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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hey, You Never Know

Finally I'm feeling like I may be on the right timezone. Not that it helps much, I still needed to be awake early for the UK guys and to try and help out wherever I can. Friday in the US is slightly less busy than in the UK from a work perspective. This is mostly down to the travel requirements of a country that's so big. Most people that I've been working with don't live in New York - although the majority are in NY State - and some of them are up and down the eastern seaboard. This means they have flights or trains to catch to get home for the weekend and so most of what can be done is done by lunchtime. For me, not having to travel out of the city and having got as up to date with everything as I can, it provides a welcome afternoon off and a chance to get out and see some of the city. If I wasn't so tired I'd have gone downtown to the southern part of the island to have a look around, but I have the whole weekend, and there's plenty to see and do in midtown and the park, so an afternoon of trudging the streets and sussing out which shops will need a visit over the next couple of days is ideal.

I've also been given loads of tips of things to see and do, so a little planning for the weekend fills the rest of the day. Being a Friday, I should really be out late and partying, but being both tired and on my jack jones I'm quite happy to settle down and veg out for the evening.

Dinner - now, I have to explain that Burger Heaven provides what I can only describe as the best burger I have ever eaten in my entire life. I could wax lyrical about the tasty fries, or the succulent meat, or I could invent new descriptive words to explain how the lightly toasted bun combined with the perfectly melted cheese provides a tastetastic infusion of tastebud conglorirousness or I could just say that was flippin lush!


And I haven't mentioned the chocolate milkshake! Admittedly it's a heart attack on plate, but what a way to go! This is not and never could be even close to being as bad as anything MacDonalds could turn out even on their best day. It really is heavenly and so the place is perfectly named. There's 4 or 5 of them in Manhattan, and if you really want to experience a burger - that's the place to go. I might try for a second visit before I return to blighty, if my body allows it, but I better make sure my travel insurance will cover the CPR and cost of heart bypass first.

The other point of note is the New York State lottery - Megamillions. For the last two or three days it's all that the locals have been able to talk about. And in typical American fashion it is the biggest lottery in the entire world. It's a rollover, which in UK Lotto terms would mean as much as £70 million ($100 plus million) - but no, not in this country. It stood at $640 million... Over half a billion dollars!! I mean... Feck! That's a lot of money. And you don't have to be a NY resident to play, or even an American. It's a dollar a ticket, so I bought 4 luck dips - or quick picks as they're referred to here.


Sadly, I'll have to go to work on Monday, and won't be buying a private jet to go home in, but as they say in their advertising - Hey, You never know. If I'd won, as a non-US resident I would have had to have given up almost half of it in taxes, so it's probably just as well, I mean - $250m isn't worth getting out of bed for... Is it? :-)

Weather forecast for the weekend looks damp... :-(

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Happy Birthday Smudge


....and sure enough, 5 hours later I'm wide awake. I should be passed
out asleep having had so little of it I've the last couple of days,
but body clocks are far more complicated than that.

Today is daughters birthday and to be honest I am gutted that I'm not
there. At least I was able to spend 5 minutes on the phone with her.
I'm sure she'll have a great day regardless, and she has a couple of
surprises that Mrs G will bestow at the appropriate moment. Hope they
save me some cake...

For me though, I'm back in the office using my persuasiveness to get
stuff organised for Pooh and I and paying attention to what is going

Next week, Pooh's holiday begins, and I'll have to be managing the
European team while I'm still in the US. This will mean early starts
and the US team will having late finishes. I can see a weekend of
sleep in preparation - not the most fun in the world, but this is work
and not a holiday after all...

And with that in mind - an early night beckons. The draw of the city
makes this almost impossible, so here's what The most beautiful
station in the world looks like first:

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A written response...

Well, I know a little bit.... But don't tell anyone....

Here's Wednesday's thoughts - which started very shortly after Tuesday's thoughts had dozed off. Namely at around 3am, and then 4am and finally having given up all hope of getting any decent sleep, 5am. The only difference to this 5am compared to yesterday's 5am is that this one is EST. I suspect the lack of sleep is a combination of factors. The timezone being one of the more pressing ones, closely followed by the copious amounts of delicious coffee, and the lack of comfort in knowing that Mrs G and daughter and safely tucked up. Of course, they are both safely tuck up, it's just I'm not there to know it, and naturally I miss them both.

I have found something to have my first whine about in the nice little hotel. The WiFi connection is just a bit rubbish. Now if ever the was a first world problem, then that would be it. Still, I get a great connection in the office and I can cope being disconnected, just would rather be able to send stuff back home whenever I want.

So a couple of hours in my room before heading out to the office. I brewed coffee (not as good as I could get on the streets) and had a call with Mrs G, and then got some UK work done with Pooh including a good catchup on the phone. It's only three or four blocks (a block being about 1/20th of a mile or 264 feet - or 80 metres for the Europeans among us**) to the office, so a short walk, but there's plenty to see, and retail opportunities aplenty. Coffee for breakfast (while my body is expecting lunch), a Panini for lunch (body says dinner) and as for dinner.... Well I have to finish work first. And there's the rub. There really is a lot to do. We've been in back to back calls discussing what should be in this huge basket of stuff were preparing and realising what is or isn't actually included. It's hard slogging work, but useful, and while I don't pretend to know what it all is, I do at least know a little bit more than I did before.

