Another snowy morning. Another day’s news of travel woes and broken services. Wasn’t this supposed to be the age of technology?
Looking around my neighbourhood, middle-management cars struggle past on route to some distant office to connect to some services located somewhere else. They’ll sit at their desk to phone customers who again, will be somewhere else. Noticed the common thread here?
There’s not much details about it as yet – like how much it will cost, for example – The Oracle site just provides a PDF about it. What I can say at this point is it remains 100% compatible with Desktop Open Office, retaining Open Document formats as well as PDF. It’s MS Office compatible, too.
But the site mentions a Â£33.00 charge for Desktop Open Office…
When talk turns to the Cloud, the hot ticket currently is the location of information. Security’s no longer the biggest concern, its where data is stored which is key.
Cloud players like SalesForce and IBM are looking to their own national storage, but its expensive and inefficient. So why not use a storage Cloud for it?
Sometimes I despair at the appalling state of the UK’s broadband services. It’s truly horrific.
Here is an ex-state monopoly supposedly “competing” with a number of other providers, but what the public is actually getting is simply a re-badged service provided by BT.
The BT infrastructure is antiquated and decaying, virtually on its knees from years of under investment, yet being milked dry by greedy BT accountants.
UK customers in the meantime are being sold services by unscrupulous suppliers who’ve probably never been near a phone exchange, let alone have any network of their own.
But let’s just put the subject of BT’s steam-powered infrastructure to one side for a moment, I’m worried that BT may well be tilting the tables even more in their favour.
Imagine this. You own the exchange where all your competitor’s connections are housed. Who would know if you simply unplugged them for say, two minutes every now and then?
BT’s service wouldn’t have to be that good if the competition’s kept going off line, would it?
Sad to see Microsoft’s Chief Software Architect, Ray Ozzie leave the company this month. Ozzie created Lotus Notes, then Groove, which Microsoft bought out.
Ozzie was one of the good guys. Highly talented, well respected and Cloud orientated. Uniquely capable of filling the vacuum left by Bill Gates’ departure.
I doubt there is anyone following trends today who doesn’t accept the Cloud as our future. Nor who doesn’t realise that the restrictive and expensive desktop’s days are numbered. Anyone but Microsoft, that is.
I can imagine the frustration he felt as he battled against the cash-cow culture prevailing in Microsoft and its obsession with extracting every last penny from its customer base.
Ozzie was a CloudÂ visionaryÂ and tried to steer the desktop-obsessed Microsoft that way. Does this mean that Microsoft’s recent “we love the Cloud” stance is discredited?
Well, here’s my two-cent’s worth…
Have you ever been caught short?
I guess we’ve all had a moment like that sometime. Whether it was finding ourselves short of cash for some unexpected expanse or just needing to find a toilet. Fast.
Two entirely different situations, yet they both share the same need to be resolved quickly. This is the whole point about services. And that’s value – the value they are to you.
Like buying a bottle of wine at your local shop, finding you’ve no cash and being charged a fee for using your card. Or the 50p charge for using a public toilet, when its free at home. That’s what I mean by value to you at the time.
Imagine a friend loaning you Â£50 to pay an unexpected bill. You’d pay them back – and may be give them a Â£12 bottle of Scotch for helping you out. That’s appreciating the value.
I wrote about Wonga when it first launched and got a lot of abuse for endorsing a product with such a high interest rate. But it seems that I wasn’t the only one who saw the value. Wonga’s just won a string of awards, like a Webby for their website and for their service.
Wonga are a great bunch of guys as well – So well done and good luck for the future!
A cryptic question for you. When’s a webpage not a webpage, or a browser not a browser? The answer of course is when its not doing its job properly.
The web’s big thing is that it began standards-driven and is constantly refined over time. Whatever you want to code, there’s a right way to do it. If you don’t stick to this, that’s OK. But don’t expect anyone to read your content or use your browser.
HTML as a markup language does its job pretty well. Everything works as it was intended, which considering how much is there and how long its been going is amazing, really.
Sometimes someone comes along and for whatever reason, decide to do their own thing. But world domination aspirations apart, Whatever you view and wherever you view it on, you’ll see what the author intended you to see.
Microsoft screwed everything up with Internet Explorer. It used unbelievably sloppy coding. But they finally fixed it and with Version 8, its not too bad. But then along comes Opera.
So how does Opera manage to get everything so wrong?
Imagine this scenario. You’re living in a nice house, but the window frames need replacing.
You have a good look round and find a new window company offering you a great deal. Lower maintenance, more light, much better looking and adding more value to your home. Your neighbours down the road have switched to them and really love them.
But your window cleaner doesn’t want you to have them. So he says no.
What, he’s your window cleaner. You pay him to do what he does. He’s actually saying no?
You’d fire him, wouldn’t you. No way you’d accept a decision of yours questioned like that. But if he’s your IT outsourcer, that’s exactly what he thinks he can do. And you let him do it.
An outsourcer wants to make money from supporting you, I don’t have a problem with that. What I have a problem with is anyone trying to hijack your company’s future.
Its funny how tech just sneaks up on you. You saw all those people wandering around like a mobile version of the John Lewis electronics section and thought to yourself “Not me”.
Then one day you get a PC. And a phone. Next, you upgrade the PC and that iPhone or the latest Android’s looking good. And netbooks are pretty cool. Suddenly, you’re a techy.
Welcome, my friend. To the machine.
Everything goes well until you begin to create data on this stuff. A document on your PC, email attachment on your smartphone or that spreadsheet from accounts on your laptop. Now you’re in trouble.
Well, I’ve found just the thing for you…
No, come on, think about it. Is the PC dead?
Yes and No. Ages ago, experts proclaimed the end of the PC and long live the X terminal. Yet it never happened. Why?
Because applications still needed to be run on the PC as the network infrastructure was not up to delivering them across the wire or the air. Servers didnâ€™t have the capability to run hundreds of users.
But now things have changed. Networks are faster and have greater reach, online storage is a reality and readily available and applications run from servers. Google Office anyone? So why do we need a PC?
Here’s an interesting news item for you. Zopa has just grabbed 1% of the UK loans market. Now if you’re still brushing off the dust from the banking collapse and looking around you, you’ll be seeing a very different landscape.
The old banks are still shell-shocked and fumbling. But the new guys, leaner, more agile and more innovative are pulling the financial carpet out from under their shaky feet.
I’d just finished writing about Metro Bank and saw the Tweet about Zopa’s market share. And that news got my interest.
Zopa is a loans provider. But instead of just reselling finance at a stupid rate from some finance house, Zopa connects people with money to lend to customers who want to borrow. That’s called Peer to Peer lending, or P2P if you prefer cryptic sound bytes.
It may sound a bit left-field, not something that many would bother with. But consider this. Zopa has now arranged Â£100 Million of P2P loans for their customers.
Now that’s serious money. Maybe Zopa’s worth a closer look…