March 24, 2011

Scenes from a Job Spec

I get sent job specs from time to time, and sometimes it is clearer than other times that the person who wrote the spec has not the faintest clue what they want. Today, I get this requirement in a spec:

"AGILE PROGRAMMING IS KEY TO THIS TEAM - IDEALLY TDD OR PAIR PROGRAMMING EXPERIENCE * Upon interview you will be asked to demonstrate Paired Programming ability."

I am very tempted to mail back and ask, should I be granted an interview, whether the interviewer will be providing the required programmer to pair with, or should I bring my own?

November 10, 2007

Facebook News^H^H^H^H Advertising

I logged onto Facebook recently, and my news page now no longer contains actual news.

I don't know about you, but an advert for an Experian credit report is not news.

Is this the end of the clean simple interface for facebook?


July 27, 2007

Let's Schedule Downtime for Month End

Just got this notice from the South Africa Revenue Service:

In line with our policy of continuous improvement, please note that the SARS eFiling service will be unavailable during the following times:

From 18:00 Friday 27th July 2007 2006 until 07:00 Monday 30th July 2007

Whilst the times above have been set aside, we will endeavor to minimise the offline duration as much as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience you may experience.


Great time for downtime guys.

May 13, 2007

Sorry We're Closed

Saw this at the entrance to one of the waiting rooms at Balham station south of London.


April 23, 2007

Google Filtered

You have to love it when the company networking people go on a mission to save the company bandwidth by "blocking" popular websites.

Rest assured, while our machines were giving the above error message, and Google was inaccessible to us, our team was so billing them by the hour.

March 31, 2007

Marketing in Trees

The other night by accident I caught the pilot episode of Warner's Men in Trees, as shown on the MultiChoice M-Net channel.

South Africa, like Europe, is gripped with mobile SMS marketing. It is a rare competition indeed that does not require you to enter via a premium rate SMS. And M-Net doesn't miss an opportunity to pepper a new show with some revenue generation.

The M-Net Men in Trees competition boldly asked you to SMS the name of the item that the Anne Heche character throws at the end of the show, and then promptly showed a clip of the item being thrown, the key scene at the end of the episode.

And this competition clip was shown during each and every ad break from the beginning to the end of the show.

I am not sure about you, but I don't particularly appreciate somebody interrupting the program I am watching to give away the end of the program I am watching, for the purposes of a cheesy SMS competition. Particularly when the channel is a premium rate channel a subscriber has to pay a subscription charge for.

A marketing muppet needs a wakeup.

February 8, 2007

Double you double you double you dot

Right, so you're asking a person to go to a specific website.

"Go to alchemy dot..."

And as you watch, they start typing:



If someone says to you dial 031 456... is it reasonable for you to dial 011 031 456... instead?

Or if somebody says "My name is Smith", is it reasonable for you to write down "John Smith"?

Just a small observation, use it don't use it, you know what I mean.

August 26, 2006

Cisco, meet Hyperlink

Every tried getting product information from Cisco's website?

While researching voice over IP options I was trying to decode the product numbers into "what does this product do", and I stumbled across this "quick view" page.

The quick view page describes what options, represented by incomprehensible product numbers, are included with what other options, represented by incomprehensible product numbers, as bundles, also represented as incomprehensible product numbers.

No problem, this is the web, you just click on the incomprehensible model number, and it takes you to a description of that product, right?


June 15, 2006

Why Content Management Systems Suck!

Content management systems suck(TM).

That's a line noone's heard before. But regardless, I get asked whether building a content management system in the current market is a good idea.

Here is what I think.

Continue reading "Why Content Management Systems Suck!" »

May 5, 2006

Newsflash: Reveal is a Verb

Just so we're clear. Mike Myers is the only person who has ever been in television who is allowed to invent new words or expressions.

No Mr Extreme Makeover, you reveal your participants, you don't present your participants at a reveal.

And this counts for all you television wannabes as well.

When a corporate bank decides to launch their new branding campaign via a private satellite broadcast to all their branches courtesy of broadcaster Multichoice, there was their new slogan launched at "the big reveal".

It was cringeworthy stuff.

Ok, so "reveal" is also a noun. It means "door jamb" apparently. So it's ok then. Not.

November 9, 2005

Robbie Williams Dot Stupid

You have got to love marketing.

Robbie Williams' management company puts together an elaborate plan to allow pre-release tickets to go on sale for every date of his upcoming tour. They even come up with the idea to charge GBP25 for the priviledge of access to these tickets.

And some idiot decided that all tickets for all dates would go on sale - all at the same time.

The resultant rush brought down the fragile Worldpay credit card payment gateway for over an hour. What did this mean for fans? You could book tickets, you just couldn't pay for them, turning first come first serve into a luck of the draw.

Continue reading "Robbie Williams Dot Stupid" »

October 31, 2005

Strong Tenants and Leases?

In the centre of Johannesburg, South Africa, the CCMA building ccma-building.jpg is up for auction.

Continue reading "Strong Tenants and Leases?" »