The Yiddish for finger is ‘toe’.

‘I remember the time I was kidnapped and they sent a piece of my finger to my father. He said he wanted more proof.’

En route back from Jakarta I stopped over in Dubai. That place is incredible. Like something from Metropolis. It changes so rapidly, I can’t believe the difference in just over 12 months. It is SciFi with a pulse.

Anyway, I was able to catch up with an old friend I used to play hockey with. I haven’t seen Henny for over 30 years – hadn’t changed a bit. Which obviously isn’t true. Because that would be weird. And I’m 3 stone heavier!

Off to chase up an order for our latest low-cost phone now, we’ve had loads of interest in these, so lots of samples flying out to Africa and Indonesia. Not sure about the bike charger though. Think I might need a bit more padding on my bike seat.

A friend is cycling from John O’ Groats to Land’s End for charity. That’s 874 miles and far too much chafing to think about. Rather him than me.

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On Yer Bike

Phew, I’m knackered. Just been on my bike round the block.

All in the name of PMB, the things I do. It’s all about the newest low-cost hand sets. Powered by bike!

‘The charger can be fitted into any phone with a 2 mm charger jack, uses a dynamo to generate electricity from the movement of the wheels, bicycles are the most widespread means of transport in many markets around the world, so this is just one more benefit to be gained from an activity people are already doing, to begin charging, a cyclist needs to travel around six kilometres per hour (four miles per hour), and while charging times will vary depending on battery model, a 10 minute journey at 10 kmh produces around 28 minutes of talk time or 37 hours of standby time.

The faster you ride, the more battery life you generate.’

It was interesting whilst I was in Jakarta to note the lack of Apple gadgetry at all the meetings I attended. The dish of the day was most certainly the Blackberry. Which is great, because we have the most amazing range of qwerty keyboard handsets , which are flying out at the moment. (website has more details http://www.pmbgroupltd.com/pmbproductshands.html)

Ten reasons not to buy an iPhone – as seen in The Telegraph yesterday:

1) It’s expensive: Buy the top-of-the-range Blackberry or Android handset and you will still pay a lot less than the extortionate prices Apple charge. If the iPhone weren’t made by Apple, networks would have had to start giving it away on £30 a month tariffs years ago.

2) It’s anti-technology: When the iPhone launched it was cutting edge – now as other manufacturers announce, for instance, that you can use their phones as shareable wifi hot spots, Apple says no. Not because of some spurious “user experience” argument, but because of economics. When will they learn that it’s customers – supply and demand – that should dictate feature availability?

3) No Flash: The iPhone, the phone that promised to put the web into everybody’s pockets, can’t even show you most of it, because it can’t handle Flash graphics. Google Android can, in the latest version (OS 2.2), and it’s going to be available free on a lot of budget tariffs.

4) No multitasking: Tried instant messaging on an iPhone? Oh yes, you have to open the app to see if you’ve got a message. Genius. If Apple announces multitasking next it will be an improvement – but there’ll be no apology for the way it’s treated customers in the past, and no guarantee it won’t behave similarly shoddily in the future.

5) Its battery life is terrible: This isn’t a problem unique to Apple, but look at phones by companies such as HTC – multitasking, better cameras, better screens, all draining their batteries far more – and yet the iPhone, with its undemanding technology, still only offers equal performance.

6) Developing apps for it is costing you money: The special version of the BBC iPlayer, of Natwest Phone Banking, of Eon’s meter reader – developing all of these came out of money that could have been channelled away from a self-important minority and towards more generally useful ideas.

7) It comes with offensively bad headphones: Sit next to somebody using the original iPhone or iPod headphones and you can hear everything they can. It’s another example of Apple charging premium prices, but delivering a dressed up, budget product.

8) It’s not very well designed: Use the iPhone as a phone and it’s not got great reception, nor is it particularly comfortable to use for long periods. It’s a computer that happens to have a phone bolted on – jack of two trades, but master of neither.

9) It charges for satnav: In an age when Nokia and Google Android provide completely free mapping and satnav facilities, the cheapest way you can turn your overpriced iPhone into a satnav is with a £19.99 app. Bargain.

10) Those iPod docks are holding back better technologies: As every hotel increasingly thinks it should provide iPod docks, the momentum behind this technology is only growing. But if it wasn’t for the iPod and iPhone’s ubiquity, there’d be more wifi radios, more new technologies and a range of different options, competing and driving innovation.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US!

It’s all been rather busy at HQ. What with moving house and several international business trips – it’s all go!

I recently returned from Jakarta, Indonesia, where there was a lot of interest in our Social Networks Solution software,  the take up for this will be fantastic, so anticipate a return trip in the next few days to cross some ‘t’s etc… I’ll probably call in on a new client in Cambodia, and the CommunicAsia Fair in Singapore. Seems the pull to the Far East has overtaken you guys in Africa. Just when there was a little football tournament going on there as well! COME ON THE DUTCH!

Anyway, can you believe it? It’s our birthday. We are one year old this week. Feels like ten years. Our feet haven’t touched the ground, and hand on heart we couldn’t have asked for a better start.

Business has snowballed, far exceeding our expectations, especially in the current financial squeeze. So a big thank you to all our customers out there. As my friends in the Redskins might say – Keep on keeping on. Maybe we should have a party to celebrate?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbhEsiGurEQ

Signing off here, have a tender to check for tomorrow. No peace for the wicked….

