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The Book Series that grabs your attention

Welcome to the “It’s All About Attitude” Book Series. As you will find in all my books, I believe most big problems and big solutions involve Attitude. I hope you enjoy reading the It’s All About Attitude Series. 

Thanks for stopping by. My name is John R. Patrick and Attitude LLC is the name of my company. My activities include writing, speaking, startup investing, and board service. My areas of focus include healthcare, Internet technology, blockchain mobile voting, climate change, and crypto. As you will see in the books I have written, I believe most big problems and big solutions involve Attitude. My latest book is Reflection Attitude: Past, Current, and Future. Reflection Attitude and all the prior books are part of a Series called “It’s All About Attitude”. You can find all the details about each book here. 

The series began in 2001 with the publishing of Net Attitude: What It Is, How to Get It, and Why Your Company Can’t Survive Without It. All the books in the series are available in paperback, Kindle and soon to be Hardcover Editions. Election Attitude and Health Attitude are also available in Audible.  Please visit the book series pages on Amazon: one for the Kindle versions and one for the paperback versions. You can find sample chapters of all the books here, and reviews of the books here. As you will find in all my books, I believe most big problems and big solutions involve Attitude. I hope you enjoy reading the It’s All About Attitude Series. 

Why Choose "Attitude Series"?

Experience

Gain the perspective of a technology visionary who has 50+ years of experience.

Balance

Gain a balanced perspective about the future of robots and AI.

Non-partisan

Get a non-partisan perspective on our election system.

Reader Testimonials

Net Attitude: This book is engaging, provocative and practical. And unlike so many books that are filled with ideas on how your company can make more money, this one includes an epilogue on how to give some of it back to those in need, through — what else? — e-philanthropy.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Reflection Attitude: "Intelligence is mostly point of view and the rest is attitude. John provides a charming and easy-to-read cultural primer and travel guide for citizens of the world of atoms who plan to visit or emigrate to the land of bits."
Nicholas Negroponte, Chairman and Co-founder, MIT Media Lab
Health Attitude: "I read this book to gain a better understanding of current healthcare issues. It is a topic that has been so much talked about, but not well understood. The book more than met my expectations. Dr. John R. Patrick identifies and explains the myriad problems within the healthcare field."
Robert at Mount Joy, PA
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My blog below has more than 2,000 stories about technology, crypto, music, motorcycles, travel, business, Internet voting, robots, AI, healthcare, and more. Every Saturday morning, I publish an e-brief which contains an easy to read post about new developments in one of my areas of interest. The e-brief also includes highlights about Ukraine, crypto, Wall Street, and a summary of key stock and crypto markets. Please sign up and give it a try. If you don’t like it, you can make one click and you will not receive it again. You can find me on social media on FacebookLinkedInTwitter, and YouTube. You can also find my background in Wikipedia

What is Going on with Crypto?

What is Going on with Crypto?

Written: December 2022

Based on calls, tweets, texts, and emails about crypto from friends and family, I decided I should write an article about it. I do not claim to have all the answers, but I do have some experience in this developing area. The purpose of this article is to share what I have learned and what I believe the future will hold.

A crypto exchange called FTX imploded and went bankrupt. The value of the company went from around $30 billion to a figure yet to be determined but a small fraction of the billions. Last Christmas, Bitcoin was trading at $50,663, according to CoinGecko. The price today is down 66%. Some are linking the two phenomena and others are saying the FTX failure is the end of crypto. I don’t think so. I will start with crypto exchanges.

In addition to FTX, other exchanges are Binance, Bitfinex, Coinbase, crypto.com, Gemini, Kraken, and KuCoin. There are hundreds more around the world. A simple explanation is a crypto exchange is for crypto what Fidelity, Merrill Lynch, Schwab, et al are for stocks and bonds. Exchanges are developing technology to provide a transparent financial system to enable efficient buying, selling, holding, and transferring of digital assets. In the case of FTX, the man at the top, Sam Bankman-Fried, had more expansive ideas.

SBF, as he is known, devised techniques for arbitrage whereby he would buy crypto on one exchange and sell it on another exchange which may have a slightly higher price. The price of Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency varies slightly from exchange to exchange. Through high-speed computing and networking, he was able to make millions from the arbitrage. One of the many problems was he had no accounting system to keep track of the trades and no risk management system to gage the potential backfiring of the arbitrage. Some very smart venture capitalists invested large sums of money in FTX and related companies of which there were a bunch. VCs are used to taking risks and sometimes losing a lot of money. Crypto is definitely risky. The VCs invest in ten things knowing most of them would go belly up but hoping to get at least one home run plus a few triples and doubles. Unfortunately, some of the investors were the employees who took part or all of their pay in crypto. FTX developed its own token called FTT. It had no intrinsic value but large amounts of it were created. Loans were made using FTT as collateral. Customer deposits were used to lend to others with no transparency. When the bubble broke for FTX, the FTT quickly went to zero.