I was also quite pleased to have been able to persuade one of the members of our team to write something down. You may think this is of no consequence, but try as I might, I can think of very few instances of him ever writing anything of note. This has lead me to surmise that writing might actually be a problem for him - but it's purely supposition and probably unfounded. One of the other members of the team asked me if I'd stolen this individuals laptop and written the message myself - so its not just me that's noticed his lack of ink (or equivalent) to paper (or equivalent)

Anyway, call after call after call meant that we finally left the office around 7pm. Instead of getting caught by the bright lights for the second night on the trot, I was persuaded by a couple of colleagues to get a traditional NY Pizza and a couple of beers. As a result, I can recommend "John's Pizza" on 44th Street, just off Times Square. Finally crashed around midnight with hope of sleeping to a sensible time on Thursday morning... Alas, that was not be.

The view from the office is window is stunning. But instead of that here's a view looking up Madison Avenue from the south east corner of Central Park - or thereabouts...


** Note that these are estimates of the distance based on a sampling of a few people that should know, but the distance varies.

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Don't ask me... I know nothing..

I don't know....   I just simply don't know.   You want to know what's going on and I really don't have a straight answer for you....

It's been a while since I wrote, and that's due mostly to the lack of stability of late I think.  It seems I need to be in a routine to be able to write consistently and that's just not been the case. And the way things are going, it's probably never likely to be either.  So instead I have to adapt to writing whenever I "get a few minutes".

So let's start with today - being Tuesday.  Started off early (5am GMT) with a lift from Gunny to the airport. And why would I be going to the airport on a work day? Well, because that's where the aeroplanes are - and specifically an aeroplane to take me to New York.

Yes, Pooh (who regular readers will know as the badman) has officially got the band back together and he and I are working on yet another deal with our colleagues from across the pond in the good old U S of A. 

True to form and just like on the last one, he's managed to book his holiday perfectly coinciding with a requirement to be in the states and so it has fallen to me (in my role as right hand tigger) to roll up and tell everyone in a loud voice that "I am not pooh!" - a fact that not everyone agrees with, but those that don't, know very little about much of anything. I am actually quite good (so not pooh at all - do you see what I did there?) - especially at telling people what pooh & I think of them without them getting too irate about it.

After a rough and bumpy ride, I arrived in Newark a little after midday and made my way to the ground transportation to find a cabby who was happy to relieve me of the best part of $100 for the privilege of a lift into Manhattan. I'm no ensconced in a "business hotel" which is extremely practical, and generally warm and friendly. All the amenities seem to be up to scratch and as yet I've found nothing to grumble about. 

A conversation with Pooh and a catchup of my emails left me with the feeling that I really don't have a clue what's going on and I might just end up walking into the office on Wednesday morning to a firing squad. With that in mind, I decided instead of having a look around the city, I'd show up at the office and bite the bullet ahead of schedule. In retrospect, this was a genius plan.  I'm now much happier with the situation - have laid out some of our grievances and laid the groundwork for expectations for the rest of my trip. As a result, there is much to do - but possibly not as much as I'd originally feared.

It's also worth sharing a little gem that I have learned in my time - that the unseen ogre, often turns out to be a pussy cat when encountered face to face - and that has proven to be the case yet again. The team over here experience exactly the same problems that Pooh and I experience over there. We're really not that differ at all, and in many ways we're very much the same.

In short, my early trip into work was time well spent and Pooh would be proud. There IS still work to be done, but we have an understanding of sorts.


Back to the hotel by 8pm EST (meaning I've been at this for almost 20 hours straight) and I need to get something to eat with a beer chaser. However, this didn't go particularly to plan...  Like a dumbstruck rabbit tourist caught in the headlights of Times Square I wound up just wandering and staring open mouthed at the bright city lights and not finding a beer at all.  In the end it was a slice of takeaway pizza (nothing like an English takeaway pizza) and back to the hotel to collapse into a fitful sleep....ZZZZZzzzzzz

For those of you that were hoping for a movie review or two - never let it be said that I don't provide.  Here's what I watched on the plane...

A Night To Remember - The original Titanic story based on the book by Peter Lord. Probably not the right selection to be watching whilst travelling over the Atlantic ocean, and even more so when it's so close to the 100 year anniversary of the tragedy that took place on April 14th 1912. However, in my opinion it is far superior to the James Cameron 1997 version. 9/10

Moneyball - Brad Pitt and the Oakland A's. This tells the story of baseball general manager (Bobby Beane) and his selection of the team that broke an old baseball record of a 20 streak of unbeaten games. The selection of the team was based on a mathematical formula created by an accountant and brought back to life by graduate. Some marvellous sports based drama which doesn't really require a huge amount of knowledge on the subject. Also includes some great shots of Fenway Park (Home of the Boston Redsox) which provides some sort of personal synchronicity for me having spent my lat US trip in Boston and knowing a little tiny bit about "The curse of the Bambino". Overall 8/10.

