Time to plant a tree

Reading time: 1 min
It’s already halfway through the month, my Christmas holiday is within touching distance (I finish up on Friday), and then it’ll be 2013. As I spent a lot of time last week in airports I did some quick (and very rough) calculations and realised that I’ve logged around 21,500 miles of air travel this year, and visited four different continents on the way. Holiday in Tunisia, holiday in Singapore, a flight to London, and a work trip to the USA. It’s by far the most air travel I’ve ever had in one year, at a guess I’d say in the past it’d have taken me several years to rack up that many miles but the fates (and monies) aligned this year …

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A New Normal

Reading time: 2 mins
I’m currently cruising high in the sky above the USA, on my way from San Francisco to Boston. It’s part of a whistle stop tour of two of our offices here which have teams of software engineers, architects and product managers (no technical writers though) that are building part of the product we will be shipping early next year. During a chat with a couple of the product managers there was an interesting revelation. In describing the approach the team takes when it comes to writing documentation, the two product managers both smiled with relief when I said that we didn’t really spend much time on simple procedures, instead we try and concentrate on the why, on decision support information. …

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President Obama

Reading time: 2 mins
The United States of America has, in case you’ve been hiding under a rock these past couple of months, a new President. Bye bye Bush, hello “Change” and a big dollop of hope. Like many others I’ve been a little swept up in the general goodwill that President Obama seems to carry with him, and whilst it is obvious that he is an intelligent and charismatic man, I’m not entirely convinced his perceived persona is fair. It’s easy to forget, as most of us are slap bang in the middle of it, that the way we use the internet has changed in the past four years and whilst the way the Obama campaign used the internet is well documented I …

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On being global

Reading time: 3 mins
Apparently I am a global citizen, indeed we are all global citizens these days. OK, so my current train of thought is heading down the route largely blazed by Naomi Klein in her book No Logo. Large companies like, say, Starbucks, are able to push smaller local competitors out of business. Which is true and I’m a big supporter of our locally run cafe which, as an aside, makes the best chicken pesto panini EVER, and would hate to see it close down. That said, Starbucks coffee is generally pretty good and is always reliable, and so we begin the inner conflict. You see when I venture into Starbucks (I do wish my fingers would stop typing Satrbucks) I immediately …

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Questions Answered #8

Reading time: 2 mins
In a desperate effort to gain some weird form of validation, I stole an idea for a blog post and begged my readers to ask me a question. And they did. The buggers. Now I have to answer them. Question 8: Jane asks, quite simply, for “The ideal jogging route”. The ideal jogging route This is pretty straightforward really. The ideal jogging route: is flat. is somewhere of temperate climate, not too hot, not too cold, a little drizzle on an early autumn day for example. has a gaggle of gorgeous cheerleaders lining the route. There you go. Simple. But. Well… The thing is… If it’s flat you don’t get the sense of achievement that comes when you reach the …

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15 years

Reading time: 1 min
Yesterday marked the 15th anniversary of when some bloke, sorry SIR some bloke, published some files on an international network. Since then a lot has changed. Some of it good, some of it bad, some of it mediocre, some of it, er, unmediocre. I first stumbled across the internet in my first job. After being introduced to Windows for Workgroups, my first ever experience of Windows after years of Macs, I was shown an application called Netscape, a search engine called Yahoo!, and six months later I created my first web site. Email was still limited to a handful of people, mostly in the same company, and spam was something you didn’t buy at the supermarket. I quickly found newsgroups …

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The Global Goggle Box

Reading time: 3 mins
The internet brings us many things, many of which have been listed before and it should be said that most of the things are joyous and good, although some of them are nasty and bad. I really like the good things, the people, the ability to lose three hours and not realise it, and the way I can sculpt information to how I want it delivered and stored. I really don’t like the bad stuff like spam, viruses and the rampant globalised information. I guess I should qualify that last one, huh. Most of you know that the USA and the UK are connected. Physically by miles and miles of cables, geographically by an ocean, and socially by the ever …

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Dream Team Mk..5? 6?

Reading time: 1 min
Anyone for a game of basketball then? Just a quick game in the World Championships, aww c’mon, it’s not like the competition is going to be up to much… ahem… Team USA Photo Roster

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Soccer

Reading time: 1 min
It’s a two-zip scenario. Unless anyone can re-send me the alternative Brazil vs Scotland match thoughts from France 1998, which featured the thoughts that ran through the Scottish players heads as they faced the mighty Brazil (memory-jogger if you read it: John Collins permanently worrying about how he looked) then this little piece has to be the funniest World Cup related piece I’ve seen so far. USA through, nation nonplussed (via Hydragenic).

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No Amazon Logo

Reading time: 1 min
Tying in nicely with my current reading of her book No Logo comes the following article:AlterNet — Brand USA (via dooce). The article highlights the inherent risk in trying to brand a country thats strongest claim at a ‘brand’ is it’s acceptance and celebration of diversity. The more I read about this kind of thing the further in I’m getting drawn. It makes me wonder about my recent decision to ‘affiliate*’ with Amazon. I’m now very conscious that I don’t start adding book, music, or film mentions everywhere simply to try and ‘up’ my ratings. If you spot me doing it, please tell me. This shouldn’t have a big impact for you U.S. of A. folks though as my affiliation …

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