FTX and SBF will be in the news for years. Some are saying the FTX failure is bigger than the Enron failure of 2007. SBF was interviewed in New York this week against the advice of his lawyers. He is trying to create a new image as an innovative founder who intended to make billions and give it to charities. He claims he genuinely cared about his customers. Although fraud looks obvious, I think it may prove difficult to prove his intention was to commit fraud. One thing for certain is he was incompetent at running a multi-billion-dollar organization.

I believe some good things will come out of the failure. The need for some form of regulation has been clear for several years. It is no excuse but our government has been really slow to step up to the problem. There is not even agreement as to what agency should be the regulator. I believe both the SEC and the CFTC will play a role because some crypto is viewed as currency and some as commodities. Another thing coming out of the debacle is the move toward proof-of-reserves. Crypto has been used as a way to create loans. The problem has been that lenders and borrowers have had no way to know what is backing up the loans. An innovative approach will enable proof-of-reserves to be incorporated in the blockchain infrastructure which enables crypto to work.

Since 2009, there have been 511 bank failures. When a bank fails, the process to unravel things is well understood. The FDIC insures up to $250,000 per account. In the case of FTX, it is a total mess. The winners are going to be the many lawyers who will be part of the cleanup and participate in lawsuits. Now a few words to add perspective about other exchanges.

In April 2021, Coinbase became the largest publicly traded crypto company in the world. 108+ million users are trusting Coinbase. The company operates with financial transparency and makes its financial statements available each quarter. Coinbase says, “Your funds are your funds, and your crypto is your crypto.” Coinbase maintains internal systems, like a bank or a broker. Coinbase has detailed documentation on its website for all board committees including Audit and Compliance Committee, Compensation Committee, Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, Code of Business Conduct & Ethics, and Corporate Governance Policy. I am sure FTX had none of these.

Binance is a cryptocurrency exchange which is the largest exchange in the world in terms of daily trading volume of cryptocurrencies. It was founded in 2017 and is registered in the Cayman Islands. Binance was founded by Changpeng Zhao. In addition to a Chief Financial Officer, Binance US has a Chief Risk Officer and Chief Compliance Officer. I am sure FTX had neither. Zhao said Binance would begin to publish its reserves, starting with its Bitcoin reserves. In a web page published Nov. 25, Binance reported it held nearly $10 billion of Bitcoin in its own account and another $10 billion in customer deposits. It said it would be adding information about other crypto soon.

Crypto exchange Kraken has provided regular proof of reserve audits for years, using an advanced cryptographic procedure called a “Merkle tree” which is conducted by an independent auditor. FTX was a disaster, but I do not believe we should paint all exchanges with the same brush. The failure of FTX is not a failure of crypto, it is a failure of Sam Bankman-Fried.

Secretary Yellen said in New York this week it was important to be open to financial innovation. She indicated blockchain technology underlying cryptocurrencies has the potential to provide faster and cheaper transactions. She emphasized sufficient consumer protections are needed. Yellen said, “I think everything we’ve lived through over the last couple of weeks, but earlier as well, says this is an industry that really needs to have adequate regulation, and it doesn’t.” Right. Let’s get working on that.

To put crypto overall in perspective, consider the fact there are 21,908 cryptocurrencies as of this writing. You will often see a cryptocurrency referred to as a token. They are the same thing. The market capitalization, the number of tokens times the current price, is $860 billion. Of that total, 38.2% is Bitcoin and 18.3% is Ethereum. The other 21,906 tokens were 43.5%. Most of those are bogus or jokes or tokens invented but with no value. I suspect most were created by computer science people who knew how to create them and did so.

I have been investing in crypto since 2013. I hold 25 different tokens (cryptocurrencies). Of my total holdings, 95% is Bitcoin and 3% is Ethereum. The remaining cats and dogs are totally speculative. I have no expectations for them. Crypto is risky. I never recommend investing in it unless you are prepared to lose it all.

Although risky, I believe digital assets are the future. Physical coins and paper are not the future. Money transfers which can take 3-5 days are not the future. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are the future (see the Crypto chapter in my new book, Reflection Attitude: Past, Current, and Future). Asia and Europe are moving much more quickly than the U.S. The regulators are ready to go but they need authorization by Congress to implement regulations. The House Financial Services Committee has 54 members. It is chaired by a member of the house who is 84 years old and has no business or technology experience.

Finally, where is the price of Bitcoin headed? Nobody knows. Cathie Wood, the founder, CEO and CIO of Ark Invest, has forecasted the price will be $1,000,000 by 2030. Other pundits have forecasted the price is headed to $0.00 sooner rather than later. In 2021, gold performed better than Bitcoin. Overall, over five years, while the average return on gold was around 11%. For Bitcoin it was around 112%. The next five years, nobody knows. I am optimistic because technologists are working to make Bitcoin mining more efficient and to make transaction processing much faster and cheaper. The bottom line, nobody knows.

