What is the secret of happiness in techland?

Delete all emails, seems to be the answer

Customer service from dullsville

One of our E-talers recently received a 3am, heart-in-the-mouth phone call — that happens when most of the family is in the UK. So, was it an emergency call? No, it was his partner’s bank or the bank’s call centre to be exact, calling his partner about, well… not much, really.

“It’s 3am!” exclaimed the stunned callee. “We’re in NZ.” No response. “It’s the middle of the night here,” she told the rocket scientist on the end of the phone. More nonplussed silence — the concept of time zones obviously being a leap too far for Johnny No-stars in Milton Keynes or wherever.

“Can’t you just send me an email?” our callee finally asked. “Nah, can’t do that,” came the reply. “We don’t have email, only internet.”

Power debate heats up

Making a point about the relative costs of power in infrastructure, APC NZ country manager Andrew Kirker chose as a metaphor the current uptake of heat pumps in the household. “There is a phenomenal difference in the cost of running different brands of heat pump. You need to drill down into the detail. It’s a 10-year proposition.”

The reality was, he told a recent CIO lunch, that if everyone in New Zealand had a heat pump, the country would run out of power.

Clear as SOA

Once upon a time there was a company called Apple which made it part of its mission to bring simple technology to the world — as well as making truckloads of money in the process. Well, it seems we may have returned to those pre-Apple days if a recent SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) advert in CIO magazine is anything to go by.

The WebMethods advert starts with: “The world is turning to SOA”. Really? And goes on to helpfully describe SOA as, “a paradigm for organising and utilising distributed capabilities that may be under the control of different ownership domains.”

Clear as mud, as one might say, or, in this case, as SOA.

The secret of happiness

We have just had the Dalai Lama visit us here in Godzone, with his thoughts on the secret of happiness, but what about the secret of happiness in techland? Delete all emails, seems to be the answer.

The UK Guardian reports that US blogger Fred Wilson has achieved tech nirvana after declaring himself “email bankrupt” — deleting 2,000 unread emails and “starting over”. Fellow blogger Jeff Nolan, in a burst of similar anti-email zeal, then did the same, but went one better, declaring he was going back to voice communications.

Just for the record, the Dalai Lama also thinks happiness is to do with simple things, namely leading a warm-hearted life (voice communication has it over written communication here), along with nine hours sleep a night — so, no more late-night emailing or blogging.

Godzone, slow as zone

How do you describe those many users who still live with unsatisfactory internet bandwidth here in Godzone? “Dial-up users” doesn’t quite cover it any more — people can have an “always on” link and still be dissatisfied with download/upload speeds.

The word “served” appeals to some: a recent email to one of our E-talers was headed: “Remote and underserved broadband”. The touble is that rapid readers, like our E-taler, often miss the first ‘r’ and think, “Why do these folks not deserve broadband?” Why indeed.

It’s not quite dyslexia, but there must be a name for it. Maybe we can get a grant to alleviate the problem — or would we be seeking a cure for journalistic cynicism?

E-tales notes there is some new light at the end of the broadband tunnel however, with TelstraClear announcing it is investing in a new $1.2 million Motorola Advanced Provisioning System (MAPS) platform, which will deliver a 25Mbit/s broadband service to lucky Wellington and Christchurch cable customers by the end of the year.

Let sleeping Vikings lie

I thought this might be way too girly for E-tales, given that most of our readers are male, but some of the chaps around here have babies at home… and there a baby screen-savers, huge baby photos, et cetera, so this flickr photo, which features a mini Viking boy sporting Odin headgear is par for the course around our office. Any lass sporting a Brunhilde helmet has probably got an interesting future too. Brunhilde was the beautiful Amazon-like heroine of ancient Germanic literature who vowed she’d only wed a man who could surpass her in strength.

Should you wish to make woollen helmets for your own mini Vikings check out Bella’s Knitting site and her amusing blog. (Hey, sailors used to knit!)

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