Friday, March 30, 2007

Wrong place, Wrong time

This situation is well known to all of us, being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
This poor fella was brought onto bbc news 24 to discuss the legal proceedings between Apple computer and Apple music label, turns out he is a business graduate from the Congo, awaiting a job interview, but had turned up to the wrong reception, and had been mistaken by the receptionist for the wrong man when the call came.
I loooove his reaction when she announces who she thinks he is, has such replay value. He actually makes quite a good job at pretending to know what hes doing.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Pie Charts

I didnt create this pic, its done its rounds on the internet for a while now, but i heavily support its hilarity! Any student in any businessy course will have viewed maaaany boring pie charts in their day. I WILL be using this in a presentation whenever i get the chance

It only a good pass if....

Picture the scene, early on a Saturday morning, me and my friends are practicing basketball in St Andrews. We are playing a relatively insignificant 4 v 4 game, but I still want to win…quite badly. I throw the peerrrfect pass to one of the players on our team, firm, fast and accurate, but he fumbles the pass and we go on to lose the game.
I remember that at the time I was truly furious with the guy and gave him a really hard time over not catching the pass and how it lost us the game. And then as happened many times in my school days, in came the voice of reason Coach Conan Doyle, a constant source of basketball wisdom.
I remember what he said to me clearly, and like most good things in life it was simple and easy to understand and has stuck in the back of my mind ever since. He told me that

“its only a good pass, if the person catches it”
Now on a basic level you may disagree with such a claim, but it really is true and true throughout life wherever you care to take a look. Although in my eyes the pass I had thrown was perfection itself, the transfer of a ball, or of any message at all is only good or effective when viewed RELATIVE to the person who is receiving it.

I was taught that when making a pass in basketball you need to do a few things, firstly make eye contact and make sure the person is expecting the pass, and then more importantly look at what sort of pass suits that person are they a good catcher, can they deal with a ziiinger? When you are part of a team or especially a leader, it is up to you to bring out the best of your team mates, in this case I should have realised that player x, who I knew was slightly clumsy, could not deal with the pass thrown.

A more recent example of this was seen at the SICC conference in Canada I attended a while back. On the first day of the competition we made a presentation about Ireland and business in Ireland, we used 200+ slides in the presentation, sometimes with one word per slide, sometimes just a picture, and the audience (a group of Canadian teens) loved it, they watched the screen and enjoyed the show, we had made a pass that they could, and wanted to catch, and it was understood and fully received.

Three days later in the finals of that competition, having seen the initial success of our first outing we made a presentation in a similar style, however about a more serious subject, to a group of financial officers at Scotiabank… they weren’t feeling the vibe as much, and decided that watching the slide show wasn’t for them, so by not keeping the receiver in mind, our pass was bad because they couldn’t/wouldn’t receive it.

I think this simple lesson can be applied to most things in life, and it comes down to just thinking a bit ahead and looking at who the receiver is, and will they be able to catch your pass.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Madison Square Garden

Madison Square Garden really is a pretty cool place, i have never been in a place that held sooo many pissed off New Yorkers. The game was pretty great until half time, and then the Mavs pulled away and essentially whomped the Knicks with a Texan hammer.
Me and Enda started up in the nosebleeds at the very top of the arena, but at half time launched a bit of an assault on the lower seats. We took some back stairs down to the lower section and walked around frantically looking for seats, we tried one place but the guy sitting near the seats said "hey guys i used to do this too when i was a kid..better luck next time"....oh noooo, so we kept walking and found some seats ridiculously close to the court in the second section so about 12 rows back. But then the rightful seat owners came back after about 5 mins and we got escorted out of the fancy area by security...yay. Back to the cheap seats for us. then near the end we sneaked back down to the good seats again because all the LOYAL New Yorkers decided to leave. Don't know if the pics can convey it, but it was sooooo sweeet.
Seeing a NY Rangers game tonight....gooooo hockey

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

New York, NY

central park is ...cold

subway is..nice

Monday, March 19, 2007

Sicc 2007 - summary

Well the results are in and unfortunatly team ucd didnt place in the top 3, so we were down there with the rest of the bottom feeders! Team hong Kong came out the winners and i must say it was entirely deserved, and they really have a much greater grasp of finance than most.
However although we did not win the competition, i really must say this has been one of the most exciting and important experiences of my tiny little life..

