My Too Difficult Tray is overflowing these days and I’ll be forced to tackle it at some stage, but I suspect it’s a problem shared by many of you. 

Too Difficult Tray Is Stacked

Amazon Fire Tablet knocks out my Internet and I can’t connect the device. It’s tiresome, to put it politely, because I have to reset my router and all the other stuff. I forgot my PIN. In fact, I don’t think I ever set it and used the default one that came with the tablet, but I’ve lost that. Anyway, Kindle Help tells you to “log on to change your PIN and connect to the Internet,” but you can’t access log-on until you change your PIN. This is the kind of virtual chicken-and-egg that can give programmers a bad name, and a good reason why “customer journey” and “use cases” are so important. The problem lost me the will to live. I will get back to it, but for now it’s in the Too Difficult Tray – sub-folder, Throw Across The Room (like the book you didn’t finish).

Let Me Outta Here

I tried to move to an EU country earlier this year. It turns out it’s too difficult unless you can throw a mountain of cash at it and have a 6-figure+ income. I moved countries before when the UK was an EU member, and only returned to the UK under duress, but now the UK is a third country and we Brits join the great unwashed masses of global undesirables with “weak passports”, it really is almost impossible to live in the promised land. 

“Get a job”, I hear you shout. Caution: Brit qualifications (third country) are not recognised by EU countries. You have to get them validated or even resit exams, so unless you already are employed by a multinational, or have family connections, it’s more than too difficult. Still, it was an experience.

Amazon Fire Tablet – Oooh, Shiny!

Talking about connections, the link between the Fire tablet and my journey was the idea I could write anywhere – in cafes, in parks, on the beach! EU countries have fabulous Internet and phone connections. It really is ubiquitous, so you can use the Internet and access 4G and 5G even on the beach. For one euro a day I had a portable dongle and a secure, superfast connection and I took the Internet with me wherever I went! Poor lame UK must catch up, hobbled by bad, overpriced service providers and patchy service, candle-powered in some places. I despair.

Armed with my whizzo Internet, I loaded Office 365 on the tablet and bought a portable keyboard, as a back-up. Most authors dictate straight into MS Word using Dictate and listen back for proofing with the Read Aloud function. I like MS Word. I’ve spent a decade learning it and it’s very powerful. 

Silken Strands Of The Web

Amazon’s tablets use the Amazon Silk browser, which connects its Fire tablets to Amazon’s EC2 servers. I freaked out originally when I read the potential security hole due to the browser’s split architecture, which means Fire tablets do some processing on Amazon servers (to improve web page loading, for example), and chooses browser subsystems to perform some processes and – here’s the thing – decide which browsers to run on your device and which to run on the Amazon servers. What does this mean for you, the end user?

I’m not sure. For this post I found an up-to-date review on Online Sciences by Heba Soffar, Telecommunications Engineer at Alexandria University, Egypt. To quote from the article:

Security is an issue in Silk, Because you’re interacting with Amazon’s cloud, you’re never directly interacting with secure websites, So when you log into your bank, that information is given to Amazon, which conveys it to your financial institution.

The Silk browser acts like a middleman. My Fire tablet sits in the Too Difficult Tray in quarantine while I get to understand the security implications properly and decide what to do with it.

Have a Christmas drink. You probably need it by now, and I saved the worst until last.

Two champagne flutes with fizz against bokeh (soft focus) white fairy lights background.
Glasses of Christmas Cheer

AI Writes Stuff Now

Feeling better, or at least, half-numbed? Good. If you work in the creative industries or your job includes “content creation”, this qualifies for Much Too Difficult Even To Get My Head Around.

The arrival of AI-generated content is sending shock waves through the creative industries, not to mention raising ethical and copyright problems. I imagine copyright lawmakers have a major headache from this, and creatives who’ve dedicated their lives to mastering their chosen skills in whatever field, and those who earn their living from it.

I’m reserving judgement at the moment, but here’s what creative writing expert, Derek Murphy, has to say about it. His is the most current article I’ve found. 

And here’s what he has to say about visual arts.

Never Mind The Talent, Can You Pay?

This AI apex-predator, as Writer-Marketer and Systems Thinker, Joe Solari, calls it, will undoubtedly make an impact. Many will starve, many will die, but new jobs and roles will evolve out of the changed environment, and of course, the end user has to pay to use the apps and access the stuff. 

People are panicking. I’ve seen it in my online groups, but I feel we should hold on until it all shakes out, keep ourselves informed, and be prepared to adapt.

Here’s a rundown of apps on the Jasper blog, and, as you can see, you must pay to play. 

But the real battle, as always, is against the armies of Philistines who are happy to consume creative content, but despise the creators. In their minds, writers, artists, musicians, even coders, are the lowest of the low, even lower than the workers that provide their vital services they wouldn’t dream of doing themselves. They seem unable to make the connection between the services they enjoy and the bods that provide it. Mentioning no names, but we all know people like that.

And as a screenwriting professor commented in one of my groups, “At the risk of sounding dismissive, AI doesn’t care what you think.”  So AI will have the last laugh (assuming it’s capable of understanding irony). After all, we’re dealing with Artificial Intelligence here, not Artificial Consciousness. There’s a difference and AC doesn’t exist. Yet.

We’ll see… as parents everywhere say. I’d love to know what you think, so please comment.

It Wasn’t My Idea

Kudos to my sis in Australia who first mentioned she has a Too Difficult Tray, so I got one for myself. Ha ha. She’s a whizz on all things Apple. She has the patience to battle her way through the 50 f*kcing boiled cabbages password routine, which I don’t, much as I love my Apple devices.  

I was thinking my previous post was my last post of 2022 but it seems it isn’t. I seem to have got my blogging mojo back, thank goodness.

Have you untangled your tree lights yet or is that task in The Too Difficult Tray? Workaround: Buy a new set.


Images courtesy of the talented

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