A clip of Steve Jobs walking out onstage for his keynote just ran on CBNC.
He looks a little gaunt, but other than that not so bad.
And he hasn't lost his sense of humor.
On the screen behind Jobs appeared the following statement:
The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.
At last count on Yahoo Finance real-time stock quotes, Apple stock was headed north.
Technorati Tags: apple, steve jobs
I won't be watching the Apple announcement today to see the new products.
No, like so many, this time I'm going to be watching to see how Steve Jobs looks onstage.
My mother said I should never tell a lie, so why start now?
If you've read this blog for any period of time, you know I've slowly evolved into a Mac fanboy.
It all started with an iMac way back in 2002 or 2003, then evolved with my purchase of an iPod Nano (which I'm still using to this day), a MacBook, an iPod Touch (a gift for slaving away at the Big Blue software factory), and most recently, a MacBook Pro, which is the machine I do most of my work on these days (Did I mention I try not to do Windows anymore?)
I don't even own any Apple stock (I used to, but got out and made a couple grand...which I promptly spent on another Apple computer!), but as Jim Goldman on CNBC said live only a few minutes ago, "Steve is Apple, and Apple is Steve."
As a marketer, I'm a big fan of Apple's advertising, especially the PC/Mac spots (that pizza box ad practically has me rolling over on the floor).
I'm even more fond of the PC/Mac spots after having seen Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld try to save the Vista day with their recent Microsoft shoe commercial during a football game this past Sunday afternoon.
I'm also still waiting for the other shoe to drop on that campaign...then again, I was never a big Seinfeld fan.
And in any case, I'm not sure even brilliant advertising can save the debacle that has become Vista.
So, who the heck cares what Apple announces today? They've already brought a new 3G iPhone and the Macbook Air into the world this year.
No, I just want to see if Steve Jobs is looking healthy enough to keep the bite in the Apple.
CNET's live blogging it all here.
Technorati Tags: apple, cult of personality, keynote, steve jobs
Congratulations to Serena Williams in her Women's Singles title victory yesterday out at the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, Queens, NY.
When I lived in NY, I attended the U.S. Open on numerous occasions, the first when I was a college student at NYU in 1984 (we're talking Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe action...remember those matches??), and later while working for IBM in the late 1990s.
You may remember my last visit there, in 2005, just after I first started this blog and was covering the tennis (and IBM IT) action courtside.
That tradition continues, this year with a little help from our friends at American Express.
This afternoon beginning at 5 p.m. EST, you'll be able to watch a live Webcast of the Men's Final between Roger Federer and Andy Murray (who upset Rafael Nadal yesterday to make it to the finals).
This is going to be some serious tennis.
So if you don't have a telly or your local market isn't covering the match via TV, the United States Tennis Association's U.S. Open Web site (with a little assistance from IBM) will be courtside and live!
Technorati Tags: andy murray, rafael nadal, roger federer, tennis, us open
What an exciting first weekend for American football, no? My Dallas Cowboys paid a visit to my friends in Cleveland and walked away victorious.
Then, just after that game I watched what looked like a done deal between San Diego and Carolina, only to have Carolina fire a last second TD pass that was heartstopping (this after the Carolina coach made a very dumb play in "clock management.")
There were plenty of other tales, I'm certain, but are you ready for some football? Yes, I was, thank you very much.
With gridiron gridlock now officially over, I can get back to work.
And as I work in the digital realm, it's always nice to see studies coming out that will hopefully help clients and their agencies move the ball down the field.
In this case, Sapient, the consulting firm, recently polled more than 200 chief marketing officers and senior marketing professionals to try and gain some insight into what marketers want from their advertising and marketing agencies in the next 12 months.
The full view can be found here, but I'll net out a summary in this post.
First and foremost, marketers want their agencies to have a greater knowledge of the digital space. Nearly half of respondents have switched agencies for one with greater digital knowledge, and 79% rated "interactive/digital" functions as "important/very important."
Second, 90% of respondents want their agencies to incorporate social media-oriented "pull interactions" into their strategies. Ninety five percent want to tap into the power of online communities.
Third, they want their partners to practice what they preach by using the technology they are recommending. Agency executives need to regularly use Facebook, Flickr, wikis, blogs and the like in their own personal social media mix. Otherwise, how are they going to be able to recommend such tools without that firsthand experience?
Building on that one, marketers want their agency partners to be Web 2.0 and social media savvy. For that to happen, see number three above.
Clients also want agencies to better understand consumer behavior, and to demonstrate strategic thinking (along with the ability to measure success).
And lest you think titles are overblown, 43% of marketers believe that agencies with "chief digital officers" are more appealing than those without.
Here's my take: I agree with most everything above. But I would also say that everything that clients say they want from their agency partners, they should also demand from themselves and within their own organizations.
The social media are mostly free and available to anyone to use. If you want your own organization to take full advantage of the power and reach of the social media for marketing purposes, don't wait for your agency to turn on the faucet.
Get out there and use it your own selves, and ask the same across your own organization, from boardroom to teamroom.
The more, as a client, you know about the capabilities (and limitations) of the social media, the more you'll be able to ask from your agency partners in return.
With respect to titles, I would agree that perception is reality, and the idea of having a "Chief Digital Officer" in an agency can be a bold and useful statement.
But if a large firm simply hires a CDO and doesn't fill out their digital bench, then don't even bother sending me an email. I have no interest in hearing from a large agency that talks a good game but has no staff that can deliver the digital goods.
Ultimately, what the Sapient study says to me is that clients and agencies need to invest more in their digital skills and expertise.
That means stopping some of your current tactics and activities long enough to learn and try something new. It requires classic "Crossing the Chasm" behavior. Chew your own leg off and grow a new one before your competition does it for you.
The problem is, many agencies (and clients) don't bother. They keep on doing the same old thing and driving the same ol' tactics into the same ol' ditch.
Then they wonder why their brands aren't seen as being new and fresh and relevant and their profits declining.
As the Sapient press release concludes, "Marketers want agencies that can deliver on these demands today -- not by 2009 and beyond."
But so long as agencies lean on yesterday's news -- not to mention their outdated economic models -- specialized digital upstarts will continue to marginalize those traditional agencies' with once comfortable incumbent positions and laugh all the way to their PayPal account.
Technorati Tags: agencies, digital marketing, talent management, social media, web two oh
Only Google could pen an online comic strip explaining the "whys" of its new Internet browser, "Google Chrome," and almost get away with it as a serious business communication.
But by panel (page) 15, I was lost in the technical gobbledegook and just wanted to get past all the multi-threading stuff to understand why I should switch from Firefox to Chrome.
I'm sure I'll download it and give a test drive nonetheless, but jeez, folks, a little bit can go a long way.
I like Richie Rich as much as the next guy, but I can also really appreciate a 30 second elevator pitch, too.
Comics were meant to be quickly understood and consumed, not dissected like a PhD in computational complexity theory.
