What an idiom

22 Apr 2014

fishermanOver the years I've noted a predilection among channel executives for the kind of nuggets of homespun wisdom that might make really good Facebook wall posts if paired with a picture of a particularly resourceful otter.
The problem with these pearls of profundity is they're just so tricky to remember. What's that one about killing someone making you stronger? And the one that's something to do with a journey of a mile taking 1,000 steps?
But even by the occasionally metaphorically mixed standards of the IT industry, I was impressed by the syntactic gymnastics of one partner chief I met recently. The poor fella knew there was a saying concerning fish and food that spoke to the power of education - rather than simple charity - as a tool for emancipation. After chewing over the fish-man-food-teaching quandary for a few awkward seconds, he settled on the perfect wording.
"If you teach a fish to feed itself, then they don't wanna give you the food; it's all about empowerment."
Or put another way, if you can teach a fish to feed itself, then get out of the IT industry, create a variety act, and take your incredible intelligent fish on a world tour.

Sexual Ealing
In a move cribbed straight out of Reverse Psychology for Dummies, I was intrigued to see recently that Michael Gove wants ambitious young businesspeople to come to London for "a good time and loads of hot sex".
mgoveThe national press reports that the education secretary was speaking at a summit attended by government top brass and former Facebook exec Joanna Shields, who is leading David Cameron's Tech City task force. The improbably stretchy-faced Scot claimed he had been "talking to some young entrepreneurs recently [who] said the reason they love London so much is not so much the high-tech opportunities, but that it's a fantastic city with great opportunities to be successful, enjoy a great culture, have a good time - and loads of hot sex!".
Home secretary Theresa May reportedly "gasped", while Cameron also acted the square by allegedly saying: "make sure that does not appear in the minutes".
Completely made-up rumours that Gove then proceeded to chase Shields and May around the room to the strains of Yakety Sax remained thoroughly untrue as CRN went to press.

Fromage frayed
Working in the IT industry, I'm reminded daily of the awesome power of technology and the opportunities for social and economic progress afforded by the advent of things such as unified communications, immersive telepresence, and cloud computing. But just when you think the human race is progressing to a ubiquitously connected future of smart cities and intelligent objects, I remember that many among us haven't yet mastered their toaster.toast
The London Fire Brigade was recently called to an incident in Croydon caused by an inventive snack-assembler trying to make cheese on toast by flipping their toaster on its side. Press reports indicate that the owner's kitchen suffered minor damage, and the gambit "left the snack completely charred".
"Toasters are not designed to be put on their side," sighed an impressively deadpan crew manager Nick Morley. "I never thought I'd have to give this advice as it's painfully obvious, but if you want cheese on toast, use a grill, not a toaster."
Alternatively, reassess whether you really want melted cheese, and make a sandwich instead. Making sure to use plastic knives. As well as safety goggles and a full hazmat suit.

Ex-XP
Having exhausted literally several options in trying to get stubborn users to migrate from Windows XP, Microsoft has gone for a more fun approach to warn of the security dangers of staying on the ageiMicrosoft Windows XP screenng OS.
A side-scrolling shoot-em-up game dubbed Escape from XP casts a lonely developer as the last man standing in a world of vastly inferior software. Accompanied by an ear-violating soundtrack, our hero has to blast beloved icons like IE and the Recycle Bin while an evil version of that unbearably smug paperclip looks on.
Fair play to Microsoft - I've shown this to a number of my clients and they've all agreed it's time to move on. I've got four company-wide Linux rollouts scheduled for next week alone.

Shady deal

07 Apr 2014

I was almost as excited to learn this sunglassesweek that Google Glass is teaming up with the company behind fancy shades maker Ray-Ban as I was to discover that Google openly acknowledges the pejorative use of the term "glasshole" to characterise the creepier users of its technology.
In a bid to cool up a technology dubbed "cumbersome, weird-looking and generally a bit meh" by expert analysts I just invented, Google has signed a deal with Luxottica. The Italian designer, which is the brains behind Ray-Ban and Oakley, has promised to bring a touch of the "avant garde" to eye-based wearable technology.
Google certainly has a way to go to make its Glass product seen as mainstream, desirable and not at all completely odd, which it seemed to tacitly acknowledge with a recently published list of Glass etiquette rules.
One such suggestion encourages wearers to avoid being "creepy or rude (aka a ‘Glasshole')".
Though they probably did little to allay the fears of those thoroughly creeped out by the whole smart eyewear thing by stating: "If someone wants to secretly record you, there are much, much better cameras out there."

