8 Bits with Anthony Bartolo!
Follow Anthony on Twitter: @WirelessLife
Follow Chloe on Twitter: @ChloeCondon
Follow Brandon on Twitter: @TheCodeTraveler
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Chloe Condon 0:16
Hello, everyone, we're back. Welcome. It's Wednesday. So you know, it's the anchor of my week.
Brandon Minnick 0:24
So good. So good to see you again. I yeah, I love Wednesdays it's like I shower I put on nice clothes it is it has that like hint of normalcy for me. All because of a pets.
Chloe Condon 0:41
Making a man for you and all the lovely people who tuned in at home, I tweeted an image. I think it was a behind the scenes image of Star Wars and it was Jabba the Hutt. And they were like painting his face. And I was like me when I'm getting ready for your stream, because I'm just a goblin under a blanket. So thanks, everybody, for tuning in. Thanks for giving us a reason to look like human beings for you. We really appreciate it. Well, what have you been up to this week via dog?
Brandon Minnick 1:07
Oh my gosh. Well, I've been I've been delving into the world of the new MacBooks. Have you heard about the M one processor that Apple came out with?
Chloe Condon 1:18
Yes, but tall.
Brandon Minnick 1:21
It's, it's insane. So yeah, Apple had this announcement a couple of weeks ago where they released their their own custom processor. And they've been making processors for years. Like every iPhone has a custom processor made by Apple. Every Apple Watch has a custom processor made by Apple, like every product that Apple makes, except for IMAX MacBooks all had their own custom silicon in it. And so they finally announced a couple weeks ago, they were coming out with what they call the emblem processor. It is an arm based processor, made totally in house by Apple. And the reviews and benchmarks are starting to roll out. And it is just blowing away the competition. And yeah, it's it's a little bittersweet for me though, because work just got me a laptop. I got the 2016 MacBook Pro just about a year ago. And it's it's great. It's got like tons of RAM
Chloe Condon 2:21
does that fingerprint fingerprint.
Brandon Minnick 2:23
Yeah, it's got the fingerprint detector. Like it's a, it's a beast of a laptop. It's the most powerful laptop I've ever had. And now Apple comes out with this new emblem processor and the MacBook Air like the cheap, cheap Apple laptop beats my MacBook Pro is just souped up to the nines and so it's it's incredible. I was just watching another benchmark today that was talking about power. Because the new MacBook doesn't even have a fan of it. The CPU uses such little power that they don't even need you to put fans in it. It's a great computer
Chloe Condon 3:10
do when I'm editing an iMovie like that's like a sense memory thing I have now like any footage or stream on OBS without my fan running.
Brandon Minnick 3:22
Wow, that's Yeah, that's exactly what the review I was watching this morning. He was saying is he was kind of talking about editing videos relating to other YouTubers. And he was like yeah, I think the biggest difference I noticed was as soon as I started editing or exporting the video on my iMac, the fans were at full speed within a couple seconds. As the new MacBook Air was just totally quiet.
Chloe Condon 3:43
I can't tell us like this is a quarantine thing or if this is just a me thing but I found myself now when my computer you know I'll be exploiting a file or like uploading a video somewhere when it starts making that fan sound I start talking to it I'm like okay, that's okay
we'll get through this
Oh wow. Well it sounds like you're pretty sold them you're Have you already got one?
Brandon Minnick 4:08
Yeah, um, no, just because I can't I can't justify spending $1,000 on a computer that is definitely better but I don't need it like the computer I have right now is great. But the way Microsoft does their hardware refresh cycles is I don't think I'll be able to get another new laptop for three years or so. Right? I think once I start traveling again, I my free think this opinion
Chloe Condon 4:36
a lighter device because these these devices I also am a Mac user I know blaspheming Microsoft YouTube channel, but believe it or not, if you don't work here, a lot of people use a bunch of different devices. I've been programming on a Mac my whole life so I went for that option as well. But I love the idea I actually bought a surface go not An ad Cisco for when I travel and I just love I literally bought this because and Brandon, the code traveler on Twitter will will probably agree here on airplanes are so small that this was like the best advice that I could have with my surface mouse in the service headphones thing. Yeah.
Brandon Minnick 5:22
And again, you'll get all that with the MacBook Air. The battery life is incredible because it just sips power. So
Chloe Condon 5:30
it's your job in some areas play through people on the internet.
Brandon Minnick 5:34
Yeah, pretty much just like, tell me all about it. Tell me how great it is. There's so many even there's not an official port yet to run Windows on this new processor. But somebody kind of hack something together. And same thing like the surface. I think they reason the Surface Pro or Surface Book, one of the surface laptops, just totally outperformed the I guess the Intel equivalent. So it's it's pretty revolutionary. It's gonna push definitely push the market forward. Because now these companies like Intel, AMD, they've got up their processor game. This is like the new baseline.
Chloe Condon 6:13
Yeah. Gosh, it's so crazy to think that we're sitting here now and 2022 talking about how gigantic our current Macs are. Because I just tell them I had moved about a year ago and we had one of those big, round heavy gigantic Candy Apple iMac. Yeah, like the desktop ones and just lifting that thing. I thought it was like oh, you know, it's like a three toddlers very heavy. And I remember when I looked out the window and I saw my parents unloading they're like we have to take a trip to fries and I was like interesting right before Christmas. So it was a Christmas present. But how do you hide a box that bag in the back of the car that time for technology? I miss it. I miss clear plastic technology Brandon truly I do that the right Oh boy. Oh my gosh, yeah, color innovation of the early 2000s late 90s just like groundbreaking I had a phone that rang and it was clear and it would flash red light instead of ringing which is great because my brain did not like how much phone calls I was getting from my theater friends. And um, I recently discovered a a quick side story. So there is a device a toy, it was very rare as a girl Brandon as you're probably familiar to have technical toys. But there was this thing that I wanted so badly from Toys R Us and it was a Sabrina the Teenage Witch phone. And it was like Salem's phone or something. And basically I was convinced that it was magic. But I recently went down a rabbit hole Google search, Bing search Bing searches microscopes. And I was like, You know what, I'm 31 I can buy this myself if I want it and figure out how this works. Right? The whole concept is like Salem will tell you before the phone call when it's coming in. And in doing this search, I figured out that it's not magic Brandon, it just the first ring is him saying you're going to get a call and then it just pauses so my whole like, my whole childhood has been destroyed. But on the way to me and I'm very excited to have it in my possession. Which leads me to a quick plug. I have a couple plans before we bring on some guests. And so I've started streaming on Twitch as well on my own personal channel where I'm making weird crafts speaking of this brings us to the story about the Sabrina the Teenage Witch phone. So I'm taking apart toys on Twitch. If that is of interest to you if the words Beanie Baby taxidermy sound interesting. If you want to know what's inside of it, tickle me, Elmo, check me out on Twitch. That is what I'm doing over there. And my schedule will be up soon. And I'll be doing a little bit afterwards I'm making a puppet for a fun little project I'm doing with our co worker sessile. So if you like boys kind of like think Sid from Toy Story, but like,
Brandon Minnick 9:17
a little nicer.
