Category: Miscellaneous

The RiczWest Weekly Magazine

FlipboardIconI’m always playing around with various curation mechanisms – there was (and kind of still is) the DailyRiczWest, but I still haven’t got that fully automated and as I’m not using Twitter at the moment it’s fallen by the wayside a bit. I am still browsing though, using Flipboard and wanted an alternative for curating content that I found. I’d had a look at Flipboard magazines when they came out but dropped them as soon as I figured out there was no way to share them with other people who don’t have it.

The GOOD NEWS? You can now share your Flipboard Magazines with people that don’t have it!!!

The process is so easy – when you’ve created a magazine, just go to it and tap “Share” then “Copy Link”, which you can then use in emails, web pages etc… I just created a static page, My Flipboard Magazines, which just contains static links to the 6 different magazines I have on the subjects of:

  • Hardware: Gizmos & Geekery
  • Programming: Interesting articles, mostly on Clojure
  • News: Interesting news mostly in the areas of IT, Technology & Science
  • Miscellanea: Various things that can’t be categorised :-)
  • Reference: Articles and Reverences
  • Favourites: Things that are interesting to me, but I don’t tweet

which I’ll then just tweet a link to every week using If This Then That. Not ideal, but another mechanism for curation.

It would certainly be better in the long term to also collate those ‘Flips’ (in to the magazines) in to a text file like I do with the DailyRiczWest, which is something I’m looking at currently and will blog about if I figure it out. If anyone knows how to do this already (using IFTTT or another mechanism) then please let me know or add a comment.

Twitter Holiday 2

Twitter Holiday

Yet again, I’m taking a break from Twitter – the last time was over a year ago and I have some holidays (to Aus – WOOHOO!) and other things to attend to. As with last time, I’d like to give some of the resources and inspiration for me on twitter:

  • Jennifer Sertl @JenniferSertlStrategy, Leadership and the Soul: Resilience, Responsiveness and Reflection for a Global Economy – we obviously need people like her!
  • Bob Marshall @flowchainsensei – another “must follow” – I’ll be doing some things on this blog on Rightshifting and the Antimatter Principle
  • Alex Ley @AlexEvade – worked with him for a bit – you should check out his latest project :
  • Tony DaSilva @Bulldozer0 – a “self declared twitter buddy” :-) Leave your sacred cows at the door before reading him though
  • Jakub Holý @HolyJak – We think quite similarly and I’ve since met him at EuroClojure – a cool guy (and I’m not just saying that because he’s interested in Clojure ;)
  • Andrea Chiou @andreachiou – puppy person GREAT agilist and now NVC’er
  • Jim Benson @ourfounder – do I really need to introduce him? no…
  • Ruth Malan @ruthmalan – I always value what Ruth says – such a fountain of knowledge
  • John Wenger @JohnQShift – Recently landed in UK and doing all sorts of systems and leadership thinking
  • John Hagel @jhagel – Co-chairman, Deloitte LLP Center for the Edge – worth checking out
  • Bernd Nurnberger @CoCreatr – I like this guys take on global events
  • Paul Klipp @agileactivist – The only Anthropologist I follow on Twitter – oh – he’s very much in to Kanban and software in general
  • Ari-Pekka Skarp @apskarp – A mysterious Finn. But then again, which Finn’s aren’t mysterious?…
  • Kurzweil AI News @KurzweilAINews – Are you ready for “The Singularity”? These guys will keep you up to speed
  • Saybrook University @SaybrookU – Great posts on change

Does that mean I’m disconnecting myself from the world? Not at all (just the twitter one) – I’ve already done a bunch of conferences and met some amazing people and will be doing more entries on this blog as time allows.

One thing to note is that I will still be publishing links to Twitter automatically when I do a blog entry. As I won’t be looking at twitter, if you do have any comments then please use the Comments area in WordPress if you want a response from me.

If you want to contact me directly, most people have my email but if you don’t, the best bet is to LinkIn with me at

A Virtual Tour of Silicon Milkroundabout

Silicon MilkRoundabout

On the weekend there was an event called Silicon Milkroundabout which is basically a jobs fair for TechCity, the tech hub for London. I was going to physically attend, but it was a cold Autumn Sunday afternoon, so I decided not to. Luckily, the website had a full list of all the companies there so I opted for a Virtual Tour and came away with a few gems I wanted to share:

I think the common theme here is in removing (usually bloodsucking ;) intermediaries such as Agents, Distributors etc… which I personally think is a worthy endeavor for a company. In all, well worth spending 1/2h or so going through the site. I may even physically pop along there next year…

The Sad Process of getting a Contract through a Recruiter

Recruiter on the edgeIf you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that I’m looking for a contract. I’ve been flat out for most of the day applying for a plethora of positions… Out of all the applications I’d sent, there was one where I got a patronising canned response. I’d had enough, so I sent the following:


Many thanks for your canned response. As there is so much work available and possibly even another agency advertising this role, please consider my application withdrawn immediately. Furthermore, I’ve added your organisation to my “recruiter blacklist” as I’m not really interested in dealing with organisations that can not even spend the time responding to me personally when I apply for a role that I am suited for.