Mail merge misery
I'm sure we've all received a missive greeting us as "Dear [insert name here]" or similar.
Unless you're memobile-emailrcilessly schadenfreudian, you can't help but feel an empathetic pang of terror on behalf of the poor marketing intern who will shortly be facing a tongue-lashing; it's not nice to savage people for honest - and clearly fairly minor - mistakes.
That said, if you pitch your organisation as being designed to "establish, uphold and advance high standards of statistical competence", and are emailing people to invite them to enter awards recognising high achievement in the use of "numbers and data", then all bets are off, I'm afraid.
I'm sure the "Statistical Excellence Awards" are very much the Oscars of the statistically excellent journalism industry, but the jury remains out on the rigour, prestige, and general unimpeachability of the Royal Statistical Society until they can send an email without addressing all recipients as "Mr Chris Munford".
"The Society stresses that entries don't have to be statistically complex," notes the message.
Probably just as well, eh?

Recipe for disaster?
Smashing into the lucrative market niche of people who hamenu89798ve about 90 per cent of the dedication required to make a meal from scratch comes Foodini, which claims to be "the first 3D food printer to print all types of real, fresh, nutritious foods".
Manufacturer Natural Machines has so far received almost half of its $100,000 funding target on Kickstarter in pursuit of getting the product to mass market. You may say "but I can't print an apple, you madman?!", or perhaps "if I still have to cook the ingredients beforehand or afterwards, what differentiates this expensive product from, say, a normal knife?".
Well, egg and your face will be very much in alignment when I reveal that the Foodini means you will no longer be "forced to buy pre-filled food capsules". Making this the perfect product for time-poor urbanites residing in some kind of steel-and-chrome Logan's Run-style dystopia.

Copy cats
I was intrigued to learn this week that changes to UK copyright laws will soon make it legal for you to copy music from your CDs and upload it onto your MP3 player, 15 years after the first such devices went on sale in the UK. And not just because (ahem) A pile of unmarked pirated CDssomeone I know has been doing precisely that for roughly the past decade and a half, in blithe ignorance of the fact it was technically against the law.
Alas, it "will still be illegal to make copies for friends or family" (I'm not looking forward to telling the wife she can no longer borrow my iPod when she goes jogging). Keeping hold of any files you've copied from a CD you've since sold is also still technically verboten (farewell, Sham 69 boxset - you shall be missed.)
"The law... is changing in a number of small but important ways, to make our copyright system better suited to the digital age," said the Intellectual Property Office. Great news - and only a year or two too late to see that particular digital age disappear into the horizon as everyone switches to streaming services instead.

No jacket required

26 Feb 2014

twitter-hashtag-cloudI was nonplussed and violently ill to learn this week that Birds Eye is launching "Mashtags" - sorry, "Mas#tags" - the self-styled "potato shapes for the social media generation".
Expanding ever so slightly on the classic waffle structure that has long dominated the frozen potato shape world, the food company is to sell tatties moulded into a quintet of forms more applicable to today's hip young Facebooking Twitteristas: a hashtag; a smiley face; an @ symbol; a heart; and an asterisk. Right you are.
It may have been described by market analysts I just made up as "a new nadir for the human race", but Birds Eye senior brand manager Pete Johnson said the product is "an exciting development" for the fishy-fingered firm.
The "Mas#tag" (shudder) packaging adds that they are "#NEW", "#Tasty", and "Pot@to shapes". Meanwhile, various branding experts who may or may not exist have labelled them "#nauseating", "f*****g b******s", and "tot@l cr@p ZOMG :-o".

