My new blog – http://carlthom.as

Well I’ve finally bitten the bullet and got my own domain name, to which I’ve moved this blog too. This means that I will not be using this blog any longer. If you want to keep on reading my ramblings, the domain is http://carlthom.as

See you on the other side!



HTC vs Apple part deux

Ok. So if you konw me, you’ll know that I’m NOT an Apple or iPhone fan. I came across these videos thanks to @prgeek – Hilarious and so true!

PS – This is NSFW

Little sidenote: The guy who made these videos worked for Best Buy. He promptly lost his job. Unfair?

Have you ever forgotten where you were the night before?

Well now Google can tell you!  

I was having a play with Google Latitude recently, and stumbled across a feature allowing Google to track your location history. It even plots it on a map, as seen here! Scary when you think of all the possible uses for it, but a good example of the use of tech. However the question remains, do we trust Google with our data? Until they get subpoenaed I do, but with a lot of scepticism. Saying that, I will be removing my location history pronto!

What’s wrong with sales?

I was talking to one of my friends recently about career prospects. He’s not long out of uni, and like most recent graduates, is confused about his options. However one thing he is adamant about is that he doesn’t want to go into sales. It’s a strange attitude, but one that I encounter quite often. And the question needs to be asked, ‘What’s wrong with sales’?

His immediate reaction to this question was to say that he didn’t want to be a double glazing sales person. Slightly narrow minded immediately! However in my view, everyone needs to have a degree of sales knowledge about them, as at some stage in everyone’s lives, we will need to sell either ourselves, a brand or a product. Whether it be in an interview, selling your company to potential  investors or even selling yourself on a date. We need to be aware of how to persuade someone to trust us. And here is the problem, as one of my colleagues put it recently. Sales (and it’s respective attributes) is a skill that many feel uneasy around, as people don’t want to feel as if they’re being sold too, instead wanting to be left alone to make their own decisions. Using the example of guys trying to pick up girls, I can remember plenty of times when younger, when friends (and probably myself…) chased girls badgering them to go out with us! Cringing to think about, but inevitably it didn’t work, as it reeked of desperation. However it only reinforces the point that when actively selling, it comes across as needy and desperate. And when my friend thought about getting into sales, this  is the image that he had of sales people.

Is there a way to change this image? Probably, but it will need to start in the home or at school. However, is there a willingness to change this? Probably not unfortunately. In my opinion, the more young people we generate that have an understanding of sales, and how it can fit into an organisation, the more entrepreneurs this country will generate, which will help the private sector plug the gap of the public sector.

What’s wrong with England?

First of all, apologies for the delay in updating this. A mixture of too much work and too much World Cup.

Talking about the World Cup, why do England consistenly perform so badly? Euro 96 was the last time we actually met (or exceeded depending on who you are) our pre tournament expectations. That was 14 years ago, and even then we had home advantage. Since our exit to the Germans, there have been a lot of rumours flying around as to the issues with the England national team. Some think that they don’t show the passion of which they play with at club level. Others think that they play too much football. Personally if you ask me, it’s a lot simpler than that. I just don’t think that they’re good enough. Controversial admittedly, but there really hasn’t been a ‘Golden Generation’. Since Sky have come in and flooded our game with money, there’s no doubt that the fortunes of English clubs has improved drastically. However when you look at it, it’s only down to talented foreign imports a la Cantona and Bergkamp coming in and doing well. We’ve been happy to ‘chase the dream’ with short term fixes. Expensive imports have come in, done well and left. But there hasn’t been a sustained investment in youth. Admittedly this can’t really be applied across the board, as my favourite team Man Utd invested heavily in youth to promote the likes of Giggs, Scholes, Beckham, the Nevilles and Butt. They weren’t alone in this, and examples can be found with Arsenal and Everton to name a few, but this was definitely not the norm.

It’s not all gloom however. The talent is there in you youth teams. Our U21’s did get to the European Finals last year against the Germans, who fielded a similar team to the one that beat us on the weekend. And yes they also beat us. 4-0. But at least they got to the final… The main issue is that we’re not good enough technically. When you watch the Germans and any of the impressive South American teams left in the competition, they are all technically gifted. Beckenbauer, although lambasted for saying that we’re a kick and rush team was probably right. The only way we will improve is by going back to our youth system and placing the emphasis less on size and brawn, and more on technical ability, speed and intelligence. We’re already seeing a drain from our shores of top class foreign imports to the likes of La Liga. This is the perfect time to shore this gap with talented youngsters who maybe in the past didn’t get the chance to continue their development as they should have. Until then, it could just be 30 more years of hurt.

Another one bites the dust

…and no this isn’t about Eyjafjallajokull, but more about the demise of another LLU operator, in Orange.

It was reported last week by the Times that Orange have outsourced their infrastructure to BT Wholesale, in a similar deal to that penned by KCOM last year. The article referenced a Bruno Duarte, VP of strategy, who stated that “We are not satisfied with where we stand with broadband, as our customer base is declining and our performance is poor. But we need to remain in fixed-line broadband so decided to fundamentally change what we are doing,”

Personally I think that it’s a shame that this happened. Some may say it was inevitable, due to the operator haemoraging customers, and when presented with the figures, it’s hard to disagree. However I hark back to the time when Freeserve were one of the first ADSL2+ suppliers, with both a good product and nationwide reach, and from these beginnings, it’s a shame that they’ve ended this way. It’s a strange cycle, whereby an LLU network feels the need to outsource maintenance of their infrastrucutre back to BT, especially after the deregulation of the industry in the early noughties. I guess it’s a sign of how competitive the broadband industry has become. No doubt one of the drivers was to provide much needed funds for their impending merger with T-Mobile.

As a mobile operator with their own network. Orange could be seen as being quite unique in their market, especially with the landscape shifting towards providing converged IP solutions. Although the force of this won’t be felt for some time, it’s clear to see that many newer customers at market 3 exchanges will be presented with an IPStream connect tail as opposed to Orange LLU. And although for BT this can be seen as a major coup, for Orange I feel that as a cost cutting exercise, they may have made a decision they will come to regret in the future.

Interesting statistics

Came across a very interesting graphic recently, depicting some interesting Internet statistics. Unfortunately I can’t validate the statistics used, but even if slightly true, shows how much we come to rely on the Internet as it has grown. Quite shocked to see more people use Facebook than Google, Amazon et al combnined. Personally I live on Google, what with my email, syndicated blogs and calendar all in thier cloud.

Thanks to @lesanto for the image


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