  1. I have learnt how great Canada is. I have yet to meet an unfriendly Canadian, from the airplane to the taxi to the hotel, conference, nights out and everything in between, i have be truley humbled by the politness and hospitality of the Canadian people, to make things weirder im told that the toronto area is considered the least friendly part of the country.... the mind boggles
  2. I have made so many new friends both Canadian and Otherwise in the last week, that i will have friends to visit all over the world for a long time to come, mixing with all the different cultures on the nights out was amazing and, i even got to try out some of my spanish..didnt work tho.
  3. Things 3500 miles away can be very similar, despite having flown for about 10 hrs, things over here are essentially the same. few differences tho... the roads are the wrong way around, resulting in near death several times, the choc bars have stuuuupid names like "oh henry", everything is slightly bigger such as cars, drinks, food in general.

Some things i hadnt done before canada.

  • flown over ice berg filled ocean
  • been to north america
  • been made into a cult hero on paddys night
  • seen people drink at 8AM on paddys day
  • been to a cowboy bar
  • had such a great time

Off to New york tommoro......ohhh yeh

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Canada EH?

  1. emptying pockets and checking thru security 3 times in a day is annoying
  2. flying on Air Canada is a true pleasure, customer servie = amazing
  3. Heathrow sucks
  4. Toronto airport sucks
  5. Flying over the icy bit of the atlantic is cool
  6. There are no real shopping street, they are all in malls out of town (poo to that)
  7. There are sweet cars here (pontic and lincolns)
  8. Delta Armouries hotel is sweet

Monday, March 12, 2007

Irish Times

Odd when you are flicking throught the paper, and you
Times ran a pic today (monday) about the team i'm in heading to Canada for the competition.
Seems we were also in The Examiner and.... metro(booooooo).
Sorry about low quality pic, but the big one is me, i swear

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The cost of living in the Capital

The following statisics were released this year by the Central Statistics Office regarding prices of goods in Dublin relative to the average of that outside the capital. Full report here

Top 5 More expensive

  1. Cinema +20.3%
  2. Ladies wash, dry and cut +18,9%
  3. Salmon Steak +17.2%
  4. Leg of Lamb +16.1%
  5. Pint +14.6%

Top 5 less expensive

  1. Leg of Pork -17.1%
  2. White Flour (self raising) -15.7%
  3. Spaghetti -11.8%
  4. White Flour plain -10.6%
  5. Low fat milk -9.9%

The over all consumer price indew shows that overall, in a basket of 73 products dublin is 3.5% more expensive than the rest of the country

Alex Tew - The Million Dollar Hompage

Attending University can bring with it huge expenses, in part due to the sky high prices of books, materials and living costs, but for the most part the crippling fees are what makes the debt a sometimes lifelong problem. No one realised this more than Alex Tew a 21 year old student about to commence a business management degree at the University of Nottingham. The young man from Wiltshire in England lay in bed one night, jotter by his side determined to come up with an innovative way to raise the necessary finances to attend his desired course, without the hardship of a part time job. After many hours of contemplation, an idea struck him, it was unusual, but it might just work.
Mr Tew had a keen interest in computers and the internet and realised that a simple web page consisting of a 1000 x 1000 pixel grid could solve all his fiscal worries and in fact leave him a millionaire, that is, if he could convince people to buy them at one dollar a go!
He named the site simple as the “The Million Dollar Homepage (choosing dollars as they act as the closest thing to a universal net currency) and launched it in August of 2005, the sites popularity grew rapidly through word of mouth on the net, and at its peak became the internets 127th most popular site (alexa ranking).
By purchasing pixels (minimum of 10 x 10 square), the buyer could display a small graphic of their choosing which would act as a link to their web page forever, and could bring thousands of hits with it. For a mere $100, the site offered the individual the opportunity to advertise to a huge global audience, and also presented them with the chance to become part of web history, as Mr Tew commented "I want it to become a kind of internet time capsule".
On the 1st of January 2006 the last 1000 pixels were auctioned off on eBay raising $38,000, brining the total income to an astonishing $1,037,100, fulfilling Alex Tews aim to get through college, and much more on top of that. Through a simple and novel idea this young man became a millionaire in the space of less that half a year!
  1. It also acts as a perfect highlighter for a few issues
    Customers do not know what they want – not one person would have told you that they would buy a pixel on a web page for a dollar pre The million dollar homepage. Truly great ideas convince people of a need that never existed before.