Until tomorrow....

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Google Wave Sunsetting in 2012

Dear Wavers,

More than a year ago we announced that Google Wave would no longer be developed as a separate product. Back in November 2011, we shared the specific dates for ending this maintenance period and shutting down Wave. Google Wave is now in read-only mode. This is reminder that the Wave service will be turned off on April 30, 2012. You will be able to continue exporting individual waves using the existing PDF export feature until the Google Wave service is turned off. We encourage you to export any important data before April 30, 2012.

If you would like to continue using Wave, there are a number of open source projects, including Apache Wave. There is also an open source project called Walkaround that includes an experimental feature that lets you import all your Waves from Google. This feature will also work until the Wave service is turned off on April 30, 2012.

For more details, please see our help center.

Yours sincerely,

The Wave Team (Waving Goodbyeeeee)

© 2012 Google Inc. 

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Posterous has been acquired by Twitter

Posterous Spaces

Hi Golfy,

I’m thrilled to announce that Posterous has been acquired by Twitter!

The opportunities in front of Twitter are exciting, and we couldn’t be happier to bring our technology and expertise to hundreds of millions of users around the globe.  Plus, the people at Twitter are genuinely nice folks who share our vision for making sharing simpler.

Posterous Spaces will remain up and running without disruption. We’ll give users ample notice if we make any changes to the service. For users who would like to back up their content or move to another service, we’ll share clear instructions for doing so in the coming weeks.

You can find more information answers to other questions you may have here.

Finally, I’d like to offer thanks to everyone, especially those who have been with Posterous since day one. The last four years have been an amazing journey. Your encouragement, praise and criticism have made Posterous better, and I really appreciate everything you’ve done.

Thanks again and I look forward to building great things for you at Twitter.

- Sachin

Posterous Spaces loves posting for you!

Post now by emailing »

Attach photos, music, video, documents and any type of file. We take care of the rest.

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This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Big News!

So there's Big News over at - the home of my blog.....

Who knows what the ultimate implications are for both Posterous and Twitter users, but I can see how if you wanted more than the limited number of characters in a tweet, Posterous could fill the gap...   Time will tell.

In other news...

Thinking about Due Diligence and Orals - or Aurals ...  it's the first days racing at Cheltenham today....  and my iPad is "in-transit".  
Happy Days.

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The next round of iDevices

So here's the short version of Apple's announcement from its new CEO Tim Cook, today...


Apple have defined the Post-PC world, and is defining the Post-PC future too with the iPod, iPhone and iPad.  They're now selling their wares through 362 retail stores worldwide and in Q4 of 2011 these stores had in excess of 110million visitors.  

They've sold 315 million iOS devices, with 62 million of them being in Q4 2011. Siri now works in French, German and Japanese as part of iOS 5.1

The App Store now holds 585,000 apps and the 25 billionth download was in China. iCloud has 100million users and now supports Movies in the cloud. 

Apple TV
iCloud now supports 1080p Movies. The new Apple TV supports that. There's a new UI, with photo streaming and recommendations based on your viewing habits. It's priced at $99 and is available next week. 

15.4 million were sold in Q4 2011 (HP sold 15.1 million PCs in the same period). It's less than 2 years old and everyone loves it. It has over 200,000 apps designed specifically for it. So what can beat an iPad2? The New iPad!

A Retina display (2048 x 1536 pixels) over a million more than a 1080p display. 264 pixels per inch. 44% better colour saturation. 
The A5X processor. Quad-core graphics. Fastest iPad yet. 
iSight Camera.  The 5 megapixel camera just like on the iPhone 4S. 
1080p video recording. Includes video stabilisation and noise reduction. 
Voice dictation. A Mic key on the keyboard enables English, French, German and Japanese support. 
4G LTE. Faster network connection where available - and I have to stress that "where available". For my money this is the weakest feature because the network providers either don't provide these speeds or charge over the odds for using them. LTE isn't generally available I the UK. It will run as a personal hotspot though - much like the iPhone 4. 
Battery Life. 10 hours on 4G. 9.4mm thick and weighs 1.4lbs

$499 for 16Gb, $599 for 32Gb and $699 for 64Gb (WiFi)
$629 for 16Gb, $729 for 32Gb and $829 for 64Gb (WiFi & 4G)
Pre orders now, available in both black and white from March 16th. 

There's also a raft of software updates for "The New iPad" including...

iWork - free upgrades if you've already bought them or $9.99 each otherwise. 
GarageBand also has updates including iCloud integration. Available today. 
iMovie. New story boarding and editing facilities. Free upgrade or $4.99. Available today. 
iPhoto. New to the iPad. If you've used iPhoto before then you'll know what this is about, if not you're in for a treat. New effects, multitouch editing, beaming photos across devices, brushes, journals. The "reinvention" of the iPhoto application.  Supports up to 19megapixel pictures. All the editing features, cropping, straightening, enhancing, white balance and red eye are still here, plus area exposure and saturation controls for specific portions of a picture. Journals is like an automatic scrap book builder for your photo collections. It's $4.99 and available today. 

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

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