Friday, December 22, 2006
Tags: Christmas, Christmas card, greeting, music, song
The only thing I would add is that a move away from monolithic systems to interoperable standards will require an evolution in the maturity of healthcare IT (See There be Dragons in Phase 4). The commercial environment required to enable this out-of-cashflow investment would probably be too large to run alongside NPfIT. As expensive as it is, the systems being implemented through LSPs are only an incremental improvement at a functional level rather than a fundamental rearchitecting. We need to focus on some core areas and keep them simple if this is to work.
Tags: technology, healthcare IT, health care IT, IT, information technology, NPfIT, CfH, NHS, BCS, British Computer Society, IT architecture, interoperable, monolithic
Thursday, December 21, 2006
So hard to tell...
Tags: cars, automobiles, Smart, London, Ferrari, modified
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
I welcome the news. Well, I welcome the progress bit within the news. We're out of the gate. Personally, I'm happy for the brakes to be taken off the technology but the media suggests that the public thinks differently. This announcement leaves the path open to eventually extend the summary records into being more detailed and provides the opportunity for people to see the benefits. I want all of my medical records on line NOW and I want to contribute to it. It's my information and I feel that future clinicians I have the misfortune to need the services of will be able to serve me better if they have more information. The further away I am from my friends and relatives at home when I need that help, the more I want the information available to clinicians with my life in their hands.
Security? It's doable. What's more, do you know what they're doing now? When were you last asked for your consent? Believe me, technology will be better- it can be explicit. The problem with health care is that moral dilemmas are always a short step away which can bring progress to a stiffling halt. Am I the only person who wants to live longer and healthier?
And in case anyone asks... GPs do not represent me. The media keeps giving the GPs' opinion as if it is surrogate for the public. Not so. Ask me.
Tags: technology, health care, healthcare, IT, healthcare IT, health care IT, information technology, EMR, Electronic Medical Record, EHR, Electronic Health Record, NCRS, National care Record System, NHS, National Health Service, CfH, Connecting for Health, NPfIT, National Programme for IT
Tags: technology, Internet, web, LinkedIn, professional networking, social networking
Many thanks to Mervin, Portia, Mark T, Phil, Ed, James, Mark and Abdullah for your company. Mark has even be set the challenge of trying to find this blog from what little information he gleaned from me- watch this space. Sorry to those I didn't bump into (or maybe you were lucky), especially the hostess Jenny, Nigel, Houston & Tom (keep the Brunel spirit alive).
Tags: technology, information technology, IT, BCS, British Computing Society, Christmas, party, younger professionals group, No.5, Cavendish Square, London, UK
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
A Technorati search shows that the article has been widely reported on by AccMan and Navarik. The title isn’t a total red herring designed to hook you in before it makes some clever ironic play. The paper really does make the case that at a strategic level “IT Doesn’t Matter” because it is approaching commodity status. Quite simply- I disagree, especially in health care IT.
1. The article paints a static picture of any company’s IT investments. This is a war of continuous evolution rather than a battle between individual systems.
2. I would argue that the commoditisation of IT provides the opportunity for organisations to construct orchestrated solutions disruptive to markets and their competitors. Customers can apply technologies in ways that the creators of the building blocks had not imagined. This is a highly competitive capability which depends on organisation competence and agility.
3. The investment in IT is being painted in black and white. Because the customer was not intelligent, IT investment was focussed on features that solve problems without consideration of how the problems are solved. The “how” has become crucial because for features from many suppliers to work together requires an understanding of this architecture. I would agree there was overinvestment in features- but only now are we looking at the architecture.
4. You cannot compare, as Nicholas Carr does, IT to electric power or railways by analogy at almost any level. Information simply does not conform to the First Law of Thermodynamics. If the physics don’t stack up, nor will market comparisons. We’re talking about tools for knowledge workers, not core utility services.
