What your hair says about you.

From Wikipedia:

Hair is capable of recording medium to long-term or high dosage substance abuse. Chemicals in the bloodstream may be transferred to the growing hair and stored in the follicle, providing a rough timeline of drug intake events. Head hair grows at rate of approximately 1 to 1.5cm a month, and so cross sections from different sections of the follicle can give estimates as to when a substance was ingested. Testing for drugs in hair is not standard throughout the population. The darker and coarser the hair the more drug that will be found in the hair. If two people comsumed the same amount of drug, the person with the darker and coarser hair will have more drug in their hair than the lighter haired person when tested.

Pitching a blogger?

This post at Down the Avenue really bothered me. The mere thought that someone would have to pitch a well-known blogger to promote an idea suggests that there is an awful lot of power concentrated in a few bloggers.

That’s not really a big thing – after all they’ve earned it. The subtext was more concerning though. If you don’t pitch your idea well, or they don’t like it or disagree with it, then the idea goes nowhere. The idea dies. Or perhaps they provide a negative view multiplied by their influence. That bothers me.

Renee wasn’t happy with the word pitch either, and I’m dying to know why.

Talk is cheap.

I love Tom Peters’ stuff. It is always entertaining and informative, but sometimes it fails to mirror reality. His current rant “CEOs Are Idiots19” comes to mind.

Companies don’t seem about to stop hiring MBAs.

I’ve worked for plenty of companies, and I’ve yet to see one that wants to hire deviants or freaks – they are difficult to manage. Most companies want more of the same generic people who do their work and don’t rock the boat.

I’m definitely a radical and it has merely gotten me restructured – often. It’s my real world experience that many companies do not want to be pushed out of their comfort zone.

Tom Peters is the business guru, so he can certainly say this stuff, and there are probably lots of C-level execs who nod in violent agreement. For instance, David Ogilvy says:

Our business needs a massive transfusion of talent, and talent, I believe, is most likely to be found among non-conformists, dissenters and rebels.

Is he hiring engineers? Mathematicians? Bloggers? Or more advertising people? Does he have a Chief Geek Officer?

By the way Tom on the subject of DESIGN!, this is the web, so why did I have to download a PowerPoint?

Enterprise Mobility Reality

Russ Beattie says:

“Imagine what will happen when corporations realize how important it is for their workforce to have mobile phones, and how much they will benefit from those people have access 24/7 to their back end infrastructure via mobile data services.”

I’ve mentioned my current company, Redknee, before. On their first day every employee is given a mobile phone and a laptop. We do not have office voice mail; after four rings the phone is forward to the mobile, where we do have voice mail. So I am truly mobile and reachable, seeming to be in my office at all times, even if I’m in a meeting or even at home.

To be fair, we create software for mobile infrastructure, so we probably get the value clearly, and we are our own beneficiaries as well, but it is far more forward thinking than anyplace else I’ve seen.

Several people have Blackberries as well, where it makes sense. What I found odd is that people with Blackberries also have cell phones because the cost of the combined voice and data plans were outrageous compared to the deals available for voice and data separately.

A key issue in the way of enterprise mobility is the desire of the carriers to wring every last nickel out of all of their customers, without being able to see the potential returns if large companies provided every employee with a cell phone. It’s even worse in Canada, where every service such as voice mail or call display is an additional charge, and there is a extra $7 service charge per phone. Plus tax of course.

As well, the truth is that not every employee really needs 24 hour email access or a data-connected mobile device given the current cost structure.

Though companies sometimes make some pretty ridiculous choices about about who needs mobile access. I once worked for a medical software company, a nine to five software shop. This company decided that the software project managers needed mobile phones in case something came up. Keep in mind these were people who never left the building between nine and five except for lunch, when everyone else was out too. Yet they were deemed critical.

Short memories.

It seems that if a movie wants to be in contention for an Oscar, then it should be released about two months before the Oscar nominations, as these people seem to have extremely short memories in most cases. I have a sneaking suspicion that the movie industry works that way anyway.

I haven’t seen The Aviator but honestly, if the movie had been released last spring, would it have been nominated? Or even remembered? And does box office success guarantee that a movie will never be nominated?

Browsers and searchers.

There are two kinds of people; those who divide people into two groups, and those who don’t.

Realistically though, there are two ways people look for things. There are browsers and there are searchers.

Browsers will look at the Table of Contents of a book to browse its contents.

Searchers will only pick up the book if it is relevant, and then they will look at the index to find what they are looking for.

Browsing the web is equivalent to walking through the library glancing at the shelves, except that the library add several million books – while you are walking by the shelves. On the other hand, search engines allow you to target and locate exactly what you want.

Blogs are a form of intelligent agent that crosses the boundary between browse and search. Certain bloggers aggregate interesting current and new content in specialized areas, meaning that you can locate desired information, while at the same time become aware of new relevant information. Comments and trackbacks allows that information to be filtered, corroborated, or enhanced. Then the use of RSS feeds let users do a very targeted browse, essentially eliminating all of the library stacks that you aren’t interested in.

I’m a search engine junkie.

The recent Pew Internet & American Life Project report on Search Engine Users found that:

Nearly half of searchers use a search engines no more than a few times a week, and two-thirds say they could walk away from search engines without upsetting their lives very much.

I on the other hand could not function without a variety of search engines and similar tools to work with. About ten years ago I started working with a search engine company and I have since used search engines as my first line of research into pretty much any area. My queries are almost always highly qualified multi-word requests, and I generally find what I want within couple of attempts.

I seem to have inculcated this same method into my wife and kids as well. We are all frequent searchers, and it isn’t just Google, Yahoo, or Alta Vista. For examle, we frequently use IMDB to identify TV and movie actors, and their filmography. We use Amazon to locate books and to shop. After all, aren’t these just another for of search engine?

Clive Thompson at collision detection has made a similar point, though he is a journalist and I am not. The comments about the post seem to reflect similar feelings. Of particular note is a comment that people using search boxes in the various browsers may not be aware that they are searching. Another comment suggests that this could be the result of people underreporting their actual use, or forgetting how may times they actually do searches, much as people understate how much television they watch.

I watch a lot of television, and I also do a lot of searching.