Warning: Marketing by Silicon Valley engineers is a danger to consumers everywhere!
To add insult to injury, the Mac version of Chrome was not released concurrently with the Windows version, so we know whose heart this stake was being hammered towards.
Where's vampire Lestat when you need him? Ah, that's right, he was relegated to the land of comic books way back in 1990-91!
It's soooo 1998, when you think about it, this new front in the browser war.
What's next, Microsoft files an antitrust lawsuit claiming Google's new browser is anti-competitive because it's integrally intertwined with the Google cloud operating system?
Whoa, there, cowboy, them browser chickens are finally coming home to roost, and the Google fox is guarding the Microsoft henhouse!
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Me, I think I'm just gonna go take in the latest Opera.
Technorati Tags: browser wars, chrome, google, microsoft, antitrust
First things first.
I've always been a big fan of Mr. Whipple.
And while you may wish to go ahead and squeeze the Charmin anyways, you might want to be more cautious about trying to squeeze into Procter & Gamble's network.
Earlier today, IBM announced that Procter selected products and services from IBM's Internet Security Systems group to expand the company's global cyber-security initiative.
This effort is intended to strengthen Procter & Gamble's threat protection arsenal by streamlining the management of its layered security tools.
You can learn more about this announcement here.
Meanwhile, just as everyone here in the U.S. gets ready for the long Labor Day holiday weekend, there's no rest for the weary as the results of the Google Android Developer Challenge were announced.
Holy smokes, mobile software application man, I sure wish I'd have paid attention in trig and precal so that I, too, could have become a software developer and have had the chance to win $275,000 for developing a mobile phone application for Google's new Android mobile device operating system.
Ten teams took home $275,000, in fact, and another ten received $100,000. I woulda been just fine with second place, too!
Why in the world, you slackin' non-programming Turbo sort, are you telling us this, exactly?
Because, the Android is coming...to a mobile handset near you....soon...and it's likely going to take over the mobile computing world and scare all the iPhone adherents back into their AppStore holes.
In fact, it's too bad the Android hasn't already arrived, just in time to duke it out with the iPhone out in the deserts of Nevada @ Burning Man 2008, which is already in full swing.
I won't be linking to too many of the Burning Man pics -- it just wouldn't be prudent -- but feel free to check out the videos, photos, and other tagged items on YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, and beyond.
And if you really are wishing you were out in the Burning Man meatspace but don't have the cigarettes or tequila to barter, there's always complete video coverage on Current.
It's the next best thing to being there, I'm sure.
I was especially looking forward to Rob & Ashley's skydive wedding.
You'll just have to see for yourself if their chutes opened, but suffice it to say there are very few unhappy endings at the Burning Man.
Even for those who end up squeezing the Charmin.
Technorati Tags: android, burning man, internet security, skydiving weddings, security software
I don't know about your electric bill this summer wherever you live, but mine seems to have skyrocketed, and well beyond what a normal summer's bill would look like.
If you've seen our Tree Hugger TV spot lately, you remember that IBM has begun to talk about how it can help companies save energy through IT server consolidation and other environmental measures.
Earlier today, we issued a press release to provide some further examples of how we're helping customers go green, in this case at the U.S. Open.
You can read the full release here, but the net of it is (sorry, I couldn't help myself) that we're helping the U.S. Tennis Association take advantage of our newest p6 550 servers and POWER6 technology, along with virtualization and systems management capabilities, to better manage and consolidate the U.S. Open Web site.
In fact, since some of those consolidation efforts first started in 2006, the energy consumption for the US Open infrastructure has declined by 23%, and we've consolidated from 60 servers to 6.
Even as that has occurred, visits to the infrastructure where the U.S. Open site is hosted have grown 26% during the same period.
Server consolidation, anyone?
Technorati Tags: energy efficient computing, green it, server consolidation, us open
I've just returned from my Jacques Cousteau-like adventure in the Belizean Carribean sea where I was completely cut off from the world for a week.
I highly recommend it.
As the boat initially drifted out to sea a week ago Saturday, and I watched as my Blackberry Cingular bars slowly dissipated from 4 to 3 to 2 and...then...nothing...I was a little trepidatious about being cut off from the world.
Then, on Sunday morning, the scuba diving started, and my information withdrawal began to lessen a bit.
By the time I dived the famed "Blue Hole" on Tuesday, I had completely forgotten the Internet existed.
Mind you, I wasn't a complete technophobe while floating about on the Aggressor III. I had my MacBook Pro, along with my Nikon CoolPix complete with underwater housing so that I could take lots of pics of all the cool creatures and sea coral and view them on a bigger screen as we made our way about the Caribbean.
The boat itself was equipped with a big screen TV on which DVDs and iTunes programs could be played, and where we gathered every evening for a slideshow on what to expect from upcoming dive sites.
And the boat was even equipped with a satellite-based email and Internet system that one could use for a mere 89 cents an email. I don't even know what the cost per minute to surf was, although I'm sure it wasn't cheap.
I never even asked. I wanted to know what it was like to be completely cut off from the world.
Only when I got back to port in Belize City this past Saturday did I discover that Michael Phelps had, in fact, won his 8th gold medal.
Or that President Musharaff of Pakistan had resigned.
Or any of the other news that occurred through the course of the week.
And I have absolutely NO clue what happened in the tech world while I was gone. Feel free to add a comment below to help me catch up!
But I must say, I didn't miss being connected. Not one iota.
That's probably because I was too (rightly) focused on all the great adventures I was having 80 feet under the sea.
I saw all kinds of incredible creatures: Sea turtles, Manta Rays, several HUGE Spotted Eagle Rays which are glorious to watch as they swam by with their huge "wing" spans.
I dove up to five times a day, including at night. If you've never been 30 feet down at the bottom of the ocean in near darkness, I highly recommend it.
I have to say, I have never been more relaxed and at peace with myself and the world than I was out on that boat, completely disconnected from the world for seven days.
Which is why the first thing I did once back on land was to jack in to the wi-fi connection at the Radisson Hotel and download my 400-something emails and find out that Joe Biden was Obama's pick for veep.
See, I discovered that the Internet is kind of like air underwater. You don't need it until you do. Then, you suck it in for all the oxygen you can garner.
I'm breathing better already.
Technorati Tags: always connected, belize, scuba diving, sea turtle, spotted eagle ray, vacation
Two days to go before I head off to Belize for some quality underwater time.
My first trip there was three years ago, to San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, where I did several days of scuba diving off the coast of Belize.
This time around, I am going to be heading out from Belize City, only this time on the Aggressor, a 100+ foot-long "liveaboard" dive boat that moves about the Caribbean.
The most recent Captain's Log indicated that current conditions are around 80-90 degrees F, with visibility up to 80 feet (visibility is the most critical element for my money, other than water temp. If you can't see anything, what's the point of diving??)