Chloe Condon 9:20
And a fun fact about me is that I did audition for the role of Sid and Disney Cruise Lines. But that's a story for another day. And then secondly, I would be remiss to share seasons of serverless is of course still happening. And this week is lovely ladoos so last week, we were talking Turkey. We had a really awesome Azure Functions project where we determined the perfect turkey Brian using serverless functions, you can still do the challenge online. And then this week, we're talking all about ladoos which if you're not familiar with ulladulla they kind of like doughnut holes they're at a holiday snack from India and If you look at a picture of the Do you do a quick Bing search for it thing. They kind of look like doughnut holes. So it's pretty awesome. These two essays who worked on this project with our coworker, Jasmine, Jasmine used, well, I don't want to go into spoilers, okay, if you're tuned in to this will get a sneak peek of what maybe you should use. But using different cognitive services, they are able to determine the difference between a ladoo and a doughnut hole which are very similar. They're like two very round Dewey things. So you get to train a dataset, you get to learn all about identifying images, and it's the most tasty data set I've ever worked with. Usually we're you know, we're dealing with like retail items, or like, you know, cars or things like that. But this is like the yummiest doughnut hole ladoo data set. So go and do that challenge. Number two, there's all sorts of fun videos and prizes and things that you can do and so proud of these Microsoft Student Ambassadors. They're amazing. They're incredible.
Brandon Minnick 10:59
so aka.ms slash seasons to serverless
Chloe Condon 11:02
Yes, and fun. I know we're not going to conferences these days. But back back in the before times, stickers were very hot commodity and there may be stickers for for people who participate so check it out. There's lots of challenges and prizes to it and very exciting stuff. Oh, and speaking of crafting, I made this shirt Brandon. A Chloe original I did not make this on the twitch stream stream. But I but I wanted to share this Chloe Condren original artwork, of course does not paint the picture, but did. Well, I'm super excited for our guest today, Brandon.
Brandon Minnick 11:40
Chloe Condon 11:42
Ah, well, okay, where do we begin? Where do we begin? This is a coach. He works in our team. And I think that what, what I love about all the people who come on our show is that their origin stories are all so so different. Like, literally, Marvel superhero asked, like, how did you get from this point to this point, and this person is no exception today. Welcome to the show. And the neighbor.
Brandon Minnick 12:09
Chloe Condon 12:13
ooh, we got so many toys going on here. This is
Anthony Bartolo 12:18
lots of stuff that I broke, become a display. But, ya know, it's, I love that idea of tearing apart toys and twitching about it and making something else out of it. As a kid I used to take apart all my toys, my parents would scream at me. It got to the point where my dad would put superglue in screws, swipe. I find the screwdrivers in the tools. They started taking apart. My toys, my sister's toys, and it be all over the place. And okay, well now put it back together. I don't know
Chloe Condon 12:49
else. fella jealous. The reason that I'm doing this actually is I was an only child and I was very precious with all my toys like some of my Barbies still have the pristine hair because I just I would take them out of the box. But I would just take very, very good care of them. And now that I'm older, I realized like, Oh, I can buy all of these things on the internet for like, very cheap. So I cut open my first Beanie Baby the other day shops to find what's inside. No spoilers. gotta show you all the stream. But what actually inspired me was the Exploratorium here in San Francisco, had an exhibit that was a bunch of like furbies and tickle me almost that were like kind of under closures and on taxidermy things. And I love seeing what's under these like, like, very, they're so cuddly when they have the fur on them and you take them off and they're actually like really especially tickled me on those that like flip and move. They have such intricate machinery. So I am so excited. I have my Teddy Ruxpin that I'm going to take Oh, wow. Like, sad and happy because I love him so much. We all have any favorite toys like tech toys from when you were younger, like talking, like, kind of plushy things, those I feel like those were those those are
Brandon Minnick 14:09
I don't know if this still counts, but my wife Kim and I we still have all of our old gaming system. So it's 64 Super Nintendo Sega Genesis. And yeah, like we were just playing in 64 we're playing some Mario Party the other night.
Anthony Bartolo 14:25
I love how you call it in 64 old Atari 2600 COVID. head still working still in the box. Robbie, the robot went out with the original NES. I loved gaming too as a kid. My first gaming unit actually was the Atari 2600 and then my first portable gaming unit I don't remember those old Namco Ed arcade units. So it was like Pac Man and the the LED was already programmed on the screen. So it just light up the sections of the screen when you're moving around with the Pac Man, right? That was my first mobile gaming unit go into uncles and aunts houses that had no kids. And I'd be by myself and here just take this and go play for a couple hours. You'd be fine, right? Well,
Chloe Condon 15:15
for me, it was God parents houses without Mario like, what
would I done?