5. Technology as a competitive factor in health care is only just beginning. We are along way off a sector with the characteristics this article is describing. Technology is still widely seen as a necessary evil in this sector which is amazing as few other sectors would benefit from computerisation more than healthcare. It is such a complex sector that control of information will make the controllers very competitive. The status quo suits only the incumbant. Managing vulnerabilities is important, but there is an opportunity for a health care IT company to be created out of the current climate who will lead us into the next phase of IT maturity.
*ClickRich’s New Rules of IT Management would therefore be:
Spend wisely, but large investment in health care IT is required to catch up.
Follow on core technologies, lead in how you apply them.
Focus on Opportunities if you are an emerging Health care provider.
Tags: technology, information technology, IT, healthcare IT, health care, Harvard Business Review, IT Doesn't Matter, IT strategy, IT architecture, Nick Carr, Nicholas Carr, HBR, IT management
Monday, December 11, 2006
Will this become the norm around corporate offices? Induction Courses the world over will have to add the agenda item "Build Avatar".
Tags: technology, Internet, virtual worlds, Second Life, collaborative technology, Linden Labs, Microsoft, Sharepoint, Oracle, Collaboration Suite, avatar, Campus:Second Life
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Fantastic. It just shows how a sense of community has grown around the blogosphere.
Tags: technology, Internet, blog, blogosphere, Jason Happe, Rick Lee, Swiss Army Knife
Monday, December 04, 2006
I was interested to read in the Jan 2007 edition of PC Pro that they prefer Firefox2.0 so maybe I'm wrong? They clearly are paid to review products. I just fit this around a busy day job. What would I know?
Not only do they prefer Firefox2.0, but it is on the strength of the feed features! I looked into this a little further and they basically find my source of irritation with Firefox an improvement- that is the drawing of summaries into a live bookmark. The thing is, I was thinking that it's 'neat' for Firefox to have the feeds running off the favourites menu navigation, but I find it an irritation to keep returning there to flick through sources when IE7 can have the feeds pegged to the left hand pane. HOWEVER, being forced to reappraise my assessment and I can now see that you can do the same with Firefox2.0 from the View menu.
So, after all that, the debate is wide open again at ClickTowers. IE7 and Firefox2.0 are neck and neck, until I look into it again...
Tags: technology, Internet, Internet Explorer, IE7, Firefox 2.0, information technology, Mozilla, Atom, Microsoft, browser, RSS, feeds, live bookmarks
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
From this screenshot you can see that it might be the advertisment at the right hand side which is in Flash 9.
In terms of plugins, I only have the Google Toolbar running and I can't imagine that causing instability (the core of IE should be fairly immune to plug in vagries anyway?).
Has anyone else experienced problems?
Tags: technology, Internet, Internet Explorer, IE7, Firefox 2.0, Flash 9, Technorati, crash, Microsoft, browser
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
OK, it wasn't a huge screen or ear drum thumping volume, but it was more than more than up to the demands of this action film. The seats were sure comfy (perhaps more protection from the rear would be appropriate for those unfortunate to be sat in front of us lanky streaks with wayward knees- sorry Mister). The beer was fine. The ice cream was suitably up class. The staff were marvellously helpful and even loaned me a spoon when my ice cream was found to be lacking the prepacked one. I sadly let down their hospitality by leaving the spoon at my seat despite promising otherwise. I hope they let me back in next time.
Unfortunately the bar was light on savoury options (just peanuts really) but hotdogs wouldn't have suited this classy joint. Tapas? Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed it and will go back for more- with just two screens I might have to wait a while until they bring in the next feature or travel to one of their other two central London cinemas.
Tonight I'm particularly heartened to see that to have watched the same film, at about the same time, from a similarly positioned seat, on the same day at the Odeon Leicester Square would have cost more than twice as much. Oh, and from my experience there would have been more teenagers keen to impress their dates with how loudly they can shout.
Viva the boutique!
Tags: cinema, screen, film, The Screen on Baker Street, Casino Royale, James Bond, 007, Odeon, entertainment, London, boutique, W1
Friday, November 24, 2006
Phase 1 (embryonic)
-Niche technology pockets addressing specific challenges
-Feature focus. No one minds how you solved the problem, as long as you solved it.
