Life and Personal

Fun with Apple Photos

Go online and search for ‘what will my baby look like’ and you’d be faced with dozens of websites that claim to use AI and machine learning to guess your baby’s appearances. It’s almost sort of curious to find out your baby’s potential looks, judging by the kind of techniques used by these websites to lure you in and make you pay. One such website claimed to be free up until I uploaded pictures of myself and my wife, at which point, I was asked to sign up for a 3-day free trial. The weekly cost henceforth — €9 a week.

But what if you do have a child? There’s an even more fun game now, and that’s trying to figure out who your baby actually looks like. Does the nose belong to the mom … or dad? What about the eyes? It’s even fun for all your relatives and friends as they spend time staring at your child, and, in essence, judging your looks! 😄

This is where AI has a fun role to play, too. Case in point — I have a somewhat large collection of photos of myself and my wife over the years. After every vacation, I make it a point to ‘train’ the face recognition by actively helping it categorize a face as either mine or my wife’s. And, my ‘People’ album is only family, which means that the AI is theoretically very well trained.

Here’s the awesome part — for a long while, I have maintained that my daughter looks quite a lot like me. A few people agree, while some strongly disagree. The AI is on my side, as very frequently, especially as she gets older, the face recognition algorithm would flag a picture of mine and seek confirmation if it’s my daughter’s. The first time was an anomaly; the second co-incidence; but, the third was most definitely the algorithm on to something.

So, there we have it. She really does look quite a bit like me, and I have the screenshots to prove it!

Tech and Culture

Login enforced apps

One of my newest technology pet-peeves is apps that require an account even before giving me an opportunity to try them out or learn more about them. It’s not just the small players that do this, increasingly, but rather big name app providers like Microsoft.

Just this morning, I downloaded Microsoft’s latest To-Do app. Intuitively, my task list is something that could just as well reside on my smartphone without ever requiring to be synced onto the ‘cloud’, but, no, Microsoft would have none of that logic. The first screen is a login screen. I can’t even preview the UI without as much as sharing my phone number and other personal details.

How’s this for a To-Do – don’t download apps that need me to register before trying them out.

Life and Personal

Phoenix Redux

Phoenix is the name I chose for this blog years ago. At that time, my goal was to publish a few times a week, ramblings and ideas about anything and everything. This helped me get past one of the most important phases of my life. And then, my world changed a little – I got married, moved around a fair bit, and changed jobs and careers. Social networking became the hot thing where everyone interacted with others. Original thought all but died as we started measuring our network-i-ness by the number of likes and re-shares we accumulated. Apps were, and continue to be, the only way to gather knowledge and ideas.

If you were not building your personal brand you were doing it all wrong.

I have come to believe that the world-wide-web is much more than a backend for our apps. It continues to be the one medium which is still colorful, diverse, and full of the same vigor that it had a decade ago. It also remains the best place to be whatever you want to be. The only rules are your own.

Everything has a tendency to come around full-circle.

And so, here I am again. The phoenix has arisen. I will be writing in the same tone and with the same optimism about our future as I did 10 years ago. There’s a lot more to come!


Life and Personal

Rich Nannies

Want to use that college degree to make higher than average money? It’s simple – become a live-out nanny! I used to think that nanny jobs were typically low paying teenager jobs until I actually made a friend who worked as a nanny. Now, this girl was college educated and could have probably found at least a receptionist job at an office, but she really loved her nany job. For one, she enjoyed spending time with kids. The benefits from her job weren’t too shabby either. She made about half a grand a week, and perks included paid leaves as well as gasoline for transportation! You could say she was getting the perfect training in being a future mom, and getting paid for it. Sure, she was making less than 50 grand a year, but it was more money than being a homemaker.

With the couple having their own day jobs, child care and development has become a very important issue for the new age parents with lots of disposable income. This is more true for celebrity or executive parents. These are the people with personal jets and a payroll for the domestic support staff. The live out nannies (those who don’t live in with the family) make as much as $50k a year on top of the regular benefits like health insurance, paid leaves, and sick days. This is no small change.

A casual Internet search would reveal at least a dozen nanny agencies specializing in training and placing them. This is especially interesting if you consider that Phillipine women remitted over $7 billion to their country in 2001, creating the country’s second biggest source of hard currency after electronics exports. There is tremendous demand for bilingual qualified nannies.

Another way to think of this would be to appreciate how you actually save $50k a year by marrying a homemaker, and how she deserves at least part of those savings!