Saturday, September 22, 2012

Virtual Office and workers

It is noticable in a number of companies that there is a marked increase in the number of workers who are not regularly present in the company office. Some companies in Silicon Valley are assuming that up to 40% of the workforce will be telecommuters in the near future. 

There are sites devoted to the issues around telecommuting and teleworking, such as which also offer definitions and practical advice on running a home office and up to date information on developments including this info graphic.

A recent article on the BBC website also addresses the workplace of the future looking as far forward as 2025. Mark Heraghty, Managing Director of Virgin media Business forecasts a world where we will interact with co-workers who appear as holograms and be using interactive surfaces in the home to communicate ideas. 

It looks like there are enough statistics to demonstrate that telework and telecommuting are moving into the mainstream.The advantages are not just for emplyees, employers can expect to save around $4000 a year per employee. So it looks likely that telecommuting is entering the mainstream and is also here to stay.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Nokia Fights Back

Nokia and MicroSoft today launch their new smart phone running Windows 8, called the Lumia 920 which has a shake-compensating camera lens and a cable-free charge.

The first Windows phones were launched last year by Nokia running Windows 7 which are effectively stuck with that release as they apparently may not upgrade to Windows 8. 4 million Lumia phones with Windows 7 were sold in the last quarter (cf  Apple approx 26 million).

The iconic Nokia phone for me was the 6310 for it's battery power, simplicity and sturdiness. After that the nearest equivalent was the E51 but around this time they started to lose direction and market share. The E71 with its qwerty keyboard did not cut mustard against the iphone and the rest is history.

Time will tell whether the 920 with its Qualcomm Snapdragon S4, large battery and local and Skydrive storage is able to complete. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

4 Rule Collection

  1. Always remember to breathe. This seems obvious, but when you're in the middle of an exercise you may actually forget. In most cases you'll exhale when you do the hard work (e.g. the pushing up part of a push up), and inhale on the easier part (e.g. when you lower your body for the push up). This isn't always the case, however, and special breathing instructions are noted where relevant in this post.
  2. Form is extremely important. If you do an exercise wrong, what seems like progress initially will quickly dissipate and possibly result in injury. Be sure you're doing the exercises correctly before you begin. Ask a friend to watch your form first. If you know a professional, ask them to help guide you. While this guide will explain proper form, it is your responsibility to ensure you doing the exercises properly and not cutting any corners.
  3. Take it slowly. While aerobic exercise if often the exception, most other exercise is best performed slowly. This doesn't mean you should take long breaks in between each push up and sit up, but that you shouldn't perform each as quickly as possible. Going slowly will work the muscle more and make you stronger.
  4. Your goal is to fail. The key to a good work out is failure. That doesn't mean giving up because you're frustrated and tired, but rather pushing the limits of your strength until your strength is spent. Obviously you don't want to push yourself to the point of injury, but that shouldn't be a concern so long as you're exhibiting the proper form. Don't worry too much about the number of repetitions of any given exercise, but instead concentrate on working as hard as you can. A larger number of push ups doesn't necessarily mean you're stronger. Some days you'll have more energy than others and will perform better. Some days you'll perform worse. The key is to do the best you can with all of the energy you have. If you fail, you succeed.
  1. All guns are always loaded!
  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy!
  3. Always be sure of your target!
Agreement 1
Be impeccable with your word - Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
Agreement 2
Don’t take anything personally - Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
Agreement 3
Don’t make assumptions - Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
Agreement 4
Always do your best - Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

Rule One: People Mostly Care About Themselves

Rule Two: People are Motivated by Selfish Altruism

Rule Three: People Don’t Think Much

Rule Four: Conformity is the Norm

1. Use Diagonal Lines
2. Position key aspects of the landscape on Geometric Shapes
3. The Rule of Thirds (Position key points of interest in a landscape on the intersecting point between imaginary ‘third’ points in an image)
4. Frame Images

1. Send Useful Signals, Not Meaningless Static
2. Create Two-Way Conversations to Build Brand Value
3. Socialize the Content & Campaign With Conversation
4. Understand and Apply Usage Data

  1. Passes all the tests.
  2. Express every idea we need to express.
  3. Contains no duplication.
  4. Minimized the number of classes, methods and other moving parts.