Fate is not an eagle it creeps like a rat…

We’re moving house. Nightmare. My job was to clear out the garage. Mainly because the garage has been home to some not so cuddly, small, furry creatures. I swaggered bravely to the back of the garage and used a broom handle to gingerly poke a pile of blankets.

The little rastards have eaten their way through half a yoga mat, a garden umbrella and my treasured golf bag which was decorated with badges from all the clubs in Africa I had played at. Gutted, but relieved that the rotten rodents seem to have flown the nest. But that means they are somewhere else.. Where?!

Indonesia beckons. I leave on Monday for a week of meetings and talks re a possible new scratch card contract and the phone software, is gathering momentum.

Interesting facts you might not know about Indonesia:

Indonesia is the fourth largest country of the world, in terms of population.

Indonesia is counted amongst the largest producers of nutmeg in the world.

The national motto of Indonesia is ‘Unity in Diversity’.

Indonesia is the largest archipelago the world, comprising of five main islands – Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Irian Jaya.

Indonesia boasts of thousands of islands, out of which around six thousand are inhabited.

Indonesia is home to some of the rarest creatures in the world, including miniature deer, fish that climb trees to catch insects and spiders that catch and devour small birds in giant webs.

I think given the choice, I prefer the mat eating rat!

Do I not like that…!

These are the words of Graham Taylor following England’s defeat to Holland in the World Cup. ‘Do I not like that.’

http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=1385396

Excellent. I prefer this though:

It was a very simple team talk. All I used to say was: ‘Whenever possible give the ball to George Best’. Sir Matt Busby’s famous words.

Still on the footy theme, have you seen this clip from a recent Chesterfield game? Keep watching after the goal….!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AGcW0C3cHs

Anyway enough already. It’s only a game!

Back to business and things have been really busy on the work front. This week I attended some training re social streaming and Mobile Networking Solutions for http://www.myriadgroup.com   We’ll be pushing this product to our client base in Africa & Asia.

We’re also interested in some new  USSD products for the low cost markets – great innovations happening here. Talking about innovations – have you seen the new product page on our WEB SITE? Great stuff  available, complete mobile phone software solutions apart from our old favourites which are proving very popular.

I’m just preparing for  a trip to Indonesia, with clients there interested in our new mobile phone software solutions. Will there be time for a sneaky round of golf? I doubt it, it’s a pretty full itinerary and we’re busy at home with orders for sim and scratch cards. Not that I’m complaining! And the way I’m playing? Well, a monkey could do better.


Latin has no word for grey

Have you ever played look-a-likey? If you have a life, then probably not.

We don’t have a life so look-a-likey is always on our agenda. It’s the sort of game you play in a restaurant when you’ve run out of interesting things to say. So once we’ve chewed over the weather, the price of Cloudy Bay, and the waiter’s BO we play look-a-likey.

Find a fellow diner or train passenger or supermarket shopper and match them to their celebrity doppelganger.

Weirdly, the last two occasions we have played this game the look-a-likes turned out to be the actual celebrity.

At Haydock Park a few weeks ago the diminutive little chap in the parade ring wasn’t one of the jockeys, but Michael Owen. I had no idea that he was even interested in horses. But then, as I said, I don’t get out a lot. Her indoors new all about his equine pursuits of course, but then, she doesn’t miss much.

She didn’t miss much in Tolo’s either, a beach restaurant in Puerto Pollenca. I thought she was paying rather too much attention to the four cyclists parking their machines on the pavement, maybe it was all that lycra? Actually it was look-a-likey Sir Chris Hoy, only it was actually Sir Chris Hoy. Lunch with a Lord of the Realm, and winner of 3 Olympic Golds. He didn’t pick up the tab though.

Espana por favor?

We made it back between plumes from Majorca. It was all a little nerve-wracking. Ryanair has just grounded two jets at Belfast having found volcanic ash in their engines. To be honest, I was more worried about the hazards in the cabin. Two braying stag parties competed for the attention of a dozen Scouse lasses on a hen do.

Chanting, jeering, belching drunkards, and that was just the girls. Which reminds me:

Bloke was sitting on a barstool, drinking a pint, at Heathrow airport, when a really beautiful woman sat down next to him. Bloke thought to himself, “Wow, she’s so gorgeous, she must be a flight attendant, but which airline does she work for?”

Being a bit of a know-all and hoping to pick her up, he leaned towards her and uttered the Delta slogan, “Love to fly and it shows?”

She gave him a blank, confused stare, and bloke immediately thought to himself, “Damn, she doesn’t work for Delta”.

A moment later, another slogan popped into his head. He leaned towards her again, “Something special in the air?”

She gave him the same confused look.

He mentally kicked himself and scratched Singapore Airlines off the list.Next he tried the Thai Airways slogan, “Smooth as silk”.

This time the woman turned on him, “What the f*** do you want?”

Bloke smiled, and said, “Ah, Ryanair!”

We stayed in Pollensa. There weren’t many hen parties there, but hoards of old ladies with zimmer frames and purple perms, with veins to match.

The weather was fantastic. Made us realise just how long our winter has been. We’re having a serious think about shipping out. Just for a few months. Just to get over the bloody winter. Pipe dreams. But with a laptop and phone each, why not? Global villages.

Anyway, back home, to the rain and central heating and political chaos. What happened to you all? Clegg didn’t manage to convert all the hype, and you Brits aren’t as liberal as you’d like to think you are.

Tough times ahead with all the Clubmed Countries on the brink of bankruptcy.

What a mess.