Horror film
I'm forever telling customers that holding on to their outdated technology can have grave financial, operational, and legal consequences. But even I was thoroughly flabbergasted to hear of the case of 27-year-old Kayla Finley, who was recently arrested and jailed over a nine-year overdue VHS rental.
VHS tapeLocal TV station Fox Carolina reports that she rented the widely panned Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda vehicle Monster-in-Law in 2005 but did not receive letters imploring her to return the tape as she had moved house. A warrant for her arrest has been outstanding since then, and it was finally served when she recently went to her local police station in order to deal with the clearly far less serious issue of pressing harassment and stalking charges.
Having been arrested and held overnight, Finley is due to return to court in due course, but has vowed to fight what she characterises as a "bogus charge" of ‘failure to return a rented video cassette'.
However, my sources indicate she may have to take a plea on a concurrent charge of ‘knowingly renting a movie described by one critic as "a puerile and edgeless pile of goo"'.

App-solute nonsense
Rubbishly named dating app LOVOO recently surveyed 2,000 completely non-fictitious men in an attempt to draw up a composite picture of "the perfect girlfriend".
The wildly offensive, highly prescriptive, and thoroughly creepy list of characteristics reveals that the UK's dream woman is 5' 5" and 9st 2lbs with a 34C chest, brown hair, and blue eyes, and she drives a Mini Cooper and speaks with an Irish accent in between enjoying Game of Thrones, achecklist little bit of rock music and supporting Manchester United. (The list goes on - and on, and on - but I'll spare you the rest.)
"It seems British men have very specific tastes for a girl to live up to," said LOVOO founder Benjamin Bak, massively inaccurately. "We think avoiding a woman because she supports an opposing football team or enjoys a different genre of films to you might be a bit too picky."
I dunno, Benny - "picky" is not an adjective that springs to mind when I conjure up an image of what I'd guess is a typical LOVOO user. (Although I wouldn't be too surprised if they have a habit of "avoiding women".) Also, when it comes to defining the qualities of the perfect girlfriend, I'd suggest they start with "existent".

Print playtime
The burgeoning world of 3D printing was given another shot in the arm this week with news that toymaker Hasbro has agreed a partnership with market heavyweight 3D Systems.
The two firms issued an announcement this month outlining their intention to "co-develop and comBlack Eyed Peas' Will-i-am at an Intel eventmercialise innovative play printers and platforms later this year". The new entente is the latest in a series of eye-catching tie-ups for 3D Systems, including a deal with Hershey to examine the possibilities of 3D-printed chocolate and the appointment of Black Eyed Peas mainman will.i.am as its "chief creative officer".
This latest arrangement sounds like a winner to me: nothing says "fun for kids" like complex CAD software algorithms, hot molten plastic, and a wait of several hours to get your hands on your new toy.

Atlantic crossing

10 Feb 2014

American flagCall me horribly prejudiced, but I always go to lunch get-togethers with American execs expecting to be met with a disconcertingly white-toothed specimen spouting buzzwords and baloney (as I believe our transatlantic cousins say), while brazenly misusing common words such as "chips" and "nonplussed". And, usually, they don't even get drunk. At least not before the starter arrives.
So I was a wee bit impressed when, five minutes into a recent meeting with a US-born vendor exec, their phone rang, revealing the EastEnders theme to be their ringtone. They went on to detail how they had really thrown themself into UK life since arriving here a few years ago. Among their new-found loves were football and Manchester United, with Bobby Charlton cited as their favourite British person.
Of course I set them straight: I told them to read up on Matt Lockwood, Tommy Johnston, and Laurie Cunningham, and get themself down to watch the Orient, sharpish. My respect will be cemented if they manage to make it half-time without running screaming for the first plane to California.

Fat chance
I was intrigued and faintly nauseous to read this week that overweight people in Stoke-on-Trent could soon be sent government-backed texts to help inspire them to drop a few pounds.
A soon-to-launch scheme in the Staffordshire burgh will allow 500 people to sign up to be sent motivational SMS messages including "Eat fruit and veg"; "Use the stairs more"; and "Keep a check on snacks and drinks".
SMS messageThe 10-week programme will cost £10,000, which Adrian Knapper, City Council cabinet member for health, claimed equates to the cost of a single intervention operation. But opposition leader Abi Brown, while applauding the sentiment, wailed that "the money could just be spent more fruitfully". Presumably having just bought 10 satsumas for a quid off Hanley market.
I think Her Indoors must have gotten wind of this idea, as she's taken to sending me texts to help me shed a little timber.
Just this morning she wrote: "You disgust me."
I'm a very lucky man.

