I am so fucking happy right now! I have been developing a custom digital watch on and off for the past 2 and a half years; and 10 minutes ago I did a complete test of the first Beta release of the code.
Everything works, even the rushed shit that I just chucked in on caffeine driven late night code binges. Not only the code, but the custom hardware checks out too.
Not only is this cool Pod tech transport system just awesome, but it is getting super charged with a hover system. Apart from landing 14 storey high rockets on a barge in the ocean, this is the coolest, most amazing news for 2015.
I found this article By Dominic Connor (from The Register) and it is quite informative, so I have just copied the whole thing and pasted it here.
You’re not getting paid as well as you should. I know this not only because you’re bothering to read this, but also because most techies are crap at extracting cash from their employers. It shouldn’t shock you too much to learn that I, as a City headhunter and former contractor, focus quite hard on money – so here’s a few ideas that will help you even in tough times.
Continuous Visible Productivity
The first thing you get wrong is spending too much time on things no one sees. No one really cares if you’ve made the backup process run 50 per cent faster unless it’s stopping work, so don’t waste your time on this until some politically powerful person or business unit asks. That’s a tactic: the full methodology you should adopt for all your work is Continuous Visible Productivity (CVP).
Plan your work in terms of things other people can see; forget agile dependency modelling, GANTT, etcetera and prioritise with respect to how many useful people see the result.
The joy of CVP is that its cynicism is so pure you can openly share it with your boss – he is under constant attack for the cost of IT which to “the business” seems so rarely to actually produce anything. A staffer who makes him look good is far more valuable than one who knows more C++ syntax, so his fear of you leaving goes up without you doing anything. The highest paid contractor I ever met composed Reuters pages for directors of the bank. That’s drag-and-drop level work and she was a proper techie – so it was far beneath her – but every time she wanted to quit they’d throw money at her, such was the power of her visible productivity. You might not have that option, but making sure your system can easily and quickly support new pages makes you look good, especially if it’s not a documented feature …
Why you are paid
Your pay is an equilibrium between their fear of you leaving and greedily keeping the cash they could pay you. Do not kid yourself that your pay is a reward for work you have done, employers have less memory than a goldfish and your only lever is what you’re going to do. Any pitch for money must contain a mix of opportunities for your boss to look good flavoured with just enough fear that you might be leaving. The past is evidence for a pay rise, not a cause.
One of the best paid IT guys I know says that he doesn’t sell “solutions”, he sells pay rises; your boss must see it in his interest to fight the battles. Be aware that it’s just pub talk to leave a recruiters card “accidentally” on your desk, if they think you’re definitely going anyway they won’t bother to try and keep you and optional items like bonuses and training won’t be wasted on a lost boy. The last thing your boss wants is to fight for your pay rise and let his bosses see you quit anyway.
Note that the title is “get more money”, not “earn more”. I can’t make you better at your job, my aim is to get you better rewarded for it. You are worth what you can get, not a penny more or less. In negotiations it is useful to use the word “fair” so that the other side doesn’t feel too blackmailed, but never kid yourself that it means anything.
Screwing up to get more money
One serious programmer explained to me that “if the system goes down for 30 minutes, you’re incompetent. Bring it back after five hours and you’re a hero”. They key here is that you’re making a difference when it hits the fan, that’s not someone they want to lose.
Your boss has no idea if you’re good at your job. Even in the unlikely event he knows much about database replication or wrongly aliased pointers, he doesn’t have the time to properly measure your performance – and the structure of many IT groups means that the greater their decision-making power, the less the individual understands computers. They use proxies for competence and productivity, working on the principle that a cheerful techie is delivering the goods. They also like cheerful people because it means the team is functional, which is part of…
The richer brother of political correctness, every firm has a bunch of things that one has to pay lip service to. As a techie you are crap at even noticing these and when you do, they form the butt of your acid humour.
You need to say: “We’re a tier one supplier to the NHS,” even when you know it’s a delusion believed by no one outside marketing. You don’t have to believe it. There’s a whole pile of bullshit words you need to use more, such as “business”, “delivery”, “savings” and “revenue” – but most important is “team”.
EDS did a video – “Herding cats” – which beautifully captures how your bosses see IT people…
At many firms they genuinely believe that one day they will have to deal with an outbreak of physical violence in the IT department – and quite a few already have (the time I was punched at IBM’s labs was my own fault).
