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Archive for June, 2012|Monthly archive page

30-Jun-12 They think it’s all over, it is now!

In Blog, Sports on June 30, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Today was the annual SThree football tournament and this year’s event was keenly contested at Powerleague at Wembley.

With 9 eager teams formed by most of the London offices, it was always going to be challenging.

I had high hopes this year, as I felt our squad of 8 could compete if we could ease our way in and not give the ball away cheaply!

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As we now make our way home, we have had our best tournament ever being beat on penalties (3-2) in the final by a team from our Computer Futures London office.

It’s been the first tournament that I did not kick a ball, as my job was to manage them through. To be honest, this was extremely easy, as the team, unbeaten all day should be very proud of what they achieved, as each individual performed above expectations.

So our team, aptly named 1966 All Stars, under the shadow of the Wembley stadium has followed the England tradition and again failed to win on penalties, but we move forward with high expectations for next year!

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On the final stage of the journey home now from Waterloo with Murray shortly on centre court at Wimbledon with Baghdatis. With the Nadal upset earlier this week, the draw is now starting to look very favourable for our British survivor, so let’s hope he can avoid stage fright over the next 7 days!

29-Jun-12 Football, Tennis, Technology and Cakes

In Blog, Consumerisation, Euro 2012, Technology, Wimbledon on June 29, 2012 at 5:55 am

After last nights shock at Wimbledon, we still have two British players in the third round of Wimbledon.

Whilst Murray must be pleased at how the Nadal eviction opens up his part of the draw, Heather Watson will have to play at her very best to have any prospect of making the illustrious second week (at the time of publishing, she appears to be going out).

In terms of Euro 2012, Spain and Italy will replay their earlier group stage game on Sunday and what an interesting proposition this is.

Although I am not convinced it is going to be a free flowing game of football, I do believe that Italy have enough talent and style to challenge the current European and World champions, hence why I am tipping them to win 2-0.

Of course the whole England debate resurfaces! Were England that bad or were Italy that good, as they certainly made the German team look ordinary last night and we were led to believe they were a very good team?

On the technology front today, this was an interesting device recommended to me by one of my work colleagues, Mike Humphries.

The Raspberry PI appears to be an intriguing product considering its price with a number of different drivers for being used. Let me know if you’ve already made an investment in this and or anything similar and how you are using it, as I’m interested to see whether this is something for the average consumer?

Happy birthday to the iPhone today. Can you believe it is 5 years old? I wonder what your favourite app is after all these years? I bet it is a game?

Speaking of which, Google’s new Chrome browser for iOS has stormed the iTunes download charts – hitting the top spot for free apps worldwide!

This article in the Register comes after Google claimed that Chrome was the world’s most popular browser, doubling its number of users in the past year from 160 million to 310 million. Personally I still like IE on Windows and Safari on iOS, but I am old school!

To close the day, I had to judge a cake competition at work today. Now I know what being a director is really about!

Tomorrow I am managing our IT team at our annual SThree tournament. This years event is at Wembley. I have a feeling this could be our year under the influence of the arch! Then again, our team has an average older age of about 15 years, so I could be wrong!

Enjoy your weekends!

28-Jun-12 Sporting Shocks and Consumerisation

In Blog, Consumerisation, Euro 2012, Technology on June 28, 2012 at 7:54 pm

A late blog this evening, as I have spent most of today with our Global Learning and Development team at their headquarters in the West End.

Although I don’t believe any of them to be regular blog readers of mine, I have to extend my thanks for them making me very welcome today and I certainly got a lot out of the event.

About a week or so ago, I was asked to provide them a technology briefing, as part of their annual function get together. In addition to this, me and one of my team, Paul Chandler, got involved in a Question and Answer type session this afternoon, which really benefited both parties.

My technology briefing focused on consumerisation and how this might enable our Learning and Development function to deliver effective training in the future. Without going in to too much detail, it covered the products (Good and Citrix Receiver) that are live products that we deliver today, as well as some additional features around embracing wireless technology in conjunction with our Audio Visual suite of products.

The obligatory pint or two was shared after the event, hence the late composition of my blog.