Disclosure: I am an investor in Coinbase.

News from johnpatrick.com

It’s All About Attitude

All six books now have updated covers. Great work by Billy Wright. Hopefully, potential readers will find them refreshing and interesting. Ads are now running on Amazon, Facebook, and Google. The narrator for the Audible version of Reflection Attitude got a cold and this has delayed things a bit. I hope to get the sound track for review this weekend. Please take a look at the new site if you have not already. Feedback and suggestions are welcome. 

Ukraine

Some more words from the Great Communicator. He gives a video update to the country every night. Here is one of his profound statements from this week:

“We always want to warmly welcome our friends and partners in Ukraine. But, the World Bank delegation arrived in Kyiv on the day when Russia launched another massive missile attack on Ukrainian territory. We appreciate you staying here. This is an important signal for us.

During the meeting with World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia Anna Bjerde we discussed the preparation of projects related to the restoration of Ukrainian transport, energy infrastructure and the sphere of health care.

I thank the World Bank and its management for their support and quick response to the needs of Ukraine since the first days of the full-scale war.”

Crypto

The gloom and doom from startup FTX continues. Multiple federal investigations will unravel what happened but it will take time. There are no excuses for how FTX was mismanaged but a faster pace at developing appropriate regulation would have helped. Slow to regulate is often because those to be regulated resist. That is not the case here. Crypto company executives have been begging for clarity and regulation. Bitcoin continues to be stable. Bitcoin owners would prefer that it stabilized at a higher level. Bitcoin volatility is actually no more extreme than that of stocks, especially techs. Volatility will likely continue until regulation is in place. Everybody wants regulation but Congress cannot get its act together. Coinbase is being impacted by the FTX debacle but I remain bullish on the potential of the company. It is operating in a transparent manner and is run by grownups.

Wall Street

The market doesn’t seem to know what to do. Rate fears still everywhere. GAMMAT stocks up to $7.6 trillion. Tesla still under pressure even after delivering its first electric semi. I think that is huge news but seems other investors did not. Tech layoffs are huge. They are all admitting they grew too fast and ramped headcount and big salaries way too fast. Many tech stocks are down more than Bitcoin and also more volatile.

News from johnpatrick.com
Happy Thanksgiving
Printed on my Dremel 3D45 3-D printer, except for the small shiny one in the back row. Added coloring by my wife.

I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving season and hope we are all mindful of those not so fortunate. Around the world, more than enough food is produced to feed the global population but hundreds of millions of people still go hungry. The number of undernourished people has grown, a crisis driven largely by conflict, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

World Community Kitchen has created a new model for disaster relief helping devastated communities recover and establish resilient food systems. WCK has served more than 200 million meals. They have been a godsend in Ukraine and around the world. You can donate to World Central Kitchen here.

The Digital Democracy Project

 The Digital Democracy Project

Written: November 2022

It is hard to believe, after ten days since the midterm elections, a half-dozen districts have still not completed counting its votes. The list of election problems overall is quite long, and finger pointing is plentiful. I am quite confident in a long-term solution using blockchain technology and the secure and powerful supercomputers we carry in our purses and pockets, but that is not the subject of this article. I want to share with you what I have learned about the Digital Democracy Project.

The nonpartisan nonprofit public service project is described as a voter-driven system of government for the 21st Century. The project is in the early days and only available to registered Florida voters. They plan to expand across the U.S. starting in 2024. I spoke with Ramon Perez, Executive Director, this morning. He said, “Information and access have always been the most powerful forces in government.  Voters will now have that power in their own hands—literally.”

The concept is to enable registered voters to “vote” on the same bills as our state representatives. I put vote in quotes because it is actually a poll. You can see the legislative bills currently underway to ultimately become law. Perhaps an example will make it clearer. Suppose there is a bill pending having to do with public transportation. The Digital Democracy app provides a description of the content of the bill and allows you to drill down deeper and see the actual wording of the bill. The app also shows the sponsor(s) and their political affiliation. You can see if the bill has a single sponsor, multiple sponsors all of the same party, or multiple sponsors with a nonpartisan mix.

The result shows the legislators how the public feels about a particular bill. The app shows voters, legislators, and the media how people “voted” and how the legislators acted. From state legislatures to the U.S. Congress, there have been numerous bills for which polls showed overwhelming support or lack of support and elected representatives have voted the opposite of the will of the people. The Digital Discovery Project makes the support and the action visible for all the bills at the state and district level.

Currently, the app shows Florida voters eight things to “vote” on. The first item in the poll asks the voter which types of legislation you are most interested in. The choices include:

  • Elections and Civil Rights
  • Healthcare
  • Environment
  • Education
  • Social Welfare
  • Taxes and Governance
  • Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement
  • Energy

The result of this first question tells the legislators what the population cares most about. The app shows the pending bills in each of the eight areas. At this point, some areas have just one pending bill, some have multiple bills. For each bill, I looked at the sponsorship. If a bill had a single sponsor, I did not vote for it. If a bill had a lot of sponsors but all from the same party, I voted thumbs down or in a few cases I abstained. If a bill had broad bipartisan sponsorship, I voted thumbs up.

