SQL Server in sync
When Microsoft's global third quarter results were announced, we couldn't help but be tickled to discover that the growth figures for its SQL Server database in New Zealand were exactly in line with global figures. Worldwide, SQL Server achieved 16% growth over the past year. In New Zealand, the uptake figure for the database was also 16%. It's good to see that Microsoft NZ is such a microcosm of Microsoft worldwide.
Strike forehead with keyboard
After swapping some RAM out of his Dell PC last week, an E-taler was startled to get a startup error:
Press F1 to continue or F2 to begin setup
Grocer's apostrophe strikes again
It maybe getting away from IT a bit but, following our sighting of a grocer’s apostrophe — the placing of an apostrophe where none is needed — on the Ministry of Education’s website (E-tales, July 18), we at E-tales felt we should keep readers up to speed with other errant apostrophes and the like featuring in a couple of other electronically-delivered ministerial press releases.
On July 20, Trevor Mallard’s office gave us a grocer’s non-apostrophe in an email: "National has promised to keep funding for education at this years [sic] levels.” The errant usage even gets a green “grammar-checker” underline from Word – but we never quite trust those, do we? Word suggests we substitute "this years level" or "these years levels". At least it knew something was wrong.
Then, on July 23, came an announcement of a new early-childhood education centre. Mallard’s office told us the centre would “operate as an all day service [should we be picky about the absent hyphen?] for 50 children including spaces for children under two year olds.”
Could this be Labour's approach to trimming early education costs — stack the kids two-deep?
Follow the white rabbit
TED — the Technology, Entertainment & Design conference, which is a sort of G8 for ideas and was attended by the world's biggest brains recently at the UK's Oxford University — has a reputation for crazy ideas. But these ideas are the sort that the Wall Street Journal says have a tendency to turn into the Next Big Thing — or perhaps next tiny thing as, in the case here, we are talking a white rabbit. But not the one that disappeared down the hole to Alice's Wonderland, although it sounds a bit like it. This one is a little wi-fi rabbit whose ears light up and swivel round, and which will allow users to "communicate via objects" to the internet 24/7. It will talk to you — read you the news or your emails, or whatever else you might wish. Mind you, the rabbit doesn't have to be a rabbit; it could, for example, be a talking coffee table. Maybe we are in Wonderland? After all, Alice in Wonderland author Lewis Carroll did teach maths at Oxford.
Next Big Thing — the smallest thing
Another crazy idea put up at TED is actually an extension of an earlier crazy idea that worked — the Grameen Bank, which makes tiny loans to poor entrepreneurs, many of them village women. Priceline.com's Jay Walker, who made billions from the website that lets customers name their price for anything, now wants to get mobile phones into the hands of 20 million of the world's poorest. This might sound a tad unlikely except GrameenPhone, a branch of Grameen, has already made headway in telecomms for the poor, by getting phones to 95,000 Bangladeshi village women, who now sell-on phone services to others, making a tidy living in the process.
To speculate on other possible future "It" technologies, check out the UK Observer news story online.
Marketing and the 100-plus-percenter
Satire can be deeply satisfying as an E-tale staffer found this week when coming across one that pricks the marketing-speak bubble as applied to careers rather neatly.
The next time you are asked to give more than 100%, just remember this little formula, says our staffer:
If A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z is represented as: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.
H-A-R-D-W-O-R-K 8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%
K-N-O-W-L-E-D-G-E 11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%
A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E 1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%
B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T 2+21+12+12+19+8+9+20 = 103%
And, look how far ass-kissing will take you.
A-S-S-K-I-S-S-I-N-G 1+19+19+11+9+19+19+9+14+7 = 118%
So, one can conclude, with mathematical certainty, that while hard work and knowledge will get you close, and attitude will get you there, it's the bullshit and ass-kissing that will put you over the top!