Nice. Well, I actually I'm a huge, huge fan of misty Madonna on Twitter. She does these great, great throwback retro videos, and she did an interview with Larry Osterman where they were talking about the Barney device. It was like an interactive as a Microsoft toy. One of the only ones that I think they did, and it was a Barney, we're gonna have someone on the show soon. Spoiler alert, who's going to talk all about doing customer support for that device? But oh, my goodness, if I had had an interactive Barney that talked to me from my computer, maybe I would have gotten into software engineering a little. Such a cool, cool toy. And Anthony, you're joining us from Canada, correct.
Anthony Bartolo 16:02
Toronto, Canada, were buried under two feet of snow, it I'm converting in my head to the Imperial I think it's 40 degrees Fahrenheit, or eight degrees Celsius, yet, it's chilly out here. We just got the stone in time for Christmas. You know, it's, it's, I love to be in California, out there. I know, your roller coaster parks are so open and the beaches. You know, and in times of pandemic, it's awesome to see that people are still being careful. But still having fun, which is awesome, right? It's gonna be interesting. We've have a lot of initiatives here where people are driving through exhibits for the holidays, which is really cool, right? A lot of the parking garages that you would normally pay for in downtown Toronto, have created all these Christmas scenes and holiday scenes that you can drive through which your cars and with your families, which is interesting in how times of pandemic, people are changing the way that we even experience things through the holidays,
Chloe Condon 16:57
I saw someone post a picture, I think it was from Belgium, there was a meme going around. That was a the image of Amy Adams from arrival on the glass and then Santa Santa this year. But I guess in Belgium, they have this big giant snow globe. And Santa is like inside the snow globe. And he can kind of put his hand up to the kids. I was like, oh, my
Anthony Bartolo 17:21
goodness, Sarah, they
all have the glass too. It's the same thing. So it's a it's a piece of glass. And the kids come and sit in front of the glass and the Santa comes on the other side of the glass. And they talk that way. Right. So
Chloe Condon 17:30
what an interesting time to be innovating in it. Like, I feel like there's a lot of instances that the three of us have probably worked on technology wise, but my brain is always thinking about kind of the performing arts because that's where I come from. And I'm like, yeah, how do you make an in person experience like Santa Claus? When he could feel feel? Well, I mean, Santa is real, but like, how do you make a ball for a kid, because everyone has has a, you know, video call exhaustion. So problems to solve, but you're solving really, really interesting problems, Anthony's like, awesome, amazing, life changing problems. Tell us about what you're working on. Because truly, I'm like, we're not worthy.
Anthony Bartolo 18:21
So, here's the thing, I enjoy solving problems. You know, my my thing is, you know, how do I address opportunities or problems with technology as opposed to running with technology first. And a lot of times, you know, you see new tech come out new services being released. And you try to formulate Well, how does this fit in terms of our everyday lives, the one thing that is taught me in terms of the pandemic was how fast we transformed as a society, in terms of the acceptance of technology, you know, to the point where you know, Santa Claus, so you would go to the mall, sit on Santa's lap, tell him, you know, what, what you want for Christmas. And now there's a piece of glass that separates you know, the children from Santa and what have you. But there's also the acceptance now of using tools like Microsoft Teams to have that connection with the North Pole and have that communication, what have you. And it's that acceptance now in terms of technology that enables us as a society to move forward into enable others around us to to meet their goals or needs or what they're trying to achieve. Closing the what the opportunity that you're alluding to, was the project we did with the missing children Society of Canada, when initially they had come to us and said, Hey, we would love for you to help us bring more awareness to when a child has gone missing. To share him. It's social media, which we did this as well as a project called the most valuable network where you assign your social media accounts to the missing children Society of Canada, and when they broadcast through information on a child that's gone missing it uses your account to then share that information out to the world. In essence, like a like a megaphone. But we wanted to take it a step further, because we learned that it's the process of fact finding and understanding what missing children is all about. We learned that it took up to 30 days to create a dossier on child women missing. So the information that was being pushed through the most valuable network was 30 days old, when we were pushing it out. Right and and in this in the aspects of child abduction, the faster you can get the information out to the public, the better and faster, you can get the information out to law enforcement, the better. And so we worked with them to understand wholly what the problem was, and where the the limitations were. And we were able to able to incorporate a lot of fact finding that was made available through research on social media. And enabling automation, in regards to understanding sentiment is a big example. So who the child is speaking to is important. And then the sentiment of the conversation between the child and the person that they're speaking with, is equally important, and provided us a great indicator in terms of, hey, there's a lot of romantic intention here. And 80% of the abductions that occur, occur through a conversation that starts on social media, through romantic intention. And then there's an estimate that individuals somewhere, and that's where the abduction occurs. So to have that ability to have an understanding of these types of conversations, and maybe how many conversations this individual having with other children would be of interest as well. around all this, though, what was interesting was the amount of regulations that you have to abide by, you know, Microsoft is, is very focused on the ethical use of AI. And so that meant, you know, understanding the practices of you can't just search through everybody's social media feeds and extrapolate information, it has to be done in such a way where it's incorporating those individuals into this solution. So that there's an actual availability of, hey, I want them to enable this on my son or daughter's account to ensure that they're, they're safe, I give authorization to do so even down to the ability of the child or the parent invoking the solution to capture that information to the child while they're in distress or when they're about to be abducted. So that was a great learning for us as well, in terms of even from the perspective of understanding, are we allowed to capture the information do we have the permission to do so? Yes, we do. So the information that's been formulated as a dossier to help find children, is created in less than 72 hours, and adheres to all the ethical AI uses and properties that are required, and then provide the police in that time. And so that when the broadcast comes out now, in regards to the child being missing, it's 72 hours, the data is 72 hours old, as opposed to 30 days old, which is a lot better,
Chloe Condon 22:44
which makes a huge difference on trying to search and find for someone oh my gosh, what a huge impact to have by just simply tweak. I mean, not simply but tweaking the technology.
