Saturday, August 28, 2004

The good news: I will be done the Knowledge Management "novel" of an assignment on Tuesday.

The bad news: The Knowledge Management "novel of an assignment is due Tuesday.

I've got a bunch of links, pics and stuff to post but it'll have to wait until Wednesday. Until then, enjoy. Old buddy Nolan got this one in:

Understanding Engineers - Take One

Two engineering students crossing the campus when one said, "Where did you get such a great bike?" The second engineer replied, "Well, I was walking along yesterday minding my own business when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike. She threw the bike to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, "Take what you want."

The first engineer nodded approvingly, "Good choice; the clothes probably wouldn't have fit."

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

for those of you still looking for housing in Pforzheim for the cuming semester (and understand German), check out this housing site. Thanks to Frank who got this in.
for those of you still looking for housing in Pforzheim for the cuming semester (and understand German), check out this housing site. Thanks to Frank who got this in.
Canadian athletics might be getting alot of attention on how few medals we are winning at the summer olympics, but the true shame is how poorly we're doing in the anti-Olympics! Here's a site that shows the current leaders by country of doping cases at the Olympics. Sadly Canada is not yet on the list although I'm sure we all have HIGH hopes :-)
There's a change going on at Fox Online. Originally they had a great video website with great content, I especially liked the "extra" clips from "The Best Damn Sports Show". Well that site is now dead (I removed the link from my links list) and replaced by a new Microsoft service. I hope the new service is just experiencing growing pains because the content is watered down and the business and technology news consist mostly of NBC news clips. Boo-urns.

Friday, August 20, 2004

EuroRoss has now lived to it's 500th post. Cheers to 500 more! :-)

The last 3 or 4 posts on Mark Cuban's Blogmaverick site (now on my blog link list to the right) have been pretty informative, expecially his take on the state of American basketball and the parallel to Canadian hockey in the late 1990's.

World Hockey Championship watching kicks off tomorrow in Koln with Germany versus a depleted Russian team... Go Germany Go!!

Note: Alot of the NHL players have or will sign with european teams for the upcuming season if there is a lockout. This is great news for me since I'll hopefully get to watch some of them in the German league although most are signing in their home countries of Sweden, Findland, Russia and Czech. The others (Canadians and Americans) seem to be deciding on swiss teams, specifically Davos because of their inclusion in the Seingler cup. If that happens we'll have our best NHL players playing for Davos AGAINST our canadian team in the tournament! That sux, but at least Marco Sturm has signed with Inglostadt here in Germany.

I love Bill Murray. He's freakishly funny and shows he's multi-dimensional (Lost in Translation was amazing). Here's a trailer for his upcoming movie "The Life Aquatic" that looked like a stinker, until I saw the trailer that is!

Wow, back from an amazing trip to Paris and EuroDisney, awsome! We hit all the biggies in Paris after an all night bus ride Monday night (cheaper than the train, 65 euros roundtrip) except the louvre that for some reason is closed ONLY on Tuesday's. I wish I could remember the name of the restaurant I went to that night because the wine was a'flowin and good times abounded :-)

Wednesday checked into Val D'Elysee in Disneyland (impressively better than I could ever have imagined putting an even bigger smile on my face considering the package price I got it for!) which is a 5 minute free bus shuttle away from the EuroDisney gates. I'll be posting a bunch of pics next week when they get back from the developer and so I'll spot those posts with comments but EuroDisney in three thoughts: smaller than DisneyWorld Florida, some great updated rides, great overall package value :-)

Needless to say I'm glad to be finished my marathon of travelling from the last three weeks which has semi-effectively kept my mind off some pressing matters as well as impending schoolwork deadlines (can anyone say knowledge management?!?!)... or am I (I leave tomorrow to watch VFB Stuttgart kick some as in the first round of the pokal in Mayer and then off to Koln for some partying and the World Championship hockey preliminary round, Germany vs. Russia... SWEET!!

Life just keeps rolling on! :-)

Some net notes:

The case for linguistic determination, the hypothesis that the language available to humans defines our thoughts. The more I travel and the more people I meet the more I realize the truth of this statement even to the point that language affects not only thought processes but manurisms, charater and beliefs. As my cross-cultural professor always says "language IS culture!"

