Digital Living

Five Bold Predictions for How the Coronavirus Will Shape our Digital Future

If the predictions from science fiction literature were accurate, we’d be living in a very different society than we do today. Autonomous, flying cars would shepherd deliveries between locations while the members of our society would be interacting with holograms and living in virtual reality worlds.

Unfortunately, for those who closely follow consumer technology, its pace seems to be more glacial than transformative.  While streaming media has grown exponentially, physical media still exists.  While online banking is normal, physical branches have a strong foothold in both urban and suburban settings.  While home automation technology has slowly invaded the home, stitching it together in a usable way is still a challenge.

Though no one should wish upon the world of technology a global pandemic like the coronavirus, its rise may actually give birth to a new world of innovation that shifts the technology world out of its methodical crawl and into an outright sprint.

While we wait to see what innovations arise from the constraints the virus has placed on our society, there are a few areas of our lives that we may see tangible change sooner rather than later.  Below are five such areas that are worth watching…

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Digital Living

Five Ways Amazon is Primed for the Coronavirus Fight

The coronavirus has battered and beleaguered numerous industries over the last month, leaving few survivors in its wake. Despite the carnage, one organization is uniquely poised to stand up and fight back.  Even those that loath big business must respect the reality that it takes a titan to fight a threat as prevalent as COVID-19.  That titan is Amazon.

Amidst growing unemployment claims, Amazon is one of the few organizations able to expand its workforce and increase pay.  CEO Jeff Bezos even released an employee letter highlighting the critical role Amazon is playing (and will play) in shaping the national response to the pandemic.

Amazon’s position to support the battle didn’t come about by chance. Instead, it was the result of years of infrastructure and service rollouts that catered to the convenience needs of its customers – a convenience that has now become a necessity.

So here is a look at five reasons why Amazon is primed to deliver critical supplies (and record profits) in uncertain times…

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Digital Living Minimalism Simplicity

How the Digital World is Impacting the Spread of the Coronavirus

As February crept onward, the stock market hit an all-time high, unemployment was at a historical low, and the economy was chugging along as though nothing could stop it.  Suddenly, the onward global march of the coronavirus (COVID-19) stopped everything, including the financial markets, in its tracks.

As a fiscally minded individual, I cringed as I slowly watched my 401k and investments erode, completely losing sight of the more important long term implications of the virus.  As the markets continue to fluctuate, I’m finding it hard not to cash out as I see daily punches being landed on my investment portfolio.  So to turn an unhealthy obsession on the financial impact of the coronavirus into a more healthy dialogue, I believe it’s necessary to take a look at how we’re using technology to deal with these situations.

So how has the digital world shaped our reaction to such events?  Let’s take a look at four major areas…

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Digital Living Minimalism Simplicity

The Heart of Home Automation is Simplicity

If one word best embodies the goal of home automation – it should be simplicity.  Such a statement seems to lack insight. After all, isn’t the point of home automation to take the complexity in our lives and simplify it?

Sure it is, but I’m not talking about achieving the end goal of simplicity for our home.  I’m talking about baking in simplicity from the start.

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Digital Living Minimalism

Five Steps to Declutter Your Digital Lifestyle

I spent time over the weekend helping my brother set up the electronics in his living room and bedroom after he moved to a new home.  Not only had he collected a significant amount of clutter in eight years in his previous home, but the seller had also left behind a mess of technology that we needed to wade through.

The whole situation made me realize de-cluttering your technology inventory isn’t something that needs a home move to necessitate.  In Six Steps to Declutter Your Digital Listening Skills, I took a look at what to do to simplify your listening habits. In this, article we’ll talk about how to apply a similar strategy to de-clutter the physical technology you’ve accumulated in your digital life over the years.

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Digital Living Home Automation

Guide to Getting Started with Home Automation

Turning your home into a digital oasis doesn’t require you to shell out thousands of dollars upfront, nor does it require Geek Squad installation or hunting down your neighborhood tech whiz.  In fact, the easiest way to get started swimming in the waters of home automation is simply dipping your toes into the shallow end and eventually wading into deeper waters.

Here’s a simple approach to finding out if home automation is right for you.

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Digital Living Frugality

My Three Best and Worst Home Tech Buys

Over the years I’ve made a significant investment in home technology and gadgetry. While I’d like to think those purchases were mindfully made and fiscally conservative, the reality is some of them stand out above the rest, and some were downright regretful.

Below are my three best and worst gadget buying decisions based on a combination of cost and usefulness within my digital life.

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Digital Living Fitness Frugality

Three Steps to Fast Track Your Digital Fitness and Not Break the Bank

I’d hardly call myself a fitness fanatic.  In fact, if you saw some of the foods that make up my diet you might think I’m the exact opposite.  That being said, I do get my steps in on a daily basis, and with the help of technology, I’m able to funnel that right into my digital life, ensuring that my caloric intake rarely exceeds my caloric output and that my weight stays in check.

To capture my fitness vitals, I previously used an expensive Fitbit Ionic.  It played music, monitored heart rate, worked in water, and even made payments.  After using the device religiously for over a year, I realized only a few of its features were all that valuable to me: heart rate monitoring, step counting, a moderate level of water resistance, and more than a day’s battery life.

So, when my Fitbit finally went out of warranty and bit the dust, I decided it was time to turn to a more frugal fitness approach.

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Digital Living

Three Lessons You Can Learn From Agile Development and Apply to Digital Living

Those of us who work in software development or project management are likely quite familiar with many of the practices of Agile Software Development, and while those practices (or ceremonies) are quite useful in guiding software development teams towards building sustainable, high quality, user-driven software, the concepts are equally applicable to digital living.

Parallels can be drawn between tens, if not hundreds of different aspects of software development and life in general, but there are three particular areas of agile software development that I’ve found to be the most fruitful when applied to digital living.

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