Archive for category My life

It’s been a while

So yeah it’s been a while since the last post. I got sucked into “real” life and it’s minutia … and I’ve also ended up stuck at this soul crushing childhood-dreams-destroying job but that’s another story all together. It always amazes me when upper management proves itself incompetent and absolutely oblivious to the importance of management tasks. Basically little by little I start living in an “Office Space” world [look it up if you’re not sure what that is, well worth your time plus Jennifer Aniston is smoking].

Other than that, well I gave in an got Virgin Media service. At the end of the day I mostly care about having a blazing internet connection and about having an alright TV service. Which is exactly what Virgin offered. I’ve also realized how bad reception actually is on iPhone 3GS and can’t wait until my contract is over and Apple releases the new and improved iPhone (please let it be in 3 month). I’ve gotten convinced that NFC payment are a pipe dream and while they might be all sparkly and glittery to the MNOs and SIM manufacturers, they are actually a complete joke. In today’s world £20 is way to little for it to be useful and banks are not going to increase the limits any time soon. I mean come on, if I take my other half out for a meal, 9 out of 10 times it actually costs me more than what contactless can pay for. Yeah thanks but we are not paying separately even if my bank account would love that. I guarantee you that certain other bits will not!

You get the point, contactless payments are alright cause you can pay a little bit quicker but at the end of the day there isn’t much that you can pay for with them so really no go at the moment. It might be great for corner shops and street vendors however, they hate paying for transactions and banks are not going to wave transaction fees. So yeah your £2.50 hot dog will still be cash only and no it will not cost you £2.60 just because!

There hasn’t been much on the Mac front either. It is a bit like silence before a storm. The Mac Apple Store is doing very very well and I’ve been using it quite a bit. Hey it made me actually buy a couple of apps that I’ve been delaying purchasing for a while (most noteworthy of which is Autograph). However, it’s got a big flaw, if you are going to allow developers to sell out of the app store you have to also allow them to import existing licences or essentially you setting them up for a bag of hurt. It’s shit having to repurchase software that you already own but at least with iOS software is cheap (mostly). Not the case with the Mac version at all. But hey maybe Apple is working on that.
Anyway Lion will be awesome and finally fixes some really really really old flaws of the OS ( like open application management and window management). Oh and on top of that, a lot of developers are not building application for 10.6 and above which is absolutely great. Not like the older ones didn’t work (this is not at all the Windows case) but hey I’d take the optimized version any day. Technically it saves you money cause less CPU usage = less power = less money out of your pocket (even if it’s a negligible difference).

Oh and Mac Desktop Update is still well worth it’s money even if some applications would only update through the App Store (no other version available for devel). I played with Mobile Me too and while it’s a great tool I find it hard justifying spending £60 for a year of service. Yes Virgin gives me an inferior service from a user perspective, but provided that you get the really fast internet, you also get unlimited online storage and pretty much everything that MobileMe offers … well a cheaper knock off of it at least. So yeah eventually I will go back to Mobile Me but for now I’d rather use my money for something else, like … well I’d rather not say actually 🙂

So yeah I’m back on my way to salvaging my digital life and will write a bit more in the very near future. Oh and in the mean time if anyone wants to get rid of an iPad 2 … I’m here and waiting. Those things are very impressive. Yes it’s missing about a laundry list of features that I’d like it to have but considering what it can do the way it is, it is fantastic. And yes I have played with the Android contenders and have seen the “not so final” version of BB and HP’s contenders. If that’s all you guys can do … BRING IT ON, and kiss your behinds good bye too 🙂

me out, peace!

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The data analytics age

I remember years ago when people were telling me how the information age is over and everyone was trying to come up with a name for what was to follow. Well guess what, the information age is not over. We are finally getting to the point where the Internet dream of having access to all sorts of data from anywhere is being realized. Increasingly companies and individuals are tracking their every day lives and creating digital records of their activities. Life hasn’t really changed much (well sort of) but what has changed is the fact that now you have a digital trace of most of your activities which makes data analysis of your life possible. If you are under 25 (or so) you can actually create a digital footprint of most of your life (well the bits that actually do matter) and if your are under 15 then your whole life has a digital footprint. You can analyse things like the amount of money that you spend, the types of activities that you like, your friends, the social groups that you belong to, and the list goes on. It is actually possible to analyse your own decisions and sometimes even predict your next one. And things are only starting in that aspect. Advertisers love it and so do marketing people. We are only experiencing issues related to ownership of digital content but what I thing is more important is that we have actually entered the age of data analytics. 10 years ago, history was only used as record of past events. You record events and maybe one they it is being passed down to the next generation as an account of what happened. It was a bit of an identity building tool. Today however, the history of your life is being recorded as it happens and we are getting closer and closer to actually being able to obtain real time analysis of those events. History is actually used more and more as a decision making tool and it even seems like you are having a communication with other people through their historic records. You read tweets, blogs, facebook messages and you comment on them. Within seconds the words knows what you think and you feel important and in control.
Fair enough, it doesn’t work the same for everyone and you still have a lot of people who’s voice is never heard just because they are poor but hey you get to hear the opinion of a lot more people than you use to even 5 years ago and that is another step towards freedom. Of course you realize very fast that you don’t really want to listen to 95% of the people out there because they don’t really have anything of value to say but hey freedom has it’s price. Anyway back to the analytics question. Like I said we are in the age of analytics and it is scary though that your life is simply being turned into a digital record of it and that whoever controls that digital record de facto owns your life. This is where governments need to step in and they really need to catchup fast. Now more than ever is true freedom at stake. Forget the constitution and all those innate freedoms listed in it. I think both Hobbs and Locke would find it very hard to explain who the enemy is today. Does Google really control the world or does the world control Google? What right does and advertiser have to know then was the list time you purchased toilet paper and what brand it was? Do you really want your car to know what music you prefer and does your car send out that information to someone else? Questions like this would become more and more important as we slowly move to cloud computing and as collected data becomes too large to be stored locally. I’m not saying that there are no solutions, but designing services should by law be made a lot more responsible job and there should be some universal data storage and sharing laws that ensure that you don’t become a victim of your virtual presence.