So I’ve been reading up on AI and what it will mean for humanity, and it is amazing. To put it bluntly, the reason why AI is such a hot topic right now is that we are getting very close to achieving it. Now I don’t mean that it will be here next week, but rather, the “general” consensus is that General AI will be here by 2040-2045.
for an excellent post on the whole AI topic read this:
Anyway, after all this reading, all I can think is “How does it feel to be the last generation of humans who are the smartest creatures on this planet.” and also by extension “How does it feel to be the LAST generation of humans on the planet”
I say this because Artificial Super Intelligence is near. When it does arrive, it will look at humans like we look at the animal kingdom. As pets or as things that need to be looked after / protected / kept in a cage. And we won’t even know. We will think that we are the masters of our own destiny but we won’t. We will be in a cage and not even know that we are in it.
If the AI looks at humanity as generally harmless it will treat us like cats. If the AI looks at humanity and thinks it is a threat, it will treat us the same way as we treat sharks. The only difference is that when it starts to take humanity down, we won’t understand that it is the AI doing it. It will be a bit like how a elephant can understand life and death, but not the fact that the real reason why it is hunted is just for it’s ivory.
So right now we are living in the greatest time in human history and most likely the future of human history as well. So there is no point in being un-happy and doing a job you hate. The time is now to live your dreams because there may not be a tomorrow to do it.
“Meetings are a waste of time unless you are closing a deal. There are so many ways to communicate in real time or asynchronously that any meeting you actually sit for should have a duration and set outcome before you agree to go.”
Hire for Flexibility
“Zipcar challenged us to think about how we could use a car on an hourly basis instead of a daily basis. I’d like to challenge business people to think about what they would do if they could have talent on demand. Hiring contractors is more cost-efficient than hiring people full-time and less time-consuming than doing it yourself because you can hire an expert for whatever task you need to accomplish.”
Rank Items on Your To-Do List
“Make the next day’s “to do” list before you leave the office. Rate each item A, B, or C based on its importance, and work on A items first. The productiveness of any meeting depends on the advance thought given the agenda, and you should never leave a meeting without writing a follow-up list with each item assigned to one person. And go outside. All the big ideas are on the outside. You’ll never have a creative idea at your desk.
Answer the Phone
“Communication is key. I call the CEO or chairperson of every one of my major clients every day. I like the directness of phone conversations; you don’t miss things the way you do with e-mail. I also carry my cell phone around the building, and my employees do as well. We have a rule: I answer their calls and they answer my calls. Also, cut down on sleep. Why would you sleep when it’s time to live? Sleeping isn’t living. You sleep when you die. I get up at 3:30 every morning and I’m at the gym by 4. Then I ride 25 miles on my bike before breakfast. Being in shape is what gives me energy.”
Organize Your Daily Interruptions
“My executive assistant, Haley Carroll, e-mails me a daily memo, which I read after I go home every night. It’s in four parts, and the first part is my next day’s schedule. Then comes a list of questions that cropped up during the day — maybe someone wants to know whether I have feedback on the new Hudson Yards Catering logo. She aggregates them so she doesn’t have to interrupt me repeatedly during office hours. I’ll respond to those right away. The third part of the e-mail is FYIs: information I don’t have to act on but might like to know. Maybe my mother called to make a reservation for her neighbor next week at Blue Smoke. Or there might be a change in my schedule. Finally, there is a section of longer-term reminders. I promised to write a blurb for a friend’s book. I want to plan a vacation, so I need to check on my kids’ school schedules. We started the memos only last year, and I don’t know how we managed without them. I care about the details. This way, I don’t worry that I’m missing anything.
Always Be Interviewing
“I used to think business was 50 percent having the right people. Now I think it’s 80 percent. The best way to be productive is to have a great team. So I spend more time than most CEOs on human resources. I carry a little notebook with the names of 35 or 40 people in the company, and every week I look at it to make sure I’m in touch with everyone. The top eight or 10 people I’m going to see automatically. But there are always 20 or 30 people who are up-and-comers or one or two levels down, and I wan them to know I’m paying attention. Once a quarter, I go through my list of contacts—a couple of thousand of them—to see if there’s anyone I should be reaching out to about a job. Intensive as all of this is, I ultimately save time, because I can delegate with confidence.
Use E-mail to Document
“When scheduling travel and social activities, I like to communicate plans through e-mail to both family and colleagues to keep an easy record of correspondence rather than relying on a possibly hurried conversation.
Use a Wiki to Capture Ideas
“A lot of productivity is capturing ideas. I use a wiki—it’s more valuable than e-mail for running a company—and I have a page for every person with whom I interact frequently.
Be Extra-Productive During Off-Hours
“I get almost as much done outside normal office hours as during them. I’ll interview people on Saturdays, late at night, early in the morning. If I’m trying to solve a particularly difficult problem, I’ll come in on the weekend, when there’s less going on, and spend a day focusing on it. I read technology manuals and watch video tutorials late at night. During start-up, I think you have the choice of being productive or having a social life, and I’ve choosen being productive.
