The story line of our book – for kids to learn Raspberry Pi and Arduino by learning how to design and launch a satellite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last year, we announced a book being written by me and my ten year old son about how to learn to code/use the Raspberry Pi, Arduino etc

Here is a more detailed outline of the book

The book is co-authored by me and my son Aditya (10 and a half years old)

Target audience is young people – 8 to 17 years

Background to the idea:

I once heard a NASA scientist say that – space unites humanity. i.e as an American citizen,  whenever he went globally – he heard people say that ‘we’ i.e. humanity conquered space.

So, the idea is – great scientific projects unite humanity.

Story:

A group of kids who are based globally decide to collaborate and launch a Satellite in space.

The Satellite is based on the Raspberry Pi, Arduino and other open source technologies

In doing so, they learn about specific technologies like Raspberry Pi and Arduino.

Each child has expertise and is based globally (and often has some limitations/quirks).

The protagonist (a boy aged 10 based in London) – has the idea to launch a grand plan – a satellite in space based on Arduino / Raspberry Pi

He creates a group on facebook – and asks to see who wants to join to help him create this satellite

A group of kids globally respond:

A boy from China who has great mechanical abilities
A girl from Philippines who is good at programming
A girl living in Miami who is originally from Brazil who is into design
A boy from Germany who is good at hardware
A boy from India who is good at programming

The story is about this group of kids who collaborate to launch the satellite in space.

The book is a series of three books

a)      The plan – Design (launched in Oct 2014 in Miami)

b)      The build – How to make the satellite

c)       Blast off – the launch

The vision:

The world will be like this in future

Science and skill will unite humanity.

Talent will be found all over the world and people(even kids) will collaborate to create something amazing

If you are interested to know more – please email me at ajit.jaokar at futuretext.com

Image source: NASA – nanosat launch

(PS – technically the idea of launching an Arduino based satellite into space is very much possible. We use this to teach design and programming to kids)

 

 

Seeking feedback – Learning to code workshops using a new technique

Hello all!

We are launching a series of workshops based on a new technique we have been developing and I seek your feedback

Here is the outline:
As a professional who is a non-programmer: Do you think that gaining an appreciation of software development would help your career goals?

Today, senior management and professionals are increasingly required to have a basic appreciation of software design and how software works ‘under the hood’.

Such skills could often make the difference to your role within and beyond your company.

Gaining an appreciation of Software design often translates to gaining some working experience of programming or coding.

However this requirement has three hurdles:
1) You already have too much on your plate and are very busy

2) You don’t actually want to build an app, website or master writing code and

3) Your motivation to attend a course is low because of the above

Nevertheless you do want to get a detailed appreciation of Programming and the development process whilst not compromising your existing deadlines

So, here is what we are testing

If you can read and you can think – you can code

Feyncode – created by Feynlabs – is an approach for rapidly gaining a detailed appreciation of Programming and Computer Science.

We believe: “If you can read and you can think – you can code” and whilst everyone will learn to code, not everyone will use Coding in their day to day work.

Feyncode appeals to wide variety of professionals within a range of disciplines including directors, senior and divisional management, VP’s, heads of departments, leaders and team leaders in marketing, sales, legal, finance, support, HR, logistics and general management.
Feynlabs is a UK company which focuses on the accelerated learning of Programming and Computer Science. Based on a set of new learning techniques we have been testing; feyncode is a new approach to gain a detailed appreciation of many aspects of computer science and programming.

Feyncode comprises of an introductory face-to-face session followed by an online course and a book which is tailored to the learners’ objectives.

This investment could help you leapfrog your career and gain key skills which have a lasting impact

Can you improve IQ test scores?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you understand how an IQ test works you will understand our approach.
On your first attempt at an IQ test, you may not do well but IQ tests are really all about understanding a pattern to solve questions.

Once you have done several and learnt a set of techniques – you can perform well in the test.