Pants survey
A recent study from Brainshark (no, I don't know either) found that 59 per cent of the 400 sales pros they surveyed love giving customer presentations on their tablet, only marginally behind laptops on 66 per cent. And the attachment to the strokeable form factor runs deep, according to the highly unimpeachable data from the "mobile-ready video presentation" specialist (ah, the penny drops!).
toothbrushSome 61 per cent of respondents would rather forego matching socks than visit a customer without their cherished tab (curiously two per cent higher than the amount that claimed they take the device to client meetings). Meanwhile 47 per cent would rather go commando (as I believe the young folk say) than arrive at a rendezvous sans tablet. Some 32 per cent would go deodorant-less, and 27 per cent wouldn't mind not brushing their teeth.
Interesting findings. Though I can't help but think that it'd be worth researching how many sales goons actually wear pants and deodorant and brush their teeth in the first place.

Lost tracks
Have you ever browsed Spotify and thought: ‘I wonder what happens to all the songs that have never been played?'
No, me neither. But the same cannot be said of tech entrepreneur trio Lane Jordan, J Hausmann, and Nate Gagnon, who recently launched Forgotify. The new service, which Leyton Orient signis available to anyone logged into Spotify, focuses solely on the four million tracks - about 20 per cent of the 20-million total - that have not been played a single time on the streaming app.
Users are initially presented with a suggested song, which they can then listen to and share, or alternatively click ‘next' to be offered a different tune. Naturally, as soon as a track has been listened to once, it is removed from the Forgotify archives.
Before you all rush to file this one under ‘Sort Of Cute, But The Novelty's Bound To Wear Off Very, Very Quickly Indeed', why not give it a go? If you're lucky you might stumble upon the 95-minute magnum opus ‘A Real-Time Musical Appreciation of Oxford v Leyton Orient, May 2006', by DDG and the E10 Rockabilly Trio.

Abreast of developments

16 Dec 2013

There was exciting news from the world of wearable tech this week, particularly at that time of year when millions of men ask themselves ‘what gift would best show the woman with whom I share my life how well I know her, how much I love her, and how deeply I appreciate all she is, and all she means to me?', only to swiftly come to the answer ‘nice pants, innit'.
Bra on floorRegular reader(s) can surely imagine my unbridled delight to discover that I will soon be able to give my beloved a present that combines my love of a) technology; b) not having to think too much about gift selection; and c) objectifying women. Sorry, I mean: c) enabling my life partner to feel every bit as desirable as I know she is.
Anyway, where was I? Ah, yes - the so-called ‘smart bra', which is reportedly being developed by Microsoft bods. The garment is designed to track the wearer's mood by monitoring things like heart rate and skin activity.
Reportedly men's underwear equipped with similar gadgetry has proved less effective, due to a comparative inability to track electrocardiogram information. Thereby putting paid to the notion that our brains are to be found in our pants.

Potential problems
Stone the crows! In more exciting developments from the world of deeply spurious "research", I was shocked to the core this week to discover that more than two in five IT workers in the UK feel they have more to give, professionally speaking.
According to massively unimpeachable data from the good folk at (VESTED INTEREST ALERT!!!) recruitment outfit Randstad Technologies, 44 per cent of techies believe they have not reached their full potential. (So, I suppose 56 per cent believe they have no more to give, and have utterly fulfilled their potential, whether their career has five years, or five decades left?)
Meanwhile determination emerges as the personal characteristic considered most important by the IT crowd, having been cited by 43 per cent of respondents. This was closely followed by adaptability and a strong work ethic (both 39 per cent).
It is not clear where on the list characteristics like ‘talent', ‘aptitude', and ‘basic competence' featured.