Phase 2 (childhood)
-Technology pockets grow so as to bump up against each other
-Boundaries are created
-Interfaces cause unexpected complications that result in under delivery
Phase 3 (adolescence)
-Responding to the escalating costs and complexity, clients reduce the downside risk and consolidate suppliers
-Gorilla takes all
Phase 4 (adulthood)
-With benefits realigned with expectation, clients turn to maximising the up side and exploiting new generation technologies
-How you've been solving the problem becomes VERY important, because it needs to be consistent with other methods, frameworks and ecosystems
-Creation of platforms for effective competition
-People who can master taking the same components and reuse them in interesting ways will create new business models that redefine the market
Now we can discuss where your company or sector is, and where you're heading.
Tags: technology, information technology, IT, software development, maturity, model, IT architecture, software architecture, developer
Thursday, November 23, 2006
This is a welcome announcement for a sector looking for an IT shot in the arm. I was privileged to see this a few months ago and am glad it’s now in the public domain so we can talk about it. It will be extremely interesting to see how healthcare IT organisations respond to the release. Which will crawl into their shells and which will embrace?
We need to see some maturity in this market. Consumers will expect it.
Tags: technology, healthcare, health care, healthcare IT, Microsoft, Connected Health Frameworks, IT architecture, information technology
Only recently a friend was remarking how amazing it is that Google is one of the world's largest companies, yet he'd never seen an ad or met anyone who works for them. That could change quickly.
Tags: technology, Internet, search engine, Google, Microsoft, Live, Microsoft Live, London, UK, Metro, newspaper, advertising, advert
A bit of competition for Technorati will keep things interesting.
Watch this space.
Tags: technology, Internet, blog, blogs, blogosphere, search engines, Google, Technorati
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
With 120 minutes of battery life, I'm just leaving it too it. On the first use it needed emptying regularly (partly due to the small container and in part due to how long since the last vacuuming). However, the point is that you use it more regularly to keep on top of things. The results are great.
I still need the Dyson to help me do the sofa and curtains but when it comes to replacement, there's no need to go for the full blow-your-house-down model- a handheld should suffice. The future is here now. I'm only surprised this technology isn't more pervasive throughout the major players... in the same way that no one would have been impressed if I'd started this post with the statement that a machine is washing my clothes in the kitchen. Next up: Ironing (pleeease!)
Tags: technology, vacuum, vacuuming, Hoovering, iRobot, Roomba, Dyson, consumer electronics, robot, labour saving, automatic
Thursday, November 16, 2006
They need phenomenal storage capacity (Terabytes) and distributing those images (usually of the DICOM format) from the imagers to radiologists is therefore non-trivial.
When did you last hear an application based IT system have to define itself as a communication system? That's inherent in the fact that it is information technology. It feels illogical to make a big deal out of that, reflects challenges largely in the past and aspires to monolithic systems. I try and use the terms "DICOM Storage", "DICOM Viewer" and "Radiology Writer" to describe the constituent parts and apply as appropriate. Processes are being reengineered such that these elements are being reused in ways the inventing technologists hadn't imagined and the PACS term will itself be reengineered.
There's a lot of inertia in the acronym by virtue of the intellectual capital (deals, research papers, products, implementations) invested in it, so I don't expect a change any time soon... but watch this space
Tags: technology, medicine, medical, health, health care, healthcare, healthcare IT, Health care IT, PACS, Picture Archiving and Communications System, acronym, CT, MR, radiology, etymology, hospital, x-ray, xray, diagnostics
So, I was very interested in how doctors are beginning to embrace the technology of the raging-consumer success that is Google. A British Medical Journal article reports on the success rate of search engines in helping unravel unusual and complex symptoms. Ironically, it is usually professionals that pioneer new technologies which subsequently filter into the high street and home. In this case it's been the reverse. Nevertheless, better late than never.