We believe learning to code is the same.

feyncode is a technique to teach programming by understanding common patterns in coding.

feyncode emphasizes reading code and solving problems using code.

By repeatedly reading code, reasoning and guessing responses, seeing implementations, the learner starts to see a pattern in code and in problem solving using Programming.

We focus on three common languages Python, JavaScript and C and by extension also cover these platforms Django, node.js, Phone Gap, Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Objective C, Processing

At the end of the course you will not be a programmer but you will understand how to read and appreciate the black art of software development. You will be able to interpret code and determine the implications at a systems level

This will help you make better strategic and management decisions

Coaching and Programming

The foundations of our method also depend on applying ideas developed for Coaching to the realm of Programming.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Various techniques are being tried out in the market including; Online forums, MOOCs, video training and intensive residential courses but these are adaptations of historical techniques and focus on becoming a programmer.

Our approach is inspired from a discipline normally associated with High performance sports /endurance skills coaching.

In this context, when we say ‘coaching’ it does not refer to the typical NLP coach rather, we mean the Olympic level performance coaches / techniques.

Over the last year and a half, we have been improving these methods with students and teachers in UK, USA and Holland.

We have worked with more than 400 teachers, schools and a wide range of students.

And we hope these insights can make a difference to your career

In London, Miami and a few other cities – we are testing these ideas in limited trials

So, here is a summary:

Format: Introductory Face to face session and three months online

Designed for non-programmer professionals who want to get an appreciation of software development and leverage their career goals

Based on accelerated learning

Limited trials – so if interested, please signup below

A small fee (probably around $199 for the entire course – online and offline)

Certificate of completion

Thoughts?

Please contact us at info@feynlabs.com if you want to participate

Images – shuterstock

Book review – The Curiosity Cycle by Jonathan Mugan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a pleasure to review The Curiosity Cycle: Preparing Your Child for the Ongoing Technological Explosion by Jonathan Mugan

This is an important book because the ideas presented here span multiple domains and the author brings a unique perspective from his own experience.

Curiosity Cycle is about preparing your child for the ongoing technological explosion.

The book’s goal is to make children lifelong learners through fostering a sense of internally driven curiosity (hence the Curiosity Cycle)

The author proposes that the Curiosity Cycle is a learning process that consists of building and testing individual models – which will be an ongoing process for every child

The Curiosity Cycle builds on the idea of ‘incomplete models’ i.e. the idea that an incorrect or incomplete models is better than no model at all – as long as the process of creating,  assimilating and validating models i.e. the curiosity cycle is inculcated in a child. The curiosity cycle thus helps prepare children to live in a world of the future in which computers will have a profound effect on every aspect of society

The book is based on the author’s personal experience on how to build smart robots by enabling them to learn about the world in the same way human children do

The book develops the concepts for the Curiosity Cycle and then applies these ideas to a range of disciplines like history, science and mathematics. The objective is: curiosity leads a child to ask the right questions and to make inferences beyond knowledge already given. This helps the child to handle unexpected situations – and in the future with a world dominated by rapid technological change – there will be many such situations

Finally, the author believes that the future population will be divided between consumers and creators (of ideas/content/technology etc). Thus, the Curiosity Cycle is a powerful tool for a child growing up now.

These are powerful concepts and they also resonate with my own work at Feynlabs

I have also used the idea of incomplete models with Rumsfeld’s analogy (known –unknowns) and also the idea of gedankenexperiments (thought experiments ex Schrodinger’s cat) – for example – “What would a computer see? And Why?” i.e. how would the world look like to a computer

As a parent, I have also been deeply interested in my own son’s learning. Back in Jan 2009 – I blogged this – Arrowes and why the educational system may need to be revamped .. and this Of typewriters and murder
geekdad has a great review also HERE and like that review – I also agree that the Curiosity Cycle is a must read book!