Always Save Time to Exercise
“With the exception of one or two days a year, I work out every single day. Fitting a workout into the work day reduces stress, keeps you healthy, and is great for getting “alone time” to work out business and personal problems. When someone asks for a non work-related meeting, see if they are up for doing the meeting while running or biking together. Work out at lunchtime and then eat at your desk.
Shrink Your Mental Deadlines
“If I think something is going to take me an hour, I give myself 40 minutes. By shrinking your mental deadlines, you work faster and with greater focus. I also schedule time every week on my calendar for quiet, concentrated PowerTime where I only work on my most important activities. A “Stop Doing” list is as important as a “To Do” list. A “To Do” list is easy, you just keep adding to it and the more you have on it, the more important you may feel. But “Stop Doing” is more difficult because you have to give up some things.
Live by the “Two-Pizza” Rule
“Interaction should be constant, not crammed into meetings once a week. You just turn around in your chair and bounce an idea off one of the other 10 people in your office. Keep the floor plan open so people can talk to each other. As the company gets bigger, keep dividing it into smaller and smaller groups. Follow Jeff Bezos’s two-pizza rule: Project teams should be small enough to feed with two pizzas. At Hunch, we don’t have meetings unless absolutely necessary. When I used to have meetings, though, this is how I would do it: There would be an agenda distributed before the meeting. Everybody would stand. At the beginning of the meeting, everyone would drink 16 ounces of water. We would discuss everything on the agenda, make all the decisions that needed to be made, and the meeting would be over when the first person had to go to the bathroom.
“Don’t multitask. Multitasking is something we all do these days. The problem is our brains just aren’t cut out for it. When you multitask, you’re interfering with your brain’s ability to perform at max-capacity. Yes, you can walk and chew gum at the same time. You can fold laundry while talking to a friend on the phone. Clowns can ride a unicycle while juggling brightly colored balls. These are role tasks that don’t demand a lot of brain power. But in most cases, multitasking=lesstasking. When you make those shifts from one context to another, you risk dropping things from your short-term memory. Do one thing at a time, minimize context shifts, maximize brain power!
Review Your Productivity at the End of the Day
“The most difficult aspect of being a CEO is you driving your day, and not letting the day drive you. By looking through tasks each morning and resolving to allocate the time to concentrate on the CEO priorities, the actions only the CEO can take to move the company forward, you can keep your eye on moving the company forward. At the end of the day, I always checked whether I had taken action on my top three priorities. If the answer was “no,” I stayed in the office until I made progress on them.”
Schedule Time to Focus on the Big Picture
“For me, a big part of productivity is being agile. I like to leave a lot of blocks in my day open. On an average day, I’m only 50 percent scheduled, though occasionally it gets as high as 80 percent. That’s imperative, because often something comes up out of nowhere. Recently, for example, an important new partner came to the office and unexpectedly brought the CEO. The team came to me and said, “Oh, my God; their CEO came. Do you have a window this afternoon?” I had a window. And at the end of the hour the CEO and I spent together, we’d identified new markets and positioned the company to be a global as well as domestic partner. If I have a free block and nothing presents itself, I catch up on industry reports, self-education, and big-picture thinking. In a packed schedule, those things can get neglected. They shouldn’t be.”
Commit to a process, not a goal. Don’t just set a goal of creating better customer relationships; commit to calling at least two customers a day to ask how you can better serve them. Don’t just set a goal of landing new clients; commit to cold-calling at least two leads every day. Commit to a process that leads to a goal and you’re much more likely to achieve that goal. Focus on what you will do, not on what you want to happen.
Make Temptations Hard to Reach
Call this the “pain in the butt” technique: when something is hard to do, you’ll do it less. Store sodas in the refrigerator and keep bottles of water on your desk. Put the TV remote in an upstairs closet. Shut down your browser so it’s harder to check out TMZ. Use a “productivity” laptop that intentionally doesn’t have a browser or email, leave your phone behind, and move to a conference room to get stuff done. Convenience is the mother of distraction, so make it a pain in the butt to satisfy your temptations.
Maximize Your Most Important Tasks
All of us have things we do that make the biggest difference. (For me it’s actually sitting down and writing.) What two or three things contribute most to your success? What two or three things generate the most revenue? Then eliminate all the extra “stuff” to the greatest extent possible so you reap the benefits of spending time on the tasks that make you you.
Purposely Allow Less Time for Key Projects
Time is like a new house. We eventually fill a bigger house with furniture, and we eventually fill a block of time with “work.” So take the opposite approach. Limit the amount of time you allow yourself to complete an important task. You’ll be more focused, more motivated, your energy level will be higher… and you’ll actually get more done.