Brandon Minnick 22:58
And I'm curious, do you have any if got any feedback from, I guess, since the Canadian Mounties so the Canadian government and
Anthony Bartolo 23:08
police? Yeah, they worked with us on the project. And they allowed us to understand the guidelines behind the information capture. So it wasn't just a carte blanche capture of information. Right. So it was it was understanding the process. So information is captured in an ethical way, with permission of those that are involved. And then the case assignment like going through the steps made available for specifically for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to ensure that the information is captured properly, because if it's not, there's also a situation where there could be a loophole that the individual that is the possible abductor, can get it get away with it. And that's even worse, right? So you want to make sure that all the guidelines are followed to the tee. So there is no loophole that they can adhere to.
Brandon Minnick 23:52
So definitely, and have they given you have you heard feedback about have have we found more productive children because of these tools and curious how much that is improved.
Anthony Bartolo 24:05
So there has been a substantial improvement in terms of the efforts of finding kids. The biggest thing is that the missing children Society of Canada, which is their own group, is comprised of 10 people across Canada. So they're not a big team. And they are the support engine for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and other law enforcement here in Canada. Since the solution has been deployed, they're not willing to obviously share numbers with the masses in terms of you know that it is in a numerous amount of cases that are out there. In terms of the tool that's being used. What's more exciting is it's the solution was made as open source. So the partnership between Microsoft and rocky Mount's, please and the missing chose decided Canada The solution was made open source. It's being used currently in Canada being used currently in the UK. Brazil has also looked into it as well, there are other countries because it's an open source solution that are looking at this as a template in terms of a starting point and then making the changes required based on their government needs and regulatory to meet needs in those countries to enable further functionality or change the way that information flows and meets the requirements of regulations for that country specific.
Chloe Condon 25:14
Brandon Minnick 25:16
Changing the world for the better.
Chloe Condon 25:20
And having having worked a little bit just in that field, I know that there can be so many eyes to dot and T's to cross to making sure that you're you're being compliant. So Oh, my goodness, I'm sending you virtual hugs to Canada, because I know, I know the stress that that can cause making sure that you're you're following the rules and being able to do the really important work that you're trying to do.
Anthony Bartolo 25:46
Well, you know, it was a great learning, right? The from the perspective of how do we incorporate AI, specifically cognitive services into the solution. We also did some machine learning to understanding the travel patterns of the child through the posts that were made in social media as well. So a lot. So a lot of people, especially when we're on Microsoft, ignite the tour and traveling around the world would come up and say, Hey, I'm interested in AI, I want to learn more about it. How do I, you know, what, what resources are available to you. And of course, we say, Microsoft Learn great hands on tools and blog posts and docs, and what have you. But if you can partner with a nonprofit, that, you know, they don't have the technology background, or the know how, and you offer your services for free, you're solving a problem. And that's the biggest thing with this right? I wholly believe that when you're looking at learning new technology, doing so in such a way where you're addressing a problem first, or addressing an opportunity first, and then the technology helps with that, as opposed to being the main focus of that gives you a perspective in terms of how do I incorporate these tools. And I don't have to abide by the guidelines that Microsoft says these tools are to be used, I'm going to do it in such a way that it meets the needs of the opportunity or problem, it's ahead of me. That was you know, the reason why we did the other project, which was with Canadian Coast Guard, and a startup called indro out of BC, where we harness drones to identify life jackets in the water when the ship is under is under distress, to ensure that we can save human lives that are that are out at sea or lost at sea, and identify the opportunity to do so via these drones. Right? Initially, cognitive services are sorry, computer vision was meant for you take a camera, it sits on a tripod, it's focused at something and it identifies you probably seen that the demo was 100 times where it's doing identification between an apple and an orange or the muffin in the Chihuahua, right? There's those examples. We're doing this at a drone at 5000 feet with no connectivity. This was three years ago. So edge computing wasn't even a thing at that time. And we were able to have that capability. say if you detect a lifejacket, this is the color, you know different weather patterns, different ocean colors, you name it, under saying this is a life jacket. That's your trigger once the trigger has been set off, now you're going to do a bunch of steps to understand Okay, so is there a body mass emits that life jacket, what is the environmental temperature when rain, precipitation, whatever that may be, and then understand, okay, well, this individual at this body mass in this environmental has x amount of hours to live before they contract hypothermia. Got to get some of the out there. And this is like three hours at sea. There's no connectivity, the cellular coverage doesn't cover you out there, satellite coverage is too expensive. And at that time, the equipment was too bulky to fly on the drone itself. And these aren't, you know, the drones you would buy at Toys R Us these are the full on gas powered, you know, monster drones that would go out there and capture that information. And what was crazy was when Android come to us because they were doing the proof of concept with the Coast Guard, it was provide us a better way to stream the data that's coming from this drone, because it's too expensive to send it over to send it over satellite in the equipment is too bulky to send the information back to a central office. And taking it that step further and understanding the problem of what they were trying to achieve. We worked with this, you know the custom, the custom vision solution prior to even going to market which was awesome, and really feathering out this idea and learning the capabilities. Remember, this is a drone. So it's not a stationary item. This is not a stationary podium that the cameras sitting on, it's hovering above and you have to abide by the regulations. It has to fly at 5000 feet pointing down at the ocean. Different weather patterns. Do you know what have you and you're trying to identify life jackets from 5000 feet on a on a camera that's 720 p on a drone, it's flying overhead. So there was so much learning in this whole accomplishment. That one wasn't made available as open source but we do have the story available on the blog in terms of the calculations that occurred and what we did with custom vision to make it on the edge before edge computing was even available.
Chloe Condon 29:52
I that has so many problems to solve and one big giant problem and such a great example. I work with a lot of students who are working with hardware for the first time. And they're always like, I want to throw this thing across the room. And I'm like, welcome, you get your badge now. Especially part of the club, we've all wanted to throw very expensive devices across the room. But it's true. It's like not only do you have to solve for like, okay, we want to be able to send this data efficiently, but like, okay, now we have a drone, and like, how do we make sure that the data that we're getting is Oh, my gosh, Wow, that is amazing. I love all of this.
