Sunday, April 27, 2008
Some observations about the shark attack that happened in southern California a few days ago.
1. Reports of a shark hunt for the offending animal. What?? How does this help? Why bother? Its not like your looking for a murderer here - someone who broke the law by killing someone. We're talking about a shark. An animal who attacked a swimmer looking for a meal, not with any intent against the individual or mankind. Freakin' stupid.
2. Lifeguards close beach, post no swimming signs and attempt (and fail) to keep surfers from the water. What, is the ocean now more dangerous after the attack? Seems that it was more dangerous before the attack. Having spent a fair amount of time in the waters off California, everyone knows the sharks are there. Especially when their main food source (seals) are there. I've thought to myself several times as I'm headed out into the break that I'm entering a while new realm in terms of food chains, and I'm not exactly on top of the pile in my current situation.
3. Kudos to the ill fated swimmer's friends for immediately pulling him from the waters. Some of them were 10-20 yards from him when it happened and instead of thinking about their own hides, they quickly pulled him to shore. I know my personal desire for self preservation is pretty high, and I think what they did is exceptional.
We take risks every day knowing both the dangers and the rewards. The fact that there's a downside shouldn't keep us from taking those risks and behavior in that direction leads down a path I'm not interested in taking.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Sun has been bothering me for a while. Ok, since around 2000 when they bought Cobalt. Around the time of the first dot.com crash, Sun hasn't done too well in terms of stock price, yet sales have been pretty decent.
Still, Sun bothers me. What's their problem? Why the troubles? Did the stock ticker change from SUNW to JAVA really matter? And Schwartz as CEO - was that the right choice?
Then I got to thinking about the hardware business in general. Does specific hardware really matter anymore? Are we more interested in the cloud, or do big machines still matter?
Sun is where Apple was 15 years ago. The hardware is crap - lets call it a commodity. Software? Sure Solaris is nice - but wouldn't Linux or BSD also work as well? Who would really notice a change? We're talking servers, not desktops, and Linux rules the roost here. Yet Sun has some interesting software in its portfolio, which begs the question - why not split into two different companies? One hardware and the other software?
10 years ago people thought that Sun should buy Apple. Seeing where Jobs has taken Apple, we can see what a disaster that would have been. Nothing that is Apple would have happened with Sun at the helm.
Sun has a lot of potential, but the lack of direction and vision continues to hold it back.
Its kinda ironic with the name of Sun since they're been living in the shadows of giants for most of their life... Perhaps they should just chance the name of the company to JAVA too.(?)
Frankly I'm amazed that they're still around. (images of SGI come to mind)
A good friend of mine who's a big PC guy recently bought his wife a MacBook and despite my lack of pressure on him, he's converted himself to the way of the Mac.
Now he's put his beloved PC game machine for sale so that he can switch to a MacBook Pro. (!)
I think Apple should implement a 30 day trial program like we do with MailFoundry products. Once you get the product in the hands of your target customer, its highly unlikely that they'll send it back. (provided it actually works)
I always say to prospects at trade shows that despite all the great things we say about MailFoundry at the show, I don't expect them to trust what we're saying. After all, as the saying goes, "How do you know when a sales guy is lying? His lips are moving!" In the anti-spam appliance world, everyone makes bold claims, but our customers rave up and down that we're the only company that actually delivers on its claims.
Our competitors have recently been doing everything they can to keep from going to a head-to-head customer trial with us. I hear all sorts of stories about how a certain company who was recently acquired by a big router company immediately slashes their pricing by 50% when they hear that MailFoundry is the other product that they're going against. The irony is that the message they're sending to the customer is exactly what we want and plays into our hand every time.
How well do you think Microsoft would do in head to head customer tests against Apple products? How about Ford against Chevrolet or Toyota?
If you fear your prospect's doing hands-on testing, perhaps its time to consider an alternative career?
Ok, I'm a Star Wars fan. I'm an Indy fan - and I'm a Tom Clancy fan, so there's no surprise that I enjoy Harrison Ford's acting. I've met him at EAA and he's a hell of a pilot.
But there are times when he should just be the reclusive guy that he is.
Doing a demonstration where you get your chest waxed to illustrate the "pain" involved in harvesting trees? (note how I didn't say, "deforestation")
These Hollywood types are all kinda fruity I guess. Shame to see Harrison is foolish to do a thing like this.
Now quite sure how this is good for the cause, but I'm sure it makes sense to him.
Friday, April 25, 2008
On Drudge this morning (well, morning here in London, late night back in the states) there's a headline that reads, "Microsoft earnings decline 11%; Concern about slowdown..."
I wouldn't judge the state of the US/World economy on the economic performance of a company who is trying to operate under a total dog of a product.
Its like judging the US economy in late 50's based on Ford's sales of the Edsel.
Friday, April 18, 2008
A few notes : first class service on Northwest is not all that bad. I think Virgin probably kicks butt comparatively, but since I got the upgrade for free, I'll take it all the same. The seat/bed was worth it as I arrived in London bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready for action.
While AT&T claimed my phone would/should/did work, it really didn't want to work at all today. I didn't trust any electronic foo that they were doing from the US side of the pond, so I stopped into a mobile phone store and purchased a pay-as-you-go TMobile card that has decent per minute rates, but really scores with a good data plan. Unlike AT&T/O2 that's gonna charge me per KB transferred, this plan maxes my daily data charges at $2. (1 pound)
Upon arrival back to the hotel, I fired up ziphone, unlocked/jailbroke the phone, switched SIMs and boom! I was up on TMobile. It was about that time that AT&T asked me to try again with their SIM, so I switched and low and behold, now the AT&T/O2 SIM worked as well! I need to re-lock the phone and see if it still works, but I find it interesting that it worked right after I unlocked the phone. (until then it would just scan for networks, and regardless of what I picked, it wouldn't work)
So, I've got the best of both worlds with a SIM that is my usual phone, and when I'm needed a lot of data, I can swap out to the TMobile SIM and pound away all I want at rates WAY less than AT&T's data roaming.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
So, I called AT&T yesterday to add international roaming/calling to my iPhone and since I'm within the 90 day "hold" period, they had to ask me some questions pertaining to my past credit history. No biggie, I said, fire away...