Chunk Housekeeping Tasks
Even though we’d like to focus solely on our most important tasks, we all have stuff we still need to do. Instead of sprinkling those activities throughout the day– or, worse, taking care of them when they pop up– collect and take of them in preplanned blocks. Better yet, schedule that block for when you know you’ll be tired or in need of a mental break. That way you’ll still feel (and be) productive even when you’re not at your best.
Just Say No
You’re polite. You’re courteous. You’re helpful. You want to be a team player. You’re overwhelmed. Say “no” at least as often as you say yes. You can still be polite while protecting your time. And you should protect your time – time is the one asset no one can afford to waste.
Start Small So You Won’t Mind
Say you decided you should cold-call 20 new prospects every day. Great idea – but sounds daunting. Sounds really hard. Sounds almost impossible… so you won’t. Instead, start small. You can call 2 people a day, right? That sounds easy. That you will do. Then, in time, it will feel comfortable to increase the number. Whenever you want to create a new habit, start small so you will actually start – and stick with it through that tough early time when habits are hard to form.
Build In Frequent Breaks
Small, frequent breaks are a great way to refresh and recharge. Like the Pomodoro Technique, a time-management strategy where you work on one task for 25 minutes and then take a 5-minute break. (To time yourself you can use a kitchen timer or your phone…) The key to not burning out is to not let burnout sneak up on you. Scheduling regular short breaks ensures that won’t happen.
Follow the 2-Minute Rule
Here’s one from Getting Things Done: when a task takes less than 2 minutes, don’t schedule it, don’t set it aside for later, don’t set a reminder… just take care of it. Now. Then it’s done. Besides, don’t you have enough on your schedule already?
Actively Schedule Free Time
Free time shouldn’t just happen by accident. Free time shouldn’t be something you get around to if you get a chance. Plan your free time. Plan activities. Plan fun things to do. Not only will you enjoy the planning – and the anticipation – you’ll also actually have more fun. And the happier you are, the more motivated and productive you will be over the long term. Which, of course, is what personal productivity is all about.
We’ve all eaten a heavy lunch that seemed to kill the rest of the day. So take a different approach. See lunch as fuel for your afternoon – and as one meal you knowwill be healthy. Plan to eat a portion of protein that fits in your palm and a couple vegetables or fruits. Make it easy and pack your lunch and then you won’t waste time driving to and from a restaurant.
Drink a Lot More Water
It’s extremely likely you don’t drink enough water. That’s too bad, because feeling good sparks motivation and effort. Plus if you drink water first thing in the morning you’ll boost your metabolism. Drink more water throughout the day and you’ll be less hungry, feel more energetic, decrease your chances of contracting certain diseases… and you’ll have to get up more often to use the restroom which ensures you’re more active throughout the day.
Think about the people you’ve met recently. Who left you feeling more motivated, more excited, more energetic… who made your life better? Then seek to spend more time with them. Surround yourself with people who can improve your life and your life will naturally improve. Sounds obvious – but is also something we all too often forget.
Count Your Blessings Before Bed
Take a second before you turn out the light. In that moment, quit worrying about what you don’t have. Quit worrying about what others have that you don’t. Think about what you dohave. You have a lot to be thankful for. Feels good, doesn’t it? Count your blessings every night and you’ll start the next day in a much more positive way.
Use Your Mind For Thinking, Not Remembering
Here’s another Getting Things Done tip. Don’t clutter your thoughts with mental to-do lists or information you need to remember. Write all those things down. Then you can focus on thinking about how to do things better, how to treat people better, how to make your business better. Don’t waste mental energy trying to remember important tasks or ideas. That’s what paper is for.
Turn Off Alerts
Your phone buzzes. Your email dings. Chat windows pop up. Every alert sucks away your attention. So turn them off. Go alert-free, and once every hour or so take a few minutes to see what you might have missed. Chances are you’ll find out you missed nothing,but in the meantime you will have been much more focused.
Be Inspired By Small Successes
Change is tough. Habits are hard to form. If you want to learn a new skill, don’t decide you’ll become world-class. The goal is too big, the road too long. Instead decide you’ll learn to do one small thing really, really well. Then build on that. Success, even minor success, is motivating and creates an awesome feedback loop that will motivate you to do another small thing really well. One step at a time you might someday become world-class… which, after all, is how that works. Start small, stick with it, and someday your big dream will be a reality.
Stop In the Middle
Take it from Ernest Hemingway: “The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day…you will never be stuck.” His advice applies to all kinds of work. When you stop in the middle of a project you know what you’ve done, you know exactly what you’ll do next, and you’ll be excited to get started again.
Shamelessly stolen from (http://www.inc.com/ss/jeff-haden/20-awesome-productivity-tricks-anyone-can-use)