All posts tagged covid19

#22 October 2020 | Monthly Digital Breadcrumbs

Bounce your way through the following assortment of delightful gathered things.

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My fatherland is struggling as several more Welsh counties to go into coronavirus lockdown.

Ireland may have the answer when it comes to Facebook and data sovereignty.

Who knew how much tourism power Wikipedia has.

Suing the patent office on behalf of AI.

Why I’m taking a break from Creative Leadership NZ this year.

Cocooning in technology for the privileged.

WATCH

EXPLORE

Here’s a directory of free graphic design resources that you can use for personal or commercial use.

Here is the bible of remote work tools.

A Random Two-Word Phrase Generator for inspiring weird and wonderful ideas / thoughts / names.

Transform any hands-drawn design into a HTML code.

Image credit – Eleri Morgan.
All monthly digital breadcrumbs posts.

#18 June 2020 | Monthly Digital Breadcrumbs

Time to surf the information superhighway for treats and things.

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Why an Amazon executive resigned over company’s ‘chickenshit’ firings of employee activists (stop buying from Amazon).

A flood of coronavirus apps are tracking us – now it’s time to keep track of them.

Our lives are now run by ‘Persuasion Engineers‘ – shudder!

How Facebook could use Giphy to collect your data.

Another Apple whistleblower goes public over lack of action – “I am extremely concerned that big tech companies are basically wiretapping entire populations…”

WATCH

EXPLORE

Your illustration dances to the music.

The spoken articles list of Wikipedia.

A curated timeline of COVID pandemic events related to Wellington city here in NZ.

The British Museum has added 1.9 million images free to use for anyone under a Creative Commons 4.0 license.

Free video conferencing background images of empty sets from the BBC Archive.

Play with Mikutap – great for bored kids / kidults alike.

Blush: Create, mix, and customize illustrations made by artists around the world – then use them commercial free.

AutoDraw which converts rough scribbles and doodles into beautiful, symmetrical icons/clipart that you can download for free.

Check out this platform which make acapellas from any song or this one which remove vocals from any song.

thisworddoesnotexist.com creates words which does not exist using AI.

All monthly digital breadcrumbs posts.
Image credit: By en:Charles Burton Barberhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gelert.jpg, Public Domain, Link.

#17 May 2020 | Monthly Digital Breadcrumbs

Lumping some tempting online items for you to check out.

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The city of Amsterdam is going to embrace the more sustainable ‘doughnut’ economy model post-covid19.

There are always the helpers.

Why putting Jared Kushner in charge as utter madness.

WATCH

EXPLORE

Listen to my mates podcast on how Jacinda Ardern is a communication master from David McQueen.

A website that helps you to see satellites in orbit from your backyard.

This will keep you busy for while.

This website teaches you Morse Code in around 15 minutes.

Love In The Time Of Coronavirus (free ebook download from GapingVoid).

If you have a spare laptop or computer check out Folding@Home, a distributed computing project for performing molecular dynamics simulations of protein dynamics (currently focussed on aiding a COVID19 vaccine).

All monthly digital breadcrumbs posts.
Image credit: A View from Moel Cynwich: Looking Over the Vale of Afon Mawddach and Toward Cader Idris, c. 1850, William Turner, from Cleveland Museum of Art.

COVID19 | Managing Your Personal Privacy Liability

Where does the liability lie when employers stipulate the use of certain platforms / programmes / devices which could become a future privacy issue?

Following up on my ‘Working From Home Privacy Check‘ post last week, I tweeted out the above query as conversations with some of my peers raised the challenge they were facing. It doesn’t take much to come up with some other scenarios where issues could arise:

SCENARIO 1 : An educational organisation is transitioning to virtual classes and is using an online platform to deliver to the students. Teachers are working hard to digitise the content and subsequent workflow for all involved. During some of the online lessons, a couple of students innocently post images of the classes with all the faces plus full names of their fellow students publicly on social media.

SCENARIO 2 : A small company wants to ensure its employees are staying connected and has started using a messaging system which the teams are asked to download on their devices. This creates the opportunity for work discussions along with more personal communications, just like a work environment. The platform they use gets infiltrated with a spambot and it starts sending phishing messages to all the employees personal contacts in their phones contact book.

