Saving lives in a virtual world

I just love this article from bbc news that Hannah sent me. It gives an insight in how Second Life is used for learning, it’s not just a game. In my book I have written quite some stuff here.

“Imagine if we were to use the concept of virtual worlds more as a learning aid or experimental tool, to have the ability to get out of ourselves and see the world through the eyes of somebody else. Imagine if children were to learn history and geography by interacting with a virtual world in addition to learning the dates and facts from a textbook. Would this not help us to become better people who are less judgemental and open to new ideas?”

OK maybe I’m dreaming here, always the optimist but what the hell, what have we got to lose by trying. If using virtual worlds as a tool to enable us to understand better real life problems, seems a pretty good idea to go there actually, check it out, try and understand all this hype, what are people talking about. What do you think?

Booklert addiction

You may have noticed that I added to my blog the bookalert that gives Google ranking and this is very addictive. Every day I am checking, has it gone up or down. If it has gone up I google the book to see which other book reseller has made a pre-order. It’s amazing, it’s almost as addictive as tweeking my blog, well not quite, but still….

Publishing a book is hard work

I am on the last legs of getting this book out, and I thought that writing a book was a challenge, I must add that just getting through the publishing part with copy-editing and more is painful 🙁

Here am I expecting to have this book finished this by end of September when I could focus on my MBA, and instead I am still working on the final edits on the book -every weekend, the whole weekend, and studying for my MBA inbetween. I have prioritised the book, and just trying to get the minimum effort possible with this part of the MBA, I can throw myself more into this later for excellence.

Good news is that we are on time to get the book out beginning of December. Bad news is that I just don’t have a life right now, although I guess many who know me could argue that I never have 😉

Now enough griping, back to the book!

30th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners

Data Protection Authorities from every continent gathered in Strasbourg last week to participate in the 30th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners ( The theme of this year’s conference was “protecting privacy in a borderless world”. One conclusion from this meeting was to endorse a resolution brought forward by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada that called for an international effort to protect the privacy of children online.

Aggregate and anonymised data

I referred to a case in Scotland in a comment made on a post concerning IP addresses seen as personal data in Germany. In subsequent comments I mention a court case in Scotland… here is the court case I was referring to, it is taken from my book:

“Aggregate data is information that is grouped for analysis, typically stated in percentages. An example is that 87% of children use the computer regularly in Sweden. Anonymous data is information that is not personally identifiable because it is not linked directly or indirectly with any unique individual and could be that it has been stripped of unique identifiers. This can be data that has had the PII stripped to convert it into aggregate data.

How anonymous the data really is after stripping PII is open to discussion. For example in July 2008 the House of Lords overruled the Scottish Information Commissioner’s decision to allow the release of anonymised regional medical statistics, saying that the data were still private and thus covered under the UK’s Data Protection Act. The controversy stems from a request by a Scottish parliamentary researcher for leukaemia data related to children in the 0–14 years of age group from a specific postal region. The Lords’ ruling was based on the low rate of incidents, which could have made it possible to correlate the data with individuals in spite of the fact that the data had been anonymised ( 2008).”

PII is Personal Identifiable Information