The basic rules for combining different typefaces are:
  1. The family comes first
  2. Embrace diversity
  3. Combine similar proportions
  4. Limit combinations


4 Rules for the Seesaw Market

If You Can't Take the Heat, Get Out
Don't Panic
Have a Plan
Learn from Your Mistakes

Rule No. 1: Take a short position based on fundamentals as though it were a long term position.
Rule No. 2: Look for reasonably priced puts.
Rule No. 3: Look for a perfect storm.
Rule No. 4: Close and/or roll winning positions.
1. Learn
2. Reassess
3. Get Ahead
4. Rest & Reflect

Four Rules for Business Credit

1. Keep Things Professional2. Use Debt to Build Your Business
3. Leverage Your Local Banker
4. Think of the Long Run

5 Things to Stop Doing

  1. Responding Like a Trained Monkey.
  2. Mindless Traditions.
  3. Reading Annoying Things.
  4. Work That's Not Worth It.
  5. Making Things More Complicated Than They Should Be.


4 Rules for Extreme Programming

Simple code:
  1. Runs all the tests.
  2. Expresses every idea that we need to express.
  3. Says everything OnceAndOnlyOnce.
  4. Has no superfluous parts.
Wiki pages for each of the above, respectively:
Alternative list:
  1. Runs all the tests.
  2. Maximizes Cohesion
  3. Minimizes Coupling
  4. Says everything OnceAndOnlyOnce.


The 4 Rules Of Trading Penny Stocks

1. Never Risk More Than You Can Afford To Lose
2. Don’t Fall In Love With Any One Situation
3. Stay Alert, Especially On Fast Moving Stocks
4. You Can Never Go Poor Taking Your Profits

RULE 1 - All Probability is Between 0 and 1 (or 100%)
RULE 2 - The Complement Rule
complement of event A is the event (A does not occur). All simple events in the sample space must either be part of event A or part of the complement of event A. 
RULE 3 - The Either/Or Rule
union of events A and B are events when A or B or both occur. 
RULE 4 - The Both/And Rule
intersection of events A and B are events when both A and B occur.


5 Ways to Be Known as a Groundbreaking Thinker

  1. You must start with show, not tell.
  2. If everyone agrees, you’re preaching to the choir.
  3. You have to start small.
  4. For a while no one will listen.
  5. You must be sure the effort is worth it.


Five Ways To Make People Hang On Your Every Word

1. Get comfortable
2. Accept discomfort.
3. Speak to the individuals, not the group.
4. Bring double the passion, and half the content.
5. Ignite discussion, don’t replace it.


Five Consumer Mega Trends Are Changing The World

  • Mass urbanization — Movement to cities is causing logistical issues for retailers and consumer goods companies
  • An aging population — There are opportunities here, since older consumers have more disposable income
  • The rise of the global middle class — This is a massive growth opportunity, but there will also be stresses on resources
  • People care about sustainability — Now, being green has become "simply smart business"
  • Technology is changing expectations  — It's all about the digital shopping experience

  1. See Serendipity Everywhere
  2. Prime Yourself for Chance
  3. Go Ahead, Slack Off
  4. Say Yes
  5. Embrace Failure


3 Tips/Considerations for Choosing Green Screen vs Blue Screen

  1. Do not use the same color screen as your talent is wearing.
  2. Consider the time of day
  3. Be aware of how much space you are going to have behind your talent.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Having Hope

"A genius! For thirty-seven years I've practised fourteen hours a day, and now they call me a genius!" Pablo Sarasate, 1844-1908 a Spanish violinist and composer.

This prompts me to raise two points:
  1. that accepting the mundane and tiresome, taking the narrow road rather than the wide easy road is the way to achievement
  2. during the times of oppression, disillusion and hardship which may in fact last for years we should never give up hope. This story about a Bangladeshi man who was separated from his family supports this.
Do you agree?

Friday, June 29, 2012

Morality of Wealth Acquisistion

A very interesting article by John Kay, "Rent-seeking lessons from Mubarak to Louis XIV" looking at how different people attain wealth. When I reached the last two paragraphs I did wonder if John wrote this to prepare us for the revelation in today's news about the LIBOR rate fixing by UK and other banks.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi is a small computer costing about 28 British pounds. The idea behind it is to encourage younger people and not-so-young to really understand what is behind information technology and computing. My daughter told me she had IT class at school but when I asked what it entailed I was horrified to find out that it was really familiarisation with the applications (such as MSWord) on a PC.

