A tale of a Scotsman living in SW london...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Odd. Not sure why it's done it, but the last post was written on Sunday but it's listed as Friday. Bizarre. Needless to say, I did all that on Saturday!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

It's interesting to see large companies shift focus. For years, Microsoft made their money by flogging Office and Windows to home consumers. But they couldn't expand that any more. After all, once a home user has paid £400 to MS for applications software, they tend to hold onto it longer than a corporate. And they had sold their software to all the corporates who, in the main, saw the software as a basic expense to get the basics (mail, internet, file and print). And it does this pretty well. But the shareholders demand growth along a similar vein to Google, so the business plan needed changing.

Now, they've bought Aquantive. This is a slight copycat purchase after Google had bought Double Click, but this deal dwarfs that one. This a $6billion purchase, compared to the $3.1billion Google paid. And for what? Well, they are buying on of the leading lights in online advertising, respected and with a large client base. Who in turn now have access to the in depth knowledge of the operating system the masses use.

What's the bets on the next MS service pack with a back door for their own advertising? Or firewall rules to block Google's ad's? It's the next big turf war as companies try to expand a portfolio to give them a new stream of revenue away from the core products.

An interesting side show to this story is that Google's purchase needs regulator approval - guess who was shouting "anti-trust!" the loudest???

Another interesting story was the broadband companies against the BBC over it's iPlayer service. The boradband companies (two in particular - Tiscali and Carphone Warehouse). Here's a quote:
"We don't see any reason why some of the cost of transmission over our network shouldn't be paid by the provider of the content. We don't believe that the potential for it to cause congestion is being properly recognised and acknowledged."
Now maybe I'm missing something here but surely the way it works is this - I pay for a broadband service (well, I would if I did, but fortunately my work pays), and there is nothing in the service definition that restricts what you can do with it. Now, some have tier limits and download limits etc - some don't and I'd suggest if your going to be an avid iPlayer viewer you'll need the latter.

It sounds like bleating from the broadband companies - they'll be hit by traffic they've not had before and will have to invest to support it, or people will leave. It's interesting that the two companies in question have questionable support and are aimed as low cost service providers - however it's likely they have a large number of subscribers who want to use this free service. There is a different argument which supports them of course, which says that to deliver the service the BBC need to have a mechanism to get it to people. I don't buy this - nobody even blinked when Channel 4 started a very similar service (although not free, more of their programmes are now free than when they started).

My advice to the providers? Stop your bleating, invest and just support your customers needs. Things will change over the next few years as people start moving towards content on demand, if you didn't see it coming then you need to look at why you didn't...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A decent enough drive up, but with horrible weather near to Worcester it was not the most relaxing drive. The spray was so bad that I came off the motorway early and came in through the back roads. This involves a lot of roundabouts, and experience has taught me that wet weather, roundabouts, rear wheel drive and a powerful engine usually means you'll end up sideways before you know it.

Much amusement.

Busy few days ahead, but with no squash and a 10K ahead I was hoping to get out and try the new trainers. I'm many things but running in the rain is plain daft. It's wet and miserable. Still, in my gym bag I've got my swimming goggles, maybe I'll try them...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Fantasy football team in tatters!

For the record, the team was:

Chimbonda Lescott Shorey
Ronaldo (C) Nani Arteta Pearson
Rooney Berbatov Zamora

Which didn't do that well at the weekend, thanks in no large part to the Spurs and United contingent. So some work has been done, Rooney and Zamoro out (Rooney is very expensive), replaced with Martins from Newcastle and Johnson from Everton. These will kick in just in time for Everton's game tomorrow, so hopefully Johnson will come good for me. Next up is to swap out Nani, he's looked woeful yesterday, but I've used up my free transfers (and paid for another with a point deduction).

Went to watch the second half of the United game in the pub yesterday. One at the bottom of our road used to be pretty sketchy but it's all been done up so we went down. They have more Samsung LCD TV's than Dixons in there - from our seats we could have watched 4 of them. The pub also had the game in HD. This is the first time I've watched a game in HD and all I can say is "wow". It was stunning. The level of detail is unreal, although I don't think it's really necessary to see every bead of sweat. While very good, is it worth the fee Sky charges? I don't think it is at the moment, you pay a lot of money for not a lot of coverage (and they've just put the price up).

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Went over to a BBQ last night with some friends from work. She has a mad dog, a staffordshire bull terrier, who always livens up a night :-)

Discovered my cardio workout yesterday too. How's this sound?
  • 20 minutes on the cross trainer (this I enjoy, it's not too hard but burns a load of calories!)
  • rowing machine (I'm going to hate this thing) - 500m flat out, rest for 30 seconds. Do this 10 times (500m takes between 2m 12 seconds and never more than 2 mins 20)
  • Back to the cross trainer for another 20 minutes
  • The plank
The plank is a killer. It's actually a yoga position where you basically support your entire body weight on your stomach muscles. It absolutely kills and 60 seconds at a time is more than enough!

Good start to the football season, although my fantasy football team needs Rooney and Ronaldo to do some good for me today to bump my points up! Whole team needs tweaking, as you can never tell on day one who's going to be on form or not - Man City look ripe for plundering players from though!