SCENARIO 3 : A large governmental department is starting to utilise a new video conferencing platform as everyone is working from home. Its operations and the information shared are highly confidential as they deal with issues of national security. Due to a flaw in the video system, some of the discussions are accessible to other parties who use it for nefarious means.

The question about liability bounced around for about a week until I got the following response via this tweet from John Edwards, Privacy Commissioner of New Zealand:

Employees are obliged to follow any reasonable instruction from an employer. If an employee conveyed reservations about using a particular tool and the employer said please proceed, they would likely be obliged to follow that instruction. The employer assumes the risk.

Which was also corroborated by another tweet from 2018 Wellingtonian of the Year and an employment law specialist, Steph Dyhrberg, Partner at Dyhrberg Drayton Employment Law:

Agree. I would put it in writing to have a record of the concerns being raised. Employer should record the direction in writing too.

So if you are working from home and you have concerns regarding your privacy please do detail them via email with your employer. You might want to also ask for some risk assessment and scenario planning from the leadership also.

Stay safe and sane out there, plus wash your hands!

Related posts: COVID19 | Working From Home Privacy Check, COVID19 | A Global Pause, Effective Digital Presentation Skills | Five Quick-Fire Tips.

#16 April 2020 | Monthly Digital Breadcrumbs

A gaggle of curated stuff to aid the lockdown situation.

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Forgive yourself if you’re barely functioning right now.

Not a comfortable read but how one person freaked out after getting their file from Clearview AI.

Māori tribe restricts hongi greeting over coronavirus.

WATCH

EXPLORE

If you’re on a Mac use Fluid and turn your favorite web apps into real apps.

Nine Inch Nails releases some free music.

Upload a video or GIF & remove the background with Unscreen.

Some free royalty free premium music for projects (cleared for YouTube) via UnMinus.

The most dangerous writing app.

Undraw is a constantly updated design project with beautiful SVG images that you can use completely free and without attribution.

All monthly digital breadcrumbs posts.
Image credit: Beautiful Dingbats’ Pattern Generator

COVID19 | Working From Home Privacy Check

With citizen lockdown now spanning half the globe, don’t forget about privacy during these times.

Most work environments are now private homes. Collaborating and staying in touch with colleagues has changed rapidly, so lets have a quick look at the main areas through a privacy lens:

CONFERENCE CALLS

As we replace normal face-to-face meetings with video conferencing platforms, Zoom has exploded due to it’s simple interface and scalability. However, there are historical and current issues to be aware of when considering using this service:

One option if you can’t get away from using the platform is to not download the app but log in via a ‘secure’ browser to a meeting using a something like Brave or Epic (just don’t have the app downloaded and click the link from the invite which takes you online).

Zoom though is not the only option out there. Other alternatives include:

If you can use a browser based video conference option (along with a proxy-based privacy-centric browser) then the only thing to allow is access to camera and microphone, which can be turned off again in the browser settings once the call has finished.

CHAT

To replace the casual opportunities for quick chats and interactions the office offers, think about setting up a group channel utilising chat functionality to stay in touch.

Something like Slack is very popular for this as might already being used in a corporate setting, but again this has privacy considerations [Are Your Remote Work Apps Spying on You?]. Some folks also utilise WhatsApp although this is owned by Facebook who have a history of capturing and then commodify data for external use like influencing elections etc.

Explore something like Signal or Telegram which have end-to-end encryption. Also, both have desktop versions so your phone can be kept for personal use and you’ll only be ‘at work’ when on your computer.

PERSONAL vs WORK

You might be using personal technology devices for the first time for work such as laptops and / or phones plus other tablets.

For laptops / home computers / tablets, set up a separate user account so that all work activities plus programmes / apps are set up there. For phones there’s also an iOS and Android option (hat tip Mike Riversdale)

This will aid the psychological perspective of ‘going to work’ in the morning when you log on to these accounts.

If you’re adding any apps to your personal phone during this time ensure you’re not giving access to all your contacts and access fully to your phone.

Also, if you have any smart speakers running Alexa or Google Assistant, consider that they also now are privy to your calls and any verbal interactions you have. For some professions unplug the devices completely as they could become a potential security risk for information leakage.


