Category Archives: ideas

This article about body cameras is asking the wrong questions, which is not surprising, since everyone is.

This article,  Will Body Cameras Work? – The Atlantic, is asking the wrong questions. The wrong questions are occurring because the initial answer to the question of “how do we deal with bad policing?” was often, “body cameras”. The better question to repeatedly ask: “how can we make police more accountable?” because if “body cameras” is the first answer to that question, the next question should be concerning the information captured by those body camera. How are police accountable for that? Which should then lead to another question: how are police accountable for information they capture generally? Because with new technology, police will soon be able to capture alot more information about you than just images. It will soon be possible for police to look at you or your vehicle and have that information feed back to centralized computer systems, essentially collecting information about you without you even knowing it. How will police be accountable for that?

Police accountability will come, likely through the courts. In the meantime, we will likely struggle with the fallout of police forces capturing more information.

If you feel you are stuck in the Procrastination Doom Loop, there’s help (by the Atlantic and yours truly)

Do you ever get stuck in this loop?

If so, then the Atlantic has an article for you. According to this article, The Procrastination Doom Loop—and How to Break It – The Atlantic,

Delaying hard work is all about your mood.

And it goes on to talk about how to defeat this.

Seven additional suggestions I have on defeating this doom loop:

  1. set a regular schedule of tackling difficult tasks and stick with it.
  2. dilute the difficulty by giving yourself a ridiculous amount of time to do it. If it will likely take 20 minutes, schedule 2 hours and just sit there and do nothing else until you get it done.
  3. set up a reward for getting it done.
  4. set up significant negative consequences for not getting it done. You might need help from a friend or coach here.
  5. log the positive feelings and thoughts you feel after you get it done. Review that often.
  6. log the negative feelings and thoughts you have before you do it. After you do it, analyse what you wrote and revisit your thinking and feeling. You will likely find it wasn’t as bad as you had expected.
  7. have a list of things you are procrastinating on. For example, if you have two things you are avoiding, try to avoid doing one of them by doing the other. It’s better to get one thing done than getting none done

This may just be the stupidest defense of Amazon’s workplace practices

This piece may be the stupidest defence of Amazon’s workplace practices: Replace Just 2 Words in the New York Times Amazon Article and Something Amazing Happens | Inc.com.

Amazon employees are not entrepreneurs. There is nothing in the NYTimes.com article that gives any inkling that they are. If anything, they have all the downside of being an entrepreneurs with little if any of the upside.  If someone can point out an article showing how Amazon consistently rewards employees as if they are true entrepreneurs, I’d love to read it.

There’s nothing wrong with being an entrepreneur. In fact, for some people, being an entrepreneur is the best type of work there is. Everything about it appeals to them, and working for a large corporation would kill them.

The Amazon employees are not entrepreneurs.  If you want to be an entrepreneur, be one. Don’t try to be one working at a large corporation. That is antithetical to what being an entrepreneur is.

Forget self driving cars – the first big thing will be self driving trucks

While there is lots of discussion about self driving cars, it’s much more likely that self driving trucks will become standard and accepted first. Here are two stories that support that. First this: How Canada’s oilsands are paving the way for driverless trucks — and the threat of big layoffs. Second, over at Vox, is:  This is the first licensed self-driving truck. There will be many more. Key quote from Vox:

Last night at the Hoover Dam, the Freightliner company unveiled its Inspiration Truck: the first semi-autonomous truck to get a license to operate on public roads.

The Inspiration is now licensed to drive autonomously on highways in Nevada. It works a bit like a plane’s autopilot system: a driver will get the rig on the highway, and can take control at any time once it’s there. But the truck will be able to drive itself at high speeds, using cameras to make sure it stays within its lane and doesn’t get too close to the vehicle in front of it.

Self driving trucks are already up and operational. Additionally, the business case and the hurdles to overcome with self driving trucks will be easier to achieve than that of self driving cars in urban areas. Sooner than you think, you will commonly see self driving trucks on highways, especially during the hours when most highways are 80-90% trucks.

Transportation is changing. Self driving trucks are going to be leading that change. Self driving cars will be a distant second.

 

ICYMI: What is code, by Paul Ford

Happy Monday! Are you affected by code at work? Of course you are! Do you code at work yourself? Very likely, even if it is to use formulae in a spreadsheet program like Excel (which, years ago, would have required been considered coding). However code affects you, I highly recommend you read this:
Code. It’s a very rich piece on code (i.e. software) and what it means to you (and everyone else).

Among other things, it is brilliantly designed. Lots of hard work went into this piece. If you can’t get started yet this week at work, read this as a research project.

Personal drones are getting smaller and cheaper. What that leads to.

As you can see, this new drone (Micro Drone 3.0: Flight in the Palm of Your Hand,  Indiegogo) is really small. Also relatively cheap. Like other IT, I expect personal drones will only get smaller and cheaper. The only limit will likely be how big they have to be in order not to get blown away.

I have heard people come up with innovative ways of using personal drones. For example, some home inspectors are using them to check out hard to reach parts of people’s house in order to see if they are in good shape or not. That’s great.

But there are going to be lots of other ways that people use them which may not be so desirable. The most obvious one is invading people’s privacy. It is one thing to inspect a house when no one is in it: it’s another to do so when someone lives there. Instead of prank phone calls, we’ll have prank drone visits.

How people protect their rights in such cases will be difficult. Drones will raise a number of legal questions. For example, what is your recourse if someone has a drone follow you around? Or if someone has a drone hovering in a public place outside your home? Can you fly a drone above an outdoor concert so you can record it? Can you attack drones that fly into your personal airspace? Will there be security drones that keep other drones off people’s property? If you post a video of a drone visit to a property on YouTube and someone uses that video to help them rob that property, are you an accomplice?

There has been some good work on drones being done by government agencies like Transport Canada, but I think the technology is going to challenge governments and courts to keep up. Expect to see more and more debate on drones in the coming months and years.

As far as this particular drone, Mashable has more on it here.

Veganish: for bacon loving vegan wannabes, a possible option

You may want to become a vegetarian or vegan but you may also be reluctant to give up eating things like bacon or fish. If you are experiencing this dilemma, then this question might appeal to you:

“The most effective question we can ask is not how can we increase the amount of vegetarians and vegans,” he says, “but rather, how can we reduce the amount of meat consumed?”

If this appeals to you, then I recommend this article: Love Bacon AND Animals? ‘Reducetarianism’ May Be For You. Still interested? Then I also recommend this book by Mark Bittman: VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for Good.