June, 2006

  • Steve Clayton

    NineMillion.org: Help them play, let them learn


    Last week saw the launch of the NineMillion.org campaign to highlight the plight of nine million young refugess. World Refugee Day was June 21st and Microsoft took part in this launch with Nike and the UNHCR which is how I came across this site - along with fliers in our buildings that were eye catching.

    “Ninemillion.org is about giving the world’s refugee youth a chance to see beyond their current situation and begin to rebuild their lives,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres. “Our greatest priority is to help refugees in crisis and to find lasting solutions for them.”

    The site is just outstanding. I’ve just spent 30 minutes watching videos that put the hairs up on the back of your neck and give you a warm glow. I dare you to watch them and then not click on the donate button. The work this campaign is doing is amazing and incredibly humbling. It puts things in to perspective.  

    I think it’s great that Microsoft can be a part of projects like this and it does make me think how much I’d like to work in the citizenship side of our business at times. When my friends, family, customers and partners give me a hard time about their problems with our products (and you can get pretty worn down by that stuff at times), it’s projects like this, our NSPCC work and The Imagine Cup that remind that working for a great company is, well…great. Equally it’s great to see a company like Nike who I admire for the innovation involved in this.

    So on a weekend when many of us will sit back with our families, enjoy the sunshine and watch England vs. Portugal in the World Cup, take a few moments to watch Ronaldo in a slightly different way in the video at NineMillion.org.  The power of a ball is truly amazing & you can help them make a difference.

    Thought provoking would quite an understatement.
  • Steve Clayton

    Step away from the credit card


    If only to work out whether this was/is a UMPC or not. Fortunately, Engadget did the translation for me and it seems it’s not Origami. Shame as it looks pretty cool. Tablet PC Review Spot has a very detailed look at it as does ZDNet UK and my friends at Expansys have them for order. Step away from the credit card Mr Clayton.

    Question is, when will the flood of Origami devices happen as it’s been quite quiet (at least here in the UK) since the initial announcement. Off to see if the PTS-TV camera can find some answers…


  • Steve Clayton

    Vista gets moody


    Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Hardware - The Ultimate Keyboard.

    Okay, so the backlit thing is a bit PowerBook but I love that feature of those Mac’s so I’m happy we’re getting it too. This looks like another peice of Microsoft hardware that I will just *need*. Only a week after getting myself a new Starck mouse I’m busy trying to find out when this new puppy arrives. A “wireless, rechargable, backlit desktop”. Oh and it works over 30ft for the Media Centre experience too.

    Will it ever make it in to the Design Museum though?? I’ll report back when I track one down. Get more info at the hardware site

  • Steve Clayton

    Imagine Cup gets healthy


    Students dream up tech for health care | CNET News.com.

    I’ve followed the Imagine Cup from afar for a few years now and last year in particular as the guys from the UK has a very cool mobile blogging application for Windows Mobile devices called OneReach. A friend of mine is also on the judging panel for the UK and mentioned some of the cool developments in this years competition. With $125k up for grabs it’s serious stuff though it’s pretty clear people aren’t really in it for the money. The finals take place in Delhi so good luck to all of the teams – it’s great to see our technology being used in such innovative ways and all for good. With a focus on health this year Bill will be even more delighted.

    The Brazilian guys have developed a very cool app that integrates with GPS to help the visually impaired find their way through unfamiliar surroundings with the help of a wristband as discussed on the link above from news.com but I have to support my fellow countrymen – Three Pair from University of Hull. The guys are developing an applictation that lets patients in ICU understand more about ICU via a digital journal.

    “Patients in recovery can then go over events they had missed during periods of coma or incapacity and fill in the memory gaps associated with this, from here the patient could build up an anchor and continuity of reality that they would otherwise be without”

    Check out the video (5mins) for more insight in to this great competition. It’s actually quite humbling when you see these teams do such amazing stuff as this but at the same time inspiring. You can read way more about what the guys are up to via their blog – my exec summary of which is they’re doing cool stuff fueled by caffeine and they’ve invented a new word: Google-able

    [update] the UK guys made it on to Channel 9 (16 mins video)

  • Steve Clayton

    Vino blogging


    I’m driving everyone I know mad with the blogging thing at the moment and have filled their inboxes with another email on it today – pointing them to Hugh’s guide to blogging in association with Stormhoek wines. There is some great advice in there, all delivered with the usual wit and cartoons from Mr MacLeod. - such as “have courage” and “tell the truth”!

    check out the The Stormhoek Guide To Wine Blogging which was inspired by Scoble’s "The Corporate Weblog Manifesto",

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