Overheard: Word of the Day


January 7, 2008  2:10 AM

Overheard: Google Earth videos

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

There are quite a few videos on YouTube where people have strung geoglyphs together to make a video, complete with soundtrack. In this case it’s Gustav Holst’s The Planets and you may want to turn your sound down if you’re not into drama.

The cool factor for Google Earth has moved way beyond finding the street where you live.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://youtube.com/v/-7pJeHY-fLI" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

January 5, 2008  12:15 AM

Overheard: Intel was kicked out of One Laptop Per Child program

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
9.gif Responding to [Intel's proactive] announcement Thursday that it was severing ties with the One Laptop Per Child project, Mr. Negroponte said, “They’ve been doing damage in the marketplace with countries since the day we started. And after we made peace with them, they did more damage.”

Steve Stecklow, Negroponte Lashes Out at Intel For ‘Damage’ to Laptop Project

Now that the dust has settled, it’s looking like Intel didn’t drop out of the OLPC program — it got kicked out for pitching their own low-end laptops, Classmate PC, to the same audience the OLPCs were intended for. Shouldn’t this little soap opera belong on All My Children?


January 4, 2008  12:07 AM

2008 Career horoscopes for geeks

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
random access memory ARIES – The ram
(March 21 to April 20)
The Wall Street bull TAURUS – The bull
(April 21 to May 20)
Twin cables GEMINI – The twins
(May 21 to June 21)
iRobot surveillance crab CANCER – The crab
(June 22 to July 22)
Sony lion cub LEO – The lion
(July 23 to August 22)
Woman using Virgo key operator VIRGO – The maiden
(August 23 to September 23)
analytical balance LIBRA – The balance
(September 24 to October 23)
Raidmax Scorpion tower SCORPIO – The scorpion
(October 24 to November 22)
Archer field pocket PC SAGITTARIUS – The archer
(November 23 to December 21)
Robotic ticket goat CAPRICORN – The goat
(December 22 to January 20)
water cooled computer AQUARIUS – The water bearer
(January 21 to February 19)
Fish skeleton mouse PISCES – The fish
(February 20 to March 20)

At the beginning of each year, I chart horoscopes for my family. Here are this year’s career horoscopes for all of you who work with technology. For those of you interested in the bigger picture — love and family and the rest of your busy life — I recommend you look here. Be sure to click into the second page of each sun sign. That’s where most of the forecast is and these charts were done quite well. It’s just kind of wierd that they’re posted on Town and Country magazine.

My two favorite daily/weekly horoscope sites are run by Bridget Walther and Daniel Whelland Dowd. Be sure to check them out too.


January 3, 2008  4:20 PM

Overheard: No texting at the table

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/RxT5NwQUtVM" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

New technology calls for new rules and Mom cliches. In this video Anita Renfroe shares “What a mom says in 24 hours.” New to the list? “No texting at the table” and “Your iPod is my iPod if you don’t listen up.”

This was the first holiday I had to enforce the “no texting at the table” rule. The kids looked at me like I was out of my mind.


January 3, 2008  3:04 AM

Overheard: Biting the hand that feeds you is not good for CRM

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
One of the biggest challenges facing many organizations is that the Internet and, more specifically, Web 2.0 tools are helping to make customers more informed than employees.

Sharon Richardson, Google Reader For CRM

Whilst customers have become more informed thanks to the Internet, too many organisations are ensuring their employees become less informed by banning access to the very tools that customers use – Facebook, Myspace, Wikipedia, Google, the Internet…


January 2, 2008  1:43 AM

Overheard: Energy efficiency is a relative term

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
If you are reading this, odds are that you’re doing it on what used to be an Energy Star compliant computer. With the roll out of Energy Star 4.0 as its being called, odds also are that your machine no longer qualifies. “Whoa!” You might be thinking, “How did that happen, I just bought the thing!” Well, here’s the deal: ‘Energy Efficiency’ is a relative term.

Aaron Max Fein, Energy Star Redefines Its Shine


January 1, 2008  10:39 PM

Career horoscope: Pisces 2008

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
Pisces, the fish
Your 2008 keyword is networking

Pisces, your astrological position at work this year is that of chief innovation officer. Once again your creativity will be tapped to find low-cost solutions for high-tech problems.

Last year you were repeatedly asked to play MacGyver. Your creative solutions were often utilized, yet your profile remained low. Remember Pisces, that if you feel taken for granted, it’s your own fault.  While you were quietly doing your work and weaving your magic, there were plenty of other voices claiming credit and clamoring for attention. If you want recognition,  you’ll have to add your voice to the chorus, like it or not.

This year, you may be asked to particpate in projects you don’t feel are necessary or even wise. When these occasions arise, don’t worry. If you step back and focus all your work towards the needs of the end user, everyone will win. As always, you will be most successful when you align many small projects in such a way that it all becomes one job. You are at your best when serving others and this year is no exception.

In 2008, your success depends upon your ability to be diplomatic and tactful, especially when pressed for time or dealing with fools. At the same time, you need to be assertive and speak with authority or your needs will not be met.  This diplomatic-yet-assertive dance will be required for almost everything you do.  Again, keep you mind on what you want to accomplish. You’ll need the cooperation of others to get there. Don’t burn any bridges just yet.