Some of the sea life the divers have been seeing over the past week:
Black grouper, yellow snapper, arrow crab, hawksbill turtle, squat anemone shrimp, soap fish, reef sharks, octopii, juvenile queen angelfish, filefish, southern stingrays, sail-fin blennies, shortfin pipefish, Pipehorse (very rare), barracuda, spiny lobsters, channel crab, tarpon, and basket stars.
And apparently all of those creatures were seen in only the first two dives (we'll be diving up to 5 times per day, including at night).
On the recommendation of a colleague, I'm also looking to take my Nitrox certification. Nitrox blends allow divers to have longer bottom times and shorter surface intervals because they have up to 40% more oxygen (thereby decreasing nitrogen absorption).
But enough dive talk. Just know that I'm ready for my vacation. It's been an exhilirating but busy year.
If you, too, have been considering working for Big Blue, might I recommend you check out a recent Facebook group that appeared entitled "Start@IBM."
It includes some very funny and informative videos about what it's like to work at IBM, how interns become managers, and how you're able to say sayonara cubicles, hello couches.
Definitely don't miss mi amigo Luis Suarez, who explains via PC videoconference how he is able to work remotely at his home in the Grand Canary islands off the coast of Spain.
I keep explaining to Luis that we really need to have at least a week-long meeting at his house.
So, if you don't hear from me on this blog for the next 10 days, which is highly likely, I've either:
A) Been eaten by a shark
B) Had my dive boat boarded by Caribbean pirates and held hostage
C) Had a fantastic time swimming with the sea animals and extremely psyched that they don't have underwater sonar wireless access
In the case of C, and in the immortal words of the Governator of California, "I'll be back."
In the meantime, please, pray for no hurricanes.
Technorati Tags: luis suarez, scuba diving, start@ibm, telecommuting, turbo vacation
I was really excited to see that Barack Obama's campaign indicated that they would be announcing his choice for VP via email and text message.
Obama's campaign indicated that the digerati would be the first to find out Obama's Veep choice.
Finally, I thought, the presidential campaigns are taking their messages to the digital streets first.
Then I realized something was missing from the equation.
What about Twitter?
If you want a real sense of immediacy and inside baseball for one of your core constituencies, why wouldn't you also send it along to an already existing Twitter stream that you've already been updating followers with for months.
Perhaps they will, but when I went to the "Be the First to Know" section of the Obama campaign site to investigate, the only options for being the first to know are email and SMS.
If you really want folks to be the first to know and fast, make sure you get the announcement out to the Twitterstream, Obamaville.
Of course, the John McCain campaign's not going to take Obama's digital moves sitting down.
McCain's campaign Web site just announced "The Obama Fan Club," the benefits of membership for which includes "a leader who isn't ready to lead" and "a leader with dreamy eyes."
Tit for tat? Perhaps, perhaps not. But about par for the course for a modern U.S. presidential campaign
Back in the digital trenches of the Georgian/Russian conflict, apparently the cyberization of politics doesn't end at our water's edge.
The New York Times Bits blog is reporting that Georgia is taking a beating in its cyberwar with Russia, the cyberwar that accompanies the very real conflict going on on the ground in Georgia and South Ossetia.
Specifically, they report that Georgian government and news sites are under distributed denial of service attacks, ones which essentially make those Web sites unreachable.
Not surprisingly, cyberwarfare is also extremely cheap.
Quoting Bill Woodcock from the Packet Clearing House, Bits reports that cyberattacks cost about 4 cents a machine: "You could fund an entire cyberwarfare campaign for the cost of replacing a tank tread."
In response, Estonia (which has direct experience with cyberwarfare after its own DDOS episode last year with Russia) and Poland are sending in cyberwarfare advisers and offering assistance for the Georgians to help keep the information flowing and to get their side of the story out.
Computerworld reports that two of four experts from the Estonia Computer Emergency Response Team were waiting earlier today to drive into Georgia to bring humanitarian aid and offer the Georgians technical assistance.
Perhaps they'll have an opportunity to relate the story to Pravda, which is facing its own battle with where we began in this particular post, on Twitter.
Australia's News.co.au site is reporting that "the lines between East and West have dissected propaganda surrounding the Georgian conflict."
Russian newspaper Pravda is alleged to be revisiting its propagandistic past with pro-Russian accounts of its soldiers efforts on the ground in Georgia, while Twitterers are providing their own accounts much more grim in the accounting.
One reported Tweet: "Bombs, bombs, bombs, and more bombs 24/7."
Might the truth lay somewhere between the traditional and digital media?
Perhaps, perhaps not.
But Twitterstream or no, they're not "bombing" those Georgian Web servers for nothin'.
3:26 PM CST UPDATE: John Markoff with The New York Times is now reporting that Georgia's Internet infrastructure attacks started as early as July 20 "with coordinatedbarrages of millions of requests — known as distributed denial ofservice, or D.D.O.S., attacks — that overloaded certain Georgianservers."
Technorati Tags: cyberwar, georgia, mccain, obama, pravda, twitter, russia
I was just watching "The Jerk" the other day.
I hadn't seen it since I was a kid.
I still laughed out loud at the scene when Steve Martin is working at Jackie Mason's gas station when the guy shows up with the new phone books.
"The new phone book's here, the new phone book's here!! I'm somebody!"
I almost got that excited this morning when I saw this news on Apple Insider about the Lotus iNotes that will help take Notes messaging and calendaring to the iPhone (not to be confused with Lotus Internotes, a long ago web publishing tool).
The blog post even has some really cool looking screenshots.
I hope it's true.
I love my Blackberry Pearl, but a nice iNotes GUI interface for email and calendaring looks so purdy and alluring that I can't help thinking it could happen someday and lure me away to iPhone-land.
The new phone book is...almost here?
Technorati Tags: lotus inotes, lotus notes, iPhone, steve martin, the jerk
The 2008 Olympics have officially kicked off in Beijing.
I had no idea until yesterday that acclaimed Chinese film director Zhang Yimou had been overseeing the production of the Opening Ceremonies, which I've been watching live on the Internets this morning on JustinTV (courtesy of a feed from Macedonian TV).
If you know anything about Zhang Yimou and his filmmaking background, it would strike you, too, as ironic that he would be embraced by the Chinese state and asked to helm such an honored ceremonial role as the production of the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic games.
Zhang's films were banned in China for many years, even as they went on to receive international acclaim in film festivals around the globe.
Heralded as a member of the "Fifth Generation" of filmmakers, those who came upon the heels of China's Cultural Revolution, Zhang's early films defied conventional socialist representations of Chinese culture on celluloid in favor of exploring China's rural heritage and communist authoritarianism (and not always favorable views, like in "Raise the Red Lantern.")
The economic tiger of China waves a very powerful and far-reaching tail indeed.
If you can't stand the 12-hour NBC delay of the Opening Ceremonies, check out the NY Times' live blog coverage.
