Friday, January 22, 2010

Class and income

There is a lot of talk about Labour making the election about class – probably to counter the Tories' Eton image. I think they are wrong in many ways. Firstly, they equate class and income, which is nonsense. You can be friends with royalty and not be rich and vice versa. In fact a lot of entrepreneurs didn't go to private school or university – and they and their children live better than many. Secondly, Labour's record on income inequality is so poor that they shouldn't even mention this. If they couldn't fix it in 13 years, how are they going to do it in the next 4 years when less growth is there to be distributed?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Information regarding Ocado deliveries from 18th January - bad comms

Ocado are usually good at customer communications. But this one really confused me. The subject states that it's about changes form 18th Jan, but this only gets mentioned in paragraph 4 where they say that I won't get a free newspaper anymore on some rubbish green pretext - which they lay out in paragraphs 1 to 3. Come on Ocado, you can do better than that.

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Dear Mr Nachbar,

As an efficient and environmentally friendly way of getting groceries from field to kitchen table, it's fair to say we're way out in front. Perhaps it's no big surprise: after all, it's something we've been working on since our very first delivery back in 2002.

But "being green" isn't just the latest marketing buzzword to us. It's at the very heart of what makes us Ocado, and no-one else. Like painstakingly paring down the weight of our van to enable us to deliver to more people using the same amount of fuel. Or completely overhauling our ordering system to reduce our food waste (at just 0.3% of total sales, we've got good reason to believe that we're industry leaders - and we're not finished yet). Or even becoming the first UK supermarket to actively collect and remake its own grocery bags.

These are some of the ways we've become more efficient, but there's still more to do. As founder members of the 10:10 campaign, we've pledged to reduce our carbon footprint by 10% this year. Making our grocery bags even more environmentally friendly will help us get there. So, too, will our trials of an innovative low-emission electric delivery van.

On a separate note, we've also been talking to our friends at The Times, and we've made a joint decision to stop including a free newspaper with Ocado deliveries from 18th January 2010. We're looking at continuing our partnership in other ways, however; and, to begin with, we're offering you a free seven-day trial of the electronic version of The Times.

To sign up for your free seven-day trial, simply follow this link to The Times' website and enter the code TIMES_TRIAL2.

Here's to the start of another green year at Ocado!

Jon Rudoe

Jon Rudoe
On behalf of the Ocado team

The only way to shop for groceries.

Voted favourite online supermarket in Which? magazine 2009 reader survey

Online Retailer of the Year 2005, 2007 & 2009, The Grocer Gold Awards.

Green Retailer of the Year 2009, The Grocer Gold Awards.
These prestigious awards recognise our efforts to deliver a more convenient,more sustainable alternative to supermarket shopping.

Large Retailer of the Year 2008, Online Green Awards.
We won this award in recognition of our revolutionary green approach to selling groceries

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Friday, January 15, 2010

JavaScript hack enables Flash on iPhone

A rather clever programmer has managed to get the iPhone to run interactive apps created using Adobe's Flash platform. And because it works inside the Safari browser, it isn't subject to the dictatorial rules of Apple's App Store.

The software is called Gordon and it doesn't actually allow Flash to run natively on the iPhone. Instead, Gordon is a JavaScript runtime, written by Tobias Schneider, which enables the browser to play and display Flash files. A runtime is a collection of software that allows the running of code inside it. A helpful analogy is a software emulator for a games console. These enable you to play the original code of, say, Super Mario World, but inside an application that runs on your PC. It's also how games such as Sonic The Hedgehog are able to run on your iPhone.

View article...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Juicy Leak: Orange France's Boss Basically Confirms the iSlate [Updated]


Apple Tablet

Oh boy, adding to the spiraling whirl of Apple Tablet rumors it looks like the number two exec at cell-phone network Orange France has basically confirmed the iSlate is real, it's coming soon, and it'll have a global launch. 

The news is coming via an interview given by St├ęphane Richard on Europe 1 this morning. Richard is a senior exec at France Telecom/Orange, and as part of a longer discussion he was thrown this sudden question: "According to the weekly Le Point, in a short while your partner Apple is going to launch a tablet..." This could easily have been dismissed by Richard as idle speculation masquerading as a leading question. But Richard simply responded "oui..."

And thus came the next question, again speculative, but definitely mining for the right kind of info: "...with a Webcam..." Which got another "Oui" from Richard. And then came the interesting bit:

Interviewer: "And Orange users will be able to benefit from this too?"

Richard: "Of course!"

Basically, given three opportunities to either deflect the questions by saying "well, nobody knows..." or flatly deny the speculation, or even to squirm out of a direct answer like a politician, Richard chose not to. Or he forgot not to. Or he was allowed to leak some info by Apple. He was even enthusiastic about the matter--though note that, despite some of the mis-translated excitement about this elsewhere online, Richard didn't agree it was due in a "couple of days", instead that "quelques jours" (which aligns more with "someday soon") supports more the January announcement/March launch rumors we've been hearing recently.

Why should we pay attention to Richard's words? Because Orange is a senior player in the global cell-phone game--it controls vast grids in Europe and Africa, and with all its subsidiaries lumped together it's actually the world's fifth biggest operator. It's also a key iPhone distributor, and one that was chosen by Apple for early iPhone love before the multicarrier model really took off in Euroland.

Admittedly these are just off-the-cuff words. But if you add them to similar-feeling confidently assertive statements by The New York Time's Bill Keller back in October (noting that Keller even called it the "Apple slate") and the slew of detailed leaks that seem to be popping up at the moment, it really is going to get gadget fan's blood pumping. Particularly exciting is the fact that this concerns an imminent arrival of the gizmo in France--suggesting an international launch at the same time, which is different to the strategy Apple employed for the iPhone.


Update: Here's the video feed for your interest, in French of course. 

It's clear from the video that Richard is a little off-balanced by these questions, and you could perhaps assume he's speaking as speculatively as the interviewer himself. But he definitely mentions video calling, and the necessary infrastructure changes to support the increased data load, and that rules out that he's talking about iPhones.

View article...


apple-orange.jpg (11 KB)


Friday, January 08, 2010

Failed bomber

The failed bomb attempt on Christmas day and the failure of the security services is quite interesting from a data point of view. Apparently the agencies gave different databases which were not linked up properly. This is almost like in a badly run marketing or sales department. What the agencies need is a single suspect view. However the risk of errors is amazingly higher than in any marketing department.

The History of Terrorism: From Antiquity to al Qaeda
Inside Terrorism