Truly appreciate there are bigger things going on for many at this time plus many will be mandated by ‘HQ’ on preferred systems / platforms / apps (which again why setting up alternative user accounts and separating personal devices from work is important).

Remember to read the privacy and data policies of any websites, platforms and technology being utilised and make informed choices from that basis.

Very much open to other alternatives explored above so add them in the comments below and will check them out plus add to the blog post.

Related: What You Should Know About Online Tools During the COVID-19 Crisis plus this tweet to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner NZ which inspired this blog post.
Additional reading: Top 5 Open Source Video Conferencing Tools for Remote Working and Online Meetings
Image credit: Cameras, Conference Calls, Chat, Personal vs Work.

COVID19 | A Global Pause

A meandering thought ramble on the current pandemic to redirect my overly-anxious brain.

This week, New Zealand went into lockdown for four weeks after announcing a national emergency plus moving to the highest Level 4 alert. The opposite was sent to all mobile phones in the country to announce the nationwide curfew.

At the time of writing, we have nearly four hundred cases here (no deaths) and taking this approach could ensure the spread is contained.

Nearly all of my paid work has been cancelled although I just got notified I was approved for the COVID-19 Employer Payment for the next three months.

I feel lucky to be where I am.

However, the whole world is sharing this experience and every country is approaching it slightly differently, although many are adopting as isolation strategy.

I’m wondering (out loud) what good can come as we collectively pause together:

SOCIAL

We weren’t ready for this. Some knew:

It’s becoming clear that a mammoth economic recession is coming, along with a radical disruption of societal systems. This is a start not the end, and our overlapping society of nations will have to rethink many of its operating structures.

There’s a collective growing literacy at understanding exponential curves, inter-dependent industries and sectors plus how much small percentage points matter when it relates to economies.

Everything is being revealed as fragile.

Although this does present an opportunity to reflect on what is important. How, after a certain level of comfort and freedom is gained, everything else is a bonus.

We’ll also be critiquing the stale idea of traditional working cultures as swathes of humans turn to digital methods to deliver and continue their workload. However, as the crisis abates, I feel there will be a massive hunger for the physical and in-person again.

There are no special cases when princes, politicians, celebrities are getting it. The real super stars are those illustrating the innate goodness of humans:

ENVIRONMENTAL

The above video shows China’s nitrogen levels falling and then rising slightly again as some of the curfews are lifted.

Wildlife have rediscovered usually polluted areas like the canals in Italian cities:

As time goes on, this global pause will provide precious data and critical evidence for scientists to go further in proving the impact we’re having on the world.

CULTURAL

Talking here about the wider understanding that we all share a common space and are part of an operating system which is now in danger of collapsing.

Our streets and towns and cities personify the quiet we need to reflect on what’s crucial. To ask questions which transcend a rigged monetary system, to recognise the importance of community and amplify the need for evolving the politics of our time.

This forced reset is also ironic, separating us all from symbiotic elements of family, friendship, food, nature, place, space etc. which make us, us.

Going forward, the medical (especially front-liners) and educational establishment needs to be elevated, celebrated and remunerated properly (along with others who are now deemed ‘essential’ like rubbish men, supermarket workers, warehouse workers etc.), whilst we dull the idea of celebrity in its importance.

We have such a distinct divide of leadership during these times across nations from silly men who took so long to listen to professionals to other larger and even sillier men who thinks letting people die to save the economy is the way forward (Johnson is what happens when a guy like Trump can speak Latin) to our own PM here in NZ, leading with kindness and compassion (jumping online after putting her baby to bed to take a Q&A for those entering their first night of the impending lockdown):

This crisis simply illustrates how interconnected we all are.

Everything is linked.

All aspects of our well-being are joined to man-made constructs like capitalism as well as natural systems like the wider environment which need to remain healthy.

This is an opportunity to transform.

Become warriors and guardians of wiser and kinder system of living.

This joint deep breath, allows us a chance to redesign our intent as humans in focusing on the right things (rather than continue doing the wrong things righter).

The world has changed so much in three months, imagine if it we were intentional in rebuilding it.


Truly hope wherever you are reading this you’re staying safe and sane.

Your solitude will be a support and a home for you, even in the midst of very unfamiliar circumstances, and from it you will find all your paths.

Rainer Maria Rilke
Image credit.