driving, but will we know?

When you flick from "normal" to "sport" you can immediately sense the engine revving up higher, the transmission hanging on to a gear a little longer. What else is going on? Do you know? If you do let us know.

What needs to happen to trigger the "stability control" on a vehicle? Do you know? From our experience a steady 4 wheel sideways slide will not trigger the stability control, unless you change the steering angle. If you are in a 4 wheel sideways slide and wait for the stability control to engage, you might wait until you get in deep yogurt, unless you alter the steering angle.

By now you know that we rarely mention or talk about fuel economy. Our mantra is simple "You need gas to make horsepower". Irrelevant if what engine is under the hood, you still need gas to make horsepower. Reflect on this for a moment...back in the day with a 4 barrel carburetor the jets on the secondaries were always bigger (flow more gas), and you could also get a "double pumper" literally running on all 4 barrels all the time.

Think of a modern vehicle, you step on the gas, you are sending a signal from one box to another, the air mass sensor concludes how much air is flowing, sending another signal to the injectors to start metering the flow of gas, then another signal goes to the transmission for how long to stay in a gear. Let's not forget the oxygen sensor sending another signal to control emissions. If all the signals are too aggressive the traction control will start to engage. If its an all when drive various signals will alternate torque from the front and rear wheels.

This is constantly going on in nano seconds in any vehicle.

Back in the day if you throttle up a tillte aggressive at a traffic light especially after a light rain there was a good chance that the back end (rear wheel drive) would break lose and the car shift sideways a wee bit (especially with a positraction). You would pedal the car and upshift if you had a clutch pedal and gently throttle up again. Today you feel the back end of the car bog down, the traction light starts flickering in the dash, you still pedal the car to turn off the traction control, and in most instances the car will not upshift, you gently throttle up again.

The software is the primary mover, and we are along for the ride up to a point. Reflect on this for a moment, and connect a few additional dots.

Then connect a few additional dots about a virus, or hacking the software in any vehicle.

 

Thursday
Jan212016

Evolution of Vehicle Technology

Informative video by JD Power

 

Wednesday
Dec162015

Random Thoughts on Technology

We are fortunate we are completely immersed in technology, we are unfortunate we are completely immersed in technology.

The other day we made that statement.

We are surrounded by technology its a good thing, makes it easier, faster, convenient, we could keep on going, and going. Twenty years ago it was a 56K dial up connection, today its a gazillion K connected with WiFi. Truly a wow moment to get online.

Do you remember when a "hotmail" e-mail account was considered not serious, when a mobile phone number was considered not real compared to a land line.

We have progressed from mechanical cars, to utility vehicles (the car is so passe in 2015) that almost drive themselves.

Technology is an integral part of simple, ordinary, every day life. We wake up and flick on all sorts of technology. We drive and all sorts of technology is at work to make it easier and keep us safe (you hope).

We are totally empowered by all this technology, we are also getting inexorably squeezed by the same technology.

When software was simplistic, computers still required a fair amount of space, the thought was that super computers could start to explore AI (Artificial Intelligence). It was fascinating, this machine will take care of a bunch of tedious, time consuming tasks, freeing up humans to be humans.

The reality we face today: Humans are tethered to technology.

 

Tuesday
Dec012015

Its December...

Rolling into December with an eye towards Christmas and an eye in the rearview mirror with the myriads of events that have transpired over the past 11 months of 2015.

In no particular order thoughts going through our mind...

A Better World:

It perhaps naively correct to subscribe to a better world theory, somedays it is, others no so much. What did you do to make it a better world?

Economy___Planet:

We constantly read from experts, pundits, the world economy is not growing fast enough, the challenge with this region, the problem with another. It will keep on going, and going, next year too.

Economy___Canada:

The Canadian economy has taken a bruise in 2015, and will perhaps continue to get some blows in 2016. We seem to linger on some antiquated business models and beliefs. Real Estate will provide more fodder for the analysts, and experts.