Of course, if you're trying to watch it all from your home office, the L.A. Times is reporting that you may have trouble with your ISP.
Its story about telecommuters not getting any lovin' from their ISPs reveals, via a Forrester study issued Wednesday, telcos don't seem to be oerly concerned about home office workers.
The article explains telecommuters generally suffer from slower Web speeds, slower customer service, and security issues than they might have been if they were working from the office.
Yes, and those broadband and digital cable outages also interfere with our ability to watch the Olympic games that aren't yet airing on our big screen TVs.
Technorati Tags: broadband, china, olympics, telecommuting
I'm not greedy.
All I want is a quarter for every Brett Favre Jets jersey sold in the New York metropolitan area over the course of the next year.
Meantime, I am clearly losing my touch when it comes to keeping up with the news.
First, I thought Brett was staying in Green Bay.
Then I heard he was headed down to Tampa Bay.
The next thing I know, CNBC's Erin Burnett is fawning over the fact that Brett's plane is landing somewhere in New Jersey (Teterborough?).
They're covering Brett's plane landing on the country's leading business channel???
I figured why not pile on. All this Brett talk was a great opportunity to try out the new Google Insights for Search, announced earlier this week and which all the cool Google fanboys and girls are using.
If you remember Google Trends, you're well on your way to understanding Google Search for Insights (man, that's a mouthful, huh?)
Difficult to repeat Google product branding and naming experience, 15 yards, first down!
Except, of course, in this case, you can now look for keyword trends by geo.
Ooohh. What's next, you can map those keywords in a visual Copernican representation via Google Earth????
Okay, user case 1: Test query "Brett Favre"
The activity for queries on Brett's name has been pretty modest from 2004-2007, but as would be expected, it picks up dramatically around the time Brett announced his retirement earlier this year.
Then, there was a bit of a valley in terms of Brett activity earlier this year before another crescendo during recent days.
In terms of geography, the Google Search for Insights barometer would indicate that most queries for Brett are coming from the U.S.
Rock on, American football fans.
However, there seem to be a few Canadian-based Brett fans, as well as some in Denmark and Ireland as well. Gotta love them NFL fans around the globe.
I suspect that if you could dive down by U.S. state, you'd also have seen a significant rise in Brett-related queries coming from the state of Florida up until oh, sometime last night?
On related search queries "brett favre jersey" is ranked number 4, just above the query "green bay packers."
As to those Favre Packers jerseys, well....I suspect they'll be drawing a pretty penny here shortly on e-Bay.
Technorati Tags: brett farve, brett favre, green bay, j-e-t-s, nfl
IBM and Linux distributors Canonical/Ubuntu, Novell, and RedHat announced today at LinuxWorld that they will be joining forces with their hardware partners to deliver Microsoft-free desktops.
As Lotus vice president Kevin Cavanaugh explains, "The slow adoption of Vista among businesses and budget-conscious CIOs, coupled with the proven success of a new type of Microsoft-free PC in every region, provides an extraordinary window of opportunity for Linux. We'll work to unlock the desktop to save our customers money and give freedom of choice by offering this industry-leading solution."
As companies look for more economical alternatives to Windows and Office-based computers, and because Linux is much more profitable for PC vendors, the move towards alternative computing paradigms makes sense for businesses and vendors alike.
Anchoring this new approach is the IBM Open Collaboration Client Solution (IBM OCCS), which includes Lotus Notes, Lotus Symphony (IBM's free productivity suite); the Linux operating system of each distributor; and software applications and installation services from the local partners in each market.
The final product will be branded by the local IT firms that bring it to market. In addition, customers, independent software vendors (ISVs) and systems integrators have the choice of developing applications using Lotus Expeditor based on the open source Eclipse programming model.
These solutions would be tailored to the needs of customers in specific industries and sectors.
The popularity of IBM OCCS on each Linux variant has grown dramatically in the past year. Thousands of people are working today on OCCS-powered Linux PCs across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
Canonical, which sells subscription support for Ubuntu, a Linux operating system that scores high marks on usability and "the cool factor," will re-distribute Lotus Symphony via their repositories.
Symphony 1.1 will be available through the Ubuntu repositories by the end of August. General availability will coincide with the Lotus Symphony 1.2 release expected to be available by the end of October 2008.
Go here for more details.
Technorati Tags: canonical, linux, microsoft free, productivity, lotus, ubuntu
So I was sitting at my desk working away at the Turbo home office here in Austin today when I get this desperate email with the following subject line:
"EMERGENCY I NEED YOUR HELP"
Holy smokes, what's that all about, I think.
I open the email and it says the following:
"I am sorry I didn't inform you about my traveling to Europe for a program called Empowering Youth to Fight Racism, HIV/AIDS, and Lack of Education, the program is taking place in three major countries in Europe which are Dublin, Scotland, and England,I am persently in England."
Okay, it got my attention because I saw it was from a former IBM associate with whom I had just been in contact a week ago in NYC:
It went on:
"I misplaced my wallet on my way to the hotel where my money,and other valuable things were kept.I will like you to assist me with a soft loan urgently with the sum of $2,400 US Dollars to sort-out my hotel bills and get myself back home.
"I will appreciate whatever you can afford,I'll pay you back as soon as i return,Let me know if you can assist?so that i can send you the details to use when sending the money through WESTERN UNION or MONEY GRAM. Please do send the payment information as for me to get the money in minutes."
Name of Turbo's Friend Here
Her Correct Email Address Here
So, of course, the first thing I did was look to see if the email header information was correct.
Then I started thinking about the "cause" that my friend was traveling on behalf of, and concluded that that certainly could be the case, and good for her, but oh no!
Then I wondered about why she didn't have access to an American Express card or some other credit card that she surely could get a draw from (and better yet, draw it in Euros!)
And then I started more closely examining the grammar of the email.
Min you, this communication was from a consummate marketing communications professional with whom I had worked in the past and who was also now a digital marketing consultant.
Even under the most dire of circumstances, she would not have made the kind of grammatical mistakes represented in the text above.
That's when I concluded she, and I, had been the near victims of a successful phishing attack.
And that's about the time I immediately went over to Twitter to see if she had posted anything there about the frightening circumstance that she supposedly suddenly found herself in in Dublin/Scotland/England.
Very phishy, indeed.
A short while later, a Tweet appeared from her Twitter ID (which I guess I just presumed she was still in control of, particularly after I saw the dispatch):
"Someones hack'd my LIVE PW n' sent an email to my contacts askin 4 $$! Tryin to fix-why doesn't MSN respond fastr to identity theft issues."
Apparently, no response emerged from the Evil Empire, because several hours later (7 according to her) this dispatch appeared:
"Ok, 7 hours and nothing from Microsoft. Don't emails to the topic "unauthorized person using Windows Live ID" get handled as a priority?"
I checked again a few minutes ago, no more Tweets.
Then I sat back and thought about all that had gone down in this chain of events, and realized what a long way we had come from Nigerian email scams.
