Welfare 2.0 is coming to the USA – will you take it?

Universal Basic Income (U.B.I.) is all over the news these days.

It is government money given out to all US citizens with no strings attached.

It is also known as “Guaranteed Minimum Income”. And like the phrase says, we are guaranteed income for doing absolutely nothing.

Why are we getting this cash? Because the robots are taking over. And jobs will become more scarce. So the government is going to try and fill the gap.

Even Tesla’s Elon Musk claims free cash handouts “will be necessary” if robots take humans’ jobs.

Here are the common questions asked about universal basic income:

What is Universal Basic Income?
Universal Basic Income is a system like Welfare. It is an unconditional cash payment given at regular intervals by our government to all residents.

How much will I get?
There is talk that each US citizen will receive $10,000 a year.

Is Universal Basic Income before or after tax?
The base salary is our total gross pay before income taxes, Social Security and Medicare taxes are withheld. This is the gross amount, not the net amount we actually see deposited into our bank account.

Can I combine Universal Basic Income with my work pay?
Yes, we can accept Universal Basic Income and combine it with our job’s pay – if we still have a job that is.

Isn’t this another form of Social Security?
Technically no. Workers pay 6.3% of their wages into a Social Security “insurance” fund. Employers match this payment. But, Universal Basic Income is more or less Welfare 2.0. The US government is paying this out from the collection of all the income taxes we pay. This probably means our income taxes are going to rise to offset these payouts.

Here is the best way I clean my mobile phone touch screen

Officially, smartphone companies warn us about using harsh chemicals to clean our phone.

And they especially warn us against regularly using alcohol – claiming it will ruin our screens.

Fortunately, I found a 1-2 punch to keep my phone’s screens looking like new.

First, I use this lens cleaner – it has no alcohol, but cleans AMAZINGLY well.

And I finish off my cleaning job with these gentle, 2-ply… lint-free wipes. It is the same wipes professionals use after repairing our phones.

Boom! In less than 60 seconds, my phone is grime-free and looks like new.

These remote controlled golf caddies are smarter than you would think

My first job was carrying golf clubs for rich dudes when I was just 11 years old.

But now, being a caddy is obsolete – check this out:

Here is more about a remote control golf cart that follows you:

Secret Apple meeting with app developers in the USA – now revealed!

Found this post about the shifting ecosystem of the App Store. Apple is pushing hard for developers to switch to subscription-based software:

The new way Apple wanted to promote: Instead of users paying for apps once, they’d pay on a regular basis, putting money into developer coffers on a regular schedule. Apple would still get a 30% cut of the subscription’s cost, but if a customer continued to subscribe after a year, Apple’s cut would go down to 15%.

The short version is this: instead of paying for software once in the Apple Store and using it no-charge for life, we will rent the same software and pay a fee every month (or year).

Clearly, this is another salvo aimed at ownership. The agenda is to force us to rent things for the rest of our lives. It is like self-driving cars – by the year 2025, cars will not have steering wheels. We will rent by the mile – summoned to our home by an “Uber-like” app.

There’s also a danger that consumers may not want to pay on a monthly basis for a utility. “You’ve seen many apps changing their business models, and the consumer reactions are mixed,” Denys Zhadanov, a VP at Readdle, which makes Spark, a mail client, as well as other utilities, told Business Insider in an email.

This is more than a “danger”. I monitor a lot of forums and this is a top-3 complaint. People HATE paying for subscription software.

Companies that charge these fees have a reason to keep updating and improving their software. If the company lets their product languish, users take their money elsewhere.

This might be true. But one trick I use when downloading apps is to look at the “Version History”. This clickable link is sort of buried in the App Store. And if the app is updated every other month or so (and it gets at least 4.3 stars), I know the app is well maintained.

Another tip: I have been buying up lots of apps that have not switched to the subscription model. This way, I get free updates for life. Of course, I am not naive. I realize this might get me 5 years of free updates as Apple will force us into upgrading their iOS each year. This already happened last year – Apple killed 32-bit apps from working in iOS 11. Only 64-bit apps work.

Is Siri fast becoming the best digital AI assistant?

Ever since it was released, I have been embarrassed to ask Siri for answers to my questions.

Earlier this year, Siri answered just 52.3% of queries asked. That is TERRIBLE.

Yet from the beginning, Google Assistant seems to answer almost any question I throw at it. And as a result, it has been my go-to digital AI assistant.

But things are changing – fast:

For Siri in the new test, Apple’s AI helper understood 99 percent of the queries and answered 78.5 percent of them correctly.

Today… just 5 months after scoring poorly, Siri’s accuracy is about to pass Google’s Assistant answer rate of 85.5%.

This is quite a remarkable leap for Apple. It helps me remain an “Apple Fanboy.”

I am excited about the future.