Thank you for your totally impersonal handling of this and I look forward to never dealing with you again. I realise you’ll need more than luck with this approach to recruiting.

Regards, Richard.

modisintl/New Modis logo.jpgMany thanks for your application to Modis through Jobsite

We aim to give all applicants an excellent service and respond personally to each of you; however, due to the high levels of applicants for particular roles, sometimes this is not possible.

We ask, that if you have not been contacted by a consultant within 7 days, to please assume that your application has not been successful for that specific role.

Thank you for your interest in this role, we hope we’re able to help you and wish you the best of luck with your search for employment.

Kind regards

With over 1000 advertised roles and more added daily, be sure to search the Modis job board.

Oh, and what was the response?

Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:

Technical details of permanent failure: 
Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the
server for the recipient domain by

The error that the other server returned was:
550 5.1.1 <>: Recipient address rejected:
User unknown

----- Original message -----

Well, that just takes the cake – as I said in my response, I now have another recruiter to add to my blacklist ;-) I’m really hoping that Lyndsay calls me so I can tell her this in person – it’s not personal though, just business (in a human context ;)

PS That Image for the post is from Recruiters: Your Days Are Numbered

Upgrading from iOS 6.1.3 to 7.0.3 on iPad2 with iTunes 11.1.3(8)

iOS 7Yes, this is an incredibly detailed title, but I couldn’t quite tweet the problem and solution so I’m doing a quick entry. When upgrading, like (hopefully) most people I make a backup.

It seems a new “feature” with this configuration (my guess is bug in iTunes) is that if you’re doing the backup, when a “Do you want to upgrade to iOS 7” panel pops up, no matter what you answer it will “stall” the backup, in that it will never complete (in my case beyond step 2 of 4).

The solution to this is quite simple: Start iTunes, but don’t start your backup yet! Just wait (a few mins?) for the “Do you want to upgrade to iOS 7” message to pop up, select “Later” and then backup your iPad.

Campus PARTY!!!


Last week I managed to attend the Campus Party on Friday. And boy, am I glad I did – not exactly what I expected, but in a good way. It’s an interesting combination of Open Source, Geekiness, Corporatism, Art and Health. As a result, there has been some criticism of it along the lines of organisation and some of it’s rules, but I don’t think that’s bad enough to rule out attendance at it.

I didn’t take a lot of notes as I was just soaking up the atmosphere but below are some outlines of the sessions I attended along with a few resources and comments. If you have a day spare and can attend one then I’d definitely go. A week is another question – that’s a long time but who knows? Only one way to find out…

11:00 Mark Townsley – Rebuilding The Heart Of The Internet Without Missing A Beat

World Display IPv6 Prefixes Data

Mark is a Cisco fellow and was talking about the Internet Protocol, IP and how the world is transitioning from v4 to v6

  • Overall, the transition of IP addresses and their usage has been from:
    People -> Process -> Data & now going -> Things

Atari_logo12:00 Nolan Bushnell – Success And Failure

Nolan Bushnell is a technology pioneer, entrepreneur and scientist. Often cited as the father of the video game industry, he is best known as the founder of Atari Corporation and Chuck E. Cheese Pizza Time Theater.

“When you create an idea tha is revolutionary, no one will tell you you’re right” ~ Nolan Bushnell

The Spring Project

These people had quite a strong presence at the conference and ran a number of workshops, one of which I attended.

It certainly sounds interesting, having a formula, which they call “the human source code”, of

brilliance = (integrity + responsibility) x curiosity

14:00 Workshop: Integrity

This started out with a short video on integrity and then jumped straight in to some story telling from the facilitator along with some body-work which related to this and was tied together by some gentle NLP. I think everyone emerged from this energised and in a new frame of mind.

15:00 Andrew Armes – Unlocking Brilliance: A Technology Of Body And Mind

Andrew co-founded The Spring Project – he introduces the history of The Spring Project, what it stands for and aspires to, whilst pulling together all the elements of The Human Source Code discussed at workshops and events throughout the week at Campus Party

  • Spring Project was 5 years in development
  • The Human Source Code – unlocking Brilliance in people
  • Goal: To liberate people from fear
  • And Create: Concious & Connected – Sustainability

“The best way to introduce a change is to create an alternative and make it work” ~ Andrew Armes
Note: That’s almost a hacker ethic!

john-maddog-hall16:00 Jon ‘maddog’ Hall – How To Optimize Your Code: Opportunities And Examples

Many people teaching programming today think that knowing a high level language is “good enough”, that programmers are “abstracted away” from being able to optimize their code.  This, of course, is rubbish.

In this talk Jon “maddog” Hall will talk about a lifetime of optimization issues that have allowed him to either increase the performance of code others have written by up to 220 times, or allowed him to put code into very small address spaces, or (in a lot of cases) made code both smaller AND faster.

