Weekly Photo Challenge: One

One of the world’s great mysteries…why two technically-identical Telecom T-Stick mobile modems can disagree totally with each other whether there is or is not a usable network signal…blue is yes, yellow is no…

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge….

…the view today is not much better either as winter rolls in….

Your phone, laptop and i-pad are dead. Can you make it through an entire day?

Just for a day…

The WordPress Daily Post challenge…I usually don’t play but this one is easy – and it’s 0449, I’ve just had a mega-coffee and can’t go back to sleep after an early start to listen in on Dr Sarah Sewall’s presentation at the COIN Center on civilian casualties and their mission effect. It references her recent report ‘Civilian Casualties’ however the link provided for the report either either broken, mistyped or CAC access coz it doesn’t work for me…

I was sufficiently intrigued by her comments that reducing civilian casualties is not a binary ‘me or them’, ‘either/or’ equation and that there are ‘win/win’ approaches that do not prescribe operational effectiveness in reducing civilian casualties. An insight gleaned from some of the text comments made during the presentation is that there has to be a balance between force protection and achieving the mission which I think we all accept but what do you do when your force protection measures themselves jeopardise the mission i.e where those measures undo or erode the force’s credibility or acceptance with ‘the people’…? More to follow on this if I can source a copy Dr Sewall’s report….

Anyway back to the Challenge “...Your phone, laptop, tab, ipad and desktop are dead. Will you make it through a normal working day and evening? What would you miss the most?...” The answer is so simple…quite simply: none of the above…it’d a be a great opportunity to catch up on professional reading, go to the gym, go for  a staff wander and doing some face-to-face networking and maybe even tidy my desk (apparently there is one there somewhere under the accumulated detritus) but I only have a day so maybe not…

I remember a few years back an organisation-wide email asked for feedback on the likely impact if email got switched off for an unspecified period…every other response including much gnashing of teeth and predictions of the collapse of civilisation as we know it…our boss simply asked if the ‘switch-off’ could start that week: “…we’ll just have to fall back on good old-fashioned written correspondence, signal traffic, and maybe even picking up the phone or getting out of the office to actually talk to people…don’t see it as a biggie at all...” As handy and convenient all this e-connectivity may be, we should be letting it endanger personal communication nor should we rely on it to such an extent that we become dysfunctional if we lose it…I wonder if the drop-off in physical letters is one reason that NZ Post is set to close shops…? I don’t practise what I preach here but I firmly believe that there is a ton more value in a physical written letter than the tending-to-casual nature of email….

Weekly Photo Challenge: Old

For this week’s photo challenge, here’s a shot from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum last weekend – good thing I didn’t put off my visit til tomorrow as the impending Government shutdown means that all the government-run museums until the crisis passes…the image has been processed through the GIMP 2.6 old photo filter…

Had a good walk around Georgetown in the rain this afternoon, looking for antique shops – think I will have to cast the net wider next time I’m here as I couldn’t find much (yes, I know Google is my friend but it can take the fun out of exploring, even in the rain)…I resisted the temptation to buy a B&N Nook e-reader: I think I need to research this topic a bit more before committing funds…I think I want one with e-ink as opposed to an LCD screen and with wifi for library top-ups…I liked the Nook because in its Android-based as allows the user to access email etc as well via wifi or 3G but I am not sure whether this extends to the b&w version as well…not too fussed about the 3G but I saw one review which said that the Nook’s wifi only connects to the B&N internal netowrk which wouldn’t be much use to me once I get home…

The rubber band unwinds again tomorrow and I am off home again via LA for a night…