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 What Would Joe Do?

Archive for May, 2017

The Truth: CyberThieves, Long-term Care Insurance, IEEE, and You

Thursday, May 11th, 2017


In flipping through the current issue of IEEE Spectrum
, I was astounded to find an ad on the inside back cover encouraging IEEE members to buy the organization’s long-term care insurance.

That ad tells you two things: a) Some of the 400,000 IEEE members are thinking about long-term care, because they’re aging and don’t want to burden their children with caring for an elderly parent, and b) long-term care insurance is a respected product that any reasonable person would want to invest in.

Regarding these two conclusions: The idea that part of the IEEE is moving into their Golden Years is spot-on, but the idea that long-term care insurance is something worth buying is not so obvious.

If you’ve ever looked into buying one of these policies, you know they’re obscenely expensive. And they can’t be activated until: a) you’ve lived for 100 days in some kind of assisted living facility and can pass the incompetent-at-life-skills test, or b) more insidiously, you’re surviving by way of a life-assistance tube – feeding or oxygen – and you’re housed in some kind of skilled nursing facility for at least 100 days.

These are the two circumstances under which long-term care insurance will pay out. Long-term care insurance does not cover the costs of in-home care. Don’t be duped into thinking it does.


Blink’r: IoT moving Customized Design to the Edge

Thursday, May 4th, 2017


Before you can design something for the IoT
, you need a platform upon which to construct your design to keep development costs down, and before you can build that platform, you need to understand what the IoT actually is. And to do that, it’s useful to start with entrepreneur Baoguo Wei, founder of Phoinix Technologies and the company’s Blink’r IoT-in-a-Box tool set.

When we spoke recently by phone, Wei said: “I’ve been in the industry long before it was called IoT. When I came out of school, my first job included a project where we needed to measure the contents of the fuel tanks in a fleet of trucks spread across different locations, something that required data collection. We built our own radios and a back-end for the data.

“At the time, the back-end was not called the Cloud, it was called a Server and we used an algorithm to solve the problem.”

He chuckled, noting it wasn’t the Cloud then, because that infrastructure was still being built out. Similarly, only when the infrastructure for the Internet of Things began to appear, did the thing get its name.


TrueCircuits: IoTPLL

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