They say the best things in life are free, like love, friendship and sunsets, but so are the worst things like bereavement and stepping in dog poo. The word free covers a broad spectrum of stuff ranging from good to bad. Except for free webinars. They are always bad, and here’s 5 reasons why:

Reason 1: The title “Free Webinar” implies that people would actually pay to attend it, but we all know they wouldn’t.

So how bad must a webinar be to make it a free webinar? Consider that people pay cash money for taking a pee in a scary train station toilet, even when there’s a man with substance abuse issues who tries to get through the turnstile entrance…

Brexit was a vote motivated by people who felt nostalgia for a rose-tinted version of Britain 70 years ago that never existed, which has now made everyone feel nostalgia for an actual version of Britain that existed last year.

The reason we had no e-commerce back in the 1980s was because we had no internet, but even if we had, we didn’t have the fulfilment capacity to make high volume home deliveries work. Today we have internet, but thanks to Brexit the other side of the equation — smooth, seamless movement of products — is facing a meltdown.

When I was a kid in the ‘70s and ‘80s, the postal service was pretty weak. Private couriers like FedEx weren’t available to ordinary people or most retailers. Airmail freight and shipping were expensive and complex, and there were many issues with duties and complex tariffs. There was a lack of customs facilities to deal with high volumes of deliveries, too. Customs could handle a lorryload or shipping container of identical boxes of goods, but millions of tiny packages heading to millions of addresses? No. …

Remembering UX’s brave new worlds

Thomas More’s book Utopia wasn’t just a landmark moment in the history of fiction, it also influenced generations of philosophers and shaped the intellectual foundations of democracy and socialism during the 18th century ‘enlightenment’. Utopia’s influence is also found in agile methodologies and design sprints, the broad disciplines that encompass modern product, UX and customer experience design.

The question is how does a 16th century book still influence the thinking of people working at the leading edges of 21st century technology and design?

Utopia, like design, is a practical mindset
A little over 500 years ago King Henry VIII’s advisor, Sir…

On January 8th 2020 a writer went missing. All we found was this article…

Everyone is familiar with ‘found footage’ movies. The cinema going public has been there and seen that for decades (The Blair Witch Project / Paranormal Activity / Cloverfield / Rec / Unfriended / etc.) Whenever you came into it, everyone remembers their first time but barely remember the many subsequent times they have seen the phoney documentary device since. It’s a strange genre. When it works, it really works. When it doesn’t, it really doesn’t. There’s no ‘meh’ with found footage like traditional movies. It’s usually love it or hate it, provided you can even remember it.

As with all…

Part #2 of “Say Ethical Framework One More Time, I Dare you” The real ethics of AI systems (not the killer robot kind)

There was a time when the concept of ethics and AI converged only in science fiction, like Isaac Asimov’s famous I, Robot. Ahhh yes, the three laws of robotics, which he dreamt-up and then wrote a novel devoted to illustrating how useless they were. As follows…

A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. …

Notes on the Non-existent Ethical Dilemmas of Self-driving AI

It’s a sad inevitability of talking about real-world applications of AI and machine learning, that tricky e-word. Ethics appears to be the latest go-to concern people raise when you mention AI.

People often express their fear of robots enslaving mankind in terms that make them less feel awkward about it, so instead of asking “But what if Terminator comes true?” they say “Hm, I am concerned about the lack of ethical guidelines for coders working in the field of AI.” Then, later that night, they read some Russian fake news on a social media platform , click I accept to…

How to counter the irrational fear that a computer is going to replace you

Nope. Just, nope.

Does this happen to you?
Picture the scene. I’m sitting with some intelligent, professional people discussing the potential applications of AI in real world business environments. It’s all going well until someone says “yes but, we have to be careful that…” and then finishes that statement with a scenario that is basically the plot of Terminator.

Other listeners join in, adding the plot of The Matrix, and also Stanley Kubrick’s AI. Then the discussion melts into a heap of steaming crap.

The conversation that started as realistic, business-focused speculation about tech trends is now one where you are basically tricking…

This year, everyone is reimagining something… except bullshit.

If you Google the word reimagine, you will enter a world of pure imagination. Not the kind of imagination you want, a sort of crappy version. Academic research, cities, culture, design, education, football, funerals, HR, passwords, public policy, services, venture capital and zoo — to name but a few — every noun and verb from A to Z has been reimagined. Even the alphabet has been reimagined.

To that end, I have reimagined the listicle here, to provide readers with a handy list of obvious reasons why reimagine is a word that should make even the most unrepentant jargonist wince…

The difference between thriving High Street retail brands and brick-and-mortar casualties is a cautionary tale of silos and small stuff

Retailer A and Retailer B look pretty similar from the outside. They both sell the same stock, are evenly matched on price, and they both have an e-commerce store, an app, social media channels and branded presences in marketplaces like Amazon. However, Retailer A experiences much higher customer support call volumes and customer churn than Retailer B. Meanwhile, Retailer B has got great customer loyalty and experiences consistently higher conversion rates from promotions too.

Retailer A is like a lot of big name High Street chains, spending a lot of money on new ad campaigns and tech, but seeing year-on-year…

Four simple thought experiments that show why quoting things that sound deep can make you sound shallow

What’s the Problem?

Quotes are everywhere. Inspiring, motivating epithets from the great and the good. We’ve all seen them on company websites and PowerPoints, heard them dropped into talks and presentations, maybe you even have one in foot high letters on the wall of your office. Or on cat poster in your bathroom. Whatever the context, there’s a whole industry devoted to typing other people’s sage-like wisdom out of context and abstracted to the point of banality.

So why do people love them so much? The answer is because the quote is rendered meaningless by being removed from its context. It is an…

Andrew Keith Walker

Now: Future tech writer & podcaster/ Then: 4 tech start-ups/ 4 exits/ Future: Sci-Fi novel coming soon/ He / Him / Shabby Middle-Aged Drifter

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