First question - what county have you lived in sometime in the past 8 years? None of her 3 possible answers were applicable as I've only lived in Brown county. (her possible answers were for counties in other states mind you)
Second question - what vehicle lease/lending firm have you had a vehicle from? Again, none of her 3 possible answers applied. Now I comment to her that 1) none of her possible answers seem to apply to me, and 2) why are we bothering moving forward since all my replies (by default) we be "wrong" on her side.
But, alas, she charges forward with a third question, and yes, you guessed it. None of the answers applied to me.
Again, I state that there's been some mix up because her possible answers aren't even close to being an option for me. Especially the one about what COUNTRY did I live in from 2001 to 2003? Yeah, I really liked that one.
So, then she informs me that I didn't answer the questions correctly (no kidding!!!) and she would be unable to add international calling to my phone. Regardless of what I'm telling her about the screw up, she's just moving forward like I'm talking swahili or something. (don't get me started on her ability to accurately speak the english language ..... grrrr....)
Regardless of what I told her, she just kept pressing on. Neither caring or even trying to put me through to someone to help me.
Amazing, just amazing.
Every day I run into things like this I sooo appreciate the customer support team we have here at MailFoundry. Customer service IS a huge competitive advantage and makes all the difference in the world.
Geee, I wonder why 1/4 of all iPhones aren't with AT&T. Hmmmm....
I'm headed to London this week, and while AT&T wrestles with the ability for my iPhone to work over there (more on that in the next post), I did a SIMunlock on my iPhone yesterday and POOF! I'd bricked it.
It was at that point that via Google I discovered that Independence wasn't the best tool to use, but alas, I was already down that road... I ended up using Pwnage to put a new (clean) 1.1.4 firmware back on the phone and once I restored from backup, I was back in action after about a half an hour of sweat. (note - hours after I fixed my iPhone, a new version of Pwnage was released)
I'd really like to use TMobile when I'm in Europe, and after talking to a guy at RSA last week it sounds like I'd like TMobile here in the U.S. as well.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Sunday, April 13, 2008
I was surprised today to see one of the big ore ships coming down the channel this afternoon. I didn't have a decent lens handy (or a decent camera for that matter) so I grabbed my binocs and my trusty Canon point and shoot and did a poor man's telephoto.
In the foreground you'll notice the ducks in an open pool of water. All day long there were thousands - dare I say tens of thousands of ducks in all the open pools as far as the eye could see. Diving, quacking and generally seeming to have a good time all around in the sunshine.
What you can't see are the thousands of diver ducks out there in the open pools.
The ice can't squelch my excitement for the winds we're getting this week before I head to London. They've posted gale warnings for 40 knots both days and I can't wait to open the sailing/surfing season in Sheboygan on one of those two days.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Can't say that I was too thrilled to arrive back in town to snow on the ground, but nature redeemed the day with a sweet sunset.
There's still ice on our shoreline due to its thickness and if you click on the image you'll notice out on the horizon a white line of ice that's on the other side of the bay due to the NE winds.
The sailor inside of me examined the conditions as I drove down the hill towards the house and had it been at least 5.0, I think I might have suited up and gone for a few runs.
Yeah, I'm that desperate.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Friends of mine and I have been commenting the past few weeks about the real possibility of strong April snow storms with the way the weather patterns have been setting up lately in the upper midwest.
Well, we got what we thought we might. MSP is getting something like 6-10 inches of snow today, and Green Bay is gonna skate by with around 3 inches.
I'm posting this at 2am PST time in San Francisco because my 8:20am flight to MSP has been cancelled due to the storm and the rebook is for Saturday morning. Total bummer, but there were a few meetings this week in SFO that got messed up and now I can at least work those in on my extra day (and night) in SFO.
At least on this end of the country the weather is simply delightful with mid 70's temps and sunshine galore. Perhaps I'll just stay here for a few days while everything gets sorted out. ;-)
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
The night before I left for San Francisco, the ice had really moved out.
But this morning my neighbor sends me this photo. The ice being back is one thing, but the fresh snow on the ground is just salt in the wound!
I think I'll stay in San Fran a little while longer. ;-)
The the past two nights, this guy has been buffing out the glass at the Apple store on Market Street in San Francisco. Now I know that with the economy, oil costs, etc. that the cost of goods are going up in some sectors, but have glass prices suddenly gone through the roof such that it would make sense for this guy to hammer away for days instead of just replacing the glass?
I'm sure to someone this project makes perfect sense, but at what cost?
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
While spring is starting to kick old man winter back north of the arctic circle, we still have a while before we're able to have ice free water in the backyard.
As you can see here, the white in the satellite photo is the ice that's currently in the bay of Green Bay as of today. The whole lower bay is chocked full of ice, and the northern line is almost a direct shot from Washington Island to the west side.
The fisherman off of the house claim 9+ inches thick about 3/4 mile from shore and near the shore its easily 14-15 inches thick.
On the plus side, this morning there was a sliver of open water about a mile offshore.
So, if you need any ice for your drinks, let me know as we'll have plenty around for a while. (sigh)