Internet of Things

We are pretty good at labelling things and then making them seem real. When the net first took off in the 90s we were using it how we wanted and we were saving to our computers or 1.44MB floppie disks. We had fun downloading programmes of our own choice to run on our computers. The desktop became the laptop became the tablet became the smartphone. We now have streaming and cloud services. Programmes became software became apps. Everything has a chip in it. We can do computer diagnostics on our cars and we have life saving monitoring equipment in hospitals. Every bit of a pregnancy and birth is monitored and tracked on a computer. Cars cannot get us easily from one place to another because of roadworks and infrastructure changes. The internet of things isn’t what they say it is but it is. It does exist and it can serve us well. We can have a smart home if we want one. We can sometimes navigate our way out of a difficult driving situation if we need to. We can connect with businesses and organisations in a helpful , effective way if necessary. We never have to live in ignorance or feel disconnected because we have internet access and we have technology tools which link us and help us to collaborate , share and grow ideas.

The problem appears to be that we are not driving it. We are being driven.  Our photos are hijacked helpfully to the cloud. Tabloid news is bingly bonging onto our devices whenever it wants to. Adverts will hang a device or a computer because they feel like it. Our privacy has been ignored and our capacity to develop our own way of being with our device has been overridden. We now have world class gamers which the gaming industry cannot keep up with. They can finish a new game and then be waiting several months for  a new game to come out. They are very good at what they do. They think at the speed of light and can process information and strategy at awesome speeds but the games are complex and take time to make. The gamers don’t want to be held in a holding pattern until something new arrives and virtual reality isn’t appealing to them much at the moment. We haven’t addressed that level of complexity. We created it but we can’t deal with it.

So many people are walking away from technology other than for essential services and contact because is has become TheirNet and no longer MyNet. The upsurge of board games is an interesting by product of that. Monopoly, Cluedo and Ludo , in particular, are enjoying new found success. People are dumping their smartphones because of all the notifications, interfering buttons and screens and lack of capacity to just do something. They are buying cheap phones which  call and message. Just like in the 90s when a phone did what you wanted. The ever growing minimalist movement is doing a lot to counterbalance and rationalise this internet of things because it isn’t what we were thinking. It exists but we need time to think about what we need and want. We need clarity but we also need our own personal space on the net which is ours and not theirs.

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Life without the internet

If you are feeling swamped, overwhelmed and dictated to by the internet, then yes, leave it. Take a break. Get away from it . Live your life. Paul Miller gives some interesting insights because his job relies on the internet but he hasn’t really known a life without the internet and social media. The difficulty with the internet is that is has become very dictatorial and proscriptive and Paul Miller has discovered insight into that by not being tied to the internet. After my 3 lengthy outages from my internet and home phone this year I found that I did have more time, I was doing things differently and I was able to become more involved with real life. I was never bored. I have other interests and other ways of connecting with people. I was still using my phone and computer apps for things…those which were not dependent on an internet connection. It was hard to do some business activities because so many of them rely on an internet connection. I know really intelligent, vibrant, creative people who have very little to do with the internet and don’t want to participate in what they see as very low level engagement and thought. The internet is there for us to use. It is amazingly helpful and does facilitate so many ideas and collaborations which could not or would not otherwise occur. How you use it and why you use it is your decision and I think this video looks at how we can sometimes let the internet run our lives and personalities. Worth viewing and then worth doing an internet use audit.

I’m using the internet!

I cannot believe it! Back in the  free world and my phone and internet connection have been restored ahead of schedule. Back in the free world! That was no detox. That was horribly hard. I have learned a lot, though, as you always do when life forces you to confront difficulties. I am more than grateful to all the tech support and telecommunications staff who worked so hard and consistently to try to resolve this problem for me. I haven’t had a home phone or proper internet access since 4pm April 26th and that was the second phone/net loss in April. No one’s fault. All part of building an information super highway. I truly do thank all those people who were trying to resolve this and then the ones who got that port swap done. So happy ! Ha ! Ha!

Handy Computer Tricks

Grant Thompson may well call himself the “King of Random” but this little video is full of helpful hints and with over 4 million views I’d say he has hit the mark and been quite specific in his help. He has actually put together more than 6 simple tricks and the ease with which this video transfers information to the viewer needs to be analysed and observed! He has put a lot of information into this video but you do not have the feeling you are on overload. You need to be aware that Apple is pulling support for QuickTime security updates on Windows. Silly and even unbelievable in 2016. Running malware and virus protection should keep you safe because QuickTime is the easiest tool for making screencasts. So fuss free. Grant Thompson also forgot to mention the Windows Snipping Tool which is so easy for taking screen shots or parts of screens. Much easier than the print screen button.

Take up a challenge.

cleaning challengeI am always doing Twitter challenges. They were coming up on a fairly regular basis but now I go looking for them. Why?

1. They challenge me!
2. They make me achieve
3. They make me rethink
4. They are fun
5. They make me grow

happy teacher

Image : Presto Plans Blog

Currently , I have moved away from the education challenges and am doing Buzzfeed’s Spring Cleaning Challenge. In Adelaide it has to be the Autumn Cleaning Challenge and not a bad time to do it. You get one room a day. It takes 10 days and you are given instructions and tips. It is quick. It makes a difference and I loved dusting with socks on my hands for today’s challenge.

The education ones I have done have made me really think about what I am doing. They have kept me very focussed but the biggest impact they have had on me is to remind me that I am the one who can make a difference. I can do things which change my day, others , what I am doing. I have done the #30goals (@30GoalsEDU) #gratitudechallenge and most recently the #pcps_teach challenge about the impact of Twitter on me professionally. There are all sorts of challenges you can find on the internet or Twitter – fitness challenges, health challenges, photo challenges, February challenges. Each day you have something to do. The longest are a month. My cleaning one is for 10 days. In 10 days I shall have changed myself and my home. That’s why I like challenges. They make a difference.

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