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Archive for December, 2012|Monthly archive page

29-Dec-12 Training begins…

In Blog, Personal, Sports on December 29, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Although Nonsuch Park Run looked decidedly iffy this morning due to the extreme weather conditions, I decided today was the time to start running off those mince pies gathered over the seasonal period.

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A change in to my new running gear (lovely Xmas presents from Wife and Son), I decided a short run was needed today to loosen up the muscles and ease the excess weight.

As mentioned in my previous blog, Janathon is all about having fun whilst exercising and blogging, hence I took the opportunity to use today’s run to create a letter g!

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Now I know it is hardly Picasso, but at least I’ve set the tone for what should be a lot of fun in January. With only 2 days to go, I hope you are getting as excited as me about doing something every day. Even if that does mean the run art is dropped.

Here’s looking forward to drawing a W if I can work out a route!

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28-Dec-12 Time to lose the belly. Janathon!

In Blog, charity, Personal, Sports on December 28, 2012 at 10:12 am

When your nephew tells you “that you are starting to develop a belly”, you start to realise that the Xmas excesses have gone too far and I am now counting down the days to SThree Janathon.

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There are now only 3 days to go and I think I will start my month with a slow 5km Park Run tomorrow. For those who have not come across park runs, they are absolutely brilliant, as well organised and free!

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Last years Janathon was great fun, as the people added things to their blogs and their events. For example, a number of people also did a Jokeathon, whilst I did a Lyricathon. I thought those who developed their run to create letters from the Alphabet were very inventive, whilst I think this one in relation to an animal was the best I’ve seen!

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I’m looking to forward to donning my new gear (Xmas presents) and working off those beers that have been gained to strengthen my pecks over the festive period!

If you do plan to take part or even support us, start tweeting your messages using the hashtag #sthreejanathon

22-Dec-12 End of an era…

In Blog, charity, Personal on December 22, 2012 at 8:11 pm

With only 3 days to go to Xmas, It’s now time to start relaxing, as its been a hell of a week.

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On Thursday, SThree had it’s annual Xmas ball at Battersea and the Evolution venue, and as normal, it was an absolute belter with staff flying in to the venue from all over Europe.

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On Friday, we had a leaving lunch in Portman Square, London, for our CEO, Russell Clements, who has steered our business for the past 8 years. It was a fantastic occasion with a number of past and present staff attending, which made it yet another celebration of Russell’s time at the helm and his 26 years in the business.

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If you want to follow Russell’s tweets, you can find him @russell_sthree

I’m sure like everyone else present, I’d like to take one final opportunity to thank Russell for supporting me during his time in charge and here’s hoping that he gets a bit of time over the coming years to relax and enjoy life outside of SThree.

As it’s likely to be my last blog or two before the New Year and Janathon, I’d thought I’d take the chance to plug our SThree Janathon again, as it’s hopefully going to raise a lot of money for SOS Children’s Villages.

Our web site for donations are here. SThree Janathon Even if you are not taking part, please take a moment to donate to our cause, as we are trying to raise loads for this worthy cause and give some unlucky children a chance in life.

19-Dec-12 Run, Cycle, Swim, Walk, Exercise. Janathon

In Blog, Personal on December 19, 2012 at 12:40 am

As the clocks tick away to our SThree Janathon event, I thought I would provide some examples of how you can get involved.

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As the Janathon site states, you can run, walk, swim, bike, exercise or even just build a snowman (good luck with that one), but you do need to blog, even if it is just a micro blog through Twitter or some other social networking site.

Although there are no defined rules, my theory is that it should be something in addition to what you normally do, hence the walk to your station for your daily commute is probably not sufficient, but the important thing here is the SOS Children’s charity, so we don’t care what individuals do, as long as they donate!

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There are currently an estimated 53.1 million orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa. Of those children, 30% lost parents to the AIDS epidemic.

The web site for donations will be available in the next day or two and I will also provide some instructions on how you can compete against your peers if you wish at the mapmyrun and mapmyride web sites.

In the meantime, if you get a chance, tweet #sthreejanathon and offer your support!

17-Dec-12 Janathon!

In Blog, Personal on December 17, 2012 at 10:17 am

With just two weeks remaining of 2012 and the festive period fast approaching, I thought I would take time out today from my normal technology blog to talk a little about Janathon!

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Janathon is an annual event that I became aware of through Twitter. For one month, you need to do some form of exercise you would not normally do and blog it about it daily! And before you ask, that includes the 1st of January!

It was last year’s event that I contributed to for the first time,  and, as you know, my blog has continued since (sorry about that).

Although I joined halfway through, it was hard work even if I was only jogging about a mile a day, but this year I decided to make it more of a challenge with the inspiration of my colleagues at work.

Our main charity that we support at SThree PLC is SOS Children’s Villages, who do some fantastic work for orphaned children (every day, 5,760 more children become orphans).

