Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Can CIOs count carbon?

No, they can't. This piece by Fujitsu says that they don't realise they shouldn't count emissions by organisations to which they have outsourced their operation. It says that they are 'erring on the side of caution...rather than risk understating the environmental impact.'

I'm more worried that they just simply don't get it at all.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Had the very first meeting of our neighborhood Eco-Team group - part of an initiative by the charity Global Action Plan, in conjunction with the Sustainable Haringey Network. Actually was a pre-meeting, because it was just to arrange dates. Was quick but pleasant - hope all the subsequent meetings are as easy and nice as this!

Monday, October 06, 2008

More climate change scenarios

A Guardian article from Vicky Pope, head of climate change at the Hadley Centre. Technically much more proficient than my humble effort - but primarily about how bad the climate change itself turns out to be, with not much consideration about impact on economy and society. But very good, of course.

Friday, May 02, 2008

What does not kill me makes me stronger

Everyone has a worst nightmare - not something they worry about, but a real nightmare that they have from time to time. Mine used to be the exam dream - you know, you have to retake all your old exams again, and you can't find a pen, and...

A few years ago I stopped having that one, and started having the conference presentation nightmare. You are at a conference and suddenly you are called on to speak, and you have done no preparation at all. I probably have this one because no matter how much I prepare for presentations, I always feel like I haven't done enough.

Last week, at the Sustain IT conference, this actually happened to me. The organisers had contacted me after hearing me in an analysts' round table, and asked me to speak. I'd refused - I followed the subject more as an enthusiastic amateur than as part of my professional analyst responsibilities. They prevailed on me to speak on a panel, and I agreed.

When the agenda arrived I was still down for a forty minute presentation, which by now was on a specific subject -- green procurement principles -- that I definitely knew nothing about. I complained, they apologised and said it would be fixed.

Three days before the conference they were chasing me for 'my slides'. I explained what we'd agreed, and it seemed to go away.

Perhaps foolishly, I turned up at the conference. My name was still on the agenda against the 'green procurement' topic. I spoke to the organiser, who yet again said that this was a mistake that would be explained, and that I would just be on a panel. Fortunately I no longer believed him, and started making a few notes on a scrap of paper. Fortunately, because at 2.40pm, exactly to time as presented on the agenda, the chairman called me to the lectern.

I was no longer utterly unprepared, but as near as made almost no difference. I had no slides, and my notes consisted of a single piece of A5 with four bullet points on it. Considering this, it didn't go to badly. I spoke for twenty minutes, got a few laughs in the right places, and got a decent round of applause at the end. A couple of people from the audience later congratulated me on how crisp and succinct the presentation was.

Perhaps I won't have the nightmare any more. As Nietzsche says (I think), "What does not kill me makes me stronger."

Horrible or what?

A giant rubbish dump of 100 million tons of crap in the Pacific. What have we done?

And more horror here.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Work-Life issues

An interesting spin on this issue - who owns your address book? I read this article in Fortune (not part of my regular reading) a while back (while at MWC, actually) but just re-read it and thought it deserved being blogged.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Nokia Tablet - finally having fun with it!

I've finally started to have fun with my Nokia 770. It's languished in the cupboard for ages. My son was going on a ski-ing trip and wanted to take something with to watch videos on the train down to the Alps. His idea was to take our ageing steam-powered laptop, which weighs about half a ton even without the coal - and whose battery failed years ago, so that it only works when connected to a power supply.

I wondered whether we could play videos on the 770. It only had a 64MB memory card in it, so I ordered a 2MB one from Amazon. The 770 kept claiming that the card was corrupt, even though it was fresh out of the packet. A little web searching (well, it's not as if I've still got the manual, is it?) and I found that the little bugger doesn't support cards bigger than 1MB. Back to Amazon, and I bought a 1GB card - cost 1p, but postage £3.92 - why doesn't Amazon wise up to this sort of thing?

Anyway, the 770 liked the 1GB card, but it didn't like any of the .avi files that I copied on to it. More searching found the media converter that some wonderful Finn had knocked up on his kitchen table. Installed that, and found that it didn't run. I needed some new bit of Java that somehow I'd managed to live without for years. Installed the new bit of Java.

Hooray! Can now convert files, and copy them to the 770. Whole films fit comfortably on the 1GB card, and the sound and picture quality is amazing. In honour of Finnish ingenuity, I made the first film I put on to it Aki Kaurismäki's "Leningrad Cowboys Go America". I am looking forward to taking the 770 traveling with me.

Sadly, all this took too long for son to take 770 on his trip. Still, he'll be happy once he recovers from the dislocated shoulder.