For each bill, the app shows how many voted yes, no, or abstain. I believe, if the Digital Democracy Project catches on, it can strengthen our democracy. It does not take millions of participants to be statistically reflective of the will of the people. There may be cases where the legislators feel the will of the people is not best for the country. In such cases, I believe the legislators need to do a better job of explaining why they think what they know is best.

The Digital Democracy Project was created through a partnership between Voting Rights Brigade, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, and Voatz, a Boston-based mobile voting software company.  Voatz has focused on enfranchising military voters, overseas citizens, and disabled voters. Voatz technology has been used in 115 successful elections in the U.S. and internationally. Voatz has been selected by several states and municipalities to run elections because the company follows stringent rules for cyber security, privacy, and auditing. Voatz does not store, share, or sell any data a voter provides, and none of the polling data is monetized.

To try out the app, you first download and install it. The app asks for some personal data for two reasons. First, they need your personal data to ensure the security of their mobile voting system. They verify you are a real human being, not a bot or hacker. They do this by asking you to take a selfie and upload it along with a photo ID. Sophisticated software compares the two pictures. Once verification is complete, they delete your images. Second, they check to verify you are a U.S. citizen and a resident of the State by matching you to the state voter database. They do this using your name, birth date, and zip code. Once verification is complete, they delete your data.

Your ballot (poll choices) is secret and protected. The technology is designed so they nobody knows which piece of legislation you are voting on. When you are registered on the app, you are issued an electronic voting token which is used to submit your “votes”.  This token is used to record votes on a blockchain. Anyone can see the blockchain because it’s available to the public, but the owner of the token is anonymous so nobody can see who voted for a given piece of legislation.  This provides confidence all votes cast are real, and the blockchain itself cannot be manipulated, while still protecting the secret ballot.

I think ultimately the approach the Digital Democracy Project is using will be used for real elections. In the meantime, the Project offers voters the opportunity to participate in polls, gain access to legislative information, and become familiar with the power of mobile and blockchain  technologies.

Disclosure: I was one of the 153 investors who helped sustain Voatz on the Wefunder crowdsourcing platform.

News from johnpatrick.com

It’s All About Attitude

All six books now have updated covers. Great work by Billy Wright. Hopefully, potential readers will find them refreshing and interesting. Ads are now running on Amazon, Facebook, and Google. The narrator for the Audible version of Reflection Attitude got a cold and this has delayed things a bit. I hope to get the sound track for review this weekend. Please take a look at the new site if you have not already. Feedback and suggestions are welcome. 

Ukraine

Some more words from the Great Communicator. He gives a video update to the country every night. Here is one of his profound statements from this week:

“We always want to warmly welcome our friends and partners in Ukraine. But, the World Bank delegation arrived in Kyiv on the day when Russia launched another massive missile attack on Ukrainian territory. We appreciate you staying here. This is an important signal for us.

During the meeting with World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia Anna Bjerde we discussed the preparation of projects related to the restoration of Ukrainian transport, energy infrastructure and the sphere of health care.

I thank the World Bank and its management for their support and quick response to the needs of Ukraine since the first days of the full-scale war.”

Space

NASA’s long awaited Artemis I mission finally launched from historic LC-39B in Cape Canaveral, FL this week, kicking off a 26 day mission to a unique orbit around the moon in a shakedown cruise before humans fly on Artemis II no earlier than 2024. In development for more than 10 years, the Space Launch System (SLS) is the most powerful rocket NASA has ever flown and is currently the largest and most powerful operational rocket in the world, producing a staggering 8.8 million pounds of thrust at liftoff. Its payload is an Apollo-style space capsule called Orion, which is designed to take four humans to lunar orbit where it will rendezvous with a commercial lunar lander, which in turn will take the first woman and the first person of color to the surface of the moon on Artemis III no earlier than 2025.

Artemis I has three main objectives; 1.) Demonstrate Orion’s ability to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere at a blistering 25,000 MPH and splash down safely in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of San Diego, CA. 2.) Demonstrate the ability of SLS and its upper stage, the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion System (ICPS) to launch into and maneuver in space. 3.) Demonstrate the ability to recover Orion by a US Navy platform dock ship.

On a personal note, this writer and space geek traveled from Boston to see the launch, and it was a sight to behold. Standing on the Max A Brewer Bridge over the Indian River (about 10 miles from LC-39B) with thousands of people cheering on, SLS put on a spectacular display of power, lighting up the sky at 1:47AM as if it were daytime. And then it was gone. Definitely worth the trip.

