Thursday, 26 June 2008

Toy ducks

Short and brief today, lots of things to write about at the moment, it's just finding the time as they are coming thick and fast.

For one, I've got a new job and start there on Tuesday July 1st and for the first time in a long time, I can't wait to start there . . . more on this soon.

Right, food for thought, why are toy ducks always yellow with red beaks?

Sunday, 18 May 2008


Yahoo!, Microsoft and Google seem to be cavorting around the internet playground at the moment like a set of techno bullies. One minute dreaded enemies, the next bed buddies discussing business plans.

As I read last week about the collapse of the deal that would have seen Microsoft buy Yahoo! for an excessively large amount of cash in order to pull its eye level closer to Google in the ever more profitable internet/online advertising world, I wondered how this would affect the long term outlook in this particular sector.

Yahoo! who I have previously written about with their semantic search research and adoption, seem a little lost in this "big boys" battle between Google and Microsoft. Or is that the way they want it to seem? Yahoo! had surprisingly only just recently approached Google as to the possibility of them taking care of their internet advertising, which was a strange request as this seemed their area of greatest contrition?

Anyway, back to the deal of the decade, Yahoo! to be bought by Microsoft, or not as the case currently seems. So what went on, Microsoft went in high, Yahoo! rubbed their hands, well the shareholders did, so they asked for more. After Microsoft had already lost face by going in high, I expected them to meet somewhere in the middle, but instead Microsoft just backed away. Leaving Yahoo! where they were but with a lower share price and Microsoft still having MSN as their search engine flag ship. Google must be chuckling away gleefully by themselves!

But, there has been much criticism made of Yahoo! poor business dealings in not accepting the already good offer from Microsoft and the CEO Wang (founding owner) now is under pressure from his shareholders, it seems, to go. Personally I see this as an interesting turn in events, and perhaps a hope that companies are not all driven by profit focussed share holder boards, although we'll have to wait and see how long Wang holds out. I'm tired of just seeing these global giants just celebrating a massive increase in profits, surely when all of these guys set out they had better objectives than that? Sure they wanted to make a buck, but perhaps they had more interesting goals as well? Or maybe I am just a romantic lost in a world of sales men.

Anyway, when I started writing this entry it was new news, now however it isn't so I am going to draw a close to this particular thought pattern and move on . . . laters . . .

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Worlds biggest killer

For this next post I am returning to something already visited in my blog, road traffic accidents.

This has been brought on by exposure to another catalogue of incidents and I can only see these increasing in our lifetimes.

I was reading one of the Sunday papers the other week and came across an article relating to a WHO (World Health Organisation) report on road traffic accidents that had identified that RTA's were the biggest killer in the world for the age group under 25. With nearly 400,000 young people killed a year it is far higher that AIDS or any other disease and that figure doesn't include those that survive with disabilities.

Later this week I read that one of Liverpool FC's academy hopefuls was involved in a car accident which sadly two of the other passengers died in and one other is still in intensive care.

Then just this morning I read of an accident near my home village that has killed 4 and seriously injured 2 others.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all involved in road traffic accidents and hope that the survivors make a full recovery.

When I had my last accident, a Police office corrected me when I used the term RTA, they no longer call them RTA's but now called them RTI (Road Traffic Incident) which I saw as a positive step. This was because most incidents were caused by something, they weren't just accidents. I don't know the details of either of the above mentioned collisions and therefore I am not inferring anything to those particular cases.

But the two I have been involved in from my knowledge were not accidents, somebody took and action that caused the collision. This action might have been tuning the radio or answering your mobile, or talking to someone in the rear of the car, it doesn't have to be overtaking or some other more dangerous action.

We all seem to think that it will never happen to us, until it does . . .

Cars are inherently dangerous, large over 1 ton objects that can travel at speeds of over 100mph. Would you answer your mobile while pointing a gun at a stranger or look over your shoulder while taking aim? That's effectively what you are doing. I still see some many people talking on their mobiles while driving, but don't worry they're good drivers and nothing will ever happen to them.

Yesterday a watched a women coming through the lights on Eccleshall Road, Sheffield in her large Mercedes 4x4 nonchalantly chatting away on her mobile while negotiating a corner onto a dual carriageway with traffic lights, but don't worry she's a good driver, we're all safe. I see drivers driving down slip roads onto the motorway while chatting on their mobiles, but don't worry it won't happen to them. For want of a better description, all of these people are idiots risking my life and the life of all those around them for the sake of a phone call, yes you madame in your Mercedes 4x4 you're an idiot, you may look smart and intelligent and hold down a cushy job, but to me that's all you are, an idiot.

One of my friends stated something the other day that rang so true that I thought I would share it with you, he said "in years to come they'll look back on this era with horror, I mean what madman would drive around in a metal box, passing other people in metal boxes at combined speeds of up to 120mph with only centimetres between them, protected only by an air bag and seatbelt?"

Pay attention while you drive, it could only be a short time you are in the car, but it could affect the rest of your life and several others that you have never met.

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