Alternatives to morning radio

I commute to northern Virginia (NoVA) a couple of times per week. ¬†I make this longer-than-ideal commute to preserve a small-town experience for my family AND a morning waterskiing habit for myself during the summer ūüôā Few things make me more productive and happy that sitting down to work at 830a/9a with a cup of coffee having already taken 4-6 passes at the slalom course earlier that morning!

My commute takes one of two forms: ¬†car or train. ¬†I drive when I need to have total control of my movement when I’m in NoVA. ¬†The drive is regrettable mostly because I lose the ability to produce. ¬†I do, however, retain the opportunity to learn by listening to NPR, a book from Audible, and/or podcasts.

I had built a habit listing to long-form podcasts but that was getting frustrating.  Many podcast hosts mimic talk radio which adds WAY to much banter and who-gives-a-crap dialog to the preamble.  Dear podcast publishers РI assure you..  your opening banter is of no value Рplease STOP.

A month or so ago I searched for some short form podcasts and I was rewarded with some hits! ¬†Using the Downcast podcast app on my phone I’ve assemble a Morning Commute playlist consisting of a series of 8-12 minute podcasts.

Downcast Website

I’ve configured Downcast to only keep the latest episode of each podcast making the playlist a custom radio talk show with the most recently and relevant (as curated by ME!). ¬†Downcast automatically updates the playlist podcast when I open it. ¬† I’ve built the playlist to take slightly longer than the average commute meaning I can get stuck in traffic now and again and still be learning until I pull into the office building. ¬†Good stuff. ¬†If you spend time commuting I recommend you give this a try!

Morning Commute Playlist

 

 

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Turning employees into stark raving fans

A simple idea with difficult implementation. ¬†Making your employees stark-raving fans. ¬†The issue? ¬†Leadership shortcomings. ¬†The value of turning employees into fans can’t be better expressed than in this blog post from Tony Robbins:

ARE YOU TREATING YOUR EMPLOYEES LIKE RAVING FANS? –¬†You might be surprised by the results

‚ÄúYour life changes the moment you make a new, congruent, and committed decision‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Tony Robbins

Posted in Digital Business, Entrepreneurialism, Good Living, Inspiration, Personal Development, Software Companies | Leave a comment

Hiring smart people

This…

“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” – Steve Jobs

Posted in Digital Business, Entrepreneurialism, Personal Development, Software is Eating the World | Leave a comment

Some people were raised by wolves | Why we can’t have nice things

Yesterday was a sad day.  LLBean, the iconic Freeport Maine-based clothing company, had to amend its famous return policy:

WHO DOES THIS?  Who thinks it is appropriate to go to a yard sale, buy a pair of used slippers and return them to LLBean?!  IF your family is hungry/homeless I could understand.  Somehow I doubt the perpetrators of this failure of integrity are down on their luck; rather, they are immoral opportunists.

How you conduct your affairs matters.  The Golden Rule is relevant to all of us in all situations.

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The importance of integrity

Most of what we do in life and business is done without legal or contractual cover.  In this wild majority of situations you are trading with your integrity.  Your integrity and the effect it has on your overall reputation is incalculable.

The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office. Dwight D. Eisenhower

 

My integrity means everything to me.  When I make a commitment I want people to feel they can take it to the bank.

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Autonomous Vehicles == Low Value

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In “The race for autonomous vehicles is over. ¬†Silicon Valley lost.” John McElroy (Twitter: @Autoline) makes some excellent points. ¬†Here are my cliff notes:

  • Some companies are based on 10% margins
  • Some companies are based on 40% margins
  • Manufacturing at scale is HARD and requires years of DNA development
  • Innovation at web scale/speed might be best done in Silicon Valley
  • The battle for the the Autonomous Car itself is over; Detroit won.

The battle the the REAL prize; the data generated by people and families as they use Autonomous Vehicles is just being considered.

 

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Alfred 3 = Awesome

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Macs without Alfred installed are… broken.

 

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Security and the Internet of Things (IoT)

Short post today…

Hackers and the IoT

Hackers and the IoT

More of a link than a post. ¬†This Economist story from July 18, 2015, entitled, “Their own devices”¬†is an excellent read for the non-technical person on the security implications of everything becoming a computer.

Here is the real issue says Graham Steel, the CEO of Cryptosense (Cryptosense twitter):

Part of the problem, says Dr Steel, is that many of the firms making these newly connected widgets have little experience with the arcane world of computer security. He describes talking to a big European maker of car components last year. ‚ÄúThese guys are mechanical engineers by training,‚ÄĚ he says. ‚ÄúThey were saying, ‚Äėsuddenly we have to become security developers, cryptography experts and so on, and we have no experience of how to do all that‚Äô.‚ÄĚ

Scary right?

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Hollywood: Please represent the military accurately

The Page house caught a bug this past Christmas (2015). ¬†As a result, we didn’t get out of the house very much; instead we ended up getting extra value from our Netflix and iTunes Movies accounts.

One of the (many) movies we watched was Max (2015: IMDB).

Max Movie Poster Frame

Max Movie Poster Frame

From the IMDB entry for the movie:

A dog that helped US Marines in Afghanistan returns to the U.S. and is adopted by his handler’s family after suffering a traumatic experience.

I am a former Marine and everyone in the Page house is card-carrying¬†Dog Person¬†so the¬†movie looked awesome. ¬†I won’t spoil it but the movie was very enjoyable and left everyone with good feelings (compulsory for any proper PG-rated dog-related movie!). ¬†If you have dogs in your family I recommend you add¬†Max¬†(iTunes,¬†Amazon Video) to your Wish List.

On a recent trip I saw a boy watching the movie in the airport on the family iPad. ¬†It reminded me of this blog post I’d been wanting to write for a while.

Veterans (and Marines in particular) will at least notice, if not be annoyed by, the inaccuracies in the representation / portrayal of Marines.

Specifically:

  • Ranks (i.e., Corporal, Sergeant, etc.)
  • Misuse of words like “command”
  • Salutes and “covers”
  • Tactical behavior
  • Uniform items
  • Uniform presentation
  • and, uh, haircuts

So, to the movie industry Рif you need/want someone to help you accurately portray Marines and/or the Marine Corps Рfind an active duty Marine.  They would be delighted to help; and probably for free.

If you can’t find one, email me and either I will find you one or help you myself.

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Is encryption a tool for terrorists?

Keywords:  Candidate competence, Voter competence

Neither Republicans or Democrats have a lock on technical ignorance. ¬†I loved the term “staggering ignorance” in a December 2015 article on Venture Beat. ¬†“Loved” in terms of being vivid and accurate; not in terms of it being good that the candidates are so ignorant.

This issue of encryption isn’t tech versus security. ¬†It’s a case of people that understand versus those that don’t.

Maybe candidates for Leader of the Free World should have to pass an PAT (Presidential Aptitude Test) before they can run.

 

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