Recently in Mobile Working Category

Its Tuesday, it must be Sweden

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This week I am in Sweden and Finland showing of Microsoft EPM and Visio 2010 amongst other things, this time last week I was wondering how I was going to get to Lisbon.

I didn't.

Instead I delivered two session via Live Meeting to the TechDay conference I was going to attend. Although I really missed the physical feedback I get delivering to human beings I was impressed how our OCS environment was quickly marshalled to fill in the gaps arising from the 8 of us who were 'volcanus interruptus'.

This nordic week promises more of the excellent Bambi steaks!

The joy of apps

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Just a quick blog post to recommend two apps I am runing on my iPhone: a) Blogpress - a useful mobile blog applet suppoting a number of well know engines (including MovableType which hosts the CW blogs) and b) WhatsApp - a push IM tool for iPhone and Blackberry that uses IP and therefore no incremental charges ( except when roaming) other than your data plan and can be much faster than erratic SMS Enjoy -- Post From My iPhone

Location:Heathbourne Rd,Potters Bar,United Kingdom

The law of unintended consequences

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5 days on and with the Volcano still going strong I sit here watching tv today convinced that Microsoft, Cisco and IBM have a once in a lifetime opportunity to push video conferencing like never before. I wonder how many trapped execs are displaced in the world right now - sort of 1st class refugees -- Post From My iPhone

Location:Heathbourne Rd,Potters Bar,United Kingdom

Gordon's Digital Industry Initiative # 2 Mobile Marketing

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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail imageThe mobile phone has become the main means of voice and digital service communication. With 3G services enabling fast transfer of wireless data, mobile marketing is meeting its potential and is being used by marketeers in many sectors. It has moved away from being a supplemental channel to become the preferred way to reach the lucrative youth market.

With less happening at the desk, the opportunity lies in developing location based services that bridge the digital and real world. We see some of this already from parking meter charging to monitoring of heart pacemakers. The next step is in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) location, not just for navigation but sending enhanced hyper-linked targeted local ads using a combination of Cell-id, wifi and GPS.

Interestingly, GIS became part of the national A-level curriculum in September last year. ESRI (UK) and the Geographical Association have launched the first A-level GIS teaching resource created for the UK market.Written by Dr Peter O'Connor, Head of Geography at Bishop's Stortford College and a member of the Geographical Association ICT Working Group, GIS for A-level Geography is available now from the Geographical Association

TechEd Developers - Day 4 - Disaster Zones

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thumb_white.gifToday's first disaster surrounded my consumption last night of cheap red wine on an empty stomach. This combination led to a very restless night and a self-promise 'never to do it again'.

On a more positive front Jim Moffat's blog led me to some important content regarding the recent 'Eagle One' disaster simulation exercise in the Netherlands. The ability to deploy rapidly has proved one key aspect of MS Groove's versatility, this was most widely recognized in the benefits it offered in the aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina disaster.

You can check out a short video describing the success of using a combination of GIS and Groove technology to support this important civil defense exercise below or click through to a white paper on the excerise here. |If you want to read a white paper on Groove and Katrina you will find one here.

Due to my late inclusion to the event team the only available flight back to the UK is at 09:30 tomorrow morning. So there will be no coverage of tomorrows goings on at Tech-Ed and I get an early escape. I hope I am not too rough by the time I reach home.

Is the iPhone democratic?

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The iPhone is a powerful software platform and it appears to be becoming a political platform for the US Democrats in the current campaign.

This terrific report on the BBC on the harnessing of the iPhone for the Obama campaign gives us a hint of how new technologies are changing social, business and political interactions across the board:

'US Democratic candidate Barack Obama is set to turn the iPhone into a political recruiting tool with an application aimed at getting the vote out. 

The software has a "Call Friends" option to help organise contacts in swing states.'

It will be interesting to see how the UK political parties harness 2.0 technologies as we start to get into our electoral season in around one years time.

Getting the work - life balance right (Is RIM ruining our lives?)

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Jim Balsillie presented the 'Blackberry Lifestlye" at a recent conference as reported by, his comments gave me some food for thought.

The RIM vision of a fully convergent mobile device might on the face of it seem attractive however there may be some unforeseen consequences. 

