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Archive for the “Reporting” Category

A Lot of companies dont quite get the technology infrastructure of todays Internet world. Mainly the social, business and knowledge networking tools. Companies everywhere are blocking employee access to the internet, spurred on by questionable research and irresponsible pronouncements of self-serving individuals and organizations. For instance the whole BBC and Facebook FUD.
IBM Luckily seem to get the Internet more than other companies, a lot of our tools are based around the networking and knowledge management side of things. Luis is now doing this aspect full time, and some of the tools out there are just fantastic.. Had it not been for social bookmarking, networking and knowledge management tools, I would haven’t have run into half the people that help me in my day to day job (namely Luis, Andy Piper and others).

Sure these tools can be fun, and interesting, and keep the community together, but more importantly they allow stuff in my head, to go where it’s important, namely to other people.. and likewise I can learn from them.

The internet is about communication, sharing and working together. Having internet access at work is really no different from employees being allowed to bring in newspapers or books to read in their lunch breaks. Cut your employees off from the outside world, and you may as well go back to them working on pen and paper.

Both employee and employer need to take responsibility, employers need to provide, and employees need to act responsibly. Using arguments like ‘we’re protecting our employees’ or ‘we cannot trust individuals not to use these resources inappropriately’ if just nonsense..

There are wonderful posts on this over at AcidLabs, The Lost Outpost as well as elsua.net

The Stop Blocking Campaign is designed to serve as a hub information resource for those who believe the benefits of providing access far outweigh the risks. It’s worth heading over there and checking it out.

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Now Derek Acorah is the one medium who actually looks like he could communicate with the dead (based on the fact he looks it!) but he’s not probably that well known outside the UK. The ‘communicator’ with the spirit world has gained somewhat of a degree of cult celebrity, although his choice of proof and resources for this is a bit dubious, such as the fact he swears to keep in contact with an Ethiopian guide in another dimension.

Thankfully though he’s parted ways with his first big television series under allegations that his producer secretly invented a fake dead person that happened on possessing Derek’s body, after the producer leaked the name to the crew. You have to hand it to the producer, the phony ghost’s name was Kreed Kafer, an anagram for Derek Faker.

Of course, he vehemently denies the charges and has moved on to greener pastures in terms of television exposure when he’s not playing packed houses with his live show.

I love the quote from Derren Brown on Acorah:

“If I die I’d like to haunt Derek. I hate everything he stands for.”

But I mean, given deep proof provided by Harry Hill, who couldn’t believe ??

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Our first property in our homes for rent empire is now on the market, ok so it’s only one property but its a start!

The house is for rent in Wokingham. A one bedroom house on the Glebe Park Development overlooking Cantley Park conveniently located for Wokingham Town Centre comprising of refitted bathroom, lounge, kitchen, private garden, two allocated parking spaces, furnished and available 1st February 2007

Partially glazed secure metal and wood front door opening into:

Porch
With side aspect window and cloaks cupboard and door into:

Living Room
12′ x 11′ 8″ (3.66m x 3.56m) Front aspect double glazed bay window, fitted blinds and curtains, TV and telephone point, stairs to first floor and archway through to:

Kitchen
9′ 2″ x 5′ 3″ (2.79m x 1.60m) Side aspect window over looking garden, range of eye and base level units with rolled edge worksurfaces, electric cooker with four ring hob, oven and grill, washer/dryer, stainless steel sink and drainer and opening to cupboard space containing fridge/freezer.

Landing
Airing cupboard housing tank and doors to bedroom and bathroom.

Bedroom
12′ 1″ max x 10′ 2″ (3.68m x 3.10m) Front aspect double glazed window, built in cupboard space over stairs, inset spot lights, electric heater, telephone point and loft access.

Bathroom
Side aspect window, refitted three piece white suite comprising low level WC, wall mounted basin and vanity unit under, panel enclosed bath with separate electric shower and shower screen, inset spot lights and tiled walls.

To the Front
Pathway to front door and two allocated parking spaces.

Rear Garden
Panel enclosed fencing, shed and fully paved with benches.

All details on RightMove.co.uk

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So in the world of paid adverts, click throughs, and content based advertising, the world of making money form you blog or websites become very complicated. I’ve used a number of methods to try and make a little money from my blog, namely google, and amazon. However the success of these has been varied, making really only a small amount of money each quarter.

I was reading Alans blog today and saw a great post about a new system that really seems to make much more sense. ReviewMe.com is a site which allows advertisers to review blogs and websites in the system (i.e. potentially yours) and offer the chance to review stuff for a fee from them. Basically, as a blogger, you register and describe your blog using tags that describe the content. ReviewMe check out your ranking through a number of ranking systems (technorati, alexa etc) and as long as your reasonably popular, your accepted to take ‘jobs’ to review products or services, for cash. The cash can either be paid through paypal or by cheque (I opted for paypal).

