Archive for the ‘Digital’ Category

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My Google Glasses Rules

In Digital,Lessons,Life,Media,Social Media,Technology,Work on February 28, 2013 by kiltforhire Tagged: , , , , , ,

When I woke this morning my feed was full of chatter about Google Glasses. Google’s big man Sergey Brin while talking at TED said that smartphones are emasculating and forcing us all to look down – as a man I look down occasionally in a needed way which got me thinking about what would happen when you wear the glasses and the rules that will need to be enforced.

1. Don’t wear your Google Glasses at dinner/lunch/breakfast if you are sitting with other people. If you think people checking their phone is annoying just wait till people simply stare up to read their latest text.

2. Bathroom etiquette is going to be massive with this one. Don’t wear them at the urinal if you are a bloke. That could end up in fights if people think you are filming their cocks. And for everyone it’s gonna be rude to just record any and all bathroom chatter.

3. No google glasses in the cinema. I don’t want to see little lights in the top corner lighting up around me. SWITCH THEM OFF.

4. I realise that being a citizen journalist is gonna be awesome with these things but I also want you to think about what you upload. Don’t use them for evil.

5. Sex. No. Unless you feel like being kinky and watching that stuff later on…but let’s be honest what if your partner wears them and she puts the video on and all you see is yourself having sex. That’s gonna be weird right? Nobody wants to see the faces they make during sex.

6. In meetings at work. May seem like a good idea but no one will say anything because everyone will be paranoid it will come bite them in the ass.

7. Shower rooms. Hopefully the glasses are waterproof. This does not mean it’s ok to wear them in the gym shower room.

8. Surgeons. Leave my insides inside not outside on the web.

9. Don’t watch porn on them on the way to work. That’s freakin’ weird.

That’s pretty much the main ones for now but I have a feeling I’ll be adding a lot more to the list as time goes on.

Do you have any suggestions where you shouldn’t wear your Google Glasses?

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Marginal Improvement and big thinking

In Digital,Lessons,Life,Marketing,Work on February 10, 2013 by kiltforhire Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

This is a post about marginal improvement and my recent list of rules

I’ve had a few people chat to me about my recent bunch of rules I’ve posted and have been saying that life needs fewer rules or that they thought I used to be a rebel would would always break the rules so I thought I would explain.

I’ve already posted these:

My Twitter Rules

My Train Rules

My Cinema Rules

And I’m currently working on a set for Facebook, LinkedIn, Vine, beach, elevators, escalators and more.

However, what I want to say is that they are more guidelines than rules. I follow the majority of them most of the time and I try to do what I can to be considerate to others. The guidelines or there just as a reference that if we all did all them well maybe, just maybe, the world would be a little bit of a better place.

Which brings me to marginal improvement. I’ve recently taken an interest again in economics (yeah I know who would have believed I would start enjoying that stuff all over again) and have been devouring podcasts on them.

The ‘Team GB’ cycling team in the UK won so many Gold Medals thanks to the their Head of Marginal Improvement, Mr Matt Parker. There is a good article on him here.

Basically he looked at how he could help increase the team’s performance marginally. Just a tad. Just enough to make them a little bit better. For instance he made the team where heated shorts before races to stop the players muscles going cold. The only team who did this were Team GB and I have no doubt at the next Olympics all cyclists will have toasty legs.

Now normally I’m the kind of guy who likes to take risks and who isn’t afraid to speak out. I’m always willing to go for the long shot and see how it pans out and I dream big – however I see that one of the best ways to dream big is to start small and that is with marginal improvements.

I’ve been re-focussing how I work by seeing which small things I can change and what things I can do that will make a small but important change in delivery and result and so far, so good.

I realise that you need a mix of marginal improvement and long term thinking. You have to dream big but also look for the small things that improve your life and your work marginally because the small things really do make an impact.

I’m not saying that from now on all I’ll be doing is looking for the little wins, oh no, I’ll always be looking to make a big impact but until they pay off I’ll be making small leaps rather than massive bounds.

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Public Speaking

In Digital,Life,Social Media,Technology on December 1, 2011 by kiltforhire

If you met me and spoke to me at work or in a bar or randomly while waiting for a train you would assume me confident, out-going and very talkative. My father, genetically and informatively, gave me a tad of his charisma and I use it wisely – a bit like if I had The Force – however one of these days I will have to confront my fear of public speaking.

Last weekend I had the pleasure of being invited on the ABC’s Big Ideas show to take part in a debate on “Is the screen mightier than the sword?” and before the show I was absolutely bricking myself that I would freeze, swear, kick over the lectern or simply strip off my shirt shouting “I’m Spartacus”.

Thankfully I didn’t do any of those things. Well except from swear. I may have done that by accident. Oh and I may have also froze. And I did think about kicking the lectern when I said something totally and utterly dumb.

I don’t know where my fear comes from. I have acted on stage and never really got butterflies and always enjoyed it but there is something about public speaking that freaks me out.