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Back …

so i’ve been away for a while

Went to France to see my girlfriend and then she came back with me. To make a long story short, she didn’t like France and the french people. Lol it was a bit hard for me to feel bad about the whole thing. I mean after all she is coming back and I get to have all the benefits of having her around back. Anyway spent 10 days in France and it is a shit country. Don’t get me wrong, I can get used to it and french is not that hard to learn (turns out). But the people seem fucking arrogant. It is a cold place full of beggars and homeless people. And no offence but Paris is shit overall. Ok you have some nice old buildings and Notre Dame is great. But your Metro stinks and for fuck’s sake get with the programme. It is the 21st century and they still don’t have elevators in any of the underground stations. Escalators are also a very rare thing. Great job frenchies but fuck you I will take my time when I have luggage with me.

Anyway I did like the trip even if it was a bit different from what I expected. And I can’t wait until next month when we get back there for CARTES. Well I don’t mean me and my gf, me and some work mates this time. He he I get my expenses paid this time around.

So yeah other than that, not my really new. Car’s giving me grief but oh well will eventually get around to a garage. Until the it better fucking work … little bitch is vital for my schedule and daily oversleeping hehe.

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Insomnia

So yeah I couldn’t sleep last night. Got this insomnia crap going on for the last couple of days and it’s making my work days a living hell. But on the up side, since I was feeling really bad this morning I am working from home now. And much to my surprise, it is very much possible. The access to the company’s Application Server is quite good and while it is not as fast as when I am at the office, it is very much usable. So now I have a Mac desktop and a Windows 2008 one … best of both worlds and I have the same information in my Outlook 2011 client as I do in Outlook 2010 on the server.

All technical crap aside, I find myself just as productive at how as I am at the office. Only there is no one making noise. The annoying constant whine of the servers is gone … don’t even get me started on why I have to listen to the servers all day and why the door to the server room is open all the time … oh and in the last hour I have managed to get quite a few things done while still in a t-shirt and boxers.

Ok so I am not advocating working from home, I am the biggest procrastinator after all, but I think there is a merit to letting people work from home once a week or whenever they just don’t feel like going to the office for whatever reason. I can definitely see the appeal of being a part-time mobile worker when your job is market analysis. Well wouldn’t want to be out of the office if I had to call 5 people abroad and have a couple of hours of international calls but for when you are finishing a report or just need some peace and quiet I think it works quite well.

… we’ll see how it all goes by the end of the day. I do have a lot of work today and the last couple of days at the office have proved to be very unproductive.

A word of caution though, there is a huge temptation to kind of reward yourself for managing to not go to work although there is nothing worth rewarding there. But there is the urge to just drop everything and go out or not do much and watch TV. Catch up on the things that you could never do on a regular work day. Well just DON’T. Plus day tv is crap and going out alone or shopping with house wives is not exactly what you want as the highlight of your day. You are still working after all even if you office is temporarily different and the dress code is anything you want it to be!

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New Job

So I have this new job for a bit over 2 months now … it’s a bit different from what I though but then again I tried to expect as little as possible. No let down that way.

Anyway, I’ve been reading technology blogs for a very long time now (pretty much ever since I found out what a computer really is). I built my first computer based on knowledge that I got from blogs and online enthusiast communities. So in a way I’ve always felt like monitoring the industry is something cool and something that I might enjoy doing. Then last year by accident I stumbled on this company. They do market research for technology companies. I though it’d be a pretty cool job so I applied for it and sure enough I got the job. Long story short now I’m a market researcher. I didn’t exactly get to work on the projects that I would like and the pay could be much better but I thought the it’s as good a place as any to start.

Anyway, the job drives me mad at times and the lack of free time and some of the upper management uptight rules give me grief but overall it’s a cool thing to do. I do feel somewhat of a sense of accomplishment and I can pay my bill for now so life has turned out alright.

I have these grand ideas of what I might do with my life and these aspirations but hey you need something to live for. And going to the gum so I can run or push weight ain’t gonna get me through the day. That would be the opposite feeling of fulfillment. If that was what got me through the day I would probably end up blowing my brains out in the toolshed one day. Waiting for Friday night to come so I can have so time also isn’t my cup o tea. So I do what I can to get me motivated.

Turns out I am somewhat of a workaholic and a perfectionist when it comes to projects. I won’t feel satisfied if the quality of my work isn’t up to a certain imaginary standard of mine. And that is a pain … It also turned out that a lot of people in the company to a mediocre job according my my imaginary standards and it just seems like they don’t give a shit. I think my perception about market research and consultants has slowly started to shift.

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