So, is this the end of doctors? Not really. Using Google, users successfully identified 58% of diseases published from a range of symptoms from The New England Journal of Medicine. It takes a qualified, intelligent human being to take that success rate beyond 80%. The computer is just doing what computers have always done well- to sift through huge amounts of knowledge (in this case pretty much the accumulated medical knowledge of the human race) and present it back in a prioritised fashion. You can't train a human to do that.
Tags: technology, medicine, medical, British Medical Journal, diagnosis, Google, henoch schönlein purpura, Internet, New England Journal of Medicine, search engine
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Still, I'm feeling the 80 applications they've considered!
Tags: technology, wireless, Cisco, Oakland, As, Oakland As, baseball, bleeding edge, construction
Monday, November 13, 2006
In its simplicity the game is really fun, but the big hook is in how people are recording their results to YouTube. These videos made my 10 minutes of playing look pathetic. Either there's some seriously mispent youths evolving out there, or the next generation are evolving some talent beyond mere hand-eye coordination.
Tags: technology, Internet, Flash, Macromedia, YouTube, Technorati, toy, game, Line Rider, line rider
In the software there appears to be a neat WLAN finder directory. However, entering Cafe and London results in a long enough list that you don't seem able to navigate beyond 'C' and Costa Coffee. A minor gripe in an otherwise pleasant out-of-the-box experience.
Tags: technology, mobile, data card, 3.5G, HSDPA, gadget, Qualcomm, Vodafone, tariff, WLAN, Costa Coffee
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Well, they practically had to lift me off the floor when I saw the iPod toilet roll holder.
I could hardly contain my incredulity when, on the same page, I saw both adverts for a device to help your beleagured pet to climb onto your furniture AND a gizmo for scaring them off. Can we not make our minds up? Pets on the bed or pets off the bed? Let's not confuse our labradoodles with these messages! Perhaps the idea is that you buy both and keep your canine friend exercised?
You wonder whether this in flight magazine is there for the entertainment more than the revenue opportunity. Thank you American Airlines.
Tags: American Airlines, AA, canine, cat, dog, gadget, gizmo, inflight magazine, inflight, ipod, toilet roll, aviation, shopping
Friday, November 10, 2006
Tags: blog, blogging, the Reluctant Blogger, Bournemouth University, IMS, Interactive Media Studies, Interactive Media Strategies, Internet, KatesVoice, MattPDP, media, technology
This year's attendance figures are really showing an upswing, but it would be great to see more students coming along to enjoy the event, including pre and post refreshments. Please contact Mark Linney (email@example.com) if you want to become actively involved in the Young Members Section, otherwise stay posted to our Yahoo Groups or IET Local Network website (less up to date, but it's the official site) for details of upcoming events. Of course, stay tuned to this blog too- all Bournemouth events and some others will be posted here.
Finally, a huge thank you to Anthony Day for taking such a complex and interwoven brace of issues and presenting them in such an informative and entertaining way. We rarely have so much debate stimulated by the end of an event and look forward to the publication of your book.
Tags: climate, climate change, environment, 4x4, Bournemouth, Anthony Day, Bournemouth University, IET, Institution of Engineering and Technology, engineering, technology, How to Drive a 4x4 and Still Save the Planet, Will Climate Change Your Life
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Technology is complicated. There are rarely right decisions. Most decisions are a trade off with associated risk mitigation. When raising concerns in a corporate environment, you will rarely be criticised if you act professionally. The key is to avoid looking like a whinger or someone with an agenda. I'm not saying that senior management is infallible, but if you are not seen to carry your right to complain in parity with your responsibilities, you could find yourself on extended leave.
Tags: corporate ethics, Epic, health care, Healthcare IT, Justen Deal, Kaiser Permanente, technology management
Sunday, November 05, 2006
...at least, public opinion as seen through the bottom of a beer glass. If you live in Madison want to avoid the nosey Brit, avoid the Angelic Bar and Great Dane Pub & Brewery.
Incidentally, I was also stunned to see that over $2billion is being spent on the midterm campaigns. More than the last presidential election!