Silcon implants
I was cock-a-hoop to see the forward-thinking folk at Vogue UK had devoted a recent issue to a parade of inspiring, important and impressive female tech execs they dubbedshutterstock-77841820 "high-tech heroines". Less pleasing was the subheading "Silicon Valley wives and girlfriends" - or "SWAGS", to those in the know.
The mag singled out three leading ladies of the tech industry, including Marissa Mayer, who is not just CEO of a global company, but also some bloke's wife. Also namechecked were Ali Pincus, co-founder of online marketplace One Kings Lane, and, Kleiner Perkins partner Juliet de Baubigny, who is characterised as a "stylish venture capitalist", (as opposed to a "successful/respected/influential venture capitalist").
According to Vogue, one of the principal achievements of these glamorous gals is turning the Valley from a land of "Converse, baggy jeans and hoodies", into a place where one is more likely to attend a "networking cocktail night". (And also shoes, bags, boys, chocolate, pretty dresses and, ooooh look - there's a cute kitten! Awww. LOLZ!!! :-) xxx)

Generic Christmas message
Slade is on the jukebox, cheap alcohol is being uschristmas-santaed as a makeshift incendiary, and a rotund man with a red face is brandishing a sack full of perfume and consumer electronics; it can mean only one thing: it's the sharp end of ladies night at the Dog and Duck behind Dagenham Heathway station.
Also: it's Christmas.
I hope it brings you and your kin everything your collective heart desires. (Unless you're an IT reseller operating in the east London/Essex area, natch.)
I've come to regard my annual festive message as a bit like the Queen's speech: no-one really pays much attention and those that do probably just sit there resenting my position of enormous wealth and privilege.
Nevertheless, allow me to say: well done on making it through another complete swine of a year with - I hope - your business, and your sanity, still intact. See you on the other side.
Happy Christmas, one and all!

Pardon my French

02 Dec 2013

French flagIt can be hard for nascent resellers trying to make their way in this crowded market to come up with a name that differentiates them from the competition and attracts the eye of end users.
So I was intrigued to hear that one company gave itself a moniker that it thought was a bit of snappy wordplay, alluding to both the nature of its business and its all-around excellence.
But the name, that has since been retired following the company's sale, was remarkably similar to a French synonym for...err...what happens at the end of a...err...mummy and daddy cuddle (at least for daddy). Ahem.
Their website certainly caught the eye of many potential customers, but sadly most of the titillation-seeking Frenchians didn't hang around to find out how they might benefit from virtualising their desktop estate.

Making tweet love
Speaking of nocturnal activities, I was shocked and appalled this week to read that technology is reportedly having a grave impact on the UK's collective sex life.
A major once-a-decade study into Britons' bedroom habits finds that men made whoopee an average of 4.9 times a month between 2010 and 2012, with the female mean coming inConcept image of a man in bed with his PDA even lower (as it were) at 4.8. This compares with figures of 6.2 and 6.3 respectively during the millennial rumpy pumpy boom years of 1999 to 2001.
The decline is partly attributed to the easy allure of internet smut, as well as pervasive worry about jobs and money. Study author Dr Cath Mercer from University College London added that the ubiquity of whizzy new computing kit is another contributory factor.
"We also think modern technologies are behind the trend too," she mused. "People have tablets and smartphones and they are taking them into the bedroom, using Twitter and Facebook, answering emails."
Oh, come on - do people really do that? I don't know of anyone who has allowed mobile technology to wreak havoc with their sex life. And I've certainly never heard of a devoted husband - and skilled lover - being devastated to realise his wife was live tweeting Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway during their weekly bunk-up. You know, for example...

Party politics
Regent Street is aglow, John Lewis is pumping viewers full of vomitchristmasous saccharine and Easy Eric's Electricals Emporium on Dagenham Heathway is being looted thrice monthly - Christmas must be coming soon.
Another staple of the festive season - the annual email from the Forum of Private Business (FPB) warning of the perils of the office party - arrived in my inbox this week. Among the usual array of well-meaning but rather killjoyish advice are the revelations that you should "make it clear that the usual disciplinary policies apply" (they don't - not really), as well as pointing out "drug use in the workplace may constitute a breach of health and safety regulations" (WOW! Who knew?!). It's also noted that "too much alcohol could spark arguments and fights".
But it is far more likely to "lead to awesome fun times, general sociability, and totally snogging that hot guy Nick from accounts payable", the FPB singularly fails to note.