Aaron J. Patrick

Crypto

The gloom and doom from startup FTX continues. Multiple federal investigations will unravel what happened but it will take time. There are no excuses for how FTX was mismanaged but a faster pace at developing appropriate regulation would have helped. Slow to regulate is often because those to be regulated resist. That is not the case here. Crypto company executives have been begging for clarity and regulation. Bitcoin continues to be stable. Bitcoin owners would prefer that it stabilized at a higher level. Bitcoin volatility is actually no more extreme than that of stocks, especially techs. Volatility will likely continue until regulation is in place. Everybody wants regulation but Congress cannot get its act together. Coinbase is being impacted by the FTX debacle but I remain bullish on the potential of the company. It is operating in a transparent manner and is run by grownups.

Wall Street

Some stocks up  but all of the major averages posted losses for the week. Rate fears still everywhere. GAMMAT still high at $7.5 trillion. Tesla still under pressure. Twitter seems to be a mess but I am not going to judge yet although some of Musk’s moves seem erratic. I still think he  has some surprises ahead. Tech layoffs are huge. They are all admitting they grew too fast and ramped headcount and big salaries way to fast.

News from johnpatrick.com
The Voting Mess

The Voting Mess

Written: November 2022

There are many problems with our election system. Fraud is not of them. Human error is. A few of the problems include old technology, complicated ballots, polling place confusion, insufficient trained staff, and politically mandated procedures. I will highlight a few problems in this post.

Hundreds of thousands of voters appearing for the March 22 2016 primaries in Arizona were confused, inconvenienced, and outraged at the excessive wait times. Many Arizonans left the polls in disgust.  Others waited as much as five hours.  The late Harris Miller, formerly President of the Information Technology Association of America, a leading industry trade group for information technology companies during the late 1990s, had a lot of experience with the American voting system because the voting machine companies were members of the Association. He is in favor of Internet voting. “Visiting polling places to vote has served us well for many years, but it is time for a more modern approach”, he said. Miller pointed out in addition to aging voting machines, we have aging and ill prepared election workers. Historically, most polling place workers have been women, but as more women began to work outside of the home, the supply of election workers has become strained. I confirmed this with Regina Ofiero, an election worker since 1985. Ms. Ofiero is a moderator at the Danbury High School polling place in Fairfield County, Connecticut. As moderator, she is in effect the manager of the entire voting process at the polling place, including recruiting poll workers. She said at least 70% of the poll workers are women. Not only are the existing workers aging, but very few young people are expressing interest in the job.

During the March 15, 2016 primaries in Florida, according to the Supervisor of Elections Office, the voters in one precinct in Flagler County were given the wrong ballots, resulting in about 30 people who voted for the wrong county commissioner candidates. Election officials went through every ballot individually and corrected the errors. The county election was not impacted and there was no effect on the Presidential race, but it is one of many examples of human error.

In Orange County, Florida, during the 2016 primary, about a dozen of the 251 precincts ran out of ballots. As early as 9 a.m., the Pinecastle Masonic Lodge and several additional precincts ran out of both Democrat and Republican ballots. At some precincts, the order to print more ballots was incorrect. Instead of printing more Presidential ballots, more city ballots were printed. Voters were told to come back later. More than a dozen citizens protested outside the Orange County Supervisor of Elections Office. The Supervisor had absentee ballots printed and hand-delivered to voters’ homes or at workplaces later in the day.  Also, several polling places in Orange County had problems verifying voter registration. The tablet computers used to swipe a voter’s driver license had problems connecting to the Internet. These locations had to request delivery of printed registration books from the archives.

In Polk County, Florida, a precinct poll worker couldn’t find the Democratic primary ballots. When the worker opened the polling place, the volunteer only handed out the Republican ballots and told Democrats they couldn’t get a ballot. Voters called the Supervisor of Elections Office, which told the poll worker where to find the ballots. These are a few examples of ballot problems and human errors which happened in many states during the 2016 Presidential primary.

All of the current voting methods can be subject to error because they depend on a certain level of a person’s knowledge of the voting process. Some ballots are not well designed and can be confusing. Very few ballots require a simple choice: vote for A or vote for B.  The design of some other ballots is not so straightforward. Some ballots list several dozen choices. In addition to the federal and statewide races, ballots may include propositions, city and county elections, school boards, water and fire districts, judges and more. Which races and contests are on which ballots depend on where a voter lives. In Arizona, there are 22 tribes and 20 tribal reservations. Many of them stretch across counties. The largest is the Navajo Nation. It spans three counties, each one with different voting practices. Precinct rules require street addresses.  In some tribal or rural areas, there are no street addresses.

Ballot instructions, candidate and party listings, party symbols, and, in general, variations that result from a complex and highly decentralized election system provide ample opportunity for all but the most sophisticated voters to misunderstand, mismark, or spoil their ballots and for all voters to feel confused and frustrated. Confusion can lead to errors.

