Try the Sneer Test

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

I have been advocating Good Enough technology for ages. I think it is the underlying principle of the so called 'mashup'. I have managed several projects during the last two years which come under this banner. They provide tremendous value to the users, they are agile (ie. quick to get online), and they make heavy use of open source software.

If you want to know if you are going in the right direction then just try the sneer test. Every time I do one of these projects I am:

1. sneered at by the IT community
2. applauded by the user community.

Can you see the pattern emerging?

Commentary: Why "Good Enough" Is Good Enough: "Say you have a crucial conference call in an hour and your phone goes dead. What do you do? A generation ago, this wasn't much of an issue, at least in the U.S. Phones in the days of the Bell monopoly were engineered to be 'mission critical.' You picked up one of those heavy receivers back then, and the dial tone was as prompt and reliable as water from the tap. It worked."

CNET Commentary by Matt Asay
I stumbled across this excellent commentary from Stephen Baker in BusinessWeek on "good enough" technology. It's actually a great foil to an earlier post I wrote on Software as a Service (SaaS).

Posted by Robin Yellow at 14:00 0 comments  

Zongo Umbongo Zonbu

I have ordered a Zonbu and it will be arriving soon. If it lives up to the expectations I have for it then it will make me very happy. If not, then who cares, it is only 125 quid. Read the blog posting below for further info.

Machinist: Tech Blog, Tech News, Technology Articles - Salon: "The Zonbu is the first consumer computer that meets the EPEAT 'Gold' standard, the highest rating given out by the nonprofit group the Green Electronics Council."

Posted by Robin Yellow at 00:14 0 comments  

Tips For Keeping Cool

Friday, 17 August 2007

This is a genuinely useful article about how to reduce your power consumption. It is aimed at the US where most power is consumed during the summer on air conditioning, but the principles still apply here in Europe. Warning: Good practical advice contained within:

15 Tips For Keeping Cool Without Air Conditioning | Cool-Off: "Here are some tips that will keep costs down, and will help you spend the warmer months in much more comfort than in previous years."

Posted by Robin Yellow at 14:58 0 comments  

Linux is the biggest OS?

Although I am using Linux at work for some of the projects I manage, it seems to me that the day when it dominates everything can't be more than five years in the future. I am laying down a marker now. By 2012 everything I will do will be Linux. Watch this space.

Could Linux become the dominant OS? | The Register: "Well Google, for example, builds all its own servers and is estimated to be the fourth largest builder of servers in the world - after HP, IBM, and Sun. It's not the only ISP that does this, but its activity is so great that it distorts the market stats."

Posted by Robin Yellow at 11:44 0 comments  

Photos: Tapping the power of ocean waves

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

I was pleased to see some genuinely new designs and technologies in this photo roundup from CNET. I like the 'limpet' especially.

via CNET on Aug 15, 2007
Among those at the forefront of renewable-energy research are several companies whose aim is to convert energy from ocean waves into electrical power.

Posted by Robin Yellow at 13:24 0 comments  

Find Eco Friendly Water Saving Shower Head

Monday, 13 August 2007

I'm not too bothered about saving water, but heating half the water, now that's worth it.

Find Eco Friendly Water Saving Shower Head -
This innovative showerhead simply attaches to your existing fitting, conserving water and energy without sacrificing pressure. This amazing showerhead not only offers a truly revitalizing shower, but also makes water savings of between 30 and 70%. Its patented pressure technology accelerates, energises and oxygenates the water flow, allowing you to enjoy its massaging, deep cleansing sensation. The showerhead is easy to install onto any shower fixture (comes with hose and fixing kit) and has the added benefit of the manufacturer’s no-clog guarantee. Comes in brushed nickel finish.

Posted by Robin Yellow at 14:19 0 comments