Saturday, 30 May 2009

Books, Sun, Garden, Hoegarten. and no #bgt. All set for a good evening!

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Welcoming all my new followers with a picture of Scottish summer. No really, it is....

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Just arrived at Cramond for a wander along the front with babyB. W-A-R-M & joyous

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Back from the bike ride, talking the dogs for a walk. Here's some swans on the canal:

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The Forth Rail Bridge in all it's grandeur (except for the scaffolding & cruise ship)

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Out for a ride early bike ride on this beautiful day. At South Queensferry.

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Monday, 25 May 2009

be careful what you ask for

As I spend some time at work (yes, back after a great time enjoying my beautiful family & Speyside), I'm enjoying learning what people think the future will look like.

Here's a blast from the past:

Sports Videos, News, Blogs

I'd love to get a copy of the soundtrack. That's some crazy trumpet playing! As for the technology - check out that weird "home post office" idea. that'll never take on...

Monday, 11 May 2009

is innovation new or perpetual?

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).

I think that's why I enjoy listening - either in person, in print, on RSS feeds or on Twitter.  Learning.  Only caveat, it's got to be followed with action. 

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

What to do with a Crisis?!

I read this on Martin Neil's Voice of the Nations blog tonight thought it was brilliant:

"In this season where the media is bombarding us with the financial crisis that is crippling the world my question is what is our response? Interestingly like most Mandarin words, the word “crisis” (wēijī) consists of two syllables that are written with two separate characters, wēi and jī. These separate characters mean “danger” and “opportunity”. Maybe this paradox can point us towards a counter cultural view point. Do we choose to worry about the danger that may be lurking around the corner or do we look for opportunities to be generous?"

Monday, 4 May 2009

real identity - is it from others or from the inner life?

(thank you AsboJesus)

Let's combine that with these words from Bill Cosby"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody."

Friday, 1 May 2009

Home and Away (and then Home again, eventually)

What a fun journey life can be.

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?