No big automation news today, but here are some nuggets.

Consumer Electronics Show

I’ve been watching news from the Consumer Electronics Show this week. A lot of people are there. I watch Tekzilla, Engadget, Silicon Alley Insider and others.

So far what I notice are mobile (of course) and improvements in displays. Home theater is big. So are booth babes. I’ve seen a couple of reports featuring attractive models hired to attract men to booths that otherwise wouldn’t draw traffic. Booth Babes are often found at Las Vegas shows. Not so much in industrial shows–although there was one booth with that feature at OTC last year.

Reminds me of my first (and last) pure marketing position. We exhibited at Comdex when it was huge. We had a small company. My booth “sales” personnel were me and a couple of programmers. When it was time to start planning the booth my first year, the programmers came into my office and asked for “the book.” What book, I asked innocently. Why, the book that has all the booth babes you can hire, they replied. Programmers, what can we say?

Nozbe and GTD
I have become a disciple of Getting Things Done (see the book by the same name by David Allen). The principle is to collect everything into a trusted source so that you don’t have to carry things in your head. Eventually, things wind up on lists organized by context (when I’m online, when I’m driving, at the office, etc.). The five phases of workflow are Collect, Process, Organize, Review Do.

Being a digital person, I’ve looked for digital solutions. I tried an application called Thinking Rock. It faithfully followed Allen’s methodology, but it was difficult to use–therefore, I didn’t. I wrote about this several years ago and received a comment from Michael Sliwinski who developed an application called Nozbe (affiliate link). I’ve been using it for several months and it fits my workflow nicely. I use the heck out of the iPad app as more of my workflow has moved to that platform.

If you are searching for a more effective you this year, give GTD a try.

Stop Online Privacy Act

I am a civil libertarian–a believer in the strict application of the Bill of Rights (the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution). There are things happening in the U.S. Federal government that I’m not happy about, and SOPA is one.

Here is a talk from writer Cory Doctorow on IT Conversations – The Coming War on General Computation that raises a lot of things to think about. From the podcast blurb, “The issue of copyright continues to be a major problem over the life of the personal computer. Companies have consistently tried to limit the ability of users to make the most of their machines, using a variety of protection schemes. In his talk at the 28th annual Chaos Communication Congress (28c3), Cory Doctorow reviews the history of the copyright fight and discusses how developers and political organizations will continue to limit the use of the general purpose computer.”

Making of Consciousness

Several years ago, I became fascinated with what was going on in brain and cognitive science. One researcher who intrigues me is Antonio Damasio. His books, “Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain” and “The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness” are good reading. Hint: Descartes said “I think, therefore I am” Damasio suggests “I am, therefore I think.”

He just presented a TED Talk on the quest to understand consciousness. Recommended to stretch your mind.

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