Solving Mac problems in Power, Fan, Lights and others by resetting the SMC.

There is a bit of your Apple computer that is called the System Management Controller (SMC), and it controls some hardware functions so that the otherwise busy main processor can be left to work on more important stuff. This piece of hardware sometimes malfunctions and your Mac will start to behave very strangely. Such as when the laptop’s fan goes on at full speed even if it’s properly ventilated. Or the MagSafe light goes out and doesn’t come on again even if your Mac needs charging.

There’s a whole bunch of quick diagnosis things you can do to understand whether you should think that the SMC isn’t working well. Click and read this Apple Support page to read all about these and about how to easily reset the SMC to get the whole system to work peacefully again.

I did it on my Macbook Air and it works. Read the support page before proceeding further.

Resetting the SMC on a MacBook Air
Resetting the SMC on a MacBook Air


Little Green Men

Here’s what’s next in the Universe… Peace with the little green men. Now that Barack is secured another term in office, we can also talk about the planet that’s probably home to the little green men. The star it orbits is still called HD 40307, not a sexy name like our Sun, but we can christen it later. Let’s focus on making contact for now. Discounting the possibility of Omega radiation, within just 42 years travelling at electromagnetic speeds we might be shaking hands with Greendude in persona. By then hopefully we’d have also have figured out how to communicate with hopefully “advanced space-faring civilizations in interstellar space” with a little bit more sophistication than we could come up with in the Voyager Golden Records of 1977.

Go to Wired to read more information about the planet, and less of my sarcasm, or carry on.

To set the record straight I am not one who believes God created Earth in 4004 BC, on October 23 at 9AM. I strongly believe that there can be other forms of intelligence in the Universe. But I just find it preposterous of humankind in general to be defining “life” and “intelligence” on a universal scale. How can the people who say they believe life on Earth is just an example of the sophistication of creation also be the ones looking for life in the Universe? Are they assuming that it’s got to fit our Earthly-thought definition of it? Just let the little green men live, and let’s focus on making the Earth a better place!

Little Green Men

Fixing the iPhone Daylight Savings Problem

Did your iPhone wake you up an hour earlier today? It’s 28 October and clocks around the world went back an hour so we could sleep from 2am to 3am twice! But the iPhone didn’t and woke us up on Daylight Savings Time.

The good news now is that you have an extra hour at hand and that the problem is a known iPhone bug. It’s going to take you two minutes to fix:

  1. Go to Settings > General > Date & Time
    Date & Time Screen on the iPhone
  2. Switch the Set Automatically to OFF
  3. Reboot your iPhone
  4. Go back to the Settings > General > Date & Time screen
  5. Switch the Set Automatically back to ON

You should notice the iPhone automatically resetting the time to the correct one. Problem fixed.

Have a great Sunday!

Sold only by Amazon. And only if they like your face?!


Some magazines in Kindle-format are only sold by Amazon. You’d be technically correct to say that’s monopoly. But you can also get the publications in .mobi or .pub formats from download sites on the Internet. They’re counterfeit and illegal and so I don’t use them or promote them. But, admittedly this is a black-market which is promoted by what’s probably an irregular commercial distribution of digital content.

Downloading freely over the internet
The opportunity for illegal downloads to become popular even among normally law-abiding people is also brought about by an additional constraint. Somebody somewhere decided that even if they have the magazine, they just won’t sell it to you because you’re from a different country! Are you calling that racist now?

Kindle titles for your country are not available at
Kindle titles for your country are not available at

You’d think that it’s the publishing house that does not want to sell it to you.

But The Economist website allows you to subscribe to the digital copy in all formats, except for the Kindle. That’s only available from Amazon! I then also checked the Time website – they admittedly provide a digital subscription for the Kindle Fire (but probably because it reads the same format as the Apple iPad). The formats readable by the more common liquid-ink Kindles are only legally available from Amazon. Agggrrrgh!

Buy digital Economist online for tablet, smartphone etc...
At an EU-level it’s a recognised issue with the digital single market. The jargon means that even if you’re meant to enjoy free movement of goods and services across EU borders (and so, buy things from any EU country without legal or administrative obstacle), that still is not fully practicable when you buy online. Read more about the Digital Single Market here.