How's the local public restroom? Go find ratings of washrooms from around the world. Looks like there's no problem in Antarctica, I can't wait to go there!

These types of errors happen all the time and cost businesses billions every year. The more humourous examples usually involve the naming of new products with words that are offensive in other languages. Another potential landmine of market expansion strategy.

Monday, August 16, 2004

What a bunch of fuddy duddies!

"The U.K. Home Office ruled that all new passport photos must show an unsmiling face with closed mouth because open mouths can confuse facial recognition systems. The new guidelines require good contrast between the face and background; the full face looking straight at the camera; no shadows; and a neutral facial expression. The rules will apply immediately to new and replacement passports. U.K. prohibits smiling faces on passports, *The Register*, 6 Aug 2004"

Friday, August 13, 2004

The Metrosexual is a growing trend (much like the hippie movement or yuppie class), but what exactly is a Metrosexual? I would consider a bunch of my T-dot friends in this category, alas I must remain known as an average guy, sports, steak and beer.

Another completely useless thought, I want one of these to play with.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

I felt this article was interesting and thought provoking enough to warrent its own post, revolutionizing the cartoon syndication process. Such a simple idea, but great. The devil is in the details, mainly execution as I see it.
The Friday before leaving for Canada I was able to hit "Das Fest", an open-air FREE concert in Karlsruhe held for 3 days every year. I've never attended before and was fighting off a cold but the lure of seeing "Wir Sind Heldon" (translation: we are hero's, a German band that plays one of my favorite songs, Denkmal) live won me over. Thank heavens I went as it was one of the most energetic and atmospheric festivals ever. It rivalled the atmoshpere of Woodstock 99' that we went to and that was AWSOME (although they totally raped our wallets!). Over 100,000 people showed including a bunch of loonies that bring chairs and huge flags to denote their group and territory on the hill overlooking the main stage. Take a look:

Apparently this concert "outs" some great bands every year and starts their rise to fame. Great music, great food, great price, great times. On Sunday the cold won the battle and I wasn't able to go meaning I missed the surprise appearances of Xavier Nado and Pink. Damn! Apparently they have a surprise guest every year on Sunday which I didn't know about until after, so be sure not to miss the Sunday show next year!

Another cool festival is the Bad-Durkheim winefest mid-September. I went last year and plan on attending fro a day or two this year as well. They've got a quaint but fun keg tapping ceremony (which has almost as many people on stage representing the festival as people watching the opening, most of whom are already experiencing the effects of other "taster" barrels). The festival ending hour long firework show is also tres cool :-)

Of course for traditionalists there's always Oktoberfest! We'll be hitting it on the middle Saturday (Sept 25th) so that we can hit the Avril Lavigne concert the next night, BAM! Shoot me a message if you're interested in hitting the O'fest the same day and we'll coordinate tent location and times :-)

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Wow, over 10,000 km's in 7 days is starting to take it's toll. I still have to fly back to Germany and hitch a bus to Paris and back this weekend... killer! Anyways I got back from P.E.I. yesturday. It was a long 18 hour car ride that did include some interesting stops mainly the magnetic hill (your car rolls uphill without any power), the longest covered bridge in the world and my favorite, a diner break downtown Montreal at Swartz's for some famous smoked meat sandwiches!

P.E.I. itself was ok but the slow pace of life (people walk out in front of moving cars without any second thought of them not stopping) and lack of quality entertainment was starting to take its toll. I can understand the quaint charm that visitors are attracted to though.

Well I'm back online so for the next couple days I'll be hitting the e-mails hard inbetween a steady schedule of eating much missed north american food (translation Tim Horton's, Harveys, BBQ roast, steak and hamburgers) and catching a few new movies that won't be out in Germany for a while (I just saw the Bourne Suprenicy and will see Collatoral tomorrow). So for everyone who's e-mails I've been ignoring over the last week stay tuned!