Like most problems in the world, the root cause is the politicians. In Arizona, voters were urged to not return their ballots early, instead drop them off on election day. Then the same politicians accused the election officials of dragging out the counting process and ignoring the fact each ballot must be verified by comparing signatures to voter registrations, hundreds of thousands of them. In Pennsylvania, an election law prohibits mail-in ballots from being counted until the polls were closed. In Florida, I sent in my ballot in late October. I checked the website a few days later and saw “Your vote has been counted”.

Some politicians are urging paper only voting, get rid of the machines. Hire tens of thousands of temporary workers to count the votes manually, rent a football stadium sized facility for all the workers and ballots. One study showed human counting of large numbers has an error rate of 2%. The delays would be longer. An Arizona audit took three months to hand-count 2.1 million ballots. It was reported to be plagued with inaccuracy. Fraud is not an issue. Modernization is. States with modernized procedures comfortably announce their results the night of the election.

If you are interested in this subject, you may want to check out Election Attitude – How Internet Voting Leads to a Stronger Democracy. It is available in Kindle, paperback, Audible, and soon in hardcover.

News from johnpatrick.com

It’s All About Attitude

The marketing strategy is coming together. I plan to drive traffic to johnpatrick.com where people can learn about the books and then one-click to Amazon to buy one. I am advertising on Amazon, Facebook, and Google. Th narrator, Hal Maas, is hard at work creating the Audible version of Reflection Attitude. As the flagship of the series, Reflection Attitude will be available in Kindle, Paperback, Hardcover, and Audible. Please take a look at the new site if you have not already. Feedback and suggestions are welcome. 

The Brooklyn Bridge

Some years ago, I read The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge by the late popular historian David McCullough. The book provides a history of the amazing engineering behind the building of the bridge. It took 14 years to build. Great book. For years I have said to myself, someday I am going to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. The someday turned out to be Thursday of this week. It was 1.57 miles and a beautiful experience. I took some pictures and, if interested, you can see them here. All the pictures were taken from the bridge.

Ukraine

Some more words from the Great Communicator. Here is one of his profound statements from this week:

“Today we have good news from the south. The number of Ukrainian flags returning to their rightful place in the framework of the ongoing defense operation is already dozens. 41 settlements were liberated. I thank all our heroes who make this advance possible.

But, rejoicing, we should all remember now and always what this movement means, we should remember that every step of our defense forces is the lives of our warriors. Lives given for freedom for Ukrainians. Everything that is happening now has been achieved by months of fierce struggle. It was achieved through courage, pain, and loss. It’s not the enemy leaving. It is the Ukrainians who drive the occupiers out at a heavy cost.

Just as in the east of our country, in the Kharkiv region. Just as before, in the north – Kyiv region, Sumy region, Chernihiv region. Now – Mykolaiv region, Kherson region. We have to go all the way – on the battlefield and in diplomacy – for our flags, Ukrainian flags, and never again enemy tricolors.

Space

Atmospheric entry is defined as the movement of an object from space into and through the atmosphere of a planet, dwarf planet, or natural satellite. Examples of atmospheric entry are a shooting star, a space capsule returning astronauts from the International Space Station, or a nuclear powered rover going through entry, descent, and landing on Mars. In all of these examples, kinetic energy is converted to heat as the object’s velocity creates friction or drag with molecules in the air. Using a heat shield to absorb or dissipate heat from atmospheric drag is the most mass-efficient method of slowing a spacecraft down, but the size of the heat shield therefore spacecraft mass has always been limited to the size of the shroud carrying the spacecraft into orbit. NASA is trying to reduce those constraints with Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD) technology, which was demonstrated this week on the Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator (LOFTID). Made of braided synthetic fibers that are 15 times stronger than steel, the inflatable structure is the largest blunt body aeroshell ever flown at 19.7 feet in diameter. HIAD is made of three flexible layers and is “foldable, packable, deployable, and tailorable”, which means it takes up less space in a rocket and is also scalable. This technology demonstration will help inform designs on future missions and could one day be used to help land humans on Mars. – Aaron J. Patrick

Crypto

This was a bad week in crypto. The gloom and doom comes from startup FTX run by 30-year-old CEO billionaire (before) Sam Bankman-Fried. I have liked him but he made a few bad decisions. Now he is filing Chapter 11 and he resigned. I never invested in FTX or any of its crypto. Bitcoin owners are not happy with the jolt downward from FTX effect. Bitcoin volatility is actually no more extreme than that of stocks, especially techs. Volatility will likely continue until regulation is in place. Everybody wants regulation but Congress cannot get its act together. Coinbase had a small investment in FTX and it will participate in Chapter 11 to try to reclaim some of it. Coinbase stock is up 13%.

Wall Street

Stocks up nicely, especially NASDAQ but still a long way to go. Rate fears still everywhere. GAMMAT now up to $7.6 trillion, a gain of more than half a trillion. Tesla still under pressure. Twitter has hinted at possibility of bankruptcy. I suspect Elon Musk has some surprises ahead. Meanwhile, his other companies are doing quite well. Tech layoffs are huge. They are all admitting they grew too fast and ramped headcount and big salaries way to fast.

