Tuesday, October 31, 2006

More Euro-crap business-oriented word-footling.

"I've been around long enough to know....." - I need to show I'm superior to you.


"in my view..." - according to a memo I saw on someones desk/blackberry


"I wrote to the CTO..." - I thought I might write to someone, I mean it's bloody outrageous isn't it...etc


"they have to meet their obligations..." - we have the little pr**ks over a barrel


"I suspect their people are mostly blockers" - ooops, this isn't going to be as east as we were told
"the client-partner is a f**ker..." - see above


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Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Dublin effect

I have never yet visited Dublin but its on my list (after skiing, ANYWHERE!) and I have been informed by people I would expect to know these sorts of things, that it is an incredibly vibrant and successful business centre. Many attribute this to their early adoption of the euro or to favourable incentives (tax mainly), but I'm wondering if it more deep-rooted than that. For example, why, in a  city like Paris that has openly announced its intentions to be universally wireless enabled by the end of next year, can I ONLY GET A CONNECTION IN IRISH BARS DAMMIT?!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Flurry of activity...

I know, I'm posting like a loony today, but there's just so much going ON!  Lastest 'shiney light' in Bens world is PandoraFM which mashes Last.fm and Pandora into a simply fantastic (in a Heath Robinson Stylee) app.  Probably best appreciated if you know what Last.fm and Pandora are to start with.... :-)

IndianFrise

IndianFrise Is Malcolm and June Frise's dialogue on their travels around india...take a peek.

Hostile take-over

I have arrived at a startling realisation this morning, and that is the sure and unshakeable knowledge that the most dangerous, aggressive threat to the well-being of a jet-setting business person (like what I is) lies not in the complex cross-border fiscal regulations, nor in the interminable challenges posed by cultural and linguistic differences.

Non.  The greatest thorn in the side (or to be accurate, all down the front) of the  international business traveller is the Cooked Tomato (cherry variety).

I will not dwell too long on the full details of this mornings attack, suffice to say that I have proof-positive that not only are the little buggers bullet-proof armour-coated skins stuffed with ordinance held at mind-boggling pressures, and capable of striking as far away as the table ACROSS the gangway, but these munitions are also equipped with sophisticated napkin-avoidance systems that the fabled Stealth Bomber can only aspire-to.

My only retaliation, you will be pleased to know, was to retire to the Eurostar's Salle de bain with a replacement shirt, apologising to the nice stockbroker (yeah, and monkeys might fly out of my butt) opposite, and  muttering curses on the little red f**kers and all who grow them.

By the way, the Exploding Tomato picture at the top is courtesy of Andrew Davidhazy of Rochester University (see, they don't just Rob Cars down there!)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Coming to a Browser near you...Karmic Spam

How can Microsoft hope to compete with the likes of this startling stroke of genius discovered at the frankly astonishing WhatWouldJesusDownload. They are quite simply up against a power supposedly even greater than they: Umbuntu. But not just any old (seemingly never-ending) version of the coolest Linux since Penquins were invented. Oh no, this is Ubuntu Christian Edition.

So lets get the serious bit out of the way. This is a shining example of the kind of varigation that benefits an Open Source approach in ways MS and hundreds of other more traditional models can only dream of. Blahblahblahblah.

More importantly, it is a micro-market revolution, a revalation for many I suspect. The Apple Mac market for software has (nearly) always been more limited than for the PC's, and for obvious reasons. There's more PC's of course.

So why is this the first Operating System for Christians? And stop giggling, they do versions of windows in Portuguese after all. And actually, they do versions in English, French, German, Japanese, Russian, Spanish and Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese). Did you know that the combined numbers of the speakers of these languages, is less than the number of Christians in the world. (roughly 2.05 billion -vs- 2.1 billion, in case you're wondering).