I am no 'Luddite' however we already see many of us constantly scanning our mobile devices for both personal and business content at inappropriate times or in inappropriate places. The danger to physical relationships from an over-burdening access to 'stuff' could go from being theoretical to real.

It is also possible to imagine a situation where (especially here in the EU) network administration disables push delivery of content between certain hours in order to stop enterprise users exceeding strict interpretation of the EU working time directive.

"Key features are the limiting of the maximum length of a working week to 48 hours in 7 days, and a minimum rest period of 11 hours in each 24 hours."

We could end up carrying bricks around for hours per week. Neat.

Mac & Notes 8.5 Beta - first impressions

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thumb_white.gifMy first use of Lotus Notes was back in 1990 with release 2.0. At that time the eight or nine 3.5" disks (I can't remember the exact number) from which it was installed seemed incredibly bloated - so the idea of a 350mb download for the latest full Mac eclipse version would have seemed more than a bit daunting to the Ian of the early 1990s.

I have been using Mac and Lotus Notes since release 6.5, it has been of a bit hit and miss affair and with the UI being a straight port from the Windows client. In this state it seemed more than a bit kludgy and missing opportunities that the OSX UI offered. Lotus Notes 8.5 (Public beta 2) is a massive improvement in the user experience with a contemporary 'Today' like experience which is well overdue. 

From a cold start on my (powerful) MacBook pro it took 1m 40s from start click to user input ready - this, frankly, is not impressive, hopefully the final release will be a bit zippier on start-up.

I only ran into one real problem during my installation which was the 'breaking' of my mail file full text search - which I use a lot - but after deleting and recreating the full text index all was well.

With this version I have yet to experience the random losing of my security credentials, in past versions I was sometimes prompted for re-entry of password on an intermittent basis and this could be very annoying.

All in all my first impression are that it seems like a good release, I now need to look at the new versions of other standard templates to see if they are keeping up with the improved mail experience.

"I Am" Orange - "I Was" Yellow

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thumb_white.gifThey say that nothing is new under the sun. IBM Lotus must be flattered as here in the UK telco Orange is running an 'I am' campaign that could have been inspired by the noteworthy 'I am' campaign for Lotus R5 in 1999 (I wonder who the copywriters were / worked for ?). 

You can see an original Lotus 'I am' ad here and the new version from Orange here.

I noticed the launch of the Orange campaign a couple of months ago and meant to blog about it then as in many ways it epitomises both social and business collaboration... the only trouble is I am really not sure Orange or any of the other mobile telco operators really 'get' collaboration - they seem to be caught between their role as infrastructure providers and service providers with pretty well only enterprise driven solutions or the likes of Facebook bridging the gap.

I am no sage when it comes to mobile operators however with the large scale deployment of new technologies (such as WiMax) these operators are really going to have to pull something more out of the bag other than smooth advertising.

French Letter #7 - Using Web 2.0 to navigate unfamiliar territory

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thumb_white.gif'Allo, 'allo

My vacations around Europe are driven by the use of TomTom. For about 5 years now I have enjoyed GPS navigation to some of the most out of the way places. 

Many European roads during the peak holiday season are empty. With the judicious use of way-points and the selection of 'off motorway' routing it is possible as I did last week to drive through 80 miles of glorious French countryside without being behind a single car for more than 2 or 3 minutes.

For our return we are taking an equally leisurely return route, outward was westerly around Paris, the inward path will be easterly via Aix-les-Bains and Luxembourg and on to Calais.

I decided to consult an arbiter of mapping viaMichelin for a route for my return and then compare this to my TomTom.

What I discovered was that TomTom has a homogenous map of western Europe and routed me the most efficient way to Aix-les-Bains (via Italy), whereas viaMichelin insisted that the fastest route was to stay inside French borders and was around 45 minutes (and many miles) longer and thats without the ubiquitous 'Bouchons'.

It does prove if any were needed as much as we love Web 2.0 features it is easy to be misled by the glitz of some sites.

I do recommend finding the most obscure French hotel / restaurants and using GPS to take you there there are many gems to be found. 

Lets 'Frappé la route'


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