Archive for category Digital Culture
- Huffington Post – Why sitting too long is bad
- Infographic – Your desk job is killing you
- UK NHS – Why sitting too long is bad
- only seated
- only standing
- The IKEA Galant/Bekant additional table top (doesn’t seem to be available anymore)
- The Laptop Stand: Lavolta
- The Monitor: BenQ – GW2750 Monitor which is 27’
Here is the desktop set for standing height, seated desk and showing the height adjustable mechanisms:
So how is it working out?
Since I’ve had this setup, I’ve been working roughly half the day, with the standing set up and the rest of the day in a seated position. Generally standing at the desk in the morning, and moving to the seated position just before or just after lunch time. What I am particularly pleased about, is the laptop stand and height adjustable monitor arm. The gas sprung monitor arm, is very stable, yet very easy to move and adjust. Equally easy is the laptop stand, I just use two positions, so moving between the two and tidying it away behind the monitor is straight forward.
So what about you, do you have a height adjustable desk setup at home?
Recently I blogged about Orientating around Android Devices. While I did mention the use of applications and services in that post, I didn’t call out any in particular.
However, this screen shot, demonstrates one really useful service, I have become increasingly fond of and reliant upon.
That service is Google Now
As a reasonably frequent traveller the information provided is succinct, timely and ultimately useful in assisting me plan, and schedule my actions.
As it covers a number of topics, including sport, useful local information, etc, and it is available on the desktop too – it is a pervasive, multi-device digital assistance.
Certainly in terms ecosystem and service, lock-in and increasing consumer dependency, I think Google Now, leads the field.
What do you think?
Google recently acquired Quest Visual – the developers of Word Lens – the incredible language manipulating app, that translated language in real-time while using input from the mobile device’s camera.
The app is currently available for free via Google Play.
To see how amazing it is – have a look at the video
For any traveller or language enthusiast this has a must have app.
- Have you used Word Lens?
- What other mobile language tools would you recommend?
A favourite topic of mine for blogging about is on tools and techniques to help personal productivity or group collaboration. So you may wonder why mention the “Table of Contents”?
Well since Quintus Valerius Soranus was credited with a little-recognized literary innovation: Pliny the Elder says he was the first writer to provide a table of contents to help readers navigate a long work. The Table of Contents has been an invaluably useful tool to assist in content navigation since that introduction. And remains an expected item to appear in any rendition of literary content whether physical or digital print form.
The core principle being the use of hypertext and hyperlinks (reference points) to form the navigation structure and format, so presenting the user with a method of navigation through the document contents.
With the advent of collaborative, content management systems, like Jive and Microsoft SharePoint, while it is possible to render a TOC within an individual document, to navigate it’s own headings and sub-headings.
What I find is actually lacking is an automated or dynamic inventory of the content of space, e.g. the actual records or documents that exist within that same. At this point in time I’m not aware of either existing in the named example of content management systems I’ve given above. I would be interested to hear of system that supports such a service.
I do create these myself, as a way of recording a breadcrumb trail, to be a record for my own use, and feel it does serve in ease my own navigation around self-service content libraries or document repositories.
It serves me well to store contextual material around such artefacts and I have benefitted from productivity gains by easily finding the article and context around is origin or purpose for storage, long after it has passed from my activity memory.
Here’s an example I call “Key Links”
I was slow to realise that Evernote has a “note link” functionality, and again these can be constructed and utilised as a manner to navigate and move between notes.
See this help note “How to use note links to connect between notes” to understand how to create and set these up.
As it says:
One of the coolest things you can do with Note Links is create a Table of Contents for a set of notes inside of a notebook. This is particularly useful if you are sharing a notebook with other individuals.
And the Evernote Blog article:
Here is a youtube describing the functionality.
My recommendation is always add a link back to the TOC document you have created, so you have the ability to go and return via hyperlinks with equal ease, there is no point linking somewhere and ending up stranded.
Have you found an automation tool to do this?
Having such a globally recognised musically brands as Led Zeppelin, in addition to recent additions such as Pink Floyd, Metallica and The Eagles, in the Spotify stable has demonstrated the weight and momentum behind the music streaming service model.
I think is significant that these bands which initially held out against music streaming services such as Spotify, Rhapsody, Rdio etc., are now coming on board. While there may be real concerns and issues in terms of payment arrangements | terms to the artists (see BBC article “Spotify reveals artists earn $0.007 per stream”) – other services from Google Play (All Access) not forgetting Youtube, Apple (iTunes Radio) and Amazon (Cloud Player). Admittedly that may be a considerable shrink in terms of pay per stream instead of pay per song (9.1 cents (per song) – via wikipedia (don’t believe everything you read!)) – but the comparison of music streams to actual physical albums sales are subject to drastically different economic models and trajectories. And certainly from these charts, someone is making money from this.