  2. You don’t need to think BIG to be successful

  3. Necessity is the mother of invention

The Irish take on making money off the web =

3 things I learned this week

Every time you and I get a flight we invariably get the big… long… spiel about how "in the event of an emergency" should we crash into the ocean we should make our ways to the escape funnels in a calm organised manner AND THEN and only then, you may open your flotation device. A little known fact is that in as long as records have been kept on flights, there have been a grand total of ZERO successful landings by wide bodied aircraft on water...stop wasting my time air hostess OR ELSE

In Korea over 30% of the under 18 population are registered for online games. In the same country a month ago, a 28 year old man dropped dead from playing computer for 60 hours non stop, having died of exhaustion, (he was also severely obese)

On the Argos Ireland website, you CANNOT find TVs or Cameras, however you CAN find television brackets and speakers, and a case for your camera. I cannot see the point of having on online shop that excludes a large section of its high revenue stock willingly.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

EH? google, can be wrong sometimes

Im sure that Google have all their search techniques sorted and all that, but when checking my sitemeter refferels list I couldn't help but notice, that the above page (screenshot from bottom of the screen) is quite unusual.

It seems while searching for a rather lude service, in a location that I am well known to despise, gogole search has thrown up my site as the 27th best place on the web to locate "escort girls" in the small seaside town of almunecar....blogging ogne wrong I think

Monday, March 5, 2007

Randy Couture - UFC 68

Tonight I watched one of the greatest sporting moments I have ever seen.....EVER
Randy Couture, the 43 year old 2 time heavyweight and 1 time light heavyweight champion, came out of retirement, one year after hanging up his gloves to go toe to toe in the octogon once again. His opponent was the reigning champion Tim "The Maine-iac" Sylvia, the strong favorite to win and put the old man 13 years his senior back into retirement.

As the match got under way, the size difference was obvious for all to see, Couture gave a good half foot and over 40 pounds to his opponent, but within the first few moments BOOM, couture struck and knocked Sylvia on his ass! The "fight" that ensued saw Couture truly dominated his larger opponent by using his agility to dodge the akward punches slung by Sylvia, and used his superior clinch and wrestling skills to get the big man on the ground.

The match was a perfect example of "Fail to prepare, prepare to fail" Randy had spent the last few months training with bigger opponents and had planned down to a tee what he was going to do and how he was going to do it, and in terms of fitness, he had certainly prepared to go the distance and even as the fight neared its end, his energy was unstoppable, his hunger visible to all.

As the end of the fifth round came about, and the seconds ticked down, the crowd got to their feet and cheered for "Captain America" filling the arena with an electricity missing from UFC of late. The bell tolled, the match was over, at 43 years of age Randy "The Natural" Couture was the THREE time Heavyweight champion of the world and the legacy continues.

The fight shows us more than just a clash of two mixed martial artists, it shows us that no matter what the age, the odds, they hype, the man with the fire in his belly and the work ethic of a champion (did you see the shape Randy was in!) will always win.
"Not bad for an old man, huh?" were the first words out of the new champs mouth, not bad for a guy in general regrdless of age, I say congrats to the man, and long live the reign of Randy Couture, and inspiration to us all

Sunday, March 4, 2007

The Sega days

In the early 1990s Sega held a 65% hold of the home console market with their revolutionary “Genesis/ Megadrive”, the console had a huge array of games and with its (at the time) impressive 16bit technology it won gamers over in their droves. However in 1994 along came the SNES the Nintendo’s answer to the 16bit console, this entry quickly eroded Sega’s dominance and left them much closer to 35% of the market.

1998 saw the release of the Sega dreamcast, Segas last ditch attempt to catch up with Nintendo, and it quickly became the fastest selling console of all time, that was until Sony came in and ruined their party by releasing the “Sony Playstation” which brought gaming to a new level and would change the console landscape forever.

In 2001 Sega decided to depart from the console war and have since become a software development company, creating games for Nintendo’s gamecube, DS and Wii, Sony’s playstation series and also the xbox series.

Despite their fall from grace in the console market we should remember the great games that Sega brought us. My first experience of gaming was “Alex Kidd” which was really great fun, and acted as the companies flagship franchise until the conception of “Sonic the hedgehog”, whose franchise lives on to this day.
Other great Sega games on the consoles were

  1. Virtua fighter series
  2. Golden Axe
  3. Shinobi
  4. Crazy Taxi
  5. Streets of Rage

Michael Jordan sued for....looking like Michael jordan

When we were young ‘uns in fourth year and were all doing work experience, I spent a spell in the four courts, watching our legal system at work. I visited many different courts, including circuit courts, high courts, the special criminal court (the ones for the ‘ra dave) and even the supreme court. My personal favourite however was the Garda compensation court. There is something weird about compensation courts, mostly cause what they are attempting to do is to put a financial figure on an emotional or physical injury, surely no amount of money can make up for an injury or attack. . .right? Well there was one chappy in question, who while chasing some dastardly criminal hurt his knee. This left him with a sore knee and unable to play rugby with his pals as he told, he got awarded €64,000! Which if u ask me is heavily retarded. . .considering he was about 55 or 60 and was some fat old man whose main sporting activities were cow tipping and occasional wife beating. Another man of the law was bitten on the finger while apprehending a drug dealer, ouch! Not when its worth €64,000 though.

