Sharper

Focus on a sharper life every day
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Enterprise software sucks.

We don’t talk about it much here at hn, but think about it. Every man-made object you encounter every day was manufactured somewhere. And moved, more than once. Now add in all the sales, marketing, customer service, operations, accounting, finance, human resources, etc., etc., etc. needed to support that manufacturing and distribution. Next, add financial markets, healthcare, energy, entertainment, etc., etc., etc. and you have tons of stuff. But you don’t see it and rarely think about it. Kinda like most of the iceberg being underwater.

And all of this needs software. And most of what they have sucks. I mean really sucks. Enterprise software is so bad that there are multi-billion dollar industries devoted to consulting on how to use it, how to share it, and how to store it in data warehouses and harvest it. It’s so bad that lots of people have to dump the data out of their enterprise systems and into Microsoft Excel just to get anything done.

When Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks, he said because that’s where the money is.

What banks were in the 1930’s, enterprise IT is in the 21st century.

via Hacker News

In our ongoing theme around the challenges of enterprise tech (to put it mildly), we found this classic thread from Hacker News from a few years back.  Guess what?  Nothing much as changed.

At Enhatch, we are doing our very best to rethink the way business apps get created and deployed to users.  For one, we believe most needs in the enterprise could easily be handled by elegantly crafted apps that are available on mobile devices.  That is where employees are spending more and more of their day doing work and the device they are most comfortable with.  But more importantly, why are we not giving business users the ability to create their own apps and their own processes that conform to the way they work?  Maybe users, and not IT department or outside consultants, know best as to what they want and when they need it and how to get it done.

It is time we rob the enterprise IT vendors and raid the armies of the systems integrators, and like Robin Hood bring joy, riches, and freedom to the users from the tyranny of bad technology.

(via enhatch)

Absolutely right. Enterprise software is terrible and years behind what consumers use. Some of it is embarrassingly bad, eg every corporate travel site.

There are two ways to deal with this. One, software companies could focus on enterprise. Two, enterprise companies could embrace what is out there for consumers.

I’d bet on the latter.

(via micflash)

These 8 Depressing Bike Theft Statistics Show Just How Bad the Problem Is
Eric Jaffe, theatlanticcities.com

One of the biggest prob­lems with stop­ping city bike theft is that cities don’t even under­stand the extent of the prob­lem. Police depart­ments often con­sid­er the inci­dents a low pri­or­i­ty and fail to pur­sue thieves, which in turn…

The question one needs to ask: who buys these stolen bikes? If there wasn’t a market then there would be no value in stealing them. How much focus is there on the end game?

parislemon:

Why might Nike be hesitant to declare the end of the FuelBand? Here are $ome rea$on$.

What I am looking for now… a true entrepreneurial soul to hack the discounted Fuelbands and make something awesome.

Why aren’t wearables working? One because many of them are clunky. Not always in hardware design but often in the frustrating mix between hardware and software. And that is because getting that mix right is hard. Does anyone get car Bluetooth right? And they have been at it for a while.

The second reason is there isn’t a compelling case to wear one. Is there a single study showing a fitness tracker improves fitness? I bet not since diet is so much more important in any case.

I wear a fitness tracker. I believe they will get better as they get integrated with a complete lifestyle. But we need better design focused on end to end goals, achievements, and utility before that will happen.

The Pinnacle of Fitness Failure: Samsung’s Gear Fit Activity Tracker
Rainmaker, dcrainmaker.com

On Friday I unboxed and got all set Samsung’s Gear Fit activity tracker. This is the company’s first direct attempt at competing with activity monitors from the likes of traditional players like Nike and FitBit, as well as newer entrants such as…

Sounds like a fitness tracker designed by committee rather than having honest to goodness people use it. I wonder who will get this right first? Misfit Shine has been pretty good so far but the lack of a robust watch band is limiting.

npr:

Photos: Casey Paige/Billings Gazette

Springtime in Yellowstone Lake, WY: The sun comes out, the temperatures rise and the 20-ton bulldozers start plowing.

Yellowstone National Park has a team of 14 people who work for about three months to clear the roads of snow and ice for visitors. One thousand gallons of fuel are used daily to clear the park’s 466 miles of roads. 

This job is not for the faint of heart. Conditions can be tough, with temperatures reaching 20 below zero, and storms and wind blowing snow onto cleared paths. 

"The most ground I’ve ever covered in a day in 10 miles," plow crew Kenny Whitman told the Billings Gazette. “The least is seven-tenths of a mile. You get in snow 14-feet deep, and you stay all day long.”

One reason this veteran crew keeps coming back? 

"It doesn’t get any better than this," snowplow worker Lance Tyson told the Gazette. "There’s no tourists, nobody bothers us and the buffalo and elk calves are being born." 

— Lauren (via @BrettBFrench/Billings Gazette)

Does it seem strange to burn 1000 gallons of fuel in a national park?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdKu5T9zM6I

Cat Stevens singing in 1971. The same, older, gentleman in 2007 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nG-TUyMW9Qs. 36 years later it’s still beautiful. Can’t quite hit the high notes (can any of us?).

npr:

herkindoftea:

How does one go about getting here, like, right away? (via)

Let me know when you figure it out — Lauren 

Looks like Positano. Been far too long since we went there.

I started this year committing to using 1Password and finally making my passwords more secure. Every time I’d forget a site’s login I’d dutifully create a new secure password.

Turns out I should have waited. Oh well, this gives me a chance to revisit all the security pages and add two stage auth at the same time.

humansofnewyork:

"What’s your greatest fear?"
"Dying before I’ve gotten out of The Matrix."

(via jtaimejadore)