In this podcast I talk about the fact I have the Good and Geeky – Email Privacy and Security book available on the Amazon store. If you want to get into having secure email it will help you with step-by-step guides to set the application up and to use. The book doesn’t blind you with science and encryption technology. It is all about how to use encrypted email software as quickly and as easily as possible. In the past there have been email security articles and books which were for the propeller head type of geeks. These days we don’t need to delve into using the terminal commands to create Pretty Good Privacy keys to use it. It is no trouble at all to get a pleasant to use interface that makes it really easy to send and receive encrypted emails.
Another option for secure email is ProtonMail which is based in Switzerland. This gives you a web interface and in the background uses Pretty Good Privacy. (I suspect). It is easy to send encrypted emails to other ProtonMail users and it is also possible to send encrypted email outside of the system. The way it works is you communicate the password to open up the email by other separate, secure means. So you could ring somebody up and tell them the password over the phone. You could use any messaging service to tell your recipient the password. It would be better to use a messaging service that uses end-to-end encryption, but you would probably be okay with whatever service you’d like to use. You’d want to delete that one-off message after the password had been received. Even that might not be necessary if you are using the password just once anyway.
Smoking Zombies in the classroom
I have written three chapters so far of my Smoking Zombies apocalyptic, dystopian story. It is as gruesome as you would expect from a zombie story. Lots of blood and guts and this one includes a fairly useless protagonist. It’s not like the zombie stories based in America. All the protagonist has to do, is to go to the gun cupboard to pull out a Kalashnikov and a couple of pistols. This story is based in England, where there isn’t a stupid gun culture. The protagonist is going to have to find other ways to survive. So far I have been writing the story by the seat of my pants and I haven’t worked out how the story ends yet. I have a couple of ideas and when I decide on one of them I’ll be able to start laying out the plot for the rest of the story. I am publishing the chapters on a weekly basis at Wattpad and usually on a Tuesday.
Back in harness with my summer job
On account of only earning peanuts so far with any of my web-based endeavours, I am once again back working at a campsite. This gives me enough money to live on and have six months of each year to do my writing. It would be nice if I could only work five days a week, but with this job it is only giving me one day off every week. So on Wednesdays I have to write as many words as possible. I was quite happy this week to write about two and half thousand words on Wednesday. I’m going to work on that and see if I can bring it up to being 5000 word Wednesdays. I do have strange hours, with two of the day’s being long working days not leaving much time for anything else. Three other days I have the whole of the morning and I’ll be able to continue writing during those days. One of the days I have to start work at 6 o’clock in the morning and you’d think I’d have the afternoon available for writing. Usually the way it works out is me falling asleep on the sofa during the afternoon. I can’t say that I like getting up early in the morning, but at least it is only one day a week.
The next book I’m working on is the book about life casting or life logging, which is an extreme form of journalling. In the book I’ll be looking at the basic tools of journalling such as using the application Day One. I’ll also be looking at ways you can take anything you put into social media and get into the journalling application also. The book will look at how you can work out how public or private you want your life logging to be. As my last book was about email security and privacy it’s natural for me to wonder if it is sensible to be too public with life logging. For most people it is a good idea to keep it private and to not put too much information out there. For someone like me who is an author and who needs to connect to my readers it is necessary to be a little bit more public. Whichever end of the scale you are at with regards public and private life logging, its a good idea to think about basic security anyway.
Automation to make life logging easier
In the first instance it would be nice to have the option where my Facebook posts and my Twitter tweets go automatically into Day One. There are plenty of other things that you can record to document your comings and goings. You might like to take into account of places you have been to. Now it is easy to have exact positioning thanks to GPS. Combine that with some text and pictures to convey your thoughts and experience. Then have it all funnelled into one place would be very handy indeed. There are cameras you can get which will automatically take photos as you go about your day. There are also applications for automating some of the capture process. You could combine the application Workflow along with Launch Centre to do some cross posting. For example, I have a workflow which will cross post to Facebook, Twitter and also to Instagram. Or, another thing I could do is to create the post first in Day One and publish from there to the various social networks. At the moment this only works from the iOS versions of the Day One application.
I have had a lot of interest in the short electronic book I put out about iPad art applications. This tells me that I should work on the Good and Geeky digital art book. I could easily see a range of three or four books in this area. I expect to write a book about geeky digital art in general. Another book could be about using art applications on the Mac. There will have to be a book about creating digital art on the iPad. I could certainly be more specific and write a couple of books specific to certain applications that are my favourites. My favourite vector graphic art application for the Mac at the moment is Affinity Designer and also the Affinity Photo app. Affinity Photo is at present in beta, but is already extremely good. I hear they are also planning to bring out a version for the iPad.
On the iPad, the art applications tend to be good at certain specific tasks and not so good at others. It is often necessary to think carefully about which application you’re going to use for the job in hand. If you are going to work on a Photo and you need to erase an element from within the photo then Pixelmator for iPad is the app to use. If you need to do something more comic based, you’ll have to draw lines and do inking, then the application Procreate is better.