Brandon Minnick 30:29
Yeah. And Anthony, would you say the you mentioned it's on the blog is that the it ops
Anthony Bartolo 30:35
yeah.com. And that's the thing, I'm traditionally an IT Pro, if you look at my background, in terms of technology, my career in technology, it's been service, which isn't hubs, I was more on the mobility side actually started my career at Microsoft on Windows Mobile, and Windows Phone, I actually have a plaque behind me, the launch of Windows Phone. And you know, what's interesting is, I love talking to the universities, I frequently get to talk to kids in Waterloo and in University of Toronto, and in Ryerson, and they don't distinguish themselves as an IT pro or a developer, they're achieving an opportunity to address a problem that they have with technology, and they'll learn they'll bring it in terms of what are the steps on how to accomplish this, right? It's something even with my kids actually have that here, in a time of pandemic. So my daughter wanted to come up with a solution for no less than less interaction with with people. And so this is a kit from M block, actually, the boxes up there that allows kids it's like a new version of Lego that you can incorporate I got a Raspberry Pi in there. This is an automated bartender. So the plan with this is that it's going to have a camera, it's gonna identify you in terms of who you are, and know what drink you like. So I know Brandon, you're a whiskey drinker. So this would have a bottle of whiskey, your favorite whiskey on here, it would go down the bar, it would see who you are, it would pour you a drink. And so there's no, there's no, my daughter's 13. And she dreamt of this, but didn't know what the next steps were to be to accomplish this. So we sat down and we pinned out, what is the opportunity? Why? Why are you building out this solution. And then once we understand the problem at hand, then we apply the technology to build this out. She's gonna be demoing this next week at school just before Christmas break. So that's the thing, right? It's how you dress the opportunity. First, don't worry about the technology, you'll learn the technology, there's the the resources are out there for you. When you're addressing a problem, you now take that solution, and you can build it out other things like that the drone solution for the Canadian Coast Guard has become for the Australian Government the ability to go forward and monitor moisture levels amidst the crops to know Do I need to put more water in the crops to yield a bigger yield for crops right, we've actually taken the drone solution and ported it over to the ability to do inventory with Hubble limbs. So in an edge computing scenario, having the HoloLens recognize 7070 tools, and it's a hardware company, or tail end traders hardware company, and I can walk down the aisle and actually, you visually can do counts via the HoloLens recognizing objects as you're walking down the aisles. Understanding the problem first makes it a lot clearer in terms of what the technology can do for you, as opposed to what understanding directly what the technology does.
Chloe Condon 33:25
It's so true. And it makes me so excited to hear practical examples like this because I know you know, back in the day, when we go to a conference, or even when we hear a talk, we hear these very kind of classic examples. I even gave a talk Gosh, a couple months ago, years, weeks, who knows what his time in 2020 where I was talking about when I worked in retail, like the monotonous task of having to go through every single magic towel at the Disney Store that had a different skew and a different Disney character on every single one. And knowing what I know now what I could how I could have saved myself hours. So I think that's so true. Like even to enable people who who may not consider themselves technical, like the common folks who run a mom and pop shop in the middle of nowhere. There's so so many things that are pieces of technology that can make people's lives efficient but we have to know the problem first so makes me so excited when people from different backgrounds come into this industry because it's more problems to solve with more expertise and you are no exception and with your background coming from my background as a mechanic
Brandon Minnick 34:34
I basically the same thing Yeah,
Anthony Bartolo 34:36
yep. For Success though, because especially when I first started you know, there were no computers in the cars, right? You had to deduce by sound by you know, temperature you have to go through problem solving understanding what's wrong with the car what like you know, the customer will tell you, Hey, this is there's an engine knock I don't know what's going on. And you have to go and figure out is it you know, you're putting the wrong octane in your vehicle to your spark plugs need to be changed. You're going through this, this, this set of instructions to understand what is the problem that you're facing and how we're going to address this, right? I think that's what prepared me to be successful in tech. Because all the tools are there, you can fix the car, all the tools and parts are available to you. But if you don't understand the problem, I can go and put a new muffler on a car that has engine knock, it's not going to solve the engine up, you're still gonna have it because even though you've got a new muffler, it doesn't solve the opportunity that you're addressing. We talked about that with a lot in terms of, hey, if you rob AI on my product, great, I'm going to try to save money, I'm going to make more money, that's not necessarily the case, because the AI that's being added, machine learning cognitive services, custom vision, may not enhance your offering, you may not be addressing the problem and may cause even more problems down the road, right? It's something where if you go forward and do the fact by the machine, understand what the problem is that you're addressing first, and how the technology can help you address that, I think more successful down the road. And the experiences that you gather from that exercise is much more beneficial than just understanding that technology alone.
Chloe Condon 36:05
Yeah, it's so true. And I and I feel like there's so many industries that can like, that's what makes me so, so excited about folks like PJ, who we've had on the show many times, who's who's probably going to be back. But he's a high school teacher who's learning how to program and even in just working with the students like building these apps for themselves on problems I don't even know exist as students, like if I were put to task as an engineer to be like, great, go write apps for college. I graduated in 2011. But it's, you know, nowadays in 2020, everyone's having to upload their physical paper documents to PDF form. So one of our students in that project, used Azure Functions to do that. And I was like, brilliant. This is a problem. I didn't even though existence. This is why why, why why we need so many people learning and doing these things.
Brandon Minnick 36:55
Yeah, I'm curious. So we have, we were talking about the amazing things you're doing today with AI and saving children and saving folks credit at sea. And we know that you used to be a mechanic. But how do you connect the dots? What was that journey from being a mechanic working in a garage to getting a job at Microsoft?
