Another year and another release of the popular Chronodex time management diary system for Jan to Jun 23. As usual this is split into two publications and each covers 6 months of the year.
I have blogged about using this format of time recording before and its uses (see further reading). I have now invested in a stamp version of the Chronodex so I can incorporate this into my regular journaling/diary writing within my preferred Moleskine Journals.
Following my last post on my PKMS (Personal Knowledge Management System), where I covered the use of Podcasts as one of my inputs into the information I consume, here are my top 10 Podcast recommendations for 2023. These are mostly technology based podcasts, although some have a wider scope.
1. The Digital Human (BBC)
In The Digital Human podcast Aleks Krotoski (Broadcaster and Journalist) explores the digital world and the topics that affect, grow and change it.
2. a16z Podcast
The a16z Podcast discusses tech and culture trends, news, and the future with regular multiple podcasts. The a16Z podcast is produced by Andreessen Horowitz a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm.
3. TED Radio Hour
The TED Radio Hour podcast brings together some of the best TED talk topics across a wide range of topics. This is a great way to get to hear about the latest information about TED talks.
4. WB-40 Podcast
In the WB-40 podcast hosted by Matt Ballantine and Chris Weston they hold conversations on how technology is changing how we work.
5. Tech Tent (BBC)
In the Tech Tent podcast broadcaster and journalist Rory Cellan-Jones talks about the latest stories in the tech world.
6. FT Tech Tonic
In the Tech Tonic podcast by the FT (Financial Times) it investigates the promises and perils of this new technological age – the digital revolution.
7. The Vergecast Podcast
The Vergecast podcast is hosted by Nilay Patel, David Pierce, and Alex Cranz, where they present a weekly view of tech news, whats happing now and in the future.
8. Tech Swamp Podcast
The Tech Swamp podcast covers global tech policy and business headlines, tidbits of tech history, and topical policy deep-dives on legislation and regulation in the U.S., EU, UK, and around the globe.
9. Tech Stuff Podcast
The Tech Stuff podcast hosted by Jonathan Strickland explores the people behind the tech, the companies that market it and how technology affects our lives and culture.
10. Back to Work Podcast
In the Back to Work podcast Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin discuss productivity, communication, work, barriers, constraints and tools.
It has been a couple of years since I have updated my PKMS (Personal Knowledge Management System), so time to publish an updated system. Lots have changed over the past few years including a move to working from home more which has reduced my time in the car and catching up on podcasts, however it has allowed me more time to read. Some of the systems I was previously using I have removed from use and added in new ones.
I still believe strongly in separating my personal social and business social, although there is the occasional need for the two to cross.
My go to notebook of choice for Journaling is still the Moleskine plain pocket book and I have just started journal number 35. Its quality and paper is good enough for my needs and archival quality. I still favour the Pilot ball ink pens (0.5 or 0.7) as they flow nicely on the page. See my blog post No batteries required for further details.
In keeping my work life separate from my personal life, I use platforms such as Instagram and Facebook for friends and family with appropriate two factory and security settings in place. Even with those settings you still need to consider that once something is online, it could be public in the future.
This is split into several areas and these are a few of the inputs that I use to grab information, feeds, data from:
This is a high level list of the types of content that I am consuming in my research and knowledge growth. It is important to have Growth Mindset by taking every opportunity to experiment, embrace failure, learn, change and seek challenges will enable yourself and business to realise potential and success. The term Growth Mindset comes from the study and theory of Dr Carol Dweck that intelligence can be developed. This can be applied to every person young and old to reach higher levels of achievement.
Streaming Services covers platforms such as YouTube. The availability of cameras and online streaming platforms, more content is being made available and recorded by people to pass on their knowledge.
RSS Feeds low my to pull updates from sites into Feedly where I can view them on my daily viewing of my feed.
Podcasts cover both Audio and Video casts that I watch/stream online or download to my Phone / Media Player (Audio and Videos) to listen to when I am on journeys in the car or other transportation methods or out walking the dog. I have spent a lot of time out walking as my family got a dog back in April 2022 and this has also improved my level of fitness as well as the ability to catch up on podcasts.
The amount of online learning available today is huge from free MOOC’s (Massive Open Online Courses) to paid for course such as Udemy. Lots of vendors now provide a good level of free training for their products and solutions. This category also covers courses that I can take through work.
Feedly provides an aggregation tool which I use to collect the stories from blogs and web sites. This provides a list of stories that can be scanned tin a few minutes on a single screen without going via multiple sites. Clicking on a story will bring up a snippet from the source site and provide the link to read the source article if required. Using a series of key strokes you can read the headlines, then move down the articles at a reasonable speed, stopping and opening when needed.
Sources can be categorised to allow an all view or just whats new in a category.