Though I had hesitated, I certainly did consider sending her money.
There was just enough personal information included that, combined with her story and the fact that it appeared to be from her email address, I certainly had to seriously consider it.
But thank heavens, I was also skeptical enough to give a wait and see attitude. However, but with a few more details I could easily have been had for at least part of that $2,400.
And then I realized that that ancient but classic 1993 New Yorker cartoon was true:
On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog.
And apparently, nobody has to.
Technorati Tags: microsoft, phishing, internet security, windows live
I had two whole lunches and a breakfast at the Google cafeteria in Mountain View during my visit there late last week. Fine Indian cuisine one day, veggie pizza the next.
Yes, it was umm, umm, good, but I might as well have been traversing Grand Central Station, so many people were flooding the cafeteria at once.
My recommendation: Stagger lunches using the Google Calendar, kinda like back in grade school.
Failing that, they may need a new Google HR job posting: Official Google Human Lunch Traffic Controller.
While at the Mountain View campus, I saw the place where Googlers can get their oil changed during the workday. I also witnessed an RV parked off to one side where you can get your haircut.
Hey, Google's got nothin' on the IBM Austin site -- we have putt putt!
I had a good visit while there (and no earthquakes!), made some new friends (both from Google and other customers), and gained a few insights, although I can't say as the kimono got opened too wide in terms of either future products or strategic direction.
Then again, that's what Twitter is for.
I did learn that Lenovo has a killer Olympics iGoogle page that brings together in a single view some excellent Olympics Widgets (including a Lenovo blogs widget, a map of the Torch Relay's final throes, and Google maps of the Olympic venues in Beijing. What, no Beijing Pollution-ometer?)
It seems we've come a long way from the games of the ancient Greeks, whose Antikythera Mechanism helped the original Olympians predict sonar and lunar eclipses so that they could set the dates for the original Olympic games.
Me, I don't need no stinkin' two thousand year old computer to tell me which way the sun rises!
No, while in Kal-ee-forn-i-a I got myself a deep dive on Google Earth with one of that team's engineers, where I learned about layers and Wikimapia (think Wikipedia for maps).
So be sure to keep an eye for Turbo-induced solar eclipses in the virtual realm as we approach the start of the 2008 Olympiad.
That opposition you'll see between Mars and Neptune towards the middle of the month?
Don't worry, Chicken Little, the sky ain't falling (although there may be some unavoidable particulate matter).
No, that's just me pushing pins on the Hercules family of constellations in Google Earth "Sky" mode.
Next stop? Ptolemy's geocentric star maps from the Almagest!
Technorati Tags: google, google earth, olympics, ptolemy
Today's headline above the fold and on the right on USA Today (you remember USA Today...it's one of those newspaper things made out of ink and paper that people used to read predominantly in the late 20th Century?):
"Delays in air travel persist, worsen."
I hadn't even noticed.
If it's change you're looking for, look no further than out here in Silicon Valley.
The new new Facebook (as opposed to the old new Facebook) is getting a facelift.
(Facelifted Facebook. I like that. It's alliterative, rolls trillingly on the tongue.)
Facelifted Facebook. Gargantuan Google (more to them in a moment).
The new new Facebook can be witnessed at www.new.facebook.com If you already have a Facebook profile, you should be able to see your own Facebook page with the facelift.
So wha happen with the change?
It's all about the News Feed, and less about the applications.
The applications have moved to the right side of the page under "status," and have become "Bookmarks."
The News Feed space is MUCH bigger. Kind of like the front page of the USA Today newspaper, except it's constantly being updated.
Inside Facebook reports overnight that the News Feed, too, is receiving its first major change with the addition of "News Feed Filters."
Yes, if you've been waiting to filter by "Top Stories," "Status Updates," "Photos," or "Posted Items," you'll now be able to.
Are you happy now?
It's actually a pretty cool feature -- if you just want to see your friends' status updates or their photos, now you can simply click on a tab at the top of your feed and just see those items.
New feature request to the Facebook facelifters:
Could you please add a feature whereby I could click on a tab and make my flight on time? Thanks very much for your consideration.
Perhaps the airlines can get some love and a lift from Google's new VC arm, announced overnight.
Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google senior VP David Drummond is setting up an in-house venture capital arm.
Then goes on to observe that corporate venture capitalists' share of VC dollars invested in the U.S. was only 7% in the first half of 2008.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm already out here on the ground in Mountain View, and I have about an hour to develop my angel round business case.
My pitch will go something like this: The "Turbo" Travel Search Engine and Gravitational Time Dilator.
Here's how it would work (in theory...that's why I need Google's VC funding, to get some really smart people and a really cool office with free food so we can go try and prove it out):
You go to the Turbo Gravitational Time Dilator (TGTD...we'll have to work on the branding, I know) search engine, look for when and where it is that you want to go somewhere, and once satisfied with the appointed end points and temporal reference, Einsteinian physics kick in.
Specifically, the general theory of relativity and the equivalence principle take over and drop you wherever it was that you needed to go, whenever you needed to get there, all based on your TGTD search query.
No crying babies, no thunderstorm delays, no snarky flight attendants...just pure Albert E physics getting you where you needed to go sans jet lag.
Now, does anybody know where I can get an atomic clock?
Technorati Tags: business travel, facebook facelift, the goog, time travel
I've been on the ground a little over an hour now here at LAX, and so far the ground hasn't moved.
I know, I know, for regular readers of this blog, you've got to be greatly disappointed that there's been not even a remnant of natural disaster thus far.
But, remember, AA did cancel my original flight overnight, so that's something. And, don't forget, I am headed to the Bay Area, so anything is possible.
I've experienced three earthquakes during my short time on the planet, and the first one was exactly where I'm headed for: San Jose.
So, lightning may not strike twice in the same place twice, but earthquakes...
Speaking of terra firma shaking underfoot, not unlike my Beijing experience back on May 12th, Twitter's increasingly the first vehicle for delivering the news of earthquakes.
Check out this Twitter search on the query "earthquake" to get the gist.
And thanks to my L.A.-based colleague Mary for pointing it out.
Now, get back to standing in that doorframe!
Technorati Tags: earthquakes, lax, twitter
I rejoined the Admiral's Club today.
I did this even as American Airlines canceled my flight out to San Jose overnight. Thanks, AA. Much appreciated.
I have over 700,000 miles racked up with AA, which I guess these days makes me a minor league player.
Anyhow, as I said in a recent Twitter Tweet, the joys of business travel continue.
I am happy to be once again be a proud, card-carrying member of the Admiral's Club.
I'm proud to be able to get those cute little muffins and free agua. I'm proud to be able to get free wi-fi access. I'm proud to be able to get away from the din of leisure travelers and crying babies.
Of course, it comes at a price. 70,000 miles, in my case. I could have broken down and paid cash, but I'm generally so weary of business travel that I don't really look forward to getting on a plane for vacation, so I have no other good use for their miles.
