Archive for the ‘Business’ Category
Trips up, gets up, trips up again
Blackberry 10 launches today, and their UK managing director, Stephen Bates was on 5live Breakfast to talk about it.
A less than triumphant performance.
Stephen Bates’ problem here was perhaps that he didn’t acknowledge the question. All he needed to do was to agree with the interviewer something like this:
“Yes, each phone manufacturer has their strengths and they learn off each other and they particularly learn what it is the consumer wants. And what Blackberry has learned about the consumer is ….”
And annoyingly it wasn’t even his first interview of the day, an hour earlier, he was in the BBC1 Breakfast studio, with something very similar.
Blackberry have form when it comes to reacting badly to unexpected questions. Remember this famous interview with (at that point, but not shortly afterwards) Chief Executive, Mike Lazaridis?
Transmit til it megahertz, 47 years and counting.
It is such an iconic part of the London skyline, central to telecoms, and in particular television development in the UK.
I have a soft spot for the BT Tower / Post Office Tower. I gaze up at it. I watch it. I take photos of it.
When the antenna galleries were stripped of all the original (and subsequently added) microwave aerials at the end of 2011, I wasn’t the only one worried we were at the end of an era for the Tower.
In an era before fibre optics and before satellite transmission really got going, you moved signals across the country in point-to-point hops from one transceiver to the next, and the Tower was the centre of the network.
But I’m pleased to report a small return to form. The picture on the left I took in mid April 2012. The picture on the right was taken on 2 May 2012.
Spot the difference (apart from the weather) There’s a new white microwave antenna – the tower is beaming long-distance signals again! 47 years on, it still performing its original purpose.
Interestingly, the new dish isn’t located in the traditional gallery, but much further up the tower which means it probably has a range of around 25-30 miles depending on the power output. It’s facing west, which takes it out to about Slough.
The diameter is about 2 meters, so a significant sized dish.
It’s highly likely that this link is being used by a company other than BT, but if you know any details, let us know in the comments.
A rare off-topic post. Because flexibility is fun.
I got to my desk this morning and as I’ve got into the habit of doing, I made a rough list of the things I wanted to do today.
Then I made some tea, and looked at my list to work out which one I should start first. And I thought, yep, this list really helps me focus on what I need to do, and it’s a great visual prompt.
At this point I was immediately distracted by wondering how many other people think so to, so I started search for “Why to do lists are great”. I got four words in and google’s autocomplete came up with:
Why to do lists don’t work
It seems the productivity industry can’t agree on whether they’re good or not:
Lifehacker notes that some people have so many things to do, they need a range of online tools to help them keep track. (I go for the pen/paper option)
Morgan McLintic likes To-Do lists, but says you need to do more than just write stuff down.
Although Mike Reeves-McMillan goes into little too much depth for me, suggesting I should “Link To-do Items to Higher-Level Goals”. I think I might spend all day supercharging my list, rather than doing the actual work.
This post on the Harvard Business Review blog shuns lists because they are “setting you up for failure and frustration”.
Actually I think the best advice comes from Leo Babauta’s calm-inducing Zenhabits, with some simple tips on getting things done. Basically, take a deep breath, and start a small part of the task.
I feel better now.
Restructuring doesn’t just affect paper
I’m a huge fan of time-shifted and downloadable radio. I currently have 12 regular ‘must listens’ on my phone at any one time and they’re brilliant accompaniment for walking to and from train stations as well as drowning out other people’s overly-loud personal music choices once you’re on the train.
But my ‘must listen’ count has just reduced by one. The Guardian has decided to drop its regular business podcast. This is a shame, because at a time when I feel we need more analysis of business, there’s slightly less choice now.
I also feel it’s loss should be noted, as when I looked around last week to see if anyone was noting it at all, I was surprised and saddened to find almost nothing bar the odd mention on Twitter:
RIP The Guardian Business Podcast, you were useful, interesting, and no more bit.ly/ue7xeE
— Mark Hillary (@markhillary) February 6, 2012
This might be for a couple of reasons. The mention that the current episode was the final one came in the final 30 seconds, perhaps people had dipped out before the end and missed it. The second reason might just be that there were few people actually listening at all.
That annoys me because it was genuinely good. But I’m a realist, things change, efforts are put in other places. I don’t read the Guardian’s business pages, so sadly, my contact with that part of their journalism ends here.
It’s worth touching on another change I’ve heard while listening to another Guardian programme, Tech Weekly. Talented long-time producer Scott Cawley left at the end of January.
With the Guardian’s former Head of Audio and presenter of Media Talk, Matt Wells, now in New York, there are clearly changes ongoing to the area he launched and championed.
I’m trying to think what else will be in the pipeline. Media Talk itself has competition now in the form of the Radio 4 Media Show, and I haven’t heard an episode of the US edition of the podcast in years.
Also a loss.
In the meantime, here’s some other business and economics programmes that are worth adding your feeds to replace the Guardian.
BBC In Business/World Business with Peter Day (if you’re not already listening to this, go to the back of the class)
NPR Planet Money – twice a week and addictive
And finally the Economist’s weekly “Money Talks”. Don’t look for it on their site. Due to their hopeless search and out of date RSS feeds (which I’ve mentioned before) you’ll be taken to an episode from October 2011. This is a shame, because the programme isn’t bad, just hard to find.
Bandwidth issues solved
I decided the best way to resolve the connectivity issues we were having during the Digital Media Tools training in Nairobi, was to wait till I got back home to London.
In the spirit of ‘practise what you preach’, I uploaded these to Flickr, and edited some of them in Picnik, which you can connect directly to Flickr to import pictures from, and send the edited pictures back to.
I wonder if Google’s purchase of Picnik will affect this fantastic connectivity with Yahoo’s photo system?