  • In Japan, they can predict earthquakes 30s in advance. So what? This means they have time to shut down infrastructure which minimises damage
  • Adapteva – supercomputer on a card – “Raspberry Pi for Real Programmers”
  • Writes a Blog for
  • On Programming Languages:
    • 1st Programming Language should be shell
    • 3rd Programming Language should be some assembler
  • Book:  21st Century C – C Tips from the New School
  • Beowulf Clustering

“Real Computer Programmers should be Computer Engineers” ~ John ‘Mad Dog’ Hall


  • Sirius Programme – aims to attract the brightest and best students and graduate entrepreneurs to set up their businesses in the UK
  • FI-WARE – Interesting initiative by the EU

Hyper Hype Curve

Hyper Hype Curve

The Hyper Hype curve, showing the development of words and concepts as practiced by some companies in a manner that generates an amazing amount of revenue (for them, not necessarily their customers ;).

The thing that continually amazes me is the queue of large, fat and stupid organisations that drink from this trough of swill… and come back for more!

I suppose it’s just because it’s easier to do that rather than perform your own thinking and investigations because <<universal entity>> forbid, you may then end up with solutions that are actually tailored to your environment!
</ mini-rant>

Upon further analysis and a survey conducted 3 days ago (n=1, locn=my-head) it has been discovered that the above scenario only 21.6% of the time. Unfortunately (for everyone) the more common phenomenon, which is not as widely publicised is that of the Hyper-Stall which occurs 78.4% of the time:





As can be seen this doesn’t end well for anyone: The consultancies don’t get to milk their customers for the next  few years and the customer emerges disillusioned, with the knowledge that it’s all smoke, mirrors and a rubber stamp.

Luckily for everyone, most organisations and their “leadership” (who are often replaced regularly) are always changing or have the attention span of a teenager with ADD so all the pain and lessons are forgotten.

Silver BulletReady for the next Silver Bullet…

Jennifer Sertl on Resilience

Jennifer Sertl ResilienceWe all want Resilience, but how do we get it? Look at the photo – that’s Resilience!!! The ground has literally shifted beneath the tree, exposing it’s roots. Yet it’s alive!

It’s adapted – seems like there’s quite a bit of flexibility involved too, as it’s probably about 20 feet below all the other trees…
Over to Jennifer now:

  1. Jay Forrester’s Shock the System… by @ArtKleiner via @MITSloan HT @EkolojikZeka
  2. Self-Determination Theory… by #ROC treasure Professor Edward Deci
  3. Treasure trove of article references from military resilience training…
  4. 10 Principles for a Swan Proof World… by @nntaleb
  5. Trajectory Shift Request: At Davos: Why U.S. companies fail to innovate | via @TIMEBusiness
  6. Mastering Risk… … via @gbntweets
  7. Viktor Frankl’s Man’s search for meaning . . . perhaps the most important read in your lifetime: Man’s Search for Meaning
  8. The Stockdale Paradox + Optimism…
  9. Resilience is to the 21st century what growth was to the 20th (treasure trove) via @auerswald
  10. Pure gold: Resilience + Knowledge Management… HT @toughLoveforx

Violence, Silence and Non Violent Communication

I was pointed to this (most appropriately :) by my wife yesterday morning. I’m very much in to TED talks, but not so much her, so I was a amazed that I’d not come across this talk before. Needless to say, it’s a bit of a game-changer and I’d put it in my Top 10 TED Talks ever!

After talking about this quite a bit I then showed her the Marshall Rosenberg series of introduction videos which follow quite nicely from this.

Wrapped up by one of his famous “puppet sessions”

If you want to find out more, the obvious place is The Centre for Nonviolent Communication. If you’re in the UK, then it’s worth looking at Nonviolent Communication UK. Finally, if you want some great information along with one persons journey in to the land of NVC, I’d highly recommend Bob Marshall @flowchainsensei‘s blog with has Many great entries on Nonviolent Communication applied in a Corporate and Organisational context.

For an even broader context, @AndreaChiou recently did a great post about Book Dreams

The Most Expensive form of travel in The World!

Ticket BarriersI had an interesting experience today – I swiped my Oyster Card and then remembered I had to top it up so I swiped back out the barriers. You’re not supposed to be charged in this situation, but when I went to a top-up machine it said my card was -£3! What??? Putting 1+1 together I then went to the ticket window and explained what had happened and the guy confirmed – I’d been charged £4 (as I’d had £1 on the card). No problems, he reversed the transaction and I topped up my card.

UndergroundOn the walk to work (where many of my “great thoughts” arise) I got to thinking – I walked roughly 10ft “round trip” so that makes the “journey” 40p/ft! Following on from this, it would surely make that kind of travel the most expensive, and most annoying as you’re locomoting yourself! Bought to you by our good old London Underground…

Carrying this silliness further I wondered how much would it cost to get to the US using such a pricing structure. A simple query to Wolfram Alpha (I knew it was good for something ;) reveals that it’s 1.832×10^7 feet from London to New York so simple arithmetic gives us a total cost of £7.3M or US$11.4M!!! Well that’s an expensive trip!

Virgin GalacticSo, if you want to “one up” all your colleagues who are talking about Luxurious Cruises, Virgin Galactic and all those “cheap” forms of travel, just go to a tube station, walk in and out of the barriers and you’re then a member of a very exclusive club :-)