The book link again is: The Curiosity Cycle: Preparing Your Child for the Ongoing Technological Explosion by Jonathan Mugan

We are soon releasing our technology in creative commons (feynmaps and feyncode)

We are soon releasing our technology in creative commons (feynmaps and feyncode).  Sign up for latest updates. HERE

 

Application developer alliance launches in Europe ..

 I have covered the Application Developer alliance before ( Joel Spolsky named Chairman of Application developers alliance board of directors) and Application developer alliance: The app economy has a new catalyst

So, its nice to see that the Application developer alliance formally launches in Europe

This is good news because – the app economy is key to European jobs, prosperity and competitiveness.

The eurapp study finds a total of 1.8M jobs in the EU app economy, with €17.5bn in revenues

And yet, that’s just the beginning! The future will be a lot brighter with grassroots innovation and entrepreneurs who will go on to create new companies – all of which will be ‘apps’.

We now accept that we live in a Mobile first world- yet, governments and policy makers have not fully grasped how big the nascent app economy could be.

Apps affect everyone

I am building a start-up feynlabs - which will be an app .. as will many others .. i.e. every new idea is an app

The app ecosystem is also the theme of our conference in Oxford University in May

I will watch this space with interest

Andrew Ng Machine learning course Octave Tutorial transcripts .. (pdf)

OctaveTutorialAndrewNg   Andrew Ng Machine learning course Octave Tutorial transcripts .. (pdf)

Attending The tricky first million and scaling startups events

 

 

 

I am looking forward to attending two almost sold out events – The tricky first million and scaling startups 

Agenda below

If you are there, happy to meet

 

The Tricky First Million
26 March 14:00 – 20:00

“Your first million revenue or users are the hardest”

The importance of vision: act big from the start
MVPs & staying customer focussed
Selling your dream: to clients, recruits and staff
Raising money: traction, vanity metrics, how to choose an investor
When to hire key team members
Building the right culture

SEE FULL AGENDA

Scaling Startups
27 March 08:30 – 20:00

Building a multi-million pound business

Product quality as a driver of growth
Excellence in Recruiting
Managing company communication and culture
Creating processes that maintain agility and innovation
KPIs & data driven decision-making
How the role of the founder changes with growth

SEE FULL AGENDA

IoT and Machine Learning workshop in Palo Alto – part of the Internet of Things World event

 

 

 

 

 

As you know from previous posts, I have been very interested in IoT / Smart cities and Algorithms

So, its nice to conduct this workshop based on the program ”Big data analytics and algorithms for cities” at the City sciences program for the Technical University of Madrid

 IoT and Machine Learning is a unique one day workshop which explores Machine learning techniques for IOT.

The workshop is designed as an exploratory/introductory workshop for participants who are interested in using machine learning techniques for IoT data.

Arthur Samuel, the pioneeing AI scientist, defined machine learning as – ‘The field of study that gives computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed’.  Machine learning includes examples such as the Driverless car which require data from other cars, street lights, people and a range of sensors coupled with the analytics to make real-time decisions.

Hence, unlike programmers who work with pre-defined logic for a problem domain( using statements like if-then-else, loops etc), for data scientistics, the logic is often non-deterministic.

Thus, given an IOT data set, the machine learning algorithm has to deduce a logic based on a pattern in the data.

The first part of the workshop will explain Machine learning techniques. This will be followed by understanding how these techniques could be applied to IOT datasets. We will use Smart city datasets to explore Machine learning and we will explore specific techniques like sensor fusion.