And in any case, anywhere I want to go is usually blocked from using miles during the times I want to use it.
So, I've become an Admiral's Club vagabond.
Thanks to my inadvertent AA cancellation overnight, I'll be holding office hours at the Admirals Club in LAX between around 11 and 4 today.
I'll be the one holding the sign: "Will blog for miles."
As for the nature of my trip, I'm off to see the Google.
Technorati Tags: admirals club, business travel, american airlines
I had the opportunity to sit on the runway and contemplate all kinds of stuff yesterday afternoon.
I was on a JetBlue flight from JFK back to Austin, but thunderstorms moved in and killed my mobility groove.
To be precise, I sat on the tarmac from about 1 PM EST until about 5:30 PM EST.
JetBlue was great about it.
They gave us water and snacks, the pilot communicated with us every once and a while to let us know what the deal was (thunderstorms were preventing most flights from taking off), and the flight attendants were extremely patient, as seemed to be the other passengers.
Don't get me wrong, I didn't like sitting there for four and a half hours, but there was nothing anyone could do until the control tower started to start to let flights out, other than communicate to the passengers, which JetBlue did.
So, thanks to the pilot and the crew. I'm sure your day was much longer than ours, and just keeping us in the loop went a long way.
That and DirectTV!
Just about the time I got back home, I started hearing about a new search engine called "Cuil."
It seems David's getting ready to pull out his slingshot and go after Goliath (Google).
In their press release (what, no blog?), Cuil claims to have already indexed 120 billion Web pages, which they say is three times more than any other search engine.
They also claim to go "beyond today's search techniques of link analysis and traffic ranking to analyze the content of each page and the concepts behind each query. It then organizes similar search results into groups and sorts them by category."
As my daddy always said, if it ain't broke, break it and see what it takes to rebuild it.
We have the technology. We can rebuild him!
That seems to be what's up with Cuil.
And the most interesting part seems to be the management team, which appears to be a hybrid of ex-IBM WebFountain folks and ex-Google engineers.
Whether you think Cuil is cool or not, there's been a lot of buzz today, apparently enough to bring down their site.
I'll give it a few queries, and say up front one of the things I really like is the fact that seem to be extremely privacy friendly.
They do NOT keep logs of my searches, they do not collect any personally identifiable information, and they say that my search history is my business, not theirs.
Now that is cool.
Technorati Tags: cuil, google, jetblue, business travel, search, webfountain
Well, I'm back in the Big Apple, and last evening had the opportunity to have dinner with the president and CFO of an important business partner to IBM.
I don't have the chance to meet with CFOs all that often, so it was an enlightening and yet terrifying conversation.
The conversation (inevitably?) turned to Enron and some of the other more prominent accounting scandals, and my associate explained how difficult it can be to effectively analyze and manage the finances of a corporation, particularly with large organizations having innumerable lines of business.
Hey, I can barely balance my checkbook, you don't have to tell me.
Of course, I've always been a word guy myself, but I did get an MBA and I did take finance, and so I absolutely appreciate the importance of numbers to business.
It's how we count, how we keep score, how we make (hopefully) informed and intelligent business decisions.
Apparently all the numbers are adding up, because just this morning I saw that we had announced a new financial transformation tool that was developed by IBM Research in partnership with our Global Business Services team.
The Finance Transformation Workbench tool uses advanced patented and service methodologies to help Chief Financial Officers and other senior finance executives to better identify underperforming finance functions, as well as to identify new opportunities to transform and improve the finance function.
Apparently, it's well needed.
According to our recent Global CFO Study, one-third of CFOs and senior finance executives stated they are ineffective at measuring and monitoring business performance.
The study of 1,200 CFOs also suggested that current financial management models lack the effectiveness and flexibility to accommodate the needs of global enterprises.
The Financial Transformation Workbench tool has been designed to address the CFO agenda and help improve effectiveness of the finance function.
To learn more about this new tool, look here.
Technorati Tags: finance, global business services, ibm research, cfo
Yesterday was the second time in my career I spent some or part of my birthday in an airplane traveling on business.
The first time was actually ten years ago this summer. That was my first trip to Tokyo, and somewhere halfway over the Pacific, the flight attendants broke out the champagne to help me celebrate.
Yesterday, I had a Coke and a Turkey and Cheese Lunchables on the plane. JetBlue provided the Coke, Sam's Club provided the Lunchables.
These are frugal times.
I was able to join some fellow colleagues for a fine dinner in my old stomping grounds of White Plains, NY (thanks again, team!).
At the end of our dinner, we all opened our fortune cookies. The Chinese word on the back of my fortune (the secrets of which shall remain a secret) said something about "Be full."
Full? Full of what? Life?
As I contemplated the tea leaves of my Chinese fortune, Kevin Rose and the team at Digg have apparently been contemplating a future at Google.
TechCrunch is reporting that Google and Digg have signed a letter of intent for Digg to be acquired by Google for around $200M.
This is a dance that began earlier this year, and though acquirees at Google sometimes seem to disappear into the Mountain View abyss, this deal does raise the specter of an interesting scenario: crowd-sourcing mixed up with the Google news algorithm.
Or, as I envision it, the Mobosphere takes on the engineering propellerheads to outvote the Google News-rithm to decide which story makes it above the scroll.
Today, that story would likely go something like "Hello, Dolly."
Hurricane Dolly, whose current 85 MPH winds and rain I fled ahead of their moving ashore into Texas, is still a Category 1 storm, but the buoys offshore indicate the water is warm and could fuel an upgrade.
You can track Dolly's progress via the National Hurricane Center Website here.
Technorati Tags: acquisitions, dolly, digg
If you've read Michael Lewis' analysis of how statistics and baseball go hand in glove, you know that past player performance data can help coaches and managers understand future potential.
Off the field, Major League Baseball (MLB) has partnered recently with IBM to take baseball scorecards to the next level.
Using IBM WebSphere Portal software, the new MLB Umpire Desktop was created to help umpires and other officials gain insight into players' behavior, again, based on historical performance and likely tendencies.
But before you call to throw the bums out, know these new age umpires are also armed with Google Gadgets, which they can use to customize their own portal Web pages to obtain everything from up-to-the-minute weather stats to late-breaking player statistics.
Of course, it's we fans that make the game what it is, and so MLB has also attended to the needs of those of us in the bleacher seats.
So you caught A-Rod's latest home run ball, didja?
Forgot trying to convince your pals back at the office it's the real deal.
Instead, security guards at MLB parks these days are doing double duty and will issue you a unique hologram and place it on the ball.
This information can then be wirelessly uploaded to MLB's DB2 9 data server, so if the fan to decides to sell the ball to a retailer, potential buyers will be able to verify its authenticity online.
Learn more about how the MLB is raising its RBI with IBM Web 2.0 solutions here.
