Speechless conference

Here at E-tales we are firmly of the opinion that conferences are organised, in part, to rake in thousands of dollars in cash from attendees

IT Crowd tired out already

Have you caught the BBC sitcom The IT Crowd yet? TVNZ have just started screening it and here at E-tales we had had high hopes for it, being as it was penned by Graham Linehan — of Father Ted and Black Books fame.

Both the latter were outrageous comedies. A resident mad Irishman and verbal incontinence also feature in Linehan’s new sitcom, but why is it so tired and stereotypical? Despite its subject, the show doesn’t stray far from Linehan’s previous sitcoms, but is less outrageous. All the jokes are telegraphed miles in advance and so overplayed we switched off. Bring back the BOFH, we say.

Speechless conference

Here at E-tales we are firmly of the opinion that conferences are organised, in part, to rake in thousands of dollars in cash from attendees. But they do also allow spokespeople to espouse points of view in front of an audience of interested folk – analysts, reporters, industry stalwarts, etcetera.

Sadly, it seems we are mistaken about this, however.

The recent Conferenz Tel.Con7 conference (apparently we're required to say that every time we write about any of the Conferenz Tel.Con7 conference goings on) was not keen on allowing journalists to attend its sessions. It was not keen to the point of telling several reporters they weren't allowed to listen to keynote speeches being given by some of the industry's leading lights.

This came as news to the waiting phalanx of PR trolls, desperate to sign journalists up for one-on-one interviews and hand over long-prepared media kits on “What He Said”.

Still, at least this year they didn't try to bill us for reporting on the conference. That’s progress, of a sort.

Fruitful style search

Long ago – back in the 19th century – there was an innovative chap called William Morris, a designer, no less, who said, “Let nothing in your home that isn't beautiful or functional”.

Now, Morris may seem a little far from the world of tech, but one look at Apple’s sleekly elegant products proves the man was onto something. There aren’t too many places where art meets tech outside of Apple HQ, but for the consumer in search of creative tech buys we suggest checking out a quirky, creative website we’ve unearthed: Popgadget.

The site recently featured fruity stick-on-whiteware sheets, one of which is pictured above, that can be used to beautify boring homewares and, we suggest, boxy old PCs. The site showcases a whole host of tech devices that are stylish as they are useful. Check it out at: www.popgadget.net

Laptop cooks up a storm in the kitchen

Women have long opined that the arrival of the first swaddled bundle heralds an increase in feminine multi-tasking abilities. Now, it seems, the laptop has morphed into an aide worthy of the same moniker – and it, too, is finding a home in the kitchen.

A recent study, by digital marketing company Isobar and Yahoo, has found the newer wireless laptops are being toted all over the home and are even migrating to the kitchen. For example, a Frenchwoman quoted in the study says she now calls up recipes she wants online, propping her laptop up on the microwave, and no longer needs bother printing said recipes out.

All we can say is: just remember the hairdryer warning and don’t cosy up to your wireless laptop in the bath.

Text messages no longer just KDS SPK

It used to be that only teens sent text messages. Oh, how the mainstream media loved the little darlings, with their sore thumbs and their TXT SPK. Nobody seems to have noticed that predictive text ruled out such truncated spelling some time ago now.

Nowadays, everyone text-messages – you know a service has gone mainstream life when parents start using it. And, once politicians cotton on, it's gone beyond a joke.

So, it was with interest that we read that East Timor's Nobel Peace Prize-winning politician, José Ramos-Horta, recently used his cellphone for that most ministerial of perks: resigning from his post as Foreign Minister.

Reuters news agency reports that Ramos-Horta used a text message to tell his Prime Minister he was resigning– and received a reply the same way. "I explained myself in a subsequent text message," he is reported to have said.

Just wait until they discover instant messaging.

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