Saturday, July 27, 2013

Celebrating 83

WP_20130728_010My next-door neighbor is celebrating her 83rd birthday – lovely to be able to share the event.  A bit of duck l’orange, a little chocolate pudding, a fair amount of wine, and a lot of conversation. The world keeps on turning, and we’ll be fine.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thursday tech

New Nexus‘Clearing through the Pocket articles that I’ve been saving: there were a few things that I wanted to touch on.  Otherwise, a busy day with experiments and too may lawyers, hopefully both leading to good ends sometime soon.

The new Nexus  7 is out, with front-facing camera and higher-resolution display.   I’ll probably upgrade later this year, it doesn’t look particularly compelling over what I have for now.

But  a couple of things that I am more actively engaging:

IFTTT:  The more I use this, the better I like it.  “IF This Then That” is an automation generator for web applications.  It connects to the API of dozens of web services, from time and weather to social media, phone, and home services.  Using a very simple interface, you specify create actions depending on triggers. 

IFTTTTSo, for example, when I put a recipe into Pocket, it immediately posts to Twitter as Duck a l'Orange Recipe http://bit.ly/12V3UJR French cuisine made its debut in America thanks in part to this famous duck a l'orange.

There are lots of examples to show what’s possible, and promises to extend both the IF and THEN logic. It’s simple and elegant and really useful.  Imagine IF time = dusk, THEN Turn on lights at home, or IF friend posts status THEN send me an SMS.  This is the personalized future of web applications.

ChomeCastChromeCast:  Another simple ides: stream to your TV from your computer.  It’s a $35 dongle that plugs into the HDTV port,  it allows me to stream applications from my Nexus to a monitor over WiFi.  I can control playback and volume from the  table.

“What’s smart is that it’s stupid,” say the reviews: I’ve ordered one through Amazon US since it’s not available in Europe yet.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tuesday’s idle chatter

DSC09429 (1800x1352)It’s blazingly hot in Cambridge, forecasters blame a bubble of warm humid air from Spain and the pre-dawn was thick with thunderstorms.  Sleep still comes slowly and departs early, and the extra hours are keeping my resolutions to tame work and balance better.

I’m still fixing my tech: eBuyer ran out of stock on a new netbook so I had to re-order elsewhere. My beloved camera died and its off to repair; my phone was returned unrepaired by O2 and is re-returned.  The internet and house power are slowing and disconnecting in rhythm with the weather.

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So life eases back towards quieter pre-internet living.  I’ve rescued a few more plants and my container-herb gardens are thriving.  Duck is better cooked slowly than quickly, but it doesn’t keep for leftovers.  My fish pie is rubbish but I make a killer fresh tomato soup / gazpacho.  My shoulder improves with just a bit of swimming (that hobby started on a bet). And the neighbors are dropping by, sometimes with good tidings,  sometimes bad, so long  as there’s mint for the Pimms.

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Some things about British summers are eternal.

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Monday, July 22, 2013

What is the average age of….

American Expats in the Netherlands?

NL Americans 2 NL Americans

CBS.nl is the home  of Statistics Netherlands, a government agency that keeps track of all distributions Dutch.  A recent study  of American expats showed 31,000 making their home in the Netherlands.  3/4 cluster in the North and younger than the average Dutch, half under 30 and 4% in retirement.  Fewer are arriving for marriage, more to study.  Interestingly, the net migration,to and from America, has balanced year by year since the 60’s.

Founders Starting their First Businesses?

entrep_age int'l

The average age of founders is rising, notes the Harvard Business Review and the Financial Times.  Twice as many successful startups are founded by people over 50 as under 35, and most heath care entrepreneurs are over 40.  The highest rate of new business formation is among the 55-64;  2/3 of all UK startups are founded by people over 55.  I think that the likelihood of success rises with experience; healthcare in particular requires knowledge of the development process.  With pensions, house value, and savings shrinking, pre-retirement workers see security in creating and harvesting short-term exit value or long-term cash  flows from a business that they own.  HBR also notes that people in their 50’s are obsessed with their legacy:  How do I make my life really count?

Social Network Membership?

social-network-age-distribution-580px

‘mirrors my usage almost exactly.