Endeavour? You can’t be Sirius
One of our e-talers recently experienced a touch of déjà vu, with the announcement that “Endeavour, Greentree’s longest-standing [New Zealand] reseller has joined forces with GlobalTech, Greentree’s newest reseller — to form one company.” (Greentree sells financial software).
“The bigger bolder ship will be called Endeavour,” the announcement continued breathlessly.
The nautical metaphor was the obvious way to go here, but, unfortunately, it reminded our e-taler that the last good ship Endeavour to sail the software seas — a huge computer system and business re-engineering exercise involving State Insurance and NZI — sank in late 2004.
A bad omen, one would have thought. Perhaps GlobalTech should have picked a more modest moniker? Incidentally, the original Endeavour project used software from the UK’s Sirius, named after the brightest star in the constellation of the Dog.
The wreck of the original Endeavour wasn’t Sirius’s fault, but “Ouch”.
Lighting-up with wi-fi
It’s what we’ve all been waiting for: the “Wi-fi Detecting Light-Up” T-shirt and it comes to all you ultra-nerds out there — and here at Computerworld, too — courtesy of Think-
geek.com. Apparently, the tee displays the signal from the signal from 802.11b/g with glowing bars on its front that dynamically change as the surrounding wi-fi signal strength fluctuates, according to Thinkgeek, which adds, hopefully, that “geeky chicks [will] swoon at your presence”. You wish — see “charm story” below.
Thinkgeek also instructs buyers on how to wash their wi-fi shirt, advising them to unplug the battery pack and remove it, before gently washing the shirt. Washing? We thought that’s why black tees were invented: no washing needed. However, it’s a snip at US$30 (NZ$39).
Oldest blogger topped
You’d think at 95 there’d be no competition to one’s claim to be the oldest blogger. But no, Maria Amelia Lopez is not the world's oldest blogger. Olive Riley, a 107-year-old Australian great-great-grandmother, is now the current titleholder.
E-tales checked out Olive’s blog and we’re of the opinion that, fun as it is, the blog, called “The Life of Riley”, is more the work of “her friend, international film-maker Mike Rubbo, and based on his interviews with Olive”, as the man himself says. Still, it’s worth checking out, and Olive’s on YouTube as well. It’s certainly a novel marketing idea.
In contrast, Amelia got us with her very own first blog words: “Today’s my birthday and my grandson, who is very stingy, gave me a blog.”
She also describes herself as probably “the oldest social activist in the world” — having been a socialist since age 16. And she also tells oldies: “Get your act together…Don’t take pills and fall asleep in the armchair.”
Geek charm school
It’s a perennial lament — geeks don’t connect. With people that is, not IT. But E-tales reckons a British idea, a charm school for geeks, might help.
A “charm academy” for IT students is being created by a government organisation, e-skills, in conjunction with 13 universities and software company Microfocus, reports The Times. It is the result of employer complaints that many IT graduates aren’t socially potty-trained — they want their geeks to be able to talk to clients as well as be tech whizzes.
In researching the topic, which E-tales feels has its dubious side, we turned up a great geeky website, called “The Simple Dollar”, which reviews that golden oldie, How to Win Friends and Influence People, and critiques the whole social charm topic, too. For instance, it says networking sucks — what about real friendship-making? But the site has some good tips for the introverted on how to make small talk — yeah, you may really hate it, but sometimes you just gotta connect.
MySpacers see the deathside
American kids seem to be getting wise to the realities of military life. Wired blog recently reported on a wonderful rant by frustrated US Navy recruiters, describing the MySpace generation as a "somewhat alien life force", with a language and lifestyle that's almost unrecognisable to adults.
They navy boys also complain MySpacers are so "coddled" by their parents that they're, basically, unsuitable for military life.
E-tales thinks the young guys have already decided on that one, given that the propensity to join-up among the so-called "millennials" has dropped to 3%, down from 26% in 2001. Apparently, one reason for their lack of keenness is the Iraq war, and perhaps not wanting to come home in a wooden box.
It seems the MySpacers are not so spaced out they can’t see the deathside of the gun-happy profession.