Showing posts from 2012

Loving my Nexus 10 tablet

I've been lucky enough to receive a prototype Nexus 10 a few months ago to help testing. Thank you Google!
And, until recently, I did not float my boat. Why? Well, my Motorola Xoom is pretty good too (and also on a fresh recent Android Build), and it was not very stable, being a new device that is still in Prototype stage.
BUT, this all changed... all except for the Xoom that is still a great device, and now the preferred media player in our house (that also have a Windows Media Center machine connected to the big TV).

What changed? The Nexus 10 got the latest Android bits which is just soooo sweet and smooth, and I'm now allowed to take it out of the office, and suddenly it's real value came to light. Being office bound (and pre-release) just limited the value so much. Now that I can read on the train, and productively clean my inbox AND create content (the keyboard is awesome), craft responses, plan the day productively... it's beautiful. The screen is fantastic. At…

3 favourite gadgets

Right now, my favourite three gadgets are these:

My helicopter. This Syma S107G is incredible because it's so simple to fly (thanks to incredible electronics). It's lightweight and my son and I love to try and fly it around the table and then land it on a small Lego platform. I paid £12. (And then another £60 for 5 more... some of my friends have their Christmas presents ready ;)) It's really an engineering marvel: The quality of design, materials and electronics all really impress. Put it this way: If there was a life-sized version, I would not have hesitated to get in myself.
My new heaphones. After reading this Machable article, I just bought 'em. (I think I was sort of spending my Christmas bonus early, without thinking it through!) But I love 'em. They are really a class *way* above what I'm used to compared to my fairly expensive floor standers and I even prefer it to my Google-issued Sennheiser HD 280 pro cups, and definitely over my Sennheiser in-ears. …

Street view and the Olympic torch

A few months ago, when Google had a birthday in the UK, we had a street view car drive past the office... and capture a few pictures. Well - I'm excited to confirm that it's live. If you play around with street view near our offices, you'll spot us... and the big red pin!

Also, yesterday was pretty special: Amongst other things, I've also had the privilege to hold the Olympic torch yesterday in the office. (Matt Brittin is not only Google's VP for our region,  he was also an Olympic athlete in the past and recently participated in the torch relay, and he shared his torch with us. :) ). Back to business... building our Geo partner eco system, putting partners on the map!

Working at Google has it's perks and quirks!

I really, really value the opportunity to work at Google. It has good surprises around so many corners, and allow us to contribute to making this a wonderful environment too.

So - one of these quirky things I'm involved in, is the Gleeglers. A group of us just sing. And with our new recording studio at Google, we also recorded one of our songs. And thanks to the video editing talents of one of the group, you have a chance to also enjoy this now :)

The tie... that was with compliments of Microsoft-designed advert that felt all Googlers has to wear something like this, so our marketing team issued us with these :)

Promises promises...

The trend these days is to offer a cheap flight, but then demand a bunch of additional payments for "tax", "surcharge", "supplement" and don't forget to pay for the suitcase too. (Oh, and we might even have to pay for the optional seat too, soon.)

There is another way: Include everything in the one price. Google Apps does that. £33 per user per year gives you email. And Google drive. And therefore a great word processor and spreadsheet, and presentation tools. And collaboration. And web sites for intranet and extranet, oh, and internet. And instant messaging. And video chat. And Video storage. And backups, storage, SLA, support.... you get the picture.

And today I experienced another brand doing that: Victorinox. I got a IT branded Victorinox suitcase *many* moons ago (with a firewall appliance in it!), and eventually it started to die on me on a trip with our award-winning partners to San Francisco.
When I started looking at replacement suitcases, I …

Green aeroplanes?

I'm flying around a lot these days (and hoping to reduce it soon). So much so, that I've averaged about a flight a day for the last two weeks, and its not yet the end either!
The good news is that I've spent time with a lot of our business partners and customers, which is always inspirational and rewarding.
The big frustration I recently gained, was that the BA acquisition of BMI means that my air mile "status" benefits shrinks from OneWorld+Start Alliance "status" to just BA "status"... which has a much greater impact on my flying that I envisaged. If only Lufthansa or SAS would be willing to offer me a match... But enough of that.

A recent in-flight brochure had stats about different aircraft in it, and one data point was that the Boeing 737-800 used only 0.028 litres of fuel per seat per km. A quick calculation suggests that this could be as good as 84mpg. Granted, there are a few other issues to consider (most notably not all flights are …

Me, Larry, Sergey & Craig...

Working for Google is an incredible privilege on multiple levels. Smart people, incredible deep pockets, blod goals, big challenges and on top of this a salary and a fantastic work environment.

And the smart people don't stop with people with the multi-coloured badge... I'm also privileged to work with a large group of very talented Google partners too.

On a recent trip to San Francisco with some of our award-winning partners like Folia and Tydac to name just two, I had the opportunity to swing by and attend my first, live TGIF at Google, and what an incredible experience it was! As always, TGIF content is confidential, so I can't say much about it, but the particular TGIF inspired me with just how special the Google culture really is.

And... just top top it off, here is a photo of Craig (employee 003), Larry, me & Sergey!

Low-risk skydiving courtesy of Google

Google Earth is used in a vast array of very interesting applications as it is an excellent tool to visualise your geospatial data with. We've got municipalities mapping all their street furniture and assets on Google Earth, Dell use it to visualise their web site analytics and traffic, Statoil Hydro use it to track their exploration for oil and much, much more...

And then you get some crazy creative uses... like this one.

Xoomerang! Traveling with nothing but the Xoom

Google's Enterprise business had the annual sales conference over the last few days in San Francisco, and I was lucky enough to attend. We got freshly inspired by the new products on offering, got re-aligned to adjust to the changes in the market and got to network with our colleagues from around the planet. It was good.

As I started packing, I was wondering if I would take my MacBook or Chromebook. The key factors were this:

The Mac would allow me to have full access to anything I might need... including iPhoto, Google Earth, contracts that I might need to deal with in proprietary formats etc... but it is relatively big and heavy. I know from past experience, that it becomes a big thing to wedge under the wing while trying to fill up your plate at the buffet, or it ends up being the thing I forget under my chair.The Chromebook would give me more portability, less weight, longer battery life and good internet access without depending on tethering to my Android phone.
So I made my …