So, as the 2020 US Presidential election intensifies, one major issue will be education. But unlike previous decades, the focus won’t be ‘stay in school and pull up those grades’. This time, it will most likely be, “How will I pay for college?”. IT support is not immune. Let’s look at education ant IT’s future.
So you have Bernie Sanders talking about giving out free college altogether. Then you have Sen. Elizabeth Warren proposing to eliminate the 1.6 trillion in student loan debt altogether. That’s right: the US student loan debt is at an all-time high of 1.6 trillion dollars. Then you have Republican and Democrat senators working together to push for income share agreements. This would make higher education more affordable for all income brackets.
Maybe these initiatives will work. But maybe they won’t. Still, others are turning to alternative methods of higher ed, like Coding Bootcamp. This is a highly respected program that teaches you the IT skills many employers look for nowadays. Plus, companies like Google aren’t even looking for Ivy League degrees, or degrees at all, really. They’re just looking for people with high tech skills. Organizations like Coding Bootcamp provide that. So are many two-year community colleges and trade schools. They’re offering highly tech skills at a discount price. I hear of some cases where graduates of such schools land a $75,000+ job instantly!
If I had to talk to an 18-22 year old about education and IT’s future, I would tell him/her to be careful. First of all, I would tell them to pick a major they know employers are going to use. Sorry art and philosophy majors; this just isn’t going to cut it in 2019 America. I would tell them don’t be ashamed to go to two year schools or trade schools. Lots of people are coming out of those with good paying jobs and hiring bonuses. What advice would you have for a young person about education today?
So I’m not saying much about Amazon Prime, and there’s a reason for that. But there’s a deal that even captured my attention. Let’s talk about Amazon Prime and Phillips Hue Lamp.
So here is the Phillps Hue Signe Hue Table Lamp. It’s a smart lamp that will cost you $160. However, Prime members can get this aluminum lamp for around $135. You can also get matching A16 white bulbs for as little as $12. Now what do lamps have to do with anything IT support or modern technology? More than you think. This has way more to do than home decor or lighting up a room.
I say this because you can control this light with your voice. Furthermore, it works with Alexa, Apple Home or Google Assistant. Maybe that’s why it’s one of the most popular things selling on Amazon Prime, today. They also say this lamp offers countless colors to light up any room. All one has to do is push a button. In fact, this light, allegedly, works with weather and climate patterns. Even the ‘smart bulbs’ is voice controlled. You can connect these bulbs to your smart home devices like Amazon Echo Plus. So I can see how Amazon Prime and Phillips Hue lamp go hand in hand.
I don’t know if you want to get this product or not. But if you plan too, then hurry up. Like I said, this is one of the most popular items on Amazon right now. It’s not up there with the Amazon Echo or Echo Dot, or some of these other items. But it’s getting up there. Will you be buying a Phillips Hue Signe Hue Table Lamp?
So Boosted is one of the up and coming players in IT service. They gave us the electric skateboard. But wait…there’s more. Here’s introducing Boosted’s electric scooter.
So they call their electric scooter Boosted Rev. According to reviews I read, it does wonders but is heavy duty, literally. I say that because this scooter weighs 46 pounds. That’s no joke. But they say it weighs so much because it packs so much power. If you think the weight is an issue for you, then wait until you hear about it’s price. It will cost you around $1,600. But know here’s the good news.
This scooter can go up to 24mph. Also, their tires can take anything the roads can throw at them. They have three kinds of breaking: electric, hand and foot. It’s also great for climbing up hills, thanks to it’s duel wheel motors coming in at 1500 watts each. And Boosted wants it to be this way. They want this scooter to do everything a car, heck, even everything a mac truck can do. For instance, with these dual motors, you can go up a hill as fast as 22 mph. With speeds like this, in most residential areas, you can even keep up with cars. I wouldn’t take this thing on the Interstate though.
So let’s talk about this weight issue. I would NOT climb this thing up the stairs. If you have a garage, leave it there. Or if you have a backyard or basement, just tie it up real good and leave it there. When I looked at the cost, and what Rev offers, I think this is a good item. I know here in Boston, there are a lot of hills, so this scooter would be heaven scent. Now think of those who live in mountainous. This scooter would do well for them and this is a great investment. Introducing Boosted’s electric scooter. Would you get one?
So we all know about the new space race. It’s not the race to the moon anymore, but a race to get civilians into space. There’s also a space race to the NYSE. And now, space exploration trades publicly.
So the first one to do this, surprisingly, isn’t Elon Musk. In fact, the first one to get a space exploration company to trade publicly is Sir Richard Branson. His Virgin Galactic will trade on the NYSE soon and very soon. Thanks to alliances with venture capitalists. Together, with their hundreds of millions of dollars, they’re ready to make this happen. They beat out Musk’s Space X and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin for this honor. Whether it’s an actual honor or dubious honor, well, only time will tell.