Machine learning techniques we explore are:

  • Supervised and unsupervised learning
  • Neural Networks
  • Machine Learning System Design
  • Clustering
  • Anomaly Detection
  • Recommender Systems
  • Large-Scale Machine learning systems
  • Programming paradigms and Languages for machine learning
  • Computation at the edge or Computation at the core

Problem domains include:

  • Prediction Examples  bassed on datasets (energy, pollution)
  • Optimzation based (traffic routing, commute optimization)
  • Pattern identifying (predict hotspots based on health care data)
  • New business proceeses based on machine learning for objects that have to navigate an unpredictable domain (driverless cars, drones)

Note that this course is introductory but still needs basic understand and aptitude for Mathematics

Please contact me for any queries/thoughts/comments

workshop link  in Palo Alto on IoT and Machine Learning

Mobile World Congress review – from an IOT and Disruption perspective

Introduction

Here is my review of the Mobile World Congress. This year, for the first time, I was invited to attend the GSMA Ministerial programme as part of my work in being the co-author for Digital world in 2030 report to be released in the European parliament next week

This blog is a personal perspective (i.e. related to the above report – but my own views).

It tracks disruptive trends and I present a perspective / viewpoint on the industry.  It is biased towards IOT – which is also a personal focus – especially due to my teaching for  ”Big data analytics and algorithms for cities” at the City sciences program for the Technical University of Madrid

We now live in a mobile first world. I was not carrying a laptop and this single image (Android with Intel inside) – shows us that we are indeed in a Mobile first world

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ‘Mobile first world’ also explains the sheer size of MWC(85,000 attendees – a 20% jump from the previous year) –  45 restaurants – two  heliports – 1,700 exhibitors – eight exhibition halls – 240,000 square meters (2.6 million square feet)

If you are not a part of it – you are missing out!

So, here are my perspectives ..

Perspectives

Firstly, here is my overall perspective, which I also discussed in my keynote at the Swiss mobile association in Zurich (slides) (smama)

  • The Mobile data industry as it stands today, is about fifteen years old.
  • It is fast growing but mature. We now have a two horse race for devices (considering Samsung owns about 70% of the Android market).
  • In innovation terms, innovation shifts from building networks to creating light bulbs. When compared to electric networks – in the early stages – there was a period in which networking technologies competed (AC/DC – Edison/Tesla) etc. Once that was decided, innovation shifts to creating light bulbs). We are in a similar phase.
  • So, innovation shifts along three dimensions: Horizontal (apps), Vertical (cross stack – ex IOT) and network.
  • Why is network the third dimension of innovation? Unlike electric and power networks which have a 50/60 year cycle – Telco networks have a 7 year cycle (from standardization to spectrum to devices). That means the rate of Telco innovation is also comparatively faster and every network innovation leads to a knock on effect for secondary innovation (ex devices). Hence, 5G is important What will 5G look like and how 5G will shape the technological landscape of countries for the next decade
  • Since 5G is widely expected to be deployed around 2020 – the question then is: How will the market play out between now and 2020? There are some key indicators already:  iBeacon  could be a de-facto standard since it’s an ‘open enough’ standard. (I.e. iPhone and Android devices can both use it). Many of the use cases for mobile couponing etc promoted by NFC – could well be deployed with iBeacon. More interestingly, iBeacon could motivate retailers to open up their WiFi networks and allow others to use their WiFi (in return for instore coupons)
  • Similarly, Hotspot 2.0 would allow us to seamlessly navigate between cellular and wifi networks.
  • This means – by 2020 – we could live in a world with primarily localized connectivity and 5G would then make that connectivity pervasive (like ‘air’)
  • In this world, Operators would have a much better visibility of their customers(through say Hotspot 2.0) and would focus on being much more customer centric by truly leveraging their data (Big Data, IoT etc)
  • To quote John F Kennedy, a rising tide will lift all boats and thus, we have an optimistic view of the industry
  • Thus, Hotspot 2.0, Low energy Bluetooth (on which iBeacon is based) will be interesting. It will be also interesting to see how Zigbee fares in future in context of Bluetooth (and the jury is definitely out on Zigbee  as is on NFC (Apple’s ibeacon mobile payment system is the death knell of NFC). NFC and Zigbee have taken too long to gain critical mass – and normally when that happens – something else takes over
  • More interesting from a connectivity standpoint is 900Mhz wifi also called 80211ah standard. At MWC 900MhzWi-Fi makes a debut which could provide wi-fi with dedicated bands for ultra-reliable, always-on machine-to-machine connections.