Jobs:

Be assured that most folks will do anything and everything to hang on to their current positions. Fascinating that with a ton of technology to facilitate seeking jobs, branding oneself, connecting, and so on. Many folks hang on for dear life.

Credit:

We have mentioned on numerous occasions that CMS (Citizen Main Street) has been carrying the Canadian economy for the past several years. Easy and inexpensive credit has been a major factor. Could it keep on forever? NO

Technology:

We are fortunate, we are fully immersed in technology. We are unfortunate, since we are fully immersed in technology.

Humans:

We are overlooking the fact/reality that we are humans.

Auto Sales___Canada:

What can you say, spectacular, record breaking, we could keep on going. Will it keep on going in 2016?

Transparency:

Everyone clamors for, or mentions transparency. Be your own editor/judge.

Gratitude:

Always take a moment to appreciate what you have, your accomplishments, the "brain fades" too. As well as being thankful.

From 6 years ago

Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can. 


Thursday
Nov262015

Refresh

Ever wonder how you refresh yourself while functioning in a totally wired world, and using a myriad of technology to actually do your work.

In case you did not know, The Colonel "Goes Fishing" on a beach in the Caribbean primarily to refresh, practice digital detox for a few days, and spend time focusing on the simpler things that surround us all.

Agreed...everyone has different perspectives and expectations of what their vacation should be, from filled with activities, to still being connected to a myriad of technology. Observing the diversity of how folks "enjoy" their vacation is to catch a glimpse into the human psyche.

If you are in the auto business at the retail level, observing the human psyche on vacation is an interesting pass time that also provides insight as to how the same humans will be in a showroom, or on their digital due diligence to purchase a vehicle.

Why you need to refresh?

We are so immersed in our routines that we lose sight of the depth of our immersion, or we know but don't want to know.

If you go on business trips its a change of scenery, while you bring all your "tools" to remain connected, immersed, available, and what ever else you want to call it.

As we are "connected" and empowered by technology, we are also disconnected with the humans that surround us. We are connected with them, while being disconnected on the human side.

When you refresh make an effort to connect on the human side, to be empathetic.

 

 

Wednesday
Aug072013

Social in the C Suite

From MIT Social Business when a graphic is worth "countless words"...

Click on image to enlarge

 

Wednesday
Feb292012

Craftsmanship vs Technology

We started February with an early morning road trip on the 1st, powered by Led Zeppelin. Must have been Led Zeppelin that initiated the process, especially that we had not listened to Led Zeppelin literally in years. 

 

The road trip, craftsmanship, technology, how does all this stuff come together, and how does it pertain to cars? On the last day of February that comes along every 4 years.

 

Lets connect a few dots, and see how it develops...

 

  • For some reason, perhaps thinking about folks that made their way to the shop in the sky, we did "Old School Mechanic"...here.
  • From Old School Mechanic we did "Auto Maintenance"...here

 

More dots...
  • The Old School Mechanic that understood how performance cars ran, had an intrinsic knowledge base and comprehended the common thread of performance.
  • This individual instinctively knew how a hot engine from any manufacturer with a mechanical lifter camshaft was supposed to run, and knew what to do to make it run.
  • Craftsmanship, knowledge base, hands on experience, passion, an affinity for certain components....
More dots...to connect...
  • Ever wonder why you never see modern F1 cars in historical races? 
  • Ever wonder why...when a modern F1 car makes an appearance at Goodwood as an example...its the team that accompanies the car.
  • It takes several individuals, a couple of laptops, specialized software just to start the car.
  • An F1 car is perhaps an extreme example or is it....
Just a few more dots...
  • How will a sophisticated 2010 model be restored in 2040 or 2050? 
  • Can it be restored in the same fashion as a shoebox Chevy (1955-56) in 1985 or 1995?
Here is the deal:

 

We need your input and your thoughts, that you are an enthusiast, or a manufacturer, and everything in between....share your thoughts how will the 2010 be restored in 2050?

 

Thank You!