Saturday, 30 May 2009
Monday, 25 May 2009
Friday, 22 May 2009
Thursday, 21 May 2009
Wednesday, 20 May 2009
Tuesday, 19 May 2009
Sunday, 17 May 2009
Monday, 11 May 2009
I've been thinking that I can sometimes think that when we fix things now that we're breaking new ground, solving problems that no-one has ever solved.
When I read about the way that early audio instructions were included in cars, I was struck that Solomon was right: "there's nothing new under the sun" (which, interstingly was the topic of my Higher English dissertation in 1997 - based on Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse 5). We might be solving problems more efficiently, but we're probably reusing ideas others have had and applying them to our problem. In the case of the speaking car, the problem is "how to make the car tell the driver what's happening". The first solution in the 70s was to basically create small records - now we do it with digital audio files.
And I love that. Learn from others and become wiser (not smarter, there's a difference, in my mind).
On the topic of digital audio, have a listen to the latest edition of The Guardian's techweekly podcast. A really interesting interview with Kane Kramer, who basically seems to have invented the digital music player (or at least the way it could work) in 1979.
So what have you learned by listening? How has it changed how you work/live/play?
Wednesday, 6 May 2009
Monday, 4 May 2009
Friday, 1 May 2009
I've got a few things in my head to talk about from last week, but thought I'd tell my story of coming home.
McColleague and I left Internet World 2009 at Earls Court in plenty time to get ourselves out to Heathrow. Basically to minimise the risk of Transport for London making a meal of it!
I'd checked in online, and rather than print a boarding card, got the QR code sent to my G1 - and it worked! Paperless travel is possible! (except for my photographic ID...).
We got access to the BMI lounge (and therefore free stuff), had a quick, efficient and harmless flight - BMI were great all 'round, as they were when Mrs theWeir and I travelled back from NZ a few years ago. Then there was a wee bug in the ointment.
The flight time from Heathrow to Edinburgh: 55 minutes. Time to get out of the car park: 20 minutes. It seems the volume of traffic leaving the car park was too much for the poorly designed system - you get a certain amount of time from buying your ticket to present that ticket at the exit barrier. And basically people were running out of time.
250 vehicles, four barriers, one fella in the booth to help people who needed another ticket issued. Clearly not his fauly, but the system is broken by design. Alas I couldn't take a picture as the G1 has stopped reading my MicroSD card. Need to figure out why!
Anyway, can someone please with some Lean process management techniques offer to fix this clearly broken system?