Saturday, February 28, 2015

Creativity studies at University - free research articles

University creativity studies and creativity articles.......

whilst browsing around, ive discovered Buffalo State University they have a really good selection of
downloadable research, you do need to register for a free account.

Associated with this is a great Life hacker article talking about creativity.  The original article is found here.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Mitsubishi Delica Bug out Vehicle/ Camping

I've recently brought my second Delica, there is thruth in the old saying, you don't know what you have until it's gone. Our first Delica ended up in Bulgaria, where it is having a happy exisitance with it's new owner, after a road trip from London.

I've searched for an alternative, the Mercedes V-CLass was looking good, but I missed the versatility of a Loand Rover discovery and the urban practicality of a Volvo XC90, which is my other vehicle. So we have another Delica. The Delica handles off road, camping and load carrying very well.

There is a fantastic owners club in the UK and other clubs around the globe. The Delicas are very popular in Australia / New Zealand and in Canada. a very good Delica as Bug Out Vehicle (BOV), is here.

If you want to find out more about living off grid, here is an excellent book:
How to Live Off-grid another excellent book explains how to build your own BOV:
Bug Out Vehicles and Shelters

Another excelent blog takes you through a pan-american journey in a Delica detailing the modifications and illustrating the versatility of the vehicle project Dino Evo....

The vehicle has always had reasonable reviews, I think this part of the SUV/4x4 market is still lacking, there is space for more proper 4x4 people carriers. I bought mine from Goodmayes Motors, just off the M25.

There is a very good on-line manual for the Delica, which explains a lot of the controls etc. also how to carry out a number of basic raks etc.

If you want a more indepth maintenance guide, the Pocket Mechanic is the book for you, perfect to keep in the glove box and includes wiring diagrams etc.


Friday, February 13, 2015

Academic Workflow

Having been on the PhD journey for sometime, you soon realise the value of a good workflow and organisational methods. just discovered a great site called macademic which talks about all sorts of apps and methods.

Writing with a Chromebook

Many of us struggle to get writing, to get into flow and control all of the stuff we've got flying avbout in our minds. THis short article will not discuss or solve all of the issues, but will provide a base for future articles. 

Evernote Collecting stuff, weverone should have and use evernote, an amazing app to act as a filing system for all of your clippings and findings. 

Evernote works on all of your devices and keeps it all nicely synced up. The really cool thing evernote has is a clipper app to caputure content straight to evernote from your browser. is another great site, for mapping and organising website bookmarks. Again it is cross platform and allows very quick clipping of websites. there is a browser clipper app, which makes information gathering really simple. 

Ther's a really good blog over at: more about how Jamie works on Lifehacker. Jamie has also written an excellent article on using the Chromebook for writing. 

Another useful blog detailing some free apps is here, Steve Unstead has written a great article describing his writing process on the Chromebook.

Part of the writing process is the daily discerpline and methodology, there is an excellent website which contains a compilation  detailing the writing  routines and habits of many famous people. 

Fianlly another great blog looking at productivity and workflow can be found here@  productivitist


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Threat modelling for beginners

The recent announcement leading to the demise of IS1/2 will leave a vacuum. However for many in Local Government and elsewhere who haven't been using IS1/2, will bring the opportunity to look a a set of threat modelling tools. A good starting point is:

You'll discover the Microsoft Secure Development Lifecycle (MSDL) which is free and fully documented with supporting tools. The OWASP page also links to a. Umber of other resources.


A good model to use is STRIDE: Spoofing Identity / Tampering with Data / Repudiation / Information disclosure / Denial of service / Elevation of privilege.

This works well with DREAD: Damage potential / Reproducability / Exploitability / Affected Users / Discoverability.

When you mix these with Attack Trees and the Cyber Kill chain you start to get an holistic view of what is going on.

We next need to consider Adversaries (those wishing to attack us) and Adversities, those risks and threats we're faced with. Risks can be threats or hazards. It is often difficult to think like an attacker, so use an approach like De Bonos Six Hats, which can then give yup different perspectives on things.

Attack profiling, needs a structured approach. Tools like mind maps can help with the process.

The big challenge is going to be transferring all of this thinking into an Agile development environment.



From rules to principles

Just when we thought the work of public sector IA had stabilised after the PSN Zero Tolerence Regime, we now find a move from a rules based to a more principles based approach to Cyber Project risk man agent.

We have worked with rules for many years, likewise with principles, especially around Data Protection.

Likewise the financial services and legal professions have both been subject to principles based regulated regimes for many years. The change in IA will be interesting as there isn't a regulator to cover information assurance.

this change and the move to the OFFICIAL classification and handling regime almost a year ago has brought about consider able change. These changes will continue with the added dimension of agile development becoming increasingly popular.


Now we need to look at agile information assurance and agile development at OFFICIAL. New principles based guidance will need to be produced and a further update to the Local Public Services Data Handling Guidance, hitting version four, this Summer.