Handy guide
I was heartened to read this week that Girlguiding UK has given its Computing badge a facelift to bring it up to speed with the increasingly social world of IT.
When the badge was launched 23 years ago, the tasks Guides needed to do to earn it included "turning on a computer" and "using a word processor". The checklist has now been updated to include such achievements as "writing a set of instructions for a moveable robot", conducting a survey and "presenting the results in a spreadsheet or graph".
Guides will also learn about staying safe in the occasionally perilous world of social media, as well as coming to a greater understanding of their "digital footprints".
Having witnessed the indiscreet Facebook horrors of most of my salespeople, I'd like to issue an open invitation to any newly qualified Girl Guides who fancy doing a bit of training and consultancy work.

Shred or dead

18 Nov 2013

I've never been a fan of themed shindigs - if you feel you can't guarantee your guests a good time without insisting they dress up like complete muppets (literally or figuratively), you're not a party host worthy of the name.
So imagine my vexation to read about "the growing trend of people hosting shredding parties" (no, I don't know either). At least, the trend is growing according to (VESTED INTEREST ALERT!) PHS Datashred, which believes the get-togethers will become "the business equivalent of Ann Summers parties" next year.shredded-paper
I can only assume this means they involve people bonding over an array of synthetic genitalia and a disappointingly moderate amount of awful wine - only with more suits, photocopiers and sales projections. Datashred boss Anthony Pearlgood claimed "the benefits of shredding are countless", shortly before coming up with two benefits of shredding.
"People [are] using it for everything from getting rid of past memories or to simply dispose of old junk," he muttered.
Good points, Tony - but I can't help but think the idea of "getting rid of past memories" is a touch Orwellian. I think I'll stick with the standard issue booze-up at Yates's in Harlow for the Dodgi Christmas do this year.

Video nasty
YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim may have uploaded the site's first ever video more than eight years ago, but until recently it remained the only item on his profile.
And what better way to break an apparent eight-year silence than by dropping an f-bomb and slagging off your company's new owner?
Karim finally added a second item to his profile when he left the comment "why the f**k do I need a google+ account to comment on a video?" earlier this month.
If only he'd known this terrible turn of events lay ahead before he agreed to sell the company and make a reported $65m...

Urine trouble
It never rains, but it pours for the monolithic old-stagers of the PC market. You can't have failed to notice that sales have taken a pasting in recent months as consumers opt for mobile devices like tablets and smartphones.
anonymous-catAnd sales are hardly likely to be given a shot in the arm by the news that the latest whizzy new laptop released by Dell caused a real stink among consumers - literally. The Latitude 6430u is a high-spec enterprise-grade machine that, according to the vendor's website, is "thin, highly durable, and built for business".
All that and more it may well be, but unfortunately for Dell it also stinks of cat urine.
"The machine is great, but it smells as if it was assembled near a tomcat's litter box. It is truly awful!," was the view of one of the many people who took to the Dell hardware support forum to complain.
The vendor acted swiftly to reassure users that "the smell is not related to cat urine or any other type of biological contaminant, nor is it a health hazard". The problem has now reportedly been fixed.
But not before one user moaned: "It's embarrassing taking it to clients because it smells so bad."
Tsk. That's the oldest line in the book, that one. If I had a pound for every time one of my sales goons had used the old "sorry boss, I didn't close the deal because the customer thought my computer smelled of feline wee" excuse, I'd be a very rich man indeed.