Chloe Condon 37:20
That's like a pretty,
Brandon Minnick 37:21
I mean, it's pretty standard. I'm sure most of us all started out as mechanics. But
Anthony Bartolo 37:26
it's no it's incredible. It's it's a it's a crazy story. Like I said, First working on cars, there were no computers in the car. So you're you're doing the investigation work, you know, in terms of sound, and you're learning from others, inside of a garage in terms of those that have experienced in understanding what's going on with the vehicles and trying to address those problems. And then the first issue that I came across, I believe, was in a 1990 civic. And it was like, Oh, this is interesting. And they're like, yep, we have this cart that you now have to bring over. So we're wheeling over this 46 computer. I don't remember the old steel, the cream boxes are based on the dollar. And you will notice over and you connected via the serial port. And on this CRTC screens with big television comes up all the error codes that are happy with this car. I'm like, you mean I don't have to guess what it is anymore? I can just do? Well, no, no, you still you still need to guess enough. We're gonna we're gonna give the answer right away to the customer. Now this is awesome, in terms of what we're trying to accomplish here. So that was my first eye opener in terms of the possibilities of technology being incorporated into automotive. From there, the boom of the cell phone happened in clo you're mentioning the clear phone. My first phone was the DPC. 554 Motorola, which is the old flip phone. But even prior to that, it was the Motorola 8000 which was that big brick phone 15 $100 storage 25 numbers lasted three hours, you know, archaic and these days, these types. Zack Boris phone. So but I saw, you know this whole ability in terms of communication on the go, which was a big deal, which previously was just for those that you know, were rich. You see these people with the expensive cars and they have the phone embedded in the car and their community. It was a it was a showy thing, and then it became a communication thing. And then this whole enablement, called the BlackBerry happen, and at that time was actually the rim 950. So imagine running a smart device on a smartphone because it didn't have phone functionality, but a smart device that would allow you via two double A batteries to have access to your email on the hip. And I know in this day and age, it's like what email? That's it. I think back then, so much so that Rogers, which at the time was actually key until at&t, there was the US connection, ran a contest to say, hey, let us know what can we do with this? And I responded that this device is going to save me 30 minutes a day because now I can check my email while I'm on the go I was, in essence, my answer. And it was like, okay, that's phenomenal. Tell us more. So I bounced from being a mechanic to being at Rogers being part of a team. We were the SWAT team that would go out and work with psycho technology to enable connection. My first real big project was with the with the Prime Minister at the time, that was going into re election, and enabling the bag phones, I don't remember the three white bag phones, Motorola, Motorola 380, to have 14.4 kilobytes connectivity to enable two laptops and a fax machines the ability to connect and understand and surveying the areas for how well is this Prime Minister doing in their re election, right on the campaign bus, which was the first of its kind. They've done it in the US before, but hadn't done in Canada yet. And so we enabled that in the vehicle. And they were like, Oh, my God, this is amazing. This is at 14.4 kilobits per second, we now cry when gigabit connection no longer works, right. But that's the thing, though, right? What's crazy about all this is the technology addressing the solution, not the other way around. We're all you know, this one gig connection, because we're all watching IPTV, we're all communicating via teams. And you know, these
visual sources now, in terms of communication, even though cellular communications evolve. So we went from amps to TDMA. Now TDMA, CDMA. Now we're GSM, you know, it the way that we communicate the, you know, who calls anybody anymore, everybody texts, everybody or everybody facetimes. Now in this whole thing, it's all changing the way we interact. And it's based on how we need to use the technology, not the other way around. Right? It's, it's becoming less less about feeds and speeds and bells and whistles more. So what can the technology do for me in terms of what I want to accomplish, and then the whole aspect of this pandemic, how, you know, how much more true does that have to be now in terms of kids are learning remotely and you know, our colleague, Donna Saqqara, she's out in the Bahamas, or she's working with Barbados, right? She's working remotely, she doesn't have to be stuck at home. And it's so awesome that you know, you can do your job from anywhere you can connect, because we're all connected in this whole thing. And it's awesome that we're still, even though we're all spread apart, we still have that ability to connect with each other and share ideas and do initiatives like this, that we're able to share with the masses that previous to we have to fly and go see people to do it, right.
Chloe Condon 42:29
I've even seen like innovation in the personal production field to be able to like self stream in the last since March. Like it's amazing how when a problem pops up, like how the efficient solutions, like it's really is kind of a chicken and egg thing. Like, yeah, it's cool to add all these like fluffy cherry on top technology things to your app, but when it actually solves the problem, like significant difference.
Anthony Bartolo 42:55
Microsoft added on NBI to teams in the understanding that people are looking for a better broadcasting solutions, right. And you can connect it with solutions, like OBS, which is open broadcasting software to then stream on Twitch and what have you. And I know we're using different software here. But that's that understanding of what transformation means and how we're now affecting our daily lives with technology to still continue on to still you know, prior to this whole thing happening, social was a great introduction, right? You, you'd have that, hey, this is who I am, this is what I'm trying to do. And you have that introduction with the world through social, then you take it a step further, when we used to travel for Microsoft Ignite the tour, and you actually make yourself real in the people that you were talking to real by, you know, physical handshake and having discussion over coffee. It was that, you know, availability to us and the before times, as you said, Call you earlier. And now in this day and age of what we're at, and everybody trying to be safe. The whole, you know, it really jumped now in terms of the acceptance of video conferencing and the ability to exchange ideas prior to nobody would want to exchange ideas this way, because they thought, Oh, if I do you know, this way, people will leak out information or my my idea will get stolen. And now you're seeing all these companies that are coming together and building out solutions with people all all over the world, but all working collaboratively through this type of technology. And it's now been accepted. So it's going to be interesting. Post everything going on. What is it going to be the new norm going forward?
Chloe Condon 44:28
Yeah, I saw yesterday that said, it's gonna be really embarrassing when I still cancel plans and don't want to go out anymore with anyone in person after
kind of getting used to it.
Brandon Minnick 44:42
You'll say one thing. Well, what if there is a good thing about this pandemic? It's it's Yeah, it's highlighted a lot of things that we we did that were considered normal that were considered this is just the way you do it because we've always done it like this. And now we're starting to see like, do it really need to go back to that? Yeah. Like you were saying, for these meetings, you know, we used to fly across the country and have meetings in person, maybe just a one day meeting, and then you fly back. It's like, Well, yeah, do we still have to do that? Like, we can talk on video chat. And pretty much everybody, as who's had to is comfortable with it now. And so it'll be Yeah, it'll be fascinating to see things that just will never come back.