Some other notes, links and quips from the past week:

The benefits... errr pitfalls of beer. Stevie J got this one in. Actually I've been meaning to post this pic for a while. It's from a great little brewery/pub downtown Pforzheim. Great beer, especially the hefe and they even serve "a meter of beer"! Take a look:

I wonder if these computers, as powerful as they are... I totally forget the sarcastic quirp I was going to write about this link I bookmarked last week :-)

Anyone who's stuck in Pforzheim for the summer and pining for something to do (other than our 40 page knowledge management paper which I haven't even started!) should go check out the open air movie theatre. Some good movies there although a lot of them are original German. There's also another one in Karlsruhe.

Why Blog? I'm not even sure myself but here's an article discussing the pro's, con's and criticisms of Blogging. There was even a recent "Global PR Blog Week" online event that looked at some interesting issues regarding business and promotion practices relating to Blogs.

Sometime your product can be too efficient or usefull thereby providing utility to non-intended or illegal uses. Google does it again.

An interesting post on the effectiveness of group decisions and the overemphasis on the CEO. Some good points but I disagree. Sometimes it takes the vision, leadership and change mindset of the individual to change entrenched institutions for the future.

This website pairs people wanting to take a break from their career with vocations of their dreams to try it out. Looks like the site is just starting up because the list of possible jobs is limited and I was deeply disappointed that there wasn't any management/business related positions, although who in their right mind would let a vocational employee take over management reins at an established company!

As a hockey referee for over 14 years I've always been appalled by the actions of players and coaches alike when they loose control. It's even more amazing when time has shown that it's usually the lower levels and leagues which have the worst problems as opposed to the elite leagues where I would assume calls would have a greater impact on careers etc. Well times are changing! Amazing.

I want one of these. Fun for a day.

An account of having diner with software legend Bill Gates. It also has a bunch of links at the bottom with other people's experiences, it's interesting to see the contrasts but even more interesting to notice a constant theme of admiration. Perhaps the awe of the invited has something to do with that :-)

Finally, this site isn't the greatest [although I'm sure it kicks the pants off EuroRoss ;-) ] but it has a cool title "DrunkenBlog" and a great tag line: "When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." Hilarious!

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

I'm just now getting through most of the critical e-mails and am rewarding myself with some quality online article readings which have been building up over the last week, some highlights and thoughts:

I can't wait until the proclaimed "wireless revolution" kicks into high gear with AFFORDABLE 3G services. Here's a good first step.

The war between Google and MSN (with Yahoo also chipping in) is heating up especially as the Google IPO nears. Interesting developments to watch. As in our presentations I am utterly convinced of the positioning of Google as an online application software provider (taking on the likes of Microsoft) which will transform computing as we know it. No longer will we be buying retail software packages, loading them onto our home computers/laptops and getting updates via the web and new software ever few years. The future is going to bring dummy terminals (in many forms other than strict computer terminals such as PDA's, cell phones, internet appliances and TV's) which access online application software usable straight through your browser and storing your files at the same Google remote location (so they can be accessed like e-mail, anywhere). This system will be subscription based and the software will continually be improved and updated automatically (you pay for the service each month, not paying for a standalone package every couple years).

Interesting, but I still think the criticisms for Google's IPO (no guidance on future products or services etc) are warranted.

Another big issue in the digital world is online music, specifically sales. Right now iTunes and Wal-mart seem to be the frontrunners going forward based on technology integration with the ipod and price point for Wal-Mart. Many small players (Napster etc.) have entered the market and some of the other big online players have been noticebly silent (Amazon). Ebay just made their foray into online music with less than desireable results, has the online digital music market become commonditized, saturated and stagnent already? Is future innovation the solution or even possible?

I never realized that a "blue moon" is technically just the second full moon in one calender month (which doesn't happen all that often) and not actually just a "blue" full moon (caused by ash and dust in the atmosphere giving it the blue twinge).

More to cum...

Update: A thorough analysis on the convergence and digital music themes I mentioned above.

Monday, August 02, 2004

I'M BACK!! After suffering through a slight hangover and multiple delayed flights I finally made it back to Canada for a two week stint. Tomorrow I'll have TONS of updates from the last week and I'll be getting to the mountain of e-mails too so sit tight peeps! :-)