As I write, I have just witnessed the biggest shock of Euro 2012 with Italy beating Germany 2-0 and the biggest shock of Wimbledon with Nadal being beaten in the second round by Lukas Rosol, who is ranked 100!

The football result was not as big a shock for me, as I predicted Italy to win 2-0! Damn it, I was only 2 minutes away from getting 10 points in http://www.footballpredictiongame.co.uk!

27-Jun-12

In Blog, Technology, Wimbledon on June 27, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Another exciting day at Wimbledon yesterday left some good British interest in the tournament, but not such good news for our Aussie foes.

According to the Times, “It was Australia whitewash day” with no Aussie in the second round of the Gentlemen’s single tournament for the first time since 1938!

Britain on the other hand had one of it’s best ever modern era days with 2 men through (Murray and James Ward), whilst 3 ladies made the second round (Heather Watson, Anne Koethavong and Elena Baltacha). In fact today, Heather has made the 3rd round, being the first British lady to do this in 10 years!

I guess the Union Jacks will all start coming out now. Is it realistic to think that we might actually enjoy our first winner since Virginia Wade back in 1977, which was the Queen’s silver jubilee year? Unlikely, but we all thought that England could win Euro 2012 only 3 days ago!

On the technology front today, I read a report in CIO that claims that Cloud downtime has cost more than 45 million since 2007!

Their research is based on press reports of cloud outages at services like Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and Paypal, among others over the last 5 years. I wonder how many people have lost their jobs either at these companies or at the end user organisations because of these?

Google today have announced Jelly Bean, the latest version of it’s android system software. The article from the BBC reveals that 400 million Android devices have now been activated, which is four times as many as last year, which is a clear indication that Android is certainly start to gather pace on the apparently IOS dominated tablet and mobile space. I wonder how long before those Apple followers start changing aliance?

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26-Jun-12

In Blog, Olympics, Technology, Wimbledon on June 26, 2012 at 8:14 pm

A late blog today, as a surprise visit at work by my Dad was then followed by a swift 2 or 3 jars in the City.

With no footy action yesterday, my attention was drawn to Wimbledon and the first big shock of the tournament with the exit of Venus Williams. Even more of a shock though was the fact that we have a British girl in the second round after Heather Watson powered her way through!

The big technology news of the day was the purchase of Yammer by Microsoft for $1.2 billion in cash. This news article from Microsoft provides the full details, but yet another cool social networking tool falls under their domain (Skype was the last one)!

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With only 31 days to the Olympics, it’s interesting how unprepared London businesses are for the games. According to this report in Computer Weekly, only 35% of workers have guidelines on secure remote working! If not prepared now, it’s probably a tad too late!

25-Jun-12

In Blog, Euro 2012, Technology on June 25, 2012 at 6:21 am

Another disappointing England performance ended with the tragic penalty kicks last night and although we got slated for our lack of technical ability, we have to be disappointed at squandering the chances we got and I also think we have to question the management decisions around the substitutes?

Was Wellback having that bad a game? The obvious choices for me at that time were Young being replaced with either Walcott or Oxlade-Chamberlain. Young has not had a good tournament and was certainly not having a great game giving the ball away on too many occasions. I wonder what impact that might have had later on in the penalty shoot out when Young’s penalty was key!

Up till now, I’ve been very critical of Milner, but I thought he was having more of an impact than Young. Bringing on Carroll almost made England look for the long ball all the time, which was never really going to work against an Italian defence. I know all these decisions can be looked at in hindsight, but we blew two subsitutions and then had to use Henderson to replace Parker, which was never really going to make a huge difference!

My only joyful moment of the evening was related to this picture that was posted on Twitter by Alan Dunne, one of Millwall’s defenders.

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If you recall, I set a poser on Friday, which was what happened for the first time in a major football tournament when Greece and Portugal met in the 2004 final? It was the first time that the teams that met in the opening game also met in the final game. On both occasions, the result was 1-0 to Greece! Strangely enough, the same could happen this time with Spain and Italy!

At the weekend, we had our family and friends annual baseball. Unfortunately this year, the weather had a huge impact not only on the number attending, but also on the event. In between rain showers, we managed to play a very small game between the valiant 13 who showed up, had a quick picnic and then we decided enough was enough and retired to the pub.

