E-tales: 3G iPhone bloggers’ distress alert?

A WEEK OF IT

3G iPhone bloggers’ distress alert?

News that the 3G iPhone would launch in New Zealand first — a day ahead of the US — got American bloggers all a-flutter, with flight times and stop-overs being posted, along with rumours some US bloggers were planning a 24-hour stint living off junk food as the new phone was launched around the world.

E-tales was writing this before it all happened, but we were left wondering if, in such times of strife, the Red Cross shouldn’t prepare parcels of clean underdaks (if they’re good enough for Dan Carter, they’re good enough for bloggers) and healthy hot soups for the troops in the virtual trenches. After all, there have been those recent stories about extreme bloggers being felled by heart attacks.

• E-tales is actually fairly underwhelmed by all the 3G hype, having looked at Vodafone’s pricing model. An 8Gb iPhone might costs only $199 but the top-line monthly offering of $250 a month for 1Gb of data — for two years! — verges on a financial insult, especially considering a recent Dunn & Bradstreet survey found nearly a quarter of those surveyed expected to have higher debt as food, petrol and energy prices continue to escalate. And, no, it’s not hard to use 1Gb of data, as IT people surely know.

SilverStripe caught with pants down

Fancy a laugh to brighten up your day? Normally, E-tales isn’t in the business of doing a company’s marketing for them, but in this case we were so amused we made an exception. Catch the Wellington SilverStripe boys with their pants down by searching “open source, pants optional” on YouTube.

The video explains how Silverstripe is “empowering its staff” with a “pants optional policy”.

Betting on time

E-tales has been wondering if we’re caught in a minor time-warp at headquarters here? A colleague was tickled the other day when he received an email from another colleague sitting just a few desks away, courtesy of our Lotus Notes email. It arrived marked as having hit his in-box at 9.40am — but this was at 9.28am. So, he popped his head up and asked her: “Wouldn’t have the results of the next race, would you?”

Pity it was just a system blip — time-warp betting would be a real winner.

Gates the pancake-flipper

Did he miss his real calling? As he steps down as boss of Microsoft, a cute little NPR audio broadcast tells how Bill Gates might really have done something with his life and… become a Harvard maths professor.

Back when he was a mere Harvard sophomore in the 1970s, Gates was set a pancake-flipping problem: how many flips does it take to stack a mis-assorted pile of 12 pancakes in size order. The answer, at the time, was two flips per pancake, but Gates helped devise a “5/3rds ‘N’ algorithm” that got it down to 1.67 flips. The solution was even published, in 1979.

Thirty years on, it has since been bettered — by 1% — but it took a powerful computer of the kind Gates went on to help develop to do the maths. His teacher, Professor Harry Lewis, jokes that Gates could have really hit the heights and, yup, taught Harvard maths.

Fiorina to help Obama?

An E-taler’s friend commented that it looks like the US presidential election may be a shoe-in for Barack Obama now that Republican contender John McCain has taken on ex-HP CEO Carly Fiorina as his “Victory Chairman” and possible running mate.

Forgive us if we entertain doubts about the controversial ex-CEO’s ability to improve the US economy. The jury is still out on her performance at HP, which turned in some dismal results in her time but also turned around very shortly after she left. Some say she laid the groundwork for that while others credit current CEO Mark Hurd.

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