Your review must state that you reviewed the item for cash, but the review doesn’t have to be positive, only honest. Much more pleasant and legitimate than the nasty PayPerPost non-disclosure debacle where some advertisers require a positive review and won’t allow you to disclose that it’s a paid-for post. With reviewme you can be as critical as you want.

As a first review your offered the chance to review ReviewMe.com (for a $20 reward), and I guess its really going to rely on who the advertisers are and how much control they are willing to pay, and if they are happy to get honest reviews.

The system itself looks pretty good, and I’ll be updating as I go on the way it performs, but I would at the moment, wholeheartedly recommend that you pop over there, register and get $20 for a review.

This post is brought to you by reviewme.com and was part of a paid review system. The review is honest and reflects my views and not the fact I was paid to review it!

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From now until November 8, Yahoo! users around the world can contribute their photos, words, video, and audio to the Yahoo! Time Capsule, that includes Flickr users

Contributions are categorized into eight different themes: love, anger, fun, sorrow faith, beauty, past, now, hope and you.

Jonathan Harris, the Time Capsules artist designer talks about one of the most primal human traits is the need for self-expression. We make drawings and paintings, take photos, sing songs, write stories and poems, keep blogs, build and decorate houses, buy and wear clothing, write memoirs. We do these things to become individuals, to fight anonymity and the passage of time.

These days, life is lived in short bursts. We dart madly from the house to the car to the train to the office. We check email, voicemail, headlines, and stocks. We absorb web sites, TV, radio, music, movies and gossip, desperately try to keep up. We maintain this crazy pace, tumbling through our 80 years, obsessed with the present, rarely pausing to consider the full arc of life, much less the arc of many lives, lived across many generations. As we dash through our days, expressing ourselves in countless ways,
leaving thick trails of footprints, we seldom stop and think about those footprints. We rarely consider the legacy we are leaving behind. But what if we did? What if we were each to choose a small handful of precious thoughts and artifacts to represent our life; a few words, a few pictures, perhaps a drawing or two, and were to put them away somewhere safe, as keepsakes for the future?

It is this ability to shape the way we will be remembered that makes time capsules so appealing. Time capsules have a storied past, stretching back to the first known literary work, The Epic of Gilgamesh, which opens with a hunt for a manuscript hidden in the walls of Uruk. The great pyramids of Egypt and Mexico are also time capsules of a sort, containing relics of ancient eras. The ruins at Pompeii, buried in ash for more than 1,600 years, formed an unintentional but impeccable time capsule depicting city life
at the height of the Roman Empire. The modern time capsule was born amid preparations for the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City, when Westinghouse constructed an 800-pound metal ball, which it then filled with everyday items and buried underground. More recently, a satellite time capsule named KEO, to be sent into space for 50,000 years, has been proposed but not yet launched.

Building on this colorful heritage, the Yahoo! Time Capsule sets out to collect a portrait of the world – a single global image composed of millions of individual contributions. This time capsule is defined not by the few items a curator decides to include, but by the items submitted by every human on earth who wishes to participate. We hope to reach a truly global expression of life on earth – nuanced, diverse, beautiful and ugly, thrilling and terrifying, touching and rude, serious and absurd, frank, honest,
human.

The Time Capsule itself is realized digitally so that the maximum number of people can have access. It is organized around ten themes, chosen to illuminate different corners of the human experience. The ten themes are: Love, Sorrow, Anger, Faith, Beauty, Fun, Past, Hope, Now, and You. Each theme harbors an open-ended question: What do you love? What makes you sad? What makes you angry? What do you believe in? What’s beautiful? What’s fun? What do you remember? What is your wish? Describe your world. Who are you?
People respond to these questions in five simple ways – with words, pictures, videos, sounds, and drawings.

The aesthetic of the Time Capsule is that of a ball of thread, spinning like a globe, its shifting surface entirely composed of words and pictures submitted by people around the world. The thread ball concept relates to threads of memory and threads of time, where threads are taken to be any continuous and self-consistent narrative strand. When the Time Capsule opens, it displays the 100 most recent contributions, which form the spinning globe. The ten themes orbit the globe in a pinwheel pattern. At any moment,
any individual tile can be clicked, causing the globe to fall away and the selected tile to expand, revealing detailed information about the tile and the person who created it. Using a search interface, viewers can specify the population they wish to see, exploring such demographics as “men in their 20s from New York City”, and “Iraqi women who submitted drawings in response to the question: What do you love?”. There are an infinite number of ways to slice the data, and each resulting slice then becomes its own
thread, which can be browsed independently, tile by tile, like a filmstrip.