I’d like to thank everyone again for making the effort. It was a real shame that this year’s event was disrupted by the weather, but it was still great to catch up with everyone and this picture is a great keepstake of the day with a rare piece of blue sky in the background.

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Not much to report on the technology front today, although it’s interesting to see that Google have joined the smart TV battle. In this Guardian article, the move comes amid predictions that Apple will also move in to this market.

I’m not convinced this particular solution will sell well, but can see why Google are now trying to develop this market, as clearly the Internet television market needs to evolve.

The other interesting piece of news came from Nokia. In this article, it was good news for those who already have Lumia devices with Windows Phone 7.5 (basically me), as you’ll be able to update your phones with some of the new Windows Phone 8 features when it is released.

When is it being released though?

22-Jun-12

In Blog, BYOD, Consumerisation, Euro 2012, Football, Technology on June 22, 2012 at 5:57 am

Portugal became the first country to make the Euro 2012 finals last night at the expense of Czech Republic. They have a good pedigree in this tournament, as they have made the semi-finals on 3 previous occasions (1984, 2000 and 2004), winning one of these to make the final in 2004.

In 2004, they were hosts, but they were upset by Greece (losing 1-0). Greece’s triumph was unexpected considering that they had only qualified for two other major tournaments, Euro 1980 and the 1994 FIFA World Cup, and their victory in the opening match was their first in a major tournament.

As it’s the weekend, here’s a poser for all those people who like football trivia. Something happened for the first time in a major football tournament when Greece and Portugal met in the final. What was it?

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Watching last night’s game has certainly put me in the mood for Sunday’s big clash with Italy. This youtube video I came across last night on Twitter is a brilliant summary of England’s group stage journey.

Twitter made the news itself yesterday when the social media web site was offline for a couple of hours. The report on the BBC web site gave very little away, but I would hate to be the IT Manager (or Director) trying to explain themselves today!

With a nice link in to service, it’s certainly been a successful few weeks at work with some very successful product launches. I thought it an appropiate time to provide an update.

If you recall from my previous blogs, we launched Good for the Enterprise several months ago. For those not familiar, this is Blackberry email, calendar, contacts and browser on any consumerisation device except a Blackberry!

The initial launch was a huge success and within weeks we had over 800 users. I’m pleased to say that today we nearly have a 1000 users registered and the service is still proving as popular. With the proliferation of smart phones in the consumer world and the development of new features for the IOS, Android and Windows mobile devices, we can only expect this to increase over the coming months.

Another product we finally launched after a long delay was Symantec Enterprise Vault. This went live last Monday and, as of today, we have archived 3.5 million email and 116gb of associated storage! Although this may seem minimal at this stage for a business that is email heavy, this is an amazing statistic after only 5 days of conservative archive settings. Certainly all of our users appear to be enjoying their new found freedom of no space limitations on their mailboxes.

The best part about both of the services we have delivered is that they are fully automated and completely self service, which is our aim for all new services we launch over the coming months.

So the weekend is here and a busy one ahead with our annual family and friends baseball event scheduled for Sunday and the big game in the evening.
Good luck to all those teams still involved, but especially special luck to England. Have a good one.

21-Jun-12

In Blog, Consumerisation, Technology on June 21, 2012 at 6:49 am

Yesterday was spent at the Enterprise Everywhere event hosted by the Corporate IT Forum at the Millbank Tower.

A range of consumerisation challenges were covered by esteemed speakers and guests. This included, but was not limited to, security, support, standards, management and of course just simply Apple!

Although it highlighted nothing new for me, it re-enforced my view that the device does not matter.

The trend of what device to have is now driven by the consumer world and not by what us IT decision makers would like people to own. Therefore our planning for the future has to be around the applications and how we secure them at the application level.

Do you have a view on this? Will IT decision makers be back in control soon? Should they have the power?

In yesterday’s blog, I mentioned the new Surface device from Microsoft.
This prompted Dave Timoney, one of my regular blog viewers (and ex director) to reminisce over an original Surface product that Microsoft released in 2007, which is covered in this link.

