New Year, Same Clichés

Written By Polina Hristova, journalist at ROCCO

New Year’s resolutions are a painfully familiar tradition we submit ourselves to at the end of “another bad year” (people actually tend to remember the negative more than the positive) and some of us begin this self-evaluation long before the year has even ended, accumulating an odd concoction of more negative feelings, which inevitably turns you into a ticking bomb; a coiling, hissing King cobra before a shed, and… ah, it was an interesting New Year’s eve. A drunken circus of fireworks and regret. Snow and ice, dead iPhones in freezing temperatures…

Despite the eye-rolling here-we-go-again-effect your resolutions might produce in the people around you, it is important to keep trying because in many cases a year is not enough to accomplish our final goals, but it is more than sufficient to get us on the right path.

Or is it? We have compiled a little list of resolutions… for those who really need them.


#1: MNOs need to work on their cardio because they’re barely keeping up.

It’s been over a decade and that perfect solution to overtake the OTTs is still barely in the works. Rich Communication Services is chasing a ship that’s long sailed – just let it go. Focus on improving flexibility and speed instead… you’ll need it.


#2: Apple should work on its transparency – honesty is always the way to go.
(A far less offensive title than the initial “Stop scamming your users, Apple!”)

You’ve probably heard by now about Apple’s little throttling solution to a deteriorating battery: old iPhones with low-capacity batteries become a lot slower overtime to avoid a complete shutdown. Makes sense. However, it was not clear until December last year that Apple implemented such a measure on almost all of its devices, and it is believed that many iPhone users saw themselves surrendering to the temptation of purchasing a brand new, fast and smooth iPhone after experiencing significant performance issues.  A new battery fixes all of your problems, who knew!

After Reddit tested and confirmed Apple’s scheme, the tech giant decided to reduce their $79 batteries to $29. How generous… oh wait, it’s a one year deal only and they’ll go back to charging you $79.

Apple released a statement to partially wash their hands of the guilt:

“Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices. Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components. Last year we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions. We’ve now extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other products in the future.”

But the new iPhone X screen does become unresponsive in cold temperatures. Tsk, tsk, Apple… bad hygiene is detrimental to the health.

Let’s hope Intel is paying attention to this one after very reluctantly confessing that malicious programs can exploit Meltdown/Spectre to get a hold of sensitive data stored in the memory of other running programs.


#3: Break up with Windows XP and never skip those updates – if you value your safety.

National Health Service hospitals and facilities in the UK, as well as countless businesses and enterprises were frozen after suffering an infiltration that just made you WannaCry. Microsoft had released a patch (MS17-010) for the bug in March, but many institutions hadn’t applied it and were therefore left vulnerable. North Korea might not be obliterating your country with nuclear weapons yet, but they are definitely experts at turning out your pockets. What else would finance all the nukes they seem to be popping out monthly?



#4: Skype should learn to love itself just the way it is.

Microsoft was bored and Skype needed a makeover after so many years – we get it. Something had to be changed; you can’t neglect one of the biggest VoIP apps out there, can you?! Sure, but… why. You can’t see who’s online; you can’t switch to a window view as opposed to… this. The colours are fun if you’re 12 years old, but the design is incredibly impractical.


We know that apps such as Snapchat, Messenger and WhatsApp put the bar really high up, but that doesn’t mean you have to have a midlife crisis and abandon everything people loved about you.

One positive change I managed to dig out would be the new end-to-end encryption feature. It will be based off of Signal Protocol like WhatsApp and Messenger, but not everyone will have it and it will not be on by default – it has to be activated through the settings.


#5: AI and chatbots do not make your business innovative if they’re ineffective.

This is how 99% of the tech-aware world feels about chatbots:

There isn’t much to say: overselling AI and chat bots when you don’t have the technology or resources to maintain an effective service is false advertising. Do you have a customer service death wish? Test out the service before employing it – your cheap front-end chatbot won’t be able to replace a human. Chatbots still lack empathy and problem-solving skills; is this investment worth damaging customer relationships only so you could slap those buzzwords on your landing page? Don’t sell into the hype.


#5: 5G – get your head out of the clouds.

It will happen but it won’t happen anytime soon. The 5G space is as foggy and nebulous as a Stephen King horror movie and it’s as realistically developed as your dream house… which you plan to build and live in one day, but for now you can only afford to build it on The Sims.  All the tech announcements and whitepapers embracing 5G expose a great enthusiasm for an increasingly connected future balanced on a structure that does not exist yet. It’s an extremely expensive and tedious process, so concentrate on improving your clients’ current experiences rather than trying to bear-trap others with fleeting buzzwords.


#6: The Internet of Things will blow-up in your face if you’re lazy and incompetent.

…which most people are, if we have to be honest. If enduring a Windows update is such a huge hassle that many keep skipping it for years, then the IoT will upgrade this game to a whole new level.

Whether it’s about remotely controlling and automating your fish tanks or buying a cute Roomba to clean your house, you’re surely setting yourself for an eventual disaster if you’re ignorant of the risks, especially considering that hackers did break into a casino’s network through its fish tanks and the Roomba manufacturer, iRobot, might be planning on selling its customers’ house plans. Nothing is impossible and paranoia is turning into a voice of reason.


#7: Don’t trust every person who swears on blockchain’s bright future.

You’ve scoured the entire Internet for absolutely infallible arguments in blockchain’s favour written by die-hard experts – good for you. However, speculations are just that – speculations – and they are not 100% fail-proof. Blockchain may or may not be democratised, adopted, modified, ripped apart, used and abused in the next year for commercial gain – we just have to wait and see. So clutch your precious Ether and Bitcoin, and do not mindlessly invest into any Silicon Valley start-up only because it vaguely parrots blockchain and crypto; or it might result in another 90s dot com bubble… Not because there was no future behind the Internet, but because too many get-rich-fast schemers had bloated themselves into a savage burst with fancy buzzwords.  Beware.


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