Archive for the ‘Made me Smile’ Category

If I’d known you were a robot, I’d have baked a….

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Little fun story from a customer: A global fund manager. The automation team were up against time deadlines (no pun intended) to automate a “Deceased Notifications” process, on behalf of the UK Legals team. It was delivered bang on time, putting it live in mid January. So impressed and grateful were the ladies in the legal department after the first week of operation that one of them made this cake.

Contactless Payments at Man City

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

My daily newsfeeds bought me some mannah from heaven in the form of news that Manchester City Football Club is going to trial contactless payment technology in conjunction with its season tickets.

Access to the ground is already by contactless proximity card so making the leap to contactless payment is just like Oyster and Barclaycard really.  I criticised that one heavily for lack of ambition which just goes to show the power of fans eh?

I am not currently a season ticket holder at Man City but I do go to many of the home games using my contactless Access Card, where I merely ring up, ask for a ticket and access is authorised.  I turn up for the game and hey presto, my card let’s me in.  I won’t go into the number of times two people have been allocated the same seat but I tolerate this as a “fan”.  If that same access card could be used to buy a beer (for which I tolerate queuing for ages), a pie (ugh!), and my programme this would be great.  I then shuffle my way through to my seat amongst the thronging masses and watch City play out a drab 0-0 draw and go home to kick the cat.

A major energy company in the UK, npower, has a corporate strategy of turning customers into fans – no wonder….  At Man City, I am happy to pay for poor service again and again, and I never ever switch “suppliers”.   Btw, I am an npower customer and sadly I must report that I cannot make a valid comparison since I have never had a service problem with them.

I hear there are similar trials in the US too – I wonder if Man City fancy twinning with the Seattle Seahawks?  They had a service problem at Green Bay in last season’s playoffs – it snowed wildly – home advantage hmphhhh!

Société Généreuse

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Whilst there is plenty of serious coverage of Jérôme Kerviel and his antics, I was amused to see French commentators renaming the stricken bank “Société Généreuse“.

The serious point to me is about governance.  Whether IT systems, banking processes, or capital management, there must always be governance, assurance, security surrounding human activity.  That is not say a lack of trust, far from it.  But there needs to be parameters within which people are allowed freedom to act, combined with systems that prevent them straying outside these, when to do so has such serious consequences on the organisation and its environment.

The larger the enterprise, the more this is so.

IT closing gap with business? Who says?

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

This article was on the front cover of UK journal Computer Weekly this week.  It’s a survey of CIOs on a range of subjects but I can’t help thinking the wrong headline has been picked.

CIOs have voiced their opinion on topics as diverse as how empowered they feel, whether their role is recognised at board level, and how they are now working on projects with more demonstrable business value.  All good stuff and I recommend you read the article.

However, when it comes to whether the gap has been closed between business and IT, surely the business view is at least equally as important (and some may argue the only view) as the CIO view?  In any case, would CIOs paint a picture of discord and things getting worse?

I am not entirely surprised that 94% of turkeys voted against Xmas either.

Giants vs Dolphins

Monday, October 29th, 2007

I was at Wembley last night for the first ever NFL game hosted outside the US and it got me thinking about competition.  It was a tremendous occasion and thoroughly enjoyable.  I guess the Dolphins, who are having a dire season, (an eight game losing streak keeping them firmly planted at the bottom of the AFC East 0-8), had little to lose by giving up home advantage.

NFL Wembley

In fact Miami were no pushover.  Their opening drive, based almost exclusively on an aggressive running game, put them in a promising position only to run out of steam with a 48 yard field too much to ask in wet and windy conditions.


Word play

Friday, September 28th, 2007

Time to lighten up a bit, as I prepare to go off on hols for a few days.

Do you like words?  Have you got a short attention span?  I’ve got a couple of good sites for you, but don’t blame me if you waste half your day… let’s you create new words and humorously define them.

Example?  I added Errordite – (adjective) – Thought to have shown profound knowledge but in the event, proved to be wrong.

Struggling to think up a random werd (sic)?  Try which is a random word generator.

Hours of harmless fun for the litterati (noun - people who consider themselves to be men of letters but actually are rubbish, like me) amongst you.

Mixing one’s metaphors

Monday, September 17th, 2007

Given that one of my big interests outside software is wine, I was bound to find this article by Sam Sethi.

Comparing Microsoft’s strategy to the maturation of a fine wine is one thing.  Doing so in the same sentence as referring to their Windows and Office product range as “cash cows” that are “withering on the vine” is a mixed metaphor too far, Sam!

Pillow 2.0

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

I am putting a business plan together at the moment.  The current draft is labelled Version 1.2.  I fully intend to publish it at version 2.0 so as to gain speedy approval.

If you don’t already read Jeff Nolan you should.  His recent posts on “Bubble 2.0 got me smiling.  Bubble 2.0?  Try Bubble 144.0, (I am trying not to be gross).

Technology is not new – it has been around since man.  Investing is not new either.  As long as there has been a means of trading intangible “promises” such as stocks and futures (and in my country this goes back to at least the 16th century but apparently there is some evidence of commodities futures trading in China 6,000 years ago), there has been the prospect of a decent bubble, driven by human greed, and a propensity to follow the pack.


The future of payments in London?

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

Had to laugh at this announcement from Barclaycard.

The three in one “OnePulse”card:

1.  Chip and PIN card – your regular debit card
2.  Contactless payment card (but only in participating retailers and only in London)
3.  Oyster card (contactless travelcard for the London Underground)

Barclaycard call this “the future of payments in London” which really falls short in ambition for me.

Why can’t I import all that functionality (and more) onto my mobile phone so I don’t need a card at all?  That sounds like the future of global payments.

However, despite this derisory post, I must admit that I will be applying for one, as it does look like the best we’ve got in the UK right now, and at least it means my Oyster Card can go in the bin.  That is, unless Barclaycard have read this and terminate me as a customer! 🙂

Productive use of web developers’ time

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

I can’t stop giggling like a schoolgirl since I found

Soooo much classier than Tiny URL – yeah?

Here is the URL it computed for my wine blog.  I’ll have to go, this has really tickled me….