Data Protection and Privacy

This video was prepared for the UNCTAD conference in 2016. UNCTAD stands for United Nations Trade and Development. It has been working on helping developing nations engage safely with global trade and development. Two years down the track and we all seem to be developing nations when it comes to data protection and privacy. The general consensus seems to be that it’s all out of hand and we are powerless in protecting our online information and profile. Our data doesn’t belong to us and that is the biggest bone of contention. This post serves as an introduction. The issues around data protection and privacy are many and varied. The video highlights some major concerns and things to look for. It will take a number of posts to look at all of this in more depth.

For me , it boils down to 3 things:

  1. Selling data for data mining is big business. People need a  lot of data so they can sell it and then people package it and make money out of selling it. Not unlike coal mining.
  2. We need huge quantities of data for artificial intelligence and developing humanoids/robots etc etc. AI is already serving some very good purposes. How can we help without putting our information at risk?
  3. Data is being ,and has been , collected from us and shared without our permission. What are our rights and how do we balance the need for data to further develop the technology we need and like and maintain integrity with regard to respect for individual privacy?

It has become clear to me that different people are concerned about privacy and data breaches in different ways and for different reasons. We need to have a decent conversation about all of this so we can benefit form data and information sharing .

RedNotebook

RedNotebook

Plan your day

Red Notebook is designed to run on Linux and is like Evernote  – or is that the other way around? I was blogging about  daily planners the other day and it made me wonder what might be available that was Linux specific. I am running  Linux  Mint 17.2 Raphaela on this laptop and I couldn’t install Red Note Book from the package manager. I couldn’t install it from the site either.  I could install it when I used the instructions from launchpad and type them one line at a time into Terminal. RedNotebook then installed itself into the Office section of the start menu.

In RedNotebook you have 3 templates, if you want, for meetings, journeying and personal. You don’t have to use them. You can just put in your own headings and hashtags so you can create your to do lists, notes, reminders, bookmarks…whatever you like just like Evernote. It’s an electronic diary which is not connectivity dependent to work. You back it up to your own chosen spot on your computer. From that point of view it’s good because if you have no internet access then your agenda/diary/journal is still available to you as are all of the backups. To me, this is essential. I don’t want to be plotting and planning and notetaking only to discover I can’t access what I have done because I have no internet connection. Daily planning has to be available, full stop , end of story.

The hashtags work as a sorting function and are displayed to the left. As you build up notes then a word cloud appears so your memory can be jogged if you are searching for something. I really like RedNotebook. I thought the world had stopped doing good things like this so I am really happy. You can read all about it on sourceforge. It operates in more than 30 languages.

One minute on the internet

internet 60 seconds

There used to be a saying something along the lines that a successful person knew how to use 5 minutes wisely. If you look at this infographic , then we could well reduce that to one minute. It is mindboggling what happens in one minute on the internet. Since 2017 this has all increased dramatically. We are more connected that ever and, clearly, we want to be. There is no doubt that technology is a part of our daily lives in a big way  and that it is largely to do with connecting with others. Lori Lewis who is very involved with radio broadcasting and its reach has supplied these graphics and discusses them on allaccess. People are using multiple devices and the royal wedding  recently demonstrated that clearly. As device and internet users we are plugged in , constantly connected , commenting, conversing and researching. People can reject this way of being but clearly , with the increase in that behaviour, it is now who we are. It is not doing. It is being. We want o share our thoughts and ideas. We want to engage with others. We want to act and react. We can do that across the planet. How that evolves is up to us and it’s all about collaboration rather than competition.

The Royal Wedding

harryandmeghan.jpgWhether you were interested or not in the royal wedding is of no consequence. What is important is that in terms of connectivity and the internet it was a ground breaking event which demonstrated just how much we want to connect and how powerful that is. There were 3.4 million tweets sent during the ceremony. It is how we interact with each other these days which has been highlighted. On Friday morning there was enough traffic to break the BBC site and so the interest in the event was beyond the capacity of one of the world’s biggest broadcasters and that site would be used to dealing with large numbers in terms of traffic. There were 2.7 million mentions of the royal wedding on social media in 24 hours. The statistics are still being collated and collected but there are powerful numbers there to show how much we can achieve in 2018 in terms of connecting with each other. The BBC has compiled some interesting statistics for the royal wedding. There is some discussion about the number of global viewers and then comparisons with Kate and William’s wedding and Charles and Diana’s wedding. During that time frame we have had more and better access to tablets and smartphones and that needs to be taken into account.  The statistics will be updated in about a week’s time because it is important to know what we can achieve globally.

Firstly, we need to understand what pulls people into that passionate need to connect. Secondly we need to know if we have the capacity to deal with it in terms of hardware and software. We need to know if we can do it better and we need to look at the benefits and the pitfalls. That kind of capacity to involve and connect is powerful in terms of education,  engagement and problem solving for the planet. Our plastic problem would disappear if we could all engage and involve ourselves like we did for the royal wedding. Do we have a way of looking at the impact? Do we have data which would show us whether our powerful capacity to connect is of good value to us? Can we think it forward and use it to solve some of the world’s biggest issues?

Top 10 free Windows applications

These applications have been around for a while so they have been peer and community reviewed pretty thoroughly. Most of them are cross platform and they are all high performing applications . Some of them have a pro paid version but all of them are very functional as free applications. I am always using Gimp and I did used to use Scribus .This video reminded me to take another look at it. These applications are very much for 2018 so  , if you have time, take a look. Open Office is good to have loaded if you want an alternative to cloud services. It doesn’t have the high end graphics and presentation capabilities of the Apple and Microsoft alternatives but it works really well. Libre Office is also free and equally as good.

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