If your waiting for your Raspberry Pi to arrive it's time to go out and get the essentials that you need to run it. Unless you ordered anything other than the board that means: 
   1) a 5v power supply with a USB to USB mini cable
   2) USB Mouse
   3) USB keyboard
   4) Monitor or TV which has a HDMI socket
   5) HDMI-HDMI cable for above or composite cable to a regular TV (which is not ideal on the eyes but at least proves it's working)
   6) 4GB SD card and a reader to write the image to the card
   I am mentioning this because then you can get the Pi up and   running as soon as you get it. The WIKI is a good source to prepare for setup. It's a great feeling though when the lights come on and the boot starts writing to the screen.

My Raspberry Pi arrived last week. If your waiting for your Raspberry Pi to arrive it's time to go out and get the essentials that you need to run it. Unless you ordered anything other than the board that means:

Monday, March 5, 2012

Peter Day Interview With Reid Hoffman on The Startup of You

Recently I listened to Peter Day from the BBC's GlobalBiz radio program interview Reid Hoffman (Linkedin), the co-author of "The Startup of You". Here are my notes.

You are the CEO of your own business. There is a tool-kit that CEO's use - (i) knowing how a service works; (ii) how do you build out the next generation of product; (iii) figuring out how to navigate the media world; This tool-kit is equally applicable to the individual. We should remember that we are always a work-in-progress and retain a 'beta' mindset (always in development, always changing, always investigating) - you just get on with something sometimes before it's perfect. Part of living in the modern world is that you have to constantly invest in yourself. Watch out for the threat of early success - keep remembering the need to 'learn again' in order to keep ahead of the field.

Peter Day asked if it is true that 'only the paranoid survive' quoting the book by Andy Grove and Reid Hoffman agreed and said that one has to learn to expect change rather than stability as the metronome and that we need to factor it into our strategy. He advised on the benefits of talking to other smart people and taking small experimental risks. Peter Day went back to Andy Grove's book and said that just when everything in the garden is lovely and everything is just right that is just the time when disaster strikes.

"But does it really apply to me personally as well as an entrepreneur?" asked Day.
Reid: "I think so for several reasons because I think that the intense wins of globalisation and technology disruption massively affect industry and organisations and the question comes down to 'Do organisations adapt?'". If an organisation doesn't adapt then the individual needs to be adapting themselves because if the organisation has layoffs - how do you continue your career? The second thing is the way the organisation adapt really only happens if they have adaptable people working in the organisation. People who are paying attention to these kind of changes and are thinking about it: "How do you learn more? How do you adapt more? How do you take risks? How do you invest in yourself? So I think this mindset is key not just to folks who obviously start companies but anyone who does any job".
To hear the full program - listen to the podcast.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Disparate Views on the internet music model

On the 4th of January Forbes published Steven Bertoni's 5-page article about Spotify’s Daniel Ek giving the impression that, despite the financial downturn, the music biz and the new-media tech companies had finally consummated the marriage.

Shortly after finishing the article I remembered the "Information is Beautiful" graphic that showed/compared various revenues of music indicating that with Spotify the artist would receive $0.00029 per stream. This image is based on an excellent post at The Cynical Musician called The Paradise That Should Have Been about pitiful digital royalties. The conversation about the music business and the models at the bottom of the page on Information is Beautiful is interesting because it has continued since the original post  and participants are both music creators and music appreciators.

I do not know whether it is by design or coincidence but the Forbes article appeared on the 4th Jan and on the 6th January The Cynical Musician published an up to the minute update on Spotify called 'A Realistic Look at Spotfiy and Streaming' in which he revisits the subject and does some more factual in-depth analysis and concludes in a slightly less than his usual cynical way. I found the article informative and well presented and Faza has unusually opened it up to share in order to continue and develop the ongoing conversation.

Friday, January 6, 2012

full marks for ingenuity to the Polish Postman

A friend of mine from England sent me a Christmas card and left out two items of essential information: the addressee and the house number. All the postman from Poczta Polska had to go on was that it was for someone in my street and it came from England. Full credit to him for initiative - he put 2 and 2 together and got cztery (4).