Tags: climate, climate change, Wisconsin State Journal, Madison, Wisconsin, Great Dane Pub & Brewery, Angelic Bar
Monday, October 30, 2006
Aren't you glad you never got round to that corporate roll out?
Tags: technology, blog, internet, Pluck, RSS, reader, RSS reader, IE7, Firefox
You better believe it.
Regular readers (ok, put your hand down mum) will know that I'm a big fan of Technorati. However, they seem to have stopped indexing my site properly. I've not changed the way I ping. I've not changed the site structure. I upgraded to the Beta Blogger, but the problem didn't start immediately. Anyway, according to Technorati I've not posted anything for about 25 days. The problem seems to get worse too, in that previously indexed posts are being removed from their listing! Stranger and stranger.
Surely it's not just me. Or is it? They're out to get me. I knew it.
The problem is exacerbated by three weeks of three support emails (correctly labelled with support tickets etc) going unanswered. Please please please Technorati. Help me.
Tags: technology, blog, Technorati, indexing, problem, support, search engine
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
...or can you?
Of course you can. You simply select the blacked out text and cut and paste it into another application. Hey presto, you can read it as plain as day.
It makes for interesting reading, but my point is that office applications are so feature rich these days that users often lose out in the security stakes to them. "Track changes" in Microsoft Word is also a great example. The contracts I, or my colleagues, have been sent where you can recollect the internal discussions and tactics of the opposite parties, never cease to surprise me.
Tags: Acrobat, Adobe, CfH, Connecting for health, NPfIT, National Programme for IT, commercially in confidence, information governance, Microsoft, Word, healthcare, Healthcare IT, NHS, health care, NAO, National Audit Office, security
Friday, October 20, 2006
However, I can't say any more because the event was Chatham House rules. That is, people can take away what was said in the meeting, but it is not to be referenced in a way which makes it attributable to any individual present. This encourages openness and enables us all to learn from mistakes as well as successes.
Richard Granger suffers much at the hands the media. You could argue that's just part of the job- and that is fair enough. My point is that comments which he made last week in a Chatham House rules governed event are now splashed across the pages of the New Statesman and have been picked up by all the usual healthcare IT publishers. We have to lose this rapcious appetite for sensational headlines if we can have reasonable discussions we can all learn from.
Tags: technology, IT, CfH, Connecting for health, NPfIT, National Programme for IT, Chatham House rules, Chatham, health, health care, healthcare, Healthcare IT, NHS, Richard Granger, Granger
Friday, October 13, 2006
How to Drive a 4x4 and Still Save the Planet
…Will Climate Change Your Life?
A talk by Anthony Day based on his upcoming book about climate change, exploring what it’s really all about and where we should focus our efforts.
Venue: Bournemouth University (Talbot Campus), Coyne Lecture Theatre
Date and Time: Tea/Coffee from 6:30pm. Presentation from 7pm, Thursday 9th November 2006
Meeting contact: Richard Atkinson, Bournemouth Convenor, firstname.lastname@example.org
This talk is free and open to anyone interested in the topic.
*What happened to the first, I hear you cry? Well, the IEE merged with the IIE to create the IET in the middle of this year (got that?). The previous lecture, "45 million miles from Earth" predated the merger so went under the auspices of the IEE.
Tags: climate, climate change, environment, 4x4, Bournemouth, Anthony Day, Bournemouth University, IET, Institution of Engineering and Technology, engineering, technology, How to Drive a 4x4 and Save the Planet
Thursday, October 12, 2006
17 October has been designated as an historic date. The organisers want as many people as possible to record a ‘blog’ diary of this one day - 17 October - which will eventually be stored by the British Library as a permanent historical record of our national life at the beginning of the 21st century. This is a one off, one day diary done on a mass scale – that will itself make history.
The event asks you to write your blog diary at HistoryMatters and ..."Please include in your blog how history impacted on you that day – whether it be simply travelling past an historic landmark, discussing family history at home, watching another repeat of Only Fools and Horses, or listening to Dad’s 60’s music, again!". You don't even need to come up with something profound- they want to record real life. Diaries can be added from 17 to 31 October.