However while browsing through the news the other day I saw a story that really took the biscuit, and then ate it. Allen Heckard, a black male from Portland in the United States is taking Phil Knight (Nike Founder) and Michael Jordan to court in possibly the most retarded lawsuit seen by man. Mr. Heckard is looking for compensaton for emotional injury caused by the nasty pair. He plans on taking MJ down for

“defamation and permanent injury and emotional pain and suffering.”

Yeh of course, how dare Michael Jordan have the nerve to look like Michael Jordan! And also HOW DARE HE for becoming the best basketballer of all time!
He is also claiming that Phil Knight founder of the famous brand is guilty of

“defamation and permanent injury for promoting Jordan and making him one of the
most recognized men in the world.”

Damn right too, shouldn’t old Philly boy have checked first to see if any other people looked like MJ, like, it only stands to logic.
Mr. Heckard looks like Michael Jordan alright. . .well. . . kinda, he has a shaved head wears an earring and is quite fit. . .from playing basketball. He claims that when he is out, he is constantly accused of looking like the famous NBA hall of famer, despite being a half foot smaller than him. He is also awfully offended when, even on the basketball court the comparisons continue with ferocious abandon.

“Even when I go to the gym I’m accused of playing ball like him”

THOSE BASTARDS, who asked them anyway, next time someone compares you to the best player of all time, give them a smack and a piece of my mind, I mean that’s just a low blow. But perhaps the most incredible part of the story is the amount of compensation he is looking for. When I think back to the days spent in the four courts, I never really understood how someone could quantify in financial terms what was an intangible emotional feeling. However Mr. Heckard has found the formula for this, and it seems quite simple, I have a feeling in years to come we shall all be using this foolproof formula, and it will improve our compensation system beyond our wildest dreams.Well here it goes

“Well, you figure with my age and you multiply that times seven and then I turn
around and I figure that’s what it all boils down to”

. . . .Right, well, eh, there you go, words of a true genius, and with that formula it of course equals. . .yes, you have it 832 million dollars, believe it or not the poor creature after having suffered years of anguish is looking for compensation to the tune of 832,000,000 dollars, Some may call that ridiculously high, but think of the poor fella, he’s upset!Put in M&S hourly wage terms that’s about 68,954,593 hours of work, or just over 37000 years of working 35 hour weeks, I mean that’s a lot of moula. I’ve worked in M&S for a combined 2 years or there abouts. . . I don’t think I could do it to be honest. But what would I know I haven’t been through the trauma of looking like Michael Jordan.
On a serious note though if this lawsuit was to be successful (although it wont) it would open the floodgate for similar cases and would clog up our legal system full of sick, I mean even in our close circle of friends, Ronan could sue Frasier, Ronan’s dog could sue Frasier’s dog, Manuel could sue Antonio Banderes, Mullane could give Brian o Driscoll a legal dump tackle, and I could sue Brad Pitt, and we’d all be happy. Although an easy solution to this problem could be the introduction of the death penalty for frivolous lawsuits

We should all give praise to Mr. Heckard, the only person man enough to stand up against this type of abuse, he also exposes the weakness in our own sponging system here in Ireland, which need to be addressed urgently, and at the very least we must commend him for trying, and when in doubt quote the magical words “Well, you figure with my age and you multiply that times seven and then I turn around and I figure that’s what it all boils down to” (try your best to shoot that one down lawyers I think you’ll find its iron clad)(also how old is this guy? 832 divided by 7 is 118.85 - how can he look like a 44 year old Michael Jordan if he's 118?)

