Friday, October 31, 2008

The BBC and content distribution

The BBC are a great British institution. The UK would be a poorer place without them in my opinion. I do have the odd grievance here and there regarding how often they seem to promote Microsoft. Sometimes the frontpage can seem like an advertorial for that company. Today for instance the technology page contains the word "Microsoft" 5 times. Not much mention of any of their opposition there.

I don't mind, it's nice that they think about things more important than Russel Brand (although I have always liked Andrew Sachs).

Previously there were issues with how the iPlayer would be mostly a Windows product. The iPlayer has worked to a limited extent on Linux. Today however the BBC have published a little info on work the BBC have undertaken to bring BBC content to the linux desktop. A nice read.

This is quite an important step as it is bringing some content that I have already paid for through the license fee - to me - regardless of the desktop in question.

Looking at PlanetLotus - the BBC keeps cropping up in news stories. Does that relate to the importance of the BBC or the demographic? I will be interesting to find out which.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

XPages workshop in the UK

The Hursley team are working on a XPages workshop in Hursley. If you work for an Lotus BP I would seriously suggest registering for this one.


There is one seriously good (external to IBM) consultant working on the content.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sub Prime - starter kit

I found this presentation via Presentation Zen
Quite good really.
Subprime Primer
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: subprime mortgages)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

email - keep it short

On any given morning I receive quite a number of emails that, on the face of it, require some attention.

I prefer to actually get on with doing my day job as opposed to attending to an email inbox as my boss appears to want me to actually achieve certain things for the business rather than simply work in a glorified mail room - the inbox. Luis Suarez is a good example in that he has actively stopped (that can not be good grammar) reading his email - I don't believe that course of action is likely to work for me just yet.

I keep my "email time" to a minimum using a few tricks such as using Notes to highlight mail sent to me only and colour coding mail that comes from customers or management. This works pretty well.

One of the biggest factors on how much value an email has is the content - and how it is written.

One of my management team tends to analyse things for a while and send out the odd blockbuster email which starts of with a paragraph of "scene setting" for the rest of his email which will be the equivalent content to a couple of sides of paper. When I was unaware of a request he had made he stated it was in an email - which I then retrieved from an archive. After reading the email I told him that the first paragraph contained no real information and that having reached the end of it I had archived the email (luckily I hadn't deleted it) and missed the pertinent content.

Some longer emails, such as the one mentioned above, need to be written in the form of a news story with Title, Synopsis and then Detail (or something to that effect) where the synopsis gives me the pertinent detail pretty early on in the narrative.
Shorter email should be no more that a short paragraph.
Preferably email should be as short as a Status update in Twitter or Facebook.

You could, of course, just use the phone.

You will be pleased to know that the colleague concerned and I came to an arrangement - he writes his email as normal and I read them - he is after all a manager.

On a similar note - IBM are noting the same things here

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Ubuntu 8.04 on my Thinkpad T60p (Part 6)

I have a Logitech Orb webcam which I use to demonstrate Lotus Sametime video for customers. Recently it has been sitting in the corner ever since I moved from Windows to linux and as there is a demonstration due next Wednesday I decided to see what effort was required to get it working on Ubuntu.

After the usual investigation of the support forums I realised I needed to install a UVC (Universal Video Class) driver. Finding the right one could be tricky - however just like envyNG there is a utility to do this for you called EasyCam. the install instructions are here.

As I already had the camera connected via USB the EasyCam software detected it correctly as a "Quickcam Orbit/Sphere MP (2006 model)".

EasyCam then, when prompted, installs the correct driver. Once that has completed you can click "Execute - Webcam" from the EasyCam menu to start streaming video.

Skype picked up on the video straight away.