Or you could just write a book, find a publisher, have the book published with an ISBN number... I'll opt for the blog for now.
Tags: history, history matters, weblog, blog, British Library, social networking
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
There is a fantastic interview with the co-founder, Unity Stoakes, by Shahid Shah on Healthcare Guy. I've not seen such a well formed description of the impact of Web2.0 on health care. Doctors talk about the Google effect bringing patients in with ideas about what's wrong with them. This is just the start of a new wave of super-consumerism.
Tags: technology, IT, Internet, Web2.0, OrganizedWisdom, social networking, health care, healthcare, consumerism, super-consumerism, super-consumer
This is a major shift in marketing... not a shift in policy, as this infrastructure play must have been their long term play for many years (otherwise they'd have farmed it out). Salesforce are now in direct competition with SAP. Who'd have guessed that when the company was founded in 1999? That's why they're worth 3 times as much as YouTube :)
Tags: technology, software, service, SOA, SaaS, Salesforce, AppExchange, Apex, SAP, infrastructure, IT, enterprise, data utility
Monday, October 09, 2006
What it made me realise is that I need to find more opportunities to delve beneath the media politics which come and find you, and upon which we are superficially informed about policy and manifestos. I need to find platforms where politicians are able to expand on their vision. Gordon Brown is an extremely intelligent man with a deep sense of history from which his vision of Britain is born. Party politics aside, prior to Saturday I'd have voted Cameron if I was asked to choose a Prime Minister tomorrow. However, I couldn't imagine, even with an Eton education, David Cameron being able to hold a candle to the depth of Gordon Brown's knowledge of the world and humanity. The snappy style of modern politics doesn't give you a chance to see how the minds of politicians understand and unravel incredibly complex issues. Sound bites don't cut it.
However, much as I applaud Gordon Brown's vision of a Great Britain competing in the global economy with high value science, engineering and technology, I can't reconcile this against the culture of celebrity New Labour has presided over. There have been too many closures of University science departments. Despite this loss of educational capacity, demand is even lower. According to an article in The Guardian., "Engineering and technology has seen the second slowest growth in student numbers, stagnating at around a 4% rise over the 10 years from 1995 to 2005 - and well below the average growth of 56%".
No doubt the reasons are based in deep and complex cultural characteristics beyond the limitations of quick fix mechanisms from Westminster. I fear that David Cameron doesn't have the ability to get to the bottom of these issues. I think Gordon Brown does. Whether the wheels of their parties will allow either man to do anything about it is another matter.
Tags: technology, politics, education, engineering, science, university, Gordon Brown, Cheltenham Literature Festival
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Am I overreacting or wouldn't this have been possible 50 years ago? I'm going to be looking at this Climate Change subject more closely over the coming months so stay tuned.
Thanks to Pod, Pip and Bri for a fantastic weekend.
Tags: weather, climate, climate change, unseasonably hot, sailing, UK
There are some really interesting articles about Apple's 'pod' and 'podcast' claims and what's happenning with the Rover brand.
Tags: technology, intellectual property, intellectual property rights, IP, IPR, Apple, Rover, patents, trademarks, copyright, IPExecSearch
About a decade on and Nokia has come up with something more compact, less power hungry and cheaper called Wibree. They intend to have it ratified as a standard so third parties can adopt it. However, do the third parties have the appetite for another standard when they're already so committed to Bluetooth?
What we need is a killer app for Wibree that Bluetooth couldn't tackle. Then consumers can make up their minds. Been here before? Of course we have. We were surprised when SMS became the killer app of GSM. Videocalls and internet access is being touted for 3G, but take up has been slower than expected. Bluetooth is often used for headsets, but synchronisation with laptops and PDAs is hardly setting the world alight. Personally, I struggled to make it work. Wibree could find applications in more ubiquitous products such as watches, clothing and jewellery.