I used social media examples as a way to prove the screen was indeed mightier than the sword and I believe that as technology increases we will enter a better world for all mankind. More communication is no bad thing.

But while talking at the event my hands were shaking so I grabbed on to the lectern to try and stabilise myself only to find it was a it wobbly – so if you do watch the program feel free to not think I’m drunk. I’m just sober and unstable. Not mentally unstable. Well maybe a little.

My throat dried up as I was speaking.

I blabbed on in my Scottish accent throwing words out as fast as that General Electrics M134 mini-gun in Predator shoots bullets. The one that Blane uses.

My timed nine minute speech was suddenly over in seven minutes.

Maybe it’s better to say less than more but what if you said more but in the less timeframe??

I didn’t know what to do. Do I stand there and keep making my point? Or do I walk away and run back to my seat crying Freedom!!

I did neither of course. I said thank you, looked sheepish and stealth’d back to my seat.

Doing the talk reminded me that I should stick to talking to small groups and generally hiding in the background rather than being the centre of attention. I don’t like it when people focus on me – maybe for fear they will see the real me? An over-weight, greying, stubbly, short Scotsman with a wonky eye.

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Apple Focus

In Digital,Lessons,Marketing,Media,Technology on October 10, 2011 by kiltforhire Tagged: , , , ,

I have spent a lot of time recently thinking about Apple since the death of Steve Jobs. He got me thinking about the meteoric rise of the company from it being months from collapse to where it sits today – a technological marvel and marketing maestro that seems to be ahead of the game against their competition.

It seems like many others have also been thinking about the company recently but one person’s comments really stood out to me – William Gibson.

Now there are obviously many people who have helped influence my life but both Steve Jobs and William Gibson are up there pretty much close to the top along with my parents, my Uncle Kenny and my best mates who I grew up with.

And I’ve spoken about Steve Jobs recently in my blog and what he meant to me.

William Gibson’s Neuromancer took me to a new world and made me see the future was cyberspace. I talked about it in school. I talked about it to everyone but no-one really understood what I was saying – this was late 80s remember and technology wasn’t as big as it is now.

And he recently spoke about Apple and why he has used their devices.

In an interview he said:

“I was never interested in getting any more intimate with whatever made my computer work. I wanted the most transparent interface possible; that is, that least required my personal attention. I wanted my personal attention to be elsewhere, focused on other things other than my computer. Design at that level kept me at Apple…”

And that sums up my relationship with Apple.

I love their equipment because it allows me to quickly pass through the fact I’m using a device and simply allows me to do what I need to do.

I have a number of friends who love to tinker with things, they want to know how things work and the majority of them are all Android users or PC users. They want to find out more about their devices and really dive deep into their software and what is possible with them – which is great but for me I want a device that lets me do my job as quickly and efficiently as possible without reminding me I’m using it.

Many Microsoft products drive me barmy because they have a habit of taking my attention away from what I’m doing (and I can be easily distracted at the best of times) and cause me to focus on the program and not what I’m using it for. I always felt that way with PC running Windows – and still do to be honest.

To me Apple computers remind me of my body (work with me here). I don’t stop to think about how I breathe I simply do. I don’t stop to think about how my muscles work and allow me to type it just simply happens. So my relationship with my body is the same as the one I have with my Apple – it exists and allows me to do what I need to do without thinking about all the stuff going on inside it.

And it was Jobs attention on getting the user-experience right that makes them so damn useful to me.

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Dry July and the Drinking Society

In Alcohol,Digital,Lessons,Life on June 23, 2011 by kiltforhire Tagged: , , , ,

You may or may not have noticed but I’m a Scotsman. Scotland is ranked is one of the top countries in the world for high-levels of alcohol consumption.

It’s a drinking country. It’s dark a lot of the time and a lot of time is spent in the pubs.

You may or may not have know this but I used to be a journalist. Journalism has an incredibly high-level of alcoholics within it’s midst thank to the increasing pressures put on journalists to get stories and exclusives.

Some of my family enjoyed a drink a little bit too much and it’s taken some of their lives. I’ve known a number of people who have lost loved ones because of alcohol.

I love a good drink but I also recognise that it is a drug. A legal drug. A taxable drug. It’s an addiction for many.

Nothing beats having a beer after a hard day at work and relaxing with friends. However, I’ve over-indulged on occasion. I don’t think I’ve ever been ‘that guy’ but I’m sure I have come pretty close. I can drink a lot and have a good system that allows me to soak it up.

But a few years ago I was drinking a hell of a lot. I went to the doctor as I was feeling really run down and they ran some tests. My liver levels were high. Very high. He recommended I stay away for a while and that was around the first time I did Dry July.

Since then I have limited my alcohol consumption while still having a good time.

