Usability - Productivity - Business - The web - Singapore & Twins

By Date: December 2009

Travel security?

I spend more than 180 days on travel in 2009 and went trough security in many countries with different levels of security. All in all it is a big theatre show. More than once I had to show the USB sticks I carry (I like the one with metal casings), but never show them working. Never my laptop batteries were checked. Passport and boarding pass were regularly matched against each other (makes sense to me) and I was patted down often. Hotels use sniffers to check luggage for restricted substances but let down their guard once they know your face. All in all I don't feel more secure. The full body scanners discussed now disgust me. I don't care who is looking at my image, but I do mind, that the proposed systems use active X-Rays. Within no time I would have a radiation dose firmly above my comfort level. I think the solution to all our security needs is to ban pink crocodile leather handbags.
Happy 2010 then

Posted by on 30 December 2009 | Comments (0) | categories: Travel

The Builder's Manifesto

The Harvard Business Review has an interesting entry titled The Builders' Manifesto. It is a critical review of leadership and the fact, that we don't need leaders but builders. In the post the author Umair Haque is applying 10 principles to bosses, leaders and builders:
  1. The boss drives group members; the leader coaches them. The Builder learns from them.
  2. The boss depends upon authority; the leader on good will. The Builder depends on good.
  3. The boss inspires fear; the leader inspires enthusiasm. The Builder is inspired — by changing the world.
  4. The boss says "I"; the leader says "we". The Builder says "all" — people, communities, and society.
  5. The boss assigns the task, the leader sets the pace. The Builder sees the outcome.
  6. The boss says, "Get there on time;" the leader gets there ahead of time. The Builder makes sure "getting there" matters.
  7. The boss fixes the blame for the breakdown; the leader fixes the breakdown. The Builder prevents the breakdown.
  8. The boss knows how; the leader shows how. The Builder shows why.
  9. The boss makes work a drudgery; the leader makes work a game. The Builder organizes love, not work.
  10. The boss says, "Go;" the leader says, "Let's go." The Builder says: "come."
Go read The Builders' Manifesto.

Posted by on 22 December 2009 | Comments (2) | categories: Business

Ski Holidays in Adelboden Switzerland

The next stop on our XMas Europe tour is Adelboden in Switzerland. If you are into Ski World Cup, you might know Adelboden for their world cup races. The next one being in 9/10 January 2010. We stay at a private guest house Adelbed. The owners Angelika and Ruedi go a great length to make us feel like family. A highly recommended place to stay. Of course our main attraction is skiing. Since is is new to Anthony and Ernest and has been 20 years for me, we started with some ski lessons. Robert and Jakob our ski trainers yesterday and today did an excellent job and we had tons of fun.
Day 2 of our Ski lessons
Skiing in the cold weather makes hungry and we enjoy Swiss specialties like Rivella, Kaesspatzen, Roesti, Trockenfleisch and tons of Swiss Cheese.

Read more

Posted by on 20 December 2009 | Comments (1) | categories: After hours

Snow ride and Hertz customer service

The gentlemen are having a good time. We had our first sledge ride after a 1.5 hour climb up to the Drehhütte which is run by one of my relatives. Downhill was a little faster (about 20 minutes)
To travel around we rented a car from Hertz in Munich. The sales assistant at the Hauptbahnhof was very helpful and we got a Opel Zafira (a car that won't make it onto my favorite list any time). The guys at the service station weren't. It turned out, that there weren't any winter tires mounted as promised (which I figured only after we starting sliding on a snowy road). When I called the hotline the lady wasn't helpful at all. "I can't do anything about it, are you sure the tires are wrong" and so on. Finally she patched me through to the Hertz station in Füssen. This station is run by Mr. Braun and his wife. He was the exact opposite to the hotline. We exchanged phone numbers and within a short while he called back with a solution. He helped me to find a gas station instead of charging the day-robbery Hertz refill fee and made sure I feel comfortably at any time. Highly recommended customer service.

Posted by on 18 December 2009 | Comments (0) | categories: After hours

The books you read the stuff you know

I see customers a lot. Business people, IT people, sales people and sane people. Since I'm not an IT graduate small talk often turns to the source of my knowledge. "Study hard, play hard" is the opener I usually use. While the internet has taken over as dominant source, I still fancy books and have collected some over the past few years. When I moved to Singapore 10 years ago, I left most of them behind, so I had to rebuild my library. In the section "Computer and Internet" I have currently 64 items which you are welcome to review.
I'll add other books about business and leisure some time in the future. So stay tuned.

Posted by on 09 December 2009 | Comments (1) | categories: After hours Software

Cost of messaging storage not an issue?

David Ferris has a blog entry titled " Cost of Exchange Storage Not An Issue". What he says is not Exchange specific (it is only the first time that Exchange would be capable of supporting large mailboxes) and can be applied to any messaging system. David states:" Users will have large mailboxes. 5GB to 20GB will be common". With storage cost (again David's figures) of $2-$30 per 30 GB that translates in per user/per year cost in the single digits. I'm not so sure about these figures. They might be true for home storage, but for large scale enterprise storage systems David might be off by more than one dimension. Storage cost isn't a linear figure, but has increasing marginal cost once you reach size limits.
What's your take. Are large enterprise mailboxes coming?

Posted by on 08 December 2009 | Comments (5) | categories: Software

Boys and their toys II

Do I want one?

While announced in January you now can actually see the watch in shopping windows (I had to stare at it at Hong Kong Airport's Duty Free mall). It looks much better in black and it isn't oversized (at leat not for my wrist). Interestingly the main LG site does not know about the GD910 while results on Google are plenty and colorful. The irony of the LG wrist watch? The knock offs (with things like dual SIM support) were in the market first. Now if they had SyncML or ActiveSync.

Posted by on 05 December 2009 | Comments (2) | categories: After hours