Tags: technology, wireless, wireless, personal area networks, PAN, Bluetooth, Wibree, Ericsson, Nokia
Friday, September 22, 2006
Tags: Freescale, MRAM, Blackstone, Motorola, Carlyle, Permira, acquisition, buy-out
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Tags: rail, railways, UK, Virgin, Cross Country, National Rail
Friday, September 15, 2006
Last night was the official opening night with John at the helm and what a great turn out. The drinks were flowing and dodgy Den (pianist at The Savoy and Connaught by day) was bashing out the tunes, scarcely needing to look at his hands, and including a remarkable rendition of the Mike Oldfield classic, Tubular Bells. There were nibbles being passed around the splendid wood panelled parlour and my drinking buddy, Tom, and I had a thoroughly good time. Incidentally, Tom's mission is to find this blog armed with just his knowledge of me, so keep an eye on how long it takes a comment to appear.
Good luck to the Gunmaker's.
Tags: pub, drinking, London, Marylebone, Gunmaker's, Gunmakers, real ale, gala
Personally, I trust Bex and, if that weren't enough, I'll be there for the canapés supplied by her culinary gifted brother, the Kitster, at the Gala performance on 19th September. I believe it's a case of bring your own Doritos from that point in.
Tags: theatre, Chekhov, Islington, Union Chapel, Cilgwyn, theatre company, Cilgwyn Theatre Company, Becca Cox
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
In the event, I was lucky enough to grab a few drinks with David afterwards which was a bonus. It is sort of deliberate that the programme is not entertaining the public gaze- which can be very distracting for these mega-programmes. It's not easy to hide a £7bn spend. I'm comfortable that my blog hasn't exactly given Mr.Murdoch many sleepless nights so this hardly qualifies as publicity, but WOW, WHAT A PROGRAMME. David was keen to point out that this is all tried and tested technology, BUT in my view the resultant effect is a fundamental change. When 'Section 2' (the bit through, and under, east London) opens in 2007 you could be in Brussels in 1hr51 and Paris in 2hr15mins. This is the scheduled time- suggesting it could be even quicker with a perfect schedule and green signals. Looking at the achievement another way, imagine cruising through the motorways of Kent at 70mph to have a train pass you doing ANOTHER 100mph on top.
How can airports hope to compete with those times- especially when you factor in the punctuality statistics and the effect of check-in times? I love airports, but I'm no air martyr.
Tags: travel, rail, programme, Channel Tunnel Rail Link, Anglo-French, St.Pancras, Union Railways, high speed, LGV, Kent, CTRL, LGV, Bechtel, Halcrow, Waterloo, Institute of Engineering and Technology, IET, airports
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
OK, soppy post over. Down to business, this is yoghurt war. Which do you prefer? Onken Wholegrain Biopots or Rachel's Organic Wholemilk?
The answer "Ski" doesn't work. Do not pass Go, return to the 90's. Vegans may participate with the permission of an omnivore.
Tags: food, dairy, yoghurt, Onken, Biopot, Rachel's, organic, Rachel's Organic, wholemilk
Monday, September 11, 2006
These folks are a nation of salespeople. In the UK, we might be a nation of shopkeepers, but we need to break out from behind the counter and do something different. These guys had a team of 6 or 7 role players running through a well practiced (sorry, practised) script with very natural, but no doubt highly calculated, humour.
It was an absolute pleasure.
Tags: technology, Internet, sales, Windows Live Server, demo, web, web demo, US, UK
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Someone has been busy scanning archives of newspapers and running them past Optical Character Recognition (OCR) before the usual Google formula of indexing for search. This means that I can search on my home town, Ilkley, and pull up an article from the Saturday 18th April 1891 edition of the Fitchburg Daily Sentinel and see that the nearby Bolton Abbey was a place that "few Americans have seen because of its remoteness"; contemporary reports about the arrival and life of Rev Dr Robert Collyer, the famous Unitarian minister and close friend of Andrew Carnegie; and in the Liverpool Courier of 26th Jan 1897 about the death of two boys, Waterhouse and Berridge, on a stretch of the river that I used to play in. Over a hundred years ago! Some of the OCR is dodgy, but if you have patience to interpret the text, it's fascinating.