Chloe Condon 45:28
I'm pretty stoked on I I'm hoping as another person who traveled quite a bit for work, that personal space becomes more of a thing at airports and places in general. Even just notice, like, I feel like now it's the norm just, you know, going to the grocery store or somewhere that there is a significant more space between people. And early on in quarantine, I'll have to poke you about this Anthony as an IoT project. I bought a hula hoop with the idea of having it beak like if anybody came within like a certain radius of it. And it was something that I wanted to build pre 2020, because I just couldn't stand how closely people would get to me at the airport. So maybe there's some, there's some social distancing innovation to still be done.
Anthony Bartolo 46:11
I've heard of the technology is right now it's in building maintenance data will do analytics around how many people are inside a room specifically to understand is, are they at capacity for this room based on that one and a half hockey sticks in between each each of each of us. And you know, it's interesting that, you know, again, technology, solving the problems that we have, you know, we do physical counts, right now, people entering the grocery stores, that's why the lineups happen and what have you. And they tried to be more efficient with that, because maybe their count was wrong. And maybe you can have more individuals in the store. Or maybe there are too many people in the store and you have to wait. It becomes a an issue and having to meet people in the store. So it's, again, the adoption of the technology, for regulation of how many people can be in there. I love your idea. In terms of the proximity sensor, I would actually say instead of having that hula hoop, you could probably do the same thing with infrared, on your hat and do a conference around you. So that's not at all that would be cool to walk around. It's totally awesome.
Chloe Condon 47:10
Maybe I'll do it. Like, while I'm using it for my hat. But it's so true. I just fall. This is, of course, a very seamless segue into theme parks, because I know that all three of us love theme parks. But there's so many problems to be solved. You know, we're thinking about things where there's capacity, like theme parks specifically, you know, they're, of course closed here in California, but in over on the other coast are open and they're having to deal with capacity. I'm sure a lot of it's been monitored by that. But so fascinating to see, like where technology will go based on all these occurrences?
Brandon Minnick 47:45
Yeah, I know, for me, the biggest thing I'm looking forward to, and hopefully this is what happens is, I used to get sick all the time. Like, I'm just that guy that if I traveled somewhere, I'm probably getting sick. And I mean, obviously nothing bad, like COVID I was I would just be like a sniffles or a little head cold. But I haven't gotten sick at all this year, which is been amazing. So personal best. But I think we've all learned better ways to I mean, I know, I wash my hands a lot more thoroughly. Now. Obviously, we're all wearing masks, if we have to be around folks in public. And I really hope these trends continue. Because we, we were, I mean, in San Francisco mask wearing was kind of already part of the culture. Not everybody did it when they were sick. But enough people did it to where it was pretty normal that you never thought twice about it. And I think that's something I'm going to pick up going forward is Yeah, but I, I have a head cold and obviously, stay home. I think that's probably the biggest thing we've learned is like if you're sick stay home, like this American mentality of I gotta still go to the office and I gotta do work. It's just like, No, just relax.
Chloe Condon 49:04
Then more mask innovation, like not innovation but just like I've seen some people do cool things with their voice sounds like you know, changing the visuals on the mask. And I've made my put my own bedazzled my own mask, but I really want to see cool techie things on masks. This is a call to everybody out there who does cool BP BP light up things we need more light up my life right now.
Anthony Bartolo 49:31
There's a competition going on right now with the US in regards to the ugly sweater contest via IoT so having this IoT sensor on on your Christmas sweater or holiday sweater and depending on your mood would light up in specific ways. So you know, it's something where I love to see that incorporated into a mask, or better yet having an LCD and the mask that emulates your mouth So that when you're talking, yeah, right, I haven't seen that innovation happen yet I am waiting for it to so
Chloe Condon 50:05
I'm working on a project, not so much technical on the mask side of things have a little sneak peek a little spoiler alert for anybody watching. I'm working on a project that uses Azure Functions and Twilio, where you put a QR code on your mask, and someone can take a picture of the QR code. And it'll text a number and send you a picture of what the bottom half of their face looks like. I'm very used to that. It's more of a funny use of it. But I feel like sometimes, well, we went to lunch the other day, my boyfriend and I to do takeout. And the people recognize this because we're frequently, you know, take doing takeout there. And they didn't know that he had a beard. Because he had been working on it. And if they had my app, they would have known that he had a beard. So you know, beard, beard life changing technology, I guess.
Anthony Bartolo 50:53
Part of part of the challenge we have here is the regulations for the masks have even become more strict in the fact that if you have a beard, I have a shorter one, a lot of people have longer ones, the entire beard needs to be covered, you can walk in with just the mask and have the beard below. So I know there's a company here in Toronto that has built a mass specifically for bearded men that would have that would come and go. It's a full on mascot just continues on all the way down, right. And even for the regulations of the masks themselves. I don't know if you've seen the masks that have the air, air holes, but it's like a filter. Yeah, if you have those type of masks, you have to prove that the filter that's in there is the three or proper filter, or they won't let you into the facility. Because it's not doing anything in terms of stopping the germs escaping from you.
Chloe Condon 51:43
Think of all the snacks you could fit in that beard mask. places and just like eat it. Haha, I'm gonna have to get one of these duck pouch.
Not for me.
Well, we have 10 minutes left, and we have to talk about the most important topic that we talked about on the show which is theme parks. The show without talking about theme parks, I think the most logical way to start off this conversation because we're all theme park freaks in this in this conversation is a favorite ride. Does anybody know what their favorite right is? I know it like nostalgically I could probably say a couple but
Brandon Minnick 52:21
that's that's what I was going with. Like my the first
Unknown Speaker 52:25
Brandon Minnick 52:30
Oh, yeah. The the first roller coaster ever went on was Space Mountain at Disney. And so
Chloe Condon 52:36
in what iteration? What was the theme? They have a certain version Do you remember?
