The Beginning of Gmail

Gmail was announced on April 1st, 2004. I was fortunate to receive an invitation to be part of the initial beta phase and I officially started my Gmail account on June 22, 2004.

I was able to set up accounts for my family at the time except for my youngest son. He was so young that he was not yet on a computer and it did not seem relevant. Years later he had to create his Gmail account by substituting a letter with a number. Someone with his name had already taken a Gmail account.

Over the years, several Richard Cleavers have tried to get a Gmail account. For whatever reason, some Richard Cleavers use my email address to register for services and I receive emails from Mercedes-Benz dealers in Utah, bills from Atlantic Broadband somewhere in the United States and travel agencies in Europe as well as from many other companies I do not know. I even had a lengthy argument with one person who kept sending me all sorts of personal updates about their family. It took several tries to convince them that I was not the Richard Cleaver they thought I was. They still send me emails.

It is almost impossible to get companies to change incorrect email addresses.

14 years later, and Gmail is my primary email address. We have changed physical addresses three times since 2004. I would hate to try and change my email address. Not impossible to do I suppose. Just unimaginable. My email address is literally everywhere in my online world.

Gmail for life.

Resolve 1 Security Issue

Google tells me that I have a security issue (left side). When I pushed the “TAKE ACTION” button, Google tells me I have no security issues.

So confused.

Laptop Mixer

When I retire in July and I start traveling more extensively, I won’t be leaving my mixing work behind. Here is as quick walkthrough of my new portable mixing rig. I am pleasantly surprised with how well this rig performs. Amazing technology.

Watching. Always Watching.

I received the following email this morning:

On Wed, Nov 1, 2017 at 3:16 AM, The Team at Zwift wrote:

Hey Richard,

You made it out of the jungle. Nice work!

Did you enjoy the ancient ruins? Did you see the sloth? You’re among the first 12k Zwifters to explore the Jungle Expansion. We’re happy you had a chance to try it.

Cool. The team at Zwift reached out to me. At first glance, it all seemed so human. Personalized. With some context and a few questions thrown in for good measure.

And then it dawned on me. This was machine generated.

I know. So what? What difference does it make that a machine sent this out?

In the digital domain, it is becoming more difficult to determine what is, or is not, human. And, for that matter, whether the source is genuine or not genuine.

Technically, the email should have been worded this way:

On Wed, Nov 1, 2017 at 3:16 AM, Zwift Artificial Intelligence Self-Learning Algorithm Machine generated:

Notice to Zwift Rider Richard Cleaver:

Zwift Mayan Jungle Ride completed at 6:01am, Saturday, October 28th, 2017.

Please complete an online survey of your ride experience. There are 12,000 Zwifters receiving this invitation to participate.

And remember, the Zwift AI Self-Learning Algorithm Machine records everything you are doing. It is watching you. It is always watching you.

Okay. A bit dark perhaps.

I’m still happy that the team at Zwift reached out to me. I love their service. Even if the email was automatically generated by a machine!

It’s the thought that counts right?

Leading Digital

Showed up in my mailbox today.

Hardly ever get books in the mail these days.

And I haven’t read this one. I wonder if I should? So many books though, so little time.

Andrew McAfee I know. I like him. Smart guy.

The Amazon reviews?

  • Eye opening
  • Five Stars
  • Practical and brilliant
  • A huge source of inspiration
  • This book should be mandatory on the MBA

How does the book begin?

“Technology is the biggest story in business today, plain and simple.”

And how does it end?

“You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet”.

Perhaps there is something in between.

Not sure that it will matter much. The next wave of disruptive technology is AI and instead of leading digital we will be likely be controlled by digital.

“I believe there is no real difference between what can be achieved by a biological brain and what can be achieved by a computer. AI will be able to redesign itself at an ever increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete and could be superseded by AI.”

Stephen Hawking

Not Enough Data

And here I thought I was a heavy user of my smartphone.

GBGH, Matthew.

The Best iMac for 2017

My current iMac was purchased February 22, 2014. It was a 27-inch iMac with a 3.5GHz quad-core i7, 3TB Fusion Drive and 32GB of memory along with a 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M graphics processor. That machine set me back around $4,000 taxes included. And it seemed very expensive to me back then.

To get a new top of the line iMac would cost me about $5,700 taxes included if I were to buy one today. Granted, it comes with a stunning 5K display, a faster processor and a beefed up graphics card. But wow, nearly 6 grand? For a computer?

Fortunately I do not have a need to upgrade. The current iMac is doing great.

Snazzy Labs decided to take a bit of a sting out of getting a top of the line iMac in 2017. Interesting video, especially the disassembly. I did not think that it was possible to upgrade the CPU.

Sonos Play 1

I picked up a pair of these Sonos Play 1 wireless speakers for our Class A diesel pusher motorhome. And, I have to admit, they really sound great.

Better as a stereo pair than as a single speaker in my opinion. Surprisingly good bass response when in stereo.

Setup was a snap. I had them up and running within about 10 minutes of unboxing.

Really pleased with this purchase.