This must be a rich source for historians and I look forward to seeing if it can make a contribution to my genealogy endeavours. The pay-per-view and subscription results are a pain for a tight-wad like me though.
Tags: technology, Internet, Google, News Archive Search, Ilkley, Collyer, Carnegie, genealogy, history
What I find interesting though is how BT cleverly kept this convergence of technologies under wraps to seemingly steal a march on the competition. I, for one, am a technologist who didn't see this coming as soon as it has. As recently as July (just 55 days ago) BT were reporting their satisfaction at the revision to the DAB standards and the ability for them to mix and match with 3G, WLAN and DVB-H. I simply did not put the pieces together and realise the impact of what they were saying. There was no suggestion of the service going live within several months (a heart beat in consumer electronics development).
Was this intentional or had the marketing people just not got to grips with the concept?
I must admit to being a little confused as to whether the TV data comes through a digital radio receiver or through the GSM/3G reciever (there are mixed reports out there), but I'm happy to play the consumer and celebrate the results.
Tags: UK, BT, Movio, Virgin, mobile, DAB, DVB, DVB-H, DAB-IP, digital, broadcast, BBC1, ITV1, Channel4, lobster, lobster 700TV, HTC Trilogy
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Of all the buildings to be visiting, it was the landmark "1 City Square" too. I guess I've just been holding off for an invite to the smartest building in town.
*GCSE Geography raises its latent head.
Tags: Leeds, Yorkshire, travel, commute, confusion
Monday, September 04, 2006
I know that it took us a while to settle to the 120 or 240AC voltage standard, but as I sit here looking across the ClickOffice, I can see several dozen power outlets connected to desktops, laptops, mobile phone chargers, printers, lamps, scanners etc. Without exception, they all need less than a tenth of the sort of power the UK ring main is designed to deliver. Sure, things like electric ovens and washing machines need more- but we have nothing like that in the office. Therefore you have umpteen inefficient transformers producing heat as a by-product of their operation.
I know that changing the power configuration to the wall would be a mammoth commitment, but surely as a developed world we are, or should be, heading in the direction of challenging some deep seated assumptions. Surely it could be worth it on new developments where lifetime costs can be factored in?
What about other options? All our VoIP phones use power over ethernet (POE) with CAT5e cabling. Could more appliances piggyback that? How about daisy chaining desktop power usage off USBs? More than half our lighting is of the 12V halogen variety. Could we use that exclusively?
Lying on the beach on holiday, I just felt this was a little discussed arena in this time of deep concern for energy consumption.
Tags: technology, electricity, electrical, engineering, power, mains, 240V, 120V, low voltage, voltage, efficient, saving, consumption, Power over Ethernet, PoE, USB, environment
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
I'm on holiday this week so please leave a comment and I'll get back to you on my return.
If it's a more urgent matter then tough. Eagerly anticipated posts will resume next week, meanwhile burglars have a whole few nights to swing by ClickTowers unhindered by anything other than some highly trained houseplants and a forlorn basil.
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Friday, August 25, 2006
The report was compiled by Accenture and CSC who are leading the Local Service Providers that include iSoft in their teams. Naturally, iSoft are being heavily criticised for major programme management failings but the question I've not seen raised is "Why have CSC and Accenture not reacted earlier?". Afterall, the Lorenzo problems were well known up to a year ago. Accenture say they will loose around £500million as a result of the delays in their LSPs caused by iSoft. When there is so much of their money on the line, surely they should have managed their risk appropriately. Were reviews like the one just conducted, not built into the relationships between Accenture, CSC and iSoft from the beginning? iSoft is rightly taking a pounding in the press, but the NPfIT LSP structure designs the risk to be managed, and carried, by the consortium leaders. Those leaders should be looking hard at themselves right now.
Tags: technology, IT, computing, Healthcare, HealthcareIT, HIT, hospital, NPfIT, iSoft, Accenture, CSC, Lorenzo, project, risk, LSP