As he stated, this was indeed similar to the original Space Invader tables that were in the pubs back in the day when I was young enough to enjoy them.

Some examples on Ebay here provided by a colleague, Rob Baillie, another blog viewer and contributor, but this picture should take some of you down memory lane!

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After the recent security breach at LinkedIn, they have now been hit with a lawsuit. The report in CIO stated that the company failed to implement industry standard security measures. LinkedIn intend to fight this, as they called the suit “without merit”. 6.5 million customers might disagree with this!

Conservative MP Louise Mensch has launched a rival to Twitter! Ms Mensch is herself a prolific Twitter user and has created her own site called Menshn. The full report from the BBC is here. Personally I think she should stick to politics. Hmm. Maybe not, as not a good track record so far!

20-Jun-12

In Blog, BYOD, Consumerisation, Euro 2012, Technology on June 19, 2012 at 10:57 pm

So Rooney got his own back on me last night and scored his first goal at a major championship in 8 years! I take back everything I have said over the last few days, because without being brilliant, his goal was absolutely critical!

The big surprise was France getting beat. Can they bounce back and do everyone a favour and knock out the Spanish? Let’s hope so!

It was interesting yesterday that it was reported that UK canals are to be Google routes in the future making some route options more scenic. Let’s hope that they don’t misdirect you like some TomTom routes or you could have an early bath!

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After my blog section on Microsoft’s prototype Surface device (their entry in the tablet market), there was another interesting blog in Computer Weekly, which highlights how consumerisation has shifted the balance of power from the corporate IT decision maker to the consumer and how Microsoft are hoping that this might shift the balance back!

Personally I cannot see this happening unless the power of the brand in the consumer space shifts from Apple to Microsoft. Do you have a view?

This article from Communications Mobility claims that young workers view BYOD as a right and not a privilege. Hmm. What are this Generation Y like?

19-Jun-12

In Blog, BYOD, Consumerisation, Euro 2012, Olympics, Technology on June 19, 2012 at 6:24 am

For a moment last night, it looked like Spain might get dumped out of Euro 2012, but then they found that precious goal! When the chips are down, just like Germany the previous night, they seem to deliver. Over to Rooney now….

Xavi Hernández of Spain made 136 passes against Ireland in their previous game with only 9 of these going astray! This broke the previous record of Ronald Koeman, who mustered 117 against Denmark in 1992.

This is an amazing stat considering the team made 810 passes! Ireland actually made only 198 passes, but as it’s unclear how many of these were successful, it could be that he made more successful passes than the whole team!

London Transport announced a new addition to its network yesterday, which was the opening of the Thames cable car between the O2 arena and the ExCel exhibition centre on 28th June. The new 1.1km river crossing will carry up to 2,500 people per hour, the equivalent of 30 bus loads, between Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks in a journey time of 5 minutes. Wonder who will be the first O2 reveller to be air sick on their journey home considering the 90ft view from the ground?

Microsoft announced their entry in to the tablet market yesterday with their Surface prototype device, which will be launched with Windows 8 this year. Clearly with their dual investment in Samsung slates, Microsoft are pinning a lot on the new operating system and it’s going to be interesting to see if they compete with Apple and Android devices. What I am not sure about is the larger screen estate they seem to have adopted over the traditional Apple iPad screen size. Although I can see the value in doing this, I am not sure the added weight and tablet size will be a winner with everyone?

According to a report I came across yesterday, mobile users own an average of 3 connected devices, whilst 18% people own 5 or more and 41% of people use their personal mobile device for business purposes. This final number is staggering and just continues to confirm that Bring Your Own Device is not a choice of businesses, as staff are already doing it!

One of my earliest memories of mobile computing devices was the Psion organiser, which a colleague at my last company (over 14 years ago) used to cherish and go on about all the time.

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Yesterday Motorola purchased Psion for £130m bringing to an end the company that pioneered mobile computing in the 80’s and 90’s when the other fashionable item was Stock, Aitkin and Waterman tunes (hmm. Maybe not)! Its the end of an era, but maybe they will be saying the same about Microsoft in another 20 or 30 years?

To close, good luck to England tonight. Fingers and everything else crossed…

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