Technorati Tags: db2, major league baseball, baseball, websphere portal server
If you've not seen the latest viral animated video from our friends at JibJab, what are you waiting for? You could have a starring role!
MediaWeek is reporting the new video generated over a million views in its first 24 hours on the Web.
Entitled "Time for Some Campaignin'," the new video features President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Sen. Hilary Clinton, Senators John McCain and Barack Obama, all singin' along to the tune of Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'."
I'd certainly hate to spoil all the surprises, so just know that the new video's worth a look see, no matter what your political persuasion.
While on the subject of politics and the Internets, it's also worth noting that both U.S. political parties held their online political confabs this weekend in Austin.
On the left, it was the Netroots Nation, which took over downtown Austin and the Austin Convention Center, and which received a special surprise appearance from former vice president Al Gore.
On the right, it was "Right Online," an organization that self-admittedly indicates that the right may be behind the Internet eight ball, and which was confined to northeast Austin's Renaissance Hotel (although they had their own heavyweights in town, including Michelle Malkin and Robert Novak).
RightOnline's Web site explains their current digital deficit:
"For years, the left have been building a superior online political infrastructure, cultivating a powerful online community of activists, dominating the blogosphere, and leaving conservatives at a severe disadvantage in a Web 2.0 world."
Of course, the right has historically had the power and reach of talk radio to get its message out, and therefore less dependent on that series of tubes as a primary communications vehicle.
(Although somebody seems to have conspicuously left Matt Drudge out of that digital political report card, someone who has and continues to be hugely influential with the stroke of a few pixels and a headline.)
Whichever way you lean on the political spectrum, you can rest assured in the duration of this presidential campaign and beyond that both major U.S. political parties will be using the Internet for everything from fundraising to opinion-shaping.
Read the Pew Internet and American Life Project's "Internet and Politics 2007" presentation to get some factoids on how politicians have been taking their fight into the digital domain.
Technorati Tags: netroots nation, politics, pew internet, right online
If there was a question as to whether or not the PGA golf season, or the other major golf tournaments, could have much drama following Tiger Woods' announcement that he'd be out for the rest of the season having surgery on his knee and recuperating, well, I think this weekend's British Open answered the question.
Australia's Great White Shark, Greg Norman, arrived at Royal Birkdale like a man on a mission, a 25 year-old flatbelly in the body of a 53 year-old golfer.
A golf legend who spent 331 weeks ranked as the world's number one golfer in the 1980s and 90, Norman played his heart out, but unfortunately it wasn't enough to counterbalance the luck -- and great skill -- of the Irish.
Last year's Open Champion Padraig Harrington started his last round paired with Norman and set off the first several holes with some smooth pars, as Norman started his last round with a calm, but rocky and intermittent start, making several bogies in a row and, in the process, deflating a global TV audience.
And I'm sure the folks on the ground at Royal Birkdale were rooting him on as well.
In the end, it was Harrington who played like a champion.
His second shot on the par 5 17th hole was one of the most brilliant shots of the tournament.
In short, he "went for it" -- recklessly, some might say -- by nearly knocking the skin off the golf ball into a 30 MPH cross wind, only to have it bump and run onto the green for an eagle, and establish a 4 stroke lead going into the final hole of the tournament.
Breathtaking, and a seeming counterpunch to the ghosts lingering from Carnoustie's 18th last year when he tragically bounced his ball across the Barry Burn before it settled into the moat below.
I hope all of Ireland celebrated Harrington's victory with a few pints of Guinness at the pub last evening, because it was one well worth savoring and celebrating, Tiger or no.
As for Greg Norman, who hasn't been playing golf nearly as regularly as he once did, thanks for the pseudo-Cinderella comeback.
It made me remember fondly all those times I cheered him on as a wee lad, and which helped pave the way to my love for the game.
Technorati Tags: british open, golf, open championship, greg norman, the shark
My employment contract prevents me from commenting on IBM's earnings, so I won't be commenting.
What I will be doing is pointing you over to this story for a recap here and send you over to the IBM investor's Web site in case you want to get caught up on our 2H08 earnings.
IBM Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Mark Loughridge is walking Wall Street and interested investors through the details as I post this.
Technorati Tags: ibm earnings, wall street
I've had a long and storied career in the interactive marketing business.
I was interactive before interactive was cool. Way before.
But the best part of my career has been the incredible variety and diversity of very cool and very smart people whom I've met along the way.
From the agency partners to the other Web marketers to all the vendors and media folks I've worked with to all the various and sundry technology partners to all my vast number of IBM friends...suffice it to say I've been very fortunate and very blessed to have worked with and become friends with the caliber and number of people with whom I have.
Many of those friendships have continued long beyond their initial work scope (changing jobs, ended projects, etc.) and there are others who have faded into the distance, but whom I hear from now and again, and others whom I wonder what became of them.
So when I read on Networkworld today that nearly one in four businesses now block employee access to social networking sites -- sites like LinkedIn and Facebook -- I did a double take.
Are you kiddin' me?
You view social networking sites as a productivity killer? Really?
Look, I'll be the first to admit I like watching Tyson the skateboarding bulldog as much as the next person. Heck, I also just plain like bulldogs, so the fact that they can skateboard just makes them that much cooler.
So yes, there's some frivolity that goes along with social networks.
However, let me also point out this fact: Do you know how many cool and long-lost-friends-and-colleagues that I've heard from via Facebook over the last year. And that I'm still hearing from? People whose fate I had pondered? People whose advice I still valued, or whose expertise I still admired.
People whose talents and skills and knowledge whom I might be able to leverage on behalf of IBM again someday, and who, even if not, I was very happy to be back in contact with -- whether in a personal or professional capacity or both.
Online, what's personal is increasingly becoming what's professional, and vice versa. Locking down the bits streaming in from Facebook and other social networks may seem like a good idea at the time, but it's likely shutting down one of your employees' most powerful networking tools.
We're in a knowledge economy, people. And people and relationships and who knows what and who knows whom are an integral element of the knowledge economy value chain.
And you want to shut that down? Really? Seriously?
As Challenger, Gray, & Christmas, the consulting firm who conducted the study mentioned in the article, "...business should integrate social networking and other Web 2.0 tools 'into every facet of the organization, from marketing to internal employee communication.'"
For the record, we're doing that inside and outside the IBM Corporation, and never have so many communicated so much to so many with so much efficiency.
Yes, social networking requires some adjustments with how information is shared and with whom, although more of them are cultural and process-oriented than technological.
But if you really want to see your organization lose its vitality and productivity, go ahead, shut down the social networking Intertubes.
Pretty soon, you'll find yourself like Tom Hanks and his friend, Wilson, in the movie "Castaway":
Stuck on an island.
Wondering how in the world you can get back in touch with everybody back at the office.
Talking to a volleyball.
Technorati Tags: facebook, linkedin, productivity, social networking
I used to own a pair of those most excellent Bose noise-cancelling headphones.
