E-tales: Animal magic keeps corporate creep at bay

Tips on how to transform your own cubicle from grotty to fabulous

Very early technology

One of our e-talers sent us this little nugget, which prompted a LOL. “After having dug to a depth of 10 metres last year, British scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 100 years and came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 100 years ago.

Not to be outdone by the Poms, in the weeks that followed, Australian scientists dug to a depth of 20 metres, and shortly after, headlines in the Aussie newspapers read: “Australian archaeologists have found traces of 150-year-old copper wire and have concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech communications network 50 years earlier than the Brits.”

One week later, Maori TV reported the following: “After digging as deep as 30 metres in his backyard in Te Kuiti, Hone Waiata, a King Country kaumatua, reported that he found absolutely nothing. Hone has therefore concluded that 300 years ago Maori had already gone wireless.”

Not sure of the UK source, so please forgive our lack of attribution, but this was so amusing it begged inclusion.

Wacc! Bif! Pow!

The telco arena can get pretty heated at times, according to one of our e-talers, who has witnessed many a confrontation between the major telcos. Not surprising really, with all those dollars being transferred from consumers’ pockets to the telcos.

But we digress. Our e-taler says he particularly remembers a series of Commerce Commission hearings on apportioning TSO costs. This featured the contentious issue of Weighted Average Cost of Capital, or WACC.

Listening to the squabble, all he could picture were squabbling clones of Donald Duck, yelling Wacc! Wacc! at each other. Last month’s discussion on broadband development was a bit more constructive, but our e-taler noted another unfortunate acronym: the arena for future debate has been christened the Broadband Industry Forum. BIF!

We’re sure it won’t come to that.

Spinning Gen Y

Do they really exist? Gen Y that is. It’s a moot point, but an important one as several local ICT conferences have been devoted to how to attract them into ICT work. But now it seems they might not actually exist as such.

A recent analysis by international psychometric company SHL, involving 3,500 tests on candidates, has “revealed that an individual’s generation has no influence on the way they behave in the workplace”.

SHL’s Australia/NZ director of professional services delivered the unsettling news during a recent Auckland media address.

So, is this generational division really just a PR creation? Well yes, if it allows us a punny headline.

Animal magic keeps corporate creep at bay

Wood-grain walls and stuffed animal heads — not real — a medieval torture chamber (possibly very real if the boss gets too nasty), a coffee geek who has installed a commercial-grade espresso machine, along with top-notch coffee and “a tip jar and open-door policy… to keep my co-workers happy and caffeinated’ — all these are examples of customised cubicles.

Check out the inspirational Life Hacker site — which also provides tips on how to transform your own cubicle from grotty to fabulous — for pix of some really groovy corporate work-boxes whose owners are determined to rise above the grey grind. Find them at: http://lifehacker.com/364380/coolest-cubicle-contest-part-two

Lego weapons fire-up fans

There are a couple of truisms: Lego just goes on and on, and on… and, when it comes to guns, boys never really do grow up.

This is evidenced by Boing Boing recently featuring “Brickarms”, a firm which makes real-world weapons for those little Lego men + the little soldiers + their accessories + their weapons packs. Really, it’s an obssesive’s delight down at Brickarms.

And the comments posted: “I want human-sized Lego weapons”; “As a child, I always wished that Lego would come out with some grenades for my dudes to throw at each other”… and so on in similar vein.

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