Thinking Time covers the time that I spend absorbing the PKMS information coming in from the different sources and then also process and apply in different ways. It is also good to spend time reflecting on what I have learnt and think of different and new way to use the information and learnings.
Blogging and Being Social
Following my Thinking Time I gather my thoughts and research and write these down through my blogs and podcasts and publish these on Social Media, WordPress and GitHub.
Part of my morning routine is to have a skim over the stories showing up in my Feedly list and have a look at anything that seems of interest whilst munching on some cereal or toast and washing it down with a cup of coffee. A couple of articles peek my interest from sites that I have used before but now want more information from me as a payment to view the content.
These are not sites that have a pay wall as such where you subscribe to read content, butcookie and consent walls. Whilst cookie walls are not new, the uptake of them has increased with more and more sites wanting to get hold of your data in exchange for reading an article. Cookies days are numbered and there are ways to protect yourself, but to the majority of internet users being presented with an option to accept or reject cookies can present complexity to those who don’t understand what is actually happening. This is the hidden cost that you are paying to read that article or visit that site.
First off though I want to thank the websites and companies out there that have made the choice of accept or reject really simple with two buttons and clear options and information. There are a lot out there who do however add complexity with all the options and legal jargon that can catch people out.
Here is an example:
I have removed the name of the site from the picture above. There are many ways that these walls are presented to the user and you are not presented with the easy way to optout other than close the page and say no thanks. I wonder how many people press the “Consent” button without actually looking at what they are consenting to?
Clicking the “Manage options” the screen on this particular site presents 30 or so options to select from. Some sites have even more and there is no standard – everyone is asking for different things and information.
How does legitimate interest work?
Sites asking for legitimate interests are using your personal data on the basis of their legitimate interest and are basically asking you for permission to process this data under GDPR. I have found that this differs between sites and not every site explains what they are actually looking at or wanting to use the data for. Some sites are being generic about this area and not been really clear as to what they are collecting, rather saying cookies that allow our website to function without error.
The future of cookies has been previously announced by Google with chrome browsers as in Jan 2020 it was announced that they would eliminate third-party cookies in the browser, but this is now delayed until the second half of 2024.
2023/24 will be the year for companies who rely on cookies to look at how they can make advertising relevant for a cookie less future. API’s and API’s with context will be available for companies to use which will protect users better and also provide context based relevant advertising.
How to protect yourself
In the first instance make sure you have Anti-Virus protection. Most packages do include an amount of protection to your devices around this topic, however you should check what is available through your chosen vendor.
To help users keep their privacy companies led by Google have introduced and initiative that is currently in development called Privacy Sandboxes which replace functionality of cross-site tracking and removing third-party cookies. The Privacy Sandboxes also help in mitigating the risk of device fingerprinting. The link to Googles Privacy Sandbox initiative site is below.
For now there options available that can block certain trackers through browser addons that can protect you and stop tracking cookies. As an example Privacy Badger is available for a number of browsers. Its good and protects you well and you do have the option to turn off and on cookies.
With the changes in the world following the pandemic and the opening up of job roles, there has been a rise on the number of people changing roles and jobs which have been reflected on Social Media such as LinkedIn/Twitter and possibly other social channels. One of the biggest trends I have noticed is the posting of security passes and work ID’s to show that the person worked at their current employer and the dates/times that they have been at that company.
Whilst this may make the person feel good about their move, they have most probably breached a security policy within their existing/old employer by posting their full pass online. With modern technology its easy to replicate the pass and then try and gain access to a companies office.
A quick search for the word Security Pass on LinkedIn shows a huge amount of passes that can be easily replicated and used by others to breach a companies security boundaries
Best practice is not to post this type of document on social. The last contact from your old company might be through a lawyer!
Back in February 2021 I wrote a short blog about a Data Fellowship apprenticeship that I was beginning. Today that journey came to an end when I received notification that I had passed the final parts of the course, exam, projects and interview. This means that I now hold a qualification and am awaiting my certificate as BCS Data Analyst (level 4).
It has been a long journey to completion, but each stage has been an adventure and one that I have enjoyed working through.
For this I have had to complete a set of courses and assessments through a training provider and BCS which included:
Have you ever visited a website that you have signed up to and created an account and then never used it again?
There have been a number of stories appearing recently that highlights a growing problem with the abundance of services and account sign ups on the internet. The story I will focus on is about a home owner who found a car parked on her property that she knew nothing about. The outcome was that the landlord had signed up for a carparking service a few years back and never cancelled it.
Over the many years of the internet how many services and pages have you signed up to and have subsequently forgotten about as you have moved onto other services or simply not used it in a very long time?
GDPR is there to protect and ensure data is up to date and correct, but is it really being applied to accounts on systems. There does seem to be a lack of reminders or removal of accounts that have been dormant/not logged in for some time from systems.
