30 June 2005

Swiss Army Knife, 21st Century Style

I was flipping through the latest issue of WIRED magazine and came across a little blurb about a new "Victorionox SwissMemory" tool. It's basically your standard mini swiss army knife - scissors, blade, nail file, etc... only this one also has a mini LED flashlight and a USB flash drive, complete with built-in data security software...

At $157 per, it's quite a bit more expensive than the classic, which will only set ya back $16. But hey, can your classic knife carry 512 MB?

Oh yeah, they've also got a bladeless version for airtravelers. Now THAT is 21st century for ya...

22 June 2005

In Search Of ISO Value

Interesting bit in a recent issue of Inc Magazine, about ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 certifications, particularly for management & creative-type work. The writer basically asks the question "Is it worth it?" and concludes "Well, sometimes... but not always..."

One of the arguements in favor of seeking an ISO certification is that you need to be certified in order to get certain contracts. One proponent of ISO even acknowledges it doesn't make you better, it's just an entry criteria for working with particular organizations.

I'd suggest that if getting a certification doesn't actually help your organization do the work better, then maybe you don't really want to do business with anyone who insists you get the certification anyway (i.e. they want you to do it even if it doesn't actually improve your performance).

20 June 2005

Dancing With Myself?

I want to get a sense of whether anyone reads these postings.

If I'm just talking to myself, I can do that without typing, so if you're reading this, please leave a comment to say "I wuz here"... 'cause if nobody's reading it, I should probably try something else...

08 June 2005

Countering TiVo

So there was a commercial on the radio the other day, for some show (Out West, I think) that some network (ABC?) is going to run on Fri, Sat & Sun. Same show, all three days. The line was "more opportunities for you to watch."

They used to call 'em reruns. Then "encore performances." Now, it's a big favor for the viewer, giving them "more opportunities!" (and everyone loves opportunities, right?). But I think there's more going on here than just clever marketing. I think it's actually about TiVo...

What's the main source of revenue for broadcasters? Commercials. What happens when you TiVo a show? You skip the commercials. Do advertisers and networks know this? Absolutely! So, since they can't prevent you from recording a show & zapping the ads, I think they decided to try to make it unnecessary to TiVo this particular show.

Hey, if you want to watch it but you've got plans for Friday night, no need to record it - you can always catch it *live* on Saturday... or Sunday... commercials and all... Lucky you!

Will it work? Dunno. But I won't be surprised if we see more networks try the "More Opportunities For You ('cause we Care!)" approach in the near future...

07 June 2005

I Want To Google My House

So a weird thing happened the other day. I was looking for something in my house. Something small. My initial instinct was to do a Google search to see where it might be.

Now, that's a pretty stupid thought, right? Google provides access to lots of information, but it won't tell me where the kids have hidden the remote control. At least, Google in 2005 won't do that.

But once everything has an RFID chip embedded in it, then my Wired House Of The Future could theoretically be able to tell me where everything is. So maybe there won't be an RFID in every piece of every jigsaw puzzle, but things like car keys, eye glasses, cell-phones, wallets, remote controls and other small, easy-to-lose objects could certainly have RFID's in them.

And naturally I won't go to Google.com to search for my own stuff... but it's conceivable to have some kind of "MyHouseGoogle" database residing in the walls and keeping track of all the stuff I misplace.

"House Computer - where are my keys?"

06 June 2005

Cone Of Silence

So apparently someone finally developed a personal privacy device for cube-dwellers, akin to Maxwell Smart's "cone of silence." It basically scrambles your voice, so the person you're talking with on the phone can understand you, but the person standing a few feet away can not.

So, where do I get one?