Now of course, some God Botherers need French language versions, so I'm not surprised it got developed ahead of Microsoft's own Christian Edition, but still I think there's an awful big market there for relatively little effort. In case you were wondering, Portuguese speakers (170 million) outstrip French speakers over 2:1, but at about 160 million in the US alone, the market I'm heading for is, the overweight.

Yes, yes, I'm firmly inside the demographic. And so are the majority of my friends I suspect, but the point is, Microsoft has identified the needs of a language above and beyond the need of a faith, and whilst I am absolutely not religious, I wonder if this is in line with their collaborative, community, sharing, inclusive marketing angle.

Two things, I need an angle on the 'OS for a larger generation', and my plans for world domination via the web have begun with KarmicSpam, a site spawned in drunken conversation with Barr-Watson, and destined to become the next target for aggressive bun-fights between Yahoo and Google (please!)

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Something for Nothing

Christmas is coming up and one of the easiest ways to knock lots of ducks down with few stones, is the perenial Useful/Interesting/Dust-collecting book. So I decided to take advantage of one of the numerous offers of 'Join now, get 15 free'. However, I thought I'd have a bit of a scout around and see if I could find any Referral Sites that could make the deal even sweeter, and of course, I could.

To begin with, there are sites such as

Now despite the websites for many of these looking a lot like those god-awful Oxfam shops you see set up in the Shopunits Time Forgot, they have a fantastic niche. These organisations negotiate commissions for putting business the way of the online retailers and pass a little of that back in the form of cash-backs and donations to charities. So if you are spending money online, going straight to Amazon is nothing short of a criminal waste : You can get discounts and help a worthy cause using one of these portals.

Secondly, there are Personal Gift incentive sites. Now there has been lots of noise over these, mainly because of confusion over the blurred-edges between rip-off services (much loved by Ringtone companies), Pyramid or Multi-Level Marketing schemes and 'refer-and-earn' sites. It is difficult to see the wood for the trees, or it would be if it wasn't for the Internet, but a quick Google showed up the goodies and the baddies pretty darned quick.

As an example, the Office of Free Trade closed down Mobiles4free under the 'unfair lotteries' provision as it was clear that the further down the list you were, the less likely it was you would actually end-up with their promoted item. Some others however appear to have been in business for a considerable length of time (Years, not months) and you can find what appear to be genuinely happy recipients of iPods and the like.

I have taken the plunge with freeipods.com using an email address I can easily track spam with, and committed my details in the hope that I can prove it worthwhile. The deal is I subscribe to a trial service (in this case, with World books, 6 titles for silly money and only 4 more books in the course of a year) and get 5 others to signup to one of their offers using the unique link they provide (so they can attribute new members to my account).

So, all I have to do now is to get 5 people to join in, either because they want to take part in the experiment, or they just want to help me get my daughter an iPod! And just to muddy the waters a little, the first 5 people who sign-up using my referral link will get a Free £10 Note from me! I get an iPod for £50, we get to prove or disprove the theory that you don't get nothing for nothing.

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Friday, October 06, 2006

Modest Mouse get a new Axeman

This is old (August) news, but NME.COM reports that Smiths star Johnny Marr is joining Modest Mouse permenantly. I first encountered Modest Mouse in New York with Pete a couple of years ago and Marr has long been a hero (along with Graham Coxon), I would beseech you two spend 10 minutes of your life familiarising ourself with their genius seperately, and I can't wait for the new album...

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

And the tirade continues.....

So apart from the city being lovely to look at, I have yet to find a decent hotel (and those who know me, know I love a nice hotel) and yet to find consistant "Whiffy".
I did manage to stumble across the bunch who are Making Paris Wireless (see 'I tried, mon Dieu I tried) Ozoneparis.net and they are hitting the right lines I think; creating a Community for access with value-add stuff like email accounts etc....except their connection speed sucks! Like a Dyson!

And DON'T get me started on Hotels...they are expensive (not in a good way) and hard to find (also, not in a good way.) I'm convinced that if you want to make a million in a short space of time, open a hotel in Paris.