News from johnpatrick.com
Can Healthcare Benefit from the Metaverse?

Can Healthcare Benefit from the Metaverse?

Written: November 2022

Sometime in the late 1990s when I was Vice President for Internet Technology at IBM, I was invited to visit the Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Illinois, outside of Chicago. Argonne is a national science and engineering research lab operated for the United States Department of Energy. It is one of the 17 DOE laboratories which comprise a preeminent federal research system, providing the nation with strategic scientific and technological capabilities.

Part of the tour I received included a review of some advanced work Argonne was doing with virtual reality. Before entering the VR lab, I was asked to wear VR goggles and a pair of VR gloves. The gloves used haptic technology, also known as kinesthetic communication or 3D touch. The VR gloves can create an experience of touch by applying forces, vibrations, or motions to the wearer’s hands. It is like the haptic feedback you get from your steering wheel if you cross a highway lane.

After entering the VR lab, I saw a Golden Labrador sitting on his or her haunches with a big tongue hanging out. The executive director conducting the tour asked me to pet the dog. I reached out with my glove and petted the dog on the head. He or she liked it and wagged its tail. Then the executive director asked me to take off my goggles. When I did, I saw an empty room. There was nothing there. The Golden Lab was virtual. The dog was not real. It was a virtual reality experience.

Complimenting VR is AR or augmented reality. The simplest example I can think of is at Amazon. While shopping for a new table lamp for your living room, you can look at your smartphone and see a lamp you have selected. On your phone is your real living room along with a virtual table lamp. This is an augmented reality experience.

For healthcare, I believe more and more mHealth devices and smartphone apps, such as I have written about in Health Attitude: Unraveling and Solving the Complexities of Healthcare will have a positive impact on how healthcare is delivered and the quality of care for patients. VR and AR will play an important role also. Meta (formerly Facebook) is making significant investments in metaverse technology, but they will face competition from all the tech giants and from startups.

One interesting startup I just learned about is Vuzix® Corporation (NASDAQ: VUZI). The company has developed smart glasses and augmented reality (AR) technology and products. They have just announced an innovative trial with its M400 smart glasses. The trial is taking place in Japan with an emergency medical care plan and is a collaborative effort between Juntendo University, Shizuoka Hospital, the Shunto Izu Fire Department, and AVR Japan Co., Ltd.

The objective is to enable the combination of the emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and providers at the hospital to improve patient outcomes and lifesaving rates by providing the earliest treatment possible. The idea is to transmit real-time medical information directly from an ambulance to the hospital. From the moment an EMT engages the patient, whatever the EMT sees through the smart glasses, along with whatever the EMT says, is transmitted directly from the smart glasses to providers in the hospital. Medical information such as vital signs and ECG readouts, as well as the patient’s facial expressions and other visual changes in condition, are available to doctors and nurses who are on standby at the hospital.

The trial is designed to measure if the real-time data transmission enables examinations, diagnoses, and preliminary medical treatment decisions can be made by various departments in the hospital before the patient even arrives. In addition, the study designers believe the hospital team can direct the EMTs to provide in-transit emergency treatments such as blood transfusion, intravascular treatment, and various other procedures for which EMTs are trained.

Epilogue

One of my grandsons is a pre-med and a certified EMT. He likes the smart glasses idea and is ready to try it.

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It’s All About Attitude

Thanks for the positive feedback about the changes at johnpatrick.com. Changes and improvements will be continuing. The overall marketing strategy from now on will be to focus on the “It’s All About Attitude” book series and my blog. I have just selected a narrator to create an Audible version of Reflection Attitude. As the flagship of the series, Reflection Attitude will be available in Kindle, Paperback, Hardcover, and Audible. The blog has more than 2,000 articles. Please take a look at the new site if you have not already. Feedback and suggestions are welcome. 

Ukraine

Some more words from the Great Communicator. Here is one of his profound statements from this week:

“Today the Kremlin is saying that they demanded security guarantees from Ukraine. We should think for a moment about their statements.

Two hundred fifty two days ago Russia demanded security guarantees from the United States of America. After eight months of Russia’s so-called “special operation,” the Kremlin is demanding security guarantees from Ukraine.

These are really striking changes. This shows both the failure of Russian aggression and how strong you and I are when we remain united. Millions of Ukrainian men and women who fight and work for our freedom. And millions of people around the world who help us resist Russian terror.

Together we will ensure the defeat of the terrorist state and its punishment for terror. And we guarantee that all of Ukraine is and will be free.

Eternal glory to all our heroes! Eternal memory to all those who gave their lives for Ukraine!

Glory to Ukraine!

Space

SpaceX is dominating the global launch services market with half of all launches last year (31 of 62), and has completed more than 50 missions in 2022. This unprecedented launch cadence of every 6 days or so would not be possible without rocket reusability. SpaceX did not come up with the idea of reusability but has seemingly mastered it with its workhorse Falcon 9, having recovered first stages 152 times (79 consecutive) as of this writing. The current fleet leader has supported 14 missions with “no practical limit” to how many times a first stage can be reused.