You will probably have key accounts that you maintain and use:
Daily – such as Social Networks, Shopping, Banking
Monthly – such as Utilities (Water, Gas, Electricity)
Yearly – such as HMRC/ Inland Revenue for a Tax Return
What else have you signed up to and then not used? Forgotten or unused accounts could pose a security threat to your identity. A good way to see if your details have been gathered by hackers and being sold is through the website Have I been Pwned. https://haveibeenpwned.com/
My Top 5 recommendations to consider when creating an account are:
Think about the system/service you are signing up for. Is this a one off transaction or something you will use on a regular basis.
Use a password management tool to help you track all the sites you use and have accounts on and review this once a month or every couple of months.
Consider cancelling/deleting accounts that you no longer need.
Use different passwords on different systems. A password management tool will help.
Check your emails for changes to accounts/terms and conditions on systems you haven’t used in a while.
The ability to still take exams at home (under exam conditions), is a bit more relaxing than having to take a journey to get to an exam centre, but still just as unnerving as you complete and press the end exam button awaiting the mark. The ability to take exams at home, still under the same conditions with cameras on and screen shared does open the ability to obtain qualifications up to more people and fit them in better around a normal working day.
The objectives of this part of the course/exam are:
Explain the purpose and outputs of data integration activities
Explain how data from multiple sources can be integrated to provide a unified view of the data
Describe how programming languages for statistical computing (SQL) can be applied to data integration activities, improving speed and data quality for analysis
Explain how to take account of data quality when preparing data for analysis, improving quality, accuracy and usefulness
Explain the nature and challenges of data volumes being processed through integration activities and how a programming approach can improve this
Understand testing requirements to ensure that unified data sets are correct, complete and up to date
Explain the capabilities (speed, cost, function) of statistical programming languages and software tools, when manipulating, processing and cleaning data and the tools required to solve analysis issues
Explain how statistical programming languages are used in preparing data for analysis and within analysis projects
Everyone should have heard of / used the term IQ in relation to Intellectual Quotient or EQ in relation to a person’s Emotional Quotient Which is measured using a standardised set of tests to measure human intelligence. A Quotient is the degree or amount of something.
If you were looking for something on the new series of Picard and Q sorry, however I am looking forward to watching it. The use of Q (Quotient) today can now be used to measure a range of things from Body to Managerial and there is a Q for most of the letters in the alphabet. Below are some of the key ones to be aware of
AQ – Adversity Quotient is used to show the ability of a person to deal with adversities in their life.
BQ – Body Quotient is used to show your whole-body health.
CQ – Cultural Quotient is used to show and improve effectiveness in culturally diverse situations.
CQ – Curiosity Quotient is used to show how powerfully motivated someone is to learn about a personally interesting subject.
DQ – Decency Quotient is used to show how a leader has the genuine desire to do the right thing and wants something positive for everyone. Ensuring everyone feels respected and valued.
EQ – Emotional Quotient is used to show the ability to perceive, use, understand, manage, and handle emotions.
IQ – Intellectual Quotient is used to show a person’s intelligence using a standardised set of tests.
MQ – Moral Quotient is used to show understand right from wrong and to behave based on the value that is believed to be right.
PQ – Physical Quotient is used to show self-awareness and how well attuned you are to your physical wellbeing.
SQ – Spiritual Quotient is used to indicate spiritual parallels with IQ and EQ
There are many others, some not as mainstream within people’s knowledge. There are many articles around each of the Quotients and which make a rounded person. For me its all of them:
AQ + BQ + CQ + DQ + EQ + IQ + MQ + PQ + SQ = Well Rounded Person
Below are 5 Self Reflection questions to ask yourself
After reading the list above how many of these are you aware of?
Which of these do you use today?
Which will you use going forward?
Which is your strongest quotient?
How will you bring all your quotients up and be aware of them?
I can remember sitting in class and hearing the teacher saying “Hemingway! Stop day dreaming and looking out of the window!”. Forward many 10’s of years to the weekend just gone and my optometrist saying, “Mr Hemingway, You need to look out of the window more!”
Sitting in front of a computer screen all day has caught up with me. Especially driven in recent times with video calls.
So why look out of the window more, Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) is when the eyelid glands don’t produce enough oil to stop the watery layer of the tears from drying out. You don’t blink as much when your looking at the screen for a long time. There are a lot of other factors that can play into or cause MGD, however screen time is the most likely for me.
I have a mild case which is treatable with a warm flannel or warmed Eye Bag and some gentle massaging eyelid to help release the tears as its been caught early enough. If left and nothing done could become more serious in time.
The exercise I was given is a 20:20:20 – look out of the window every 20 minutes at something more than 20 yards away and blinking 20 times.
Taking regular breaks is a must, even if to look out of the window regularly.
A timer on the desk now counts every 20 mins so I can get a reminder when head down in a screen concentrating.