2008 will be a good year to raise your public profile. You’ve spent the last few years acquiring skills. Remember that saying “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know?”  Well this is the year to build out the “who you know” part.   To nurture your creativity, be sure to take time off and recharge your batteries.  Get away from your desk on a regular basis. You’ll do your best thinking on walks or at the beach.

Your personal keyword for 2008 is networking. Use this year to network professionally, both online and in person.  Don’t be afraid to mix business with pleasure. If you make the effort to raise your visibility now, it’s likely you’ll receive income from more than one source in 2009.

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January 1, 2008  10:06 PM

Career horoscope: Aquarius 2008

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
Aquarius, the water bearer
Your 2008 keyword is transparency

Aquarius, your astrological position at work this year is that of communications specialist. What does that mean? It means you are a global thinker and your desire to be of service will introduce you to people around the planet in 2008. You may be in contact with them by phone or email, but it’s even more likely that you will travel on the company dime and visit places you’ve never been before.

Last year we might have found you working by yourself or running things behind the scenes. This year you will be front and center. We’ll probably see your name on bylines or blog posts. You may post a video series on YouTube, host a podcast or start a newsletter.  It’s likely that you’ll be called upon to create a how-to guide or even write a manual or cheatsheet.

In 2008, how you communicate your thoughts will be almost as important as which thoughts you communicate. You have a flair for the unusual and love variety. These two traits will guide you as you experiment with different media, varying the way you conduct meetings or convey ideas to co-workers. You will have lots of energy this year. That’s good, because you’re going to be very busy!

Your success will depend upon your abilty to expand your vocabulary.  You may find yourself learning a foreign language or working with a new technology, media or programming language that has its own set of industry jargon.

Speaking of vocabulary, in 2008, you will need to redefine your definition of “failure.” As you look back at the past, avoid dwelling on why something didn’t work or discounting an idea because you’ve already tried it once. Keep your attention focused on what you want to accomplish right now and be open to taking a second look at things you’ve dismissed. Technology has changed and so have you. Avoid saying the words “been there, done that.”

Your keyword this year is transparency. This may go against your natural desire for personal privacy, but it’s necessary if you want to improve your earning power. Get out there and learn something new this year. You have the power to make the world a better place!

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January 1, 2008  9:28 PM

Career horoscope: Capricorn 2008

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
Capricorn, the goat
Your 2008 keyword is flash memory

Capricorn, your astrological position at work this year is that of the killer app. What does this mean? It means that everyone counts on you to save the day.  Your promises of stability and reliabilty encourage people to forgive your bugs.

Last year was very hard on you. As each obstacle presented itself, you internalized it and carried it with you. At times you felt the weight of the world on your strong goat shoulders.

This year you will learn to put down your burdens and move forward without dragging everyone’s baggage behind you. This will be especially important at work. You cannot afford to be pessimistic or melancholy when dealing with others. Sure, their ideas might seem frivolous, but keep in mind that they may see yours as lacking innovation.

In 2008, your success depends on your ability to work with people who have different points of view. You will need to learn how to articulate what you intuitively understand so you can find common ground with those around you. Your sense of fairness will be an asset and with some patience and persistence, you can begin to look at the glass as half full once again.

2008 will be a good year to explore different aspects of your chosen career. Hook up with a creative thinker and brainstorm all the ways your skills can be used. Your frustration in your lack of progress may be the result of your own limited perceptions. Once you are back on solid ground emotionally, be careful about alienating co-workers with unintentionally flip remarks. Others may not be as attuned to your mood swings as you would wish them to be.

Your keyword in 2008 is flash memory. Your goal will be to live in the moment and start each day fresh. Be open to new ideas and have faith in the way the universe works. If you put out good energy, you will recieve good energy — in spades.

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January 1, 2008  7:26 PM

Career horoscope: Sagittarius 2008

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
Archer pocket PC Sagittarius, the archer
Your 2008 keyword is handshake

Sagittarius, your astrological position at work this year is that of developer. You alone have the ability to negotiate the unspoken codes that separate the geeks from the suits.  This will be your focus in the year ahead.

Last year you honed your managerial skills and made some sound spending decisions. You demonstrated that you are a good team player. Your sense of humor and curious nature made you a welcome addition at the conference table. Everything you did laid the groundwork for what’s about to take place in 2008.

This year you will have the opportunity to take more power than you ever dreamed possible. It’s yours for the taking, and therein lies the challenge.  Nobody gives you power. Power is something you take.

Your success depends upon whether or not you can curb your extroverted nature in the presence of your peers. You need their support to turn your vision into reality. You need them to like you — and sometimes without meaning to, you turn people off by talking too much. What your boss perceives as enthusiastic, your peers may perceive as pushy. Be sensitive to those around you. Not everyone feels as lucky as you do.

2008 will be a good year to work on the art of negotiation. Your boundless energy could use some shades of subtle.  You will learn a lot by reading about people you respect. Look for how they handle themselves when negotiating deals or compromises and formulate a plan for  self-improvement. Read about group dynamics and focus your attention on how to sell your vision without alienating those around you who also have visions. Pick three things you think you could do better, commit them to paper and articulate how the people you respect addressed those three issues. A systematic, concrete approach to problem-solving will take you far.

Your keyword for 2008 is handshake. You have demonstrated to high-ups that you have the skills to move forward. Now, you just need to get everyone next to you on board.

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