In my industry of IT (and indeed all Technology jobs in general), it is extremely easy to develop unhealthy and border-line self-destructive habits. From staring at a screen for too long to bad posture slouching over a keyboard, and from tendonitis in the wrist due to bad hand/wrist joint alignment to forgetting to stand up regularly in order to keep the blood circulating; these are just some of the many common pitfalls of being a developer, engineer or technologist of any kind. Furthermore, in our digital society, these now also apply almost equally to the majority of other professions as almost everyone has to use a computer or electronic device of some sort in their line of work today. Compounding this even more is the fact that once we get home, we are often interacting with more and more computers and devices (interface in our cars, on mobile phones, TVs, personal computers, tablets, etc). It’s not too surprising that digital overload is a major trending health concern in the 21st century.
Recently, if only in the interest of self-preservation, I’ve become extremely interested in the growing Fitness movements online to take one’s health back from the digital distractions and electronic that seek to steal it away. What started out innocently enough (yet often times insulting/disgustingly/self-deprecatingly enough) with Reddit’s Fitness discussion thread has now grown into an experiment with several different Fitness Tracking, Calorie Counting and Nutrition Planning tools, as well as keeping track of any ailments or injuries that cropped up during my training using Patient-to-Patient Networks and related resources. At this point I had not yet gone full “Fit Geek” yet, as I wholeheartedly rejected one of the primary driving forces behind this so-called “Fit Geek movement”; namely, the “wearable gadgets” fitness technology category. I knew things were really starting to get out of hand though, when my own mother got into said technocratic gadgetry craze by purchasing a FitBit ONE which is basically a Pedometer, Heart Monitor, Sleep Analyzer and Watch/Timer/Stopwatch all in one, complete with a secured Web 2.0 style RESTful API to allow you to access your personal Fitness Activity data.
So, not to be outdone by my own mother, I finally decided to crack and give this fit tech thing a try (stubbornness and rejection of mainstream trends/agendas aside, I really do need to know about this health & fitness technology stuff at a deep level since I believe it will be tightly entwined with my career in Health IT). Not being exactly sure what I was looking for, and at the same knowing I didn’t want to put much time, money or effort into this investigation initially, I decided to take up Nintendo on their offer of a free downloadable copy of $59.99 Wii Fit Plus for people who already had the Wii Balance Board that came with previous versions of Wii Fit who purchased the WiiU FitMeter before January 31st, 2014. Sadly, if you’re reading this, you’ve missed that deal; but I can tell you that I’ve been pleasantly surprised about the ease of use and convenience of using the FitMeter to track your distance walked/jogged/run/skied/biked and a rough estimate of the total calories burned from that basic activity.
Open Source Software (and more recently, even Open Source Hardware) have become not just rising trends but the de fact standard for true technology innovation.
Here’s a quick summary table showing the top 20 of the biggest Open Source technology acquisitions of all-time (to date):
Image source: www.computersciencedegreehub.com
This was provided courtesy of Aldo Baker at the ComputerScience Degree Hub.
I’ve thought about whether I wanted to post this one for a while. However, I believe it to be true and since the web was made to enable free speech and remorselessly sharing ones thoughts and ideas, then here it is, my hypothesis:
Software Developers and IT Geeks Make Good Politicians
I think this for a number of reasons, not least of which is because I could potentially be biased, being a Software Programmer/Analyst by trade, however I don’t believe this is solely an unfounded personal bias, so please hear me out. The following traits make Software Developers particularly well-suited to be high-level politicians:
Loyalty Cards, Rewards Programs, Points Incentives, Bonus Offers and Repeat-purchase punch cards, oh how I despise thee. You’ve probably been there too. You drop your wallet and have to spend the next 10 minutes embarrassingly picking up all your various credit cards, debit cards, loyalty cards, etc; or, maybe you’ve been in line to pay for something and had dig through your wallet in a cold sweat (for what felt like hours to the people behind you) holding up the line, looking for that punch-card or rewards card?
Imagine if this was no longer a reality and we all had a single unified points system which could arbitrate the various rules, policies, conditions and points earnings/accumulation schemes of the various points systems. Also, imagine if you could actually put your “points” to work for you and actualyl get some decent rewards?
This is something we are working on here at BCmoney MobileTV for rewarding your web activity and participation in the community. It is a long-running experiment but we feel as though we’ll figure it out eventually!
In the meantime, it helps to know about how some of the current rewards systems work and just how they cheat you out of your hard-earned money, along with your personal information right down to where you live and what types of products you buy, thereby destroying any hopes at anonymity, privacy and true customer satisfaction.
BC$ = Behavior, Content, Money
The goal of the BC$ project is to raise awareness and make changes with respect to the three pillars of information freedom - Behavior (pursuit of interests and passions), Content (sharing/exchanging ideas in various formats), Money (fairness and accessibility) - bringing to light the fact that:
1. We regularly hand over our browser histories, search histories and daily online activities to companies that want our money, or, to benefit from our use of their services with lucrative ad deals or sales of personal information.
2. We create and/or consume interesting content on their services, but we aren't adequately rewarded for our creative efforts or loyalty.
3. We pay money to be connected online (and possibly also over mobile), yet we lose both time and money by allowing companies to market to us with unsolicited advertisements, irrelevant product offers and unfairly structured service pricing plans.