FOR AS GOOD AS elegant virtual connections are, there are compelling reasons to meet up and share real conversation with small groups of friends. I am missing that collegiality nowadays.
AS PART OF A CORE GROUP of third level lecturers who want to accelerate collaboration, I'm trying to make Yammer work inside a third level institution while connected at the fringes of Office 365. But because I can't see group work things in Yammer's snappy app, it appears the collaborative effort will succeed only when working with friends on desktops.
WE'RE OBSERVING an event worthy of mention on our family timeline today: both kids know how to open the Surface Pro's browsers to access TV shows and videos on Amazon Prime.
The Surface Pro 4 is much lighter than the first generation iPad we have ensheathed with am Otterbox. That lighter form factor gives four year old Dylan more control when carrying the tablet or arranging it on a bed or sofa.
I signed up for Amazon Prime a week before Christmas, mainly to ensure presents sent to Stateside addresses arrived in time. One of the benefits of Amazon Prime is Amazon Video, a service I'm able to get with a complementary subscription to Overplay.net.
By using Overplay's servers and its DNS service, my connection can be localised as required by the content provider. The end result is being able to see and hear first-run content through Amazon Prime in Ireland. Some of that content is perfect for the pre-school curriculum we're using as "homework" for our youngest computer user, four year old Dylan (in the photo).
** Bernie Goldbach is an Elder Blogger living in rural Ireland.
Photo snapped during a third level Open Coffee session with @collision.
DURING A MORNING IRELAND conversation, Wendy Murphy from LinkedIn  shared insights from the Economic Graph, "a digital representation of the global economy which provides LinkedIn with unique insight into labour markets".  Several of the top 25 skills that got Irish professionals hired in 2015 feature in third level programmes delivered by Jackie Humphries and the staff on the LIT-Thurles campus.
As might be expected in a LinkedIn data set, technology skills dominated the list. Top of the lists are skills with strong academic courses running on the Thurles campus of the Limerick Institute of Technology. Working with third level students taking business, creative multimedia and digital animation production degrees, I teach elements of search engine marketing and data visualisation.  The Economic Graph shows "huge demand for professionals in Ireland with expertise in areas like Cloud Computing, Big Data and IT Security". Companies need these skill sets as Ireland continues carving out data centres for big players like Facebook and Microsoft.
ALONG WITH MORE than 3,000 other institute of technology lecturers, I spent the day on strike over a range of critical issues within third level in Ireland. I talked to several local people who stopped to ask about the issues and hope they tell politicians calling at their doors for votes about the need to replenish the higher education sector.
ALTHOUGH MY LAPTOPS have become more capable of backing up my life, I still manually synchronise my SSD's core data by simply dragging and dropping one folder. However, several electronic processes are ticking away in the background, ensuring me against forgetfulness, fire and water damage.
Screengrab of my Pocket Upgrade on Xperia Z5.
ONE OF THE UNEXPECTED things connected to my workflow is how I listen to what's in my Pocket collection.  Until I started dabbling with Narro for its text-to-speech awesomeness, I had relegated Pocket from my main workflow. Now I've discovered how quickly the things in Pocket become listening content.