Tech Sensibility: The Newsletter (Dec 2013)
Welcome to the second edition of Tech Sensibility, a free newsletter discussing various approaches to making the most value of our daily usage of technology - everything from getting the most usability from our mobile devices to improving our personal lives through a better understanding of technical information. Thanks to all of you who have joined since the first edition. Subscription and cancellation information is explained at the conclusion of the newsletter. Thanks for subscribing. - Bruno Scap
- When looking into a new domain name, do not check its availability without purchasing it right away if it is available. Domain squatters use automated tools that alert them when someone is checking whether a domain is available. They may buy your domain name before you do, with a purpose of selling it to you at a premium price later on. To avoid this, register and buy a domain name immediately if you find that it is available. You can even register a few at a time - if you do not want them later, just let them expire after a year.
- Many web sites require you to set up security questions in order to protect your online account information. An example security question may be, "What was the color of your first car?" For your ultimate protection, generate a random string of text (for example: btgcvu8rvj) for an answer and write it down somewhere. Alternatively, answer with a word that is out of context. An example answer for the above question may be "kitchen".
- Bluetooth can drain a cell phone's battery very quickly, as can your phone constantly seeking a connection in areas with a weak or no signal. To increase your battery life, make sure you have a healthy signal where you use your phone. Additionally, using the Internet and flash photography may contribute to accelerated battery drain.
- Be responsible about disposing your electronics. Discarded electronic waste contains toxic substances harmful to humans and wildlife, including mercury, lead, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium. There are responsible electronic waste disposing recyclers that do not discard e-waste in landfills or incinerators, export it to developing countries or send it to prison labor operations. Find an ethical recycling company near you at The e-Stewards Initiative.
- Keep your e-mails short. No one has the time or patience to read past the first paragraph. Format your e-mails to display well on mobile devices, especially cell phones. Make it easy for your recipients to read and understand your messages, especially if you need something from them in return. To help you manage an ever-increasing inflow of e-mails, reply right away to e-mails that require a short answer that you already know.
Do business managers take IT for granted?
Everyone knows that IT keeps the lights on. But top management may take IT for granted, which may lead them to contemplate making cuts. How can IT keep itself viable to the rest of the organization? By getting involved and doing PR.
IT leaders have a dual responsibility. They have to continuously drive down the costs of keeping the lights on, as well as enable their organization to translate technology opportunities into meaningful business results.
It is important that IT leaders not only support the IT infrastructure, but also use IT to drive business strategies. In order to achieve this, they need to continuously work on improving the relationship between business and IT leadership to enable and foster a collaborative relationship.
Additionally, they need to improve IT visibility across the organization by focusing on maximizing the business value from computing technologies and services and optimizing the return on existing business and IT investments.
While to the layperson it may not appear to be tackling big problems, technology plays an inherent role in creating business value. To enable their organizations to gain increased financial rewards, including higher market shares and sales volume, IT leaders need to develop IT strategies that are tightly aligned to business goals and corporate priorities.
- Always challenge your assumptions. We are bombarded with information from advertising, news, and social media. We are influenced by our own biases and form our own realities. Question what you know and accept that others may see the world differently. It is OK to change your mind.
- Keep life in perspective. Are you increasingly stressing over details? Keep your goals in front of you at all times. Write them down and put them in your wallet. Look at them frequently. Do not let every-day events get in the way of your objectives. Be focused, and you can achieve anything.
- We all make lists for things that need to be done. The problem is that our lists grow to unmanageable size, which is why we create new lists. Try scheduling the to-do items on your calendar. Make each task an outcome, and give it a specific day and time. When the time comes, do it. If you complete just three small but valuable outcomes each day, your productivity will increase dramatically.