Fair communication requires mutual consent

I was pleased to read Shirish Agarwal’s blog in reply to the blog I posted last week Do the little things matter? Given the militaristic theme used in my own post, I was also somewhat amused to see news this week of the Strava app leaking locations and layouts of secret US military facilities like Area 51. What a way to mark International Data Privacy Day. Maybe rather than inadvertently misleading people to wonder if I was suggesting that Gmail users don’t make their beds, I should have emphasized that Admiral McRaven’s boot camp regime for Navy SEALS needs to incorporate some of my suggestions about data privacy? A highlight of Agarwal’s blog is his comment I usually wait for a day or more when I feel myself getting inflamed/heated and I wish this had occurred in some of the…
Original Post: Fair communication requires mutual consent

Do the little things matter?

In a widely shared video, US Admiral McRaven addressing University of Texas at Austin’s Class of 2014 chooses to deliver a simple message: make your bed every day. A highlight of this talk is the quote The little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right. In the world of free software engineering, we have lofty goals: the FSF’s High Priority Project list identifies goals like private real-time communication, security and diversity in our communities. Those deploying free software in industry have equally high ambitions, ranging from self-driving cars to beating the stock market. Yet over and over again, we can see people taking little shortcuts and compromises. If Admiral McRaven is right, our failure to take care of little decisions, like how we choose an…
Original Post: Do the little things matter?

A step change in managing your calendar, without social media

Have you been to an event recently involving free software or a related topic? How did you find it? Are you organizing an event and don’t want to fall into the trap of using Facebook or Meetup or other services that compete for a share of your community’s attention? Are you keen to find events in foreign destinations related to your interest areas to coincide with other travel intentions? Have you been concerned when your GSoC or Outreachy interns lost a week of their project going through the bureaucracy to get a visa for your community’s event? Would you like to make it easier for them to find the best events in the countries that welcome and respect visitors? In many recent discussions about free software activism, people have struggled to break out of the illusion that social media is…
Original Post: A step change in managing your calendar, without social media

Machine Learning for Hackers with Debian and Ubuntu

Data Science and Machine Learning are hot topics at the moment. Many people are considering how to extend their skills into these areas and many solutions have appeared, including full online degrees, free online courses combined with free software and for those who prefer hard copy, a staggering choice of books on the topic. One of those books is O’Reilly’s…
Original Post: Machine Learning for Hackers with Debian and Ubuntu