And if you’re thinking that this is only an Amazon problem, you’re mistaken. Apple only opened iTunes to the whole of the EU in September 2011. I remember it making the news: “Apple launches iTunes Store in all remaining EU countries” and “iTunes store now available in Malta“.

The market is starting to budge. Let’s make it happen by raising our voices and putting the pressure as consumers.

Revealing the next internet success story

When did you last think you need to create the next internet craze and become rich? Friends ask me if I have an idea for the next ‘big thing’. My reply is that everbody has ideas – yes of course, including me.

But, the internet is only just a tool for every one of the next big things. For years to come, every one of these is going to be a distributed system, and so one whose success is based on the collective effort of its users. Users who create content, share experiences, co-build knowledge and collectively solve tomorrow’s problems.

You only need to browse the list of Newsweek’s Digital 100 Revolutionaries on the 2/9 July double-issue. Or read this week’s Time story about Salman Khan’s Academy that teaches kids over YouTube. Or look around you, at the apps you use most frequently. None of these would survive if the users were simply ‘users’ – they are also contributors and co-creators. That’s what social media really is about.

Are you planning the next successful internet success story? Then you must be thinking about actively engaging your users in true Web 2.0 spirit.

Governments going social. Mind the gap.

“Why do you want to take up social media?” asked the wise man to the politician. “Because everyone’s doing it…” was the scathe reply. Politicians in government and those aspiring to be, worldwide, have jumped on the social media bandwagon. Those forcing their public service organisations to do likewise, without thinking, are in for a surprise. This is not about a facebook page with many followers and a moderation policy.

Governments have legacy and countries have a future; and the distinguishing feature we look out for in democracies is openness. It’s not the means but the end which matters. Social media is the demonstration of openness of this decade – it will be superseded by other more faithful representations sometime (soon).

So what’s at the root of a successful social media strategy if it is to be truly exemplary of a positive transformation? Of openness that lasts beyond the medium itself? Two key points:

1. Instilling a culture of collaborative interaction between public service and the customer (the citizen). The official will listen and act with service improvements and policy formation that is worthy of a rolling democratic process.

2. Bringing together true citizen activism. The age of representative democracies with ‘elders’ or politicians who decide everything for everyone is clearly over because it’s not allowed by the voter anymore. Voter turn-out is going down. The age of blind trust in the civil servant is also clearly not the case. People are informed and have become knowledgeable customers who demand explanations. But, do people care to make it better for everyone? Do they feel that they are empowered to do this? The answer on a general global landscape is “no”. And this can be reversed if and when public servants become demonstrably interested in the public’s point of view – and act on it. Then people will speak up, will become active in change, and will become more appreciative.

This is when we start harnessing social capital.

Everyone will agree that there is a great deal of ‘known’ that’s untapped. All of this ‘known’ is in the heads of our customers, prospective customers, employees and even in the heads of those who currently don’t care. Tapping it means involving people. That’s only possible when the institutions reformat to become collaborative from the top > down. That’s to say that change must first happen internally by opening up to the cross-section of the population that’s the employees.

Employees are the organisation’s main asset in the drawing and execution of a social media strategy. Those of them digital natives have the added benefit of having an affinity for the medium. All of them collectively have an understanding of the service offered and of the customer expectations which is unmatched by anyone else. Employees will understand that the organisation’s reputation can flourish through social media activity. When they are encouraged and trained to be active, online discourse can be distinctly of much much higher quality. Goes without saying, that this will attract other customers and will breed organic growth which is priceless.

We’d like to see employees, seasoned customers and others interact with little formal intervention, harnessing social capital, and thriving on a culture of ‘self-help’ within the community. Self-help is in fact what I figure can be the evolution of a truly transformed public service which tangibly draws on the strengths of openness. A collaborative workspace without citizen activism would otherwise become unmanageable. In contrast, with activism in place, front-offices can focus on handling the truly off-shoot or more sophisticated cases.

We may indeed mature to a point where self-help works so well that people are better educated (and have less issues) and where 99% of issues can be resolved voluntarily within the community. The closer we get to that point, the more governments can focus on governance rather than execution. Dream maybe, but certainly a goal if we need to truly do more with less!