Other players in the industry understand how rocket reusability is key to rapid, low cost access to space, and are developing vehicles intended to be partially or fully reusable. Rocket Lab’s Electron small satellite launcher has completed 28 missions, and its first stage has recently been modified for capture by helicopter after launch and separation. Their next generation rocket, Neutron, will have the capability to return the first stage to its launch site under its own propulsive power similar to Falcon 9. Also, Relativity Space has the world’s first 100% 3-D printed rocket under development, which will be fully reusable, and SpaceX is developing a super heavy rocket called Starship, which is designed to be launched, recovered, and relaunched multiple times a day.

 – Aaron J Patrick

Crypto

The big news this week in crypto is Coinbase. The company announced a third-quarter net revenue of $576 million, down 28% compared to the previous quarter. Transaction revenue fell 44% to $366 million, driven by lower trading volume. Most investors believe Coinbase will survive the crypto winter and play a key strategic role. The stock close the week up 6%. There is competition appearing and that is good news. Fidelity Investments is rolling out Fidelity Crypto, commission-free trading on bitcoin and ether for retail investors. FTX ceo said he might want to acquire Coinbase. I continue to believe the future for Coinbase is bright.

Wall Street

Stocks were up and down. Rate fears still everywhere. GAMMAT now down to $7 trillion. Tesla under pressure. Some investors worried Musk will spend too much time on Twitter. I predict he will make very good changes to the company and make it successful. 

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How Can Smartphones Improve Our Health?

 How Can Smartphones Improve Our Health?

Written: October 2022

In July 2015, I published a peer-reviewed journal article titled “How mHealth will spur consumer-led healthcare”. The following paragraph is the abstract of the article. If you are interested in the full article, you can find it here.

Abstract – 2015

Consumer attitudes about their healthcare are beginning to shift. They are taking more responsibility for their health and seeking to collaborate with their doctors. In some cases, consumers will engage in self-diagnosis. Mobile health apps and devices, in combination with cloud computing, will play a major role to empower consumers. Consumer expectations for healthcare are rising by the day. mHealth has provided empowerment to patients through the power of the PSC, which I describe as personal supercomputers. The number of devices and apps are exploding onto the healthcare scene. Although some providers are not comfortable with consumer technology for self-diagnosis, the new technologies will lead to a new model for collaboration between patient and physician.

Reflections – 2022

It has turned out to be true mobile health apps and devices, in combination with cloud computing and AI, are empowering consumers. Mobile apps are helping people manage their own health and wellness, promote healthy living, and gain access to useful information when and where they need it. The mHealth apps and devices are being adopted almost as quickly as they can be developed. Users include health care providers and consumers.

The FDA, “encourages the development of mobile medical apps (MMAs) that improve health care and provide consumers and health care professionals with valuable health information.” The FDA also has a public health responsibility to oversee the safety and effectiveness of medical apps and devices. Since my mHealth article in 2015, the FDA has approved several hundred apps and devices. The challenge facing the FDA is sorting out the plethora of apps and devices, and prioritizing and reviewing those which are clearly related to medical diagnosis and care. If you include fitness apps and devices, there are more than 40,000 apps out there.

An interesting new mHealth app has been developed by a team of researchers at the University at Buffalo. They have used Bluetooth earbuds and a deep learning AI system to diagnose some common ear conditions including earwax blockage, ruptured eardrums, and a common ear infection known as otitis media. The researchers are calling the combination of some simple non-invasive tests and a powerful app the EarHealth System.  

The EarHealth System uses a set of standard Bluetooth earbuds augmented with inward-facing microphones. The app sends an audio chirping signal into the ear. The microphones record how the signal reverberates through the ear canals, and the app software uses the signals to map out the ear structure and create a profile of the user’s unique inner ear shapes.

The concept behind the EarHealth System is to take an initial mapping of the ears to establish a baseline, and then take periodic tests to look for changes. The researchers conducted a trial with 92 volunteers. The system was able to diagnose the three common ailments with an 82.6% accuracy. In many cases the system was able to identify the ailments long before they had developed into serious problems.

Zhanpeng Jin, PhD, lead author on an EarHealth study published by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) said, “With EarHealth, we have developed what we believe is the first-ever earbud-based system that monitors ear health conditions in an effective, affordable and user-friendly way. Because it has the potential to detect these conditions very early, it could greatly improve health outcomes for many people.”

The researchers say they’re working to improve the accuracy of the system, by evaluating how ear hair, historical eardrum inflammation, and other factors might affect the test results. The technology sounds good to me, no pun intended. I am sure a submission to the FDA for approval is in the researchers’ plan. If the system is proven to be accurate, effective, affordable, and user-friendly, it could achieve widespread adoption as an mHealth tool for regular, super-quick ear checkups.

 
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