Who do you trust with your data?

Thanks to the cloud, there’s basically no reason to lose important data ever again. Photos, phone numbers, videos, music – not only can you now store it out there in the ether but, in doing so, you open it up to a whole new world of possibilities, collaboration and accessibility.

But on the flipside, it feels like privacy concerns have never been higher around all this data.

So, unless you want to drastically compromise what you can do with those digital assets, you face a choice – which provider do you trust the most with your data? And how do you decide? (more…)

November 21st, 2012


Fitbit, Klout and your data silhouettes

C-3PO vs. Data (137/365)

I never thought the Fitbit would exactly change my life – indeed, I bought it over the competition precisely because it was the cheapest way to dip my toe in the water of the ‘quantified self’ while still being able to export data that wasn’t in a proprietary system like magic Nikefuel units. (Maybe also slightly out of new toy/ gadget lust.)

But it strikes me that what I’m getting out, while obviously not comprehensive or necessarily even accurate, does have some use to me. It gives me a game to motivate myself, a broad outline of activity and once the data adds up, potentially some interesting patterns to ponder and learn from.

Strangely, one of the clearest signals it sends are days when I don’t do anything. The difference between slightly active and hugely active days is less interesting to me than the binary contrast of seeing which days are a total failure.

(more…)

August 15th, 2012


Information is Beautiful but Ceremony is Special

Day in day out we’re bombarded with companies telling us how important it is to remove the barriers between us and our information.  The iPad, for instance, offers to put the web in the palm of your hands. No browser, no operating system, no hardware, just the web, flopping about in your control, an infinitely malleable quagmire of data cupped in your palm.

But is this really a good thing?

(more…)

May 17th, 2010