The contribution process is designed to be simple and universal, using minimal gestures to create words and drawings, and to upload files. Though translated into ten languages, there are very few textual instructions anywhere in the piece, so the experience is necessarily one of exploration and discovery. A clock counts down constantly in the bottom left corner, approaching the moment the Time Capsule will close.

The presiding message of the Time Capsule is: “One World. Many Voices.” The piece attempts simultaneously to express the differences between individuals, and to illustrate the shared ground between people of all ages, races, backgrounds and cultures.


The statistics, broken out by gender, age, country, media type and theme are very interesting, it’s no wonder that photos are far in the lead with words a distant second. Love, beauty and fun are leading in the themes. On the 8th, the capsule will be sealed and entrusted to Smithsonian Folkways Recordings based in Washington D.C.

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Press 1 if you want to stay on hold, press 2 if you have an enquiry… Please enter your home phone number… Argh!!

Its one of my pet hates having to navigate through companies IVR’s or in simple terms those automated systems that get you to press buttons depending on what you want to do.. possibly the worst ever was NTL’s that used to repeatedly drop you back at the top level of the menu..

I’ve always ignored them the best I can, and waited for the ‘If you don’t have a touch tone phone.. please hold..’ I’d much rather talk to someone than a machine..

Well it seems that Paul English is going to get a fair few visitors in the next few days… He’s put together an IVR Cheat Sheet covering pretty much all the major companies in the world that use these automated response systems..

Through the update script the cheat sheet can be updated to cover new companies and countries as people work out how to beat the evil automated system!!

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undergroundwithemergencylighting.jpg So today was a sad day, london was attacked in a cowardly act of terrorism. A number of bombs were set off inside the tubes, and at least one on a bus.

In all cases completely innocent people were targeted, injured, and murdered.

A lot of the London Bloggers have put photos up on Flicker’s in the 7/7 Community. Jeff Jarvis also has some updates on todays events.

It sends a chill through my spine that I would have been around any of those areas if I’d had meetings in London today..

Currently 700 people are injured, 37 are dead.. and likely to rise..

The company I am working on site for at the moment is in ‘lockdown’ assuming that they are targets, life will be tough for the next few weeks, and it makes you value the simple things you have, your friends, family, and close ones..

My thoughts go out to the friends, families, and those effected by this cowardly act..

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Marcs TabletPCWeblog has an interesting post today;


quote.pngThe TabletPCBuzz.com forums are buzzing about the reported appearance of an IBM-branded Tablet PC. It sounds like an interesting addition to the mix – essentially a 12 inch ThinkPad with a battery slice in the same price range as as the new Toshiba R15 offering. This would be a great thing for the TPC market – a lot of people have been waiting for an entry from IBM or Dell to ‘validate’ the Tablet PC.quote.png

Certainly this sounds like good news, but a quick hunt round the net seems to point to the fact these rumours have been abound for the last 3 years or so! But this new batch of rumours may have a bit more ground to them, with people reporting specs on pages that seems to have magically disappeared…

It would certainly be great if IBM did produce a TabletPC version of their ThinkPad.. Would I get one on my movement to IBM? doubt it! But hey I can try if the rumours are true!!

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Alergria.jpgCirque du Soleil will present ALEGRIA in the Royal Albert Hall London in January 2006.

Having been to many of Circue du Soleil shows its always nice to know they are coming back..

Taking its name from a Spanish word for elation and jubilation, ALEGRIA features an international cast. The show unfolds in a baroque, operatic style, with elaborate sets and costumes that come alive with movement and colour.

Alegria is a completely different experience: a celebration of life, strength and the human spirit.

A selection of images of video clips can be found on the Cirque website.

The advance tickets go on sale in the next few days before the general release of tickets to the public..

We’ll be ordering ours this week..

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So the US MTV hit Pimp My Ride is due to hit UK screen in the summer, with a brand new UK filmed series.

Pimp My Ride UK have brought in the skills of Carisma Automotive Design to do the pimping following in the footsteps of West Coast Customs, who pimped up the cars in the US version of Pimp My Ride.

The idea is a simple one; You take a beat up, on its last legs, rust bucket of a viewers car, and put more money and customisations into it than the car is actually worth. There was one show that involved 4 xboxs and alloys that on their own were worth more than the price of the car..

The car customisations normally involve huge stereos, at least 2 or 3 LCD screens, normally in the most obscure places, and at least one installation of DriveSoft, the in-car, well, everything system (DVD, MP3, Sat Nav, Internet, JukeBox, Email etc)

This really is extreme car customisations.. Almost every piece of the car is replaced, customised or pimped up.. car customisers Carisma Jame Shaw said “After all our years of hard work and determination we can show a British audience that you don

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