Installing CyanogenMod on a Nexus 7

Yesterday I installed CyanogenMod on my 2012 Nexus 7. I decided to do this because I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how we will all be using our computing technology in the next few years. I think that we will be carrying around our smart phones and tablets, and using these as our main computing devices – but projecting the screens to the nearest large display. This appeals a lot to me as a developer, but basically I won’t be happy unless I have a Unix prompt.

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Problems with iPhone 5S and a Virgin SuperHub

Ever since I’ve had my iPhone 5S, I’ve had problems with the wifi on my 120 MB Virgin SuperHub. Quite often the phone fails to connect to sites, or the wifi connection drops out. I’ve even tried re-installing iOS to see if it was a corrupt operating system (as the “Genius” at the Genius Bar suggested).

It turns out that going into the wireless settings of the Virgin SuperHub and changing the “Wireless Band” parameter from 2.4GHz to 5GHz, with a channel setting of “Auto Compatability” fixed my problem.

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iPad to iPhone Tethering Issues

The past few days I've been bringing in my new WIFI-only iPad and trying to use it tethered to my iPhone 5. It's been a frustrating experience so far. I've found that it works OK when the iPad is first tethered to the iPhone, but shortly thereafter the internet connection seems to drop out on the iPad, even though the iPhone is still reporting it to be connected OK.

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Mobile Tethering

I finally moved my cellular provider from O2 to Three, because Three has an unlimited data + tethering plan. So far it’s been working really well. I brought in my wireless-only Nexus 7 to BNP Paribas’ office today, tethered it to my iPhone, and been able to access my email, notes, and other online services quite well. My Nexus 7 is paired with an Apple Wireless Keyboard, and it actually makes a very usable environment.

The Technological Arms Race and the Middle Class

Over the last few days there’s been some rumblings in the blogosphere about whether technology will or won’t destroy the middle class.

There was this piece in the Washington Post by James Bessen arguing that although there might be short-term disruption, there will be plenty of work in the future for the middle class.

This was countered by Kevin Drum in Mother Jones who argues that you can hardly compare the technological changes that have happened in the past, with what is currently happening with regards to computing.
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Using my phone as desktop

I am experimenting at the moment with using my phone as my primary computing device. I think that this is the future. There are phones coming out (hello iPhone 5s) with remarkably powerful processors. We can connect our phones to a bluetooth keyboard at the moment. The next step is to be able to send the display through to a nearby screen.

The good news is that there should be an exponential increase in the need for iOS and Android programmers.

Shaping Experience

I had heard a while ago that the ideal holiday was one in which you had a fairly bad start to it, but with a peak experience close to the end of the holiday. The rationale is that we tend to base our judgement of the holiday on the range of our trough-to-peak experiences. The larger the spread between the trough and the peak, with the peak occurring towards the end of the experience, the better we perceive the experience to be.

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Surviving Post-Scarcity

I’ve been reading the “Beyond Scarcity” series on FTAlphaville recently, and it’s made some very interesting points. The posts argue that the current economic environment is deflationary with regard to goods. I think that is true, and one of the reasons is because of technology. Firstly technology is constantly making everything more efficient and because of global competition this is both reducing the production costs and making goods cheaper. Secondly technology is causing structural unemployment, which means less people have money to spend and there is less money flowing around the economy. Other factors causing deflation are the tight monetary conditions, the aging population, and potentially the effects of quantitative easing.

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