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Educational on-line resources

Thanks to Dave Brett @ for this entry:

Everything I study is usually programming-related, and obviously there are tons of other interests out there. I'll start adding stuff from the most upvoted comments; please upvote anything non-programming related, as it is the only thing I'm familiar with and can't give good opinions on the numerous other great sources I'm sure are out there. - No Excuse List - includes sources for everything you can want. I included some more popular ones with brief write-ups below. Reddit Resources - Reddit's List of the best online education sources Khan Academy - Educational organization and a website created by Bangladeshi-American educator Salman Khan, a graduate of MIT and Harvard Business School. The website supplies a free online collection of micro lectures stored on YouTube teaching mathematics, history, healthcare and medicine, finance, physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, economics, cosmology, organic chemistry, American civics, art history, macroeconomics, microeconomics, and computer science. Ted Talks - Talks that address a wide range of topics ("ideas worth spreading") within the research and practice of science and culture, often through storytelling. Many famous academics have given talks, and they are usually short and easy to digest. Coursera - Coursera partners with various universities and makes a few of their courses available online free for a large audience. Founded by computer science professors, so again a heavy CS emphasis. Wolfram Alpha - Online service that answers factual queries directly by computing the answer from structured data, rather than providing a list of documents or web pages that might contain the answer as a search engine might. Unbelievable what this thing can compute; you can ask it near anything and find an answer. Udacity - Outgrowth of free computer science classes offered in 2011 through Stanford University. Plans to offer more, but concentrated on computer science for now. MIT OpenCourseWare - Initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to put all of the educational materials from its undergraduate- and graduate-level courses online, partly free and openly available to anyone, anywhere. Codecademy - Online interactive platform that offers free coding classes in programming languages like Python, JavaScript, and Ruby, as well as markup languages including HTML and CSS. Gives your points and "level ups" like a video game, which is why I enjoyed doing classes here. Not lecture-oriented either; usually just jump right into coding, which works best for those that have trouble paying attention. Team Treehouse - Alternative to Codecademy which has video tutorials. Duolingo - For all of your language learning needs. Memrise - Online learning tool that uses flashcards augmented with mnemonics—partly gathered through crowdsourcing—and the spacing effect to boost the speed and ease of learning. Several languages available to learn. edX - Massive open online course platform founded by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University to offer online university-level courses in a wide range of disciplines to a worldwide audience at no charge. Many other universities now take part in it, including Cal Berkeley. Differs from most of these by including "due dates" with assignments and grades. Education portal - Free courses which allow you to pass exams to earn real college credit. uReddit - Made by Redditors for other Redditors. Tons of different topics, varying from things like science and art to Starcraft strategy.

iTunes U - Podcasts from a variety of places including universities and colleges on various subjects. Download the iTunes app or link through to content. Stack Exchange - Group of question and answer websites on topics in many different fields, each website covering a specific topic, where questions, answers, and users are subject to a reputation award process. Stack Overflow is used for programming, probably their most famous topic. Self-moderated with reputation similar to Reddit.

Wikipedia - Collaboratively edited, multilingual, free Internet encyclopedia. Much better source than most people give it credit for, and great for random learning whenever you need it. For those looking for more legit sources for papers and such, it is usually easy to jump to a Wikipedia page and grab some sources at the bottom. /a> />

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Is progress always good?

Recently i've been thinking about writing in general and the distractions of the modern connected everything. Having just brought a manual portable typewriter in perfect condtion for £5 from a charity shop and a £2 ribbon from eBay, I now have a proper retro setup that can goe on camp or anywhere else that i want to be writing off grid.

Evernote has the OCR scanning caperbility, so I hope that pages of typed text will be scannable! A typewritier also is perfect for portable lists and filofax pages. Why bother,i have tavlets, laptops and other portsble devices, sometimes though, I really think distraction free writing can yield the best results.

I also enjoy writing with a fountain pen, however if your writing isn't that neat then a type writer or dedicated word processor can be the minimalise key. Also it can bring a ritual and special feeling to your writing.

You can get a wide range of wordprocessors on eBay, the Amstrad NC100/NC200, which run Protext. The 200 had a floppy drive. The excellent Sharp Font Writer series again these have a floppy drive and the ability to export RTF or ASCII format. The additin of a £10 usb floppy drive and your mac can now read rhese files. Floppy disks also are still a good storage format
To support hte ritual of writing. A local wiki like vudoo pad can run on ipad and macbook etc.

In summary, using a dedicated typewriter can focus the mind, to allow uninterupted thinking and writing. It is possible to use this vintage kit and to get information from the old device to the new. Procrastination and writers block is a real problem sometimes. Getting into flow, which is what we all aim for is possible, using some very cheap vintage kit.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas is coming

We've had an interesting year, not least of which brought the Raspberry Pi. The more I look at this innocent little computer, the more I want the time to play with it! At present learnig Python is a facinating experinece. this whole genre is brigning back a basic pleasure in computing that has been removed from us, since the advent of Windows.

My beloved Macbook Air, does so much, yet the simplicity and power of what comes in the box, is amazing. The automator function, a very powerful batch automator and scripting facility. Texedit, is a powerful editor and the Preview function has amazing hidden features, with the unix shell prompt a keystroke away.. So what i'm saying is that the simplest IT can often bring amazing results. 2013 will be exciting, what will come next?