Why the focus on IOT ..

2014 was clearly the year of IOT. IOT is not M2M (machine to machine). M2M is a telecoms term which implies that there is a radio (cellular) at both ends of the communication. On the other hand, IOT means simply connecting to the Internet.

The two are not the same!

From an IOT perspective, we can see connectivity in three ways:

a)      Things connected to the cellular network directly and communicating mainly via cellular (machine to machine)

b)      Things connected to Internet, speaking to each other  in an autonomous, discoverable, peer to peer mode (ubiquitous computing)

c)       Things connected to the mobile phone and then to the Internet

(a) is too expensive for mass market.  (b) is too futuristic. (c) is happening now .. and is my main focus here

Devices

MWC is all about devices!

  • LG, Samsung, and Sony dominate ex Sony’s Xperia Z2
  • In contrast, devices from Huawei and ZTE did not seem to be impressive. It will be interesting to see if they are successful going forward as device vendors or will continue to remain infrastructure vendors
  • Both Nokia and Blackberry (former leaders) remain uncertain with Nokia adopting Android.
  • New devices like Yotaphone 2 (screen on one side – e-reader on the other side) provide new interfaces
  • Some vendors like Kyocera introduce some quirky concepts
  • Both Sailfish (Jolla) and Ubuntu had a presence – but too early to say how these devices will fare in the future
  • There were devices and then there was Samsung Galaxy S5! Apart from the usual (5.1 inch screen, 16 megapixels camera etc), we also have for the first time a fingerprint scanner and support for 128-GB memory card.
  • The Galaxys5 also allows you to track your heartbeat. In conjunction with the Samsung Gear Fit , we have the makings of a new class of IOT device targeting healthcare

 

Emerging market devices

Devices targeting emerging markets and the cost conscious customer were prominent.

  • Nokia X(with  Android) strategy can be seen in this light since they support  up to 75% of apps available on Google Play. The Nokia X, X+ and XL will cost €89 (£73), €99 (£81) and €109 (£89), respectively.
  • The $25 firefox phone also comes in the same class and challenges the Nokia X
  • The facebook whatsapp strategy could also been in that light

Automotive

Automotive was also a strong theme especially with Ford Sync 2 , Mercedes QNX-based system , Connected car solutions at MWC 2013 – m2m, CarConnectivity consortium , AT&T-GM

Privacy

  • In an age of Snowden, Privacy has taken center stage.
    Mozilla announced the Future of Mobile Privacy to secure data easily.
  • Samsung announced the Knox security product targeted at small and medium enterprises. According to Computerweekly “The SME offering allows dual “personalities” to be set up on a smartphone to allow one handset to function as two separate devices, keeping the data from each, whether personal or corporate, contained and secure.
  • And then there was the Blackphone – dubbed the Snowden phone (Blackphone web site). The ‘privacy-first’ runs a customized version Android OS.
  • As mentioned before, the Galaxy 5 already has fingerprint recognition
  • My analysis: It’s interesting to see how many people actually buy secure phones for themselves (i.e. not popular phones like Galaxy 5 which have secure features built into them). In my experience, many people (with Geographical exceptions like Germany) – want privacy – but actually behave in the opposite manner (or do not pay for privacy)

IOT

I have already explained the significance of IOT above .. Here are some interesting observations

 

 

 

 

 

Comments/feedback welcome at ajit.jaokar at futuretext.com.  Follow me @ajitjaokar

For a copy of the Digital world in 2030 report to be released in the European parliament next week – follow the link

My slides for my keynote at the swiss mobile association in Zurich last week ..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crossdomain technology trends in Telecoms, Mobile and the Internet