I am a Spotify subscriber, so I’m not out to rip-off artists, in fact my subscription to Spotify is my way of supporting the music industry. I now pay something every month, rather than occasionally buying a CD. For me as consumer the model has great benefits, primarily being no longer limited to the physical copies I have to hand (actually purchased and own). So I am able to enjoy and sample a immeasurably wider spectrum of music than I ever had before (even the radio stations play ‘carefully selected’ playlists)… whereas with Spotify I can enjoy the full range | catalogue of an artist as I wish. Also I can’t lose or break the copy of the music I have, it’s there when I need it.
Certainly with digital stores and streaming services, the model of distribution and marketing for artists has changed irrevocably, and while it may not be as fair or mature enough in the commercials; I think it’s fair enough to say ‘the tide has turned’ – music streaming (and media streaming for that matter) is here to stay.
The new digital service allows listeners to tag any piece of music they hear on the BBC and listen to it later.
Do you agree?
Do you use streaming service – or stay away?
Since I’ve had a Google Nexus 7 tablet. One item I’ve looked out for is a Speaker Dock solution.
But I’ve recently acquired a Philips Fidelio docking speaker (AS351) with Bluetooth® for Android
The product page has a lot of images, videos and detail on the product so I recommend having a look. Here are a couple of product images.
What I find particularly thoughtful and innovative of Philips is the FlexiDock part of docking solution design – which the following image shows in more detail
The Philips FlexiDock is perfect for Android powered phones. Its unique design cleverly docks most Android powered phones – whether the phone’s connection socket is at the bottom, on the side or even on the top. This extreme flexibility is the first of its kind, catering to Android powered phones that are made by different manufacturers with no standardised position and orientation for the micro USB connection socket.
This I’ve put to good use by adjusting it to simply dock the Google Nexus 7 – which you can see in the following image
It’s a recent acquisition but my first impressions are favourable, it has a solid feel to it, and a re-assuring touch of quality about it. Sound wise it seems fine to me, it’s not a hi-fi system or top of the range dock, but the audio quality is reasonable and meets my expectations. A nice feature is that it charges the device without being “switched on” itself, so the tablet is always charged and ready to go. Of course it receives the audio signal over Bluetooth so support playback from any Bluetooth compatible device and even has an audio input jack too.
The specifications mention –
- Shielding technology to block mobile phone interference
- Precisely tuned bass pipes for deep, tight bass reproduction
Which are sensible design features to reduce noise interference and enhance the quality of the audio playback.
- Philips Fidelio (AS851) – which is the top of the range option
- Philips Fidelio (AS351) – which is the middle of range option
- Philips Fidelio (AS141) – which is a docking station combined with alarm
- Philips Fidelio (AS111) – which is the smallest android docking station combined with alarm
One of the things I recommend is if you’re interested in an Android docking system is to check recommendations posts like:
Also hunt around for the best price – there are good deals out there!
Let me know if you thinking of getting some like this as an Android device owner. I certainly think the market will see more options come available as more and more Android devices are in the hands of consumers.
The click and hold Preview action as shown above, makes easy to sample a recommendation and discover more artists and their music, with the slick UI and making it simple and straight forward to move through the recommendations.
Behind the scenes it shows that Spotify are paying attention to the usage profile of their users, and displaying recommendations and suggestions based on tunes played and playlist content. While an individual users’ play history and playlist settings may be quite small digitally. As Spotify has millions of subscribers to the service, cumulatively this must equate to a significant data-set and require Big Data hosting and analytics services behind that to drive recommendations and observe other trends within their user base.
Some quotes from that post:
At the heart of Spotify lives a massive and growing data-set. Most data is user-centric and allows us to provide music recommendations, choose the next song you hear on radio and many other things. We do our best to base every decision, programmatic and managerial, on data and this extends into the culture.
Most of our recurring data is added to our analytics pipeline by a set of daemons that constantly parse the syslog on production machines looking for messages we have defined along with the associated data for each message. Matching data is compressed and periodically synced to HDFS. Typically data is available in our Data Warehouse and Dashboards within 24 hours, but in some cases data is available within a few hours or even instantly through tools like Storm.
Do you use Spotify, what do you like about it?