Brandon Minnick 52:42
Was I don't know what I think? Six?
Chloe Condon 52:48
Very important question.
Brandon Minnick 52:49
Also a good question. I don't know. Just my parents. Which which park that was that? Because I've I've been on both. I mean, I used to work on Space Mountain as part of the engineering team back in the pool. Yeah. So I've gotten to see the inside of, I guess you'd call it the dome with all the lights on it just kind of looks like this giant erector set and been all over that track. We my job was to help with the wiring. So to make sure everything was all the sensors were wired up properly. So that Yep, it's just run by computers. There's just computers that tell it when to break or if you're too close. How long to wait. And so yeah, we were they redid the track. This was 2009 and as part of that, we also had to rewire all the sensors upgrade everything and so got to go over that track. So space man's got a really special place in my heart. But I will concede it's not the best roller coaster it's there's been a lot of better rides come out since but that'll always be mad.
Chloe Condon 53:51
Okay, okay, love it. How about you Anthony?
Anthony Bartolo 53:54
First roller coaster. So first roller coaster would be the great Canadian mind Buster Canada's Wonderland. It was the at the time the biggest roller coaster at 150 feet high. wooden roller coaster still still around today. We're waiting for it to be our emceed. There's challenges with our MC coming across the border apparently. But it's the longest standing roller coaster that we have here in Canada. And it's now a little bit of a migraine inducer. Because it's the point where they have the padding is so thick around the seats to soften the blow of it shake, celebrate their time ride for rollercoaster. But I'm a Six Flags guy, I really enjoy the I know that Disney is awesome in terms of the theming and seeing what universal but I'm more of the Am I gonna fall out of my seat. Top three is going to be Oof, that's a hard one. I'm going to go with x two out of Magic Mountain for number one. I'm going to go with twisted Colossus out of Magic Mountain for number two, and I'm going to go with El Toro Out of northern New York. For number three out of Six Flags Great upgraded great adventure. Yeah, great adventure would be my top three.
Chloe Condon 55:08
Anthony has a roller coaster Stan. Wow, I feel like I'm the opposite. Well, I don't not like roller coasters. Um, but I love animatronics. And I love like sensory like, I'm all about nostalgia. And so I feel like my top three would be okay, so I love the Peter Pan, right? I love anything where I'm flying. I've noticed like Peter Pan and et ride, where I'm like, over a cityscape. Um, so there for it. Also, I just think the Haunted Mansion as a technical marvel of like, animatronics and ghosts, and just like so many things that weren't seen on a ride before. It just blows my mind even to this day. Like I can still watch. I've been down many a YouTube rabbit hole this 2020 on, like, how different things are made and created. But uh, oh, no, you Brandon, what are your other two?
Brandon Minnick 56:03
Oh, gosh, that I was trying to try to dream them up. You guys were chatting. I was just thinking about. Let's see. So there's the Buzz Lightyear ride at Magic Kingdom where you have like a little blaster gun. And it's just a moving car. So you're just moving through this world, but there's targets and everything. And you're what's the Buzz Lightyear space for? it? So
Chloe Condon 56:32
yeah, the men in black games like that.
Brandon Minnick 56:34
Yeah, I was gonna say Men in Black too. So yeah, I love those those rides. Like when those came out, I would just loop back out like I would get back in the single riders line ride it. Yeah, five times in 30 minutes. Because, yeah, it's different. Every time you find different targets, you find which ones have the bigger bonuses. If you ever do in the men and black, red, I assume it's still around at Universal? Yes,
Chloe Condon 56:55
I was on it a year ago, I hope so.
Brandon Minnick 56:58
At the end, well, if you've listened during the Q, they talk about like don't hit the red button. But at the end of the ride, as I think of monsters coming out on over top of you, that red bar button starts flashing, you hit that. And you basically win the game you get like 100,000 points or a million points. Like that's the secret
Chloe Condon 57:22
here about this Star Wars easter egg that was on the Millennium Falcon, right? I want to say like there's a special Chewbacca mode that if you like press buttons in a certain sequence instead of the like, go to the left, go to the right. It's just like there's videos of it online. I hide it just like a Chewbacca and torment very anxious the entire time. I was
Anthony Bartolo 57:43
also on the rocket roller coaster at Universal in Florida, with the engineers put in the music that so it's that one where you you can select your music while you're on the ride. Right? sabotage, right, and the developers of the software actually embedded their own songs, which is not licensed by University. So the hack codes on how to get into the maintenance mode and then put in the sequence for your desired song. There's an additional 50 songs that you can select through.
Chloe Condon 58:14
I don't want to wreck roll. It's just like
Anthony Bartolo 58:20
mean we pose that challenge. Last time we were in Orlando for ignite to see how many people would do it. It was awesome to see everybody tweeting about and they did the hacking. I put my own song was really cool.
Chloe Condon 58:31
So cool. Oh my gosh, well, it has been such a pleasure talking to Nate Anthony, we could talk to you honestly, for hours, like such a good time. So many learning so many things. And also just reminiscing on so many things. Where can people find you on the interwebs.
Anthony Bartolo 58:46
So the best way to get ahold of me, you get me on twitter at wireless life. We also have the team blog that I contribute to everybody else. It ops.com and on Fridays we have our own show, which is that update which I'm hoping to have you both on the show soon. And that can be watched at aka.ms forward slash is that update show. And that's every Friday at 10am. Eastern Standard Time.
Brandon Minnick 59:10
Chloe Condon 59:11
And what rollercoaster are you most looking forward to like hopping on as soon as as soon as
Anthony Bartolo 59:17
all done I'm probably gonna do the Yukon striker Connect Canada's Wonderland because that's probably the closest one I can go to and then I'm definitely gonna pick myself up to California again, get on twisted Colossus and x two for sure. Well, I
Chloe Condon 59:29
can't wait to meet y'all on Medusa over here. And we'll see y'all next week. On a bed. Thanks for joining y'all.