Maybe it’s because Virgin Galactic’s top goal is to send tourist into space. Space X’s still works on launching and planet travel. In fact, Musk thinks the Earth’s future is so bleak he wants to eventually build colonies on Mars. Blue Origin also wants to invest in civilian space travel, but they’re now working on gov’t contracts. Meanwhile, Virgin Galactic already has $80 million dollars worth of commitment from people eager to go up in space. It will cost you $250,000 to go to space with Virgin Galactic.
I’d like to congratulate Virgin Galactic for making space exploration trades publicly. But here’s the thing: They’d better be ready to deliver. What does this have to do with IT support? Well, they couldn’t do this without IT. In fact, there would be no Virgin Galactic without IT. Also, many people on this list to go in space are in the IT service industry. That’s my other point. People who want to explore with Virgin, they’re going to hold their feet to the fire until the dream they invested in comes true. And that is rightfully so. Say you invested stocks in Virgin Galactic. You may even paid to go up in space. Wouldn’t you want to see results?
So by now, most of us know about the trade war between the US and China. In fact, I reported on it some. This does affect the global IT service industry, especially Apple. But one Taiwanese billionaire smells blood. Taiwan billionaire calls for Apple move from China.
That’ billionaire’s name is Terry Gou. He’s the founder of Foxconn, a Taiwanese mega electronics firm. Well…I should say he was. Because as of now, he’s resigning from that position. He’s resigning because he’s running for president of Taiwan. Now, Gou is asking Apple to all their Asian facilities from China to Taiwan. This has further merit because Foxconn is one of Apple’s big supplier of factories and raw electronic goods. Will that persuade Apple to do what Gou asks?
Then there is the economy war with China. In fact, president Trump threatens $300 million worth of tariffs on China made goods. Now think about how many of our Apple products China makes. Do you know how many time in our computer repair office we had to tell a customer “The part comes from China.”? It’s more than I want to think about. But now Apple gets an invitation to get out of there, and move to friendlier waters like Taiwan.
So why do I talk about this? How does this affect consumers like you and me? If Apple honors Gou’s request and moves to Taiwan, then it will definitely affect your prices at the Apple Stores. It probably will affect prices for the better. But it could have the opposite side. Personally, I hope Apple does what Gou is asking. Why continue to do business with people and with nations that seem to hate you? This is especially true when you have an ally like Gou inviting you to friendlier places. Taiwan Billionaire calls for Apple move from China. Will Apple do it?
So yesterday, I got a response from a Computer Geeks blog follower. She included an article in which she wrote about one of the biggest ills facing this young generation (Gen-Z). That ill is cyberbullying. The article asks: What do we do about cyberbullying?
First, she talks the differences between older people and young people today. Because back in our day, bullying was more in your face: playgrounds, classrooms, buses, playing in the neighborhood. I myself experienced this in my younger days. But today, with smartphones and social media, there is no escape. Because now, a child or teen can experience bullying, harassment, and stalking literally all day every day, all night every night. They don’t have a safe space like older generations once did.
She then goes on to talk about the types of cyberbullying. They include, but don’t limit: intimidation, humiliation, isolation, gossiping, sexual harassment. It also includes harassment based on race, gender, religion, economic status, sexual orientation, etc. According to many statistics, 70% of teens at least witnessed or experienced this kind of cyberbullying. I don’t have to tell you how bad this can affect people. We all see news articles about suicides and/or mass shootings that are the product of bullying. Other effects include mental illnesses like PTSD, lack of sleep, low self-worth, poor performance at school. Being bullied can lead to high risk behaviors later on in life: drug addiction, alcoholism, overeating, sexual promiscuity.
There’s an age old saying: “When you treat people like animals, then they become animals”. So the Golden Rule is true. Treat others like you want them to treat you. This includes social media and the cyber world. This includes adults too, because in many cases, we’re worse than these teen bullies are. I saw footage of a baseball game in Colorado that made me sick.
But there’s a side effect here. Let’s not be too over-sensitive. Because what I’m also seeing is political correctness on steroids. It’s getting to the point where we’re afraid to even interact with each other because, “What if we say, do, or act the wrong way? What if we offend somebody?” This kind of mentality can have just as bad of effect as being bullied can. You see it in today’s politics, media and pop culture. We can’t even agree to disagree today without being perceived as a bully. I posted something on my Facebook page: “Just because I disagree with you don’t mean I hate you. We need to relearn that in our society”. That is so true. So how do we balance these things in the IT support world and real world? What do we do about cyberbullying?