Rank bad idea
I was heartened to learn this week that Microsoft is doing away with its bell curve system of ranking employees. Previously managers were asked to designate the
members of their team as either stellar performers, decent performers, or poor performers - even if they felt the whole unit contributed equally. Now so-called stack-ranking is being ditched, with the vendor wishing to place greater emphasis on "teamwork" (what a novel idea!), and bosses allowed to allocate bonuses among their charges as they see fit.
Smart move - I ditched the patented Diamond-Geezer Bell Curve System of judging my staff in the mid-90s. But not before many a salesperson was terrified by finding themself facing my bell end.

A load of BullGuard?

04 Nov 2013

Dave Diamond Geezer the Dealer

facebook-privacy-carouselIn the most point-missingly sensationalised headline of this (or any other) week, I was shocked to read recently that “the alarmingly high figure” of “one in five parents have been shocked by content on their children’s email, text or Facebook account”. According to (ahem) “research” from (VESTED INTEREST ALERT!) security firm BullGuard, 61 per cent of mums and dads make a habit of spying on their offspring’s texts or online activities.

Less worryingly, a third of these admitted to being consumed by guilt over the snooping. “It’s hard enough watching your children 24/7 in the real world, but keeping tabs on their movements online is the real challenge,” said BullGuard product management head Alex Balan, just a little creepily. “BullGuard’s Identity Protection offers Facebook protection for parents concerned about what their children are being exposed to, such as cyberbullying, social predators or inappropriate content.”

Good point, Al. I mean, who cares about the rights and wrongs of invading your child’s privacy? The important thing is we don’t miss a chance to use serious issues like online abuse and the proliferation of violent and degrading adult content to hawk some software. Kerching!

 

Texas, Paris

In the most unfortunately timed comment of the week, I was intrigued to hear Michael Dell opine that the internet was “like oxygen” at the firm’s recent Technology Camp event in Paris.

Just before the WiFi crashed, leaving delegates and press disappointedly pawing at their tablets and smartphones. (Although, it must be said, not visibly struggling for breath.) The eponymous tech leader explained that cloud computing is at the same point the internet was at in 1995, when everyone was apparently asking ‘what is your internet strategy?’.

“Nobody asks that any more as the internet is kind of like oxygen, and cloud is heading in the same direction – it’s just everywhere, a new delivery mechanism; we all do it, and it is just assumed,” he said. It’s probably safe to say he’d also assumed the vendor’s chosen venue – a reet swanky place on the banks of the Seine – would have adequate connectivity.

 

Gaga for tech start-ups

Money in PocketAs a career technologist, I’m always pleased to see new investment flooding into the industry. So I was delighted to learn this week that pop impresario Troy Carter is creating a seeding fund of up to $100m to inject into tech start-ups.

He may have made his name and his money being the manager of Lady Gaga, but Carter has also long been an advocate of tech firms and has invested in companies including Spotify, Dropbox and Summly via his AF Square fund.

The investor plans to take an “opportunistic”, rather than targeted approach as he hunts some Little Monsters to plough his wonga into.

Glad to hear you’re a fellow techhead, Troy – some of us are Born This Way. If you fancy investing in the hot east London tech scene (and don’t mind batting off the Paparazzi at Dagenham Heathway station), why not pick up the Telephone and poke yer face into Dodgi HQ?

 

Cloudy sums

There was yet more bad news for outdated tin-shifters like yours truly this week, with research revealing that cloud computing skills are the most prized of all for IT pros looking to further their careers.

According to research from recruitment outfit Robert Half Technology, some 39 per cent of IT directors claimed that “cloud computing is the most valuable skill for IT professionals to have”. This is apparently ahead of (deep breath) security (37 per cent); project management (33 per cent); virtualisation (29 per cent); network admin and engineering (27 per cent); mobile and application development (27 per cent); database management (24 per cent); C# development (15 per cent); business intelligence (14 per cent); and Java development (13 per cent).

I can only hope that ‘maths’ isn’t considered quite as important by any prospective employers of the survey compiler, as I can’t help but notice that the above answers add up to 258 per cent of respondents.

Although, funnily enough, “giving 258 per cent” is exactly what I demand of all new recruits at Dodgi.

The head honcho of Dagenham's top reseller (give or take a few) gives his insights on the quirkier and murkier side of the industry. Dave also keeps a keen eye on the world of robots, pointless research and social networking.

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