My Three Rules Of Writing

Over the last two decades I’ve written hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of words. For every word I’ve written I’ve probably read ten times as many. Through that, and my own efforts at learning to become a better writer, I’ve learned a few things about the craft of writing.

That’s not to say I’m the next Hemingway, C.S. Lewis or JK Rowling – far from it. But I think I’ve learned enough to improve myself from a fair writer into a pretty good one. It’s my firm belief that anyone can become a good writer if they are prepared to make some effort. And I think it only takes following three simple rules to get there.

Consumer tech companies are terrible at user security

It should have been the easiest of transactions. I wanted to play old-school Doom on my Switch. So, a quick look at online reviews suggested Doom 64 was the version to grab. And, sitting on my smartphone, I could see this would cost less than $8 – cheaper than coffee and a muffin at the local café when we didn’t see such things as a special treat in the days before COVID.

The iPhone SE is not a step back – more like a step sideways

One of the privileges of working as journalist in the technology arena is that I get to use some of the coolest tech around. For the last decade or so, that’s meant having the best the smartphone and tablet world can offer. But over the last few months, I’ve taken a step back. Instead of having the priciest and most feature-rich smartphone, I’ve decided to shift to an entry-level smartphone. And I’ve discovered that having all the latest features isn’t such a big deal.

3 tips for ensuring your email is readable

I receive a lot of email through the course of a day – enough that I’ve started to employ some simple automation when responding. Despite now approaching the sixth decade since email was created, there are still some things about the world’s most ubiquitous online communication system that are broken. And the one that most gets on my nerves is formatting. Like many people, I switch between my smartphone, tablet and computer through the day. And the number of emails I receive that aren’t readable on one of the screens is ridiculous. But there are some simple things you can do to ensure your message makes it past the delete key.

Do you really need a VPN?

Over the years, many security experts, and more than a few non-experts, have said that a VPN is an essential piece of security software for travellers and the users of remotely-accessed business systems. When I entered the corporate world in the 1990s, remotely accessing office systems without a VPN was considered a massive risk. But is that still the case? What are the cases for and against using a VPN and is there still a place for them?

Adapting your business in the pandemic era

If the last few weeks have taught business anything it’s that disruption, that overused term that’s been flung about the business world for the last few years, can cone from anywhere. And it’s the most unexpected things – like a global pandemic – that can destroy even the most detailed and well-intentioned plans. I was recently interviewed for Computer Daily about the tech my media training company, Media-Wize, uses to keep working during the CoVID-19 lockdown.