If you don't know what I'm talking about, you don't know what you're missing. On airplanes, such headphones allow you to tune out most of the noise -- the crying babies, the whining businesspeople, the banal conversation in the seats directly behind you -- and escape to another place.
As a matter of fact, it was the headphones that escaped to another place. One minute I was on a flight somewhere with them, and the next I'd walked off without the Bose headphones.
To my little Bose noise-cancelling headphones, if you're out there somewhere, I just wanted to get a message out and let you know that it's okay, you can come home anytime you like, but that if you're enjoying your new home, that that's okay, too, you can stay there.
I'd been pondering getting another pair for sometime now, but I also couldn't see spending another $350 to replace the originals.
But with all the flying I'd been doing, and all the crying babies I've been encountering, I figured it was time to at least investigate other options.
So of course, my first stop was Google:
"noise cancelling headphones."
Just like that (I know, I know, "canceling" should only have one "l.")
That, of course, brought some basic results, including some listings from "Google's Product Search" catalogue.
Between Google and a NY Times' feature on headphones, I was able to whittle down to a short list of vendors. They included, of course, Bose, but also Panasonic and Sony.
With the top end cost in mind (Bose' $350 new QC3 along with the traditional QC2), I began looking for quality and value.
How did I go about doing that?
Easy. I started looking at ratings and rankings on various e-shopping engines, including Amazon, PriceGrabber, MySimon, and anything else I could find.
So why'd I do that?
Easy. Though I had had a personal experience with the Bose headphones and knew them to be of excellent quality, I wasn't so brand loyal that I wanted to pay another $350.
Instead, I wanted to see if I could find some headphones that were good enough to serve the purpose of drowning out noise on an airplane, and allow me to watch a movie, listen to music on my iPod, etc. without being droned out by the engines and Baby Henry.
The ratings and rankings I surfed through helped me narrow the short list down even further, because I was able to read about real peoples' experiences with the actual products, and see how they went about identifying the pros and cons of each headset against its price target.
So where'd I net out? I am now the proud owner of a new set of Panasonic RP-HC500 noise canceling earphones.
Barry, on his Amazon review from January 12th of this year, explained to me that "The Panasonics have better cancellation, better construction around the yoke area (hopefully making them less apt to break).
Barry also pointed out that he had had some experience with Bose as well, and that "I would not buy another pair. After comparing the Boses to the above earphones, I feel the Boses are far overpriced and far more prone to breakage."
Sinclair from San Jose indicate that they have "Terrific noise cancelling, sounds as good as Bose, and these things fit very well and are comfortable."
Now, I don't know Sinclair and Barry from Adam, but both were clearly in the market for headphones, and both had had some experience and seemed to be looking for the same kind of value that I was looking for.
And I'd just as soon take a product recommendation from someone who has some direct experience with the product as I would coverage from some online tech magazine and/or blog.
So the DHL truck showed up before I left for the office this morning.
Like a kid in a candy store, I rapaciously opened the box, unboxed the headphones, put the battery in, and cranked the Panasonic RP-HC500s on.
Mission accomplished. The noise from my laundry machines disappeared in an instant.
And here I sit this afternoon at an IBM mobile facility in north Austin cranking to some Whitesnake via Pandora.
The song? "Is This Love?"
Yes, David Coverdale, it is love, indeed.
Thanks to Sinclair and Adam and everybody else who helped me find my new headphone love.
As to my lost Bose headphones...well, I loved you, too, but not that much.
Technorati Tags: bose, noise canceling headphones, ratings and rankings, social commerce
I clearly spend too much time on my computer.
For the past couple of months, I've been having some issues with my right shoulder.
Basically, it hurt. Like, real bad.
And I could think of nothing, save for a ski injury from seven years ago, that could have caused the injury, and that one I had dealt with in physical therapy and all was well.
So, week before last I went to the doctor. He put me on steroids (so if you want to give me a steroid test, go ahead, I flunk) for a few days, and that helped with the inflammation.
But the soreness and pain didn't completely disappear.
Then, while sitting at makeshift home office/kitchen table, I realized what the problem was one afternoon:
I was holding my arm too high when working my mouse, and it was "inhibiting" my shoulder, putting it in an unnatural and agitating position.
Lest you think I'm too much of a wimp, which I may very well be, know this: The pain was no figment of my imagination.
I joked to some colleagues recently on the end of a flight from Paris to Madrid that I had to be careful about helping remove their luggage from the overhead bin.
But I was only halfway joking.
By the time I was back in the States, the pain was getting to be too much to bear. Simply lifting a glass the wrong way would send me into excruciating pain.
So, on Friday afternoon I started a physical therapy regime.
Seriously. All because of the way I was using my mouse!
The PT regime began with some electroconvulsive and heat treatments, followed by some deep tissue massage.
This is now expected to last a whole month, twice a week.
Over the weekend, I worked to correct the actual cause of the problem by paying a visit to Office Depot and buying a new workstation that allows me to lower my hands for both my keyboarding and my "mousing."
So, if you find yourself in significant pain in one of your upper extremeties, my suggestion is not to continue to ignore the pain, but rather, to seek professional medical advice.
Though I've been working at computers of one sort or another since 1987, this, my 21st year using them, was the first time I've ever had a problem with mice.
Hopefully it will be my last.
Technorati Tags: ergonomics, physical therapy, hr, steroids
Once again, I'm going to miss the new iPhone street party.
Though we didn't see quite the hype this year that we saw a year ago June, the maturity of the iPhone device, combined with the move to a 3G network, seems to suggest upgrading or buying one of the new models is a no brainer if you're in the market.
Except, of course, for those of us enslaved to our Lotus Notes email platform.
In which case we can continue to salivate over the looming yet remote possibility...of....someday...soon....perhaps?
Access to my corporate email and calendar is requisite for any mobile device, and I'm very happy with my Blackberry Pearl, more so than any other mobile phone I've had.
But I can't help but look at all those folks lined up again for the 3G iPhone with a hint of envy.
The new iPhone does support Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, so that Blackberry-like email synch feature can be adopted for those on the Exchange side of the house.
Based on the coverage I've read thus far, if you don't have the original iPhone, and you're in the market for a new one, the 3G iPhone is a good choice.
Between the 3G connection speed (Walt Mossberg of WSJ indicated data was 3-5X faster) -- which makes browsing and streaming media much more palatable; the lower price (although in the U.S., data access will cost you $10 more per month), and the new App store, where you can buy 3rd party developed applications, it's a pretty easy decision.
NOTE: It hasn't escaped my notice that this time around, the iPhone launched first in the East, in Asia Pacific, and then made its way to 8 AM availability in respective time zones here in the West.
The iPhone is going global, big time.
The one major downside seems to be the battery life -- remembering you can't replace the iPhone battery like you can with other phones.
If battery life is an issue, perhaps Steve Jobs is simply counting on you to buy...two?
Technorati Tags: apple, iphone, mobile computing