But it can be tough. It can be damned tough to sit there drinking water while everyone around you drinks alcohol. What is worse is that there is always someone who calls you soft for not drinking…hell I’ve been that guy a few times but I also tend to make jokes about it and if I find out someone doesn’t drink then I let it go. It’s their choice.

I have made a pledge that if I raise over $3,000 this year then I will stay off the booze for three whole months. I think that is incentive enough for people to get behind me and help me raise money for The Prince of Wales Hospital Foundation:

“The Prince of Wales hospital treats approximately 1000 new cancer patients per year and 3000 ongoing patients. This second number over the years of their survivorship come to the hospital fewer and fewer times but the 1000 new then revert to ongoing patients. So we are always treating 4000 patients per year.”

It’s a great cause so feel free to get behind me and sponsor my sobriety.

https://www.dryjuly.com/profiles/scottrhodie

If you have the time have a watch of Craig Ferguson talking about his alcohol addiction. It’s very sobering.

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LA Noire

In Digital,Friends,Video Games on May 31, 2011 by kiltforhire Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Disclaimer: My friend Craig worked on this game and I know some people at Rockstar Games.

Disclaimer two: I love the bite sized mission chunks in this game.

Disclaimer three: As much as I love my XBox I suggest you play this on the PS3 because it uses a blu-ray disc rather than 3 DVDs.

If we travel back, way back, to the time of my youth there was a game that fascinated me. This was pre-world-wide-web and completing a game meant that you had to use every part of your brain and if that failed you may have to wait months for a magazine to come out that would help you out with the bit you were stuck at.

I was stuck at a section in Police Quest (made by Sierra who also made the amazing Kings Quest and Space Quest) for months. I’ll never forget the game for as long as I live.

I was a rookie cop trying to make my way in the police world and I was involved in an incident with a perp and I had to arrest him. Police Quest was a text based game where you moved the character around with a mouse. Point and click adventures we called them back in our day.

“Arrest him” – didn’t work

“Cuff him” – didn’t work.

Months went by until a friend told me he had cracked it by hearing from a friend about something called the Miranda Rights. You know the old ‘you have the right to remain silent, you have the right to an attorney etc etc’. But I was young and not from the US. I’d never heard of these Miranda Rights.

“Use Miranda Rights” – worked. The game moved on.I finally completed it a lot later and also the follow-up games.

LA Noire makes me think of Police Quest but with some CSI and GTA thrown in for good measure. You play as a detective in a world not too dis-similar to LA Confidential. You start as a street cop and have to work your way through different cases solving crimes…fraud cases, robbery all the way to vice and homicide.

What makes this game different though is the character modeling has been done using an amazing new technique. The technology is so good that this is the first game that my deaf friend Jono has been able to actually really the lips of the game characters. You have to question characters and watch their expressions, try to read their body launguage and aim to trip them up in your questioning.

This is the next evolution in gaming in my eyes.

It has sub-missions you can do as you drive around the city. You can ask for help through using intuition points and although the main character is a tad bi-polar it’s a great game that you can drop in and out of when you feel like taxing your brain.

It’s not a first-person shooter. That’s a game where you switch your brain off. It’s a thinking game that will have you watching people’s expressions and trying to suss out whodunnit.

It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I’ll take this one with two sugars and a dash of milk please!

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Neuromancer and Tron

In Digital,Lessons,Life,Social Media,Technology,Video Games on May 31, 2011 by kiltforhire Tagged: , , , , , ,

My dad took me to see Tron when I was very young. We went to the local fleapit cinema in Dennistoun near Glasgow City Centre. I watched the movie in total awe at this strange world inside a computer.

The grid.

This place where information zipped and zapped itself around while people shared information and collaborated. It amazed me. Battles happened with the world and my life was forever changed.

Then in high school i was involved in the first year of teaching computing at my school. We had BBC Micro’s and I remember learning some basic but never felt the teacher knew what he was doing that much so nobody really learned much. I knew that computers would forge a future I just didn’t know how it would forge mine. 10 Print etc 😉

Around this same time I was told about a book called Neuromancer. I went and picked up a copy and sat down to read it. I stayed up all night and finished the book in one go.

I was mesmerised by the world created by William Gibson. The word cyberspace has stuck firmly in my brain every since.

It’s where I live today.

It’s where I work.

We may not be IN the Grid.

We may not be jacked into Cyberspace.

But we are there. Digitally connecting. Information sharing. Conversing and communicating.

For my talk in fourth year in English we had to do a talk about something and I chose Neuromancer.

I talked about how the world would be smaller. We would all be connected no matter where we were in the world. I told them about Cyberspace – this ethereal world where our other lives are led.

My teacher said she didn’t understand much about what I was talking about but that I seemed so genuinely passionate about it that it must be interesting. She gave me a high mark and that was the end of that.

I always wonder if she is on Facebook now. I wouldn’t mind just dropping her a line and saying…see told you it would work out 😉

The world as we knew it then has changed so much. Not always for the better. But it’s nice to see the future come to fruition.