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Our team within the IT department are going to do a group Janathon effort to raise money for SOS children and we hope to recruit a few non IT folk along the way (details to follow later this week).

It would be great if our team effort in January could hit our £1,000 target and we could get some assistance from our social media friends.

13-Dec-12 Google to your hearts content!

In Blog, BYOD, Consumerisation, Personal, Technology on December 13, 2012 at 7:20 am

A number of folk have asked me of late what I think of my Google Nexus 7″ tablet that I’ve now had for a few months and specifically using an Android platform.

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I have to say that I have been very impressed. Especially as I had become very familiar with using my Apple iPad and I thought it might be a bit of a tough transition.

Without being a marketing ad for Google, I thought I would highlight two built in features that make Android and specifically the Nexus stand out from the Apple range (at the moment).

The Swype keyboard for Android replaces pecking at letters with gliding your fingers over them. Swype automatically interprets your gesture and figures out the word you meant to type.

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Although I think a great gesture, I will add the caveat that my daughter gave up on this feature, as she could still type faster using the more traditional entry method!

The second stand out benefit for me is the sharing feature.

When you are looking at content in Android, a web page, a blog post, a picture, a video, a venue in foursquare, a tweet, etc, etc, you simply hit the share button and all the apps that are installed on the phone that can take an object like that show up.

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Great for easily posting your blog or interesting tweet to multiple places!

My seasonal tip. The Google Nexus 7″ is going for £159 at the moment. A nice addition to the Christmas list!

05-Dec-12 No more clouds. Please!

In Blog, Personal, Technology on December 5, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Today I attended a Citrix event at Kings Cross in London, which was a cut down version of their annual synergy conference.

Although it was a great event with some interesting insights in to their new product features and their roadmap, I left feeling a little ‘Clouded’ out, as I’ve never heard a term so freely used at one of these technical events.

‘Cloud’, as is ‘Consumerisation of IT’ and ‘Big Data’ are the current buzz words in the IT industry. Not an event goes by without the suppliers letting slip these terms.

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I thought this picture was completely appropriate, as normally the only thing missing is the kitchen sink!

For the uninitiated amongst you (and any IT professionals who may have been in a time warp),Cloud computing is the use of computing resources (hardware and software) that are delivered as a service over a network (typically the Internet).

Apparently in a recent Citrix survey, 36 percent of Americans aged 18 to 29 faked cloud knowledge, versus 18 percent above the age of 30.

Perhaps of most worry is that 29 percent of respondents thought “the cloud” had something to do with the actual weather. In fact, only 16 percent of those surveyed defined the cloud as a network for storing and accessing data via a Web-connected device.

The one that made me smile was that 54 percent of respondents claimed to never use cloud computing, even though 95 percent of them participated in cloud-related activities such as online banking, online shopping, social networking, and uploading photos and music.

Yes, believe it or not, all of us who are concerned at using Internet Banking expose ourselves more on a daily basis by sharing our location and telling everyone when we are on holiday! Added to that, we then happily store all our music and photos in the cloud via either iTunes or Facebook without even knowing we are using the cloud!

In conclusion, Cloud is here to stay, but I just hope that the marketeers of these big corporations now start turning their attention to another buzz word!

To close today, my big seasonal computing tip. Maybe think twice before you invest in that Microsoft device this Xmas. Yes, the Surface and mobile products look quite cool and this could be the next big thing, but typically Microsoft first releases are a tad unreliable, so be patient and wait for that second release in spring or early summer.

01-Dec-12 Apple need a Map?

In Blog, Personal, Sports, Technology on December 1, 2012 at 2:37 am

This week I got some valuable time with the Microsoft worldwide licensing team in Brussels, as well as an opportunity to meet a senior VP at a software company called Boxtone!

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It’s always interesting to get some insight in to the strategy and developments of major software companies and its been an Interesting insight for me spending time with both parties, of which I am very grateful.

In terms of Microsoft, I am fortunate enough at the moment to be part of the UK customer advisory board helping Microsoft influence their licensing improvements. I’ve been a member for about 12 months,

For those who are intrigued, Boxtone are partnering with Good technology. Although referred to as an MDM (Mobile Device Management) product, they are innovative in that their product aids support of mobile technologies. Unlike some of their rivals in this field. I was very impressed by their USP (unique selling point) when meeting them last week.

As its now officially the season of goodwill and we are in the count down to Xmas, I intend to offer a daily blog tip in case you are considering technology as a solution to the Xmas wish list.

Today’s is that your mobile device should have a very good map feature. Ideally Google Maps, as this feature is key to all the GPS features.

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It was interesting to see this week that the head of Maps at Apple has been fired! I guess my only thought is how he lasted this long! I’m guessing the next head of Maps at Apple will be looking to patch up the relationship with Google!

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