Crap TV No More!

August 27, 2007

One of the downsides to living in New Zealand is the crap television.  Utterly abysmal.

Well, suffer ye no more.  A colleague (thanks Joe) recently hooked me up with  This is a great little site for pointing you to a wicked source of recent UK programmes.  It has some real goodies on there, including:

  • Match of the Day
  • The Championship (where my beloved Burnley reside)
  • Wild Water
  • The X Factor
  • Wainwrights Walks
  • Newsnight
  • Britain’s Favourite View (geez, even I didn’t realise Britain looked this good!)

Lakes henge

viaduct coast

And you can even download whole series of shows from the excellent CBeebies channel.

Brilliant!  Decent TV!  Thanks internet!  Thanks UKNova!


Clag-Gone! Thanks Viz!!


I’ve just finished reading Freakonomics.  It’s a great read, and don’t be scared off if economics ain’t your cup of tea.

I won’t spoil it for you, but it answers questions such as:

  • what have schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers got in common?
  • how is the Ku Klux Klan like a group of real estate agents?
  • why do drug dealers still live with their mums?

It’s really good fun, and  if anything, makes you take a slightly different approach to “conventional truth”.

Now, my fellow techies,  we all know that IT does not have the best of reputations.  According to these surveys the project failure rate is about 50%, if not more.  That’s pretty abysmal.

The conventional truth is that projects fail because of:

  • poor planning
  • poor project management
  • poorly defined requirements
  • lack of user buy-in and involvement
  • over ambitious technology
  • and there’s probably a few more (feel free to add)

After reading Freakonomics, I thought challenge the conventional truth about what influences IT project success – let’s call it Geekonomics!!

I’d love to see some stats/evidence to prove/disprove the following hypotheses (some of which I think maybe true, some not!):

  • Developers using Mac have a higher project success rate than developers using PCs!
  • Bloggers are involved in more successful projects than non-bloggers
  • More caffeine intake equals more project success
  • Less time in meetings means a bigger chance of a successful project
  • Less management of (bloody) Gantt charts results in more successful projects
  • Locking down internet access at work decreases the chance of project success
  • Giving your employees “free” broadband increases the change of project success
  • “True geeks” deliver better projects

and finally,

  • the success of a project is inversely proportional to the size of the papertrail it leaves behind

These are just a few to get you thinking.  It’s a bit of fun – but you never know!  Go on, feel free to add some more.  And if you know of any stats around them, then please do let me know.

CurryThe picture of me on the right is me eating my first UK curry for over three and a half years.

My usual order in Wellington is a chicken vindaloo, which I can quite easily handle.  So I thought I’d play it safe and go for a chicken madras, as I knew that UK curries (the national dish!) are a bit hotter.

The moral of the story – don’t get too comfortable with your surroundings – or you may get left behind.

Yes, the curries are hotter than I remembered.  But the UK has changed a bit since I was last here.

  • The UK banks are now all Chip and Pin, and my NZ credit card seems archaeic.
  • UK houses have to recycle things into five different bins, and if they don’t do it properly they get fined eighty quid!  Yes, eighty quid.
  • Broadband is in your face, everywhere.   The range of mobile phones and plans is incredible.  Competition is good.  And it makes the prices far more attractive.
  • The SatNav/TomTom things are everywhere – but then again you need them here.
  • Speed cameras.  Like an infectious disease (erm.. foot and mouth, anyone!!).  They are EVERYWHERE.  And they have the differential ones that you simply can not cheat. 😦
  • The trains have finally all been upgraded – and they’re pretty sexy – as long as you’re travelling off-peak.

Only three more days here before I head off “home”.

I’m gagging for a decent coffee.