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Utah Jazz: Old School Basketball

My first encounter with basketball was way back in 1998. There used to be NBA games aired really early in the morning on a saturday, and being a kiddy then and not lazy, I was happy to wake up early to watch it while having my breakfast. The first game I can remember with any sort of clarity was one of the games in the 1998 Finals between the Utah Jazz and the Chicago Bulls, I saw the way the two teams played and their unique styles and chose the guys in white (Jazz) as my favourite team, even though they went on to lose, because they played as a team. (unlike Jordan and his INVISI-bulls)
After that I learned all about the Jazz and came to love them, and although they didn’t have the best/strongest/quickest players, they played so well together as a team it truly was sickening. Stockton, Hornacek, Russell, Malone and …..Ostertag (howd he make it to the NBA?) were a bunch of players that knew the way they played inside out, and it made for some truly amazing moments of team basketball.

“Stockton to Malone”
a phrase used more than any other when talking about the Jazz. John Stockton and Karl Malone typified how the Jazz played,(and have since been honoured with statues outside the Jazz homecourt) nothing fancy, just get the job done, they were the old school, and a dying breed at that. They found something that worked, the pick and roll, and used it, over and over and over and over and over again.
They formed a memorable partnership feared throughtout the league well into their later years.
As I watched the recent NBA allstar game I realised how much things had changed from the days when I started watching bball. Players were jogging up and down the court, throwing up junk and messing about. Whereas if we look back at the Jazz in the late 90s, most of their starters were tattered old men, held together by various strappings, but won games because they identified their strengths, worked as a team, but above all had the PRIDE to push themselves.

Basketball is missing all the above today, with the few exceptions, I think its high time the old school made a return, but it will require a shift in attitudes, from and1 to good basketball.

The Problem with TV advertising

Back in “the day” things were easier, marketing being one of them. It used to be that you paid the big bad tv broadcaster a whole load of cash, they broadcast your message between the scheduled programming, and then…. You sold units and made yourself a bit of money to buy nice things with etc.
The population back then thought “surely any product on this new “television” is superior”, right? Well that was the golden era of when “as seen on TV” made a difference, and people sat at their seats like they were supposed to, and watched your ads.
The problem is, people aren’t playing by the rules anymore, in fact, they are stomping all over them.

Example 1: Take the average household as an example, the ads come on, “oh time
to make tea”, go potty, etc,

So while Procter and Gamble throw millions of dollars at you across the screen to buy their latest product, you remain gleefully unaware of this, and you genuinely don’t care.

Another more worrying problem TV advertisers face is, young people aren’t watching enough TV! Recent surveys carried out at Harris Interactive show that it lags behind internet usage and the trend is only set to continue.

Example 2: Young teen, residing in Sandycove(Dublin), Spends most of his media
time online, Doesn’t watch ANY television, and the shows that he does watch are
taken from online bit torrent sites, which have the advertising breaks taken out
of them

The advertiser can think up the most elaborate campaign to put in between two popular tv shows, and pay the stations the big bucks, but to that individual and many like him, their product is INVISIBLE, they don’t matter, they don’t exist.

So what are the implications for the media? Well if the adverts aren’t working, companies will stop using them, that means no revenue for television stations and in turn no finance for program production. One of the suggested methods that advertising could be conducted is on screen “bugs” that appear in the corner of the screen throughout the broadcast, much like the station logo on most stations, but this time with messages from advertisers. Oh and don’t forget good old product placement!
So the gauntlet has been thrown down, as more and more people move online, and ignore the big box in the corner, the challenge to reach the people and make them play by the rules again begins here.

What do you think, leave a comment or two

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Knock, Knock, Whos there?

I love writing blogs, and I think it really is a great way of getting things out of your head and on to some sort storage before they just fade away into space, never to reappear.
I also love the way that you can spread ideas about whatever, to whoever, at any time of the day. But blogging poses my brain several problems, and I think they are probably common to many writers throughout the entire blogosphere

1. Is anyone reading this? Who? and how many?
2. How do I let people know I have great stuff to say?

The first question has been solved for me by, this site gives you a piece of html you add to your blog, from the time you put this on your page it will show you so many details it will make you cry: the daily hits, visits, average time stayed, where they came from (google, link etc), and how they left. Picture shows how people got to my site
The second site that can show you great detail is Google Analytics. Here, you can get some pretty nifty graphs and tables of where your visitors are coming from like this one
and what the most frequently accesed content on your site is.

Until recently the material on this blog was known to only a select few and had limited exposure, but then I discovered the site "Digg", here you can post your latest story to the site and in a chosen category. Once posted here, you have huge exposure to an audience of like minded bloggers who are looking for material to read. Over the last few days my average hit count has gone from 23 to 75.

So if you want to see if people are reading, and attract more readers have a look at these sites and give them a try.